Bestiary‎ > ‎(Bestiary) By Type‎ > ‎Templates‎ > ‎

Exoskeleton (CR +varies)

The gadget spec URL could not be found

Found skittering through forgotten tombs, crawling through deep forests, and filling damp caverns, exoskeletons are animated carapaces of arthropods and other vermin. Most exoskeletons are the intentional creations of necromancers, but some of these undead monstrosities arise spontaneously from places awash with negative energy or are created by malfunctioning artifacts.

Even though exoskeletons are just as mindless as they were when they were living, they now attack all living creatures on sight, exploding in a burst of dusty remains when they are destroyed.

A spellcaster can create an exoskeleton using animate dead. An exoskeleton can be created from a mostly intact dead vermin that has an exoskeleton. This includes arachnids, insects, crustaceans, and even some mollusks, but not soft-bodied vermin such as jellyfish and leeches.

Creating an Exoskeleton

Exoskeleton” is an acquired template that can be added to any corporeal vermin that has an exoskeleton (referred to hereafter as the base creature).

Challenge Rating: Depends on Hit Dice, as follows:

Challenge Rating Adjustment
Hit Dice CR XP
1 1/4 100
2 1/2 200
3–4 1 400
5–6 2 600
7–8 3 800
9–10 4 1,200
11–12 5 1,600
13–15 6 2,400
16–17 7 3,200
18–20 8 4,800
21–24 9 6,400
25–28 10 9,600

Alignment: Always neutral evil.

Type: The creature's type changes to undead. It retains any subtype except for alignment subtypes (such as good) and subtypes that indicate kind (such as giant). It does not gain the augmented subtype. It uses all the base creature's statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

Armor Class: Natural armor changes as follows:

Natural Armor Class Bonus
Exoskeleton Size Natural Armor Bonus
Tiny or smaller +0
Small +1
Medium +2
Large +3
Huge +4
Gargantuan +7
Colossal +11

Hit Dice: An exoskeleton retains the number of Hit Dice the base creature possessed, and gains a number of additional Hit Dice as noted on the following table. If the base creature has more than 20 Hit Dice, it can't be made into an exoskeleton by the animate dead spell. An exoskeleton uses its Charisma modifier (instead of its Constitution modifier) to determine bonus hit points.

Hit Dice Adjustment
Exoskeleton Size Bonus Hit Dice
Tiny or smaller
Small or Medium +1
Large +2
Huge +4
Gargantuan +6
Colossal +10

Saves: Base save bonuses are Fort +1/3 HD, Ref +1/3 HD, and Will +1/2 HD +2.

Defensive Abilities: Exoskeletons lose their defensive abilities and gain all of the qualities and immunities granted by the undead type. In addition, exoskeletons gain DR 5/bludgeoning.

Speed: An exoskeleton retains all movement speeds. However, its maneuverability for flight drops to clumsy.

Attacks: An exoskeleton retains all of its natural weapons. If the base creature didn't have any natural weapons, it gains a slam attack that deals damage based on the exoskeleton's size, but as if it were one size category larger than its actual size.

Special Attacks: An exoskeleton loses all of its special attacks that rely on a functioning biology (such as poison), but retains any others.

Abilities: An exoskeleton's Strength increases by 2. The exoskeleton has no Constitution or Intelligence score, and its Wisdom and Charisma scores change to 10.

BAB: An exoskeleton's base attack bonus is equal to 3/4 of its Hit Dice.

Skills: Though most vermin are mindless and have no skill ranks, the exoskeleton loses all skill ranks if it had any, and it doesn't retain any racial bonuses it had.

Feats: An exoskeleton loses all feats possessed by the base creature, and doesn't gain feats as its Hit Dice increase, but it does gain Toughness as a bonus feat.

Special Qualities: An exoskeleton loses most special qualities of the base creature. It retains any extraordinary special qualities that improve its melee or ranged attacks.

An exoskeleton gains the following special quality.

Burst (Ex)

When an exoskeleton is destroyed, its desiccated husk bursts, releasing the dusty remains of the vermin into the surrounding air. Any creature adjacent to an exoskeleton when it bursts must succeed at a Fortitude save or become staggered for 1 round as it coughs and sneezes. Creatures that don't need to breathe are immune to this effect. If the exoskeleton possesses 10 or more Hit Dice, the victim is nauseated instead. The save DC is equal to 10 + 1/2 the exoskeleton's HD + its Cha modifier.