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Old 01-16-2019, 07:56 AM   #1
Shadekeep
 
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Default Do Skeletons decay?

Zombies lose a point of ST a day, unless equipt with a Zombie ring. Since Skeletons are technically Zombies in TFT, do they suffer the same ST loss? I just realised that I had always assumed they did not, since they don't have flesh to rot, but there is nothing in the rules saying that they don't. It's not explicit that they do, either, but it does say that they should be treated as Zombies. So my question is, what is the official stance on daily ST loss for Skeletons?
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Old 01-16-2019, 08:19 AM   #2
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Default Re: Do Skeletons decay?

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Originally Posted by Shadekeep View Post
Zombies lose a point of ST a day, unless equipt with a Zombie ring. Since Skeletons are technically Zombies in TFT, do they suffer the same ST loss? I just realised that I had always assumed they did not, since they don't have flesh to rot, but there is nothing in the rules saying that they don't. It's not explicit that they do, either, but it does say that they should be treated as Zombies. So my question is, what is the official stance on daily ST loss for Skeletons?
I can't say what the official stance is, but my take on it would be that once the zombie has decayed to the point where he becomes a skeleton, he wouldn't be subject to further ST loss.
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Old 01-16-2019, 08:49 AM   #3
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Default Re: Do Skeletons decay?

I've always seen it as the spell decaying over time.

If you want a corpse that will keep then you've got to wrap things up:

http://www.hcobb.com/tft/new_spells.html#Mummy
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Old 01-16-2019, 11:31 AM   #4
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Default Re: Do Skeletons decay?

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Originally Posted by warhorse11h View Post
I can't say what the official stance is, but my take on it would be that once the zombie has decayed to the point where he becomes a skeleton, he wouldn't be subject to further ST loss.
That was my original interpretation as well - flesh decays, bones don't. But then it raises the conundrum of "if a skeleton is sufficient to hold onto ST, why doesn't the skeleton of a zombie do the same?"

In other words, the underlying magic doesn't make sense to me if one form loses ST but the other doesn't. It seems like it's actually the animating field that is dissipating at the rate of 1 ST per day, rather than the flesh/bones.

The only way I can see to justify "zombies lose ST, skeletons don't" in a magical sense is to assume that the spell animates the flesh in the case of a zombie, and animates the bones in the case of a skeleton. Which is a bit weird and arbitrary, but then magic isn't always logical. And that particular justification still doesn't quite cover the transition of a zombie to a skeleton, unless one assumes the magic is slowly seeping from the flesh into the bones over time.

Ultimately though I'm most interested in the core question - do skeletons lose ST per day? That's what matters in a gameplay sense.
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Old 01-16-2019, 12:27 PM   #5
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Default Re: Do Skeletons decay?

It seems pretty clear to me that the rules intention is that skeletons do not decay.

An explanation might be that yes the Zombie spell enchants what is there to enchant. Enchanting the flesh of a zombie has the major advantage that damage will not shatter it like happens to skeletons, and the disadvantage that for a year or more, the rotting flesh degrades the enchantment.

The spell is not able to enchant just the skeleton inside the corpse. If someone researched such a variant version of the zombie spell, I might allow it but treat the flesh as armor and assign encumbrance equal to the flesh weight (100 - 200 pounds, maybe giving armor 1 and -1DX per 50 pounds or so).
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Old 01-16-2019, 01:53 PM   #6
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Default Re: Do Skeletons decay?

The Zombie spell lets one create a skeleton, which obeys all of the limitations of the spell. If you forget about the "as it rots" wording of the spell, zombies and skeletons simply lose ST as the spell weakens.
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Old 01-16-2019, 03:09 PM   #7
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Default Re: Do Skeletons decay?

"Zombies lose 1 ST per day unless re-enchanted." - No mention of rot.
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Old 01-16-2019, 03:14 PM   #8
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Default Re: Do Skeletons decay?

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Originally Posted by hcobb View Post
"Zombies lose 1 ST per day unless re-enchanted." - No mention of rot.
If re-enchanting eliminates the ST loss, it's clearly not actual decay of the corpse, it's decay of the enchantment.
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Old 01-16-2019, 03:22 PM   #9
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Default Re: Do Skeletons decay?

Nice thing about the Zombie spell is that it alone multiplies the wizard's powers of disbelief, unbounded by range. So the next time your halfling dies take him to the wizard's guild for a 100 point casting of the Zombie spell and just return every three months or so.

One hour of IQ 19 wizard's time: $9
100 fatigue in the casting: $100

Result is ST 95, DX 10, IQ 19 (effectively, or higher?), MA 10
Does 8d+1 when slapping around poor defenseless dragons.
(More when wielding a redwood.)
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Old 01-16-2019, 03:57 PM   #10
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Default Re: Do Skeletons decay?

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Originally Posted by hcobb View Post
"Zombies lose 1 ST per day unless re-enchanted." - No mention of rot.
That's the zombie creature description.

The Zombie spell description reads ""A zombie’s wounds cannot heal on their own, and it loses 1 ST a day as it rots".

The Skeleton creature description does not say it loses ST.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony
If re-enchanting eliminates the ST loss, it's clearly not actual decay of the corpse, it's decay of the enchantment.
It is the enchantment fading, because it says it can take years for all the flesh to rot off. It does mention "as it rots", which to me says that the enchantment fades as the flesh rots. To me, that's not a contradiction - it just means that casting Zombie on a body with flesh results in an enchantment that fades as the body rots.

Skeletons don't rot like that, so zombie spells on them don't fade.


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Originally Posted by hcobb View Post
... the next time your halfling dies take him to the wizard's guild for a 100 point casting of the Zombie spell and just return every three months or so. ...
Result is ST 95, DX 10, IQ 19 (effectively, or higher?), MA 10
Does 8d+1 when slapping around poor defenseless dragons.
(More when wielding a redwood.)
For super-high-ST skeletons and zombies, it seems to me like there should be limits. As you surely know, your own house rules address this:

("A Zombie can only be cured by healing potions up to the maximum ST its creator bestowed on it. No zombie can be enchanted up to more than twice the ST it had in life without tearing itself apart. I.e. there are no skeleton ballerinas wielding telephone poles as two handed mauls at ST 60 and DX 12+. If you really need a ST 60 zombie then start with a giant's corpse and pay 75 fatigue (only the base cost of 5 is tripled for size) for a three hex zombie with ST 60, DX 7, IQ 0. A zombie retains the IQ 7 weapons talents it had in life.")

It seems to me that skeletons might want a lower max ST limit than zombies, as they have much less mass, and at some point, a heavy weapon swung by a light skeleton would swing the skeleton more than the weapon no matter how much ST it had.
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