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Old 01-16-2019, 08:56 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, 09:19 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, 09:49 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, 12:31 PM   #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, 01:27 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, 02:53 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, 04:09 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 01-17-2019, 07:47 AM   #8
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Default Re: Do Skeletons decay?

Thanks for the feedback so far. Glad to see I'm not the only one who assumed skeletons were treated differently from zombies regarding the rot/dissipation effect. I'd still love it if we could get an "official" answer from someone at SJ Games, but in the absence of that it sounds like the GM will decide for their particular game setting whether or not the effect applies to both.
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Old 01-17-2019, 11:28 AM   #9
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Default Re: Do Skeletons decay?

On the topic raised here -- I always assumed that any undead lost power, not because they are rotting (which would imply they had innate "power" of their own), but because the power of the SPELL itself slowly decayed over time. Admittedly, that's just my opinion, but it meets the logic of the spell itself, and of magic in TFT in general...
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Old 01-17-2019, 11:45 AM   #10
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Default Re: Do Skeletons decay?

If you make this distinction would you distinguish between old dry bones and the fresh wet bones that the Necopus uses? (She can't crack the bones because of the spell requirement, but the rest is tasty.)
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