Boneless in ars magic

A boneless is a rare type of undead(sorta like a zombie) that has no bones!
I’m just not sure what the stats c/would be, I’ll need help with this undead!

Well Abe, it's a supernatural creature, so what would you like it to be like?
Do you have any sources that mention boneless undead? Any specific strenghts and weaknesses there you'd like to include.
I vaugely remember a Clive Barker book that had some undead/animated dead which were a lot like this - human remains with the bones removed, so just skins and flesh but stuffed with clay and then animated. I think I used some waaay back when playing 4th ed.

Realms of Power: Magic p 97-98 list stats for Revenants. And IIRC both Thrice-Told Tales (in the Mound) and Dies Irae (in Fimbulwinter?)

Back in 4th ed I think undead were divided up into animated skeletons and animated coprses (zombies). Skeltons had higher Soak against piercing attacks, because arrows mostly just pass through the ribcage etc.
I think a boneless undead might have the same resilence against piercing attacks, becaue they are...gooey. They might also have soem resistance towards bashing attacks, since they are soft and flexible. It might known them down, more than it hurt them. Maybe just calculate damage as normal but instead of inflicting wounds per se have a Light Wound knock the bonelkes sundead out of balance, a Medium Wound knoks it back, a Heavy or worse knocks it down, taking a round or two to get up. That would be super-annoying - I migth use those in my own game :wink:

1 Like

The only stats I have are for dnd, sorry.

That's okay. I understand what you are talking about. Setting stats aside, let us try to imagine what sort of strange advantages and drawbacks such a creature would have.
It is an undead, so that answers several questions, but raises others. What happened to the bones? Were they removed, or turned to a gel like substance and made gooey? Is this what killed the creature, or did it happen after the fact? And at what point in the creature become undead? Before or after becoming boneless?
It would have to wriggle around like a worm, maybe tense and spring motions. Very eerie and bizare to see such a sight! Very creepy. I like it.
Take half damage from bashing attacks?
Maybe some elastic capability?
Squeeze through very small spaces?
Total muscular control, kind of like an octopus arm, so that it has movement without bones? And can make strange twisted movements!


maybe it would move like an amoeba. that would for sure make it creepy and alien.

I'd also start by defining what it should do and then define virtues and flaws. In Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn series there are boneless creatures that have to acquire the bones from others in order to retain a shape and do anything more than slowly crawl. That would imply very slow motion without bones but also a likely ambush hunter which devours the flesh and takes on the bones of the victim. Your classic Gestaltwandler. Inhumanly strong with an insidious grapple attack (modifiers to breaking the grapple due to lack of purchase), no vitals (Incapacitation is ridiculously high), and a devouring alive power. Mimicry if you want it to be able to impersonate victims/people. Maybe a compulsion to change bones every season/year?


What if the boneless creatures are the by product of a necromancer, who took out the bones to animate on their own.
And the remaining flesh and skin is somehow stuffed with maybe clay, and animated as squishy zombies.
They may be flexible, able to squeeze through narrow gaps, and highly resistant to bludgeoning attacks.
But if hacked and stabbed the clay eventually spills out and the body stops working.



1 Like

This sounds like one of the bosses from Darkest Dungeon...

perhaps the creature is a spirit that animates the remaining flesh to take revenge on the necromancer for stealing its bones?

Uuuh, this thread gives many ideas



Or maybe the boneless undead is the creation of a maga/magus Merinita and it is stuffed with fragrant faerie flowers?

1 Like

I don't know about stats, but screwy medieval European folklore is what draws me to Ars Magica.
Have you thought about mining William of Newburgh for an Ars Magica-like framework these squishy undead?
Circa 1190, William describes an extremely tough undead creature that took 4 strapping young novices to force in a coffin which subsequently had to be read a Papal Bull or something over to put to rest.
There's also a type of Swiss monster called the Ah...something something. It's a formless lake demon with bunches of eyes.
And in Albania, there's an albino species of formless underground fairy called the Bardha.
They have to be bribed with sweets and fresh-baked buns.
"Jehan," cried Magister Avunuculus, "stop stuffing your face, grog, and throw the wheatcake at it!"
But Jehan, already bleary from a heavy breakfast, moved too slow.