Dread (CR 2)

Small Undead
Alignment: Always neutral evil
Initiative: +3 (Dex); Senses: darkvision 60 ft., Listen +5, and Spot +5

AC: 16 (+1 size, +3 Dex, +2 natural), touch 14, flat-footed 13
Hit Dice: 3d12 (19 hp); DR: DR 5/bludgeoning
Fort +1, Ref +4, Will +4
Speed: Fly 40 ft. (good)
Space: 5 ft./5 ft.
Base Attack +1; Grapple -2
Attack: Longsword +3 melee (1d8+1/19-20) or claw +3 melee (1d3+1)
Full Attack: Longsword +3 melee (1d8+1/19-20) or 2 claws +3 melee (1d3+1)
Special Attacks: Frightful presence
Abilities: Str 12, Dex 16, Con -, Int -, Wis 12, Cha 1
Special Qualities: immunity to cold, undead traits, weapon use
Skills: Listen +5 and Spot +5
Advancement: 4 HD (Small); 5-6 HD (Medium)
Climate/Terrain: Any
Organization: Solitary, pair, or gang (3-4)
Treasure/Possessions: None

Source: Lost Empires of Faerûn

A skeletal pair of arms hovers in the air, both hands gripping a rusty old longsword. The arms move together and strike as if they were the limbs of a human-sized skeleton.

A dread is a pair of animated skeletal arms created for use as an undead guardian. Like a skeleton, it is a mindless automaton that obeys the commands of its master, but it also carries an aura of supernatural terror. Each of a dread's arms is 2 to 4 feet long and weighs 10 to 40 pounds.

Dreads do only what they are ordered to do, but they can accept reasonably complex commands based on observable characteristics such as race, equipment, spoken passwords, or specific actions. For example, a dread might be ordered to attack all intruders except elves and creatures displaying a certain token. These dreads are often incorporated into complex trap designs.

A dread can be created with an animate dead spell, but in addition to all the normal requirements of the spell, the caster must provide a zendalure gemstone worth at least 1,000 gp.


Dreads attack relentlessly as ordered by their creator. The necromantic magic used in their creation surrounds them with an aura of supernatural fear.

Frightful Presence (Su): Any creature with 2 or fewer HD within 30 feet of a dread must succeed on a DC 12 Will save or become shaken for 2d6 rounds. A creature that is already shaken (by the frightful presence of a second dread, for example) becomes frightened instead. If the creature is already frightened, the dread's frightful presence produces no further effect. A successful save renders the creature immune to that dread's frightful presence for 24 hours. Frightful presence is a mind-affecting fear effect. The save DC is Wisdom-based.

Undead Traits: A dread is immune to mind-affecting effects, poison, sleep effects, paralysis, stunning, disease; death effects, and any effect that requires a Fortitude save unless it also works on objects or is harmless. It is not subject to extra damage from critical hits, nonlethal damage, ability damage to its physical ability scores, ability drain, energy drain, fatigue, exhaustion, or death from massive damage. It cannot be raised, and resurrection works only if it is willing. It has darkvision out to 60 feet.

Weapon Use (Ex): A Medium dread can use weapons sized for Medium creatures with no penalty, since its arms are roughly the same size as those of a Medium humanoid.

Skills: A dread has a +4 racial bonus on Listen and Spot checks.