Skeleton

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A skeleton is a magically animated undead creature that appears in NetHack.

Skeletons have a slowing attack that can remove intrinsic speed; chatting with a skeleton, even a tame one, will paralyze you for a few turns.[1] They have immunities to cold, sleep, poison, and stoning.

Generation

Skeletons are only randomly generated in Orcus Town, and they are valid targets for polymorph traps and the summon nasties spell. Polypiling multiple objects made of bone, such as unicorn horns, may also create a skeleton.

A randomly generated skeleton may appear with a leather armor (25%), a knife (8%) and/or a short sword (16%), but will not get a random offensive item.

Strategy

While skeletons are not a great threat compared to the shades also found in Orcus Town, their ability to nullify speed still makes them dangerous. Their stoning resistance means that they can wield footrice corpses, so be careful leaving those around Orcus Town.

Encyclopedia entry

A skeleton is a magically animated undead creature. Unlike
shades, only a humanoid creature can be used to create a
skeleton. No one knows why this is true, but it has become
an accepted fact amongst the practitioners of the black arts.

References