Pathfinder Reference Document
Pathfinder Reference Document

Bone Ship

Muscle holds together the large bones that form the hull of this ship. Rotting sails hang from masts crafted from gigantic spines.

Bone Ship CR 18

XP 153,600

CE Colossal undead (water)

Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +40

Aura blood wake (40 ft., DC 30)


AC 36, touch 6, flat-footed 32 (+3 Dex, +30 natural, -8 size)

hp 299 (26d8+182)

Fort +17, Ref +14, Will +20

Defensive Abilities all-around vision, bound souls, channel resistance +4; Immune undead traits; SR 29


Speed swim 60 ft.

Melee slam +28 (8d8+24 plus energy drain)

Ranged 4 bone cannons +15 (6d6+16/×4)

Space 30 ft.; Reach 30 ft.

Special Attacks energy drain (2 levels, DC 30), ghostly boarders, spectral energy cannon, Trample (8d8+24 plus energy drain, DC 39)


Str 42, Dex 18, Con —, Int 11, Wis 20, Cha 25

Base Atk +19; CMB +43 (+47 bull rush, +45 overRun); CMD 51 (53 vs. bull rush, can't be tripped)

Feats Great Fortitude, Greater Bull Rush, Greater Overrun, Greater Vital Strike, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Great Fortitude, Improved Lightning Reflexes, Improved Vital Strike, Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack, Skill Focus (Perception), Vital Strike, Weapon Focus (slam)

Skills Intimidate +36, Knowledge (geography) +13, Perception +40, Profession (sailor) +18, Swim +53

SQ unholy repair

Languages Common (can't speak)


Environment any oceans

Organization solitary

Treasure standard

Special Abilities

Blood Wake (Su) The frothing, churning waters around a bone ship are stained crimson with blood. Creatures entering the bone ship's aura must attempt DC 30 Fortitude saves. Those that succeed at their saves become shaken for 1d6 rounds. Those that fail become shaken and staggered as they feel themselves drowning and envision themselves pulled down into the bloody waters. Staggered creatures take an additional -4 penalty to AC, on Reflex saves, and on Swim checks. Creatures can attempt a new save at the start of each of their turns to resist this effect. Those that succeed at their saving throws are immune to the bone ship's aura for 24 hours. This is a mind-affecting fear affect, and works only when the bone ship is in the water. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Bone Cannon (Su) The bone ship can create four cannons fashioned from bone anywhere along its body as a swift action. These cannons deal 6d6 points of damage and have a ×4 critical multiplier. The bone cannons have a range increment of 100 feet and deal both bludgeoning and piercing damage. At a range up of up to 100 feet, the bone ship's cannons are treated as touch attacks. The bone ship can fire all four cannons as a standard action. The ammunition is a combination of bones and debris. Because the ammunition is ejected from the bone ship's body, bone cannons add the bone ship's Strength modifier on damage rolls. The cannons are considered to be part of the bone ship and not separate objects.

Bound Souls (Su) The souls of numerous sailors and sea creatures form the bone ship's collective consciousness and hull. A bone ship is immune to spells and effects affecting a specific number of creatures. Any creature attempting to communicate with a bone ship, such as through telepathy, hears only the anguished cries of the imprisoned souls and must succeed at a DC 30 Will save or be driven insane as per the insanity spell (CL 20th). The save DC is Charisma-based.

Ghostly Boarders (Su) Once per minute as a full-round action, the bone ship can disgorge the souls of the sailors bound within it. The ghostly boarders appear as spectral entities and slaughter all living creatures around the bone ship, functioning as per the spell circle of death (CL 20th) except that it affects creatures of up to 15 Hit Dice. Living creatures must succeed at a DC 30 Fortitude save or be slain, their souls dragged into the bone ship. Creatures slain in this manner can be restored to life only by a miracle or wish spell. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Spectral Energy Cannon (Su) As a standard action every 1d4 rounds, the bone ship can combine all four of its bone cannons into a spectral energy cannon that deals 18d6 points of negative energy damage to creatures in a 180-foot line (Will DC 30 half). The save DC is Charisma-based.

Unholy Repair (Su) By spending 1 full day inactive, the bone ship can heal itself to full hit points by scavenging the bones of dead sea creatures within a 10-mile radius, pulling the bones up from the bottom of the ocean to join its hull.

Predators of the oceans, the hulking undead monstrosities known as bone ships leave devastation in their bloody wakes. Formed from the collective consciousnesses of dead sailors bound within the bleached bones of giant aquatic creatures, bone ships hunt the seas without mercy, destroying ships and slaying the living wherever they are encountered. Bone ships stalk their prey with tenacious intelligence and single-minded purpose. They often trail their quarry for days, relishing the terror their sudden appearance on the horizon causes, and have even been known to continue the chase on land, the many bones of their hulls pulling them over the ground. Bone ships do not care for plunder, seeking only to add more victims to their unholy crews.

The creation of a bone ship can occur in many different ways. Some bone ships arise as servants of evil gods, pawns to their vile wills. Certain powerful necromantic rituals can also create bone ships. Such rituals typically require those performing them to sacrifice dozens of humanoid creatures and trap the victims' souls. Other bone ships result from ships being destroyed in horrific and catastrophic events. The souls of the sailors who died in such a disaster, unable to find peace, slowly form a bone ship on the ocean's bottom before rising to the surface to take vengeance on the living. No matter how they're created, bone ships retain jumbled memories of the previous lives of the souls bound to them—though all bone ships attack any creatures they encounter, each ship's unique origin and collection of souls burns a particular objective into its very nature. A bone ship created by an evil god might target ships bearing the flags of an opposing faith or enemy of that god, while a bone ship created in a ritual is ingrained with a specific purpose that forces it to enact its creator's will. Certain bone ships viciously target ships from one or more nations, either those from the dead sailors' former nation if they seek revenge, or those from a rival nation the sailors hated in life.

Over time, legends and stories about a bone ship's capacity for destruction arise. A bone ship never takes a name for itself, but living sailors may ascribe it an epithet based on its origin, purpose, unique characteristics, or notable attacks. Though all bone ships possess the same abilities, a particular bone ship can be identified by its hunting area and appearance. Bone ships eventually display certain unique features such as glowing barnacles that cover its hull, a masthead featuring the skull of a particular sea creature, the bones of a unique and rare sea monster, or an unusual configuration of the musculature holding together its hull. Many of these changes are the result of a bone ship scavenging remains off the ocean floor to repair itself.

No living crew—or even other undead creatures—have ever been seen sailing in a bone ship. These undead ships operate independently, and don't form alliances even with others of their kind. Merely attempting to communicate with a bone ship is dangerous, as even such means as telepathy produce only the howling voices of the suffering, ghostly crew, spreading their insanity to those foolish enough to contact them.

Though a bone ship is a single creature, the numerous souls it contains create a hive mind. A bone ship can reshape certain aspects of its hull by using its knotted muscle to move the bones within it. This transformative ability allows a bone ship to quickly sprout cannons from its hull that can attack in any direction, and each ship keeps a collection of bones and debris within its own body to use as ammunition. It can also tap into the unholy energy giving it unlife to fire a devastating beam of negative energy at its enemies, and those who close with a bone ship find that even its hull has the ability to drain away life force.