Only fossilized remains can become paleoskeletons. The bones that comprise a paleoskeleton must have been in the earth for thousands or even millions of years. Provided the skull and at least 20% of the actual bones remain, an animate dead spell cast by an arcane spellcaster of at least 12th level produces a paleoskeleton. The very rock of the fossil site itself becomes charged with negative energy, and takes the place of any missing bones in the skeleton. The fossilization process mineralizes most of the actual bones in a paleoskeleton as well, replacing them with stone or other silicates. The extreme age of the bones and the strange properties of the mineralization interact with the negative energy to produce a very powerful undead creature.
“Paleoskeleton” is an acquired template that can be added to dinosaur or prehistoric animal (referred to hereafter as the base creature). A paleoskeleton retains all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.
CR: Depends on the Hit Dice of the base creature. See the table below:
Alignment: Always neutral evil.
Size and Type: The creature’s type changes to undead and it gains the earth subtype. It does not gain the augmented subtype. Recalculate base attack, saves, and skill points based on creature’s new type. Size does not change.
Defensive Abilities: A paleoskeleton retains all the defensive abilities of the base creature, and also gains the following.
Paleoskeletons gain immunity to cold.
Speed: Same as base creature. If the base creature has the natural ability to fly, it loses this movement mode.
Once every 1d4 rounds, a paleoskeleton can forfeit its first melee attack to make a touch attack. Any opponent struck by this attack must succeed on a Fortitude save or be turned to stone permanently.
Feats: A paleoskeleton loses all feats, including any bonus feats, possessed by the base creature. It gains Improved Initiative as a bonus feat.
Skills: A paleoskeleton loses all skill ranks and racial bonuses possessed by the base creature.