A skeleton is a magically animated undead creature. Unlike shades, only humanoid creatures can be used to create skeletons. Skeletons have a slowing attack. They have a chance of getting a leather armour (25%); a knife (8%) or a short sword (16%); but no random offensive item.
Old players of the Dungeons & Dragons games are again put on notice that NetHack is different: in D&D, skeletons are the weakest of the classical undead monsters, safe to fight for very inexperienced characters. Not so in NetHack, where they are much tougher, reminiscent perhaps of the classic Ray Harryhausen movies.
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.