Flameskull 5e: Stats and Guide for Players & DMs

Last Updated on November 2, 2023

A flameskull is a tiny, CR 4 undead that appears to be a flying skull wreathed in flame. It is a dangerously offensive, nearly mindless, undead spellcaster.


Tiny Undead

  • Size:  Tiny
  • Alignment:  Neutral Evil
  • Armor Class: 13
  • Hit Points: 40 (9d4 + 18)
  • Speed: 0 ft., fly 40 ft. (hover)
  • STR 1 (-5), DEX 17 (+3), CON 14 (+2), INT 16 (+3), WIS 10 (+0), CHA 11 (+0)

Illumination. The flameskull sheds either dim light in a 15-foot radius or bright light in a 15-foot radius and dim light for an additional 15 feet. It can switch between the options as an action.

Magic Resistance. The flameskull has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

Rejuvenation. If the flameskull is destroyed, it regains all its hit points in 1 hour unless holy water is sprinkled on its remains or a dispel magic or remove curse spell is cast on them.

Spellcasting. The flameskull is a 5th-level spellcaster. Its spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 13, +5 to hit with spell attacks). It requires no somatic or material components to cast its spells. The flameskull has the following wizard spells prepared:

  • Cantrip (at will): Mage hand
  • 1st level (3 slots): magic missile, shield
  • 2nd level (2 slots): Blur, flaming sphere
  • 3rd level (1 slot): Fireball


Multiattack. The flameskull uses Fire Ray twice.

Fire Ray. Ranged Spell Attack: +5 to hit, range 30 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (3d6) fire damage.

One of the best things for you about the flameskull is that it literally can not sneak up on you. It sheds light everywhere it goes and can not extinguish it. It would have to hide in bright daylight to go unnoticed.

Being a spellcasting monster, magic resistance can be expected. This thing is made and sustained by magic, so there isn’t much we can do about that.

Its rejuvenation ability makes the flameskull a truly annoying but effective guard. If you don’t take measures, you will just have to fight these things on your way back out! Finally, the spellcasting abilities of the flameskull are its primary function. Notice these are all combat spells.

A Player’s Guide to Flameskulls

The following is your guide to surviving your next encounter with a flameskull

Which, to be honest, could very well be the encounter you are in right now, and you are looking at your phone under the table while the DM is laughing maniacally and rolling fire damage. 

If this is the case, scroll straight down to the point where I tell you how to kill this thing.

For everyone not facing the reality of making a new character before the next session, take your time to peruse the stat block with me.

The Tactics of a Flameskull

The flameskull, thankfully, is nearly mindless. When created, it will follow the instructions it is given to the letter.

The flameskull is smart enough to choose its tactics, however. If it gets a surprise round and the entire party is in a nice little group, you should expect a fireball to come your way.

When you respond with your attacks, expect the flameskull to respond with a shield if necessary and then cast blur on its next turn while it flies out of range.

On its 3rd turn, you can expect it to close in with fire ray. When blur wears off, if it is still alive, it will probably cast flaming sphere.

The other tactic it may employ would be to block your path with a flaming sphere. If it can add that obstacle while your party is in a bottleneck, it could make the most of the spell’s damage capability while casting magic missile.

Tactics When Fighting a Flameskull

After knowing what the flame skulls best tactics are, the whole encounter seems fairly dismal. But no worries! This thing has weaknesses.

It has no resistance to bludgeoning, slashing, psychic, force, or radiant damages. It also has a lower-than-average strength save and no bonuses to Wisdom or Charisma saves. 

While it does have advantage on saving throws against magic, it is susceptible to a wet blanket being thrown over its head.

Seriously. It has such a low strength that it will need a turn or two to burn through the wet blanket while you all curb stomp it.

If you don’t have a towel (for shame) to use in this situation, you can still rely on cantrips like mind sliver and sacred flame.

Also, if anyone can actually catch it (the monk, maybe?), try grappling. Its strength is so low that you will win the grapple. From there, you can point its face away from anyone and slam it against the wall.

Creating a Flameskull

There are several ways you could have flameskull be created in your campaign. Here are 3 options:

1. Through a Ritual!

In order to create a flameskull, you must have first harvested a skull from a living sacrifice of a person who died from fire damage.

The skull must be polished and waxed with an alchemical salve costing 250 gp and set to cure in a kiln for 82 hours (9 is a magical number).

After the skull cures and hardens, you must expose it to all of the spells you wish it to cast, one after the other. Each time you cast a spell, you must succeed on a DC 13 Arcana check or cast the spell again.

Upon completion, you must specify your instructions for the flameskull. After the ritual, it lives until destroyed, following your instructions.

2. Cast a Spell

This 9th-level, homebrew spell will create a flameskull.

Create Flameskull

9th-Level Necromancy Spell

  • Range: 30 ft.
  • Duration: Instantaneous
  • Casting time: 1 reaction
  • Materials: V, S, M (one corpse recently killed by fire damage)

As a reaction, you may cast this spell on the corpse of one creature you have just killed with magical fire damage this turn. When casting the spell, you shout your orders to the corpse.

At the start of its next turn, a flameskull arises and follows the orders given to it. If the creature does not have bones, this spell does not work.

3. With a Magic Item!

The following homebrewed magic item will create a flameskull:

Flameskull Seed

Very rare

This seed is fashioned from a fire-red ruby. Place this ruby in the skull of a corpse, and speak your instructions.

One minute later, a flameskull will rise from the corpse and fulfill your instructions until permanently killed.

Have fun with this one!

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