I have a group of players who do not know (yet) how to get rid of a Flameskull.

They already destroyed it twice. The second time there were right next to it when it re-materialized and they had enough fire power to destroy it on the first round (they got lucky!)

Now, I'm wondering, can the Flameskull remember who destroyed it before?

I am thinking that, if the answer is yes, then it should use Fireball on the very first round, no hesitation... (even if it is itself inside) since it knows that otherwise it is more than likely to get destroyed without a chance to kill any of its opponents.

So I could imagine a Lich and a Mummy Lord as having quite a bit of memory, but I'm not so sure about the Flameskull...


3 Answers 3


All the information about flameskulls in 5e is on page 134 of the Monster Manual.

It is stated that a flameskull "only dimly recalls its former life," but this refers to the life it had before it became a flameskull at all. There is nothing to suggest that flameskulls have a poor memory in general.

In the description of the flameskull's rejuvenation, it says, "If it can no longer fulfill its intended purpose, the re-formed flameskull is beholden to no one and becomes autonomous." This suggests that the flameskull can remember things (such as its orders) from before its rejuvenation.

A flameskull has an intelligence of 16, suggesting it should be able to plan and reason strategically. Casting fireball the moment it rejuvenates seems like a reasonable strategy if the last thing it can remember is being smashed the moment it rejuvenated.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Ah! Good point. If it can remember its fulfillment, it must be capable of remembering much more with Int 16. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 26, 2015 at 4:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ Though, if I were a player who doesn't know how to kill a flame skull (and I dont), and the flame skull murders me when it awakes again - especially if there were no clues how to kill it or to suggest that it's going to keep coming back until we run away and have our characters figure it out, I'm going to be pretty frustrated - and then probably meta-game and look up how to kill them. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 26, 2015 at 19:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DoubleDouble, I don't disagree. One of the players will survive the blast, though. He can then resurrect the others (they have tons of cash, time to spend it wisely.) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 27, 2015 at 1:46

Flameskulls are intelligent creatures - they have Int of 16. There's no reason to think it's incapable of retaining memory. But as the mechanism of its rejuvenation is not described in detail, it would ultimately be up to the DM.


This is your game. Your Flameskulls can behave as you wish. They are intelligent creatures that seem to have memory.

That said, the Flameskull's Eldritch Rejuvenation ability mentions the reformation of its "shattered fragments". As such, it did not "pass on" or really die - it should be the exact same Flameskull as the one the PCs "killed". And it should remember them clearly enough. ;)


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