Skeleton warriors first appeared in the original Fiend Folio. The Fiend Folio was reviewed by Jamie Thomson in the British magazine White Dwarf #28 (December 1981/January 1982). As part of his review, Thomson comments on several monsters appearing in the book, referring to the skeleton warriors as "beings similar to Tolkien's ringwraiths".
The skeleton warrior appeared in second edition for the Dragonlance setting in the Monstrous Compendium Dragonlance Appendix (1990), and reprinted in the Monstrous Manual (1993).
Skeleton warriors are created from great warriors by powerful necromancy. Unlike their lesser kin, skeleton warriors retain all of their fighting skill and are highly resistant to magic. Skeleton warriors are difficult to command, and as such are rarely found in groups greater than two or three.
Lord Soth of Krynn was served by thirteen skeleton warriors, the cursed undead remnants of his loyal retainers.