A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Lichdom (ready for commenting!)

    1. Introduction
    2. Becoming a Lich (the spell, phylactery, elixir, ritual, results, and consequences)
    3. Lich Template, Lich Feats
    4. Phylacteries: Item Phylacteries
    5. Phylacteries: Phylactery Creature (Template)

    I’ve always loved liches (not in that way!), here’s a bit of flavour and mechanics to flesh out the process of becoming one, as well as a modified lich template and some additional benefits. Note that given how expensive this version of lichdom is, it might still be better suited for villains rather than PCs. Hopefully it provides extra plot hooks too e.g. the party might learn of agents collecting ingredients for their master's elixir and decide to stop them.

    New drinking game: take a shot whenever you read the word "phylactery".

    Introduction
    You Too Can Be A Lich!
    Any spellcaster can attempt to become a lich, regardless of caster level, though the chances of success are vanishingly small for low-level casters without (or even with) assistance. When confronted with the certainty of dying of old age even a slim chance at eternal life can appeal to the ambitious, and spellcasters are an ambitious lot indeed.

    Lich Alignment (Or “Only Vampires Stay Bloodthirsty Forever”)
    The ritual to become a lich is unspeakably evil, but neutral- and even good-aligned spellcasters can complete it without compromising their alignment. The liberal use of wish and miracle spells or other additional costs might be allowed to compensate for any immoral acts they might otherwise have to perform.

    Furthermore, evil liches have more reason than most to tend towards apathy and regret. Immorality might become amorality or even morality after the many lonely centuries spent contemplating the many more ahead, and whether it was all really worth it in the end.

    Finally, some liches are simply the results of a deity’s curse or magical mishaps, with alignments of their own whether good or evil.

    Infinite Longevity At Infinite Cost
    Lichdom is acquired only at great temporal, material, and spiritual cost and at tremendous risk. A spellcaster must research the spell to become a lich, craft a phylactery, brew a special elixir, and perform a sacrificial ritual. At each of these stages there are opportunites to increase (or decrease) the chances of successfully becoming a lich, noted as Success Modifiers. All Success Modifiers are cumulative.

    Rolling The Dice
    Becoming a lich requires defeating one’s self just as much as it involves defeating the natural order. The DCs of all saves1 and skill checks2 required by this process scale with the power of the spellcaster. The DC is 10 + ½ spellcaster’s level + spellcaster’s relevant spellcasting ability modifier for saves, +10 for skill checks. If a skill check fails by 5 or more the spellcaster takes a -5 Success Modifier penalty and furthermore is not aware of the failure (and might therefore proceed to the final ritual unaware of their imminent doom).
    1Fortitude and Will.
    2Knowledge (arcana), Spellcraft, Craft (for phylactery; see below), Craft (alchemy), and Concentration.

    Even the lowliest hedge-witch has a chance at eternal infamy, and even the mightiest wizard must risk oblivion in pursuit of immortality. For all rolls involved in this process, a natural roll of 1 on the d20 is considered a failure and a natural roll of 20 is considered a success (even for skill checks and the final Success Check).
    Last edited by rferries; 2017-05-22 at 06:44 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Lichdom

    Becoming A Lich
    The Spell
    The spell to transform into a lich must be tailored to the spellcaster in question. It is researched as an original spell of the highest level that the spellcaster could cast, requiring 1 week of research time per spell level and the expenditure of 1,000 gp per week, as well as access to a well-stocked library, the Scribe Scroll feat, and a Knowledge (arcana) check. At the completion of the research the spellcaster must also make a Spellcraft check to see if the spell is viable. The prepared scroll or tome is then retained until the actual lichdom ritual, and guides the spellcaster through the subsequent steps.

    Spell Research Success Modifiers
    Variable Success Modifier
    Spellcaster consulted an extraplanar entity (via contact other plane or conjuration) +1
    Spellcaster had access to a library granting at least a +5 circumstance bonus on the Knowledge (arcana) check +1
    Spellcaster did not have access to a library granting at least a +2 circumstance bonus on the Knowledge (arcana) check -1
    Spell was researched by someone else -5

    The Phylactery
    A lich’s phylactery is the source of their immortality, and is therefore both their greatest strength and greatest weakness. A more cunning and paranoid lich might hide theirs as a single grain of sand on an alternate Prime Material desert world, or place it within a labyrinth of traps and guardians in a genesis-created demiplane. Another lich might trust in their own personal might as the best defense and keep the phylactery on their person, combining its powers with one of their other magic items. The most bold liches could use colossal and enduring statues or even buildings as their phylactery in a testament to their greatness, and the most twisted might imbue their phylactery into another being.

    The spellcaster may use virtually any pre-existing item (whether magical or not) to craft a phylactery, or fashion an entirely new one. Rings, gems, coins, crowns, amulets, weapons, spellbooks, thrones, pillars, and many other forms are possible -rumours abound of exceptionally powerful liches who have used entire moons or worlds to store their souls! Creatures may also serve as phylacteries (see the Phylactery Template, below).

    Crafting a phylactery requires an item creation feat as appropriate for the final item (typically but by no means always Craft Wondrous Item). Using a creature as a phylactery always requires the Craft Construct feat instead, even for non-construct subject creatures. The process requires the expenditure of 120,000 gp and 4,800 XP, in addition to the cost of the base item, as well as the clone, permanency, soul bind, and wish spells and a Craft check as appropriate (even for pre-existing items).

    Phylactery Creation Success Modifiers
    Variable Success Modifier
    All spells used were in spellcaster’s own spellbook (rather than scrolls or supplied by someone else) +1
    Spells were substituted (magic jar for soul bind, limited wish for wish) or absent (clone, permanency) -1 for each spell
    Phylactery was crafted by someone else -5

    The Elixir
    The spellcaster must prepare a surpassingly potent elixir, using only the rarest and most precious ingredients. As with all other aspects of lichdom these ingredients are tailored to the spellcaster in question but may include: black lotus extract, mandrake root personally harvested by the spellcaster (whilst surviving the ensuing wail of the banshee without protection), kraken ink, hydra blood, ground roc eggshells, phoenix ashes, essences of each type of elder elemental, powdered unicorn horn, nightcrawler or wyvern venom, dragon heartsblood, and any number of other herbs and ichors. The ingredients may well include such insubstantialities as a green hag’s cackle, the black of night, or other unpleasantries.

    Brewing the elixir requires the Brew Potion feat, an Alchemy check, and special laboratory apparatus (enchanted mortar and pestle, a magic cauldron, beakers, distillation apparatus, etc.) costing 10,000 gp in addition to the cost of acquiring the ingredients. It also requires access to the astral projection, create greater undead, and energy drain spells.

    All equipment used to create the elixir shatters or is otherwise contaminated or cursed by the brewing process. The elixir itself is a contact poison that is deadly to the spellcaster. If it is mishandled at any time it slays the spellcaster instantly (no save); it is utterly harmless to all other beings.

    Elixir Concoction Success Modifiers
    Variable Success Modifier
    All ingredients were personally collected by spellcaster +1
    Used standard alchemist’s lab in place of special laboratory apparatus -1
    Spells were substituted (plane shift for astral projection, animate dead or create undead for create greater undead, enervation for energy drain) -1 for each spell
    Elixir was brewed by someone else -5

    The Ritual
    Once the spell has been researched, the phylactery crafted, and the elixir brewed, the spellcaster may finally perform the ritual to achieve lichdom. At the appointed time and place, and with the appropriate sacrifices and witnesses, the spellcaster calls upon the powers of black magic to shed the mortal coil and enter eternity. This is by far the most draining, complex, and critical step of the process. There are multiple stages at which things can wrong...

    Time and Place
    The ritual must take place at a portentous time and significant locale determined by the DM during the research step. It might be timed to reach its apex during an eclipse, or be held in a place of power (on the highest mountaintop or deep under the earth, on an intersection of ley lines, by a portal to the Negative Material Plane or Far Realm or IN those planes proper, etc.). The ritual fails automatically if these requirements are not observed (no Success Modifiers).

    Participants
    The caster first prepares the ritual area with incense and oils, enchanted pentagrams and other arcane designs and sigils drawn in blood, before summoning and binding outsiders to bear witness to its hour of triumph. This requires multiple castings of magic circle against chaos/evil/good/law and dimensional anchor to imprison the witnesses, as well as the actual spells to summon them. The spellcaster may also enlist their loyal followers to assist in the ritual and open gates to channel the energies of other planes. If the spellcaster does not summon at least one outsider the ritual fails automatically (no Success Modifiers).

    Ritual Participant Success Modifiers
    Variable Success Modifier
    9 outsiders present, each of a different alignment and at least one conjured via gate +2
    At least one gate open to a different plane +1
    All outsiders conjured via greater planar ally or greater planar binding or higher-level spells +1
    All outsiders conjured by planar ally or planar binding or higher-level spells +0
    Fewer than three outsiders of three different alignments conjured -1
    Any outsider conjured by lesser planar ally or lesser planar binding or lower-level spells -1 for each outsider
    Any outsider conjured by someone else -5
    Cultists or followers (as from the Leadership feat) participating in ritual +1

    Sacrifices
    The spellcaster makes sacrifices to appease (and spite) the cosmic forces they engage during the ritual, and to demonstrate a focus on acquiring immortality that supersedes all other considerations. These sacrifices are typically of the spellcaster's personal wealth and most prized artifacts (to free themselves of material ties), of sylvan creatures such as fey or graces of unicorns (to signify their rejection and dominance of the natural world), and of innocents or personal enemies (to show their ruthlessness). They may also sacrifice their most trusted and beloved family and allies, or even their own happiest memories or life force (in the form of XP).

    Ritual Sacrifice Success Modifiers
    Variable Success Modifier
    Sacrifice 100% of character wealth1 +5
    Sacrifice less than 50% of character wealth -1
    Sacrifice less than 20% of character wealth -5
    Sacrifice at least one personal enemy with CR at least equal to the spellcaster’s +1
    Sacrifice a personal ally (e.g. familiar, cohort, party member, favoured child, etc.) +1 for each
    Sacrifice less than 4HD per spellcaster level of creatures -5
    Sacrifice a character level2 +2 for each
    1Including spellbook.
    2The DC for the Fort and Will saves made at the completion of the process are determined by the spellcaster’s original level, not the new reduced character level.

    Completion
    After performing the ritual sacrifices, the spellcaster completes the spell and finally drinks the elixir from a special chalice. The entire ritual takes one hour per level of the spellcaster and a Concentration check. The spellcaster then makes a Success Check by rolling 1d20 and adding their caster level and total Success Modifiers up to that point (including -5 for each skill check they failed by 5 or more). The DM may assign an additional Success Modifier up to +5 if the spellcaster has been particularly creative, ambitious, thorough, or malevolent throughout the process.

    If the total result of this check is less than 20, the spellcaster dies instantly and their soul immediately hurtles to the hell they earned by performing the ritual. If the total equals or exceeds 20, they then make a Fortitude save and a Will save. See the table below for the effects of the save results.

    Ritual Save Results
    Saves Effect
    Fail both saves Body animates as a ghoul, soul transformed into an allip
    Succeed on Fort save,
    fail Will save
    Body animates as a mohrg, soul transformed into a wraith
    Succeed on Will save,
    fail Fortitude save
    Body animates as a wight, soul transformed into a spectre
    Succeed on both saves Body animates as a lich, soul displaced to phylactery

    Consequences
    The climax of the lichdom ritual brings many terrible consequences, some sudden and some long-term.

    If the ritual was unsuccessful, the phylactery shatters. Any corporeal and incorporeal undead created from the spellcaster retain memories of what they once were (limited by their new mental ability scores) and are typically stronger than usual (i.e. with advanced HD). They might try to regain their former powers, band together, or flee in despair.

    The ritual scroll or tome crumbles to ash and can never be used again by another spellcaster. The immediate area is forever corrupted; it gains a permanent desecrate effect and the minor negative dominant planar trait.

    Negative energy discharges destroy all the presented offerings and any implements used in the ritual. All bound outsiders are banished back to their home planes and any open portals are burned out. All other creatures present are struck by energy drain, as the spell.

    If the ritual is successful, the new lich loses a character level (in addition to any it sacrificed during the ritual). It is deserted by its familiar (losing XP as normal and assuming the familiar wasn’t already sacrificed) and can only regain one through the Improved Familiar feat, unless the familiar is already a homunculus, evil outsider, or undead.

    The new lich attracts the attention (whether enmity or appreciation as a potential ally) of any outsiders they summoned during the ritual, and any enemies they made while collecting sacrifices or at other points in the process. Furthermore, a marut (advanced as a PC to match the lich’s CR) is eventually dispatched to slay them by the Inevitables.

    A new lich is weakened, has made many new enemies, and has expended most or all of its resources; they must rebuild their former status before embarking on any new plots. Fortunately, they now have all the time in the world...
    Last edited by rferries; 2017-05-22 at 06:46 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

    Join Date
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    Default Re: Lichdom

    Modified Lich Template and Lich Feats

    PCs usually abhor the lich template due to the +4 LA. Considering how risky and costly my lichdom ritual is I felt that LA could be reduced; this template is more of a bare-bones undead template a la Necropolitans that allows you to gain additional powers through feats. The Quintessence ability could easily be made into a feat as well if it's still too good.

    Creating A Lich

    "Lich" is an acquired template that can be added to any humanoid creature (referred to hereafter as the base creature), provided it can go through the lichdom process as described above.

    A lich has all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

    Size and Type
    The creature’s type changes to undead. Do not recalculate base attack bonus or saves. Increase skill points to (4 + Int modifier) per Hit Die, with quadruple skill points for the first Hit Die. Size is unchanged.

    Hit Dice
    Increase all current and future Hit Dice to d12s. A lich gains bonus hit points per Die equal to their relevant casting ability modifier as described under Quintessence (see below).

    Armour Class
    A lich has an untyped bonus to its Armor Class as described under Quintessence (see below). A lich's natural armor bonus increases according to their size:

    Lich Size Natural Armor Bonus
    Tiny or smaller +0
    Small +1
    Medium +2
    Large +3
    Huge +4
    Gargantuan +7
    Colossal +11

    Special Qualities
    A lich retains all the base creature’s special qualities and gains those described below.

    Fast Healing (Ex)
    A lich gains fast healing 5.

    Phylactery (Ex)
    A lich gains many benefits from their phylactery according to their level, much like the bond with a familiar (see Phylactery, below).

    Quintessence (Su)
    A lich is effectively animated and sustained through the power of their own magic. They add their relevant casting ability modifier as an untyped bonus to all their saves, their AC, and their Dexterity and Strength scores. They gain bonus hit points per die equal to their relevant casting ability modifier.

    Rejuvenation (Su)
    In most cases, it’s difficult to destroy a lich through simple combat: The "destroyed" lich's soul will fully retreat to its phylactery and reappear in a burst of negative energy in 2d4 days. As a rule, the only way to get rid of a lich is to destroy its phylactery.

    Turn Resistance (Ex)
    A lich has turn resistance equal to their relevant casting ability modifier.

    Damage Reduction (Su)
    A new lich’s undead body is tough, giving the creature damage reduction 5/slashing as if they were a zombie. A lich that allows itself to decay to a skeletal state instead has damage reduction 5/bludgeoning, but can restore itself to the prior state temporarily via gentle repose. In either case it also has damage reduction 15/magic and its natural weapons are treated as magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

    Immunities (Ex)
    Liches can use mind-affecting, morale, and polymorph effects on themselves even if they would otherwise be immune by virtue of the undead type. A lich's soul is simultaneously present in its body and its phylactery, often rendering them immune to effects such as soul bind or trap the soul that require that a soul be in one place to imprison it.

    Abilities
    Liches gain a bonus to their Dexterity and Strength scores as described under Quintessence (see above). Any aging penalities they have accrued to their physical ability scores are negated and they do not accrue any additional penalties. They retain any aging bonuses to their mental ability scores and continue to accrue such bonuses as would a living member of their race (to a maximum of +3 Charisma, Intelligence, and Wisdom). Being undead, a lich has no Constitution score.

    Skills
    Liches use their relevant casting ability modifier for Concentration checks (rather than automatically using their Charisma modifier as other undead creatures do). Intimidate, Listen, Search, Sense Motive, and Spot are always considered class skills for a lich.

    Organization
    Solitary or troupe (1 lich, plus 2-4 vampires and 5-8 vampire spawn).

    Challenge Rating
    Same as the base creature + 2.

    Treasure
    Standard coins; double goods; double items.

    Alignment
    Any evil.

    Advancement
    By character class.

    Level Adjustment
    Same as the base creature +2.

    Lich Feats
    These feats can provide liches with special attacks and qualities. Save DCs are equal to 10 + ½ lich’s HD + lich’s relevant casting ability modifier unless otherwise noted.

    Animate Phylactery
    Your item phylactery is capable of moving and defending itself to a degree.

    Prerequisites
    Lich with item phylactery.

    Benefits
    Your item phylactery gains all the statistics of an animated object of its size and type (retaining any of its own statistics that are better). This allows it to move, attack, and even make use of skills and feats as appropriate.

    Special
    The DM reserves the right to smack you if you were already a munchkin and used a planetoid or somesuch as your item phylactery before taking this feat.


    Lich Aura
    You are surrounded by a dreadful aura of death and evil.

    Prerequisites
    Lich, evil alignment.

    Benefit
    Creatures in a 60-foot radius that look at you must succeed on a Will save or be affected as though by a fear spell from a sorcerer of your level. A creature that successfully saves cannot be affected again by your aura for 24 hours.

    Improved Lich Aura
    Your aura has strengthened to the point that it is more real than your physical body.
    Prerequisites
    Character level 9th, lich, Lich Aura, evil alignment.
    Benefits
    A creature that successfully saves against your aura is not immune to it for 24 hours.
    You gain the incorporeal subtype. You may suppress or reactivate this ability as a full-round action.

    Lich Touch
    Your touch drains the life energy of your foes and inflicts a powerful curse.

    Prerequisites
    Lich.

    Benefit

    You may make a melee touch attack in place of an unarmed strike (which may allow you multiple touch attacks, depending on your base attack bonus). Any living creature struck by this attack gains a negative level and must succeed on a Fortitude save or be permanently paralysed. For each such negative level bestowed, you gain 5 temporary hit points.

    Remove paralysis or any spell that can remove a curse can free the victim (see the bestow curse spell description). The effect cannot be dispelled though you may dismiss it as a free action. Anyone paralysed by a lich seems dead, though a DC 20 Spot check or a DC 15 Heal check reveals that the victim is still alive.

    Special
    You may enhance your natural attacks and any melee or ranged weapons you wield with the energy drain and paralysis of the touch attack, but must make attack rolls as normal instead of touch attacks.

    Improved Lich Touch
    Your touch may now strike your opponents from afar via magic.

    Prerequisites
    Lich Touch, lich.

    Benefit
    You may now make ranged touch attacks in place of your melee touch attacks, out to a range of 60 feet. Furthermore your touch inflicts two negative levels, and any paralysis inflicted can only be removed by break enchantment or more powerful spells (though you may still dismiss it at will).

    Special
    If you also possess the Undead Mastery feat, any creature slain by your touch is automatically commanded by you if you raise it via the create undead or create greater undead spells.

    Undead Empathy
    Through study of the undead (or now that you are undead yourself), your control over them has greatly improved.

    Prerequisites
    Spellcaster level 11th (necromancer or cleric with the Death domain) or undead type.

    Benefits

    You gain the undead empathy special quality. This works exactly as a druid's wild empathy class feature, save that you gain a +6 bonus on the check and may only use it to influence undead creatures. Treat mindless undead as having intelligence scores of 1 for this purpose.

    There is no longer a limit to the HD of undead you can command through the animate dead spell.

    Undead Mastery

    You are a true master of the undead.

    Prerequisites
    Spellcaster level 15th (necromancer or cleric with the Death domain) or undead type, Undead Empathy.

    Benefits
    You can rebuke undead as an evil cleric of your character level (assuming you do not already possess this ability). Undead you create through the create undead and create greater undead spells do not count towards the limit of HD of undead you can command through this ability.

    Undead you create through the animate dead spell have intelligence scores of 3 (or less if the original creature had less). They gain skills and feats as appropriate but remain mindlessly loyal to you.
    Last edited by rferries; 2017-05-22 at 06:31 AM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

    Join Date
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    Default Re: Lichdom

    I'm unsure about the order of the item phylactery abilities and whether or not they're too complex...

    Phylacteries

    A phylactery is effectively both a minor artifact and an intelligent magic item (in that it is possessed by the lich's soul). Much like a familiar and its master, a phylactery and a lich draw strength from each other. It should be noted that unlike similar bonds, the link between a lich and its phylactery functions over any distance (even between different planes); a lich and its item phylactery have no need to communicate with each other as they are effectively the same entity.

    A phylactery is either an item creature (usually inanimate) of the construct type with the magic item subtype, or a templated creature of the construct type with the augmented and magic item subtypes (and usually the living construct subtype). All phylacteries radiate necromancy magic with a strength of the spellcaster’s level, though liches often place obscuring spells on their phylacteries to disguise or hide them. Phylacteries also endure indefinitely (e.g. a lit candle phylactery will burn forever without burning out, a phylactery creature will not age, etc.).

    Magic Item:
    A construct with this subtype gains the benefits of being a magic item, amongst others.
    It always get a saving throw against spells that might deal damage to it, even if it is inanimate. A magic item construct has Good Fortitude, Reflex, and Will saves. Finally, it regains hit points naturally each day as though it were a living creature.

    If its phylactery is destroyed, the lich immediately loses a character level and but is free to create a new phylactery as described in the lichdom process (however in this instance there are no substitutions allowed or Success Modifiers applied). If a lich is destroyed without a functioning phylactery its soul departs to the afterlife.

    Item Phylactery Basics

    Use the basic statistics for a normal or magic item of the phylactery's type, but make the following changes:

    Hit Dice

    For the purpose of effects related to number of Hit Dice (including hit points), an item phylactery has Hit Dice (d10) equal to the lich. An item phylactery has bonus hit points per die equal to the lich's relevant casting ability modifier, as well as any bonus hit points owed to a construct of its size.

    Armour Class
    An item phylactery gains the lich's relevant casting ability modifier as an untyped bonus to its Armour Class. Magic armor item phylacteries retain their Armour Class and phylacteries made from magic items that provide bonuses to Armour Class gain those bonuses. Animated item phylacteries have natural armor bonuses as animated objects of their size.

    Attacks
    Use the lich’s base attack bonus, as calculated from all its classes. Include any masterwork or enhancement bonuses as appropriate for phylacteries made from masterwork or magic items. Use the item phylactery’s Dexterity or Strength modifier, whichever is greater, to get the item phylactery’s melee attack bonus with natural weapons. Do not include any bonuses to the lich's physical attacks unless the item phylactery also has the enhanced link special quality (see below). Damage equals that of a normal item (as an improvised or standard weapon). However, most item phylacteries are inanimate and cannot make attacks except through the Animate Phylactery feat or if they are also magic weapons with the dancing special quality.

    Saving Throws
    As a construct with the magic item subtype, an item phylactery has Good Fort, Ref, and Will saves. The item phylactery uses its own ability modifiers or the lich's to saves, whichever are better. It doesn’t share any of the other bonuses that the master might have on saves unless it has the Enhanced Link special quality (see below).

    Abilities

    An item phylactery's soul is the lich's soul, and as such it has identical mental ability scores to the lich (including any temporary or permanent bonuses or penalties). Inanimate item phylacteries have no Strength or Dexterity scores. Animate item phylacteries have Strength or Dexterity scores determined by the source of their animation(i.e. the Animate Phylactery feat), including bonuses from any items provided by the lich or from the Enhanced Link special quality (see below). Being constructs, an item phylactery has no Constitution score.

    Skills and Feats
    An item phylactery is possessed by the lich's own soul and has access to all of the lich's skills and feats, though it uses its own ability modifiers. Regardless, most skills and feats are beyond an inanimate item phylactery’s ability to use.

    Item Phylactery Ability Descriptions
    All item phylacteries have special abilities (or impart abilities to their liches) depending on the lich’s character level, as shown on the table below. The abilities given on the table are cumulative

    Lich Level
    Hardness Adj. Special
    1st-2nd +1 Ego, improved evasion, lifesense, share spells, empathic link
    3rd-4th +2 Cast spells
    5th-6th +3 Enhanced link
    7th-8th +4 Telepathy
    9th-10th +5
    11th-12th +6 Spell resistance
    13th-14th +7 Scry on item phylactery
    15th-16th +8
    17th-18th +9
    19th-20th +10 Font of immortality

    Hardness Adj.

    The number noted here is an improvement to the item phylactery's existing hardness. An item phylactery's hardness is not overcome by any particular energy attack (for example a wooden item phylactery applies its full hardness against fire attacks, a crystalline item phylactery applies its hardness against sonic attacks, etc.)

    Ego (Ex)
    An item phylactery has an Ego score and like any other intelligent item may attempt to achieve dominance over a bearer. An item phylactery that achieves dominance is limited to simple empathic commands unless it also possesses the telepathy special quality or is provided with other means of communication by the lich.

    Improved Evasion (Ex)
    When subjected to an attack that normally allows a Reflex saving throw for half damage, an item phylactery takes no damage if it makes a successful saving throw and half damage even if the saving throw fails.

    Lifesense (Su)
    An item phylactery can sense the presence of living and undead creatures around it, as magic jar. It lacks all other senses unless the lich has selected the Animate Phylactery feat.

    Share Spells
    At the lich’s option, it may have any spell (including spell-like abilities) it casts on itself also affect its item phylactery. Additionally, the lich may cast a spell with a target of "You" on its item phylactery instead of on itself. A lich and its item phylactery can share spells even if the spells normally do not affect creatures of the item phylactery’s type (construct).

    Empathic Link (Su)
    The lich has an empathic link with its item phylactery. The lich is aware of any creature detected by the item phylactery's lifesense ability.
    Because of this empathic link, the lich has the same connection to an item or place that its item phylactery does. A lich is automatically proficient with its item phylactery (if it is a weapon or suit of armor), and suffers no Arcane Spell Failure if it wears its item phylactery as armor.

    Cast Spells
    If the lich is 3rd level or higher, an item phylactery can cast spells on the lich's behalf. The item phylactery casts spells just as the lich would, using the lich's actions and spell slots. This ability is severely limited by the item phylactery's ability to move, speak, and sense its environment (generally requiring the Animate Construct, Silent Spell, and/or Still Spell feats). The item phylactery must waive material components via the Eschew Material Components feat or otherwise have a supply of material components and foci placed in contact it.

    Enhanced Link (Ex)
    If the lich is 5th level or higher, its item phylactery gains any bonuses to saves, physical attacks, and physical ability scores that the lich possesses. If the phylactery is inanimate any bonuses to its physical attacks or ability scores are still immaterial.

    Telepathy (Su)
    If the lich is 7th level or higher, the item phylactery gains telepathy out to the range of its lifesense ability. The lich may therefore communicate freely with creatures in this range, regardless of where the lich is physically located.

    Spell Resistance (Ex)
    If the lich is 11th level or higher, an item phylactery gains spell resistance equal to the lich’s level + 5. To affect the item phylactery with a spell, another spellcaster must get a result on a caster level check (1d20 + caster level) that equals or exceeds the item phylactery’s spell resistance. This spell resistance does not apply to spells cast by the lich or the item phylactery itself.

    Scry on Item Phylactery (Sp)
    If the lich is 13th level or higher, it may scry on its item phylactery (as if casting the scrying spell) once per day.

    Font of Immortality (Ex)
    At 19th level an item phylactery not only houses a lich's soul, it strengthens it. Whenever the lich spends XP to cast a spell or craft a magic item, the phylactery restores some of that XP each day (100 XP per lich character level per day, until all the XP spent has been replenished).
    Last edited by rferries; 2017-05-22 at 06:22 AM.

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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Lichdom

    Phylacteries (Cont'd): Phylactery Creatures

    Some liches opt to transform other creatures into their phylacteries, out of sheer cruelty or through a desire for a more independent phylactery that might better defend itself.

    A phylactery creature in all ways resembles it's former self, save that it radiates necromancy magic of the lich's caster level. They may or may not be aware of their phylactery status, but are often tormented by unexplained visions and dreams even if the lich refrains from exercising direct control over their lives.

    Phylactery creatures speak any languages they already knew before becoming phylactery creatures. They will live forever unless killed.

    Creating A Phylactery Creature

    "Phylactery Creature" is an acquired template that can be added to any creature (referred to hereafter as the base creature).

    A phylactery creature has all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

    Size and Type
    The creature’s type changes to construct (augmented, magic item). Recalculate saves but do not recalculate base attack bonus or skill points (unless the creature gains additional Hit Dice as described below). Size is unchanged. Phylactery creatures that were not originally constructs or undead gain the living construct subtype.

    Hit Dice
    Increase all current and future Hit Dice to d10s. Increase the phylactery creature's HD to match the lich's (via racial HD). Phylactery creatures gain bonus hit points as a construct of their size unless they have the living construct subtype. They gain the lich's relevant casting ability modifier or their Constitution modifier (whichever is better) as a bonus to their hit points per die.

    Armour Class

    A phylactery creature gains the lich's relevant casting ability modifier as an untyped bonus to its Armour Class.

    Special Attacks
    A phylactery creature retains all the base creature’s special attacks. Save DCs are equal to 10 + ½ lich’s HD + lich’s relevant casting ability modifier or as the base creature's save DCs, whichever are better.

    Special Qualities
    A phylactery creature retains all the base creature’s special qualities and gains those described below.

    Dominated (Ex)
    A phylactery creature is under the permanent control of its lich. This functions as dominate monster cast by the lich on the phylactery creature (even if the phylactery creature would normally be immune and regardless of the distance or planar boundaries between them). The lich may use modify memory on the phylactery creature at will as a free action. A lich may command a phylactery creature not to harm itself, regardless of how against the phylactery creature's nature that order may become. Only death or divine intervention may free a phylactery creature.

    Eternal (Ex)
    A phylactery creature no longer takes ability score penalties for aging and cannot be magically aged. Any penalties it may have already incurred, however, remain in place. Bonuses still accrue. The phylactery creature will live forever unless killed.

    Hardness (Ex)
    A phylactery creature gains hardness according to the lich's character level as though it were an item phylactery.

    Host (Ex)
    If a lich's body is destroyed it may choose to either rejuvenate by the phylactery creature as normal, or to immediately resurrect itself from the phylactery creature. This kills the phylactery creature instantly and painfully, requiring the lich to fashion a new phylactery.

    Improved Evasion (Ex)
    When subjected to an attack that normally allows a Reflex saving throw for half damage, a phylactery creature takes no damage if it makes a successful saving throw and half damage even if the saving throw fails.

    Improved Mettle (Ex)
    When subjected to an attack that normally allows a Fortitude or Will saving throw for partial effect, a phylactery creature suffers no effect if it makes a successful saving throw and only a partial effect even if the saving throw fails.


    Immunities (Ex)
    Any immunities a phylactery creature possesses do not apply to its lich's attacks.

    Abilities
    As the base creature. A phylactery creature that was not already a construct or undead retains its Constitution score via the living construct subtype.

    Feats
    If it is aware of them (and is permitted to do so by the lich), a phylactery creature may employ any of the effects of the lich's lich feats (Lich Aura, Lich Touch, etc.).

    Organization
    As the base creature, but often becomes solitary as they contend with their lot in life.

    Challenge Rating
    HD 5 or less, as base creature +1; HD 6 to 10, as base creature +2; HD 11 or more, as base creature +3.

    Treasure
    As base creature, though some may give up all their worldly possessions and flee into the wilderness or spend them searching for a "cure".

    Alignment
    As base creature.

    Advancement
    A phylactery creature cannot gain levels while they have racial HD that they gained from this template; they must instead replace one of those racial HD with a class level whenever they would advance a level. It is possible that by exceeding their lich's level, phylacteries might be able to subvert or break the lich's hold over them...
    Last edited by rferries; 2017-05-22 at 06:21 AM.

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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Lichdom

    All done! Please do comment and criticise, I know there's a lot of fat to be trimmed.

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    Zancloufer's Avatar

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    Default Re: Lichdom (ready for commenting!)

    My biggest issue is how HARD it is to actually hit the DCs, especially since they scale very quickly with the player. It's like Truenamer DCs that are harder to hit as you level. It's not bad, just odd that more powerful caster has a harder time with everything except the final ritual.

    It's not bad, just maybe it could scale a little less for DCs. I see many a Wisdom based character having trouble with those craft checks and Wizards with the final Fort save.

    Alternately you could increase the number of bonuses to making items. I mean +1 if you know all the spells, but -1 PER spell you don't have available? +2 for Gating in 9 different outsiders, but -1 per outsider that was conjured with lesser planar ally/binding? It just seems it is ALOT easier to rack up penalties than bonuses and it's not like the bonuses are that easy to get.

    Heck, I would argue a Sorcerer would be pretty much SoL attempting this.

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    Shark Uppercut's Avatar

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    Default Re: Lichdom (ready for commenting!)

    Ok, I'm gonna roll up a character, just so I can visualize it easier.

    A lvl8 Oracle is trying to become a lich.
    They probably have a 22 casting stat, maybe Will +8 and Fortitude +5. Skills probably +14.
    However, I have +19 UMD for accessing the high level spells off scrolls, so that's nice.
    This isn't totally optimized, but most people aren't.

    My Fortitude and Will difficulties will be 21, the skill difficulties will be 31.
    That's 25% to succeed on Fortitude, 40% on Will, 20% on skills.
    But I will definitely get potions of Heroism, Owl's Wisdom, etc etc.

    I'm slapping down a lvl4 spell for The Spell, taking 4 weeks and 4,000g. Oh, and I have to burn a feat for Scribe Scroll, which spontaneous casters usually don't care about. Not cool.
    Getting a sweet library, and buying a Summon Planar Ally scroll for some advice gives +10%.
    (Why would any lich ever try to use a spell someone else developed?)

    For The Phylactery, I'm using an ancestral drinking horn passed down from my father. I have to get the Craft Wondrous Item feat, but that's just par for the course, and crafting magic items is cool.
    Then I lose 120,000g along with ~15,000g for the scrolls because I clearly do not have those spells.
    Now I need to make the craft check at 20%, and UMD the arcane scrolls.
    If I fail the craft check, is the item ruined or can I keep trying?
    Can you elaborate more on which spells can be absent? Can all of them be? Are absent spells and downgraded spells both -1?

    For da Elixir, you need special ingredients. This is totally dope, as it was a really flavorful part of becoming a 2e lich. But, how exactly do you suggest I harvest mandrake root and live?
    But I need to burn another feat on Brew Potion, which spontaneous casters would usually not get.
    Also, I don't have those spells, so I need to spend ~11,000g for scrolls of them and UMD them successfully.
    Harvesting the ingredients personally gets +5%, but that's all you can expect.

    For the Ritual, I assume that NPCs will automatically find the right time and location unless the PCs mess it up for them, and PCs will be given reasonable hints to find it.
    Why do you call the lack of any success modifiers "ritual automatically fails"? Does it fail, or does it not get any pluses?
    I'll probably conjure a Lantern Archon and 8 other 2HD outsiders, unless I have a ~20,000g to drop on scrolls of Gate/Greater Summon and bodyguards.
    If a wizard has backup spellbooks, do they count as wealth too?
    I'll probably be broke by this point, so sacrificing 51% of my wealth would be easy.
    Even as a primary caster, subduing my enemy Sir Toryn the lvl8 paladin or my lvl8 party members would be difficult. But optimizers will have fun hunting the Most Dangerous Game.
    Am I allowed to sacrifice 24HD of cows? Cause I totally will to avoid the -25% success chance.
    Sacrificing character levels is meaningless if you have eternity to earn experience, but it'll give -1 to your skills, so it could be the -5% that screws the ritual. Maybe the de-leveling could happen post-ritual?
    I ended up with +3 success +8 level vs DC20. That's a 60% to get the opportunity to make more saves, yay!

    My verdict: Don't fcking try this unless you're lvl15 with a Cloak of Resistance +5 and take the time to do everything yourself. And a Wizard who can spare the Brew, Scribe, Craft feats. The default lvl11 lich in the MM would probably struggle with this.
    Feat retraining is pretty important post-lichdom.
    I feel like you made things a little too hard.

    Edit: I gotta say tho, this is very good stuff. It's a similar to a hasty set of rules I made for an E8 game, allowing people to get 'epic spells' which were just normal 5-9 spells. There were 3 parts to find; the verbal, somatic and theoretical components, and you needed a quest for each piece and there were skill checks involved too.
    Last edited by Shark Uppercut; 2017-05-23 at 12:33 AM.
    .....Homebrew:
    Rolled up yet another +1 Flaming Longsword or Potion of Cure Light Wounds as loot? Refluff them! Also included, Riding Dogs and Horses with personality!


    Awesomely detailed avatar by Derjuin.

  9. - Top - End - #9
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Lichdom (ready for commenting!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zancloufer View Post
    My biggest issue is how HARD it is to actually hit the DCs, especially since they scale very quickly with the player. It's like Truenamer DCs that are harder to hit as you level. It's not bad, just odd that more powerful caster has a harder time with everything except the final ritual.

    It's not bad, just maybe it could scale a little less for DCs. I see many a Wisdom based character having trouble with those craft checks and Wizards with the final Fort save.

    Alternately you could increase the number of bonuses to making items. I mean +1 if you know all the spells, but -1 PER spell you don't have available? +2 for Gating in 9 different outsiders, but -1 per outsider that was conjured with lesser planar ally/binding? It just seems it is ALOT easier to rack up penalties than bonuses and it's not like the bonuses are that easy to get.

    Heck, I would argue a Sorcerer would be pretty much SoL attempting this.
    Thanks for commenting! I had the idea that it should be difficult in order to justify the reduced LA of this lich template (as compared to the SRD) and for flavour reasons (nothing ventured and all that), so the penalties and DCs were all designed that way intentionally. However I admit I may have gone overboard.

    More powerful spellcasters have more powerful DCs because they're basically trying to endure death magic they're casting on themselves -and because it's assumed they have enough spells and magic items to gain bonuses on the skill checks and saves. However I can definitely see how it's counterintuitive and an example of flavour over function, I may just replace all the DCs with flat #s rather than scaling ones.

    The Success Modifiers have a lot of room for expansion (hence the DM's-discretion final Success Modifier, if you put extra effort into becoming a lich). The lists of modifiers could definitely be altered or expanded as you suggest! :)

    Remember that it all basically comes down to a level check in the end. A 10th-level caster that avoids any Success Modifier penalties has a 50% chance of passing the Success Check (by rolling at least a 10), assuming they don't accrue any penalties. After that a simple resistance item can hopefully get them through the saves.

    However, I'll see what the consensus is. The penalties and DCs will probably need a nerf, as you say. Thanks again!

  10. - Top - End - #10
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Lichdom (ready for commenting!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Shark Uppercut View Post
    Ok, I'm gonna roll up a character, just so I can visualize it easier.

    A lvl8 Oracle is trying to become a lich.
    They probably have a 22 casting stat, maybe Will +8 and Fortitude +5. Skills probably +14.
    However, I have +19 UMD for accessing the high level spells off scrolls, so that's nice.
    This isn't totally optimized, but most people aren't.

    My Fortitude and Will difficulties will be 21, the skill difficulties will be 31.
    That's 25% to succeed on Fortitude, 40% on Will, 20% on skills.
    But I will definitely get potions of Heroism, Owl's Wisdom, etc etc.

    I'm slapping down a lvl4 spell for The Spell, taking 4 weeks and 4,000g. Oh, and I have to burn a feat for Scribe Scroll, which spontaneous casters usually don't care about. Not cool.
    Getting a sweet library, and buying a Summon Planar Ally scroll for some advice gives +10%.
    (Why would any lich ever try to use a spell someone else developed?)

    For The Phylactery, I'm using an ancestral drinking horn passed down from my father. I have to get the Craft Wondrous Item feat, but that's just par for the course, and crafting magic items is cool.
    Then I lose 120,000g along with ~15,000g for the scrolls because I clearly do not have those spells.
    Now I need to make the craft check at 20%, and UMD the arcane scrolls.
    If I fail the craft check, is the item ruined or can I keep trying?
    Can you elaborate more on which spells can be absent? Can all of them be? Are absent spells and downgraded spells both -1?

    For da Elixir, you need special ingredients. This is totally dope, as it was a really flavorful part of becoming a 2e lich. But, how exactly do you suggest I harvest mandrake root and live?
    But I need to burn another feat on Brew Potion, which spontaneous casters would usually not get.
    Also, I don't have those spells, so I need to spend ~11,000g for scrolls of them and UMD them successfully.
    Harvesting the ingredients personally gets +5%, but that's all you can expect.

    For the Ritual, I assume that NPCs will automatically find the right time and location unless the PCs mess it up for them, and PCs will be given reasonable hints to find it.
    Why do you call the lack of any success modifiers "ritual automatically fails"? Does it fail, or does it not get any pluses?
    I'll probably conjure a Lantern Archon and 8 other 2HD outsiders, unless I have a ~20,000g to drop on scrolls of Gate/Greater Summon and bodyguards.
    If a wizard has backup spellbooks, do they count as wealth too?
    I'll probably be broke by this point, so sacrificing 51% of my wealth would be easy.
    Even as a primary caster, subduing my enemy Sir Toryn the lvl8 paladin or my lvl8 party members would be difficult. But optimizers will have fun hunting the Most Dangerous Game.
    Am I allowed to sacrifice 24HD of cows? Cause I totally will to avoid the -25% success chance.
    Sacrificing character levels is meaningless if you have eternity to earn experience, but it'll give -1 to your skills, so it could be the -5% that screws the ritual. Maybe the de-leveling could happen post-ritual?
    I ended up with +3 success +8 level vs DC20. That's a 60% to get the opportunity to make more saves, yay!

    My verdict: Don't fcking try this unless you're lvl15 with a Cloak of Resistance +5 and take the time to do everything yourself. And a Wizard who can spare the Brew, Scribe, Craft feats. The default lvl11 lich in the MM would probably struggle with this.
    Feat retraining is pretty important post-lichdom.
    I feel like you made things a little too hard.
    Ha an excellent write-up! I'd say 60% isn't too shabby for a lower-mid-level character, considering how hard it'll be for your DM to kill you after that point. However there seems to be agreement that it's still too tough, I'll have a re-think.

    Some notes- liches might use spells/elixirs/phylacteries developed by othe rcasters if they lack the appropriate feats and don't want to wait to get them, for whatever reason.

    -If you fail the Craft check I'd say you have to re-try (unless you failed by 5 or more in which case you believe you actually succeeded) but the item isn't destroyed.

    -I originally intended you needed at least the substitution spells or you automatically fail, but maybe that's too harsh. Perhaps I'll re-fluff it to a bonus if you have the best spells, +0 if you se substitions, and -1 per spell you're missing entirely.

    -re: mandrake root, it's just one possible ingredient your DM could require you to get. If you do have to pick it, get a friendly deathward cast on you somehow and voila!

    -automatic fails means if you don't do that bare minimum (i.e. summoning at least 1 outsider) the ritual automatically fails -either you have to try again once you can get an outsider or if your DM is cruel you automatically fil the success check and die, I'll have to specify

    -spellbooks definitely count towards your wealth.

    -cows, commoners, etc all count towards the HD. Sacrifice unicorns etc if you want an additional bonus from your DM.

    -fair point re: feats! I may revise the penalties for having someone else assist with the item creation feats.

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