A lich is an undead spellcaster, usually a wizard or sorcerer but sometimes a cleric or other spellcaster, who has used its magical powers to unnaturally extend its life. A lich is a gaunt and skeletal humanoid with withered flesh stretched tight across horribly visible bones.
Its eyes have long ago been lost to decay, but bright pinpoints of crimson light burn on in the empty sockets. Do not recalculate base attack bonus, saves, or skill points. Size is unchanged. A lich has a touch attack that it can use once per round. If the base creature can use weapons, the lich retains this ability. A creature with natural weapons retains those natural weapons. A lich fighting without weapons uses either its touch attack or its primary natural weapon if it has any.
A lich armed with a weapon uses its touch or a weapon, as it desires. A lich fighting without weapons uses either its touch attack see above or its natural weapons if it has any. If armed with a weapon, it usually uses the weapon as its primary attack along with a touch as a natural secondary attack, provided it has a way to make that attack either a free hand or a natural weapon that it can use as a secondary attack.
A lich with natural weapons can use its touch attack or its natural weaponry, as it prefers. Liches are shrouded in a dreadful aura of death and evil. Any living creature a lich hits with its touch attack must succeed on a Fortitude save or be permanently paralyzed. 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. Anyone paralyzed by a lich seems deadthough a DC 20 Spot check or a DC 15 Heal check reveals that the victim is still alive.
Its natural weapons are treated as magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. Liches have immunity to coldelectricity, polymorph though they can use polymorph effects on themselvesand mind-affecting attacks.
Being undead, a lich has no Constitution score. Otherwise same as the base creature. Solitary or troupe 1 lich, plus vampires and vampire spawn. The process of becoming a lich is unspeakably evil and can be undertaken only by a willing character.Liches from LeicheGerman for "corpse" are spellcasters, typically necromancers who have mastered their self proclaimed 'art' to cross the line between life and death, becoming undead creatures of immense mystical power.
This object, often in narrative is usually an ornament of value to the Lich in it's past life, barring that- it's usually appearance-wise on par with the like of a reliquary, a small sealed box with bindings on it with varied iconography, sometimes with an item inside.
This transformation process in tabletop tradition is left vague but given implication it is an evil act- though many sources have gone on to explain and detail the likes of such a transformation.
After culminating the ritual with the caster's death and sometimes a brief period of inactivity following reanimation- the Lich comes to be.
The Lich sports the unique benefits that the undead are privy to, and should the lich's physical body ever be destroyed, It will reform at the phylactery- though in older works- this has been limited to the concept of possessing actively present corpses to return to unlife, and this is possible so long as the phylactery remains intact.
This makes liches nice persistent foes for a DM to throw at an adventuring party. Other benefits of lichdom include the ability to un live without eating or sleeping, giving the lich that much more time to 'get things done', though in some cases there is a type of maintenance that must be performed by the Lich for it to retain its hold on the world of the living, and in addition the Phylactery offers protection against various magics and effects that could be used to harm the soul.
But- a person who neither eats nor sleeps, dies or fatigues can certainly do a lot of good seeing as it is part of a fantasy genre where magic benefits others. Liches with all time in the world, continuously developing magic in a state of pure academia, taking the arcane to heights unreachable in measurable generations. Depending on the setting, it may be possible to become a lich without doing anything irredeemably evil or even mean-spirited for the good of all.
And even in some settings where Lichdom is in the general standing of- if the local citizens hear of it, an army is raised to combat it- because it is that much of a social taboo, there do exist good variants of this Undead creature.
Extended from this, unnatural may constitute unholiness or otherwise, something about the being that clearly earns it its name, due to it being a walking withered corpse missing its eyes, in place, unnatural glowing pinpoint lights in the eyesockets presenting to an onlooker clear negative visual stimuli. Your common lich was a former wizard, with separate stats in other splats for clerical, bardic and psionic liches though that last one is derided by Psionics fans as one of many examples of Complete Psionics not understanding psionics.
There was also the Archlich, which was a lich of any of the previous varieties that wasn't evil, stated to be "as rare as Roc's teeth. Like most 3. The one change to the template itself is that lich no longer have d12 HD for everything and instead, like all undead in Pathfinder, they can now use their Charisma score instead of their non-existent Constitution to determine bonus hit points per level.
With a Charisma of 14 before transformation, this works out to the same, with a SorcererBard or Oracle entry being even bulkier. In the PC's favor is that lich are no longer immune to polymorph effects except their own. Fluff wise they are also near identical with one major change: The ritual to become a Lich is unique to every individual and must be researched but is pretty much always evil. One consequence of this is that people can become part lich by accident as shown by one Oracle curse.
While Liches existed before the Third War, the most notable and possibly the first Lich of the setting is the Lich King, created by the demon Kil'jaeden after merging the tortured soul of the former Warchief and shaman Ner'zhul into a set of armor and the runeblade Frostmourne, then encasing it inside a magical ice-crystal. Other Liches, like Kel'thuzad, are usually former necromancers who impressed the Lich King in some way to be resurrected as giant, magic skeletons rather than some sword fodder zombie that can cast spells.
Kel'thuzad, for instance, was resurrected by Arthas for his magical know-how as well as his part in killing the majority of the largest human nation for undead soldiers; Arthas was only able to resurrect a soul like Kel's after invading the elven nation of Quel'thalas and using the magical waters of their Sunwell with a bit help from the demon Tichondrius. After this, they both go on to create more liches, both from orcs and humans, but how is rather unclear.
A few bits of information states that one has to commit suicide, and the involvement of a higher being Lich King or Kel'thuzad for example is necessary for their ascension.
It should also be noted that the first sapient undead of the setting were the Death Knights created by Gul'dan, which shared a similar process of creation with the mainstray lich. The soul of an orc warlock was sealed within a gem, and that gem was then placed on the body of a slain human knight. The process was fueled by the sacrifice of a few dozen orc necrolytes. It is also possible to become a Lich independent of the Lich King, as shown with two existing Liches in Warcraft, one being Gunther Arcanus, a forsaken that you can meet who keeps to himself, and the other a part of the canonized quest to obtain Ashbringer, who became a Lich post mortem using a quite brilliant method that you should check out.
Russian mythology brings us Koschei the deathless, an archetypal lich with a rather original way of storing his phylactery. Koschei's soul or the moment of his death, depending on who you ask is hidden in a needle, which is hidden in an egg, which is hidden in a hare, which is hidden in a duck; all of this in a locked chest buried under a tree on the Russian equivalent of Atlantis.
Aside from his original fusion of magical, culinary, and geographic defenses, he also differs from most liches in that he kidnaps princesses instead of studying magic all the time like a fucking nerd.A pious word always on its dusty lips, the lich seemed content to count its beads and let dust rattle in its throat.
The hierophant lich can take 3 legendary actionschoosing from the options below. The lich regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.
A hierophant lich often dwells in an underground temple, a ruined cathedral in a lost city, or in the catacombs and tunnels deep beneath a famous tomb or monument.
The hierophant lich is a dry, dusty skeleton with fragments of hair and skin and a fierce, raging light of unholy zeal blazing in its eyes.
It is often crowned by a black halo, wreathed in purple flames, or wielding a staff topped with a demonic head that whispers vile suggestions or wicked prophecies to it. Servants of Dark Gods. The hierophant lich is always a devout follower of a dark god, demon lord, arch-devil, or creature of outer darkness. Usually, this gift is dispensed as part of the burial rites of the hierophant lich.
The creature rises just as its body is about to be buried. In other cases, it leaves its tomb shortly after burial, or it stands up when the fires of its cremation are just starting to catch. Reborn at the Altar. Each hierophant lich has a sacred vessel that protects its vile soul. So long as this altar, unholy relic, or other sacred object remains whole, the hierophant lich is never permanently slain. Pure Evil Bones. The bones of a hierophant lich are said to contain deep, unholy power that serves to produce unholy scrolls, wardings, or wands.
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Subscribe to the Open Gaming Newsletter! Toggle navigation. If the lich fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead. As a bonus actiona hierophant lich can rise or descend vertically up to 20 feet and can remain suspended there.
If it has a sacred vessel, a destroyed hierophant lich gains a new body in 1d10 days, regaining all its hp and becoming active again. The new body appears within 5 feet of the vessel. Turn Resistance. The hierophant lich has advantage on saving throws against any effect that turns undead. Undead Nature. The lich is an 9th-level spellcaster. The target must succeed on a DC 17 Wisdom saving throw or be charmed for 1 minute.
The charmed target must defend the hierophant. The target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. An undead target that fails is charmed for 24 hours and can only repeat the saving throw once every 24 hours. Legendary Actions The hierophant lich can take 3 legendary actionschoosing from the options below.
The hierophant lich casts a cantrip. Unholy Smite Costs 2 Actions. The heirophant lich uses its Unholy Smite.
Damnation Costs 2 Actions. The hierophant lich threatens one creature within 10 feet of it with eternal suffering. The target must succeed on a DC 17 Wisdom saving throw or become frightened for 1 minute. Lair A hierophant lich often dwells in an underground temple, a ruined cathedral in a lost city, or in the catacombs and tunnels deep beneath a famous tomb or monument.Free Resources on Roll All rights reserved. Advertisement Create a free account.
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Share this Share on Facebook Share on Twitter. Wesley Schneider Shine with the power of the mind in this installment of Unearthed Arcana!Liches are spellcasters who seek to defy death by magical means. The term derives from lichan archaic term for a corpsewhich survives in the term lychgate. Len Lakofka 's article "Blueprint For a Lich," in Dragon 26describes a formula for transforming a spellcaster into a lich. The Spelljammer campaign setting accessory Lost Ships introduced the archlich,  which also later appeared in the Monstrous Manual.
The master lich appeared in Legend of Spelljammer A creature called the firelich is introduced in the 2nd Spelljammer Monstrous Compendium appendix MC9. Several other lich variants were also introduced in the Ravenloft Monstrous Compendium Appendix IIIincluding the defiler lich and demi-defiler lich, the drow lich and the drow demilich, the drider lich, the drow priestess lich, and the drow wizard lichand the elemental lich and demi-elemental lich.
The banelich, a version of the lich created by the god Bane in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, first appear in the Ruins of Zhentil Keep boxed set in the Monstrous Compendium booklet inand then appears in the Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume Three The banelich, as well as the good liches, the archlich and the baelnorn, appeared in Monsters of Faerun Rules in 4th edition allow a player to opt to become an arch-lich via an epic destiny found in Arcane Power.
A mage becomes a lich by means of necromancyusing a magical receptacle called a Phylactery to store the lich's soul. In some sources the method of becoming a lich is referred to as the Ritual of Becoming or Ceremony of Endless Night. The potion invariably kills the drinker but if the process is successful it rises again some days later as an undead Lich. Occasionally, this metamorphosis occurs by accident as a result of life-prolonging magic.
Unlike most other forms of undead creatures, the Lich retains all of the memories, personality, and abilities that it possessed in life — but it has a virtual eternity to hone its skills and inevitably becomes very powerful.
Like other powerful forms of undead such as a vampire or mummya Lich has unnatural powers owing to its state. For example, it can put mortals in a paralyzed state of hibernation with their minds, making them seem dead to others, and can, through its typically powerful magical spells, summon other lesser undead to protect it.
A Lich's bones do not decay. The Lich is capable of sustaining tremendous physical damage, and is immune to disease, poison, fatigue and other effects that affect only the living. However, despite all its undead "gifts", a lich's most valuable resources are its vast intellect, its supreme mastery of sorcery and limitless time to research, plot and scheme.
Since a lich's soul is mystically tied to its phylactery, destroying its body will not kill it. Rather, its soul will return to the phylactery, and its body will be recreated by the power keeping it immortal. Thus the only way to permanently destroy a lich is to destroy the phylactery as well.
Therefore, the lich will generally be extremely protective of the priceless item.It truly doesn't matter how you became a lich, what matters is what you choose to do now. A properly created Lich will always have a powered phylactery that sustains the Lich and reconstructs their body when they die, and the proper method for creating a lich is a closely guarded secret.
However, there are many ways a "lesser lich" can be created. These liches have phylacteries that are simply random objects that were near their bodies when they died, and they can be created in a wide variety of ways.
A New Lease on Life Those who become a lich unwittingly may find themselves missing their humanity, but now they have new tools at their disposal to make the most of their situation. A lich can choose to branch out, focusing on spellcasting, fighting, or simply being an artist.
Either way, they take advantage of their resilience as they do not have to fear the consequences of hitting 0 HP, as well as their ability to drain life from the living. Even as a dedicated spellcaster, a lich can be surprisingly hard to kill! Social Pariah That said, being a lich is not all fun and games.
It takes a good number of great deeds to be able to walk around a town without inducing fear and suspicion amongst those who once considered them kin. Add on to the fact that they can only easily sustain themselves through grisly means and it becomes quite hard for them to earn trust. You can make a Lich quickly by following these suggestions. First, Intelligence should be your highest ability score, followed by Constitution or Dexterity for your armor class.
Second, choose the Hermit background. Third, take a Staff and a scholar's pack. As a Lich, your knack for magic and casting spells, combined with your new powers, allows you to cast your spells without needing a spell book. Although, you can keep a book if you wish.
You gain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest. You prepare the list of Lich spells that are available for you to cast. You may cast those spells until the end of your next long rest, when you choose new spells to prepare.
At 1st levelyour spellbook contains six 1st-level Wizard spells of your choice. Your spellbook is the repository of the spells you know.
Intelligence is your main spellcasting ability for your Lich spells, as you have spent your time practicing spells and learning as much as you could before the rituals. You use your Intelligence modifier whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability.
In addition, you use your Intelligence modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a Lich spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one. You can cast a Lich spell as a ritual if that spell has the ritual tag and you have the spell in your book. Your choice grants you features at 1st level and again at 5th, 13th, and 18th level. Starting a level 1 you become an undead who uses an unfinished phylactery, with the following advantages and disadvantages.