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Old 02-25-2017, 10:31 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Default [Thought exercise] A Lich capturing an Angelic Emissary?

Hello all,

I've used GURPS for scifi and modern military campaigns for a while now. Now, I'm trying my hand at understanding the Magic system, which I think is excellent compared to the inflexible DND Vancian "spell slots per day" system.

In one backstory, a powerful lich captures an angelic emissary sent to kill the lich. The lich did not successfully accomplish this on the first try. Or even possibly the second or third tries. Assume that the lich is willing to be defeated physically in combat numerous times, each time taking copious notes and observations, before finally launching its final assault with the sum totality of all its collected data.

I'm wondering what spells, magical items, etc. could work with a lich (assuming the lich has any reasonable amount of resources, money, and crafting power at its disposal) to track down and capture the angel?

For the lich, I'm generally using the Dungeon Fantasy Monsters 1 template (so IQ is 15, Magery is 6, and most spells are known at either Spell-20 or Spell-19 for VH spells). For the Angelic Emissary, I'm using the template in Dungeon Fantasy 9 Summoners.

I have almost all issues of Pyramid Vol. 3, as well as Thaumatology, Magic, etc. and various supplements.
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Old 02-25-2017, 10:43 PM   #2
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Default Re: [Thought exercise] A Lich capturing an Angelic Emissary?

The biggest problem I can see is that the Angelic Emissary is fast. It has a flying speed of 38, so in one turn it could put itself at a distance where normal spell attacks have difficulty hitting due to the range modifier.

I was flipping through the Magic sourcebook and it seems that the lich could try crippling a wing of the Emissary. Although the Angel doesn't have blood, vitals, etc. it still has (Winged) as a limitation of its Flight power. Presumably, a suitably damaging spell might work, as the wing has HP/3, but the big challenge would be launching the spell quickly before the Emissary flies off into the distance.

The big benefit of outright damage is that (if it hits) the Angel doesn't get a Resistance roll, which is important because of its MR bonus.

Pyramid 3-48 p.5 has the spell Assassin's Blessing, which gives +3 to rolls in an attempt to kill (well, "assassinate") a given target.

Pyramid 3-28 p.20 has a simplification of Ceremonial Magic which could allow a mage to rack up bonuses in casting a spell through expenditure of prep time, along with bonuses for materials, sympathy, contagion, and knowledge of its true name (and maybe a bonus for sacrificing a bishop of the Angel's flock if the Lich is feeling sanguine).

In Power Ups 1: Imbuements, p.9 has an imbuement called Homing Weapon, which allows a weapon to ignore range attacks as long as its 1/2 range is fast enough to catch up to the enemy. Lightning Bolt's 1/2 range is 50, which exceeds the Angel's flight of 38. (p.11 covers the mechanics of giving imbuements to spells). Further treatment of this is covered in Pyramid 3-36 p.25 generally covering caster power ups and imbuements for spells.

Pyramid 3-13 p.39 has a Spell Bottle, in which the Lich could store lightning (in a bottle!) and then attack the Angel with it, although the idea of hitting a wing would be tricky.

Somebody once also recommended a Pentagram, but I have done limited reading on that and I'm not sure how the Lich could "chase" the Angel with one :(
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Old 02-25-2017, 10:59 PM   #3
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Default Re: [Thought exercise] A Lich capturing an Angelic Emissary?

1. The lich should make use of battlefield control via magic. Fight indoors, in deep dunegons, etc. The emissary is coming to it, not the other way around, get the trap ready, spring it.

2. To that end- you can ritually chalk a permanent pentagram allowing magical creatures to pass. Knock the chalk off, and now they can't leave without defeating it.

Other options: The delay spell can allow you to have a normally slow casting spell be ready instantly.

Create earth can seal entrances and hallways

Walk through earth can create a situation where you don't know where you foe will be coming from (if they come out at all, its not like the lich needs to surface to breath)

Entomb is basically 'save or die' and has a fast casting time.

And that's JUST the earth college.
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Old 02-25-2017, 11:03 PM   #4
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Default Re: [Thought exercise] A Lich capturing an Angelic Emissary?

Originally Posted by SolemnGolem View Post
Somebody once also recommended a Pentagram, but I have done limited reading on that and I'm not sure how the Lich could "chase" the Angel with one :(
Banish, Planar Summons (That One Angel) and Pentagram.
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Old 05-07-2017, 05:52 PM   #5
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Default Re: [Thought exercise] A Lich capturing an Angelic Emissary?

As I flew around China in recent months, I kept a folded A4 sheet of jottings on this topic, while I browsed my GURPS PDF collection on my Kindle Fire.

The Kindle Fire was recently stolen when I rode on Amtrak. But the thief was kind enough to leave behind the folded A4, thus sparing me the labor of rewriting all the notes.

In the interests of redundancy, I transfer my jottings in this post. I would normally keep it on Google Drive, but Google isn't reliably accessible in China.

Phirazaldaea, avatar of the Wardkeeper
ST 18
DX 12
IQ 12
HT 15
HP 25 (meaning it can take up to 150 HP damage before dying, and its high HT means it will likely make its survival rolls at negative HP)
Will 15
Per 12
DR 5
Dodge 11
Parry 12
Sp 7
Move (Air) 19 (Enhanced to 38) (gives a -8 to hit when flying)
MR 4
Regenerates 1HP/hr
No blood or vitals
From Basic Set and Magic:
  • Control Limb (resisted by Will), ranged works. However, impractical due to Will resist plus MR and Rule of 16. Final difficulty 19.
  • Total Paralysis, starts with a -5 to target head if melee is even possible, then resisted by HT/MR/Rule of 16. (21)
  • Could cripple a wing: must do at least 13+ HP to a wing.
  • Fireball - up to Magery level/sec, up to 3 sec (possibe 18D damage, travels at up to 25 yd/sec, which isn't fast enough to actually hit the angel if it's flying. To actually hit, need a success roll on skill Innate Attack (Projectile) ).
  • Lightning - (18D-18 damage, but Acc 3 and travels at 50 yd/sec, meaning it could hit angel even at top speed.

Pyramid issues:
  • 3-48 p5 Assassin's Blessing gives +3 to rolls if attuned to the angel, though the "capture" intent may violate the "assassinate" requirement. p8 Magic Bullet (3D+3(2) pi++ could be useful.
  • 3-28 p20 (Ritual Magic, Symbol Drawing, Thaumatology) could give +3 to +6 (with +1 or +2 to final roll if more than one day was used in casting), ritual could give +5 to rolls if over an hour is spent on prep. Additional possible modifiers: +3 unique materials, +5 for statue of Phirazaldaea (sympathy), +2 for bloodied angel wing feathers (contagion), +4 for knowledge of full secret name and titles (name), +5 for sacrifice of Wardkeeper's bishop
  • 3-24 p20 Void Bolt (18D cosmic crushing dmg ignoring all DR + protections at Acc4)

Power Ups 1 Imbuements p11 allows imbuements for spells, consider p8 Guided Weapon (ignore range penalties, needs concentration), p9 Homing Weapon (ignore range penalties and doesn't need concentration).

The above is my research of actual relevant stuff for the specific thought exercise. However, delving through all the materials also turfed up a lot of stuff that wasn't related to the question but was highly useful for statting up the lich itself and other aspects of my campaign, like squirrels. I'll attach these bits in a spoiler as they're not directly germane to the original post.


Last edited by SolemnGolem; 05-27-2018 at 03:15 PM.
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