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Old 06-25-2020, 09:06 PM   #1
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Different Liches [Magic/Horror]

While the default lich from Magic (p. 160) grants magicians a method of immortality, the resulting lich is really unappealing. I think that most magicians would rather have a different form of immortality, so there should be many variations of the Lich spell. For example:

Lich [300]

Attribute Modifiers: ST+2 [20]; DX+2 [40]; IQ+2 [40]; HT+2 [20]

Secondary Characteristic Modifiers: Basic Speed+1.00 [20]; HP+3 [6]; FP+3 [9]

Advantages: Doesn't Breathe [20]; Doesn't Eat or Drink [10]; Doesn't Sleep [20]; DR 2 [10]; High Pain Threshold [10]; Immunity to Metabolic Hazards [30]; Injury Tolerance (No Blood, No Brain, No Eyes, No Vitals, Unliving) [40]; Photographic Memory [10]; Temperature Tolerance 10 [10]; Unaging [15]; Unfazeable [15]; Vacuum Support [5].

Disadvantage: Dependency (Mana; Common; Constantly) [-50]

Features: Affected by Pentagram; Can be turned using True Faith.

The above variant of the Lich spell creates an undead creature that is indistinguishable from a normal human being. The level of mastery required to learn the spell, and the amount of time required to cast the spell, usually means that anyone who becomes a Lich is usually an older individual. Of course, a properly prepared necromancer will steal sufficient youth to be in their prime when they become a Lich.
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Old 06-25-2020, 09:21 PM   #2
maximara
 
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Default Re: Different Liches [Magic/Horror]

I took a totally different tack with D&D Lich in GURPS and came up with two variants. I later updated the Demi-lich lens but it could still do with a little more work.
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Last edited by maximara; 06-25-2020 at 09:31 PM.
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Old 06-26-2020, 06:52 AM   #3
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Default Re: Different Liches [Magic/Horror]

There is this thaumechanical variant from the TFT forum.
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Old 06-26-2020, 11:14 AM   #4
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Default Re: Different Liches [Magic/Horror]

This beginning part may only marginally fit the topic. But I remember years ago in a different game system when a lich randomly popped up in the middle of our powerful party. We quickly dispatched it.

I remember thinking, why would such an intelligent and experienced being do something so stupid? I thought, "If I were a lich, what would I do?" So I made an NPC lich with an island base. Several parties of adventurers tried going after the lich, but none succeeded.

More on the topic, while your lich template looks interesting, I've always thought of the lich thing as a trade-off. "I want to be immortal. But to do so, I'll have to assume an awful form." To me, it has the drama of, "What am I willing to sacrifice in order to be immortal?"
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Old 06-26-2020, 11:38 AM   #5
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Default Re: Different Liches [Magic/Horror]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alden Loveshade View Post
More on the topic, while your lich template looks interesting, I've always thought of the lich thing as a trade-off. "I want to be immortal. But to do so, I'll have to assume an awful form." To me, it has the drama of, "What am I willing to sacrifice in order to be immortal?"
A lich would usually be a very skilled mage before their transformation, thus they'd most likely have access to various illusion spells to disguise themself.

In any case, a lich template without Unkillable 2/3 (potentially with a Gadget modifier) or Supernatural Durability seems flawed to me. And yes, there's certainly room for various flawed versions of lichdom, but in my mind a true lich has transcended death from anything that doesn't specifically target them or a vulnerability they possess.
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Old 06-26-2020, 11:57 AM   #6
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Default Re: Different Liches [Magic/Horror]

The basic lich does not really have immortality though, as it can be hacked apart quite easily by mundane means. Here is another version of Lich with a version of immortality:

Lich [200]

Attribute Modifiers: ST+2 [20]; DX+2 [40]; IQ+2 [40]; HT+2 [20]

Advantages: High Pain Threshold [10]; Regeneration (Fast; Accessibility, Only at Night, -20%) [40]; Regrowth (Accessibility, Only at Night, -20%) [32]; Unaging (Age Control, +20%) [18]; Unkillable 2 (Hindrance, Holy Burial, Common, -25%; Trigger, Dusk, Very Common, -5%) [70]

Disadvantage: Dependency (Mana, Common, Constant) [-50]; Weakness (1d per minute; Holy Ground, Common) [-40]

Features: Affected by Pentagram; Can be turned by True Faith

This version of Lich grants the practitioner the ability to come back from the dead as long as they are not buried on holy ground and/or in a no mana region.

Last edited by AlexanderHowl; 06-26-2020 at 12:01 PM.
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Old 06-26-2020, 12:06 PM   #7
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Default Re: Different Liches [Magic/Horror]

I think "lich" is sufficiently associated with "skeletal spellcaster" at this point that using the term for something else is just going to cause confusion for your players. Now, this could be on purpose on your part, if the characters would also be confused to see a "lich" that looks like a human in their prime, but honestly you either have a situation where this is the only type of lich that exists (in which case the characters wouldn't be surprised) or liches are also known in the setting as skeletal spellcasters, in which case characters in the setting wouldn't call this a lich. Certainly, the character could claim to be a lich to throw people off, but this wouldn't be any different from any type of immortal (or "immortal" for, say, a necromancer making liberal use of Steal Youth) making such a claim, aside from maybe the character honestly believing him/herself to be a lich due to similarities between the spells.

There's also the fact that this one is arguably a bit too fragile for the term lich to apply. Liches are typically difficult - or at least tricky - to kill, but yours is basically a robot made of meat and bone, more like an intelligent flesh golem. (EDIT: This comment is with regards to your first template)

I'd suggest a different term; revenant is always easy to match with some sort of undead, but something else may work better.

EDIT: What is the Trigger on Unkillable on the second template meant to do? Typically, Trigger means the ability doesn't work at all without the initiating Trigger, and only works for a short time thereafter, implying your Lich is as fragile as a flesh golem except for shortly after the sun sets. If the intent is instead that the character only heals at night, your Regeneration already has that covered; the character isn't going to heal more than maybe 10% HP between death and dusk (depending on when he/she died, and when the GM has you check for daily healing), but once the sun sets is going to be back up within a couple of hours.
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Old 06-26-2020, 12:33 PM   #8
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Default Re: Different Liches [Magic/Horror]

The Lich spell in magic applies any Lich template that the GM feels is appropriate, the only thing that changes is the energy cost of the spell changes based on the CP of the template you create. The template in magic on pg 160 is a baseline, but any of these changes is fine based on what a Lich is defined as in your game.
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Old 06-26-2020, 12:36 PM   #9
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Default Re: Different Liches [Magic/Horror]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
I think "lich" is sufficiently associated with "skeletal spellcaster" at this point that using the term for something else is just going to cause confusion for your players.
I agree that terminology is important. I remember years ago a friend of mine was working on a novel that had "elves" who did not have magic. I said I think a lot of potential readers are going to be disappointed by that. She agreed, and decided to call the beings something other than "elves."
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Old 06-26-2020, 12:38 PM   #10
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Default Re: Different Liches [Magic/Horror]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
I think "lich" is sufficiently associated with "skeletal spellcaster" at this point that using the term for something else is just going to cause confusion for your players.
I don't know. When I try to explain the concept of "Lich" to folks who aren't part of gaming, I get a lot of comments about Voldemort.

I do think a Lich has to give something up for their immortality, and generally that has both a physical component and a moral or mental component, but exceptions would exist. I agree with the durability part as well: if you just have unaging, you're not a lich.
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