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valarmorgulis
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97 Posts

Posted - 07 Jun 2017 :  18:50:39  Show Profile Send valarmorgulis a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
I think most folks can agree that Larloch is one of the biggest badasses in the Realms, with his world-spanning plots and 60+ lich servitors. But I wonder, how did he get all of these liches to serve him? Did he go knocking on their dungeon doors and beat them into submission? Doesn't seem very Larloch-like to me. So, I had an idea that I'd like to share:

The secret to Larloch's liches

It's simple, really. Larloch invented the process by which nearly all "modern" liches achieved lichdom. He seeded the Realms with his formula and destroyed alternative formulae. Over the centuries, dozens of archmages discovered his formula and many of them achieved lichdom. Of course, Larloch did not do this out of any sort of charity... any lich created via his formula becomes his unwitting servitor, completely under his control should he desire it.

These 60 liches are not all hiding out in Warlock's Keep. They are scattered across the Realms, oblivious to their slavery.

My next post will expand a bit on Larloch's magical portals and why they are so important to him.

Edited by - valarmorgulis on 07 Jun 2017 18:52:40

dazzlerdal
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Posted - 07 Jun 2017 :  20:02:31  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It is a nice idea, and one with some traction. The artefacts he created and collected were all themed with controlling others.

I have another thought that may complement this. Considering the large number of archmages that existed in netheril, there arent many around today despite them having mastery over longevity magics and knowing the secret to undeath.

We know larloch found rhaugilath as a lich and controlled him. Perhaps larloch seeded his method of lichdom among a number of archwizards ere the fall of netheril. Then after its fall he spent a century or two travelling the continent and exerting his control over his puppets to gather an army of liches and to control the surviving magical knowledge of netheril that he could then hoard or disperse as he desired.

I like your idea. Im going to use it in my netheril rewrite. I had larlochs purpose during netheril all mapped out. Now i have his purpose after netheril as well.

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valarmorgulis
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Posted - 07 Jun 2017 :  20:23:15  Show Profile Send valarmorgulis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yeah, that would make sense. Why start after the Fall when he could have started before.
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 07 Jun 2017 :  20:45:04  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That's actually an idea I've thought of for an NPC.

An alternative thought is that Larloch has discovered or created magic that specifically targets phylacteries... If he can attack or control a lich through their phylactery, that's attacking at their one weak point.

While I obviously like the idea of a flawed lich creation process, I don't like it applied here... One reason is because it's kind of a haphazard way of achieving it -- he has to wait for someone to find the process, hope it works, and then hope they're a good candidate for serving him. The other reason I don't like it is with the number of liches in the Realms, he should have a lot more, if it was his process that was being used.

Therefore, I favor the idea that he specifically selected existing liches and forced them into servitude.

Alternatively, he could have created a subservient lich creation process, and targeted those spellcasters he liked for using it. Perhaps he even openly helped them become liches, in return for that binding.

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valarmorgulis
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Posted - 07 Jun 2017 :  20:55:26  Show Profile Send valarmorgulis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I figure that only some liches actually used his process. On the other hand though, I don't like the idea of there being more than 100 liches total in the Realms. I want liches to be truly fearsome and rare, not the natural evolution of every archmage to ever walk Toril, but only something that the most evil and desperate archmages attempt. So, I don't mind if those 60+ liches represent the vast majority of all liches in existence.

Nor does he have to wait for others to find the process. By selectively handing it out to the right archmages (ones who are keen to spread knowledge vs hoard it) he can ensure that it spreads on its own. Any lich is a good candidate to serve him. I mean, who wouldn't want the services of a 18th+ level mage that is under your complete control should you desire it.

Mostly though, I like that it requires more than just a simple "spell". He actually had to spend time manipulating events in the world to ensure that his formula became the dominant path to lichdom. Now, he may still need such a spell to actually exert control, the formula may be like a trojan, opening a backdoor for the spell to take hold.

Which brings me to the reason for the portals. This idea is a bit crazy.

What if the portals are not for transporting people, but instead transport magical energy, allowing him to use spells at distances far beyond normal capability? It's the network of portals that allows him to use his lich controlling magic across the Realms. Without them, he can only control the liches in Warlocks Crypt, but with them he can control liches around the world.
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dazzlerdal
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Posted - 07 Jun 2017 :  21:14:19  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I suspect that in order for Larloch to be allowed to survive by the Chosen of Mystra then he has to distribute the magic to other wizards.

So by distributing his process to selected wizards he gets around the edicts of the church of the new goddess of magic and he gets to acquire new liches for his harem.

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valarmorgulis
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97 Posts

Posted - 07 Jun 2017 :  21:32:02  Show Profile Send valarmorgulis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't think they would be aware of his control over all lichdom. If they were, they would be quite foolish not to attempt to stop him. Alternatively, he may be controlling access to dangerous Netherese magic with Mystra's blessing.

Edited by - valarmorgulis on 07 Jun 2017 21:32:55
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dazzlerdal
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Posted - 07 Jun 2017 :  21:59:06  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
He can't be in control of all the process to achieve lichdom. There are simply too many liches across too wide an area for this to be possible.

Wizards have to research the process and each time there is a chance it will go wrong if you get the formula incorrect. Instead I picture Larloch as having seeded a version of lichdom that is relatively easy to attain and so almost guarantees him a cadre of liches that are weaker than himself and under his control should he wish to exert it (once he gets close enough). But there are other formula for lichdom (Aumvor and Ioulaum certainly arent using the same formula and only those selected by Larloch would likely have access to Larloch's version - and maybe those that get hold of it from those selected by Larloch although this should be a lot less likely).

I don't doubt he is hoarding the best magics for himself. But he has to spread some of it out there else he will be in trouble with beings that can destroy him (not easily but its possible).

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George Krashos
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Posted - 08 Jun 2017 :  01:10:07  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ed outlined the process of becoming a lich and a potion recipe in REF5 Lords of Darkness.

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valarmorgulis
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Posted - 08 Jun 2017 :  01:29:09  Show Profile Send valarmorgulis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That's nice to see the process laid out. Of course, I doubt it's the only way to become a lich.
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xaeyruudh
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Posted - 08 Jun 2017 :  01:53:20  Show Profile  Visit xaeyruudh's Homepage Send xaeyruudh a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The research that various liches have successfully performed must include reading books of lore on the subject. It's very believable that some/many of those books were written by Larloch. If he was deliberately lacing his suggested rituals with things that would facilitate him taking control of those who obtained lichdom by following his instructions, he would likely have employed multiple pseudonyms, using them to lend credibility to and refer readers to the others, such that a cohesive method of obtaining lichdom (and vulnerability to unique spells/devices that Larloch has devised) can be constructed while having the appearance of bits of research cobbled together by a number of independent and eminently respectable authors.

And since Larloch has been around for at least a couple thousand years, those books (and the collected notes of every wizard who's ever used them) have likely traveled the length and breadth of faerun many times. Copies are probably in Candlekeep. More importantly, the names of the authors have spread by word-of-mouth within the necromantic "community" and wizards who are looking for a reliable means of achieving lichdom will learn of those names and actively search out those works.

The idea that ~60 liches have successfully performed this hypothetical designed set of rituals is completely believable... especially if you factor in magical suggestions imparted by charmed/dominated/illusionary minions, designed to lead particular wizards to inadvertently submit to his control.

Edit: as pointed out tho, it's not necessary for all of the liches under his control to have performed that set of rituals. It's also reasonable to assume that he's developed spells that work specifically on the minds of liches, no matter how they obtained that status.

Edited by - xaeyruudh on 08 Jun 2017 01:55:19
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 08 Jun 2017 :  03:09:57  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by xaeyruudh



The idea that ~60 liches have successfully performed this hypothetical designed set of rituals is completely believable... especially if you factor in magical suggestions imparted by charmed/dominated/illusionary minions, designed to lead particular wizards to inadvertently submit to his control.



To me, the part that isn't believable is that after 2000 years, there are only 60 liches that would have followed his recipes. That's one lich, on the entire planet, every 30 years.

That's why I favor the idea that he would target existing liches for servitude. It's more reliable -- it doesn't rely on the chance that a suitable candidate finds and successfully completes the ritual, and it also doesn't leave the possibility of him suddenly getting a lucky but otherwise unreliable servant.

It may be tougher to force an existing lich to servitude, but Larloch would have the option of picking and choosing only those successful liches that he specifically wanted.

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 08 Jun 2017 :  03:11:43  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

I suspect that in order for Larloch to be allowed to survive by the Chosen of Mystra then he has to distribute the magic to other wizards.

So by distributing his process to selected wizards he gets around the edicts of the church of the new goddess of magic and he gets to acquire new liches for his harem.



He has to distribute magic. Nothing says that the magic has to be a ritual that increases his own power at the cost of others -- something that Mystra is really not cool on.

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Ayrik
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Posted - 08 Jun 2017 :  04:43:17  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

To me, the part that isn't believable is that after 2000 years, there are only 60 liches that would have followed his recipes. That's one lich, on the entire planet, every 30 years.

Many of those who attempt to lich themselves do not survive the process. Many of those who do survive the liching do not survive subsequent centuries. Some liches end up being irrevocably insane - probably beyond even Larloch's control - and some of these decay into mindless undead.
The number of liches (who survived the passing years intact) would be far greater than one per 30 years, regardless whether they followed Larloch's recipe or another.

Larloch was not even the first lich in ancient Netheril, only the longest-lived.

Szass Tam certainly didn't use "Larloch's recipe" to lich himself.

Elven baelnorns certainly use a different method.

RS1: Van Richten's Guide to the Lich (a 2E Ravenloft accessory) offers comprehensive details about how liches are made, along with how liches think and act. The 1E and 2E Monster Manuals and DMGs also offered some details.

I could find no reference to Larloch "controlling" the liches in his legion. The liches might indeed by controlled, dominated, or otherwise bound involuntarily to Larloch's service. Or they might as easily be allied, influenced, bribed, or rewarded for (voluntarily) serving Larloch's interests - even the most accomplished of these liches would benefit greatly from access to Larloch's instruction, libraries, laboratories, spellbooks, and Nether scrolls - plus many of liches would already pursue magical interests and desire certain external conditions which happen to align closely with Larloch's agenda. I think it likely that some of these liches are controlled by Larloch, others are allied with Larloch, a few might even maintain "friendships" with Larloch, and there's probably a hierarchy of liches reporting to liches so that Larloch himself needn't waste much time issuing "mundane" leadership to his legion.

[/Ayrik]
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valarmorgulis
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Posted - 08 Jun 2017 :  06:09:03  Show Profile Send valarmorgulis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by xaeyruudh



The idea that ~60 liches have successfully performed this hypothetical designed set of rituals is completely believable... especially if you factor in magical suggestions imparted by charmed/dominated/illusionary minions, designed to lead particular wizards to inadvertently submit to his control.



To me, the part that isn't believable is that after 2000 years, there are only 60 liches that would have followed his recipes. That's one lich, on the entire planet, every 30 years.

That's why I favor the idea that he would target existing liches for servitude. It's more reliable -- it doesn't rely on the chance that a suitable candidate finds and successfully completes the ritual, and it also doesn't leave the possibility of him suddenly getting a lucky but otherwise unreliable servant.

It may be tougher to force an existing lich to servitude, but Larloch would have the option of picking and choosing only those successful liches that he specifically wanted.



I think of lichdom as being quite difficult to attain. Maybe 50% of those who try and meet the minimum requirements succeed. So, that's now 1 mage every 16 years. Then, there is the probability that liches are destroyed over time or simply decide to leave the Realms. I'll just guess that maybe 50% of the liches created in the past 2000 years are for one reason or another no longer around, which brings us to the equivalent of 240 archmages in the past 2000 years who tried Larloch's formula, or one every 8 years. That sounds plenty reasonable to me.

Edited by - valarmorgulis on 08 Jun 2017 06:10:27
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sleyvas
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Posted - 08 Jun 2017 :  06:39:07  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It could be a corrupt ritual. It could also be providing materials to be used in the phylactery creation that have been tainted/attuned to him somehow (I would assume that this kind of thing would be via trickery). In fact, maybe there's some extraneous gem slot in his phylactery that can be replaced, and he periodically puts a new gem in the slot, attunes it to his phylactery, and then puts it out on the market along with several other similar but unattuned gems. This makes it less an issue of "haha, you used the ritual I left out there", where people would eventually get the word out. It instead becomes something more insidious, because the liches can't pinpoint the exact reason why person X's process ended up with them being Larloch's servant, but person Y didn't and they had both used the same process.

If larvae are a typical requirement for the ritual, he may also have some agreement with dozens of night hags that if a want to be lich shows up wanting to trade for larvae that they agree to inform him. The night hags in question might even not even be aware of this simply because they are magically compelled to report and then forget about doing so. It should be noted that this wouldn't require him to have some overarching control over all night hags, just a sizable collection such that he'd periodically get notified when a new lich may be in the offing.

In doing it this way, Larloch's power is much more limited in gaining control of liches. Its not some super lich phylactery control spell that just lets him dominate a lich forever. Its not some "hey I released this ritual centuries ago and everyone has copied it so now I own them all" thing either. He would have to actively work to entrap new liches.

Now, I wouldn't mind Larloch also having some phylactery based spells that also let him control other liches or destroy them, etc.... but they should be harder to use, temporary, and prone to the lich breaking free. In fact, his having several methods of controlling liches may be why mages are unsure of how he's doing it.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

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Brimstone
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Posted - 08 Jun 2017 :  15:42:16  Show Profile Send Brimstone a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Larloch is a Chosen of Mystryl according to Ed. Maybe he used that as a way into the process of creating servitor Liches.

"These things also I have observed: that knowledge of our world is
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thing we have. Wherefore guard the word written and heed
words unwritten and set them down ere they fade . . . Learn
then, well, the arts of reading, writing, and listening true, and they
will lead you to the greatest art of all: understanding."
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 08 Jun 2017 :  16:43:04  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by valarmorgulis

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by xaeyruudh



The idea that ~60 liches have successfully performed this hypothetical designed set of rituals is completely believable... especially if you factor in magical suggestions imparted by charmed/dominated/illusionary minions, designed to lead particular wizards to inadvertently submit to his control.



To me, the part that isn't believable is that after 2000 years, there are only 60 liches that would have followed his recipes. That's one lich, on the entire planet, every 30 years.

That's why I favor the idea that he would target existing liches for servitude. It's more reliable -- it doesn't rely on the chance that a suitable candidate finds and successfully completes the ritual, and it also doesn't leave the possibility of him suddenly getting a lucky but otherwise unreliable servant.

It may be tougher to force an existing lich to servitude, but Larloch would have the option of picking and choosing only those successful liches that he specifically wanted.



I think of lichdom as being quite difficult to attain. Maybe 50% of those who try and meet the minimum requirements succeed. So, that's now 1 mage every 16 years. Then, there is the probability that liches are destroyed over time or simply decide to leave the Realms. I'll just guess that maybe 50% of the liches created in the past 2000 years are for one reason or another no longer around, which brings us to the equivalent of 240 archmages in the past 2000 years who tried Larloch's formula, or one every 8 years. That sounds plenty reasonable to me.



I agree that lichdom is difficult to obtain... But going by the recipe Ed provided, it's more an issue of getting the ingredients and being powerful enough to cast all the spells, as opposed to inherent failure chances in the process. There is a chance the process can fail, but it's only a small chance, and it's only the most unlucky candidate that dies in the process. (Ed's process is that the potential lich remains alive until something kills them, then they become undead)

Given the number of mages in the Realms, I would expect at least 2 or 3 to succeed at becoming a lich every year.

And since we know of plenty of liches that have nothing to do with Larloch (Ed names one that is 3000 years old!), it shows that there are other processes that weren't created by him to create servitors.

So given the comparatively small number of liches he has compared to how many could exist in the Realms, the fact that it's known there are non-Larloch processes out there, and the fact that him just waiting for a suitable person to happen to become one of his servitors is very unreliable, it makes more sense that he finds his servitors in some other fashion.

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valarmorgulis
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Posted - 08 Jun 2017 :  18:34:03  Show Profile Send valarmorgulis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So, in your estimation, there are something like 2,000-6,000 liches in the Realms right now? Yikes. Personally, I much prefer there be no more than one hundred in the world.

We know of plenty of liches, but it's not hard to say that some of them are actually under Larloch's control and it just hasn't been mentioned. I like the idea that at least 1-2 of the liches in the twisted rune are actually under Larloch's control, even though it obviously says nothing of the sort in official material. I don't dispute that there would almost certainly be other processes to attain lichdom.

Also, your logic doesn't really make sense. With more lich candidates out there it actually becomes more likely that his formula would net him 60+ liches. And it could be reliable enough, as has already been explained, although probably less reliable than just targeting other liches and beating them into submission as you suggested. But in that case, why doesn't he have hundreds if not thousands of liches serving him?

But hey, if you really don't like the idea, that's fine. You do your world, I'll do mine.

quote:
Originally posted by Brimstone

Larloch is a Chosen of Mystryl according to Ed. Maybe he used that as a way into the process of creating servitor Liches.



Generally, I'd prefer he obtain his power and influence through clever plans rather than "because he's a Chosen". I feel like there's too much of that in the Realms already.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

It could be a corrupt ritual. It could also be providing materials to be used in the phylactery creation that have been tainted/attuned to him somehow (I would assume that this kind of thing would be via trickery). In fact, maybe there's some extraneous gem slot in his phylactery that can be replaced, and he periodically puts a new gem in the slot, attunes it to his phylactery, and then puts it out on the market along with several other similar but unattuned gems. This makes it less an issue of "haha, you used the ritual I left out there", where people would eventually get the word out. It instead becomes something more insidious, because the liches can't pinpoint the exact reason why person X's process ended up with them being Larloch's servant, but person Y didn't and they had both used the same process.



That's an interesting idea. Although I don't really see liches comparing processes or anything like that. Also, in my concept, the liches don't know they are servitors. Part of it comes down to how many liches you want in your world. I'm limiting my world to something like 100 liches, so if Larloch has 60+, then it makes sense that he did something huge like replace the formula.

Edited by - valarmorgulis on 08 Jun 2017 19:06:12
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 08 Jun 2017 :  19:09:58  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by valarmorgulis

So, in your estimation, there are something like 2,000-6,000 liches in the Realms right now? Yikes. Personally, I much prefer there be no more than one hundred in the world.

We know of plenty of liches, but it's not hard to say that some of them are actually under Larloch's control and it just hasn't been mentioned. I like the idea that at least 1-2 of the liches in the twisted rune are actually under Larloch's control, even though it obviously says nothing of the sort in official material.

Also, your logic doesn't really make sense. With more lich candidates out there it actually becomes more likely that his formula would net him 60+ liches. And it could be reliable enough, as has already been explained, although probably less reliable than just targeting other liches and beating them into submission as you suggested. But in that case, why doesn't he have hundreds if not thousands of liches serving him?

But hey, if you really don't like the idea, that's fine. You do your world, I'll do mine.




I never said there were 2000-6000 liches. Obviously, liches do not last forever, and even those who do manage to live for millennia may move on to other planes or other worlds.

You think it makes more sense for one of the most meticulous planners in the entire setting to rely purely on luck for suitable servants?

You think it makes more sense for him to distribute a path to lichdom, as a way to gain servants, and yet only pick up 60 servitors in 2000 years?

Those are the assertions that I would say make no sense. Larloch is not one to rely on chance; he's going to be very careful picking and choosing only the most suitable candidates, and only when he needs to. And I would say he's going to pick someone who has already succeeded, rather than waste time and energy on someone who couldn't make it.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 08 Jun 2017 19:12:33
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Cyrinishad
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Posted - 08 Jun 2017 :  19:10:54  Show Profile Send Cyrinishad a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by valarmorgulis

So, in your estimation, there are something like 2,000-6,000 liches in the Realms right now? Yikes. Personally, I much prefer there be no more than one hundred in the world.



Right... ok, if we want to keep the total count low... what if Larloch's formula taps into a finite supply of energy to create a Lich? If a new Lich is created, it draws from this pooled source of energy... Perhaps weakening or destroying other Lichs in the process?

To know, is to know that you know nothing. That is the meaning of true knowledge. -Socrates

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Edited by - Cyrinishad on 08 Jun 2017 19:12:10
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valarmorgulis
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Posted - 08 Jun 2017 :  19:24:08  Show Profile Send valarmorgulis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by valarmorgulis

So, in your estimation, there are something like 2,000-6,000 liches in the Realms right now? Yikes. Personally, I much prefer there be no more than one hundred in the world.

We know of plenty of liches, but it's not hard to say that some of them are actually under Larloch's control and it just hasn't been mentioned. I like the idea that at least 1-2 of the liches in the twisted rune are actually under Larloch's control, even though it obviously says nothing of the sort in official material.

Also, your logic doesn't really make sense. With more lich candidates out there it actually becomes more likely that his formula would net him 60+ liches. And it could be reliable enough, as has already been explained, although probably less reliable than just targeting other liches and beating them into submission as you suggested. But in that case, why doesn't he have hundreds if not thousands of liches serving him?

But hey, if you really don't like the idea, that's fine. You do your world, I'll do mine.




I never said there were 2000-6000 liches. Obviously, liches do not last forever, and even those who do manage to live for millennia may move on to other planes or other worlds.

You think it makes more sense for one of the most meticulous planners in the entire setting to rely purely on luck for suitable servants?

You think it makes more sense for him to distribute a path to lichdom, as a way to gain servants, and yet only pick up 60 servitors in 2000 years?

Those are the assertions that I would say make no sense. Larloch is not one to rely on chance; he's going to be very careful picking and choosing only the most suitable candidates, and only when he needs to. And I would say he's going to pick someone who has already succeeded, rather than waste time and energy on someone who couldn't make it.



2 liches per year * 2000 years = 4000 liches. If 50% are destroyed or leave, you still get 2,000 liches. Maybe more are destroyed, I don't know how your world works, but regardless there's a lot of liches.

No, the 60 represents his current cohort of liches. And if there are only 100 liches in my Realms, then having 60% of them seems pretty effective to me. Let's say though that your Realms has 600 liches, and that his formula was used by 10% -- still makes sense to me.

I already explained how it wouldn't have to be just luck. He could seed the formula in ways that ensure that only qualified candidates acquire it. Larloch is a supra-genius after all, this wouldn't be difficult for him.

And IMO, if the formula gives him complete domination then I would say that any lich is suitable.

In any case, it's clear I won't convince you that my idea works, and nothing you've said has convinced me that it doesn't work. So, maybe time to move on?

quote:
Originally posted by Cyrinishad

quote:
Originally posted by valarmorgulis

So, in your estimation, there are something like 2,000-6,000 liches in the Realms right now? Yikes. Personally, I much prefer there be no more than one hundred in the world.



Right... ok, if we want to keep the total count low... what if Larloch's formula taps into a finite supply of energy to create a Lich? If a new Lich is created, it draws from this pooled source of energy... Perhaps weakening or destroying other Lichs in the process?



I think the easiest way to keep the count low is to simply say:

1. Not many wizards attempt to become liches.
2. Not many wizards who attempt to become liches succeed at becoming liches.
3. Not many wizards who become liches stick around for long.

IMC, a new lich is created only once every 5-10 years or so. They're rare. So, I'm not worried about this problem of too many liches because there just aren't very many attempts.

If we're talking about why does he *only* have 60 liches... maybe he doesn't have the power to control more? But, once again, in a world with only 100 liches, controlling 60 is a lot.

Edited by - valarmorgulis on 08 Jun 2017 19:54:29
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dazzlerdal
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Posted - 08 Jun 2017 :  20:02:41  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just by counting the number of liches in realmslore we could come up with a figure greater than 100.

There are always multiple ways of doing the same thing in the realms.

More importantly I don't think Ed ever put limits on the possibilities of doing things he merely raised the difficulty or put in things that made it less desirable to do something game breaking.

So anyone can become a lich that gathers the necessary ingredients and goes through the necessary enspellment. The fudge factor that limits this is that it doesn't always work, sometimes killing an individual, sometimes damning them to a weaker and horrible existence. Also liches are almost all evil. The ritual for good liches is much more difficult.

Also as Wooly pointed out liches do not last forever and will decay unless special measures or special circumstances occur.

Finally liches are the target of other powerful entities such as other liches, dragons, adventurers, churches, and anyone else desiring the liches an old an powerful being may possess.



Liches cannot be limited to 100 in number. There are too many wizards capable of achieving lichdom in every generation (30-50 years) and that's just for humans. All liches cannot be under larlochs control. His reach is not so great that it extends across all of Faerun, he may be able to influence a select few each generation and no doubt does through his proxies and agents.

If you want there to be only 100 liches and all created directly or indirectly by larloch then you can do so, but I'm not sure the idea is going to gain much traction with others here. Ed was always about plots within plots and unknown enemies. Having larloch be responsible for a few liches creation and being able to control them occasionally is one way of doing this.
PCs fight enemies, discover a lich is controlling them, kill lich and hear evil laugh belonging to larloch.

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valarmorgulis
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Posted - 08 Jun 2017 :  20:13:39  Show Profile Send valarmorgulis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh, yeah, I'm definitely not thinking everyone will agree to there only being 100 liches in the Realms. That's just a personal decision for my campaign based on how rare I want liches to be (and factors in that high-level mages are more rare as well). What I don't agree with is any assertion that having more or fewer liches in the world invalidates my concept. As to whether he can control a substantial portion of them, well that's up to the individual DM as well. There's nothing saying he can or can't as far as I know.

In any case, I'm just throwing an idea out there -- that seems to have resonated with some and not with others, which is fine. And it's been cool to see other people's ideas. Of course I'd prefer folks give their ideas without crapping on mine, but oh well, that's forums for you.

EDIT: To give a little more perspective on that 100 liches thing, IMC there's probably only about 50-100 18th+-level living mages in Faerun. My guess is that in the canon Realms there's far more. I may even reduce the number of liches Larloch controls to 20. I like the idea of archmages being rare, what can I say?

Edited by - valarmorgulis on 08 Jun 2017 20:25:26
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dazzlerdal
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Posted - 08 Jun 2017 :  20:37:40  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm also all for the number of mages in the power ranges you describe being limited (in Ed's game a level 9 wizard was considered very powerful). However that number is not a constant and every year more mages appear and others are eliminated (or seemingly so). After 3000 years of magical experimentation there are a lot of potential liches (not including the ones created through random magic or curses or other weirdness that Ed was fond of; such as walking through a malfunctioning portal).


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valarmorgulis
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Posted - 08 Jun 2017 :  21:09:13  Show Profile Send valarmorgulis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Here's my napkin math, for my campaign:

Every 50 years, 20 new archmages are introduced. So, 2500 years = 1000 archmages, plus another 200 incremental for Netheril. 1200 archmages.

Of those, 50% lean evil. 600 lich candidates.

Of those, 25% attempt lichdom and succeed. 150 liches.

Of those, 66% are no longer in the picture for whatever reason. 50 liches.

With these numbers, I'll say Larloch controls 20, or 40%, including lots of liches that have been mentioned in various supplments.

This doesn't include lich variants like baelnonrn.
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