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Fineva
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Posted - 03 Sep 2018 :  05:34:15  Show Profile Send Fineva a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
What lore is there on cloning a lich?
I mean fingers do drop off

I"

George Krashos
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Posted - 03 Sep 2018 :  05:44:44  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't think you can clone the dead.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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The Masked Mage
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Posted - 03 Sep 2018 :  06:54:51  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'd have to go with that interpretation as well... if you wanted to clone a dead being, I'd think it would require at least a limited wish to restore life to the cells that are the foundation of the cloning.

As for a lich and fingers falling off, the skeleton of the lich is held together by the magic of its undeath. Without some extra magic (like that employed by several known liches) the skin and flesh rots and eventually leaves just the skeletal form.

Now, combining those two ideas, it might be possible for a lich to clone itself, creating a living clone, and then magic jar into that clone. However, I would submit that doing so would negate the liches undead state and basically be the same as a very very complex raise dead :)
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 03 Sep 2018 :  10:25:22  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

I'd have to go with that interpretation as well... if you wanted to clone a dead being, I'd think it would require at least a limited wish to restore life to the cells that are the foundation of the cloning.

As for a lich and fingers falling off, the skeleton of the lich is held together by the magic of its undeath. Without some extra magic (like that employed by several known liches) the skin and flesh rots and eventually leaves just the skeletal form.

Now, combining those two ideas, it might be possible for a lich to clone itself, creating a living clone, and then magic jar into that clone. However, I would submit that doing so would negate the liches undead state and basically be the same as a very very complex raise dead :)



Actually, the existence of demiliches implies that yes, the fingers will eventually fall off.

Me, I'd think that a lich capable of cloning would find his way back into a living body, first, and then clone that. Or they'd do the cloning gig and never become a lich in the first place.

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Ayrik
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Posted - 03 Sep 2018 :  11:02:19  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The various clone spells all explicitly state they require a living subject or living flesh as the material component, at least in AD&D-era rules. And remember that clones usually don't get along very well, each one believes himself entitled to be the "original", to take ownership of all the possessions, to claim recognition as the one and only ... maybe it's a symptom of flawed spell designs, maybe it's just an unavoidable consequence ... but two or more clones forced to coexist will usually end up in the insanity or death of all but one copy.

Simulacra are another option, they require some quantity of the blood/flesh but it doesn't need to be "alive". They do require reincarnation is imbue a "living" essence, and limited wish to duplicate a portion of the original's knowledge/personality/levels/etc.

"Vampshoon" is the only canon example I can think of involving any combination of cloning magics and undeath. And not a pretty example, either ... my understanding is that activating the first vampiric clone caused the simultaneous failure of all of his interrelated and interlinked clones across the Realms.

Alias (and her kin) might be another special example involving immortal cloning magics. Although she was considered an "automaton" or construct ... and there was a whole trilogy full of complications involving her half-saurial "soul", the workings of a cabal of archmages and priests, a certain artifact, planar energies, the direct intervention of a deity, etc ... not the sorts of resources a typical lich would have readily available.

My first question as a DM would be whether a cloned lich requires a cloned phylactery.

But the wonder of magic is that it can make anything possible. Almost anything.

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 03 Sep 2018 11:07:21
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LordofBones
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Posted - 03 Sep 2018 :  11:07:05  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Here's where it gets murky: the flesh needed for the clone spell doesn't need to be fresh. It just has to be kept from rotting.

I suppose, theoretically, you could clone yourself while alive, become a lich, and keep your back-up body to harvest more flesh for more clone spells, resulting in a theoretically immortal lich with no respawn time, or a sort of lich-ghost thing. Maybe the magic that created the lich warps the clone's body when the lich possesses it, or it becomes a glorified magic jar spell.

Edited by - LordofBones on 03 Sep 2018 11:08:46
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The Masked Mage
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Posted - 03 Sep 2018 :  11:11:57  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A Demilich is the form a lich degrades into when "the power which has sustained its physical form gradually begins to fail" when it stops using its body and travels the planes (astrally I assume, though that was never specified)

This sustaining power is the "magic of its undeath" I mentioned.

Even then though, the parts that crumble away are part of the lich - they don't just fall off. They reform into man-like shape when their lair is entered, so they are still all connected, if inert.
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Ayrik
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Posted - 03 Sep 2018 :  11:14:56  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I suppose regeneration magics can be similarly problematic.

A killed (er, "mostly dead") character might have a ring of regeneration on one hand. Presumably that hand could eventually regenerate the entire character, even if the rest of the body was utterly destroyed. But what if it's just an amputation, the character (minus one hand) remains alive but the two are forcibly separated? What if a character wears a ring of regeneration on each hand and gets cut in half?

[/Ayrik]
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TheIriaeban
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Posted - 03 Sep 2018 :  16:58:24  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
As powerful as liches are, I don't really see them letting a finger fall off if they really cared about it. They could certainly research some new spell that would revitalize their bone-binding magic or if a physical form is that important, taking over someone else's (like Shoon VII did). I see that a lich who lets himself fall apart is just no longer interested in maintaining his physical form since he now feels that he has moved on to a pure, intellectual existence. It would be an existence unburdened by a physical form. The demi-lich forms a man-shape to get rid of an interruption so it can go back to it's intellectual pursuits (whatever those may be).

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."
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The Masked Mage
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Posted - 03 Sep 2018 :  20:53:08  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

I suppose regeneration magics can be similarly problematic.

A killed (er, "mostly dead") character might have a ring of regeneration on one hand. Presumably that hand could eventually regenerate the entire character, even if the rest of the body was utterly destroyed. But what if it's just an amputation, the character (minus one hand) remains alive but the two are forcibly separated? What if a character wears a ring of regeneration on each hand and gets cut in half?


The original ring of regeneration specifically said that if separated the ring doesn't work. So a cut off hand would not grow a body, but a hand that is all that's left theoretically could :P
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Fineva
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Posted - 04 Sep 2018 :  00:58:54  Show Profile Send Fineva a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hm, is there room to threaten a lich with a clone spell?
Kind of the old voodoo doll thing

I"
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Ayrik
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Posted - 04 Sep 2018 :  05:43:40  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Hm, is there room to threaten a lich with a clone spell?
I suspect not a lot of people threaten liches, lol.

[/Ayrik]
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 04 Sep 2018 :  10:54:32  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Fineva

Hm, is there room to threaten a lich with a clone spell?
Kind of the old voodoo doll thing



Personally, I would say that once you became undead, an attempt to make a clone from your flesh would automatically fail -- and that's assuming you could even overcome the normal protections a lich has, to even be able to try it.

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The Masked Mage
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Posted - 05 Sep 2018 :  12:22:26  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

quote:
Hm, is there room to threaten a lich with a clone spell?
I suspect not a lot of people threaten liches, lol.


I don't get how it would be any threat at all, even if it could be applied to a lich.
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sleyvas
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Posted - 05 Sep 2018 :  15:40:37  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
actually, a very interesting spell tailored to combat liches could be a variation of life force transferal. Essentially, move the link of the soul from the phylactery to a living body. Maybe its a short term effect and then you have to kill said lich. When they die, their body retreats to the alternate "storage".

Along these lines, I recall back in 2nd edition writing up a spell to temporarily "scramble" the link between a lich and their phylactery.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 05 Sep 2018 15:41:35
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The Masked Mage
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Posted - 06 Sep 2018 :  09:57:48  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

actually, a very interesting spell tailored to combat liches could be a variation of life force transferal. Essentially, move the link of the soul from the phylactery to a living body. Maybe its a short term effect and then you have to kill said lich. When they die, their body retreats to the alternate "storage".

Along these lines, I recall back in 2nd edition writing up a spell to temporarily "scramble" the link between a lich and their phylactery.




I have no problem with the idea of that spell, only the idea that any lich is stupid enough to have his phylactery where you can easily cast spells at it before destroying the lich's physical form.
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sleyvas
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Posted - 06 Sep 2018 :  12:38:18  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

actually, a very interesting spell tailored to combat liches could be a variation of life force transferal. Essentially, move the link of the soul from the phylactery to a living body. Maybe its a short term effect and then you have to kill said lich. When they die, their body retreats to the alternate "storage".

Along these lines, I recall back in 2nd edition writing up a spell to temporarily "scramble" the link between a lich and their phylactery.




I have no problem with the idea of that spell, only the idea that any lich is stupid enough to have his phylactery where you can easily cast spells at it before destroying the lich's physical form.




Ah, but the target of the spell wouldn't be the phylactery, it would be the "body"/current vessel. Remember, its a two way street and in the case of scrambling or relinkinkg the connection elsewhere, you just need to affect one side or the other. This could actually be two different spells actually of different levels. Scrambling the link should be the easier of the two and lower in level, though it might be interesting to allow for some chance of the linkage to "reform" after the spell wears off (thus giving the person a bit more time to find the phylactery, and possibly helping them outright kill the lich even if they can't find said phylactery). The one linking them to another "vessel" instead of their phylactery should be more powerful... hmmm, and might be interesting if you put an option to "store" them kind of like a genie OR a battery. Can you imagine the party's surprise when they rub the "genie" lamp and out comes a lich forced to serve?

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Ayrik
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Posted - 06 Sep 2018 :  13:40:56  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
What is the intended use of this lich-cloning stuff?

A lich wants more bodies, or wants backup bodies?
Somebody wants to threaten or attack a lich?

Either way, it seems like cloning isn't a viable approach. Phylacteries (and maybe some corpses) provide all the bodies a lich could need or want. And I expect liches are well aware of their limitations and vulnerabilities (such as these are) ... they'd ignore non-threats and they're install contingencies or (preemptively) respond directly to counter any actual threats. Liches are often described as solitary (and evil) creatures, but do not rule out any allies or servants (magical, ordinary, monstrous, or extraplanar, or even other liches) which they probably employ towards assuring their security and survival.

[/Ayrik]
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The Masked Mage
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Posted - 06 Sep 2018 :  20:35:47  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Totally agree. I think the biggest problem with monsters like liches is that DMs play them as just 1 more hack and slash monster so often. Destroying a lich should be an epic achievement that damn near destroys even the most powerful party, just like a dragon.
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sleyvas
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Posted - 06 Sep 2018 :  20:40:41  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

What is the intended use of this lich-cloning stuff?

A lich wants more bodies, or wants backup bodies?
Somebody wants to threaten or attack a lich?

Either way, it seems like cloning isn't a viable approach. Phylacteries (and maybe some corpses) provide all the bodies a lich could need or want. And I expect liches are well aware of their limitations and vulnerabilities (such as these are) ... they'd ignore non-threats and they're install contingencies or (preemptively) respond directly to counter any actual threats. Liches are often described as solitary (and evil) creatures, but do not rule out any allies or servants (magical, ordinary, monstrous, or extraplanar, or even other liches) which they probably employ towards assuring their security and survival.



Regarding this question, one thing to bear in mind is that some have established that there is more than one "lich process", as can be seen with dracoliches. Now, some people also go with the theory that "new version of the game, all liches work new way". However, in the old days a lich had to have a body nearby to reach out to. In that particular situation, it might be prudent for said lich to simply have a pre-grown clone of himself available to "lichify".

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 07 Sep 2018 :  03:36:29  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

Totally agree. I think the biggest problem with monsters like liches is that DMs play them as just 1 more hack and slash monster so often. Destroying a lich should be an epic achievement that damn near destroys even the most powerful party, just like a dragon.




I once had some dude invite me to join his gaming group, and then he scared me away by describing his group. One of the things he mentioned was some house rule allowing magic missile to be pre-cast but indefinitely stored instead of firing immediately, allowing a wizard with a couple days of prep to cast the spell multiple times a day, store it, and then later fire them all off simultaneously, as "missile racks". He also bragged about how his 10th-level paladin could take out a dragon by himself... And he was visibly puzzled when I said "Not if I was running the dragon."

That's one of the things that has bugged me about monster descriptions in just about every version of the game, except for 2E: Monsters are just stats and a blurb, which rather encourages treating them like piņatas full of loot and XP. 2E at least attempted to treat monsters like living creatures, discussing the nature of their lairs, their social groupings, how they fit into their environment, mating practices, practical uses for their corpses (or pieces of them) -- the whole shebang.


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Ayrik
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Posted - 07 Sep 2018 :  04:11:37  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
... one thing to bear in mind is that some have established that there is more than one "lich process", as can be seen with dracoliches. Now, some people also go with the theory that "new version of the game, all liches work new way". However, in the old days a lich had to have a body nearby to reach out to. In that particular situation, it might be prudent for said lich to simply have a pre-grown clone of himself available to "lichify".
Very true.

But if there are general variations of the liching process - if liches are all variants following variant (edition-specific?) rules - then it seems likely that specific interactions (with things like cloning, which also follows edition/variant rules) would need to either be judged strictly on an "everything-consistent-within-the-relevant-game-edition" basis or basically be judged on a "whatever-the-DM-decides-he-prefers" basis. Basically, take the rules strictly as written or overrule them with whatever explanation you like.

Outside of game-rule-edition changes ... the other variant liches (psionic liches, Baneliches, elven Baelnorn, Dracoliches) aren't traditional lich "arcane-magic" types. Psionics and divine magics impose their own rules with their own versions or interactions with cloning. Elves and dragons don't even have human-type souls which respond to raising and resurrection magics - they have spirits and anima along with their own versions of raising/resurrection spells - so it seems possible they also have their own rules for other necromancies (like cloning) which involve manipulations of life and death stuff.

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 07 Sep 2018 04:20:37
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sleyvas
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Posted - 07 Sep 2018 :  23:12:41  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

quote:
... one thing to bear in mind is that some have established that there is more than one "lich process", as can be seen with dracoliches. Now, some people also go with the theory that "new version of the game, all liches work new way". However, in the old days a lich had to have a body nearby to reach out to. In that particular situation, it might be prudent for said lich to simply have a pre-grown clone of himself available to "lichify".
Very true.

But if there are general variations of the liching process - if liches are all variants following variant (edition-specific?) rules - then it seems likely that specific interactions (with things like cloning, which also follows edition/variant rules) would need to either be judged strictly on an "everything-consistent-within-the-relevant-game-edition" basis or basically be judged on a "whatever-the-DM-decides-he-prefers" basis. Basically, take the rules strictly as written or overrule them with whatever explanation you like.

Outside of game-rule-edition changes ... the other variant liches (psionic liches, Baneliches, elven Baelnorn, Dracoliches) aren't traditional lich "arcane-magic" types. Psionics and divine magics impose their own rules with their own versions or interactions with cloning. Elves and dragons don't even have human-type souls which respond to raising and resurrection magics - they have spirits and anima along with their own versions of raising/resurrection spells - so it seems possible they also have their own rules for other necromancies (like cloning) which involve manipulations of life and death stuff.



Oh, damn good point on elves and dragons in older editions that I never thought about. Also, the psionic and divine lich being different very good point. So, yeah, guess the best answer to this should be "maybe, depends on the lich, how he became a lich, and how the DM rules it".

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Fineva
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Posted - 08 Sep 2018 :  03:26:12  Show Profile Send Fineva a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Manshoon - Elminster wars are infamous.
Out of these and Netherese lich wars I'm certain that we get liches and clones highly protected. Khelben even handed Fzoul an artifact to kill a lich.
Now that's serious.
I'm looking for spells or epic ideas that would see a lich disrupted from Phylactery much as stated above. Some kind of sympathetic magic using bits of the lichs old body, parts, etc. Given the number of different ways yes, hard to standardize until you realize there are only so many weaves.
Perhaps a variant would show the general location of Phylactery, the instant the lich dies...perhaps a version to detect backups
Thoughts?. You might have to destroy a lich multiple times to get the answers. Not for the faint of heart!

I"

Edited by - Fineva on 08 Sep 2018 03:28:34
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The Masked Mage
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Posted - 08 Sep 2018 :  04:33:31  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Fineva

The Manshoon - Elminster wars are infamous.
Out of these and Netherese lich wars I'm certain that we get liches and clones highly protected. Khelben even handed Fzoul an artifact to kill a lich.
Now that's serious.
I'm looking for spells or epic ideas that would see a lich disrupted from Phylactery much as stated above. Some kind of sympathetic magic using bits of the lichs old body, parts, etc. Given the number of different ways yes, hard to standardize until you realize there are only so many weaves.
Perhaps a variant would show the general location of Phylactery, the instant the lich dies...perhaps a version to detect backups
Thoughts?. You might have to destroy a lich multiple times to get the answers. Not for the faint of heart!



Usually spells like commune would be used for something like that.
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Ayrik
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Posted - 08 Sep 2018 :  05:29:16  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It's basically impossible to keep a lich separated from his phylactery. Don't even bother trying.
It's much "easier" to force a lich into his phylactery ... then keep him contained within.

You could always bring in all the usual big guns: limited wish, disintegration, anti-magic shell, that sort of stuff.

But a humble dispel magic is enough to (temporarily) render a phylactery magically inert ... the catch being the difference in levels (caster vs phylactery) will modify the percentage chance of success/failure and the lich of course is a very high level caster. Hopefully the lich hasn't installed or isn't maintaining some sort of countermeasure (such as contingency or globe of invulnerability) which specifically negates dispel magic.

The humble protection from evil spell is often overlooked. A paltry penalty on evil dice. But also a formidable protection against all forms of (evil) possession and domination.

The humble negative plane protection spell will neuter the lich's most fearsome anti-PC power. No level draining means the big square-chinned party thug can hack away at the lich with happy stoic impunity, and the lich (like any other wizard) is at great disadvantage when attempting to spellcast in melee.

Items such as scrolls of protection vs undead and potions of undead (lich) control should be obtainable by PCs who have reached we're-bored-let's-go-kill-a-lich levels.

I suppose a lich can be engaged with the things a lich loves: rare, unique, or powerful magics ... rare, unique, or powerful pawns, tools, or allies which can secure such magics.
It's no longer human, it's unlikely to be easily manipulated with human psychology, but it probably can emulate human sentiments well enough to manipulate others. But it's also not entirely unreasonable or suicidal, it won't fight to the death to obtain what it wants if there are other options (unless the fight itself is what amuses it).

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 08 Sep 2018 08:14:26
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