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The Masked Mage
Great Reader

USA
2040 Posts

Posted - 08 Sep 2018 :  10:41:05  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
The thing is, as nice as all that sounds, do you really think ANY lich, who are by definition incredibly intelligent and powerful spellcasters, would not have considered those tactics and have some means of defending against or countering them? More importantly, unless its a hidden and randomly stumbled upon lich (which would mean you're not prepared for it), then its an active one. That means you have to first get through all their prepared defenses AND all their servant monsters, just to get a chance to take a wack at the big meany.

I'm rather proud of the fact that when I was a DM, no PC ever even came close to that possibility because I had thought ahead well enough to anticipate such things.
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6697 Posts

Posted - 08 Sep 2018 :  14:05:14  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
True, no lich should be easily defeated.

But the assumption is that the (PC?) attackers must have levels, hit dice, powers, magics, and toys capable of giving them a chance vs a lich. Since they don't want to die ... or worse, lol.

I was only pointing out that most people don't have much more of a plan than charge in blazing their biggest firepower. They often overlook or disdain the many little advantages, they don't even have a follow-up on what to do with the lich/phylactery once they've "won" the first battle. I suppose a lich, too, might dismissively ignore little magics (and nonmagics) ... but then again, a lich also has decades or centuries or millennia of thinking and preparation and survival (as both the attacker and the attacked) ...

[/Ayrik]
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7513 Posts

Posted - 09 Sep 2018 :  01:17:25  Show Profile Send sleyvas 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!




Regarding finding a lich's phylactery, again it depends on version of the game and rules you're going by, because in older versions the phylactery could be anywhere, but they had to have a prepared body there. Newer versions (like 3rd/3.5e) don't need a prepared body, but they have a limited range on their phylactery. I'm not sure of the rules on 5e liches as far as how far they can be from their phylactery. At one point for 2e, I had written up several spells, one of which basically created a "guiding light" towards any kind of soul storage vessel within range. We had a discussion on that type of stuff... wow, its been 5 years now... see below link.


http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=18328

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7513 Posts

Posted - 09 Sep 2018 :  01:22:23  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
While I agree that liches should not be played as idiots, I will also note that in later editions of the game, lichdom could be achieved before being like an 18th level caster. There were rumors of like 12th level liches. Just based on that fact, I'd say that there are probably SOME liches out there who aren't the brightest bulbs, didn't get too far in leveling and started getting old and chose undeath. I think it can be refreshing to send a lich against the party who isn't the greatest... and let them get overconfident before you send the next lich against them.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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The Masked Mage
Great Reader

USA
2040 Posts

Posted - 09 Sep 2018 :  02:44:51  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
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

While I agree that liches should not be played as idiots, I will also note that in later editions of the game, lichdom could be achieved before being like an 18th level caster. There were rumors of like 12th level liches. Just based on that fact, I'd say that there are probably SOME liches out there who aren't the brightest bulbs, didn't get too far in leveling and started getting old and chose undeath. I think it can be refreshing to send a lich against the party who isn't the greatest... and let them get overconfident before you send the next lich against them.



Yeah, I saw that. Never made any sense. If you don't want a monster as powerful as a lich, there are MANY other options less powerful. There is no need to make a less powerful lich and then have nothing make sense.

I decided that some powerful entity took a hand to turn those ones into liches. Like Bane made the Baneliches. Maybe some powerful caster like Larloch knows how to turn everyday wizards into these "semi-liches." The term semi-lich was once used (in dungeon I think) to mean proto-demi-lich; not to be confused with these lesser liches.
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6697 Posts

Posted - 09 Sep 2018 :  05:00:03  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Characters can always work magics higher than their own level ... with some risk.

It's not entirely impossible for a 1st level wizard to become a lich, casting from scrolls, depending on spells cast by others, taking advantage of charged magical items, etc. Chances are pretty high that at least one of many things (dice rolls) would fail, maybe catastrophically - and such a character is hardly sturdy enough to survive even incidental damages - and such a freshly-minted little lich would be a pathetically underclassed weakling when compared to his peers - but it's still not impossible.

Another "equalizer" could be some particular old spell or item which exploits a particular vulnerability in a particular lich. Basically a one-of-a-kind Achilles heel. Or a "deal with the Devil" arrangement where the characters work alongside some other insanely-powerful "ally" towards a mutual goal of destroying the lich.

The 2E Ravenloft book Van Richten's Guide to the Lich is an awesome resource.

[/Ayrik]
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The Masked Mage
Great Reader

USA
2040 Posts

Posted - 09 Sep 2018 :  06:21:29  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

Characters can always work magics higher than their own level ... with some risk.

It's not entirely impossible for a 1st level wizard to become a lich, casting from scrolls, depending on spells cast by others, taking advantage of charged magical items, etc. Chances are pretty high that at least one of many things (dice rolls) would fail, maybe catastrophically - and such a character is hardly sturdy enough to survive even incidental damages - and such a freshly-minted little lich would be a pathetically underclassed weakling when compared to his peers - but it's still not impossible.

Another "equalizer" could be some particular old spell or item which exploits a particular vulnerability in a particular lich. Basically a one-of-a-kind Achilles heel. Or a "deal with the Devil" arrangement where the characters work alongside some other insanely-powerful "ally" towards a mutual goal of destroying the lich.

The 2E Ravenloft book Van Richten's Guide to the Lich is an awesome resource.



All The Van Richten's Guides were pretty dope. Really expanded on undead.
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7513 Posts

Posted - 10 Sep 2018 :  12:47:57  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

Characters can always work magics higher than their own level ... with some risk.

It's not entirely impossible for a 1st level wizard to become a lich, casting from scrolls, depending on spells cast by others, taking advantage of charged magical items, etc. Chances are pretty high that at least one of many things (dice rolls) would fail, maybe catastrophically - and such a character is hardly sturdy enough to survive even incidental damages - and such a freshly-minted little lich would be a pathetically underclassed weakling when compared to his peers - but it's still not impossible.

Another "equalizer" could be some particular old spell or item which exploits a particular vulnerability in a particular lich. Basically a one-of-a-kind Achilles heel. Or a "deal with the Devil" arrangement where the characters work alongside some other insanely-powerful "ally" towards a mutual goal of destroying the lich.

The 2E Ravenloft book Van Richten's Guide to the Lich is an awesome resource.




Actually considering the evil nature of liches, perhaps one explanation is that since there are multiple different names for the elixir a lich must create and drink.... maybe some of them test the concept on another wizard first. That might make a good explanation. After seeing that the other wizard survives, they may even kill said newborn lich to make sure its soul transfers to the phylactery and is reborn in a waiting host or forms a new body. They may even do this repeatedly to make sure that the process is repeatable. Then, once they're sure its safe, they may transform themselves using the same process, and possibly during this time the other lich escapes (possibly being set to guard the path to the area that the other lich is in).

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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The Masked Mage
Great Reader

USA
2040 Posts

Posted - 16 Sep 2018 :  12:44:28  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
The big question there would be, what would the benefit of creating a scroll with the spells needed to become a lich?
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6697 Posts

Posted - 16 Sep 2018 :  14:18:34  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I could understand an archmage wanting to perfect his liching process and running some tests on others to eliminate unknown risks and refine the process towards maximum chance of success.
Success equals immortality but failure equals instant and irrevocable death ... a smart gambler would measure the odds and maximize them in his favour, lol.

I could also understand an already-lich "converting" some magelings into lichlings - pets, servants, tools, minions, companions, amusements - usefully immortal but also weak enough to control or destroy when needed.

[/Ayrik]
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7513 Posts

Posted - 16 Sep 2018 :  16:10:48  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

Characters can always work magics higher than their own level ... with some risk.

It's not entirely impossible for a 1st level wizard to become a lich, casting from scrolls, depending on spells cast by others, taking advantage of charged magical items, etc. Chances are pretty high that at least one of many things (dice rolls) would fail, maybe catastrophically - and such a character is hardly sturdy enough to survive even incidental damages - and such a freshly-minted little lich would be a pathetically underclassed weakling when compared to his peers - but it's still not impossible.

Another "equalizer" could be some particular old spell or item which exploits a particular vulnerability in a particular lich. Basically a one-of-a-kind Achilles heel. Or a "deal with the Devil" arrangement where the characters work alongside some other insanely-powerful "ally" towards a mutual goal of destroying the lich.

The 2E Ravenloft book Van Richten's Guide to the Lich is an awesome resource.



Also, as another option, really a lich is just a soul tied to a phylactery with some other modifications. So, if someone had say another soul entrapped in something like a magic jar... theoretically they could do a "re-anchoring" of two souls (especially if the lich itself were defeated and had not formed a new body yet).

While I have never explored this concept, it would be interesting if Larloch himself didn't have some methodology for implementing the above. Its probably cheaper cost wise, and if he defeats another lich that he feels might be a problem for him.... he might re-anchor another less powerful spellcaster's soul to the phylactery. And while I say a re-anchoring of the two souls, it may not even BE that.... maybe its just using the energy of the one soul already bound to anchor a soul entrapped in something else to the phylactery (and thus the original lich is destroyed and the new soul becomes a lich).

With this concept in mind, this same process might be enabled to work for NON-spellcasters to a spellcaster's phylactery. This might basically enable the creation of say a fighter/ranger/monk/rogue that is a lich (and the formation of death knights and skeletal warriors may have some basis in this concept). Hell, one might even see paladin liches formed in this manner (a paladin lich of Mystra as an example).


Hmmm, and speaking of lich creation... one of the concepts in the recent Gen Con handout about the formation of the Thayan Zulkirate was the concept that contact with the "Athora" beneath Thaymount sped up the "lich" process on Ythazz Buvaar, such that he went from straight from mortal to demilich. Given the number of "demiliches" that Szass Tam currently has access to (I want to say he has at least 2 if not more)Ö I suspect he's been experimenting with lich creation using the Athora over the last century (and thus these aren't TRUE demiliches like we'd be used to having lived for centuries or millenia as liches). Which also brings me back to Larloch.... and I wonder if his Warlock's Crypt isn't located above some extremely powerful magic item similar to the Athora of Thay.... and maybe it was part of how he became a more powerful kind of lich.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 16 Sep 2018 16:23:01
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6697 Posts

Posted - 16 Sep 2018 :  16:37:14  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Demilich instead of a lich. Ancient wyrm instead of a dragon. Gods and primordials instead of heroes and villains. Supernova instead of a mere nova.

So I'm a little skeptical about this "Gen Con handout". To me it just seems like the usual uncreative and auctorial inflation. But if for you it makes better stories and gameplay then enjoy!

[/Ayrik]
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7513 Posts

Posted - 17 Sep 2018 :  00:37:15  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

Demilich instead of a lich. Ancient wyrm instead of a dragon. Gods and primordials instead of heroes and villains. Supernova instead of a mere nova.

So I'm a little skeptical about this "Gen Con handout". To me it just seems like the usual uncreative and auctorial inflation. But if for you it makes better stories and gameplay then enjoy!



I'm not real fond on the hints about Tam, and I would have done some other things in a different way (I had actually written up Ythazz Buvaar as being a survivor from the Theurgist Adepts who became a lich and then after becoming a Zulkir he became a demilich). However, this does kind of work for me as an alternative wherein we have Ythazz as a living human leading the people of Thay during the rebellion and suddenly finding himself as a demilich after something goes wrong. I'll also give Krash some props on building into the storyline a reason for both Zhengyi and Velsharoon to be worried about becoming liches and being willing to go that "extra mile". However, I will also say that I do like Ed's original concept that Thayd was involved with the Thayan rebellion, and I picture Thayd as possibly being "absorbed" into the Athora kind of like a weave ghost / kind of like a Suel Lich / kind of like a Vestige.... want to work that out. I also plan on doing something with Jorgmacdon.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Fineva
Seeker

Canada
68 Posts

Posted - 17 Sep 2018 :  03:29:33  Show Profile Send Fineva a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ok, just what IS under Thay? A dark elven city? A buried Netherese lab? Never heard of an Althora either.

I"
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
5307 Posts

Posted - 17 Sep 2018 :  04:41:23  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

Demilich instead of a lich. Ancient wyrm instead of a dragon. Gods and primordials instead of heroes and villains. Supernova instead of a mere nova.

So I'm a little skeptical about this "Gen Con handout". To me it just seems like the usual uncreative and auctorial inflation. But if for you it makes better stories and gameplay then enjoy!



Well as the guy who wrote the "uncreative and auctorial inflation" piece based on Ed's lore, I can only say that I'm very keen to see what you come up with Ayrik to set us all on the straight and narrow. Of course, you could ask for a copy and actually read it before passing judgement, but hey what would D&D fans have to argue about if people did that?

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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moonbeast
Senior Scribe

USA
483 Posts

Posted - 17 Sep 2018 :  07:12:09  Show Profile Send moonbeast a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

I don't think you can clone the dead.

-- George Krashos



Interesting! I never even thought about it (cloning the dead). Now I'm wondering, is there some rulebook or even semi-canon lore (e.g. from an officially sanctioned FR novel) that points to the fact that the dead cannot be cloned?

EDIT: Errm never mind. Ayrik's September 3 response seems to have provided the answer.

Edited by - moonbeast on 17 Sep 2018 07:13:39
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moonbeast
Senior Scribe

USA
483 Posts

Posted - 17 Sep 2018 :  07:15:33  Show Profile Send moonbeast a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Fineva

Ok, just what IS under Thay? A dark elven city? A buried Netherese lab?



A colony of lawful good were-hamsters would be my guess!



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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4153 Posts

Posted - 17 Sep 2018 :  08:04:11  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Given the epic nature of thay with its extraordinary number of powerful wizards (Now with a nice explanation as to why), it seems more appropriate for it to be a demilich and ancient wyrm than not.

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Starshade
Learned Scribe

Norway
212 Posts

Posted - 17 Sep 2018 :  10:21:07  Show Profile Send Starshade a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A google search made me find "Dead in Thay", a 2014 module containing something called "Doomvault", an Thayan version of the Undermountain.
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6697 Posts

Posted - 17 Sep 2018 :  10:56:01  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

Well as the guy who wrote the "uncreative and auctorial inflation" piece based on Ed's lore, I can only say that I'm very keen to see what you come up with Ayrik to set us all on the straight and narrow. Of course, you could ask for a copy and actually read it before passing judgement, but hey what would D&D fans have to argue about if people did that?
I do apologize for the insult and it is true that I haven't read this work (yet). I meant to comment on general WotC trends which I often find somewhat disagreeable, lol.

[/Ayrik]
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7513 Posts

Posted - 17 Sep 2018 :  12:36:49  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by moonbeast

quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

I don't think you can clone the dead.

-- George Krashos



Interesting! I never even thought about it (cloning the dead). Now I'm wondering, is there some rulebook or even semi-canon lore (e.g. from an officially sanctioned FR novel) that points to the fact that the dead cannot be cloned?

EDIT: Errm never mind. Ayrik's September 3 response seems to have provided the answer.




Bear in mind, lich shapechanges into a living person that is basically like himself when alive. Takes what he needs, heals himself, and then back to being a lich. I think that would work in both current and 3.5e rulesets... might be wrong.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7513 Posts

Posted - 17 Sep 2018 :  12:38:19  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Fineva

Ok, just what IS under Thay? A dark elven city? A buried Netherese lab? Never heard of an Althora either.



Ask George for a copy of his handout, its well researched. But, the Athora is essentially some kind of powerful artifact seemingly of some kind of raw magic potential.


One other thing to point out that George's article doesn't necessarily go into (may only be me coming up with this twist), but I THINK he'd agree with me on ... part of the reason that Tam was trying to perform his ritual with the towers surrounding Thay would be to fuel his ritual to achieve the potential of essentially an overpower or greater god would have possibly called upon the power OF the Athora. So, the Athora might be depleted.. it might be seriously lessened in strength and slowly rebuilding (how lessened? May still be useful for things OTHER than rebuilding the universe).. This may be why Tam is having to search for new lands to attempt the ritual with. Halruaa? Hill of the Seven Lost Gods? Areas with lots of Plangent Crystal? The Raurin Desert? Larloch's Lair? various areas of the High Forest? The Isle of Gwynedd? Not to mention Kara-Tur, Zakhara, the Hordelands, Maztica, Anchorome, Osse, Katashaka, etc... Apparently something was beneath Neverwinter, and we know he was interested in Chult.

I would also give some leanings for this item to Kossuth "the Black Flame".

Also, note, the Athora may be split into nodes. For instance, FR Adventures says that there was a powerful artifact beneath Amruthar that somehow went dormant after the ToT. Noting that Kossuth DID come down to Toril (he was in Chult with some Firenewts), I wouldn't be surprised if he drew the energy out of it. Later, when the Spellplague hit, according to the 4e FRCG, Amruthar became the center point of a lot of fire and earthquake related things, but Kossuth's temple was untouched

From 4e FRCG
Burning Amruthar: Once an independent city within Thay, Amruthar bore the brunt of the landís devastation. Earthquakes splintered it, lava and mud wrecked some parts, and a rain of rock and
ash buried others. Deep chasms that formed within the city filled with molten rock that never cooled. Miraculously, the black ziggurat dedicated to Kossuth survived the ruin.

The high priest of that temple, the mummy lord Chon Vrael, maintains the place to this day and welcomes worshipers, defying the Thayan ban on deities other than Bane. Chon is a fierce enemy of Szass Tam. The priest commands a small army of fanatics and elemental creatures, including a tribe of fire giants, which helps him keep the city free of Thayan control for now. Some suspect that the Regent of Thay tolerates Burning Amruthar for his own reasons.




Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 17 Sep 2018 13:01:56
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The Masked Mage
Great Reader

USA
2040 Posts

Posted - 18 Sep 2018 :  15:30:26  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
I too have not read it, and am often myself guilty of making overly powerful magic items / characters, but it DOES seem to be the trend. I what universe is a millenia old great wyrm not powerful enough that we need to invent not one but like 5 different more powerful dragon forms.
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