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Cyrinishad
Learned Scribe

254 Posts

Posted - 08 Jun 2017 :  22:19:12  Show Profile Send Cyrinishad a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by valarmorgulis

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.



Perhaps Larloch's formula requires/enables Liches to gain/sustain their power by consuming the powers of other Liches? A sort of Lich Vampirism... This would create a dynamic between two kinds of Liches... The ones that tend towards reclusivity and disengage from the world (Standard Liches)... and ones that a proactive and engage the world, seeking out other Lichs to consume (Larloch's Liches).

It's also worth remembering that the standard Lich lore points towards them needing to consume Souls to sustain their power... So, building on that by having Larloch's Liches consuming lesser Liches, isn't a big jump in rationale... and supports the idea of keeping their overall numbers low.

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

Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened. -Dr. Seuss
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
5843 Posts

Posted - 09 Jun 2017 :  01:53:47  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by valarmorgulis

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.



I'd say a lot more become archmages, but also they don't live nearly as long. Even with lichdom, archmages will destroy one another. Also, archmages will develop spells for hunting down phylacteries in particular.

Oh, and when it comes to liches, I personally don't like the new school rules where a lich just "reforms" from nothing. I like the old rules where they have to have a prepared body waiting. Same with dracoliches. Now, some liches might learn some tricks that let them form a new body, but that should be special, not the norm. Same with dracoliches.. they used to have a body prepared. Of course, the trade off in the new rules is that a lich has to keep their phylactery close (essentially they have to bring it with them, though they may have some way of hiding it magically).

I also like the idea that they have to maintain their bodies by periodically performing rituals with larvae for the soul energy. It forces the lich to get out and interact with the world (well, with night hags).


Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
5843 Posts

Posted - 09 Jun 2017 :  02:05:00  Show Profile Send sleyvas 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. 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.



The idea that wizards never share secrets is possibly one of the silliest things I hear people say in the game. Yes, a wizard that creates some new spell may try to keep it secret. However, once 5 other people have made a similar spell, its not unique. So, whenever they want to learn some other spell from another wizard, they're generally going to be willing to swap information on spells. Cooperation is natural in a complex environment to a degree (I see it in IT all the time, and yes you can keep some things to yourself while still being willing to share).

When you think about it, lichdom isn't unique. Liches will interact with one another. Word will get out if a certain ritual is causing liches to become slaves. The best way to keep it secret is to make it hard to figure out why things go awry. If its something like I describe where you're putting in doctored components whenever you find out someone is about to perform the rituals that would make it very hard to track because its not any ONE ritual. Hell, rather than trying to slip someone tainted components via the marketplace, he could even be simply slipping into their workspace and swapping things last second.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30235 Posts

Posted - 09 Jun 2017 :  04:10:04  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Upon reflection, I think it would be most likely that Larloch's servitor liches are all willing, or at least mostly willing, to serve him.

I would expect that he finds a lich he likes, and makes an offer to the lich: service to Larloch, in exchange for unique magics, ready access to spell components, security, a huge library, and the collective arcane wisdom of all the other servitor liches.

He may or may not mention that the oath of service requires some serious binding magics, maybe something more powerful than a geas -- and/or Larloch being ready with his nifty magic that targets phylacteries.

Why is this my stance? Well, obviously, there's the issue of finding someone who is already a worthy candidate, ready to join. But there's also the fact that unwilling servants are troublesome to deal with. Sure, he could destroy any lich that annoyed him -- but that's just plain a waste of time and energy that could be directed elsewhere.

Therefore, he finds an existing lich, and makes what is to that lich an attractive offer. He uses magic to seal the deal, though, because he's no idiot. He gets a trustworthy servant, and the lich gets more of what prompted them to pursue undeath in the first place. Everyone wins, except for those who would work against Larloch.

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