Has anyone ever had a player character in their group try to become a lich?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

51 to 100 of 127 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Dotting for Ashiel's awesome breakdown.

+1Gajillion


@Ashiel
Thanks for the great writeup!

@OP
While Kingmaker indeed has a somewhat loose time frame it still should take a long time for anyone to become a lich. This however presents the opportunity to let the other PCs do two or three level ups while the Necro player plays some kind of cohort until his main has made the transition.

This would be a nice build up and explain a long absence and also let the final transformation feel like a big reward without totally overpowering the char.


Ashiel wrote:


Ahhh, the infamous dry lich. The only listed creature with a very high CR that is completely destroyed by a 0-level spell. ☺

I know you're joking, but Create Water would only do 2d4 damage to a dry lich (as per holy water), just slightly more than Disrupt Undead. So by that standard, every undead creature can be completely destroyed by a 0-level spell...slowly. :-)

Scarab Sages

wraithstrike wrote:

I agree the process should be difficult, but I don't agree with the automatic enemies as a part of the process. Failure and death would be possible if it was in my game though.

The player would probably be hoarding their gold for the phylactery so as a fellow party member I would expect some sort of trade at times. Part of it up front, and the rest later.

Liches are one of the traditional "Big Bad Evil Guys" of fantasy RPGs. If a PC wants to become one, then they need to be willing to take on all of the baggage that goes with it, including having the forces of good rally against them as well as the occasional party of adventurers attempting to stop them.

After all, it's not like the PCs don't normally acquire enemies and long-running opponents in the course of their adventuring. Success doesn't always mean that they get away scott free. That should go double for when they're trying to gain immortality via dark magic.


Assigning enemies is not a good idea. The player's actions can determine who does or does not like him. This basically amounts to you autofailing your diplomacy and bluff checks. Most liches are unknown until the PC's find out about them which means they don't have a lot of enemies because they are smart enough to stay below the radar. Having paladins knocking on your door is bad for business and life. Any lich not smart enough to realize this probably won't live too long.
Even if past liches had several enemies then being smart enough to not make the same mistake is a prime way to succeed.

Lich A:died because he pissed a nearby kingdom off
Lich B:angered some dragons, dead
Lich C:did not try to hide his plan. An adventuring party got him.
Lich D:tried to doublecross several outsiders, dead now

Smart lich: sees a pattern and tries to avoid it. Makes nice with people, does favors, pulls strings. By the time they know what is up he is probably too powerful for a direct assault.

In short tradition, not that this is one, is no excuse for silly behavior.


Wolfsnap wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

I agree the process should be difficult, but I don't agree with the automatic enemies as a part of the process. Failure and death would be possible if it was in my game though.

The player would probably be hoarding their gold for the phylactery so as a fellow party member I would expect some sort of trade at times. Part of it up front, and the rest later.

Liches are one of the traditional "Big Bad Evil Guys" of fantasy RPGs. If a PC wants to become one, then they need to be willing to take on all of the baggage that goes with it, including having the forces of good rally against them as well as the occasional party of adventurers attempting to stop them.

After all, it's not like the PCs don't normally acquire enemies and long-running opponents in the course of their adventuring. Success doesn't always mean that they get away scott free. That should go double for when they're trying to gain immortality via dark magic.

Dark magic is not an excuse to not be careful. The adventures gain enemies because they are messing up someone's plans for conquest, and don't normally try to hide their tracks. If the PC's can go into stealth mode and pull it off it should work. In one of my games the players had hats of disguises to not be noticed at certain times.

Scarab Sages

wraithstrike wrote:
Assigning enemies is not a good idea.

This statement boggles me. DMs assign enemies all the time! It's like the number one job of a DM.

The point is that every PC action should have an appropriate NPC reaction. If, in the process of creating her phylactery, Necro-girl needs to smash the altar of Holy Light, gut the Acolytes of Holy Light, and splash their blood around the temple, then the congregation and any associated ecclesiastical organization are going to do their best to find out who wrecked their temple and exact retribution. Even if Necro-girl managed to do it all on the down-low and kept it quiet until after the fact, the pathfinder equivalent of CSI will come into the temple and won't rest until they've collected some evidence. Just because Necro-girl's public identity is Princess Sunshine, doesn't mean that she'll never be found out. I hear that the Paladins of Holy Light are real persistent about stuff like that.

I'm not saying that the moment she takes her first step down the path to Lichedom, she should be beset at all sides. The process of becoming a Lich should be a slowly escalating series of horrors and atrocities that become harder and harder to conceal the further one progresses, culminating in an orgy of death and blasphemy that is pretty much guaranteed to wake the neighbors. (That goes double if you live next to a graveyard.) Eventually, her enemies will be able to find her simply by following the trail of corpses.

And it's not all about being hunted by the forces of Good, either. Becoming a Lich should require dealing with, shall we say, "questionable" powers and entities at best. You know, the kind of beings that absolutely love to lure mortals in with the promise of immortal power, only to attach some horrible riders to the deal or just plain old bait-and-switch for a gribbly demise.


Beckett wrote:

Ive done this a few times, but never in PF. In 3.5, aside from all the rp requirements, it took a minimume of 1/2 a year (of uninterupted) crafting just to make the item. I think PF has changed that, but it still takes a very long time. Also, in PF, each Lich's formula, ritual, process, etc. . . is unique to that indivual. So finding notes may or may not help them at all.

Apart from what has been previously said I'll add my twopence.

Given that becoming a lich involves the creation of a Phylactery and that THIS item is not only expensive, but unique for each lich, I would strongly consider taking notes during the campaign of allies/enemies, in-game situations and what your necromancer player did to them/in them, how she behaved, what loose ends there where, so that you can require really personal "components" for the phylactery (left eye of first NPC that dropped her bellow 0 HP, for instance...)

This should also not be a "shopping" list, but flashes of insight/product of extensive research in which the character realizes what she needs next.

Good luck and enjoy!

BTW: post results once this ends!


My first suggestion is to rip out the any evil requirement for the template if your game is based on non-evil alignments. Lichdom has been used in varying other worlds as an approach for finishing out tasks over centuries, guarding loved ones from oncoming death (the noble sacrifice piece), or the traditional method of necromancers gaining power for ULTIMATE CONQUEST! (Apparently, necromancers are incapable of desiring anything else other then territory and power, but I won't make derail this thread into a fantasy trope discussion.)

I would suggest two methods of approaching lichdom for PCs:

1. Break the template down into class levels/prestige class, and slowly convert the PC into a lich as he researches the lore required. At the end of the prestige class, the PC finally achieves all of the full power of lichdom. 5 levels would work nicely for this type of breakdown, granting two powers each (such as DR 5 magic and energy resistance 10, then 20, etc). Or if you prefer a longer quest, and power development, break it down over 10 levels. Heroes of Horror did a nice example of this with the dread necromancer.

2. Use XP and gold costs created in a series of adventures based on gathering the components for the rituals.

Dark Archive

First, I think the DM should absolutely allow it. Something unique and different like this will tingle the imagination for all involved. It should be hard, but please do not use DM fiat to screw him over. The path to getting lichdom is hard enough without the DM using DM fiat to screw him over every little thing the player didn't think of, but the character would know much better. I think within Kingmaker, there are some great opportunities to let the players really go nuts with their ideas. Building a kingdom, even if it's not mighty Taldor, Cheliax, or Qadira, empowers the players. Let them have their crazy dreams in this particular setting.

Second, make sure the players are cool with the idea. Let each one of them having their crazy idea, and let them work together (ideally) towards it. Being a lich is obviously evil (unless you allow good liches), so if there's a paladin, that player and the lich player will work to work together with you (the DM) and figure out how to proceed to not step on toes.

Third, and I think this might be the most important. Even after Kingmaker ends, try and figure out how to run other things. You probably need to homebrew it, along with using epic rules from 3.5 as a guideline. The reason is that become a lich could be fun, but it's not as fun as once he does, the campaigns ends soon. It's like buying a new car or toy, and only getting to play with it for a little while before it's gone. This applies to all the characters. If the paladin becomes an avatar of his god, he'll want to play that for a while. Let them.


hogarth wrote:
Ashiel wrote:


Ahhh, the infamous dry lich. The only listed creature with a very high CR that is completely destroyed by a 0-level spell. ☺
I know you're joking, but Create Water would only do 2d4 damage to a dry lich (as per holy water), just slightly more than Disrupt Undead. So by that standard, every undead creature can be completely destroyed by a 0-level spell...slowly. :-)

If memory serves, they take a specific amount of damage based on how much water that is poured on them. Last I recall, create water was 2 gallons / level, which means at CR 13 you're pouring some 26 gallons of water per casting of the orison.

Hence, the humor. :P


Ashiel wrote:
hogarth wrote:
Ashiel wrote:


Ahhh, the infamous dry lich. The only listed creature with a very high CR that is completely destroyed by a 0-level spell. ☺
I know you're joking, but Create Water would only do 2d4 damage to a dry lich (as per holy water), just slightly more than Disrupt Undead. So by that standard, every undead creature can be completely destroyed by a 0-level spell...slowly. :-)

If memory serves, they take a specific amount of damage based on how much water that is poured on them. Last I recall, create water was 2 gallons / level, which means at CR 13 you're pouring some 26 gallons of water per casting of the orison.

Hence, the humor. :P

It just says regular water causes damage as if it were holy water. Now you could argue that a gallon of holy water does eight times as much damage as a pint of holy water, but that would be using real world logic, not D&D logic.

:-)


hogarth wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
hogarth wrote:
Ashiel wrote:


Ahhh, the infamous dry lich. The only listed creature with a very high CR that is completely destroyed by a 0-level spell. ☺
I know you're joking, but Create Water would only do 2d4 damage to a dry lich (as per holy water), just slightly more than Disrupt Undead. So by that standard, every undead creature can be completely destroyed by a 0-level spell...slowly. :-)

If memory serves, they take a specific amount of damage based on how much water that is poured on them. Last I recall, create water was 2 gallons / level, which means at CR 13 you're pouring some 26 gallons of water per casting of the orison.

Hence, the humor. :P

It just says regular water causes damage as if it were holy water. Now you could argue that a gallon of holy water does eight times as much damage as a pint of holy water, but that would be using real world logic, not D&D logic.

:-)

Actually, that's exactly how it works. :P


Ashiel wrote:
Actually, that's exactly how it works. :P

(Note to self: In Ashiel's game, dropping a 16 lb. rock on someone's head does 16x as much damage as dropping a 1 lb. rock on someone's head. Stock up on Shrink Item spells.)


hogarth wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Actually, that's exactly how it works. :P
(Note to self: In Ashiel's game, dropping a 16 lb. rock on someone's head does 16x as much damage as dropping a 1 lb. rock on someone's head. Stock up on Shrink Item spells.)

Actually, heavier objects deal more damage when they fall on people. So a 16 lb. rock might indeed deal more damage than a 1 lb. rock. The Pathfinder rules for falling object damage are a bit more abstract (and I'd say, less accurate) than the 3.x falling object rules.

So yes, shrink object has often been kind of an amazing spell for abusing falling damage. In fact, my brother and I were talking about how a wizard can pour out his bag of "marbles" (read: shrunken boulders) over some moron who laughs at him from the ground inside an antimagic field.

It's not a direct conversion. +1 lb doesn't equate to +*1.
However, hitting an undead with 8 flasks of holy water, to my knowledge, does in fact deal x8 as much damage as holy water. Now, I suppose a GM could rule that there are diminishing returns (which is more or less how I handled explosives), but by default, dropping 26 gallons of holy water (or 208 vials) of holy water on an enemy works.

No one said it wasn't a bit cheesy. :P

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Wolfsnap wrote:


This statement boggles me. DMs assign enemies all the time! It's like the number one job of a DM.

My problem with the suggested enemies is, you have to apply it equally or you break verisimilitude.

If the PC lich is the only one with a plethora of enemies, the players are going to ask 'where are all the NPCs that hate <NPC lich>? Shouldn't they be lining up to help us? Why haven't we heard legends about this guys dastardly deeds in becoming a lich?'

As long as you're willing to come up with the same horrifying backstory and laundry list of enemies gunning for the NPC lich as much as the PC lich, it's fine.


Zealot wrote:
Well have fun with that. Trust me mate, this isnt a fun thing. You have to understand that when you apply the template to a PC, it will inevitably give that player a very big advantage. The other thing to keep in mind is whether or not you would like to have someone running a lich in your game. The player is going to be very self absorbed, its a lich afterall. Its hard to DM this type of situation but if you are up to it and it wont bugger up your game have fun.

We houseruled that adopting a template (or reincarnating with a non-PC race) incurs a permanent level penalty equal to the value of the CR bonus in the template.

Works great.

And we have a player working on lich in our group too. When he does take it, he's going to drop two levels as part of the transformation.

Scarab Sages

TriOmegaZero wrote:

My problem with the suggested enemies is, you have to apply it equally or you break verisimilitude.

If the PC lich is the only one with a plethora of enemies, the players are going to ask 'where are all the NPCs that hate <NPC lich>? Shouldn't they be lining up to help us? Why haven't we heard legends about this guys dastardly deeds in becoming a lich?'

As long as you're willing to come up with the same horrifying backstory and laundry list of enemies gunning for the NPC lich as much as the PC lich, it's fine.

Ummmm - the enemies of an NPC Lich are generally the PCs and their allies?

Besides, the original post doesn't make mention of any NPC liches - we're talking about a PC who wants to BECOME a Lich. All I'm saying is that the process should be so unspeakably horrific that the act of completing it will offend and anger the forces or Order and Civilization and generally give the supplicant an incredibly nasty and fearsome reputation that will hang around them for centuries. (Assuming they succeed and are not stopped by said forces of order and civilization.)

Generally, when a group of PCs goes blundering into the domain of a Lich (as they do) it is centuries after the fact, the forces of order have failed, and most or all of the Liche's former enemies are dead or passed on, and/or the Lich has secreted itself away somewhere far from civilization to do whatever nasty business it cares to. Of course, the Lich's nasty reputation survives.

The tale of how Necro-girl became a Lich should be an epic cautionary horror-story that the Bards will sing of for ages. Otherwise, what's the point? :P

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Again, what happens to the PC lich should have happened to every NPC lich ever. If the DM does not put the effort into that as well, he should expect the players to call him on it.

Necro-girl being spoken of in whispers and midnight tales is great, until the PCs go to tackle Mumm-Ra the Ever-living and find out all he did was submit a Change of Living Status form with background check, and ask why he was treated different.

Scarab Sages

TriOmegaZero wrote:

Again, what happens to the PC lich should have happened to every NPC lich ever. If the DM does not put the effort into that as well, he should expect the players to call him on it.

Necro-girl being spoken of in whispers and midnight tales is great, until the PCs go to tackle Mumm-Ra the Ever-living and find out all he did was submit a Change of Living Status form with background check, and ask why he was treated different.

I suppose I can understand that! Although I have to say that I would hope that there are no Liches who DON'T have fearsome reputations of epic horror in my campaign world. :P That would just be silly.

Sovereign Court

Why shouldn't there bee some with almost no reputation? Maybe it is stuck in it's lair, just wanting to be left alone and to do it's research. Maybe it meticulously erased every record of it's existence and killed people who knew about it.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Necro-girl being spoken of in whispers and midnight tales is great, until the PCs go to tackle Mumm-Ra the Ever-living and find out all he did was submit a Change of Living Status form with background check, and ask why he was treated different.

Change of Living Status forms, that's rich. Reminds me of the Department of Slavery that came up in one of my campaigns.


I didn't see anyone else mention it, but you can actually find a fully described process for lichdom in certain 2nd edition books. Specifically if you can find a pdf of the Encyclopedia Magica, there is a book/manual or tome of Lichdom that gives an indepth description of the process.
Some spells may need to be changed but everything else should be good.

Though note, I don't recall exactly the process... but a PC will need to be evil or will become evil during it. At the very least I recall that murdering a unicorn and an innocent are involved.


TriOmegaZero wrote:

[

My problem with the suggested enemies is, you have to apply it equally or you break verisimilitude.

If the PC lich is the only one with a plethora of enemies, the players are going to ask 'where are all the NPCs that hate <NPC lich>? Shouldn't they be lining up to help us? Why haven't we heard legends about this guys dastardly deeds in becoming a lich?'

As long as you're willing to come up with the same horrifying backstory and laundry list of enemies gunning for the NPC lich as much as the PC lich, it's fine.

He's outlived them :)

that's the beauty of the immortal monsters... All the people he screwed over to get his power, are long dust now. All that's left are rumors and legends...

Once he became undead... he went about his spell research or trapping his lair... or whatever for a couple of hundred years

Sadly the PC lich is still DOING the horrible things and leaving family members and townfolk around with active vendettas.

That's the IN game reasoning for PCs to have more enemies coming out of the woodwork then the NPCs... OUT of game... THEY are the stars of the game and THEY have to be the ones to deal with the threats.

It's pretty much the same reason that Daredevil doesn't just call the Avengers or SHIELD to deal with every supervillian he comes across... It's HIS book. YES Thor can deal with Kingpin more decisively... but It's DAREDEVIL'S show ;)

If the NPC lich is a brand new monster... then Absolutely, there should be a TON of people that he's wronged and a village full of torches and pitchforks just WAITING for a leader to show up...


I dunno. I could easily see a lich having just as many (if not more) allies as enemies. A powerful lich is a powerful ally.


Good Adventuring Party Coming to Kill The Current Party's Evil Lich Wizard (GAPCKCPELW, for short): "Halt, oh horrible Lich, for we fight for the forces of good! Your evilness is no match for our awesometude!"

Current Party (CP): "Oh...so where the f~*& were you guys when the evil dragon of Balphenesse was terrorizing the country? Or the man-eater of Daloria, who ate only the skins of newborns? Or when the evil cult of Desmo-dar was sacrificing the child priestess to awaken the Great Lord Cthulhu, who would bring an unending reign of madness to the land?"

GAPCKCPELW: "B-but, evilness and horrors and stuff! How dare you!"

CP: "No, how the f*+~ dare you! This "evil" lich has helped save the world dozens of times, and has decided to become a lich...to keep saving the world! Now that's a f@@%ing hero. Go conveniently show up elsewhere, wannabes."

GAPCKCPELW: "You're siding with this evil creature! To arms!"

The CP commences with slaughtering.


Wolfsnap wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Assigning enemies is not a good idea.
This statement boggles me. DMs assign enemies all the time! It's like the number one job of a DM.

I am sure you knew what I meant. Don't argue semantics. Argue the point.

Quote:


The point is that every PC action should have an appropriate NPC reaction. If, in the process of creating her phylactery, Necro-girl needs to smash the altar of Holy Light, gut the Acolytes of Holy Light, and splash their blood around the temple, then the congregation and any associated ecclesiastical organization are going to do their best to find out who wrecked their temple and exact retribution. Even if Necro-girl managed to do it all on the down-low and kept it quiet until after the fact, the pathfinder equivalent of CSI will come into the temple and won't rest until they've collected some evidence. Just because Necro-girl's public identity is Princess Sunshine, doesn't mean that she'll never be found out. I hear that the Paladins of Holy Light are real persistent about stuff like that.

How are they going to find out. You can't just say it happens. Well as the GM you can, but it kills immersion. There also has to be something to investigate, and a lead into the case. CSI does not just randomly show up at a crime scene. It also has to be worth the paladin's time. If someone happens to find a dead body he won't waste all of his time trying to figure out what happened, other than by metagaming. He needs a reason to believe that particular dead body is a special case.

Quote:
The process of becoming a Lich should be a slowly escalating series of horrors and atrocities that become harder and harder to conceal the further one progresses, culminating in an orgy of death and blasphemy that is pretty much guaranteed to wake the neighbors.

There is no logic behind this? Why do something this silly? Liches are not liked and they are feared. If a powergrab is being made then you hold your cards as long as you can.

Quote:


And it's not all about being hunted by the forces of Good, either. Becoming a Lich should require dealing with, shall we say, "questionable" powers and entities at best. You know, the kind of beings that absolutely love to lure mortals in with the promise of immortal power, only to attach some horrible riders to the deal or just plain old bait-and-switch for a gribbly demise.

I answered this with the Liches that got killed by the dragon, outsider and so on in the other post.

Yes actions should have results but having automatically assigned results should never be the case.
As an example if my PC is a thief there should be opportunities for me to get caught, and even make enemies. If I am good enough to get way then I get away. With the lich example let everything that is in game happen in game, not off screen. No need to say you screwed over organization X so they want to kill you now. If you happen to fail a/a few diplomacy/bluff/intimidate checks, renege on a deal, kill the wrong person and so on then of course you will get enemies.

Maybe you have to go to another lich for advice. Maybe he will require you to kill someone before he helps you. Maybe that someone has powerful friends. That way the player does not feel like he had no choice in the action. At the same time if the player can make the kill and not be noticed then so be it.

I just don't agree with auto penalties. I am sure there are mysteries the world has never solved. If they player can pull one off why not?


In 3.5 a bard character found what he thought was an intelligent cloak of charisma named "Phil", but was also the phylactery of the sorcerer lich they had just defeated (they smashed a gem with a necromantic aura on it).

A couple years of real time passed, and throughout the bard occasionally enhanced the cloak at it's suggestions, investing power into it and getting things like resist 10 to electricity and cold, +2 vs polymorph, etc. Minor versions of lich powers, cheaper than usual enhancements would be.

When the cloak was "fully invested" with the full requirements of a phylactery, it began to control him while he slept and perform the dark rituals to transform into a lich.

Even waking up at the scenes of the crimes, he didn't know exactly what was happening. The party ended up investigating the murders committed, and just barely stopped the final ritual.

  • Separate from all that, I really like how Paizo has decreed lichdom to be a very personal and unique process for any caster seeking it. No "Lich in a Box" kits to transform yourself, and no guarantee of success (see PF #2 for example).


  • Wolfsnap wrote:
    TriOmegaZero wrote:

    Again, what happens to the PC lich should have happened to every NPC lich ever. If the DM does not put the effort into that as well, he should expect the players to call him on it.

    Necro-girl being spoken of in whispers and midnight tales is great, until the PCs go to tackle Mumm-Ra the Ever-living and find out all he did was submit a Change of Living Status form with background check, and ask why he was treated different.

    I suppose I can understand that! Although I have to say that I would hope that there are no Liches who DON'T have fearsome reputations of epic horror in my campaign world. :P That would just be silly.

    Many Liches extend their lives to do research and not to gain power or terroize people. A lich might also be smart enough to fake their death. There any number of reason why a lich may be unknown and no good reasons to give anyone a reason to come after you, other than you setting up a trap.

    Even if you are going to be fearsome letting someone know you are a lich so that you lose the element of surprise is also a bad idea. From a strategy point of view all of your liches would have been destroyed a long time ago in my game world.

    edit:Removed 3.5 based fluff.


    phantom1592 wrote:
    TriOmegaZero wrote:

    [

    My problem with the suggested enemies is, you have to apply it equally or you break verisimilitude.

    If the PC lich is the only one with a plethora of enemies, the players are going to ask 'where are all the NPCs that hate <NPC lich>? Shouldn't they be lining up to help us? Why haven't we heard legends about this guys dastardly deeds in becoming a lich?'

    As long as you're willing to come up with the same horrifying backstory and laundry list of enemies gunning for the NPC lich as much as the PC lich, it's fine.

    He's outlived them :)

    That is not going to fly. His liches seem to make enemies and are well known as being liches. Being a lich is enough to make people want to kill you. There may even be organizations specifically designed to you. When I say you, I don't mean liches in general I mean you specifically.


    Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
    wraithstrike wrote:

    The issue is that the process changes the way you think...

    Though I could see this happening from a roleplaying fluff perspective, I see absolutely no evidence of this anywhere in the rules. Try not to speak of such things as absolutes when they are nothing more than opinion, conjecture, or whatever else that was intended to be.


    Ravingdork wrote:
    wraithstrike wrote:

    The issue is that the process changes the way you think...

    Though I could see this happening from a roleplaying fluff perspective, I see absolutely no evidence of this anywhere in the rules. Try not to speak of such things as absolutes when they are nothing more than opinion, conjecture, or whatever else that was intended to be.

    I was using 3.5 fluff which is incorrect now. It does not invalidate the rest of my post through. Even without that statement my post is still logical.

    Is there a reason why you did not tell the other poster the same thing?


    Rocketmail1 wrote:

    Good Adventuring Party Coming to Kill The Current Party's Evil Lich Wizard (GAPCKCPELW, for short): "Halt, oh horrible Lich, for we fight for the forces of good! Your evilness is no match for our awesometude!"

    Current Party (CP): "Oh...so where the f~** were you guys when the evil dragon of Balphenesse was terrorizing the country? Or the man-eater of Daloria, who ate only the skins of newborns? Or when the evil cult of Desmo-dar was sacrificing the child priestess to awaken the Great Lord Cthulhu, who would bring an unending reign of madness to the land?"

    GAPCKCPELW: "B-but, evilness and horrors and stuff! How dare you!"

    CP: "No, how the f+#+ dare you! This "evil" lich has helped save the world dozens of times, and has decided to become a lich...to keep saving the world! Now that's a f&$$ing hero. Go conveniently show up elsewhere, wannabes."

    GAPCKCPELW: "You're siding with this evil creature! To arms!"

    The CP commences with slaughtering.

    You sir win this thread. ^—^

    Scarab Sages

    wraithstrike wrote:
    I just don't agree with auto penalties.

    Okay- from what I can tell, this is the crux of your argument, if we need to have an argument rather than a discussion. Personally, I think your protestations kind of miss the point, for two reasons:

    1) You're complaining that I would impose what you call "auto-penalties" for any character who chooses to attempt Lichedom. However, you completely overlook the fact that the PC can avoid all of these so-called "penalties" quite easily: by choosing not to become a Lich!! I mean, it's really that simple. Actions should have consequences, and if you're going to become a Lich then you need to be prepared to immerse yourself in horror and blasphemy and blood up to your armpits. In short: if you can't do the time, don't do the crime!

    2) What you call "penalties" are actually BONUSES. They are the meat of the game. Attempting to overcome impossible challenges, acquiring enemies, making sacrifices to achieve a goal, butting heads with other players, battling hordes of opponents with death on the line, gaining a prodigious reputation... that's not a penalty, that's called "playing Pathfinder" and "earning lots of RP experience" to boot.

    I mean, if you just want to beat up on orcs or follow an adventure path, that's fine, and a lot of fun in its own right. More power to you. It's how we play the game most of the time. However, you don't need to attempt Lichedom to do that. You also don't need to try raising your own army, or building a castle, or becoming the Most High Templar of a deity, or setting yourself up as God-emperor, or what-have-you. However, if you DO want your PC to attempt to do those kinds of things, it can be an awesome amount of fun as well. I love it when PCs get ambitious like that - it's like the players are CREATING THEIR OWN ADVENTURE PATH, custom tailored to their goals. It means that the PCs are being active rather than reactive, and it makes the game better.

    In EVERY edition of this game, the Lich has been one of the quintessential undead Big Bad Evil Guys. If I as a GM were to just allow a PC to apply the template or otherwise work out some balanced mechanic to do so while at the same time ignoring all of the narrative baggage that comes with that template, then I as the GM would basically be cheating. I would be depriving my players of all of the adventure involved and taking away their chances to do awesome and interesting things in the game by waiving all of the narrative requirements attached to Lichedom. THAT would be the real penalty.


    Wolfsnap wrote:
    wraithstrike wrote:
    I just don't agree with auto penalties.

    Okay- from what I can tell, this is the crux of your argument, if we need to have an argument rather than a discussion. Personally, I think your protestations kind of miss the point, for two reasons:

    1) You're complaining that I would impose what you call "auto-penalties" for any character who chooses to attempt Lichedom. However, you completely overlook the fact that the PC can avoid all of these so-called "penalties" quite easily: by choosing not to become a Lich!! I mean, it's really that simple. Actions should have consequences, and if you're going to become a Lich then you need to be prepared to immerse yourself in horror and blasphemy and blood up to your armpits. In short: if you can't do the time, don't do the crime!

    2) What you call "penalties" are actually BONUSES. They are the meat of the game. Attempting to overcome impossible challenges, acquiring enemies, making sacrifices to achieve a goal, butting heads with other players, battling hordes of opponents with death on the line, gaining a prodigious reputation... that's not a penalty, that's called "playing Pathfinder" and "earning lots of RP experience" to boot.

    I know I used the word argument, but it means debate if you wish me to be precise about it.

    1. They can also choose to avoid ever having to stay risk life and limb on a consistent basis and not adventure. Should I say because there is a chance you might die on this adventure that you are already dead without giving them a chance to negate death? Doing the time for the crime assumes you get caught.

    2. That is a metagame answer. You believe in metagame solutions and I don't. Those things also happen anyway without taking control of a player's character so that is a non-point. Before you say you are not taking control of a player's character I will point something out. Everything a character does is controlled by the player or the GM. If the player did not commit to the specific(exact) action that led to something that means the GM did it. The player only gets a character to control. You as the GM have the rest of the gaming world. I see this as greed. Before you say that the becoming a lich is the specific action that led to having enemies I will say that is incorrect. That path to lichdom consist of many other actions and it is one of these other actions(such as a double cross) that determines if you get an enemy or not, such as upsetting some order of paladins, a dragon, and so on. If the player did not make the specific decision that led to this then you the GM did and have taken over the character.

    Quote:


    I mean, if you just want to beat up on orcs or follow an adventure path, that's fine, and a lot of fun in its own right. More power to you. It's how we play the game most of the time. However, you don't need to attempt Lichedom to do that. You also don't need to try raising your own army, or building a castle, or becoming the Most High Templar of a deity, or setting yourself up as God-emperor, or what-have-you. However, if you DO want your PC to attempt to do those kinds of things, it can be an awesome amount of fun as well. I love it when PCs get ambitious like that - it's like the players are CREATING THEIR OWN ADVENTURE PATH, custom tailored to their goals. It means that the PCs are being active rather than reactive, and it makes the game better.

    This really has no point at all concerning our discussion. Yeah you don't need these things to play an AP, and I would not do them under any GM who thinks he it is ok to control my character especially if my means my guys mental stats are going to drop 10 points.

    GM:You have achieved lichdom.
    Player:Cool
    GM:A duke of hell wants you dead because you reneged on a contract.
    Player:My character would not do that. He is lawful and he knows how powerful those guys are.
    GM:That is the price for being a lich
    Player:The price for being a lich is for me to make stupid decisions?
    GM:All the cools liches are doing it.
    Player:I will pass. How can I expect to live forever making dumb decisions like that. It kind of defeats the purpose with me inviting trouble to my front door and all.

    Quote:


    In EVERY edition of this game, the Lich has been one of the quintessential undead Big Bad Evil Guys. If I as a GM were to just allow a PC to apply the template or otherwise work out some balanced mechanic to do so while at the same time ignoring all of the narrative baggage that comes with that template, then I as the GM would basically be cheating. I would be depriving my players of all of the adventure involved and taking away their chances to do awesome and interesting things in the game by waiving all of the narrative requirements attached to Lichedom. THAT would be the real penalty.

    The Lich has always been a terrible guy, I agree. I think I see the disconnect. You have already agreed to let the player have the template as a foregone conclusion. In that case I agree with them having enemies. I only give players the opportunity to become liches. I would give them a list of things to do ahead of time. Some of them would be very possible at that time, and others out of their power level. If they happen to take on the wrong quest at the wrong time they will probably end up dead. They will also have to make certain knowledge checks to represent research and experiments. Messing these up might also get you killed or cause the experiment to fail. If you royally jack up an check it could really mess you up down the line. You might waste resources and have to complete a quest again, and maybe even a harder quest. Once one list is complete they would most likely get another list. By the time they achieve lichdom, if they do, they will have earned it with no need for me to just invoke auto-penalties. I would not however make them jump through a lot of hoops and tell them they have enemies anyway. I don't give things away either though. They will earn it one way or another.

    PS:It will be completely possible for the process to fail killing them or if they are lucky, not kill them at the end, assuming they survive the quests that is.


    Personally, if you want to go there, I'd let the character take the template -- though I agree with earlier posters -- the phylactery is a personal item and so while the notes of others will help, part of the process will (necessarily) be figuring out how to adapt to the self, and I do think that making one's self lichy should require evil acts (and, in fact, that the ritual itself is probably a series of specific spells with the evil descriptor and some rather... unpleasant... material components). Personally, I'd far rather RP/play through all of that (especially to see how the lich-wannabe deals with the good aligned party in terms of the acquiring of some of those items...)

    In terms of balancing it, though, I would point out that the last step toward becoming undead is that annoying mortal death -- and generally, coming back from mortal death attaches negative levels -- so, really, you cast the final spells as Wizard 18, drink the poison, die, and you wake up as a Lich, Wizard 16. Problem solved, everyone makes with the merry (you know, except the families of the people you harvested for spell components..)

    Scarab Sages

    wraithstrike wrote:
    I know I used the word argument, but it means debate if you wish me to be precise about it.

    I'm sorry, this is Abuse. You want Mr. Barnard in 12a, next door.

    wraithstrike wrote:
    1. They can also choose to avoid ever having to stay risk life and limb on a consistent basis and not adventure. Should I say because there is a chance you might die on this adventure that you are already dead without giving them a chance to negate death? Doing the time for the crime assumes you get caught.

    Perhaps I should have said "If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen?" Adventurers do stupid and reckless things all the time. It's a hallmark of the game.

    Quote:
    2. That is a metagame answer. You believe in metagame solutions and I don't.

    Calling them penalties is just as much a metagame answer as calling them bonuses. Also, I'm not proposing solutions, I'm denying the existence of a problem. So there.

    Quote:
    Those things also happen anyway without taking control of a player's character so that is a non-point. Before you say you are not taking control of a player's character I will point something out...

    You are trying to apply the logic of crunch rules to what is essentially a narrative issue, and it doesn't wash. You also seem to think that I am talking about making things happen by GM fiat rather than Role-play, which is again missing the point.

    Quote:

    This really has no point at all concerning our discussion. Yeah you don't need these things to play an AP, and I would not do them under any GM who thinks he it is ok to control my character especially if my means my guys mental stats are going to drop 10 points.

    GM:You have achieved lichdom.
    Player:Cool
    GM:A duke of hell wants you dead because you reneged on a contract.
    Player:My character would not do that. He is lawful and he knows how powerful those guys are.
    GM:That is the price for being a lich
    Player:The price for being a lich is for me to make stupid decisions?
    GM:All the cools liches are doing it.
    Player:I will pass. How can I expect to live forever making dumb decisions like that. It kind of defeats the purpose with me inviting trouble to my front door and all.

    You're right, if any GM behaved that way it would be stupid and unimaginative and pointless. Let's re-examine the dialog WITHOUT assuming that the GM is a bone-head:

    Player: I want to attempt Lichedom.
    GM: Okay, your research shows that you will need to commit an epic blasphemy to properly empower the transformation.
    Player: How do I do that?
    GM: There are numerous examples in your research. Zhelast the Undying tortured and vivisected the High Priest of Ra in his grand temple while forcing the entire congregation to watch, and he collected their tears of outrage. Thumvir the Black chained the five Grand Templars to a public altar in the grand square of Zum and force-fed them the priests they had sworn to protect before blinding them all and turning them loose to wander the desert of Thud.
    Player: Dang, how did they get away with that?
    GM: Well, Zhelast's actions sparked a five-year war, but he was clever and managed to work the bloodshed into his greater plans. He was ultimately cursed by Ra, though.
    Player: Tough break.
    GM: well, you can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs, etc.
    Player: Anything else?
    GM: You'll need the freshly-spilled blood of a well-loved hero who has been slain by a Bone Devil.
    Player: How am I supposed to get that?
    GM: I have no idea, but I'm sure you'll think of something...

    Quote:
    ...By the time they achieve lichdom, if they do, they will have earned it with no need for me to just invoke auto-penalties.

    Again with the "auto-penalties". Heads up: if the PCs go raiding into a den of evil Orcs in my game, they will invoke the "auto-penalty" of the Orcs attacking them.

    This whole "auto-penalty" thing sounds like a thin argument against giving the PCs difficult choices. While I agree that Pathfinder does not need to be the vehicle for exploring delicate questions of morality, that doesn't mean that the PC's course of action should always be clear-cut or that they shouldn't be forced to choose between bad options sometimes. While it's certainly possible to present grueling challenges to a character, the only REAL way to challenge a PLAYER is to give him or her a difficult choice to make. Good players love those kinds of challenges, because it gives them a real stake in an outcome that doesn't depend on dice rolling.

    Although at that point, we've pretty much gotten beyond the question of how to adjudicate PC lichedom and are veering dangerously into game philosophy, so I'm going to bow out now before I get arrested by a member of the special flying squad.


    Wolfsnap wrote:
    wraithstrike wrote:
    I know I used the word argument, but it means debate if you wish me to be precise about it.

    I'm sorry, this is Abuse. You want Mr. Barnard in 12a, next door.

    wraithstrike wrote:
    1. They can also choose to avoid ever having to stay risk life and limb on a consistent basis and not adventure. Should I say because there is a chance you might die on this adventure that you are already dead without giving them a chance to negate death? Doing the time for the crime assumes you get caught.

    Perhaps I should have said "If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen?" Adventurers do stupid and reckless things all the time. It's a hallmark of the game.

    Quote:
    2. That is a metagame answer. You believe in metagame solutions and I don't.

    Calling them penalties is just as much a metagame answer as calling them bonuses. Also, I'm not proposing solutions, I'm denying the existence of a problem. So there.

    Quote:
    Those things also happen anyway without taking control of a player's character so that is a non-point. Before you say you are not taking control of a player's character I will point something out...

    You are trying to apply the logic of crunch rules to what is essentially a narrative issue, and it doesn't wash. You also seem to think that I am talking about making things happen by GM fiat rather than Role-play, which is again missing the point.

    Quote:

    This really has no point at all concerning our discussion. Yeah you don't need these things to play an AP, and I would not do them under any GM who thinks he it is ok to control my character especially if my means my guys mental stats are going to drop 10 points.

    GM:You have achieved lichdom.
    Player:Cool
    GM:A duke of hell wants you dead because you reneged on a contract.
    Player:My character would not do that. He is lawful and he knows how powerful those guys are.
    GM:That is the price for being a lich
    Player:The price

    ...

    I was not being snarky. I was just saying that if the specific world debate matters that is the word I can use.

    Before we go any further I don't become an ass until the other poster becomes an ass first. You have been civil so we don't have any problems.

    Now can you repost that and remove your snark. All it does is force to read between the lines and cause confusion.


    Tilnar wrote:

    Personally, if you want to go there, I'd let the character take the template -- though I agree with earlier posters -- the phylactery is a personal item and so while the notes of others will help, part of the process will (necessarily) be figuring out how to adapt to the self, and I do think that making one's self lichy should require evil acts (and, in fact, that the ritual itself is probably a series of specific spells with the evil descriptor and some rather... unpleasant... material components). Personally, I'd far rather RP/play through all of that (especially to see how the lich-wannabe deals with the good aligned party in terms of the acquiring of some of those items...)

    In terms of balancing it, though, I would point out that the last step toward becoming undead is that annoying mortal death -- and generally, coming back from mortal death attaches negative levels -- so, really, you cast the final spells as Wizard 18, drink the poison, die, and you wake up as a Lich, Wizard 16. Problem solved, everyone makes with the merry (you know, except the families of the people you harvested for spell components..)

    How you come back determines if you get negative levels are not. I would understand a GM applying those levels though. I would tell the player about it up front though.


    wraithstrike wrote:
    Tilnar wrote:
    In terms of balancing it, though, I would point out that the last step toward becoming undead is that annoying mortal death -- and generally, coming back from mortal death attaches negative levels -- so, really, you cast the final spells as Wizard 18, drink the poison, die, and you wake up as a Lich, Wizard 16. Problem solved, everyone makes with the merry (you know, except the families of the people you harvested for spell components..)
    How you come back determines if you get negative levels are not. I would understand a GM applying those levels though. I would tell the player about it up front though.

    Oh - absolutely. I don't spring things on players -- as they researched the spell, they'd learn about the level penalty it was going to cost them (and explain that it was a result of the death-thing).


    Wolfsnap wrote:
    You also seem to think that I am talking about making things happen by GM fiat rather than Role-play, which is again missing the point.

    So the lich does not automatically get enemies then. The result of whether they do or not depends on RP?

    Either the RP does influence it or it does not. If it does not then it is GM Fiat.

    If you RP it, but the answer is preconceived then it is still GM Fiat


    I don't know that I'll go with the whole 'epic blasphemy' route. that might be more appropriate for a clerical lich.

    I do like the idea of the ritual being very personal. so...she'll need something from her past. something with strong emotional attachment(s). Her mother's wedding ring perhaps, maybe as her bonded magical item (she IS a necromancer after all). then she'll probably need to spend time researching spells necessary to empower the phylactery.

    ooo! I just thought of a use for that slain unicorn in kingmaker one! it WAS slain by a powerful necromantic spell, possibly tainting the land around the corpse.


    Mr. Quick wrote:

    I don't know that I'll go with the whole 'epic blasphemy' route. that might be more appropriate for a clerical lich.

    I do like the idea of the ritual being very personal. so...she'll need something from her past. something with strong emotional attachment(s). Her mother's wedding ring perhaps, maybe as her bonded magical item (she IS a necromancer after all). then she'll probably need to spend time researching spells necessary to empower the phylactery.

    ooo! I just thought of a use for that slain unicorn in kingmaker one! it WAS slain by a powerful necromantic spell, possibly tainting the land around the corpse.

    You know, it would be kind of cool if during the act of becoming the lich, she actually cleansed the land of its taint by absorbing it. This would be a really cool method for a neutral or good lich to suddenly shift to evil during the process of becoming a lich (perhaps later seeking atonement to purify their spirits).

    In a sense, it would be kind of like how the bible says Jesus took the sin of the world upon him before he died (not trying to offend any fellow Christians with drawing a direct analog between Jesus and liches, though he did come back to life a few days later). This would be a very cool way for a lich to reach immortality, no?


    Ashiel wrote:


    You know, it would be kind of cool if during the act of becoming the lich, she actually cleansed the land of its taint by absorbing it. This would be a really cool method for a neutral or good lich to suddenly shift to evil during the process of becoming a lich (perhaps later seeking atonement to purify their spirits).

    In a sense, it would be kind of like how the bible says Jesus took the sin of the world upon him before he died (not trying to offend any fellow Christians with drawing a direct analog between Jesus and liches, though he did come back to life a few days later). This would be a very cool way for a lich to reach immortality, no?

    now THAT is an interesting idea indeed....in the process of becoming a lich, the player could drain all the blight druid taint out of their kingdom to fuel her ritual.

    this would really make for an interesting long term plan.

    Grand Lodge

    Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
    Ashiel wrote:

    You know, it would be kind of cool if during the act of becoming the lich, she actually cleansed the land of its taint by absorbing it. This would be a really cool method for a neutral or good lich to suddenly shift to evil during the process of becoming a lich (perhaps later seeking atonement to purify their spirits).

    In a sense, it would be kind of like how the bible says Jesus took the sin of the world upon him before he died (not trying to offend any fellow Christians with drawing a direct analog between Jesus and liches, though he did come back to life a few days later). This would be a very cool way for a lich to reach immortality, no?

    Ashiel, are you at all interested in anime? (Warning: Link has spoilers for the subject series. Not recommended reading if you want to watch the show spoiler free.)

    This has no relevance to the thread at all. Really. None. >.>


    TriOmegaZero wrote:
    Ashiel wrote:

    You know, it would be kind of cool if during the act of becoming the lich, she actually cleansed the land of its taint by absorbing it. This would be a really cool method for a neutral or good lich to suddenly shift to evil during the process of becoming a lich (perhaps later seeking atonement to purify their spirits).

    In a sense, it would be kind of like how the bible says Jesus took the sin of the world upon him before he died (not trying to offend any fellow Christians with drawing a direct analog between Jesus and liches, though he did come back to life a few days later). This would be a very cool way for a lich to reach immortality, no?

    Ashiel, are you at all interested in anime? (Warning: Link has spoilers for the subject series. Not recommended reading if you want to watch the show spoiler free.)

    This has no relevance to the thread at all. Really. None. >.>

    Hmm. Having looked it up on Wikipedia after you linked me to tvtropes, it looks like an interesting show, and I wouldn't mind seeing it.

    As to being interested in anime, I've watched anime and read manga for a long time. Back before it was the cool thing to do, even (before it starting coming on mainstream American television). I'm pretty fond of a lot of the older 80s / early 90s animes, such as Ghost in the Shell, Tank Police, Ninja Scroll, Vampire Hunter D (and the newer Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust). Some of my favorite series would be Tenchi Muyo & Tenchi Universe (I never liked Tenchi in Tokyo much as I felt the characters didn't act like themselves, and I wanted to kill Tenchi when he slapped Ryoko).

    I also enjoyed watching Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z, Magic Knight Rayearth (great series), Gundam Wing, Gundam 8th MS Team, Ranma 1/2 (read the Manga mostly), Rurouni Kenshin / Samurai X, and some other stuff. I also used to read the Sailor Moon manga in MixZine, along with Parasite, and Harlem Beat (it was about basket ball). Of course, there's also studio ghibli movies, as I fell in love with My Neighbor Totoro back in the 90s when I watched it as a teenager/kid. Later, Kiki's deliver service, Castle in the Sky, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, etc. I've actually got a copy of Grave of the Fireflies, but I've yet to get around to watching it because from what I've heard, it will probably make me bawl my eyes out.

    Ultimately, I really don't get to see anime very often. Money's tight, and I generally only see anime or manga that's recommended or shared with my by my friends (most of whom I actually got into anime/manga years ago, and now they're huge anime junkies :P). Sometimes, however, I find something on my own.

    I've recently fallen in love with Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt which is made by the same company that did Neon Genesis Evangelion, and Fooly Cooly, and is an amazing parody of both american cartoons and general sanity (by parody of sanity, I mean I'm not sure I have any for loving this show as I do). It's probably NSFW (no nudity but the subject matter gets pretty...odd), but can be watched legally on YouTube, last I checked (as can another famous anime by the same studio company).

    Why'd you ask?

    Grand Lodge

    Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

    If the wiki didn't spoil the secret for you, all I'll say is that PMMM is VERY relevant to this thread

    Also, I have seen every anime you listed minus Tank Police and Grave of the Fireflies(this one for the same reason).


    TriOmegaZero wrote:

    If the wiki didn't spoil the secret for you, all I'll say is that PMMM is VERY relevant to this thread

    Also, I have seen every anime you listed minus Tank Police and Grave of the Fireflies(this one for the same reason).

    Well I didn't read the wiki too closely. Just skimmed it. I'll try to see it something in the near-ish future, since you've got me a bit curious now.

    Also, I'm putting together a guide for Necromancy in Pathfinder, ala Treantmonk style. I've been writing it today, and here's what I've got thus far. Wanna gimme your thoughts?

    Unfinished Unofficial Pathfinder Necromancy Guidebook v0.0.1

    PS - If you can, check out tank police. It's a really fun anime. There's also a "New Dominion Tank Police" OVA series, I think. I only got to see the first episode or two of that one.

    Grand Lodge

    Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

    I can look at it, but I'm going to have to read the PF necromancy rules as I go to give any good feedback on it. XD


    TriOmegaZero wrote:
    I can look at it, but I'm going to have to read the PF necromancy rules as I go to give any good feedback on it. XD

    Hey, sounds good to me. On a side note, the book is unfinished (and it should list mummy as +5 CR in the Unlife of the Party section at the current end). It's definitely unfinished, but I think I killed a solid chunk of the initial build this evening.

    The first build is essentially a death knight (undead mongering warrior priest thing). A cleric who's all about undead and getting in your face with some melee whupass. I've played clerics of this sort before, and they have very little need for Wisdom past Wis 13 to make them function correctly (though 19 is of course desired, 'cause you want all your spell levels), and they can be a lot of fun.

    After that section is complete, I'll likely move on to the arcane necromancers, then hybrids, multiclassing, and other tips & tricks, considerations, plot ideas, etc, etc, etc. Dunno what all I'll add to it yet, as there's room for a lot.

    51 to 100 of 127 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
    Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / General Discussion / Has anyone ever had a player character in their group try to become a lich? All Messageboards

    Want to post a reply? Sign in.