How do you tell if something is a Lich's phylactery?


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Tacticslion wrote:
After an hour, 1/240th of the guy would be built - that's less than an inch.

Since the lich's feet appearing first sounds a bit comical, let's try to find another interpretation for what happens why you carry an active phylactery around, one that feels appropriately sinister. Something like this:

The lich's body forms from dust that gradually coalesces and solidifies in the air. This starts to happen whenever the party stays in one place for more than a few hours. On the first night it is barely perceivable - Perception 30 for anyone on watch to see an odd dust cloud and hear barely perceptible whispering. The cloud detects as evil and undead. If attacked with any magic weapon, it disperses easily.

One the second night, anyone paying attention will see a floating dust cloud, but it's hard to identify (Knowledge: Religion 35 to realise what it is, though if they still can't guess what the phylactery is, there's not much they can do about it). The dust spirit, if not dispersed, can impose Will saves on the party; failure causes fatigue from lack of sleep or similar minor penalties.

On the third night, the dust is in a more humanoid form. (Knowledge Religion 30 to identify.) Its touch can inflict paralysis if it chooses. It will try to hide from the party while it regains its strength. It still can't be harmed.

On the fourth night, the lich reforms fully. Its goal is to grab its phylactery and escape; murdering the party is a secondary objective.


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Tacticslion wrote:

Familial bloodline lich

Wow. They used my idea from many years ago!


Amusingly, I'd run the same concept that had never been fully realized. The scenario was that if a young girl (being used as a lich's phylactery) had ever had children, it would turn into a whole bloodline as phylacteries. But it never actually came to that, in-game, as the girl was saved by a goddess (the player; this was a one-off), and never had any problems.

I think it's a cool reoccurring concept that a few people have toyed around with, but haven't really done anything with in published form until then. Also, though it seems rather perfectly in keeping with the theme of evil, I'd not considered the people turning into the lich.

Either way... it's really cool! I love it when people have similar ideas! :D

Silver Crusade

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Tacticslion wrote:
blahpers wrote:

You're the GM. You decide how much time, energy, research, and funds have been put into ensorcelling the crap out of the phylactery.

If you want the lich to be unfindable, it'll be unfindable, but you don't need a lich to do that sort of thing. Make it challenging, not impossible.

Bwang wrote:
I wish more dms would take that to heart! We had one that decided that no one else could reach the BBEG's lair because it was his personal micro dimension.
Planeshift is a thing.

Slight tangent, but while technically by RAW this would work, it really shouldn't. Technically a spell components pouch has all focuses required for spellcasting, including the infinite number of tuned forked rods required to plane shift anywhere, but it really makes no sense that anyone other than the lich would have the correctly tuned rod (maybe spirits of knowledge, deities, or really adventurous astral explorers). Personally I hold that you can't just buy the key to created demiplanes in any general goods store. Gate would work fine.


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Tacticslion wrote:
Planeshift is a thing.
Planeshift wrote:
Components V, S, F (a forked metal rod attuned to the plane of travel)

Might be difficult to acquire as the fork requires material from the destination plane.


Fair. I generally think of it as though by effects such as limited wish anyway, though, so, I suppose the basic spell wouldn't work, which is my bad. Still, as pointed out, gate is also a thing, and not too hard to come by, considering it's price and where you can go to acquire something of that value. :-)


Hey, quick question, as I'm on my phone right now, and just can't look it up myself: would the falls focus feet permit you to ignore a focus? If not, does anybody know if there is any spell that has a material component value up to 100 gold, but no more than that? Because I always found that limit relatively arbitrary, and I can't really think of anything that it covers that other spells don't. I mean, up to 50 gold nets you a continual flame affect, but I'm not entirely sure what up to 100 gold actually does for you.


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false focus only talk about ignoring material components up to 100 GP not focus, so you would still need the component pouch for focus that cost less than 1 GP or buy the focus for costly one


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Tacticslion wrote:
Hey, quick question, as I'm on my phone right now, and just can't look it up myself: would the falls focus feet permit you to ignore a focus? If not, does anybody know if there is any spell that has a material component value up to 100 gold, but no more than that? Because I always found that limit relatively arbitrary, and I can't really think of anything that it covers that other spells don't. I mean, up to 50 gold nets you a continual flame affect, but I'm not entirely sure what up to 100 gold actually does for you.

I did a search at pfsrd for "worth 100 gp", selected the spells tab. There are several, but they're all niche and none are worth taking as a sorcerer's spell known in my opinion.

Shadow Lodge

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So I'm a little behind on this issue from the first page, but:

Lady-J wrote:
Baranduin wrote:

There's a PFS scenario where this shows up. ** spoiler omitted **

The true phylactery is hidden and its aura suppresed, with a false one having magic aura cast onto it, which seems a similar situation to the one you describe. If the characters destroy the decoy, they must succeed on a DC 30 Knowledge (arcana or religion) to realize something is amiss (a true philactery should've been more resilient, released magical energy once destroyed, and had a physical effect on the lich). No other solution is proposed, though [redacted] seems to be able to identify it as fake just by looking at it at the end of the adventure, so maybe a spell strong enough or a roll high enough could reveal the information.

dc 30 seems way to low a lvl 1 character can get that with a good die roll
Renata Maclean wrote:
The average Lich has a Knowledge (Arcana) modifier of +20. It's reasonable to assume that they have a decent amount of knowledge of phylacteries and their intricacies. DC 30, in that case, seems reasonable. DC 50 does not.
Lady-J wrote:
Boomerang Nebula wrote:
Liches are typically CR12, add 15 to account for the rarity of the information being sought and the base DC should be 27. It is reasonable to round that up to 30, but 50? Really?
you keep going back to identifying the lich and its dc that and discerning if a specific item is a phylactery are 2 very different things and i would expect even lichs to have at least a some what difficult time to figure out if an object is another lich's phylactery

If a lich with a +20 Knowledge (Arcana) check should have a somewhat difficult time identifying another lich's phylactery, that suggests a DC in the 31-35 range. That would mean the average lich succeeds on a 11-15. Not reliably, but it's not too much of a stretch.

Also, I think there could easily be a different DC for identifying the phylactery before and after you smash it. Figuring out whether that shiny amulet with the magic aura is a phylactery, or whether it might be that teacup on the shelf? Very difficult. I could see that being a DC over 40. Realizing that if the amulet were a phylactery it probably should have done something magic when you broke it? Somewhat less difficult. Probably not that much more difficult than knowing what a lich or a phylactery is.


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Tacticslion wrote:
After an hour, 1/240th of the guy would be built

ummm wasnt there a ruling in a book some were that a lich or graveknight reforming was undetectable until it was fully reformed?


Lady-J wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
After an hour, 1/240th of the guy would be built
ummm wasnt there a ruling in a book some were that a lich or graveknight reforming was undetectable until it was fully reformed?

Not that I know of, but I'd love a citation or quote, if possible!

Also, if so, that entirely contradicts what was said in the actual phylactery section I quoted above (which states that if it's destroyed before it's completed - indicating it can be interacted with* - it simply starts to reform), so that would be really interesting!

* The reason that this is important is that it gives them an entirely new ability not mentioned anywhere in their write-up, effectively retconning the ability and making it more powerful than indicated. They body has to be physically there, otherwise it couldn't be interrupted, but if it's invisible, incorporeal, or what-have-you, that's a whole additional set of abilities/traits/etc. that it has running for it. What's more, if it's simply not able to be interacted with in any way, that's contradictory to the text. Either way, it's a fascinating ret-con!

John Murdock wrote:
false focus only talk about ignoring material components up to 100 GP not focus, so you would still need the component pouch for focus that cost less than 1 GP or buy the focus for costly one

So, is this a case where the designers want everything to suck for the player by taking the worst possible interpretation, or a case where they assume everyone speaks "common sense" and assume the latter means that components and foci are the same?

I'm not suggesting that either of those are "the" answer that is "common sense" but I've seen the PDT generally trend in those two directions, so I'm curious which they expect us to guess at, in this case.

Follow-up: this wouldn't prove their intent, but it could give us a greater likelihood of guessing it: does anyone know if there's a spell that has a material component and a focus (other than divine focus, of course)?

Because Eschew Materials has been suggested - even in a few printed products, as I recall - to cover foci that have no particular cost. Blarg, I hate forgetting: does that feat explicitly cover foci?

Tacticslion wrote:
Hey, quick question, as I'm on my phone right now, and just can't look it up myself: would the falls focus feet permit you to ignore a focus? If not, does anybody know if there is any spell that has a material component value up to 100 gold, but no more than that? Because I always found that limit relatively arbitrary, and I can't really think of anything that it covers that other spells don't. I mean, up to 50 gold nets you a continual flame affect, but I'm not entirely sure what up to 100 gold actually does for you.
Xenocrat wrote:
I did a search at pfsrd for "worth 100 gp", selected the spells tab. There are several, but they're all niche and none are worth taking as a sorcerer's spell known in my opinion.

Thanks!

Hrm... I kind of wish I knew what they were, now. Ah, well. Later~!


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Tacticslion wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
After an hour, 1/240th of the guy would be built
ummm wasnt there a ruling in a book some were that a lich or graveknight reforming was undetectable until it was fully reformed?

Not that I know of, but I'd love a citation or quote, if possible!

Also, if so, that entirely contradicts what was said in the actual phylactery section I quoted above (which states that if it's destroyed before it's completed - indicating it can be interacted with* - it simply starts to reform), so that would be really interesting!

* The reason that this is important is that it gives them an entirely new ability not mentioned anywhere in their write-up, effectively retconning the ability and making it more powerful than indicated. They body has to be physically there, otherwise it couldn't be interrupted, but if it's invisible, incorporeal, or what-have-you, that's a whole additional set of abilities/traits/etc. that it has running for it. What's more, if it's simply not able to be interacted with in any way, that's contradictory to the text. Either way, it's a fascinating ret-con!

i remember some one mentioning its from Undead Revisited i don't have the book so i cant check but thats the source they mentioned


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Tacticslion wrote:
John Murdock wrote:
false focus only talk about ignoring material components up to 100 GP not focus, so you would still need the component pouch for focus that cost less than 1 GP or buy the focus for costly one

So, is this a case where the designers want everything to suck for the player by taking the worst possible interpretation, or a case where they assume everyone speaks "common sense" and assume the latter means that components and foci are the same?

I'm not suggesting that either of those are "the" answer that is "common sense" but I've seen the PDT generally trend in those two directions, so I'm curious which they expect us to guess at, in this case.

Follow-up: this wouldn't prove their intent, but it could give us a greater likelihood of guessing it: does anyone know if there's a spell that has a material component and a focus (other than divine focus, of course)?

Because Eschew Materials has been suggested - even in a few printed products, as I recall - to cover foci that have no particular cost. Blarg, I hate forgetting: does that feat explicitly cover foci?

is not the case where we need to take the worst interpretation possible

the feat talk nothing about focus, spell pouch component talk about focus, even eschew material feat talk nothing about focus

here what it say whit those two thing

Spell pouch component

''A spellcaster with a spell component pouch is assumed to have all the material components and focuses needed for spellcasting, except for those components that have a specific cost, divine focuses, and focuses that wouldn’t fit in a pouch.''

Eschew material

''You can cast any spell with a material component costing 1 gp or less without needing that component. The casting of the spell still provokes attacks of opportunity as normal. If the spell requires a material component that costs more than 1 gp, you must have the material component on hand to cast the spell, as normal.''

even in the spell pouch component they talk about focus that fit in the pouch, so too big focus even less than 1 GP are not in the pouch, and nowhere it is stated in eschew material that focus are covert, like for the case of the spell pouch

unless you can find in a book or a dev or a faq that say otherwise for those feat, if the feat/object/etc. do not mention something then it is not include in what it does


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

With all these points of views, a 3pp release should be in the offing. I do hate having rigid villains.


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Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
Planeshift is a thing.
Planeshift wrote:
Components V, S, F (a forked metal rod attuned to the plane of travel)
Might be difficult to acquire as the fork requires material from the destination plane.

Incorrect.

A forked metal rod is called a tuning fork. What defines a tuning fork is the frequency it resonates at (how it is attuned) not the material it is made from.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuning_fork


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Boomerang Nebula wrote:
Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
Planeshift is a thing.
Planeshift wrote:
Components V, S, F (a forked metal rod attuned to the plane of travel)
Might be difficult to acquire as the fork requires material from the destination plane.

Incorrect.

A forked metal rod is called a tuning fork. What defines a tuning fork is the frequency it resonates at (how it is attuned) not the material it is made from.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuning_fork

Then again you run into the issue of how exactly you know exactly which plane to tune the fork to.

On the other hand, since the fork is a costless component, it's presumed that a spell pouch has access to tuning forks tied to every (demi)plane in existence and casters intrinsically know which to use, making it all rather moot.

Scarab Sages

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An odd scorch mark on the object's surface shaped like a cartoon lightning bolt is always a sure sign....


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Tarik Blackhands wrote:
Boomerang Nebula wrote:
Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
Planeshift is a thing.
Planeshift wrote:
Components V, S, F (a forked metal rod attuned to the plane of travel)
Might be difficult to acquire as the fork requires material from the destination plane.

Incorrect.

A forked metal rod is called a tuning fork. What defines a tuning fork is the frequency it resonates at (how it is attuned) not the material it is made from.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuning_fork

Then again you run into the issue of how exactly you know exactly which plane to tune the fork to.

On the other hand, since the fork is a costless component, it's presumed that a spell pouch has access to tuning forks tied to every (demi)plane in existence and casters intrinsically know which to use, making it all rather moot.

Depends. Does a tuning fork of arbitrary frequency fit in a spell component pouch?

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