Races with Class: The Lich

January 14th, 2011

Alex Riggs

From the Workshop Archive

            Terrible undead monstrosities, liches are powerful spellcasters who undergo an awful ritual to remove their souls from their bodies and place them in a magical construct, known as a phylactery. This horrid act guarantees the lich an unholy immortality, rendering it an undead being and causing it to re-form when slain. Typically taking the role of evil masterminds, most liches take the patient approach, crafting schemes which span centuries to achieve their own dark ends.
            Role: Though liches are amongst the hardest creatures in existence to kill, they don’t go out of their way to rush into melee combat, despite their powerful touch attack and fear aura. Most liches prefer to stay behind the scenes, primarily using their spellcasting abilities, and only falling back on their dark, undead powers as a last resort.
            Hit Die: d6

To qualify to become a lich, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
Alignment: Any evil
Feats: Craft Wondrous Item
Spells: Caster level 6th
Special: The character must perform a ritual to create a lesser phylactery. This ritual takes 24 hours to perform and costs 5,000 gp. The lich must repeat this process for each level of lich he takes, further improving his phylactery as he does so.

Class Skills:
The lich’s class skills are Climb (Str), Disguise (Cha), Fly (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Perception (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Stealth (Dex).
Skill Ranks Per Level: 4 + Int Modifier.

The Lich

Class Features:
            The following are class features of the lich.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Liches do not gain proficiencies with any weapons or armor.

Deathless Cunning (Ex): Liches gain a +8 racial bonus to all Perception, Sense Motive, and Stealth checks.

Lesser Rejuvenation (Su): By spending five minutes meditating on his phylactery, the lich can unlock a lesser version of its restorative powers. In order to use this ability, the lich must have five minutes of uninterrupted peace, during which he must be in physical contact with his phylactery. At the end of this time, the lich fully recovers all lost hit points, and is restored to full health. This does not remove any conditions, curses, spell effects, or other harmful effects affecting the lich: it only restores lost hit points.

Undead Body (Ex): Liches are undead creatures, and, as such, all liches gain undead traits. See the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook for more information on undead traits.

Damage Reduction (Ex): At 2nd level, a lich’s body becomes more resistant to most physical attacks, and he gains DR 5/bludgeoning. This damage reduction increases to 10/bludgeoning at 4th level and 15/bludgeoning at 6th level.

Unholy Toughness (Ex): Beginning at 2nd level, a lich’s skin toughens like leather, granting him a natural armor bonus of +5.

Evil Genius (Ex): At 3rd level, a lich’s propensity for evil and scheming becomes heightened, and he gains a +2 bonus to his Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores.

Frightening Presence (Su): At 3rd level, a lich’s mere presence is enough to frighten the lesser mortals that would dare to face him. Creatures of less than 5 HD in a 60-foot radius that look at the lich must succeed on a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 the lich’s hit dice + the lich’s Charisma modifier) or become frightened. Creatures with 5 HD or more must succeed on a Will save (same DC) or be shaken for a number of rounds equal to the lich’s Hit Dice. A creature that successfully saves cannot be affected again by the same lich’s aura for 24 hours. This is a mind-affecting fear attack. The lich can suppress this ability as a standard action, and resume it with another standard action.

            At 8th level, this ability improves, allowing the lich to frighten more powerful foes. Creatures with less than 5 HD are now panicked, while creatures of 6-10 HD are frightened, and creatures of 11 or more HD are shaken. The saving throw DCs and durations of these effects remain unchanged.

Energy Immunities (Ex): At 4th level, a lich becomes immune to cold and electricity damage.

Touch of Evil (Su): At 5th level, the lich gains a powerful touch attack, allowing him to infuse his foes with negative energy. This takes the form of a melee touch attack that the lich can use once per round as a natural weapon. If the lich is wielding a weapon of some kind, it can use that weapon normally, and then use its touch of evil attack as an additional, secondary natural weapon.

            On a successful hit, the lich deals 1d8 points of negative energy damage, plus 1 point per 2 hit dice the lich possesses. This attack can be used to heal undead creatures, but has no effect on targets which are neither living nor undead (such as most constructs). The lich cannot target himself with this ability, but may use a full round action to heal as though he had used the ability on himself.

            Further, any living creature a lich hits with its touch attack must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 the lich’s Hit Dice + the lich’s Charisma modifier) or be permanently paralyzed. Remove paralysis or any spell that can remove a curse can free the victim (see the bestow curse spell description, with a DC equal to the lich’s save DC). The effect cannot be dispelled. Anyone paralyzed by a lich seems dead, though a DC 20 Perception check or a DC 15 Heal check reveals the victim is still alive.

Channel Resistance (Ex): At 6th level, a lich gains some resistance to the channeled energies of clerics and other mortal interlopers. The lich gains channel resistance +4.

Lich Ascension: Once a lich reaches 7th level, he has unlocked enough of his inner potential to be able to pursue other interests, if he so chooses. A 7th level lich may freely multi-class into other classes, and can return to the lich class later without penalty. Characters with more than 7 levels in lich represent paragons of lichdom, who, whether through hard work or exceptionally dark magic, possess abilities in excess of most of their kind.

Rejuvenation (Su): Beginning at 7th level, when a lich is destroyed, his phylactery (which is generally hidden by the lich in a safe place far from where it chooses to dwell) immediately begins to rebuild the undead spellcaster’s body nearby. This process takes 1d10 days—if the body is destroyed before that time passes, the phylactery merely starts the process anew. After this time passes, the lich wakens fully healed (albeit without any gear it left behind on its old body), usually with a burning need for revenge against those who previously destroyed it. If the phylactery is destroyed (most phylacteries are Tiny, have 40 hit points, hardness 20, a break DC of 40, and a caster level equal to the lich’s caster level), the lich loses access to this class feature until another phylactery can be made (this phylactery costs 5,000 gp per class level and takes 24 hours to create).

Master of Villainy: At 9th level, the lich becomes a true master of villainy, and is able to take his place amongst the great villains of his time. The lich may choose a single ability from the following list as his area of evil expertise.

            Cunning Concealment (Sp): A lich with this ability is a master of infiltrating mortal society and keeping his undead nature unknown. The lich is constantly affected by the spell disguise self, except that the illusion makes him appear as himself before he became a lich. Further, the lich is constantly affected as though by the spell nondetection, which prevents him from being discovered by spells such as detect undead or detect evil. Finally, the lich is constantly affected as though by the spell glibness.

            Deathtouch (Su): A lich with this ability may choose to have his touch of evil ability slay opponents outright, rather than paralyze them. If the touch attack hits, the target must succeed on a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 the lich’s hit dice + the lich’s Charisma modifier) or be slain outright, as the lich snuffs out its soul. If the creature is slain in this fashion, the lich heals 1d8 hit points + 1 point per HD of the slain creature, as he consumes its soul. Creatures slain in this way cannot be raised or resurrected until the lich is slain, or a wish or miracle spell is used to restore their soul.

            Evil Mastermind (Ex): A lich with this ability is exceptionally cunning, sagacious, or fearsome. The lich gains a +2 bonus to the mental ability score of his choice.

            Lord of the Undead (Su): When calculating the number of hit dice of undead you can control with animate dead and similar abilities, add your class level and Charisma modifier to the amount that you could normally control. Additionally, undead you control in this way gain channel resistance +2.

            Necromancy Adept (Ex): Liches with this ability know a wide variety of necromancy spells. The lich gains an additional spell known for each spell level he can cast. The new spells must be of the necromancy school. Whenever the lich gains access to a new level of spells, he immediately gains an additional spell known of that level, which must be a necromancy spell. If the lich has a spellbook or similarly must pay to record spells, he does not need to pay for these spells.

            Negative Energy Master (Su): Liches with this ability are masters of channeling negative energy. The lich can channel energy as a cleric whose level is equal to his lich class level. If the lich can already channel energy from another source (such as cleric levels), his lich levels stack with that source for the purposes of determining his effective cleric level when channeling energy. Additionally, the lich’s channel resistance increases to +8.

            Positive Energy Immunity (Su): Liches with this ability are so infused with negative energy that they have no fear of positive energy, and are in fact immune to positive energy.

Greater Rejuvenation (Su): At 10th level, a lich’s rejuvenation ability improves, allowing him to rejuvenate more quickly and while retaining some of his gear. To make the most of this ability, the lich must spend one hour in quiet meditation. He must spend this time uninterrupted, and in physical contact with his phylactery. During this time, the phylactery “remembers” each item that the lich has in his possession, and the next time that the lich rejuvenates, each of these remembered items is immediately destroyed, and reforms alongside the lich, who awakens fully equipped. Items which were destroyed or consumed before the lich was destroyed (such as potions or wands) do not rejuvenate in this way, and items with a number of charges (such as wands or staves) retain the number of charges they had when the lich was destroyed, not when the phylactery “memorized” them.

            Whether the lich meditates with the phylactery or not, his rejuvenation time is reduced from 1d10 days to 1d4 days.