Dracolichbound (3.5e Prestige Class)
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|“||I have surpassed the twilight. My arcane knowledge will grow into eternity.||”|
Dracolichdom brings the long-lived to their true place, a being eternal and unchanging throughout the ages, able to witness everything.
Becoming a Dracolichbound
Few dragons become dracoliches. However, to waste away is a terrible fate for a dragon. Some become twilight guardians, some join the land, and some defy nature, living forever in a skeletal frame.
|Alignment:||Non-good. At the end of the path you will have become evil in alignment for certain, but no good man would even begin to consider this path.|
|Skills:||Knowledge Arcana 13 ranks, Knowledge Religion 5 ranks, Spellcraft 13 ranks.|
|Feats:||Craft Wondrous Item.|
|Spellcasting:||Caster Level 10th or True Dragon.|
|Special:||Must begin construction of your phylactery to qualify for level 1 of this class.|
|1st||+0||+0||+0||+2||Phylactery 1, Damaging Touch (1d6 cold), Control Undead 1/day (CL 11), DR 1/bludgeoning, Paralytic Touch (1 round), Resistances (Cold/Electricity 5)|
|2nd||+1||+0||+0||+3||Phylactery 2, Natural Armor +1, DR 2/bludgeoning, Paralytic Touch (1d3 rounds), Resistances (Cold/Electricity 10), Fortification (Light)||+1 spellcasting level|
|3rd||+1||+1||+1||+3||Phylactery 3, Control Undead 2/day (CL 13), DR 3/bludgeoning, Paralytic Touch (1d6 rounds), Resistances (Cold/Electricity 15), Fortification (Moderate)||+1 spellcasting level|
|4th||+2||+1||+1||+4||Phylactery 4, Natural Armor +2, DR 4/bludgeoning, Paralytic Touch (2d6 rounds), Resistances (Cold/Electricity 20), Spell Resistance||+1 spellcasting level|
|5th||+2||+1||+1||+4||Phylactery 5, Dracolichdom, Control Undead 3/day (CL 15), Paralytic Gaze, DR 5/bludgeoning, +2 Cha|
Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level)
All of the following are class features of the Dracolichbound.
Spellcasting: At each level except 1st and 5th, you gain new spells per day and an increase in caster level (and spells known, if applicable) as if you had also gained a level in a spellcasting class to which you belonged before adding the prestige class level. You do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. If you had more than one spellcasting class before becoming a Dracolichbound, you must decide to which class to add each level for the purpose of determining spells per day, caster level, and spells known.
Phylactery: The key part to dracolichdom is the creation of a phylactery. This expensive and powerful magic item is crafted with the Craft Wondrous Item feat and the Control Undead spell, over the course of 5 levels. When the dracolichbound finally becomes a dracolich, their phylactery will store their soul and allow them to respawn in 2d4 days. Unlike a normal lich, a suitable dead body must be possessed within 90 ft. of the phylactery (see Draconomicon for specific details, pg. 146). In order to continue leveling in dracolichbound, you must complete your phylactery by certain points.
At level 1 you must first get the basic framework of your phylactery prepared, which must be of at least 2000 gp value to begin with. In addition to the starting cost, you spend at least 5,000 gp and 400 xp on its construction. Every level after, you spend that amount again, improving the phylactery until you have completed the entire 25,000 gp and 2000 xp value at 5th level (not including the 2000+ gp starting cost). Until you construct the required amount, you cannot benefit from the abilities of the dracolichbound class at that level or beyond. You may, however, complete the phylactery ahead of time if you so see fit, so long as when it is completed it has a caster level minimum of 11th. At 5th level, you have an additional requirement to gain the benefits of dracolichdom, the final process (see Dracolichdom below).
Damaging Touch (Su): Your blows are covered with the chill of death. At 1st level any blows you hit deal an additional 1d6 cold damage.
Resistances (Ex): The cold chill of death has begun to seep into your body. At level 1 you gain energy resistance to cold and electricity 5. Every level after it rises to by +5 to resistance 10 at 2nd, resistance 15 at 3rd, and resistance 20 at 4th. The process of dracolichdom eventually overwrites these resistances with immunities at 5th level.
Damage Reduction (Ex): Being transformed into a skeleton grants some benefits. At 1st level, as the dracolichbound withers they gain Damage Reduction/bludgeoning, 1 for every level of dracolichbound, to a maximum of DR 5/bludgeoning at 5th level.
Natural Armor (Ex): A mild rigor mortis, combined with the hardening of the flesh, causes the natural armor of the dracolichbound to rise. At 2nd level you gain a +1 natural armor bonus. At 4th it becomes +2.
Paralyzing Touch (Su): At 1st level creature struck by your physical attacks forces a Fortitude save (10 + 1/2 HD + Cha) vs paralysis for 1 round. At 2nd level it rises to 1d3 rounds, then to 1d6 rounds at 3rd level. Finally at 4th level it becomes a full 2d6 rounds.
Control Undead (Sp): A dracolichbound gains the spell-like ability Control Undead at a caster level of 11 at 1st level 1/day. At 3rd level, they gain an additional use per day and the caster level rises to 13. At 5th level they get another use per day and the caster level rises to 15th.
Fortification (Ex): At 2nd level, the vital organs of the dracolichbound begin to shut down and die. As such they become more difficult to strike a critical hit against. They gain light fortification, providing a 25% chance to avoid a critical hit. At 3rd level, more organs fail, providing 75% protection. At 5th level the lichdom process overwrites this ability as you become absolutely immune to critical hits.
Paralytic Gaze (Su): The dreadful stare of a dracolich freezes even the most stalwart heroes. At 5th level they gain a gaze attack out to a range of 40 ft, with a Fortitude save DC of 10 + 1/2 HD + Cha. Those that fail are paralyzed for 2d6 rounds, just as if they had been touched. Unlike the paralytic touch, those that save are forever immune to that particular dracolich's gaze attack.
Spell Resistance (Ex): The spell resistance of a dracolichbound rises by 3 at 4th level. If the creature had no spell resistance or a spell resistance under 16, the spell resistance gained becomes 16 minimum.
Ability Score Bonuses: The dracolichdom process binds the life force to a husk of bone. Only the most assured and determined can make such a choice. As they pass through until undeath, the dracolichbound gains +2 Cha at 5th level.
Dracolichdom: After 5 levels the dracolichbound is finally ready to perform the dracolichdom process. The dracolichbound must either make or acquire a vile poison called Dracolich Brew, which requires the Brew Potion feat and has a sell price of 5000 gp. This ingested poison (Fort DC 25, 2d6 Con/2d6 Con) is drunk in a ceremony of unspeakable evil, which slays the dracolichbound immediately with no save. Moments later, the dracolichbound rises once more, as a member of the undead. The dracolichbound gains the Dracolich template (Draconomicon pg. 146) which they have been slowly gaining, including the +2 natural armor, paralysis gaze, touch, and cold damage, damage reduction, no Con score, d12 hit dice on all their HD in the past and in the future, immunity to cold, electricity, and polymorphing, and all undead immunities and weaknesses. The newly formed lich uses his Cha score for any Constitution based skill checks that need to be made (namely Concentration), on his breath weapon (if any), and all other attacks that used Con. Its flight abilities become supernatural in origin. It loses the Crush attack it had if available. You do not gain the template's LA, as you have paid for it taking the Dracolichbound class.
Because of the evil nature of the dracolichdom ceremony to bind your life force to the negative energy plane, if you were not evil before you are now. This does not stop the lichbound from changing alignments in the future, but few do after getting their hands bloodied in acts of evil.
Playing a Dracolichbound
Combat: Dracolichbound are what they were previously... typically levels in a monster class or race. Their undeath has not changed this.
Advancement: As casters, any caster-friendly classes are theirs to take. Since they lose two caster levels, prestige classes that do not stunt their growth are advised.
Resources: Dracoliches are a solitary sort. Because the process to become one is so vile, no one wants such a being living in their midsts.
Dracolichbounds in the World
|“||Cowards, have they not enjoyed a life far longer than any mortal?||”|
Dracolichbound are for any draconic or dragonblooded creature who wishes to taste immortality, for whatever reasons may drive them to such drastic ends.
NPC Reactions: Undead are often reviled, and liches more so, for they are not mindless automations but people who have chosen something terrible. As such, liches have no place in the civilized world to call home. But many have already lived such a life to begin with.
Characters with ranks in Knowledge Religion can research Dracolichbounds to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|10||A dracolichbound studies undeath as a dragon, and begins to take on undead qualities.|
|15||Dracolichbound actively seek the power of dracolichdom, and construct a phylactery in their time. Soon, they too will be dracoliches.|
|20||A dracolichbound who has finished their phylactery is immortal, and will return from death even if destroyed.|
|30||This level of success or higher can bring out information on specific dracoliches and dracolichbound, their whereabouts, and who they used to be.|
Dracolichbounds in the Game
Dracolichbound tend to be a lonely sort. Whatever drives them to undeath rarely makes for good company. Still, a dracolichbound may be in the company of (generally evil) adventurers, as they perform the process and afterward.
Adaptation: One could take a -1 penalty to your Con score to show the degrading life of the dracolichbound. As this weakens the class, it is advised you add in certain benefits, such as the acquisition of undead immunities and/or increasing the HD of the class to d12.
Sample Encounter: Majinreis, a dragonwrought kobold of considerable age, seeks undeath as a means to preserve her life and regain her youth, in a warped sense. Charismatic and sinister, she has been kidnapping children in preperation for the ceremony. Can anyone stop her in time, and save the children?
EL whatever: 15