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A lich is a gaunt and skeletal humanoid with withered flesh stretched tight across horribly visible bones. Its eyes have long ago been lost to decay, but bright pinpoints of crimson light burn on in the empty sockets.
Liches speak Common plus any other languages they knew in life.
Creating a Lich
“Lich” is an acquired template that can be added to any humanoid creature (referred to hereafter as the base creature), provided it can create the required phylactery; see The Lich’s Phylactery, below.
A lich has all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.
Attack: A lich has a touch attack that it can use once per round. If the base creature can use weapons, the lich retains this ability. A creature with natural weapons retains those natural weapons. A lich fighting without weapons uses either its touch attack or its primary natural weapon (if it has any). A lich armed with a weapon uses its touch or a weapon, as it desires.
Full Attack: A lich fighting without weapons uses either its touch attack (see above) or its natural weapons (if it has any). If armed with a weapon, it usually uses the weapon as its primary attack along with a touch as a natural secondary attack, provided it has a way to make that attack (either a free hand or a natural weapon that it can use as a secondary attack).
Damage: A lich without natural weapons has a touch attack that uses negative energy to deal 1d8+5 points of damage to living creatures; a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 lich’s HD + lich’s Cha modifier) halves the damage. A lich with natural weapons can use its touch attack or its natural weaponry, as it prefers. If it chooses the latter, it deals 1d8+5 points of extra damage on one natural weapon attack.
Fear Aura (Su): Liches are shrouded in a dreadful aura of death and evil. Creatures of less than 5 HD in a 60-foot radius that look at the lich must succeed on a Will save or be affected as though by a fear spell from a sorcerer of the lich’s level. A creature that successfully saves cannot be affected again by the same lich’s aura for 24 hours.
Paralyzing Touch (Su): Any living creature a lich hits with its touch attack must succeed on a Fortitude save or be permanently paralyzed. Remove paralysis or any spell that can remove a curse can free the victim (see the bestow curse spell description).
Special Qualities: A lich retains all the base creature’s special qualities and gains those described below.
Damage Reduction (Su): A lich’s undead body is tough, giving the creature damage reduction 15/bludgeoning and magic. Its natural weapons are treated as magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.
Organization: Solitary or troupe (1 lich, plus 2–4 vampires and 5–8 vampire spawn).
Challenge Rating: Same as the base creature + 2.
Treasure: Standard coins; double goods; double items.
Alignment: Any evil.
Level Adjustment: Same as the base creature +4.
The process of becoming a lich is unspeakably evil and can be undertaken only by a willing character. A lich retains all class abilities it had in life.
The Lich’s Phylactery
An integral part of becoming a lich is creating a magic phylactery in which the character stores its life force. As a rule, the only way to get rid of a lich for sure is to destroy its phylactery. Unless its phylactery is located and destroyed, a lich reappears 1d10 days after its apparent death.
Each lich must make its own phylactery, which requires the Craft Wondrous Item feat. The character must be able to cast spells and have a caster level of 11th or higher. The phylactery costs 120,000 gp and 4,800 XP to create and has a caster level equal to that of its creator at the time of creation.
The most common form of phylactery is a sealed metal box containing strips of parchment on which magical phrases have been transcribed. The box is Tiny and has 40 hit points, hardness 20, and a break DC of 40.
Other forms of phylacteries can exist, such as rings, amulets, or similar items.