Lich (3.5e Prestige Class)

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A lich is an undead spellcaster who has used its magical powers to unnaturally extend its life. Liches are scheming, and to some, insane. They hunger forever for greater power, long-forgotten knowledge, and the most terrible of arcane secrets. Because the shadow of death does not hang over them, they often conceive plans taking years, decades, or even centuries to come to fruition.

Becoming a Lich[edit]

A lich typically begins as a sorcerer, wizard, or sometimes a cleric. It either sought power or knowledge and one day could live forever.

Entry Requirements
Alignment: Any evil.
Feats: Craft Wondrous Item.
Spellcasting: Caster level 11th.
Special: A lich must create a phylactery using its Craft Wondrous Item feat. The phylactery costs 120,000gp and 4,800 XP to create.
Table: The Lich

Hit Die: d12

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +2 +0 +2 +2 AC, +2 Skills, +2 Cha, Undead, Immunities, +1 level of existing spellcasting class
2nd +1 +3 +0 +3 +3 AC, +4 Skills, +2 Wis, Charnel Touch, DR 5, +1 level of existing spellcasting class
3rd +2 +3 +1 +3 +4 AC, +6 Skills, +1 Int, DR 10, Fear Aura, Turn Resistance, +1 level of existing spellcasting class
4th +3 +4 +1 +4 +5 AC, +8 Skills, +1 Int, DR 15, Paralyzing Touch, +1 level of existing spellcasting class

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Lich.

Armor Bonus: At first level, the lich gains a +2 bonus to its natural armor. If the character already has natural armor, use whichever is higher. This bonus increases by an additional +1 each level, to a maximum of +5 at fourth level.

Immunities (Ex): Liches have immunity to cold, electricity, and polymorph (though they can use polymorph effects on themselves).

Skill Bonuses: At first level, a lich gains a +2 bonus on Hide, Listen, Move Silently, Search, Sense Motive, and Spot checks. This bonus increases by an additional +2 each level, to a maximum of +8 at fourth level.

Undead Traits: A lich is immune to mind-affecting spells and abilities, poison, magical sleep effects, paralysis, stunning, disease, death effects, and any effect that requires a Fortitude save unless it also works on objects or is harmless. The lich is not subject to extra damage from critical hits, nonlethal damage, ability drain, energy drain, fatigue, exhaustion, or death from massive damage. A lich cannot be raised, and resurrection only works if it is willing. The lich has Darkvision out to 60 feet.

Charnel Touch (Su): At 2nd level, the lich gains a natural touch attack that may be made once per round. To use it, the lich makes a melee touch attack. The attack uses negative energy to deal 1d8+5 damage to the living. A Will save (DC10 + 1/2 lich's level + lich's Cha modifier) halves the damage. A lich with natural weapons may choose to use its natural weapons instead, and then may choose to deal 1d8+5 points of extra damage on one of the natural weapon attacks.

Damage Reduction (Su): At second level, the lich gains DR 5/bludgeoning and magic. At 3rd level, the DR increases to 10, and then to 15 at 4th level.

Fear Aura (Su): By 3rd level, the lich becomes 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 caster level. A creature that successfully saves cannot be affected again by the same lich's aura for 24 hours.

Turn Resistance (Ex): A lich gains +4 turn resistance at 3rd level.

Paralyzing Touch (Su): At fourth level, 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. The effect cannot be dispelled. Anyone paralyzed by a lich seems dead, though a DC 20 Spot check or a DC 15 Heal check reveals that the victim is still alive.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Lich[edit]

Combat: The lich is the "leader" in combat situations, only entering combat if absolutely necessary. Otherwise, it casts spells from the sidelines to aid its minions or weaken its enemies.

Resources: A lich's resources include his minions and anything that would further his own agenda.

Lich Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (arcana) can research liches to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

Knowledge (arcana)
DC Result
11 Liches are undead spellcasters.
16 Liches develop plans that can take centuries to unfold.
21 Liches cannot die unless its phylactery is destroyed.
26 Liches resurrect themselves in 1d10 days if their phylactery is intact.

Liches in the Game[edit]

In a group setting, liches prefer to stand off to the side and weaken or hamper foes so that their minions (minions, allies... it's just a word, right?) can swoop in for the kill. They hate direct confrontation, but rely on their immunities, defenses, and spells to stay alive... well, undead.

Adaptation: I created this monster class as a way to slowly introduce the +4 Level Adjustment of the Lich template from the Monster Manual. Instead of just slapping on that template, you can just make the character advance with the rest of the group by taking 4 levels of a Lich monster class.


Wizards of the Coast :

Complete Lich guidelines :

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