Lich Paragon (3.5e Racial Paragon Class)
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Straight-up, Liches are cool. They are awesome undead creatures hanging on to existence by a necromantic thread and take one hell of an adventure to permanently put down. However, the rules for phylacteries are...restricted...and they don't do a lot of the things that we find totally sweet and want some Liches to be able to do, like be able to inhabit a magic sword and speak horribly evil whispers into the mind of its hapless adventurer wielder. This racial paragon class is an attempt to change that.
In addition, this class is meant to give something of a future path to Liches who got their abilities from class features (such as the Lichbound or the Lord of the Damned and are wondering what class they should take next.
Making a Lich Paragon
Alignment: Must be Neutral.
|Alternate Form, Object Phylactery, Unholy Toughness
|+1 Spellcasting Level
|+1 Spellcasting Level
|+1 Spellcasting Level
All of the following are class features of the Lich Paragon.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: None. Lich Paragons gain no proficiency in weapons or armor.
Spellcasting: Whenever a new Lich Paragon level is gained, the character gains new spells per day as if she had also gained a level in whatever spellcasting class she belonged to before she added the racial paragon class. She does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. This essentially means that she adds the level of Lich Paragon to the level of whatever other spellcasting class the character has, then determines spells per day and caster level accordingly.
If a character had more than one spellcasting class before she became a Lich Paragon, she must decide to which class she adds each level of Lich Paragon for the purpose of determining spells per day.
Alternate Form (Su): You gain the ability to look and feel as you did before you became a Lich. As a full-round action, you can change your appearance and physiology to that of a single, specific creature of your race before you became a Lich. Once chosen, this form cannot be changed. While the change is "real" and you look and feel like a real, living member of your chosen race, it has no mechanical or statistical effect. True Seeing will reveal your true form.
Object Phylactery: You can transform your original phylactery into an object that isn't totally useless. Your phylactery becomes a magic item with a value equal to the largest amount of money you can spend on any single object at your character level. You do not gain any benefits for using or wearing this item; it is completely nonfunctional to you and anyone you associate with for more than 24 hours while not inhabiting the object (see below). Should you ever die, your new phylactery becomes an intelligent item (you inhabit it) and gains your mental ability scores and spellcasting abilities until you regenerate yourself. Treat all spells cast while inhabiting your phylactery as if the Still Spell and Silent Spell feat were applied to them. While inhabiting your phylactery you cannot affect the world outside of magic or, if your phylactery has manipulation-capable appendages (such as the Apparatus of the Crab), using them.
As a full-round action, you can destroy your current body (as per the Disintegrate spell) and inhabit your object phylactery. If you want a body again, you must regenerate a new body normally or temporarily modify yourself magically using Alter Self, Astral Projection, or a similar spell. Your phylactery radiates overwhelming evil while inhabited, and does not radiate evil when uninhabited.
Split Phylactery: You can have up to 1/3 your character level, rounded down, in phylacteries. A phylactery can be created from any non-artifact object in a 12-hour ritual involving the sacrifice of 100 gp and one intelligent humanoid creature. This object's hardness increases to 25, unless it already had a higher hardness, and its hit points increase by 20. Unlike the phylactery created by the Object Phylactery class feature, a Lich can gain the benefits from using these phylacteries.
Artifact Phylactery: You can now make artifacts into your phylactery, and your Object Phylactery becomes a minor artifact. In addition, your Object Phylactery becomes extremely difficult to destroy, requiring a very specific set of circumstances. Some example circumstances required include:
- Being thrown into the fires of Mount Doom.
- Being destroyed by a weapon forged in Basilisk venom.
- Being bathed in the blood of a willing angel and devil.
Playing a Lich Paragon
The Lich Paragon abilities are intended to not have any real mechanical effect on the party or the PC, and mostly be thematically cool. As such, it's completely acceptable to have a PC Lich Paragon, and in fact is recommended if the PC got their Lichdom from a class feature and are wondering where they should go next. While it's true that another party member might elect to wield or use the Lich Paragon's Object Phylactery and the Lich Paragon might choose to inhabit it so the object retains its powers, the Lich Paragon is much weaker if he inhabits it while it is being used.
Other Classes: Same as Cleric or Wizard. Other people might not want to associate with a Lich, but without serious magic they won't be able to tell if the Lich Paragon is using its Alternate Form ability.
Combat: Lich Paragons act like normal Clerics or Wizards in combat.
Advancement: Other Cleric or Wizard prestige classes.
Lich Paragons in the World
|I will return! And when I do, you and all that you love will be made perverted and destroyed!
|—Thalar, a Lich Paragon, before being hit with a killing blow from a Paladin.
The Lich (and Lich Paragon), along with a few other choices is a common undead monster for high-powered necromancers to choose as their final undead forms. They are strong and they are really really hard to kill and are powerful necromancers to boot, a fact that makes almost everyone afraid of them.
Daily Life: As Wizard or Cleric.
Organizations: Liches are usually solitary creatures and have no organization or guild.
NPC Reactions: Common-folk NPCs usually regard Liches with suspicion and disgust. If the Lich Paragon is using its Alternate Form, however, it would be impossible for them to tell that they're talking to a Lich.
Lich Paragon Lore
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (Arcana) or Knowledge (Religion) can research Lich Paragons to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|Liches are evil undead creatures who live forever.
|Some Liches don't look like undead creatures.
|Some Liches might have multiple phylacteries.
|The phylacteries of some Liches are extremely difficult to destroy, and cannot be destroyed by conventional means.
Lich Paragons in the Game
As noted in Playing a Lich Paragon, the Lich Paragon abilities are intended to not have any real mechanical effect on the party or the PC (though they will certainly affect a party's adventures if a BBEG Lich is actually a Lich Paragon!). As such, they should be perfectly fine and playable.
Adaptation: Lich Paragons work fine anywhere that Liches work.