PDA

View Full Version : Liches have to be evil!?



Gogo525
2007-01-18, 08:43 AM
I specifically remember seeing somewhere that there is some way to make liches not be evil. I am not sure how since the ritual and all. Could someone please tell me where it is if it happens to exist?Thanks

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2007-01-18, 08:48 AM
Good Liches are not uncommon in Forgotten Realms.

Baelnorns I think they are called. They have somewhat different abilities though.

Indoril
2007-01-18, 09:08 AM
I specifically remember a good demilich mentioned too. Look up on "Order of the Book." I believe it's in Forgotten Realms.

Rex Idiotarum
2007-01-18, 09:20 AM
I read about redeemed liches, I think it's in Libris Mortus, they change Rebuke undead to Turn undead, and their Charnel Touch becomes Positive energy.

MetalKelt
2007-01-18, 09:21 AM
In FR, Archliches are not evil, neither are Baelnorns (effectively elven archliches). More detail on them is in Monsters of Faerun. I'm not sure if there is more info in the FRCS or not.

Green Bean
2007-01-18, 09:27 AM
I think that in standard DnD, the process of becoming a lich makes it unlikely to have non-evil liches. The SRD seems to hint that the ceremony/ritual/spell involved in becoming a lich is pretty evil (i.e. sacrificing people, stealing souls, etc), which would make it difficult to be Good at the end of it.

The Vorpal Tribble
2007-01-18, 09:33 AM
You can become a neutral lich by taking 20 levels in the Dread Necromancer base class from Heroes of Horror, though even it says no good alignments.

However, self mutilation, perversion of magics yadda yadda... yeah, its not good stuff. I personally find the concept of those good lichs dumb, as the Powers That Be could surely help you out other than making you a foul, stinking corpse.

MetalKelt
2007-01-18, 09:35 AM
I think that in standard DnD, the process of becoming a lich makes it unlikely to have non-evil liches. The SRD seems to hint that the ceremony/ritual/spell involved in becoming a lich is pretty evil (i.e. sacrificing people, stealing souls, etc), which would make it difficult to be Good at the end of it.

Yes, the SRD says:



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.

Saph
2007-01-18, 10:00 AM
You'd think "unspeakably evil" would make it pretty clear. :) I don't think there's any other class or template outside of the Book of Vile Darkness that's described so strongly.

- Saph

Brauron
2007-01-18, 10:05 AM
First thing I thought of...

"Are you a good Liche, or a bad Liche?"

Colin Archibald
2007-01-18, 10:42 AM
An exemple of good liches are in Eberron. the one Elvin culture has an obsession with preserving knowledge and view undead or rather "undying" as a pinnacle of their cilivization. To be a good lich with vast amounts of knowledge to pass on to the "younger" elves is what they try to achieve. Good spirits called upon to provide knowledge but not in anyway crusade against evil since they are very inclusive.

They are, however, charged with positive energy and are completely opposite to normal lichs. Hell they aren't even power hungry. (hence being generally good)

So check out the Eberron campain setting and see what you think of the undying.

Krimm_Blackleaf
2007-01-18, 10:52 AM
I myself have a houserule that liches can be of all alignments, nuetral liches can choose wether or not they have the powers of an evil lich or a good lich. I also have lich-fiends in my world, but since there are good liches I've also created celestialiches. An undead angel is just so fun to throw at a party of evil characters.

Mewtarthio
2007-01-18, 11:46 AM
"Celestialiches"?

I keep imagining Good Liches as really nice, hospitable, decomposing corpses surrounded by an army of helpful, friendly undead. "Ah, good day, sir! Come, come, would you like my zombies to take you coat for you? I'd shake your hand, but I'm afraid my horrific facsimile of life has a tendancy to leave people on the ground comatose when they make contact with me. There are drinks in the kitchen: The refrigerator's broken, but the unnatural chill of the grave is keeping them decently cool."

Ramza00
2007-01-18, 11:58 AM
However, self mutilation, perversion of magics yadda yadda... yeah, its not good stuff. I personally find the concept of those good lichs dumb, as the Powers That Be could surely help you out other than making you a foul, stinking corpse.
You assume your campaign world has powers that be. Just because you are in a high magic world doesn't mean there are powers that be.

Ramza00
2007-01-18, 11:59 AM
"Celestialiches"?

I keep imagining Good Liches as really nice, hospitable, decomposing corpses surrounded by an army of helpful, friendly undead. "Ah, good day, sir! Come, come, would you like my zombies to take you coat for you? I'd shake your hand, but I'm afraid my horrific facsimile of life has a tendancy to leave people on the ground comatose when they make contact with me. There are drinks in the kitchen: The refrigerator's broken, but the unnatural chill of the grave is keeping them decently cool."
Or perhaps you would like a cup of tea :smallbiggrin:

Jack Mann
2007-01-18, 12:35 PM
One of these days, I need to get to work on my "undying curate" template for my campaign. Essentially, a deathless cleric type, to contrast with the arcane lich.

clarkvalentine
2007-01-18, 12:44 PM
"Are you a good Liche, or a bad Liche?"

Oh, dear gods, that's awful.




I love it. :smallbiggrin:

Ramza00
2007-01-18, 01:04 PM
Page 156 of Libris Mortis has a good lich variant. Gains Turn Undead and Turn Immunity.

Gogo525
2007-01-18, 01:28 PM
Thanks Ramza00. That is what I was looking for. About the undying I took a peek at it and it is confusing. So they already live for like 700 years and want to live longer? then there is the skeletons that are insane crazy.....Ebberon is insane. Good liches are kinda insane.....BUT they use the unlife for good deeds not amassing a giant skeleton army to have coffee and chill his broken fridge. Although that was a pretty clever joke. Funny too! I don't really see raising an undead army as good anyways...But whatever.Celestialiches are kinda crazy....But feindish liches are possible...There is a spell that infuses an undead with feindish power. It is permanent too! Could you make an undead elemental half-dragon fiendish construct? Just wondering.What would be a ritual that good liches could do?

FdL
2007-01-18, 04:07 PM
"Celestialiches"?

I keep imagining Good Liches as really nice, hospitable, decomposing corpses surrounded by an army of helpful, friendly undead. "Ah, good day, sir! Come, come, would you like my zombies to take you coat for you? I'd shake your hand, but I'm afraid my horrific facsimile of life has a tendancy to leave people on the ground comatose when they make contact with me. There are drinks in the kitchen: The refrigerator's broken, but the unnatural chill of the grave is keeping them decently cool."

ROTFL. Hard.

Come on, people, Liches are evil. That's an axiom. Assasins are evil. D&D is a simple place.

Thomas
2007-01-18, 04:44 PM
Baelnorns are good elf liches specifically. They're "all" good, and are used as guardians and overseers; there's a baelnorn tomb somewhere in the western areas, though I forget the name. (Gee, Eberron's totally original what with the good undead elves...) Of course, there's an evil baelnorn helping the Eldreth Veluuthra... I have no clue whether that would be statted as a baelnorn or a lich or what.

Arch-liches are also presented in Monsters of Faerūn, and are the same as the good liches in Libris Mortis, pretty much.

So yeah, no reason a lich should always be evil.

Woot Spitum
2007-01-18, 05:08 PM
Celestialiches? The ritual to become a lich kills the one using it. Outsiders die permanently if on their home plane, and simply are banished if not. Either way it doesn't work (regardless of alignment).

Person_Man
2007-01-18, 05:16 PM
In the older editions, Being Undead = Evil, always. But in 3.5 WotC has been all over the place on Negative Energy, Undead, and Evil, and what they all mean, and the meaning changes depending on which supplement you're reading at the moment.

The Book of Exalted Deeds even has "good" undead known as deathless. And the Complete Scoundrel has a "Gray Guard" Paladin who can break alignment restrictions. I mean seriously, why even have Evil as a game concept, if it doesn't mean anything? At this point, they might as well abolish alignment.

But I digress. So yes, you can have a lich of whatever alignment you want. But my suggestion is not to have one unless you want to fall into the Drizzt trap of every Evil creature being a rebel against his blah blah blah...

Ramza00
2007-01-18, 05:19 PM
Celestialiches? The ritual to become a lich kills the one using it. Outsiders die permanently if on their home plane, and simply are banished if not. Either way it doesn't work (regardless of alignment).
Wait they die permanently as if they can't be return by a wish/two wish spell? I know there body and soul are one, but are you sure they can't be return from the death on there home plane by such high powered magic?

Ramza00
2007-01-18, 05:21 PM
The Book of Exalted Deeds even has "good" undead known as deathless. And the Complete Scoundrel has a "Gray Guard" Paladin who can break alignment restrictions. I mean seriously, why even have Evil as a game concept, if it doesn't mean anything? At this point, they might as well abolish alignment.

But I digress. So yes, you can have a lich of whatever alignment you want. But my suggestion is not to have one unless you want to fall into the Drizzt trap of every Evil creature being a rebel against his blah blah blah...
Good, that is one of the things I hope they do in 4.0, abolish alingment as a forced game mechanic. Alingment should be something that is part of the gameworld, but what role alingment plays should be up to the DM. Forcing Alingment as permanent game mechanic is fitting a square peg down a round hole.

Zincorium
2007-01-18, 05:28 PM
Celestialiches? The ritual to become a lich kills the one using it. Outsiders die permanently if on their home plane, and simply are banished if not. Either way it doesn't work (regardless of alignment).

I'm pretty sure what he meant is that either the ritual is so incredibly good that it turns the practitioner into a celestial (or at least gives a celestial flavor) as part of the ritual, and/or they are so good they become celestial afterwards.

Or, y'know, he could have houseruled it.

Jack Mann
2007-01-18, 05:46 PM
Actually, he specifically said undead angels, so presumably he was talking about outsiders becoming undead.

Which means the latter is probably true.

Malachite
2007-01-18, 06:26 PM
I have an unusual lich in my campaign setting - he's still lawful evil, but his actions tend to be lawful neutral or even good. As he'd say: "My body's animated by dark necromantic magic. Of course I show up as evil. Doesn't mean I can't do magic tricks for the kids."

Still, he's the exception to the rule - other liches are evil though and through, and at least he's not angsty and ridden with guilt about his past life ;)

Viscount Einstrauss
2007-01-18, 06:35 PM
Monsters of Faerun indeed has the "good lich" listed in the back. They're noble souls that paid the ultimate price in order to protect something that was worth not only dying for, but (un)living for as well. I allow this in a lot of my campaigns for the PC's, but they need a cool roleplaying reason for it (which I'll build in if the PC gives me a heads-up first). Something like them needing to combat another powerful lich over time, so they give up their mortality in order to face that threat whenever it comes.

Aximili
2007-01-18, 06:52 PM
You want a good lich? Just make a Deathless (BoED) version of the lich template.
It will avoid the whole "Unspeakably evil ritual".
You won't have to make a good undead (not that it's so bad).
And it should be easier than choosing your feats. ;)

TheOOB
2007-01-18, 07:17 PM
If necromancy and negative energy is evil in your campaign, so it being a lich, otherwise being a lich is unaligned, but evil people are just more attracted to it (as they are more attracted to power and immortallity in general).

Rex Idiotarum
2007-01-18, 07:19 PM
Becoming a Lich is Evil. Although, when you live for centuries, you may switch sides now and then.

Jack Mann
2007-01-18, 07:24 PM
Basically what I'm working on, Ax, though with more of a divine angle to it.

Aximili
2007-01-18, 07:36 PM
Let me know when you're finished.:smallwink: One of my friends loves wizards and liches. Last time he needed a good one, he used the one in Races of Faerun. But the flavor wasn't that nice (Unspeakably Evil ritual suddenly isn't so Unspeakably Evil)

blackout
2007-01-18, 10:29 PM
IMHO, I don't think anyone can specifically declare a race/faction/organization/category of creature as completely evil. Liches included. Unspeakably evil ritual, yes. Sacrificing of innocents, killing people to achieve power, etc. But still, it's possible that there must be some sort of reverse ritual. A ritual where it's possible to become an undead arcane master without the evil 'take over the world syndrome'. SO, yes, I believe that there should/is/must be a good, or at least non-evil version of the lich. Thank you for reading this rambling. :)

Mewtarthio
2007-01-18, 10:42 PM
IMHO, I don't think anyone can specifically declare a race/faction/organization/category of creature as completely evil. Liches included. Unspeakably evil ritual, yes. Sacrificing of innocents, killing people to achieve power, etc. But still, it's possible that there must be some sort of reverse ritual. A ritual where it's possible to become an undead arcane master without the evil 'take over the world syndrome'. SO, yes, I believe that there should/is/must be a good, or at least non-evil version of the lich. Thank you for reading this rambling. :)

Ah, but what if there's not a non-evil version of the licification process? Or at least, nothing that would get you anywhere near what you'd consider lichdom (possibly some other form of immortality)? Of course, there's always the possibility that the lich, being immortal has a change of heart later on and decides to become a good guy, but that should be rare (curse the Succubus Paladin!).

Aximili
2007-01-18, 10:58 PM
But still, it's possible that there must be some sort of reverse ritual. A ritual where it's possible to become an undead arcane master without the evil 'take over the world syndrome'. SO, yes, I believe that there should/is/must be a good, or at least non-evil version of the lich. Thank you for reading this rambling. :)
IMO a good ritual that makes you undead goes sort of against the purpose. But I agree that no inteligent template/race/monster has to be of a certain alignment.

However, if there is an exception, undeads would be it. They are linked to the negative energy plane. They are sustained by evil. Would they continue to sustain themselves if they became good?

Rex Idiotarum
2007-01-18, 11:04 PM
By converting to positive energy, duh.

Aximili
2007-01-18, 11:22 PM
And than they are no longer undead are they? That's what the BoED calls Deathless ;)

Jack Mann
2007-01-19, 04:43 AM
Here you go (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1854704#post1854704), Ax.

Thomas
2007-01-19, 05:20 AM
Celestialiches? The ritual to become a lich kills the one using it. Outsiders die permanently if on their home plane, and simply are banished if not. Either way it doesn't work (regardless of alignment).

Libris Mortis has fiend-liches in the alternate undead section. It works fine, because - duh - they use a ritual that works for them.

Bzang.

(Besides, outsiders can be restored to life, no matter where they die. Limited wish, wish, miracle... I don't know where the banishment bit comes from. I don't think it's currently supported by the rules, although some fluff somewhere may have supported it.)

Aximili
2007-01-19, 03:40 PM
Here you go (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1854704#post1854704), Ax.
Thanks.
And very nice... very nice indeed.

Mewtarthio
2007-01-19, 03:45 PM
Libris Mortis has fiend-liches in the alternate undead section. It works fine, because - duh - they use a ritual that works for them.

Bzang.

(Besides, outsiders can be restored to life, no matter where they die. Limited wish, wish, miracle... I don't know where the banishment bit comes from. I don't think it's currently supported by the rules, although some fluff somewhere may have supported it.)

http://www.d20srd.org/srd/typesSubtypes.htm#outsiderType



Unlike most other living creatures, an outsider does not have a dual nature—its soul and body form one unit. When an outsider is slain, no soul is set loose. Spells that restore souls to their bodies, such as raise dead (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/raiseDead.htm), reincarnate (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/reincarnate.htm), and resurrection (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/resurrection.htm), don’t work on an outsider. It takes a different magical effect, such as limited wish (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/limitedWish.htm), wish (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/wish.htm), miracle (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/miracle.htm), or true resurrection (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/trueResurrection.htm) to restore it to life. An outsider with the native (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/typesSubtypes.htm#nativeSubtype) subtype can be raised, reincarnated, or resurrected just as other living creatures can be.


Extraplanar Subtype
A subtype applied to any creature when it is on a plane other than its native plane. A creature that travels the planes can gain or lose this subtype as it goes from plane to plane. Monster entries assume that encounters with creatures take place on the Material Plane, and every creature whose native plane is not the Material Plane has the extraplanar subtype (but would not have when on its home plane). Every extraplanar creature in this book has a home plane mentioned in its description. Creatures not labeled as extraplanar are natives of the Material Plane, and they gain the extraplanar subtype if they leave the Material Plane. No creature has the extraplanar subtype when it is on a transitive plane, such as the Astral Plane, the Ethereal Plane, and the Plane of Shadow.

It appears you are correct.

Aximili
2007-01-19, 03:50 PM
Outsiders are normal creatures on their own planes. So they can be ressurected (and they die) just as normal creatures. (Don't ask me to explain the native subtype).

Iituem
2007-01-19, 08:47 PM
Gwah. Right, then. How's this (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=32309) work for you?

Iituem
2007-01-19, 08:49 PM
Interestingly enough, I appear to have partially duplicated Jack Mann's reference by accident. Whoops. Still a fair bit different, mind.

Jack Mann
2007-01-20, 06:34 AM
Expect to hear from my attourney.

Bears With Lasers
2007-01-20, 06:35 AM
Jack is pleading guilty.

Jack Mann
2007-01-20, 06:40 AM
I'm the plaintiff! I can't plead guilty!

Bears With Lasers
2007-01-20, 06:46 AM
You can try.

Jack Mann
2007-01-20, 06:55 AM
This is the last time I get an attourney out of the discount rack.

Bears With Lasers
2007-01-20, 07:52 AM
I've made a plea bargain with the judge. He's agreed to only give you life without parole.

Jack Mann
2007-01-20, 07:23 PM
I call for a mistrial.

Bears With Lasers
2007-01-20, 07:26 PM
Guards? Have him gagged.