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    Orc in the Playground
     
    HalflingRangerGuy

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    Default Why would you bother with lichdom?

    L

    Pros
    -Resistance or immunity to many damage types.
    "Immortality"
    - dont need to breath.
    -You're really scary, if you're into that.
    -you can hang around undead and worry a lot less about maintaining control.

    However, almost every pro here can be done via other means, and as a high level spellcaster, most of them are available to you.

    Cons
    -Crazy startup costs:
    Impractical amount of sacrifices.
    Have to suicide.
    Probably entered into a bad deal with a demon lord such as orcus, becoming his/her little slave.
    -Costly maintainence in souls.
    -can't eat.
    -sexless.
    -everyone halfway decent hates you and then some.

    Unless eating souls is the best feeling ever or the state of lichdom feels like bliss, why would you go through the process, other than it being really cool (It sounds impressive but your existence will suck). There's half a hundred other things you could transform into without such flaws.

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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Why would you bother with lichdom?

    Liches don't need to eat souls, nor perform any sacrifices. There's also no requirement for allegiance to any deity or fiend.
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Why would you bother with lichdom?

    Impractical amount of sacrifices.
    The kind of people who consider lichdom usually aren't opposed to committing an incredible amount of atrocities.
    Have to suicide.
    Arguable, a lich is still "living" in a sense, and thus probably don't see this step as "killing yourself" but more of a temporary part of the process.
    Probably entered into a bad deal with a demon lord such as orcus, becoming his/her little slave.
    Not necessarily, you can often turn into a lich without making deals with Demon Lords or similar entities.
    Costly maintainence in souls.
    I don't think this is part of standard lichdom.
    -can't eat.
    -sexless.
    The first might be seen as getting rid of a time-consuming necessity, while how aggravating the latter is depends entirely on the person.
    everyone halfway decent hates you and then some.
    Again, if you are the type of person who would ponder about becoming a lich, chances are everyone halfway decent already hates you.

    Unless eating souls is the best feeling ever or the state of lichdom feels like bliss, why would you go through the process, other than it being really cool (It sounds impressive but your existence will suck). There's half a hundred other things you could transform into without such flaws.
    Because the other things might not be available or as easy to attain as becoming a lich. Because the phylactery adds an extra layer of protection that, say, vampires don't have. And if you stick around long enough, you might even turn into a demilich! Apart from godhood, what other "fundamentally alter your nature" options offer this kind of upwards mobility?

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    Eldritch Horror in the Playground Moderator
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    Default Re: Why would you bother with lichdom?

    *pages AOTRCommander to the courtesy phone*
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Why would you bother with lichdom?

    ob∑ses∑sion
    /əbˈseSHən/
    noun


    1. the state of being obsessed with someone or something.
    "she cared for him with a devotion bordering on obsession"

    2. an idea or thought that continually preoccupies or intrudes on a person's mind.
    "he was in the grip of an obsession he was powerless to resist"

    You don't become a lich cuz you really like knitting. Obsession with magic can do some weird **** to a mind, just look at whoever first made a Wand of Wonder.
    Last edited by hotflungwok; 2018-11-08 at 11:17 AM.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Why would you bother with lichdom?

    One thing to remember is that we, as players, can see all the options available. Some people tend to assume that if it is written, it is 100% always available to those in game. That is very likely not the case however. NPCs don't have a convenient book lying around that lists the pros and cons of all immorality options. One wizards may have been lucky enough to discover a method of attaining lichdom, another might not. One might know a trustworthy vampire, but another doesn't. One may have heard of a certain spell (or combination of spells) but another has never heard of any such spell in his life.

    Just because everything is conveniently listed for the players reference doesn't mean it is always 100% available to every one in the game.

    Liches don't need to eat souls, nor perform any sacrifices. There's also no requirement for allegiance to any deity or fiend.
    Presumably, he is using 5e D&D rules. Those specify that many turn to demons, and that sacrifices are required to maintain the lich (though no guidelines or rules are mentioned saying how often).
    Last edited by Jeraa; 2018-11-08 at 11:24 AM.

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    Default Re: Why would you bother with lichdom?

    Itís a shortcut compared to most methods of borderline immortality. Consider: at 11th level, there are not as many options to turn off death for a mage. Private Sanctum, Magic Jar, and similar spells are online for a sorcerer. For the Wizard, Tenserís Transformation and Contingency may be in their book now, but Anti-Magic Field has come online too.

    Itís a scary time, and if not getting laid and never tasting cake will keep you alive through all of that, sometimes villages need to burn and their inhabitants systematically sacrificed in an unspeakable ritual.
    Awesome avatar by Cuthalion

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Why would you bother with lichdom?

    Lichdom wouldn't be interesting if it wasn't as gruesome a deal as it is. It takes rather a lot of determination to carve out your own heart with a dull knife in the hopes that the recipe for immortality you're reading from isn't just some long dead bastards idea of a really funny practical joke. Thus, lichdom - from a literary or story perspective - really isn't about becoming immortal, but about what drives you to that choice, and what sort of person that makes you.

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    Default Re: Why would you bother with lichdom?

    Quote Originally Posted by hotflungwok View Post
    You don't become a lich cuz you really like knitting.
    Now I'm totally making that character.

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    Default Re: Why would you bother with lichdom?

    Quote Originally Posted by legomaster00156 View Post
    Liches don't need to eat souls, nor perform any sacrifices. There's also no requirement for allegiance to any deity or fiend.
    Probably buried somewhere in that vague "unspeakable vile acts" clause.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

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    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

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    Lizardfolk

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    Default Re: Why would you bother with lichdom?

    Liches are immortal and largely in control of themselves.

    In some settings (Forgotten Realms) some lichea have survives for thousands upon thousands of years and risen to be stronger than anything none-deific (Larloch, Ioulaum.)

    In Greyhawk one became a deity (Vecna) and others actively seek it out.

    In Spelljammer they float through open space for all eternity practicing their craft on funeral ships.

    Basically Lichdom works. True immortality is difficult, or perverts you. Becoming a vampire makes you fixated on feeding and sex, deathknights on war, and most other forms don't age but are fragile. Lichdom leaves younas yourself, but smarter and undead cockroach hard to kill.

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    Default Re: Why would you bother with lichdom?

    I would point out your ''cons" are not all that bad to many people.

    *Important things cost a lot...but some are more then willing to pay

    *No food? Who cares? Eat food for 50 years, and it becomes more boring then anything. Worse, as a character ages, they can't eat and drink all the ''fun" food and drinks...so they are not loosing anything.

    *No bedroom stuff....again, many older people can care less about this...and some people never cared.

    *Everyone hates you? This is likely true already for most people. There is a lot of hate in the world.

    *Service to an evil power? So what? Almost everyone serves someone. And the trick is live with it, or try to break away.


    What are the does of other ways your talking about?

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Why would you bother with lichdom?

    Quote Originally Posted by mucat View Post
    Now I'm totally making that character.
    Two words: yarn golem

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    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Why would you bother with lichdom?

    I'll admit that, in 5e, lichdom is a lot worse. I think there's something about needing to eat souls routinely (however vagulely 'routinely' is defined) and that you devolve into a mindless monster if not. But in earlier D&D, it didn't seem to have much downside besides the negatives that come with being undead. And a well-hidden phylactery is probably one of the best defenses you can have, so there's a lot of protection against dying if you happen to die.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    Lichdom wouldn't be interesting if it wasn't as gruesome a deal as it is. It takes rather a lot of determination to carve out your own heart with a dull knife in the hopes that the recipe for immortality you're reading from isn't just some long dead bastards idea of a really funny practical joke. Thus, lichdom - from a literary or story perspective - really isn't about becoming immortal, but about what drives you to that choice, and what sort of person that makes you.
    Next game I run, I may try to put in an evil wizard trying to do such a ritual. When he succeeds, the party finds out it was a joke by some ancient being they've been in touch with from time to time.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    HalflingRangerGuy

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    Default Re: Why would you bother with lichdom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    *No food? Who cares? Eat food for 50 years, and it becomes more boring then anything. Worse, as a character ages, they can't eat and drink all the ''fun" food and drinks...so they are not loosing anything.

    *No bedroom stuff....again, many older people can care less about this...and some people never cared.

    *Everyone hates you? This is likely true already for most people. There is a lot of hate in the world.

    *Service to an evil power? So what? Almost everyone serves someone. And the trick is live with it, or try to break away.


    What are the does of other ways your talking about?
    -There are ways to get a younger body for yourself. All the fun food, all the time.
    - Sex, hey, if you're powerful enough and evil enough to lich yourself, you can surely find ways to make it interesting.
    And well, if you can't enjoy either of those, what have you got? Studies and drama? Novelties?

    Hate, now, there's name calling, there's sticks and stones, there's your brutal and bloody extermination, and then there's a very justified brutal extermination that brings happiness to children at the end of storytime: lichdome very completely puts you in that last camp.

    As for that last one
    Again, once you're at that level, you aught to be your own master. You can turn junk into dragons but you'll be a puppet.

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    Lizardfolk

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    Default Re: Why would you bother with lichdom?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Jack View Post
    -There are ways to get a younger body for yourself. All the fun food, all the time.
    - Sex, hey, if you're powerful enough and evil enough to lich yourself, you can surely find ways to make it interesting.
    And well, if you can't enjoy either of those, what have you got? Studies and drama? Novelties?

    Hate, now, there's name calling, there's sticks and stones, there's your brutal and bloody extermination, and then there's a very justified brutal extermination that brings happiness to children at the end of storytime: lichdome very completely puts you in that last camp.

    As for that last one
    Again, once you're at that level, you aught to be your own master. You can turn junk into dragons but you'll be a puppet.
    5E Lich fluff turns them into vampires, I would discard it for the better older fluff.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Default Re: Why would you bother with lichdom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeraa View Post
    One thing to remember is that we, as players, can see all the options available. Some people tend to assume that if it is written, it is 100% always available to those in game. That is very likely not the case however. NPCs don't have a convenient book lying around that lists the pros and cons of all immorality options. One wizards may have been lucky enough to discover a method of attaining lichdom, another might not. One might know a trustworthy vampire, but another doesn't. One may have heard of a certain spell (or combination of spells) but another has never heard of any such spell in his life.
    This is a very good reason to be a Lich. If you want to become immortal there is no guarantee that youíll know the best way to become immortal. Maybe lichdom is the only path that you have access or even know about?
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    Necromance if you want to

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    But if your friends aren't dead and if they aren't dead then their no friends of mine

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    Superhero in the Playground Moderator
     
    Mark Hall's Avatar

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    Default Re: Why would you bother with lichdom?

    Quote Originally Posted by hotflungwok View Post
    Two words: yarn golem
    Dangerous Denizens: Monsters of Tellene has the Twine Golem.

    As to different paths of immortality, you might look at Palladium's Mystic China, which has a few different kinds of immortals and, as others have pointed out... you might not know about every method of immortality out there. Lichdom is kind of a classic, and might be better known than others, or be viewed as having fewer strings, or lower requirements... or even less risks.
    Last edited by Mark Hall; 2018-11-08 at 03:02 PM.
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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Why would you bother with lichdom?

    In a game/setting with a very clearly spelled-out afterlife, choosing any form of undeath voluntarily is actually quite dubious, unless some third party is involved.

    Seriously, if I knew for a fact that I could either be reborn as an potential angel in Heaven or a larva in Abadon, Iīd chose lichdom because I'm greedy and amoral enough to want it now, but shirk from paying the price. That's basically the polar opposite when you have the prospect to actually rise as an outsider, mostly meaning being good aligned and ending up in the upper spheres.

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    Default Re: Why would you bother with lichdom?

    Because there's a class of people you wouldn't mind see go missing (such as noisy neighbors or people who are rude to waiters) and all of this pesky biological stuff is getting in the way of your arcane studies. Sex? Who needs it! No one outside of third party material ever became an arcane demigod using that!
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    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Why would you bother with lichdom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Florian View Post
    In a game/setting with a very clearly spelled-out afterlife, choosing any form of undeath voluntarily is actually quite dubious, unless some third party is involved.

    Seriously, if I knew for a fact that I could either be reborn as an potential angel in Heaven or a larva in Abadon, Iīd chose lichdom because I'm greedy and amoral enough to want it now, but shirk from paying the price. That's basically the polar opposite when you have the prospect to actually rise as an outsider, mostly meaning being good aligned and ending up in the upper spheres.
    Most D&D afterlifes aren't that great if you want some preservation of sense of self. I'm sure it differs a lot in different established settings, but going off what I've read in a lot of splatbooks, it seems that, generally,
    1) evil souls go to an evil plane, and either become near-mindless larvae-rank demons/devils OR are tortured as fuel/fun for demons/devils
    2) good/neutral souls go to their respective plane as petitioners, and eventually merge with the plane
    3) clerics, or those strongly devoted to a god, go to the god's realm. They eventually merge with the plane
    (I hadn't read about good beings becoming outsiders in the sense of angels or archons.)

    All methods I've read end with no sense of self with about 99.99% of cases: you're either a low-rank grub or tortured soul in Hell, or you merge with Heaven/neutral-Heaven. Maybe it takes a few millenia, and you really enjoy those times, but eventually those end. And maybe some demon/devil-larvae do keep a sense of self as they raise in rank, but that's the exception to the rule (though a really arrogant wizard might think they can raise in the ranks.)

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Why would you bother with lichdom?

    Quote Originally Posted by JeenLeen View Post
    Most D&D afterlifes aren't that great if you want some preservation of sense of self. I'm sure it differs a lot in different established settings, but going off what I've read in a lot of splatbooks, it seems that, generally,
    1) evil souls go to an evil plane, and either become near-mindless larvae-rank demons/devils OR are tortured as fuel/fun for demons/devils
    2) good/neutral souls go to their respective plane as petitioners, and eventually merge with the plane
    3) clerics, or those strongly devoted to a god, go to the god's realm. They eventually merge with the plane
    (I hadn't read about good beings becoming outsiders in the sense of angels or archons.)

    All methods I've read end with no sense of self with about 99.99% of cases: you're either a low-rank grub or tortured soul in Hell, or you merge with Heaven/neutral-Heaven. Maybe it takes a few millenia, and you really enjoy those times, but eventually those end. And maybe some demon/devil-larvae do keep a sense of self as they raise in rank, but that's the exception to the rule (though a really arrogant wizard might think they can raise in the ranks.)
    Yeah, none of those are an afterlife in any meaningful sense, they're just prolonged death.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

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    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

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    Default Re: Why would you bother with lichdom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Yeah, none of those are an afterlife in any meaningful sense, they're just prolonged death.
    So...Oblivion, or never having to worry about annoying bodily fluids? Decisions, decisions.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oko and Qailee View Post
    Man, I like this tiefling.
    For all of your completely and utterly honest needs. Zaydos made, Tiefling approved.

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    Default Re: Why would you bother with lichdom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Honest Tiefling View Post
    So...Oblivion, or never having to worry about annoying bodily fluids? Decisions, decisions.
    Why must I choose only one?

    But, seriously, if you're a powerful mage on a quest for ultimate arcane perfection, you can't let a little thing like death get in the way. You think they're going to let you keep unraveling the mysteries of the universe in heaven or hell? Pssh. Also, what's great about becoming a lich compared to some other forms of immortality is that you get a bunch of nice bonuses in addition, and the only weakness you pick up is that possibly a cleric could turn you, but you're very good at resisting that even if it does happen.

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    Default Re: Why would you bother with lichdom?

    Reverse the question Why wouldnít you want to be an immortal lich?

    Pro
    Other forms of immortality - vampire, death knight etc. are more fragile and are closer to extended mortality than true immortality.

    Can be a pro or a con
    Loss of fleshly concerns - sex, love, friendship, other pleasures that come from interaction with living beings.

    Definite cons
    Constant paranoia. That phylactery doesnít guard itself and now you are guarding your immortal self, not your mortal self.

    Turning yourself into a quest item. Inevitably other people are going to want you destroyed or your stuff. Now human life is too shortnfor that to be guaranteed, but it will happen 100% of the time to liches.

    Linked to the above 2 - you need to be solitary as every living and unliving thing that is not 100% under your control is a risk.

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    Default Re: Why would you bother with lichdom?

    In standard D&D, seeking out lichdom takes a special kind of crazy. At least in the game I'm running, lichdom makes sense as one of the only ways where someone can "survive" an apocalyptic scenario if their civilization didn't develop decent enough technology to make robots or something. Yes, there are other ways to do it with magic, and there are those who took those paths, but when you're talking a scenario where you basically have to survive in a world of exceedingly boring eternal darkness for a thousand years while all semblance of life on the planet grows cold, the mental numbing effect of lichdom could be useful.

    Anyway, that's how I justify it when it comes up.
    Currently RPG group playing: Endworld (D&D 5e. A Homebrewed post-apocalyptic supplement.)

    My campaign settings: Azura; 10,000 CE | The Frozen Seas | Bloodstones (Paleolithic Horror) | AEGIS - The School for Superhero Children | Iaphela (5e, Elder Scrolls)

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Why would you bother with lichdom?

    Quote Originally Posted by JeenLeen View Post
    Next game I run, I may try to put in an evil wizard trying to do such a ritual. When he succeeds, the party finds out it was a joke by some ancient being they've been in touch with from time to time.
    Hm - the joke I'm getting at is that the ritual doesn't work, so ... he can't really succeed. But an interesting twist would be if your ancient entity gains control of the wizards soul =)

    But then it's more of a trap, and less of a practical joke.

    It's a good joke, though. I hadn't really thought it through, but next game I run, the players will absolutely find a dead wizard, who carved out his own heart and just died, following instructions in a book that promised lichdom. And they'll have to wonder - did the wizard just botch it? Because ... even with such evidence, it's unlikely they'll think it was just a practical joke.

    That's frankly so evil, though. Pulling that on my unsuspecting players - does that make me a bad person?

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    Default Re: Why would you bother with lichdom?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Jack View Post

    Cons
    -Crazy startup costs:
    Impractical amount of sacrifices.
    Have to suicide.
    Probably entered into a bad deal with a demon lord such as orcus, becoming his/her little slave.
    -Costly maintainence in souls.
    -can't eat.
    -sexless.
    -everyone halfway decent hates you and then some.
    1 - you're gaining a form of immortality, shouldn't be too hard to make the cash back.

    2 - impractical to some is... a challenge worth undertaking to others. note that the tons-o-sacrifice thing is not a constant through editions: 2nd ed's lichdom was largely a 3 step process: make a phylactary, make the transformation potion, "survive". 2nd ed just needs the fresh heart of one sentient creature as an ingredient in the potion, so murder is more of a byproduct of the process then a strictly listed step.

    3 - if all goes well, it's more like a temporary excursion into the outer planes.

    4 - not really? depends on the lore/setting. for some settings, yeah it might require a pact with the demon lords but others might be able to find that information squirreled away in some guarded tome, figure out the pricess themselves or be it uncommon but not unheard of that it's studied, if only so people know how to see the early warning of a lich in the making.

    5 - again, setting dependant and one i've never heard of before.

    6 & 7 - I'm sure you can develop a spell to give you tastebuds or temporarily revive your lil' lich if you really want to.

    8 - eh... you probably won't win any favours by being a lich alone, but it all depends on what you do with your power. spend 200 years growing a utopia out of nothing simply out of raw, sheer and unshakeable spite towards the kingdom that shunned you and your ways... while your methods may be... unconventional... on one hand, on the other: universal health care, low crime, no caste system outside of "I'M KING, Y'ALL ARE EQUAL." and a guaranteed income for all.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Why would you bother with lichdom?

    Yes, 5th edition made Lichdom really unattractive and stupid.

    Not only is the soul maintenance a big vulnerability, it also negates one other central benefit of earlier Lichdom : That you could exist and do your own thing without bothering anyone else, thus avoiding making enemies or drawing attention.

    Instead now you are just another undead parasite that has to be fought to protect whatever community is nearby. And making the transformation ritual more likely to generate victims didn't help either.





    I mean, i see why the change was done. So that adventurer groups actually have a reason to fight lichs instead of looking like douchbags for killing reclusive passive inoffensive researchers just to take their stuff. But that also destroyed any incentive for reclusive passive inoffensive researches to try to become a lich in the first place. It is no longer a way to do your own thing and research arcane knowledge for millenia while not having to pay attention to the rest of the world anymore.
    Last edited by Satinavian; 2018-11-09 at 02:51 AM.

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    Default Re: Why would you bother with lichdom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kadzar View Post
    You think they're going to let you keep unraveling the mysteries of the universe in heaven or hell? Pssh.
    According to the 5e book Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes, the plane of Cania, one of the Nine Hells, is full of wizards who do just that. Except all of the fun has been taken out of it. They don't get to choose their topics of research. They can't leave their citadels or take a break. They have to write extensive reports that Mephistopheles will read when he feels like it. It is like real-life academia, but longer. :-p

    Now, I would have a hard time believing that good or neutral gods of arcana and knowledge wouldn't shape their afterlives as more palatable versions of this.

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