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Why do mages always turn lich when looking for eternal life/unlife?

SmilingSwordSmilingSword Member Posts: 827
All the main evil mages turn lich and I wanna know why this is?
Larloch, Szass Tam both creepy undead things, falling to bits, why is lich the go to option? If you don't mind being undead, why not just get bitten by a vampire. By all accounts vampires lords are extremely strong creatures, I doubt they would lose any of the spell casting power they had before, they would still gain the benefit of eternal unlife and would have have the bonus of not being a gross corpse looking thing that is falling to bits.
Yes vamps have that annoying weakness to sunlight, but surely a powerful mage could find a way to counter that, also the hunger factor, but eating a few unwary travelers or an adventurer now and then shouldn't be a problem for a mage willing to become undead in the quest of eternal life/unlife.

Would capturing a genie and wishing for immortality work?

Maybe binding an extremely powerful demon and forcing it to grant your wish?

Are there any other, less rotting corspey options for mages seeking to live/unlive for ever?

Post edited by SmilingSword on
kcwise
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Comments

  • SmilingSwordSmilingSword Member Posts: 827
    Liches have a phylactery yes, but if it is destroyed the lich is done, a Vampire lord on the other hand always a chance to come back. This is what you have to do to kill a vamp lord:

    The only way to make sure that a vampire lord does not return is to cut its head from its body, burn the body and the head separately, scatter the ashes from the body over running water, immerse the ashes from the head in holy water, and bury the immersed ashes in consecrated ground. However, if the head ashes are ever unearthed and somehow separated from the holy water, dried thoroughly, and then subjected to an unhallow spell, the vampire lord can regenerate in a week if the ashes are placed inside one of its places of rest.

    kcwise
  • deltagodeltago Member Posts: 7,025
    You need another Vampire to become a vampire and are forced into thier hierarchy. it is done by
    Liches on the other hand allow a solitude existence without any outside help.

    Turning into a loch is probably the easiest way for a mage to become undead since it is done by magical means. They away familiar with performing complex incantations required to become undead.

    kcwiseJuliusBorisov
  • SmilingSwordSmilingSword Member Posts: 827
    Fair point @deltago on the transformation to lich being done by strictly magical means and therefore a more natural choice for a mage, but it has to be said that vampires don't necessarily need to be part of a clan. More over one of the steps to becoming a vamp lord is killing your creator, your creator does not have to be a vamp lord itself.

    Also the mage has to already be fairly powerful to try turning into a lich, so capturing a vampire , then protecting oneself from mental commands, forcing it to turn her/him and then promptly disposing of the creature seems like a fairly simple straight forward way to gain immorally. At less as straight forward as crafting a plylactery for oneself.

    kcwise
  • GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356

    ... straight forward way to gain immorally.

    True. Even though you probably meant "immortality".

    SmilingSwordDJKajurukcwiseNonnahswriter
  • VallmyrVallmyr Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,381
    Well, on a scale of 1 to 10 vampire falls at LAME (1) and Lich is at OH DAMN THAT'S COOL (10). I personally play Liches when I can in PnP on my necromancers because I think the idea of having an expandable body is really rad. I had a Lich Dirge Bard in a Pathfinder game once. He was using Libris Mortis's variant rules for good liches and he was in service to the Goddess Desna to forever seek knowledge. There was this great scene where one person had to stay behind for the rest of the party to escape these dead space-like monolith things that were animating dead in the area. My Dirge Bard (of whom had a permanent Gentle Repose effect on him) made this heroic scene where he had the rest of the party leave as he fought off all the undead with his rapier and spells. He was the bestest little gnome guy!

    Anyway, he eventually was overcome by the endless swarms and the party was like NOOOO HE'S DEAD.

    1d10 days later I was like HEY GUYS HOW'S IT GOIN'!? and the party was super baffled that I survived. XD. OOC only the DM knew I was a Lich.

    So Liches are cool. I also dislike Vampires because of the entire "I need blood to survive" thing. I'd rather not go around drinking people's blood. Btw, I'm not sure why more liches don't do the entire /cast Gentle Repose thing each day. Stops your body from rotting so you always look fresh.

    As for other ways of reaching immortality I'm not really sure.

    TL;DR. Vampires are lame/boring and Liches are REALLY FREAKING COOL!

    SmilingSwordkcwiseJuliusBorisov
  • SmilingSwordSmilingSword Member Posts: 827

    ... straight forward way to gain immorally.

    True. Even though you probably meant "immortality".
    Ooops my bad

    kcwise
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,161
    I'm not too well-versed in D&D mechanics, but doesn't lichdom also confer beneficial effects outside of those gained by undead in general? Not to mention that there's also the whole demilich thing to look forward to, which afaik makes you immune to nearly all spells. Don't recall vampires, even lords, having that benefit.

    Also, what exactly happens to a D&D vampire if they don't drink enough blood? Die? Hibernate? Go insane?

    kcwise
  • VallmyrVallmyr Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,381

    I'm not too well-versed in D&D mechanics, but doesn't lichdom also confer beneficial effects outside of those gained by undead in general? Not to mention that there's also the whole demilich thing to look forward to, which afaik makes you immune to nearly all spells. Don't recall vampires, even lords, having that benefit.

    Also, what exactly happens to a D&D vampire if they don't drink enough blood? Die? Hibernate? Go insane?

    Well, if my knowledge is correct in 3.5/Pathfinder at least Liches gain bonuses (+2) to Wis, Int, and Cha as well as perception and stealth bonuses. They gain a touch attack that can be used to heal them self infinitely or touch an enemy to harm them and possibly paralyze them. On top of this they have a fear aura. Hm. . . Darkvision. That's another thing. Natural armor bonus (+5) and Damage Reduction that's only bypassed by magical bludgeoning attacks. Immunity to cold and electric damage.

    Keep in mind I mostly play Pathfinder so I might be wrong if they are different in 3.5 and stuff. Not sure what they gain in 2e or 5e. Haven't had enough experience with those.

    kcwise
  • CahirCahir Member, Moderator, Translator (NDA) Posts: 2,097
    AFAIK many powerful mages, especially the ones of a good alignment use carefully crafted Wish spells to prolong life. As for evil mages, Manshoon for example cast it few times instead of embracing lichdom, IIRC.

    kcwiseJuliusBorisov
  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,310
    edited July 2015

    Would capturing a genie and wishing for immortally work?

    Probably. But not without suffering a BAD END. Same goes for any other Djinn, Dao, Marid or Efreeti.

    Maybe binding an extremely powerful demon and forcing it to grant your wish?

    You can bind any evil outsider directly to your own skin. The bound demon then devours the arcane casters skin, flesh, and blood. But fear not; should the mage survive this veeeeerryyyyyyy agonizing and long ritual, then the tanar'ri/yuguloth/baatezu becomes his or her own flesh. Literally. Both the caster and the evil outsider eventually become one entity in mind and body. Voila, the immortality is gained by becoming a demon/devil yourself!
    For more information look up the Acolyte of the Skin prestige class.

    Are there any other, less rotting corspey options for mages seeking to live/unlive for ever?

    Many.

    For one, mages could make a pact with Lovecraftian entities from the Far Realm. Said mages become incurable insane in the proccess, but physically become aliens/aberrations which don't age. Well, the downside is that at some unfixed point in their unnatural lifetime something abducts them to the Far Realm and beyond. Never to be seen again.
    That would be the Alienist prestige class.

    Then there are those spellcasters that choose to become elementals, one way or another. You could either become one by fusing with an elemental familiar, as the Bonded Summoner does. Or by completely focusing on a single elemental magic via studying the basic building blocks of existence, like an Elemental Savant.

    Pretty sure mages could also implant their souls into a golem or similar construct. I mean there are sentient weapons after all. So why shouldn't there be sentient Clockwork Roaches as well?

    SmilingSwordkcwiseNonnahswriter
  • JarrakulJarrakul Member Posts: 2,029
    Look, it's like this: basically all the options have downsides. Demons can possess/manipulate you, djinn can twist your wish, becoming a vampire means you need to feed constantly (a real bother when you want to sit in a secluded tower studying for centuries), etc. With lichhood, you just rot a bit. It's only form of immortality whose primary downside can be fixed with a 2nd level Alter Self spell.

    SmilingSwordkcwise
  • SethDavisSethDavis Member Posts: 1,812
    does being a god's chosen come with some degree of immortality?

    SmilingSwordkcwise
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,161
    It should, right? I mean Elminster is centuries old, isn't he.

    I'd also be interested to learn about the implications of magic and genetics. Would it be possible to alter your own body makeup to become a member of a naturally immortal race?

    SethDavisSmilingSwordkcwise
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 14,070
    Vampire is the way to go. Becoming a lich is a dicey process--even properly done, the ritual may simply kill the caster. There's little guarantee of success. Finding a vampire through divination, kidnapping it, and forcing it to turn you would be safer, as you're just preying on a weaker critter. Risky, yes, but less reliant on chance than turning into a lich.

    Or, you could bribe a vampire. Offer to build them a golem to defend their coffins, or offer to cast some protective magics to shield their hideout from divination magic, keeping their enemies at bay.

    SmilingSwordkcwise
  • EmpyrialEmpyrial Member Posts: 107
    Cahir said:

    AFAIK many powerful mages, especially the ones of a good alignment use carefully crafted Wish spells to prolong life. As for evil mages, Manshoon for example cast it few times instead of embracing lichdom, IIRC.

    Manshoon eventually becomes a vampire by the way.

    kcwise
  • JarrakulJarrakul Member Posts: 2,029
    In fairness, vampires aren't exactly easy to kill either. Normally they just retreat to their coffins. But yeah, they're easier to kill than liches.

    kcwise
  • SmilingSwordSmilingSword Member Posts: 827
    Archaos said:

    Empyrial said:


    Manshoon eventually becomes a vampire by the way.

    Vampire:
    -Weakness to sun and instadeath to sun.
    -Weakness to running water (no big deal)
    -If decapitated, they can die permanently.
    -They cannot enter places without invitation
    -They can die with a simple stake to the heart (and then decapitated)
    -Have no way to come back if defeated.
    -They need to rest in a coffin and/or on the ground they were buried (could be inside the coffin).
    -They also need to feed on blood, which means contact with people, which means adventurers
    -If you are turned into a vampire, you become a vampire spawn first. Making you a mindless pet of the other vampire.
    -Can die if submerged into running water.
    -Weak to spells such as Sunbeam etc.
    -Even if they can research a Protection from Sunlight spell, it can be dispelled or turned off in an Anti-Magic Field.
    -In 3E, the Level Adjustment when becoming a vampire is +8. This means that you're 8 levels behind, XP-wise.
    *
    Most of this doesn't apply to Vampire Lords, which is what you would be aiming for if you go the vampire route.

    Vampire Lords:
    -A vampire lord is not as vulnerable to sunlight as a normal vampire, and can go about in broad daylight if it desires. Under sunlight, it takes a -4 penalty to all ability scores and on all attacks, saves, and skill checks.
    -Vampire lords can cross over or through running water with no impediments. They are not harmed in any way by immersion in running water.
    -decapitation alone won't kill a vampire lord.
    -A vampire lord is not killed outright by a wooden stake driven through its heart, though the stake does cause normal damage if it can bypass the creature's damage reduction.
    -Vampire Lords always have a chance to come back if defeated, they must be placed in one of their places of rest.
    - Also you don't have to become a vampire spawn before becoming a vampire, If the vampire kills you by draining your con to 0 then you become a vampire spawn if you have less than 4HD a vampire if 5HD or more.

    Yes the road to becoming a Vampire Lord is treacherous and long, but the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.

    SethDaviselminsterkcwiseJuliusBorisov
  • ArchaosArchaos Member Posts: 1,419
    edited July 2015
    @SmilingSword The Vampire Lord is an optional web-only variant rule for 3E.
    And Paladins can be evil because there's the Paladin of Tyranny and Slaughter variant classes.

    The Vampire Lord is not really canon by the FR lore and basically doesn't exist except if a DM allows it.
    When it comes to FR lore, Liches > Vampires in pretty much everything really.

    Also, if we bring Vampire Lords, then I can bring 3E Demiliches. Epic casters with total spell immunity, epic spells and basically 8 phylacteries. And those are canon with FR lore.
    http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Demilich

    You thought Kangaax and BG's demiliches were bad? Try one that casts 9th level spells while having eight phylacteries as well.

    Liches still win because for the Vampire Lord to come back, he needs to be unearthed etc etc, the Lich only needs time and nothing else to come back on it's own, without any help.

    SmilingSwordkcwise
  • SmilingSwordSmilingSword Member Posts: 827
    Archaos said:

    @SmilingSword The Vampire Lord is an optional web-only variant rule for 3E.
    And Paladins can be evil because there's the Paladin of Tyranny and Slaughter variant classes.

    The Vampire Lord is not really canon by the FR lore and basically doesn't exist except if a DM allows it.
    When it comes to FR lore, Liches > Vampires in pretty much everything really.

    Also, if we bring Vampire Lords, then I can bring 3E Demiliches. Epic casters with total spell immunity, epic spells and basically 8 phylacteries.
    http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Demilich

    You thought Kangaax and BG's demiliches were bad? Try one that casts 9th level spells as well.

    I did not know that they were not canon, my bad

    kcwise
  • ArchaosArchaos Member Posts: 1,419
    edited July 2015
    @SmilingSword They might be canon and appear somewhere but as far as I'm aware of, they were only introduced stat-wise here: http://archive.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/mm/20021018a.
    And this was pretty obscure to find, except the archived page on WotC.

    Otherwise, there are no canon FR Vampire Lord NPCs with those stats. There are some vampires with the Master Vampire PrC though.

    As I said above, even as a Vampire Lord, you need someone to find you and do some stuff.
    Liches just reform after a few days on their own.

    kcwiseSmilingSword
  • CahirCahir Member, Moderator, Translator (NDA) Posts: 2,097
    Plus it must be extremely hard to become demilich since there are virtually few known demiliches in FR canon (I can name Shoon and one known as Tombtapper which lives seclusively deep down in thd Lowerdark.

    kcwiseSmilingSword
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,161
    This reminds me, how did mages like Karsus extend their lifespan to hundreds of years? Pretty sure he was not a lich (though of course other Netherese were).

    kcwise
  • CahirCahir Member, Moderator, Translator (NDA) Posts: 2,097
    edited July 2015
    I think Ioulaum, one of the most powerful Netherese arcanists invented an epic spell which he used to prolong his life by sacrificing bunch of other creatures. IIRC his apprentice Tabra used it once in modern times to kill some nasty creatures in Underdark (can't recall what those creatures were). Netherese mages rarely decided to become liches (Larloch and one other bloated ugly guy which name I can't recall were notable exceptions).

    EDIT: Ah yes now I remember - Aumvor the Undying was the name of the ugly lich.

    SmilingSwordkcwise
  • JarrakulJarrakul Member Posts: 2,029
    Isn't the entire idea of the Vampire Lord that you have to be enslaved to another vampire and then break free? That seems like a pretty big potential downside. I can really easily imagine some over-ambitious mage trying that and never managing the whole "break free" thing.

    kcwiseGrumSmilingSword
  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 3,203
    Also, good mages wouldn't necessarily want to be immortal - they would rather create a huge impact with their knowledge, and benefit those around him somehow, rather than keeping all that knowledge with himself, like an evil or neutral mage would.

    kcwise
  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 3,203
    kcwise said:

    It is interesting that so much of our fantasy and mythology attributes a desire to live longer as evil. I suppose the idea that it is unnatural or an affront to deities is behind it, but it seems a perfectly logical pursuit for a good person, as long as they don't employ some truly evil means to accomplish it.

    Becoming immortal by performing acts of good will? It is possible, but usually in fantasy worlds it also involves the Gods - good characters may become immortal divine champions , or demigods . But , philosophically speaking, the only ones who wish to surpass their own natural lifespam are those who either don't feel they've lived a good life OR those who are tremendously afraid of death (for whatever reasons).

    Of course you, as a good character, could wish to be immortal so you could carry on with a noble cause . Immortality just for the sake of living forever and accumulating power/wealth/friends/whatever seems a bit selfish.

    kcwise
  • PKMN12PKMN12 Member Posts: 7
    edited July 2015
    there is only one right answer....because Liches are cool! All that other stuff is just fluff.

    kcwiseVallmyrDJKajuru
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