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D&D 3E
Liches 
13th-May-2007 01:47 pm
Sorry, but I don't know hardly anything about liches. Well, I know the game mechanics, but...

What kind of society do Liches have for themselves? I know they keep various undead at hand to serve as an army or servants or whatever else, and they keep a necromancer or two around as well, but... Are liches always strictly solitary, or do they sometimes hangout together and plot the destruction of the world together, or..?

I should have read more when I was younger :P
Comments 
13th-May-2007 10:01 pm (UTC)
Usually they are solitary... Liches are on top of the evolutionary chart as far as undead go, if you read some of the Ravenloft material you can see the lich that keeps struggling against Strahd and how much of a pain in the a$$ he was.

They rarely congregate unless they are plotting to take each other out, unless they are "arch liches", that horrid concept from 2E that created Good liches to be foils for evil ones. Ick!

There were a few products that touched on Liches in OGL/D20 formats, I am sure you can find better info there. Take it from a guy who played a character who became a lich, they are quite a formidable force on their own! Imagine three of them together!
13th-May-2007 10:36 pm (UTC)
If liches would convene they would likely be plotting ways to eliminate each other as much as they work on their plot together. I imagine they guard their secrets jealously and have plenty to guard. Their sole motivation to an alliance would likely be deceit, and I means layers upon layers of deceit.
13th-May-2007 10:50 pm (UTC)
Well, your storyline is paramount. If it works for the adventure to have a thriving hierarchy of liches and necromancers, and so on, then go for it.

But there are some decisions that are more "resonant" with a creature's characteristics than others. Liches are, typically:
* willing to go to drastic lengths for personal power
* interested in long-term planning
* carefully paranoid about their safety

A character willing to become a lich is willing to set aside all her short-lived friends and family, for the sake of power. If she's going to remain consistent with that decision, she'll probably be secretive, or surround herself with elves, extra-planar beings, or other undead.

And the most likely is solitary. Now, what does someone with an infinite existence plan to do when she wakes up? Some long-range plan or another, no doubt.

If I were a lich, there no way I'd ever hang out with a minion who could turn or rebuke me. If I needed a necromancer henchman, I'd work through intermediaries or magical conversations, and I'd make sure he'd never find out where I dwelt. I'd probably place some sort of explosive fail-safe on him, just to be on the safe side.

On the other hand, it occurs to me, I'd be happy to shack up with some mind-flayers. Their powers wouldn't work on me, mine still work on them just fine, thank you, and their "extinguish the sun" agenda wouldn't bother me.
14th-May-2007 02:37 am (UTC)
Typically, a lich is an extremely powerful meglomaniacal spellcaster that has used undeadom to achieve greater heights of power. It is unlikely that they would partner with anyone (as that would entail them considering someone a peer, rather than an irritation, an underling, or a threat).

The only exception I can think to this is the Zulkirs from Forgotten Realms.

Unless your storyline is vastly altering the way liches work, then treat them like evil, powerful wizards and sorcerers.
14th-May-2007 04:57 am (UTC) - Liches
Just to nit-pick only one of the Zulkirs is a Lich, most of them are still alive.

There is another group of Liches in FR called the Twisted Rune, almost all of them are liches and they currently control Calimshan behind the scenes. Beyond that the Cult of the Dragon makes Dracoliches which isn't quite the same thing. The Twisted Rune all pretty much hate each other and use their power to try and take sole control of the group. Though for the most part if faced with a threat they will work together, and if they work together kingdoms fall and hero's die they are all epic level casters.

Lirbis Mortis makes mention of a city of undead they made up, I know there is a city of Necromancers in the Scarred Land setting. Also I am sure there liches under Kel'Thuzad in the Scourge in the Warcraft setting.

Point is if you want the Liches to have a society then go right ahead there are plently of groups that 'work' together to do world spanning things, I could see a group of Dracoliches working together maybe each of them controlling minor kingdoms playing god and king to the people. Yes though most Liches, especially the very powerful tend to be loners.

Larloch, the most powerful non-dragon in Forgotten Realms is a lich wizard (like 30+) though he doesn't really do much anymore. He just wants to gather magical knowledge now days, his days of ruling things are long over, at least in his mind.

Anyways I hope that helped some :) I have a city of undead that is ruled by a council of liches in my own setting for example though that is the exception not the rule.
15th-May-2007 01:33 am (UTC)
There are a few adventure lines that have a lich as the arch-nemesis but he's right there in front of the PCs without their knowledge as the power behind the throne or even the person who hired them to do these "good" deeds. In these they disguise themselves with appropriate magic and manipulate for the long haul.
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