|Size||6 ft. 1 in. tall|
|Special Attacks||fear, magic to hit, magic defenses,|
natural immunities, paralysation,
The lich, also "litch" or "lych", meaning a body or a corpse, is sometimes addressed as lichama, "the undead spirit using the body as a covering." The lich appears as a skeleton swathed in clothes that have rotted over time, with eyesockets that are black pools, with glowing points of light, from which the undead soul looks outwards. They are often mistaken at first glance for a wight.
Due to its appearance and state of mind, a lich must usually retreat to some lost ruin, where it endeavors to surround itself with allies such as minor undead, criminals who fear the lich's power or other evil beings willing to ally themselves. As the lich is a supra-genius, it knows that having fodder to stand between it and its enemies allows cover, so that the lich can employ its magic from hiding. Though insane and dangerous, a lich is always guided by its self-interest; it therefore engages with lesser beings in order to keep their support, until such time as it's needful to sacrifice such disposable fools in moments of necessity. A lich expects to live for centuries; it doesn't care about wealth, so it can afford to be generous; but it feels no duty to any except itself.
Origin & Survival
The existence of a lich derives from the use of powerful and arcane magics, which allow a wizard of sufficient knowledge to transfer his or her mind into a magic jar, while yet retaining consciousness. From this place — and the jar is indeed well hidden, for once the wizard's consciousness is placed there, it cannot be moved again — the wizard is able to manipulate the body, and feel what the body feels, while remaining safe from harm; for if the body is killed, the wizard yet survives, so long as the jar isn't discovered and destroyed.
However, after the passing of a normal lifespan, the magic jarred entity loses all touch with humanity, becoming deranged and darkly malevolent. While it could exchange its mortal body for another, the new body must be brought into contact with the jarred entity. This is dangerous for the lich, and worse, demands a body that is strong enough to endure the lich's malignance, which can age a common young body to a corpse in a mere three years. Over time, then, while a lich may have exchanged bodies many times, it's usually in some state of being a cadaver, as it awaits its next victim.
If it happens that anyone comes within sight of the jar, perhaps intending to destroy it, the lich will be able to drop its present form at once in order to possess this new, at-hand victim. This process takes place in the same way as demonic possession. If the creature to be possessed makes save against paralysation, the lich cannot revert to the body it's just abandoned. If there is no other body that it can immediately attempt to possess (it can make two such attempts per melee round) then the lich will be helpless, as it cannot cast spells without a body.
Naturally, the lich will take every step to put as many obstacles as possible between its jar and others. The physical presence of the lich, when encountered, may be thousands of miles from its true jarred consciousness; there's no limit as to where the body might go — except that it, too, must be preserved, or else the jar may wait for years, decades or centuries to be stumbled upon by a new victim, before the lich can act freely again.
The lich's unnatural aura is terrifying. If, in the presence of these creatures, the lich chooses to throw off its hood and reveal its full madness and appearance, creatures that have less than 5 hit dice or levels will flee in fear. There is no saving throw for this. The fear will be all-consuming, so that those affected will take flight until they collapse. Afterwards, it will take 20-80 minutes for them to recover from this fear.
Creatures with less than 6 hit dice or levels will be unable to affect the lich with magical attacks. This includes monsters that possess these magics naturally. The lich's undead nature defends it against those who are unable to produce magic powerful enough.
A lich has very little reason to attack any creature in hand-to-hand melee; however, if it should, the lich has a touch so cold that if it lays its hand upon a being, it will cause 1-10 damage. Armour and clothes cannot protect the victim against this touch, and so the lich need only hit armour class (AC) 10 — which, for a lich, is a natural 4 on a d20. Dexterity bonuses are applicable, to dodge this touch, but magical armour or protection devices are useless against the lich, which knows how to subvert these defenses. Additionally, any touched creature must save vs. paralysation, or be rendered helpless for 2-5 hours.
Because of the lich's undead nature, though it wears no armour and appears to have no protection, the creature possesses an AC of 0. It can only be hit with magical weapons. It is immune to charm, sleep, enfeeblement, polymorph other and shape change, cold-based attacks, electricity, spells that cause damage or death.
In addition to the above, lichs possess spellcasting ability as an 18th or greater level mage. These are the spells it possessed prior to becoming undead, and it retains the use of these spells. Spellcasting, however, isn't a natural ability; the lich must take the normal number of rounds to cast these spells, discharging them as other caster.