Saturday, June 15, 2019

OSR: Lich Generator

<author's note>
A quick update.  I'm very busy with work so don't expect as much content as usual for the immediate future.  Rest assured, I will get you guys as much as I can manage, but I'm rather busy these days.  So don't worry if I drop off the face of the Earth and stop updating for a few weeks.
</author's note>

I don't really know why, but I have been thinking about Liches.  Despite the fact that I've never even used one in a game, I kind of want too now.  So I decided to write up a generator for quickly customizing a Lich for your game.  Not that you should be using a Lich quickly and off the fly, but I digress.

Further reading on Liches can be found here and here.

                                                 by Adrian Dadich

The Lich appears to be...


1- A child.  The Lich appears to be a small child.  The Lich has a 2-in-6 chance of being able to act like a real child and a 4-in-6 chance of not being able to quite pull it off, leaving its impression of a child lacking, like any creepy child in a horror movie.
2- A maiden.  The Lich appears to be a defenseless young woman (or a handsome young lad, if you prefer).  The Lich has a 4-in-6 chance of being able to appear like a normal person, and a 2-in-6 chance of appearing to be some kind of monster.
3- A young man, in the prime of his youth.  The Lich resembles itself as it was when it was young.  This will be an idealized version of the form the Lich once took. 
4- A Ghost.  The Lich appears to be a ghost.
5- A dream.  The Lich does not appear before you physically, but instead walks invisibly through the world, only stopping by those it wishes to manipulate.  When it reaches those people, it sticks its intangible fingers into their minds and sends them dreams of whatever the Lich wishes.
6- A skeleton.  The Lich may appear as a moving skeleton with glowing eyes and tattered robes, or it may play dead as an unimportant skeleton lying in the corner, surrounded by rusting armor and a rotting shield.
7- A passing fancy.  The Lich wanders the Dreamlands, sending arrows of thought out into the waking minds of those it wishes to influence.  Those struck by these arrows of thought suddenly have brilliant, odd ideas leap into their heads like a bolt from the blue. 
8- An Angel or A Demon.  The Lich disguises itself as an Angel to encourage and as a Devil to frighten, as well as to ensure that no matter what side wins, the Lich will benefit.
9- You.  The Lich pretends to be an alternate version of one person the players will know intimately, one of them!  The Lich will have some plausible story, such as that it is from the past or future, or from an alternate universe or something like that.
10- A God.  The Lich is pretending to be some minor God you've never heard of.  Still, the Lich seems to have most of the traits a God would possess.     

This Lich's real body is...


1- A skull.  The skull has a 50% chance of being adorned with gold and jewels and a 50% of being nothing odd.  The skull can levitate, shoot blasts of fire out of its mouth and speak telepathically to anyone within 100'.  The Lich may pretend to be an ordinary skull, however.   
2- A skeleton.  Can't beat the classics.  The Lich is a skeleton, but decked out in fashionable duds and jewelry.
3- A great, corpulent mass of dead tissue.  The Lich was a Ghoul before they became the Lich.  They have the best of both world's, the Ghoul's lethal touch with the Undead mastery of all impulses, including the Ghoul's hunger.
4- A tall, inhuman thing covered in dead, white flesh.  Frankenstein wishes he could make something this lethal.
5- A greatly modified corpse.  Skeletons are so three centuries ago.  This Lich has a skeletal body, but one modified with extra arms, heads or legs.
6- A perfectly preserved corpse surrounded by an aura of perpetual, sub-zero chill.  Cold prevents decomposition, so what better way to keep yourself together for the rest of eternity.  This Lich can cause ice to form over objects it touches and its' blood super-chills anything it touches like liquid nitrogen
7- A skeleton with metal reinforced bones with an immensely hot fire burning inside its chest.  This Lich stole fire from Heaven to fuel their immortality.  It almost worked.  This Lich's body is immensely hot and can burn through or melt most things.
8- 1d6+1 undead bodies.  Each of the bodies is one of the Lich's real bodies, as while the Lich has many bodies, it has only 1 mind.  The Lich controls all these bodies simultaneously and they all don't have to be in the same area.   
9- A small, animal looking thing that is actually small and pathetic.  For example, a skeletal snake made out of a human spinal cord and a skull, . 
10- A brain in a jar.  Need I say more?  The brain in the jar can't actually do anything, unlike the skull, but destroying it will only allow the Lich to return to its full, normal body.     
11- A semi-living body, operating on manual control.  The Lich hasn't killed itself yet.
12- A living body.  The Lich Who Yet Lives.  You should probably start running.  

The Lich's phylactory is...


1- A rare treasure hidden in a dungeon somewhere.  The treasure has some other magical ability so no one would think it was also a phylactory.
2- A baby.  A baby, escorcelled to age normally, but once it takes lethal damage or 50 years old, to transform back into a baby.   
3- A sacred treasure belonging to a world famous religion.  The Lich probably planned this, somehow.
4- A town or city important to the Lich when it was alive.  The town or city need not be totally destroyed, enslaving the inhabitants and burning it to the ground would probably do it.
5- The Phylactory is attached to a bloodline, remaining with one member of the bloodline and passing down the line of succession matriolinearly.  It is currently attached to the soul of a maiden who is about to be married.
6- A magic sword being held by someone else.  As "1".
7- The Phylactory is secretly hidden inside someone else's body, perhaps unwillingly.  Removing the phylactory would probably require killing the person it is currently inside.      
8- The Phylactory is a small, seemingly unimportant trinket that the Lich always carries with them, such as an ancient arrowhead, a smooth stone, a petrified piece of bread, etc. 

The Lich's phylactory works by...


1- Regenerating its body after it is destroyed.  This takes 1d4 hours.
2- Pulling its soul out of a damaged body and placing it into the next available one.  The Lich has a number of spare bodies concealed somewhere in the world.
3- Healing the body that the Lich is in.  The Lich will pretend to "die", then once the danger has passed, the phylactory will heal the "dead" body. 
4- Enabling the Lich to try and possess one of the other bodies near him, even if it is occupied.  The Lich will then modify a body to suit its needs. 

The Lich fights with...


1- A ranged weapon.  The Lich fights with: 1d4 [1= A magazine fed, fully automatic crossbow, 2= a longbow that fires magic arrows, 3= The Lich has 1d8 metal spheres orbiting it at all times as per Meteor Guard; 4= A gun.]
2- A melee weapon.  The Lich fights with: 1d4 [1= One of the Nine Angel Blades, Scorch; 2= A buzzblade (2d8 damage on a hit); 3= Electrified Gauntlet 1d6 blunt + 1d6 lightning + save vs paralyzation;4=  Greenglow Sword 1d6+STR damage on a hit, plus any living creature within 50' of the blade when it is unsheathed take 1d6 damage as invisible radiation grows cancers in their bodies.]
3- Bare hands: The Lich is a master of one of the Fist Arts.  Which one?  1d4  [1= Demon Flips the Cart; 2= Pattram Swordhand; 3= 49 Empty Palms; 4= Leisure Kicks.]
4- Bare hands: The Lich is strong and fast enough that it needs no arms.  The Lich acts twice, once at the start of initiative order and once wherever it rolled.  Additionally, the Lich's bare hands do 1d6+3 blunt damage on a hit.
5- Bare hands: The Lich's touch is dangerous enough.  It: 1d4 [1= Does 1d6 HP damage as it drains life energy, healing the Lich for the same; 2= All the Lich's bodily fluids are ludicrously toxic, if exposed, you take 3d6 poison damage, save for half; 3= The Lich has a neuro-electric charge flowing through its body, anyone who touches it must save or be paralyzed, as well as take 1d6 lightning damage a round; 4= The Lich The Lich can superchill its body by vaporizing all the water in certain parts, causing anyone who it touches with those body parts to take 2d6 ice damage and have that part of the body be covered in ice.]
6- Spells.  All Liches are spellcasters, but some revel in that fact more than others.
7- Rays of energy.  The Lich can fire blasts of energy that: 1d6 [1= transform into chains, tying any person struck to the nearest solid object or person; 2= melt holes in objects, doing 2d6 fire damage; 3= Do 1d6 WIL damage.  If this damage ever exceeds your WIL score, you turn into a vermin animal.  A frog, perhaps; 4= Do 1d6 DEX damage.  If this damage ever exceeds your DEX score, you turn to stone; 5= Anyone struck must save or lose one of their senses, starting with sight, then hearing, touch, smell then taste; 6= Anyone struck must save or get -1 to all rolls for the next 1d10 minutes.  This stacks.  Additionally, if anyone under the effect of these rays rolls a Natural "1", they suffer a critical failure.]
8- It doesn't.  The Lich has a powerful, passive ability that protects it from almost all harm.  It: 1d4 [1= The Lich has tendrils growing out of its head which strike with the force of a bullwhip and will automatically attack anyone who comes close to the Lich; 2= Any living creature who walks within 10' of the Lich without the Lich's permission takes 2d6 damage from the Anti-Life shell the Lich constantly exudes; 3= The Lich is constantly thronged by 1d8 semi-real mirages who will become real creatures and attack anyone who threatens it; 4= The Lich is enscorcelled so that any attack targeting it will always miss.  On an attack targeting the area the Lich inhabits or one unaimed and striking it purely by accident can harm it.]

The Lich also has the ability to...


1- Fire a laser that can cut through almost anything.  This laser can be fired once per battle and does 1d20 (roll twice and select the higher result) fire damage.  Save to avoid being hit.
2- Command people to "Fall."  The Lich may do this once per person it encounters.  All who can hear the Lich must save.  Those who fail their saves collapse and cannot move anything more than their eyes.  Those who pass their saves make all rolls at -4 for the duration of the battle.
3- Blot out any light sources in the area.  At the Lich's roar, all light sources are extinguished, plunging the area into perfect darkness.  The Lich can see perfectly fine in this darkness, of course.  What is physical darkness to the spiritual dark of the grave?
4- Teleport.  The Lich can teleport up to 100' as an action.  It can only do this every 1d4 turns.
5- Breathe clouds of highly toxic gas.  As an action, the Lich exhales a cloud of toxic gas that does 2d6 damage a round and forces anyone inside it to save or be blinded.  The gas covers 30 square feet and is otherwise normal.  The Lich may use this ability every 1d4 turns.
6- Drain life energy with a touch.  As an action, one person the Lich touches takes 3d6 HP damage as the life is drained from their body.  The Lich is then healed the same amount.  The Lich may do this once every 1d4 turns. 
7- Create walls of fire.  As an action, the Lich may create a wall of fire.  The walls of fire are up to 20' high, 5' thick and up to 50' long.  Anyone who gets within 5' of one takes 1d6 fire damage and is set on fire.  Anyone inside one takes 2d6 fire damage and is set on fire.
8- Summon swarms of animals to fight for it.  The Lich can summon a swarm of 1d4 [1= Rats; 2= Bats; 3= Wasps; 4= Crows; 5= Snakes; 6= Spiders.] 
9- Transform into something that cannot be hurt.  The Lich can, as an action, transform into 1d6 [1= A puddle of water; 2= A cloud of smoke; 3= A pillar of fire; 4= A gust of wind.]
10- Curse people.  If you can hear the Lich's voice, you can be cursed by it.  It may only curse 1 person or group of persons per day.
11- Turn people into animals.  As an action, the Lich may cast a spell on one person.  That person must save.  On a failed save, that person is transformed into a giant, vicious animal under the Lich's control. 
12- Kill with a Word.  As an action, the Lich can speak a magical word to one person.  This person must be able to see or hear the Lich.  That person must save.  On a success, that person's health is cut in half.  On a failed save, that person dies.  The Lich may only speak the Killing Word once per battle. 

The Lich is served by...


1- Lesser Undead.  The Lich may have bound the Undead to it magically, or they may be serving it willingly.
2- Demons.  As Undead.  The Demons may be honest in their intentions or they may be acting under compulsion.
3- Degenerated Mortals.  They were once a normal band of mortals, but under the Lich's foul influence they have become wretched caricatures of what they once were.
4- A group of clueless mortals.  The Lich is pretending to be an eccentric or powerful mortal and has rather ordinary mortal servants.  The mortals might not even realize the Lich is a Lich, or even an undead. 
5- A cult that worships it as a divine being.  These cultists have never met anything that matches a description of a God other than the Lich.  When it offered to grant them their wishes, they were eager to serve.
6- The pre-Liches.  The Lich is served by thousands of versions of itself culled from alternate universes, parallel realities and dead timelines.  Time travel may be involved and shenanigans definitely are.

The Lich's goal is...


1- To exact vengeance on a grand, impossible scale.  Imagine a plague that kills 90% of mortals, plucking a star out of heaven and slamming it into the Earth or setting the whole world on fire.  That kind of revenge. 
2- To take over the world and fix it.  The Lich has big plans that it wishes to achieve with minimal bloodshed.  This will take decades of grooming and plotting, but that is perfectly acceptable.
3- To build an Empire of ageless, magical beings.  An immortal race living in paradise until the End of Time.  The only problem is getting there.
4- To kill a God.  The killing is easy.  The harder part is getting the God to stay dead. 
5- To create a utopia.  The eschaton will be immatized, one way or another.
6- To reach the (entirely theoretical) Oververse.  The Lich is the one who came up with the theory.
7- To groom a successor, lover or opponent.  As self-explanatory as it is rewarding.
8- To bring about the next apocalypse.  The Lich is tired of all the noise and would like a little peace and quiet, or at least to distract the Gods and mortals from its current activities.
9- To discover the True Nature of the Universe. 
10- To travel through Time.  The Lich may have been told to do this by a future version of itself.
11- To create the perfect being.   
12- To return to life.  Being undead is no fun, even for a Lich.

The Lich's current project is...


1- Building inconceivable weapons.
2- Brewing potions of eternal youth.
3- Stealing and reading the diaries of influential people.
4- Trying to gain access to Heaven.
5- Building small-scale models of a city in the middle of a wasteland and using them for tests, before abandoning them to build a new one.
6- Crafting a working network of teleporters.
7- Growing soulless bodies in test tubes.
8- Designing a new hybrid race.
9- Keeping fastidious notes about everything that is happening at all hours of the day.
10- Attempting to cause an earthquake, tsunami or volcanic eruption.
11- Sending out loose souls and seeing if they will return to the Lich, either willingly or with "encouragement".
12- Playing chess with a being of a similar stature.

The Lich's current problem...


1- An incredibly powerful weapon has gone missing.
2- A lesser being or group of beings is interferring in their plans.
3- A very powerful being has invited the Lich over for tea and the Lich is searching for a polite reason to refuse.
4- Some of the Lich's servants have escaped, rebelled or are otherwise causing trouble.
5- A very dangerous magical power source or resource that the Lich has is distorting the environment in troublesome ways.
6- The Lich has forgotten something.  That should be is impossible.  The Lich is attempting to piece together what it did that made that possible. 

                                                 by Tania Sanchez-Fortun


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