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So my character a jolly, good natured necromancer who aspires to be a lich because he wants to be immortal. He sees lichdom as the pinnacle of his chosen school of magic and he's very open about this being his final goal, like a salaryman gunning for that CEO position.

DM is acting like this is an evil aspiration, but he's chaotic good. He raises the dead either as practice, as a quick and dirty way of arcane revival for normal folk who don't want to be indebted to a cleric or to defend himself and other.

How do I rationalize the act of ripping out my own soul and jamming it in an object as being a good thing?
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>>84515870
If you're playing D&D? You don't, because part of becoming a lich isn't just shoving your own soul in a jar, but also making a deal with an evil entity that knows the secrets to becoming a lich, such as Vecna or Orcus. That alone will probably involve some shady shit. Then there's the fact the process to actually become a lich involves murdering someone.

There's also the factor that someone who animates skeletons and zombies regularly just because they can is not good by any stretch of the imagination. It's using magic to create creatures that are so infused with negative energy that if left to their own devices they would seek to murder the nearest living creature instinctually.
It is neither jolly nor good-natured to risk the well-being of your neighbors on the off chance that your undead helpers go crazy when you choke and die on your afternoon tea or get too drunk and oversleep and forget to refresh control of your spell in the morning.

Your DM has already given you massive leeway.
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>Another fucking Reddit Necromancer
So subversive and unique man. Wow, friendly lich!
>>
Personally, I don't think the singular goal of wanting to become a lich is evil in the sense that, like you said, it's literally doing all kinds of magical transformations to yourself.

Thing is, the road to get there is paved on so many corpses that it's very hard to reason that you're not evil by that point. It's like first saying "I want to make the world a better place" and then adding "by killing all black people". The method ruins the goal.
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>>84515915
I just lock the helpers in the garden shed basement at night. Even if I oversleep, they're not getting out before the bonking and moaning wakes me up. The entrance to the basement is sanctified so they can't pass. It's like my own mini undead dungeon down there.
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>>84515929
sorry for not making Squat AngerFist The Human Fighter bro.
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>>84515938
>I want to reach the endgoal while ignoring and disregarding all the requirements and consequences that it involves, because my character is a good person!
>WHAT DO YOU MEAN THIS EVIL? FAGGOT DM IM CHAOTIC GOOD

OP is the worst kind of player.
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>>84515870
>Is wanting to be a lich evil?
Yes.
>>
>is wanting to be an evil creature evil?
Is pretending to be retarded stupid?
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I have come to absolutely despise """good""" necromancers. I had a dude at my table roll necro wizard and just be an evil sneaky shit and it was so refreshing.
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>>84516032
The thing I hate is that there are actually cool ideas for a good necromancer, like a wizard who uses his knowledge of the school to fight undead by unraveling the negative energy keeping them together or by having spells specialized for fighting ghosts.

The problem is there's not many necromancy spells like that and most necromancy options either involve making undead or blasting people with shadowy death rays.
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>>84515870
Making pacts with Orcus for knowledge of the ritual (whatever that may entail on your end) and screwing around with your own soul is evil enough, but I can hardly believe nobody's mentioning that everyone is forgetting that maintaining lichhood requires regularly feeding human souls to your phylactery
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>>84515870
You can rationalize all you want, but it still won't make it Good. You're the best kind of villain.
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>>84516071
No but he's a good necromancer! That means he'll just walk into the nearest city as a lich and ask them to give them the souls of condemned criminals! Devouring and digesting their souls is ok since they're already sentenced to death.
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>>84515915
In 3.5 there's a class called dread necromancer where you just become a lich at level 20, no funny business needed. You even get a free phylactery, which I guess you just conjure into existence with magic. So clearly there's a way to figure out lichdom on your own and go about it differently from the usual manner.

So I guess the only question is, does your DM use the lore where liches have to consume souls regularly to maintain their power.
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>>84515870
surely there are easier and less fucked up ways to gain immortality. age reversal has to be a thing
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>>84515870
No, but acting on it effectively is because you have to do nasty shit to becomee a lich
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>>84516090
I'm pretty sure the dread necromancer description specifically says that no dread necromancer can have a good alignment. Even the familiar you get at 7th level is called out as being unequivocally evil.
The feature to make a phylactery bypasses the gold and XP costs, but that doesn't mean that it also bypasses the fact that you're doing an unspeakably evil ritual like a normal lich.
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>>84515870
for a redditor who nods to every word transhumanists say no, for other people who value humanity and restraint, yes.
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>>84515870
>regularly need to sacrifice souls to you phylactery
Yeah, its evil
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>>84516155
Alignment is any nongood. So technically you could be true neutral, even if your familiar is an evil one.
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>>84515915
>or get too drunk and oversleep and forget to refresh control of your spell in the morning
I hate 5e so much it's unreal.
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>>84516234
how do liches walled up inside an ancient tomb fully committed to research 24/7 do it?
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>>84516303
They don't. That concept only existed for 3e and 4e, in every other edition of D&D Liches would suffer final death (or at least the destruction of their phylactery) for trying that
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>>84516199
If you really valued humanity, you'd understand that transhumanism is essential to our survival. We're going to die out on this miserable rock if we don't get out of these meat bodies and into a proper vessel (in both senses of the word).
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>>84515870

I can get behind a wizard focusing on necromancy as a theoretical discipline with little to no interest in the bigger picture.
Things get iffier when you start to raise undead: they’re evil by nature, which means that even if they are sentient they have the irresistible compulsion to kill and consume the living.
And no matter how much you try to weasel your way out of that with fancy words and arguments, you are bringing that evilness to the world.
Also, as everybody else already said it, lichdom doesn’t only destroy your soul in the sense that you have to fracture it to put it into a phylactery, but also in the sense that you have to do all kind of horrible shit in order to even qualify for the position: the specific details are not spelled out A to Z, so that’s up to the DM, but any DM worth his salt would make it a soul destroying journey and your DM seems to be leaning that way already.

BUT there is lore of good natures semi-liches too, like Baelnorns (elven liches) or the Deathless from Eberron. But they usually are bound to higher duties (like, eternal wardens or advisors carrying the knowledge of ages in them for the good of their people) and not just by a common lich’s “IMMORTALITY IS THE SHIT, YO!”.

Take the comparison like Voldemort VS, I dunno, the Knight guarding the graal in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

In short:
>Lichdom BAD
>Immortality NOT NECESSARILY BUT SEE WHAT YOUR DM WILL MAKE OF IT STORY-WISE
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>>84515870
Wanting it isn’t evil but being willing to go through with what it would require would be evil.
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>>84516326
That's less applicable in a fantasy world with a multitude of actual gods and afterlifes though
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>>84516349
Yes, there's really no need for lichdom, death isn't an end, unless you're trying to get out of a bad deal you made with your soul or something, like an idiot.
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>>84515870
The Clone spell let’s you return in a young body so there are other ways to become immortal. You don’t need to become a Lich.
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>>84515870
>How do I rationalize evil acts as being a good thing
just learn from the politically correct crowd and start aggressively renaming and redefining said evil acs

it's not called lichdom, but spiritual solidification and it's no different than reaching your natural afterlife
it's not called necromancy, that's bigoted, it's called ancestor communion, you do it while going at funerals too
who are you to say skeletons are a sign of evil? that's a discrimination stemming from the indoctrination of your supremacist culture, which, of course, was built on thousands of people of death
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>>84515870
It depends a lot on edition and method, there's enough going on in the history of D&D that *most* editions have one way or another to justify a Good character with all the outward properties of a Lich.

The "core" reasons for Necromancy being Evil in D&D are that it does *something* to the original soul that interferes with "proper" resurrection magic and that you're defiling somebody's corpse when you do it.

AD&D specifically pinned it to a *lack of permission* for the latter, such that donating your corpse for Arcane research or certain religious practices entirely removed the issue. And Undead were no passive thread.

The former's a lot more spotty in its track record, and importantly doesn't show up as a problem for Soul Trap or Imprison or Slay Living. This is the point you'll need to clear up with your DM about the basic day-to-day practice of Necromancy.

For Liches in particular, the problem is that "Lichdom" is a fairly specific form of Undeath like "Vampirism" or "Ghouldom". In AD&D, the reason you could not get a Good Lich is because Phylacteries needed maintained by *feeding them souls*, and ethically sourcing *those* isn't really a thing.

The main thing to note is that you kinda *can't* be a "real" Lich as the end result, but there shouldn't be a problem with developing a difficult-to-distinguish end result by a very different process. 4e directly supports this with the Archlich Epic Destiny, where "standard" Liches are fucked up by a quck-and-dirty process.

Ultimately, you need to go over why it's Evil with your DM, and work out non-Evil alternatives to the functional problems behind it. It being a mechanical pain in the ass is the *point* of such, if it was only slightly harder Lichdom would not be synonymous with "Evil Necromantic Bastard"
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>>84516319
A blatant lie. Van Richten's Guide to the Lich talks about power rituals, but it also says that a lich that just stays in one place and contemplates magic will eventually become a demilich as its bones turn to dust, but there's no mention of the possibility of the lich (or its phylactery) being destroyed.
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>>84515915
The deal part is merely getting the knowledge on how to do so. You can easily find it without making a deal if you're willing to steal from your fellow enlightened or willing to put in the research yourself.
And depending on the nature of souls in your particular setting, you could probably get around soul-feasting by feasting on soul-adjacent energy, or merely siphoning the required energy from souls before spitting them out into the afterlife.
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>>84515870
You don't rationalize it, because it's the act of ripping out your own soul and jamming it in an object, which is a neutral act. Depending on your setting, it might constitute a crime against nature, so it might piss off a Marut or other beings that hold up the lawful order of the world, but it's not outright evil by itself.
Of course, you'll probably end up doing Evil things to learn the knowledge and sustain yourself, but no specific technique is evil on it's own. Though depending on the source of your knowledge there's a non-zero chance that some bullshit evil memetic entity is attached to the the knowledge, which could make you evil when you use it.
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>>84516303
It's once per century at most. It's a long enough period of time that you aren't constantly feeding the damned thing, or else Liches would've never bothered being Liches in the first place.
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>>84516398
>You can easily find it without making a deal if you're willing to steal from your fellow enlightened or willing to put in the research yourself.

If the GM is trying to maintain any level of verisimilitude there should be nothing easy about it.
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>>84516393
>but it also says that a lich that just stays in one place and contemplates magic will eventually become a demilich as its bones turn to dust, but there's no mention of the possibility of the lich (or its phylactery) being destroyed.
The chapter on the demilich (chapter 10) very clearly states that one doesn't just decide to become a demilich, it has to be achieved through crazy amounts of study and magical acquisition, how much is unquantifiable, but it's not just "I decided not to eat souls so I'm a demilich".
Both Chapter 1 and 10 mention the possibility of self-destruction from failing to maintain the soul eating, and chapter 3 on Lich psychology mentions most Liches kill themselves after discovering that rushing for undeath wasn't a smart idea.
Lords of Darkness (1e) also shares those ideas in its Lich chapter, particularly on Liches commiting suicide and self-destruction on failure to eat souls.
However while Ravenloft states they only have to eat once per century, Forgotten Realms states they have to eat once per year.
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>>84516391
>In AD&D, the reason you could not get a Good Lich is because Phylacteries needed maintained by *feeding them souls*, and ethically sourcing *those* isn't really a thing.
Do you have a source for that? Neither AD&D nor 2e monster manuals mention any such thing.
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>>84516474
I mean, finding it is usually easy, but getting it is usually the hard part.
When I was taking part in a Sandbox campaign, the way my PC at the time got the knowledge behind lichdom was by assaulting the tower of an imprisoned Lich Demigod who filled his tower with a shitload of High-CR Undead. The Dude himself could upcast all his spells automatically to 9th level, and opened the fight with a spell that would've outright killed two of the PCs if we hadn't prepared the way we did.
Shit was hard, but required nothing out of me other than time and almost dooming the world to eternal undeath by Imprisoned Demigod.
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>>84516552
I do believe this *should* be considered as a mass-ass Evil act, because "nearly doomed the world for personal gain" is... Basically exactly what typifies "no-questions-asked You Have Moved A Full Step" level moral failing.

But then, once you have that knowledge, there's nothing stopping you from refining it as needed then publicizing the not-Evil-to-be Lichdom you work out.
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>>84516326
>t.
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>>84515915
>Then there's the fact the process to actually become a lich involves murdering someone.
you're playing D&D, where murdering people (eg, kobolds etc) is par for the course, so it's no big deal.
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>>84516583
Yeah, I'd consider it an evil act given the scope, though the rest of the party at the time went in justifying themselves that if it wasn't us, a 17th level party, someone much weaker probably would've broken the seal for the knowledge within and doomed the world trying to get it, so moving that temptation out into the world would be safer for the world at large.
Fortunately, we didn't die and doom the world, so we managed to get the knowledge out, and my character shared some of the secrets held within, including one of the methods for lichdom he found to the local magical organization guild that he was technically a member of.
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The issue I see (and have had a longstanding complaint about) is dnd has alignments assigned to certain spell uses which repeated use are supposed to effect your alignment. Most of not all necromancy spells are evil. Or at least were, admittedly I don't know about the newer versions. So lichdom is considered evil as a base act of casting the spell/s required.

Star wars games and lore has a similar issue. Force lightning is evil no matter what. But force throwing someone into a woodchopper is A OK.

I detest it personally spells, powers, tools, or whatever aren't evil or good inherently. It's the context of the use that matters. I mean if I'm healing someone repeatedly to torture them further then the act of healing isn't good.

But that's between you and the dm but a conversation you should probably step aside and have
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>>84516326
I'd rather we just let AIs do it and live in simulations in bunkers than that shit.
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>>84515870
Dont listen to them
Becoming a lich and then an Archlich is is very cool and tey are stupid
We are not evil at all
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>>84516851

I mean, that heavily depends on the setting and how much work do you want to put in to contextualize the evilness of necromancy.

For example, in Pathfinder 1e people die, souls get in a nice tidy line, get judged by the death goddes, and pass on. When ALL SOULS will be judged, some apocalyptic death-moon-god wakes up and destroy everything. So, if you create an undead, you actively take out a soul from the queue and accelerate the thermal death of the universe.
That's evil, even if you're doing that to use skeleton and zombies for menial but dangerous jobs so that living people wouldn't risk their life themselves.
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>>84516678
I usually make a distinction between killing and murdering, where murder is under under no circumstance justified, and thus an evil act
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>>84515929
My first thought
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>>84516032
Love it when people fulfil their roles in a roleplaying game. Yes, I'm fine with you being an evil barstard just don't do evil publicly - keep it on the downlow, joke about it OOC and direct it towards the party's benefit. Do not, I repeat, do not make shitty excuses rationalising your evil actions as good like OP. It's not interesting, it's not subversive, nobody thinks you're clever. Play your role.
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>>84516326
Transhumanism is evil.
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>>84519509
This. I had an evil cleric in my D&D party. He was an evil guy worshipping an evil god and still worked well with the group even if his methods were frowned upon by the good guys.
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Be a necromancer. Be evil. Become a lich.
You don't need to roleplay a hero all the time. Playing a bad dude doing bad things for bad reasons is fun. Being bad? That's rad.
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>>84515870
You don't, it's quite an evil act. If all he wants to do is achieve immortality, there are better ways to do it that don't involve ritualistic murder-suicide, such as alchemy, magical artifacts, wish spells, ect. The only reason you are even trying to justify it in the first place is because you want to play as a skeleton wizard, which is fine, but own up to it.
It'd be like a character who loves launching nukes on people trying to justify irradiation as a good thing, it's stupid, contrived, and is only a common issue because the player wants to use "forbidden" magic but is also too chained to the idea of cohesive party alignment. If you like villainous powers, play a villian.
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>>84515870
>is necromancy evil thread
The answer is always yes no matter how many times you ask the question
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>>84516155
>I'm pretty sure the dread necromancer description specifically says that no dread necromancer can have a good alignment
I mean, the name kinda hints at that.
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>>84515870
it depends on the setting
In DnD-like settings becoming a lich slowly corrupts you, plus the ritual is particularly evil (and ed edgy). My headcannon is that it is because the ritual is a twisted form of the original, lost one that was shared by Orcus and friends to corrupt more mages because Archliches and Baelnorns are (where) a thing.
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>>84516456
>>84516303
One source of souls that even a walled in lich could use are larvae- soul larvae that is, the most basic form of petitioner on the evil outer planes. Basically when most people go to hell or the abyss they do so in the form of this nasty little grub with a human face.

A lich could do business with fiends using gate spells or the like and purchase the souls of the damned for his own consumption without leaving his tomb.
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>>84515870
Becoming a lich is stupid. There are several eighth and ninth level spells that make you totally immortal in far better ways. Liches are the dumb kid in class who cheats in order to pass the test, and gets into law school that way.
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>>84519681
nothing in the books say it is. in any edition. even good clerics in 1st edition could animate corpses
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>>84515870
This has the vibe of a naive but good-natured and optimistic Hitler Youth wanting to grow up to be an SS officer
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>>84520108
What spells?
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>>84520125
See
>>84519681
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>>84520140
someone's head canon and lack of imagination are not my problem
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Thought isnt action. Wanting to do something or talking about it arent the same as going out and doing it. However, if your character is at the point where becoming an undead abomination that regularly commits horrific acts to prolong its own existence seems like a good idea, then somethings definitely wrong.
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>>84520139
Fucking Clone.
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>>84520147
>head canon
Irony the post
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>>84515870
>How do I rationalize the act of ripping out my own soul and jamming it in an object as being a good thing?
You don't, your DM has already decided that in his setting obtaining lichdom is evil
Go cry on reddit
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>>84516303
Stupid adventures wander in to steal his shit once every 10 or so years. Traps and monsters fuck them up and he gets to keep the souls.
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>>84520188
>literal definition of not being an evil act as per the official rules
>head canon
??? are you retarded by any chance?
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>>84520147
Depends on your game and setting.
Which are you referring to?
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>>84520250
>OP mentions DM
hmm I wonder what game
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>>84520125
1st edition also said no good liches, only 1% neutral liches, and turning into one requires two "freshly dead" corpses killed by specific methods
You've lost the plot, poindexter
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>>84515870
>what if evil thing wasn't evil
Why are necromancer fags so autistic. This same thread is ready up
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>>84520184
Maybe in 5e, but in 3.5, the REAL dnd, that doesn't work as immortality.

>This spell makes an inert duplicate of a creature. If the original individual has been slain, its soul immediately transfers to the clone, creating a replacement (provided that the soul is free and willing to return). The original’s physical remains, should they still exist, become inert and cannot thereafter be restored to life. If the original creature has reached the end of its natural life span (that is, it has died of natural causes), any cloning attempt fails.

The clone will always be as old as you are when you make it. I guess you could get around this by making a bunch of clones when you are young and storing them in gentle repose/stasis/cold storage.

Functionally as long as you keep up your clone stock I guess that does the same thing as immortality. But that's not truly immortality, that's just kicking the can down the road.

Give me another one. You said there were multiple 8th and 9th level spells that do it, what's the other options?
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>>84520228
>necromancy isn't evil
>lichdom isn't explicitly evil
>question marks at the beggining of a sentence on a English speaking board
t. actually retarded
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>>84515969
Here's the thing: the trope subversions are now far more common than the tropes themselves. Every fucking necromancer player now is either "good guy who uses skeletons as farmers" or "little girl who raises the dead as her friends"
You never see a full-on ever necromancer PC.
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>>84520338
full-on evil*
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>>84520338
Both of those character descriptions sound pretty evil.
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>>84519522
I am openly and proudly evil.
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Points for trying & points for using actual fantasy art but you can't
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>>84520108
Thing is, you get more from being a lich than you get from just straight immortality.
>Never have to eat, sleep, drink, or breathe, so you can operate in space for decades at a time constantly seeking out the answers to the cosmos
>You don't get fucked over by things that steal your soul, since your soul isn't in your body.
>On that topic, immunity to spells that target living creatures or humanoid
>Aslo Immunity to a shitload of conditions, along with immunity to all non-magical physical attacks, making you virtually immune to most creatures and mundane armies.
Of course, you become weak to a handful of spells and effects, like turning, but being a powerful mage, you have other contingencies against those things.
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>>84521774
What about fleshy sensations? Won’t you miss eating delicious food?
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>>84523162
Skeletonizing yourself >>> pussy and food
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>>84523162
Polymorph and/or Soul Jar, anon. Do you even magic?
>>84523233
This is true even disregarding that.
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>>84515870
Once you're undead, you won't like feeling good anymore. You'll like to feel evil.
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>>84523162
I'd eat her.
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>>84519522
Then I embrace it.
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>>84523162
After a while you'll have spent so much longer not eating delicious food than you did eating it that I'd wager you start to forget what it was like beyond the vaguest sensations.
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>>84515870
>Is having to fuck babies and eat their souls so I can cram my soul in a jar for personal gain evil?
No, you are obviously a good guy.
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>>84515915
>>84515870
Just use positive energy.

Depending on what you're playing, there's also things like alchemical undead that aren't technically undead, or spiritualist phantasms that are more ectoplasmic outsider than undead.
>>
Reminder that up until 3rd edition, all healing spells and anything that dealt with life in general fell under the necromancy school.

3rd was what moved healing to conjuration for some pants on head reason concerning alignment and voodoo.
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>>84515870
Psst! Hey OP!
Don't fall for that nerdy propaganda about liches and skeletons being cool. Vampirism is where it's at bro.

You get a lot of the same buffs, the glaring weaknesses can be taken care of by a couple spells or alchemy, or just getting old and strong enough, and you keep all the pleasures of a fleshy body. Don't even need to worry about keeping your coffin nearby, a quick stilled teleport while you're in mist form will solve that issue.
Plus blood man? It's like somebody mixed liquid sex with heroin and meth before pouring it over a hookers tits for you to lick up.

And if you're squeamish? Alchemical blood is a thing to look in to.
https://www.aonprd.com/EquipmentMiscDisplay.aspx?ItemName=Alchemical%20blood

And don't forget bitches love that suave bloody aristocrat thing. Even if a liche gets bitches they don't have the right bone to really enjoy em.
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>>84526805
Honestly, this. Lichens are alright but vampires get mad pussy for the same immortality.
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>>84523162
I mean, it's not like your flesh immediately vanishes, anon. Plus, you're a wizard, so when it eventually does, you can just cast Anon's Greater Food Tasting to taste it again. Or just use Alter Self to give you back all the necessary components needed to enjoy the taste of food
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>>84526805
All this, plus when you become a vampire you'll immediately become the bitch of the nearest Lich when he chooses to use Command undead on you.
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>>84527389
>implying the lich isn't just as vulnerable to magical control as the vampire is
And the vamp is more likely to have thralls who will go around his will to free him in the meantime while lichs are notoriously loners when it comes to intelligent minions.
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>>84515870
>How do I rationalize the act of ripping out my own soul and jamming it in an object as being a good thing?
You can't.
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>>84515870
PCs being good liches is cringe. Having some old ass superlich who has plans in other planes and beyond and is just waiting out for some planteray convergence who is definitely evil but who you can bargain with because you're so insignificant to him is cool.
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>>84528360
A lich doesn't have to drop everything and count each and every individual grain if you throw pocket sand at him.
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>>84531846
Neither does that vampire :)
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>>84516678
It actually isn't. If your character is going out and killing kobolds who are not actually doding anything wrong, then your character is Evil.
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>>84515870
Lichdom is inherently evil
It is also incredibly retarded for any high intelligence arcane caster. One if you want to achieve mastery in necromancy then you should have chosen a cleric or a divine caster. Arcane necromancy is always inferior to the powers that directly control the nature of life and death. Second the main benefits of being undead is using your charisma for health, a dump stat for an intelligent wizard of any respect.
And finally third, as a high level wizard you should be fucking aware that being undead sucks, and that you have the much better option of becoming an outsider upon your death and achieving far greater power than some shitty rotting body. Go make a pact to become a demon or curry some favour with a deity if you want immortality you nob.
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>>84534675
And finally the onevenefit of being a lichdom is that you receive if you are killed.
So lichdom is strictly for the sort of idiot who plans for failure and expects to get killed on a regular basis. Namely the sort of midgame speed bumps that adventurers deal with on the regular. Aim to be better
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>>84534675
>having the choice to be a rad as hell skeleton wizard
>choosing anything else
0 INT
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>>84534855
If it's for edgy ass aesthetic than just magic your cosmetics you sperg. Or try to turn yourself into a thanadenon so you can actually be an intimidating Skelly wizard.
I personally don't see the appeal of looking indistinguishable from low level nooks but you do you.
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>>84534924
>thanadenon
Google doesn't recognize this and throws up a few nonsensical bot pages.
I personally don't see the appeal of looking indistinguishable from low level mooks
Is the skeleton not the peak humanoid aesthetic to you? Liches have burning pinpoints of light for eyesockets to stand out. Skellingtons are very versatile and can be terrifying or just goofy fodder depending on how you dress them. It's also both useful and entertaining to be able to blend in with your mooks.
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>>84528360
>lichs are notoriously loners when it comes to intelligent minions.
"You bungling boobs!"
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>>84515870
Just give in, accept corruption and be evil



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