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Valkyries and Undead

- Mon, 27 Jan 2020 00:32:18 EST 6LUU3Ig1 No.29436
File: 1580103138790.jpg -(283582B / 276.94KB, 1000x1278) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size. Valkyries and Undead
I had my "session 0" with my players, and the only feedback I got was "We would like to face a lich eventually" as an adventure goal/hook. One of my players is playing a valkyrie type cleric.

Post any and all things valkyrie and lich related. Campaign ideas, adventure hooks, images, module suggestions, spells or magic items. It is all welcome and wanted.
We're playing 3.5e and I'm starting everyone at level 5, but don't let that system or level limit your suggestions. Small picture dump incoming.
Ernest Clommerham - Mon, 27 Jan 2020 00:36:01 EST 6LUU3Ig1 No.29437 Reply
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I'm not sure if I want the lich to be a mid-boss type, or the ultimate threat of the campaign.
An exotic lich, like this illithid could help branch out from the stale "desolate wasteland ice lich" trope. Eat brains, raise zombies. Rot, start to die, eat souls, raise horrors.
Ernest Clommerham - Mon, 27 Jan 2020 00:38:33 EST 6LUU3Ig1 No.29438 Reply
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A dracolich. A world-ending threat as our campaign ender. I could have my players encounter a cult's campaign long scheme to raise one, or an ambitious and evil dragon's lust to become one.
Edward Finkinway - Mon, 27 Jan 2020 00:38:43 EST /0/PrLc1 No.29439 Reply
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Damn, everyone always use the generic lich as their ending adversary why not try something different and cool like a Worm that walks?
Ernest Clommerham - Mon, 27 Jan 2020 00:42:58 EST 6LUU3Ig1 No.29440 Reply
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The Shadowfell is a plane of darkness and death. Is level 5 too soon to start plane-hopping? Perhaps an entrance to the Shadowfell can be found in Waterdeep's "city of the dead" ward, or a similar section in another city. Maybe a cabal of necromancers is thinning the veil between the Prime Material and the Shadowfell, causing a kingdom to suffer incursions of undead and suffer plagues and curses.
Ernest Clommerham - Mon, 27 Jan 2020 00:46:21 EST 6LUU3Ig1 No.29441 Reply
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A worm-that-walks is a type of lich, I would say, and I am completely open to having that be the lich they face.
It is surely an affront to the Raven Queen.
It DEFINITELY needs a smiting.
Ernest Clommerham - Mon, 27 Jan 2020 00:47:03 EST 6LUU3Ig1 No.29442 Reply
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>big tiddy angel GF
Ernest Clommerham - Mon, 27 Jan 2020 00:48:17 EST 6LUU3Ig1 No.29443 Reply
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Is undeath a desecration of the body, or of the soul?
Ernest Clommerham - Mon, 27 Jan 2020 00:48:17 EST 6LUU3Ig1 No.29444 Reply
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Is undeath a desecration of the body, or of the soul?
Phineas Tootfoot - Mon, 27 Jan 2020 13:36:45 EST R5cdZOyx No.29445 Reply
It's one of those subjective things that varies with setting and edition. It's actually one of those things that's best hashed out in a session 0 because the players will invariably end up debating something that's actually known by their characters. If it's not known then tell them "no one's checked" though given the existence of several divination spells and deities someone has checked.

So lich ideas:

If you were doing 5th I'd say do TOA. But there's tonnes of classic liches. Most liches are unethical scholars not megalomaniacs though so while they tread on mortals they do so to achieve something. Bear that in mind. They are geniuses above and beyond human levels of intellect. Not much beyond but enough that they're cleverer than you. When running a creature like that you're not going to be able to employ tactics at their level. Metagame a little. Not a lot, don't DM vs Players it but this guy is smarter than you and you need a leg up to get on his level. probably more.

Don't hard cheat and build a perfect counter to what your players turn up with on the day unless they lay it all for him to see. If he has scouts or spies and any lived after seeing the party in action then he'll know their class based on their abilities (assuming they used some signature abilities) and equipment. So he'll know what their best and worst saves are likely to be (combined with their obvious wit, speed, build whatever) he won't necessarily get it perfect but he should at least be countering their class. If he doesn't do that after a turn or two he should figure it out. He can't read their character sheets but he will know anything they've let his network know about and he'll have a good idea what to expect. Don't have him fall for stupid shit. He'll have friends, make sure he has a strategy of some sort.

His lair will be defensible, the terrain will have more problems for players to manage than opportunities. He won't fight them in the throne room unless he funnels them into a narrow entrance and makes them run up a slope (and more). The players will have to think about how to overcome this or whether to power through. He'll have cover where it suits him and maybe some other hazards which are aimed in such a way that they hurt attackers and won't put him in danger unless he ends up out of position a long way.

If all else fails have a couple of crazy but likely gambits. I made an elder orb who had several abilities that would conveniently be exactly where the players when if they triggered. He just knew that he'd end up facing enemies there, he'd done the maths. Don't overuse it, and remember to account for it like any other attack when you do. He had one use of that and several other gambits. He is smarter than you. I was honest with my players when I sprung that what I was doing and that also that particular trick only happens once in this fight. It wasn't a gotcha, it was more like a spell or ability.

Speaking of network, while he won't run an empire he's causing trouble enough the players come for him so he needs to be up to something. He'll have a few trusted hirelings who deal with other mortals as his lieutenants (maybe corrupt gang, maybe he's even quite civil with librarians who give him access to their tomes) and maybe a few less conventional pets and allies, devils or demons of Orcus, lesser undead, constructs, monstrosities, maybe lesser dragons, etc. He wants knowledge or power for it's own end so he will have spies. He won't have a national network but a few relatively autonomous and reliable (and smart) allies and if the players ping his radar he'll probably have them observe before he acts. Maybe let the players have a chance to catch one or more of the spies. He will also use divination and scry to some extent.

In that case he'll play defensive while he scopes them. If he knows they're coming he will have memorised a good spell list for them and prepared a magic item or trap or two. Maybe even spring a simulacrum on them.

The lich isn't super threatened if his phylactery is safe so he will probably engage the players on his terms once they start to be a real threat. The final fight is when he'll throw everything at them including minions. But remember he has little to fear even if he dies, unless he has reason to think they know where it is. He will probably have a different spell load out each time because otherwise the players will learn him as fast as he learns them. If he engages them he'll get a good feel. Beating him even without the phylactery awards exp in some editions because it's still a victory even if a temporary one.

What's he up to? Looking for an artifact? Trying to ascend to godhood? Finding a way to travel the planes freely? Trying to find a way to harvest souls less arduously (he does need to feed his phylactery periodically)? Maybe he wants to create an artifact or spell of his own but needs rare items and commodities, perhaps items protecting cities, parts from rare beasts, souls of hundreds of innocents.

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