April 10, 2009
Word of Wizards - Excerpts: Archlich
Arcane Power Excerpts: Archlich
The last of the Arcane Power excerpt looks at the epic destiny that many arcane spellcasters want to be, to live an eternal life as an Archlich.
Many have fallen to the temptation of using evil rituals and calling upon the powers of Orcus to attain lichdom. Their servitude and obedience are submitted to these dark forces which becomes the real price that they pay for immortality which they are not worthy of.
The archlich is not one of them. They have learned to control the power of becoming a lich and do so to live through ages for their own purpose. Free-willed but always in the ire of the prince of undeath.
To have Archlich Knowledge (21st level destiny feature) is a sign of an arcane spellcaster's much superior intellect. When they have attained Archlichdom, their intelligence score is increased by 2.
The Archlich's Phylactery (21st level destiny feature) can come in the form of a small personal accessory (rings, amulets, gems) but often as a sealed metal box filled with parchments with magical phrases written with their own blood. The phylactery has 40 hitpoints and a resistance of 20 against all damages. If a phylactery is destroyed while the archlich is still alive, he can replace it with a new one by spending 50,000gp and 10 days.
Like a normal lich's phylactery, it contains the Archlich's lifeforce and revives him whenver he is destroyed. When an archlich is dropped down to 0 hitpoints or less, he and his possessions crumble to dust and reappears adjacent to his phylactery with full hitpoints a day later.
An archlich is above a normal lich because he is surrounded by a Shroud of Life and Death (21st level destiny feature). Any enemy that comes within 3 squares of the Archlich at the start of their turn takes 5 damage. If that enemy is living, the damage is necrotic. If that enemy is undead, the damage is radiant.
As an archlich powers grow, they gain Mastery over Death (24th level destiny feature) which allows them to control their dead bodies momentarily before dying. Once per day when an archlich dies in an encounter, they regain hitpoints equal to half of their maximum. For that encounter, the Archlich cannot spend healing surges and any enemy that damages him takes 20 ongoing necrotic damage (save ends).
The most powerful Archliches can harness the Essence of Undeath (30th level destiny feature) which allows the archlich to regain the use of any expended arcane encounter power whenever an enemy within 5 squares is dropped down to 0 hitpoints.
The Archlich Potency (level 26; daily) makes them surprisingly tough in combat. When an archlich uses this utility power, they gain a resistance to all damage of 5+half level for the encounter and regain the use of an expended encounter or daily arcane power with the fear or necrotic keyword.
A very nice and solid looking epic destiny with a slightly added flavor of evilness. However, just a minor thing I noticed is that the Archlich turns to dust whenever he is reduced to 0 or below hitpoints and not after failing 3 death saves. By RAW, this would be a pretty annoying feature to have because you would have to wait for a whole day to get back into the action until level 24.
The other question would be, what happens to the Archlich that uses Mastery over Death at the end of the encounter. Does he die, turn to dust and return on the next day or can he spend healing surges to revive himself back up or be saved from death by his comrades?
If you know the answer, please feel free to let me know in my comment box and as always share any thoughts that you might have about this epic destiny.