THE LORDS OF THE NIGHT: LICHES – FAQ ARCANE The biggest question people ask is: How much Arcane do I have. An Arcane Lich gains +1 Arcane per State on top of what they already have. So: State State Arcane Bonus Con Conversion AR1 +1 +2 AR2 +2 +4 AR3 AR4 AR5 AR6 +3 +4 +5 +10 (convert all remaining Con. into Arcane) Total +3 +6 +9 Total Base Arcane 3 9 12 (+ remaining Con) 16 21 31 They can buy additional Arcane on top of this due to various Arcane Feats. So the numbers in the Total Base Arcane are just that, the base minimum Arcane any Arcane Lich will have at any one time. Q. Do the Lich templates stack? A. Perhaps the most confusing thing in Liches is the templates. Now, as a character can only undergo a Ritual every 30 days, chances are a character won’t be performing a Ritual every session, and hopefully applying a new template will be an act of excitement and fun as the player buys new Arcana and adds up their new scores and powers. Q. Are there any higher-State Arcana? A. Higher-level Arcana will be revealed in a future sourcebook, however, higher-State Arcana are closely linked to the personality of the Lich and many develop through play, as the Lich advances. A Lich that specializes in transmutation magic might find their higher-State Arcana developing along the transmutation line. Q1. When you join one of the Lich Orders, do you have to gain the two Insanities stated? A. The Insanities are merely suggested for each Order or Lich Type (generally, an NPC of that Order will typically have Insanities of that type). You can choose Insanities of any type you like. Q. When do I make an Insanity check? A. You make an Insanity check every time you expend any Arcane energy in a 24 hour period that takes you over your Arcane Threshold. Example: A Lich with an Arcane Threshold of 12 uses 12 Arcane in 24 hours. No Insanity check required. When the same Lich uses any power that requires the use of Arcane energy (within that same 24 hour period) they must make an Insanity check. Q. What are Arcana Points? A. Arcana Points are the points used to buy Arcana. 1 Arcana Point equals one rank of any Arcana. Liches gain Arcana Points dependent on their level and their State (a higher-State Lich gains increasing amounts of APs per level). A Death Touched Lich character gains just 1 AP with every level they gain after becoming Death Touched. The Lords of the Night: Liches FAQ. Version 1.0. Q. When do I apply Arcana Points and Feats? A. Everything is applied to a Lich’s template retrospectively. You cannot spend your starting character mortal feats on Arcane skills (as you were not a Death Touched character when you started play). Q. What is the maximum Arcane that a character can have? A. There is no maximum for a Lich’s Arcane score (although the maximum in the book is something like 80 points of Arcane (for really gross characters). Q. When Liches recover Arcane, do they simply recover it to a certain point? A. An Arcane Lich recovers Arcane up to their maximum Arcane score and cannot contain any additional Arcane beyond that (but they can store any amount of Arcane in Arcane Crystals, etc.) Q. As a DM, should I bump up the CR of a character that joins a Lich Order? A. A general rule of thumb: State = modifier to CR +1 (so a Living Dead character would be CR +3.) Q. What Arcana does an Unbound Lich gain? A. An Unbound Lich gains no Major Arcana and only ONE Minor Arcana (although they gain additional Minor Arcana with every State they advance and can buy more with Arcane Feats). Q. What is an Unbound Lich? A. An Unbound Lich is a Lich that has not yet joined a Lich Order. They are considered weak by the rest of Lich society; unable or willing to make a decision to join an Order. Q. How does the Conclave view Unbound Liches? A. Unbound Arcane Liches of Sunken State and higher are considered lower in status and inferior to other ‘Ordered’ Liches. Q. When the character joins a Lich Order, do they gain all Order-specific Minor and Major Arcana? A. A Lich Bound to an Order automatically gains access to all Minor and Major Arcana to which they would normally be entitled. Example: A Sunken Lich finally joins the Prime Order. They automatically gain access to the Minor Arcana: Mastery of the Mundane, Null Magic and Spell Mastery. If they have previously bought these Arcana, they can not choose other Minor Arcana in place of these. Q. What is the Binding process that binds a Lich to a Lich Order? A. Mostly it’s a powerful magical ritual that in many ways introduces a Lich to the powers of Creation. It transforms the Lich in many severe ways, and should not be undertaken lightly, for once a Lich is Bound to an Order, they can never gain another. The Ritual attunes that Lich to a particular Order and it changes pretty much everything about them, from their appearance to the way they think. Q. Do the Void use the Arcana? A. Yes. Void Liches gain access to all the Minor Arcana as Arcane Liches (but not the restricted Arcana (currently Void Manipulations). They have their own forms of the Major Arcana (but more on that very soon…) The Lords of the Night: Liches FAQ. Version 1.0. Q. Do the Void use Arcane? A. Yes. The Void use Arcane to shape reality around them. They do not recover Arcane energy like Arcane Liches and must find or steal it from the world around them. Q. What creatures can reach the Spectral? A. Only creatures with a consciousness. Summoned/conjured/non-sentient creatures cannot get to the Spectral (it is feasible that a pet dog could journey to the Spectral). Q. Can you allow a creature without (a golem) a mind to enter the Spectral? A. The answer is almost always no. Giving a creature a mind real enough to fool Creation is almost impossible. Only the most skilled Artificers can do this – but it is possible… Q. What does it mean to be Spectral? A. It means that you cannot cast spells in the mortal realms unless you are in a physical body (but you can do so on the Spectral as normal). Q. In the Rituals – what are rare ingredients? A. Rare ingredients are exceptionally rare or hard to find items that are not readily available in even the largest cities. These may be the parts of monsters, perfect gems or even magical items. Some ingredients must be sourced at certain times or under certain conditions and are almost always quest items. Example: The feathers of a chimera must be gathered by a virgin. Q. Why such mortal names for the Guild of Wizards? A. The Guild of Wizards are beings far older than any of the mortal races. To mortals, their language is unfathomable, a lilting, musical chime-like speech. As a result, they took the names of words from the speech of the most ancient mortals, when magic was primal and everything was raw and new. They didn’t consider style a factor in choosing a name, only something that carried the meaning of what they had become. Of course there are those scholars that believe the Guild of Wizards did not name themselves, and they only accepted the title once the first Arcane Liches had bestowed the title upon them. Q. What does the Conclave do with the really crazy Arcane Liches? A. They lock them away deep in the bowels of the Aedes Singularis where they are used to power the Conclave’s most potent mystical devices. No, really! Q. What really is the Void? A. It’s hunger, pure and simple. It has no consciousness of any kind. It simply exists to devour… Q. What penalties are involved with becoming a Lich? A. Aside from the mental and physical changes of the transformation, there are several other (optional) disadvantages that may affect a character on the path of the Arcane Transference. Death Touched characters lose their human skill point bonuses (but retain all other benefits); this means they lose their 1 additional skill point per level after becoming Death Touched. The Lords of the Night: Liches FAQ. Version 1.0. Q. What senses does a Lich have? A. At lower States a character is still mortal and retains all of their mortal senses (if they are not diminished somewhat). These senses are diminished as the Lich evolves through the States. A Sunken Lich has little or no sense of taste. A Necrotic Lich has very little sense of touch and no sense of smell. They may also have very hazy vision and little or no ability to speak (this does not affect their ability to spellcast). A Skeletal Lich has no taste, smell or touch whatsoever and must be exceedingly careful when manipulating fine items. All Liches retain their hearing throughout the entire process (although it has been known for some Liches to become deaf in the transformation). Those Liches have the power to read thoughts and continue to communicate with those around them. Such disadvantages are profoundly personal and should be used carefully at a DM’s discretion. Q. How does it feel to be a Lich? A. You no longer breathe or sleep, or even daydream. You can stand perfectly still for hours, and the sensation of not blinking is most strange. Many Liches continue to blink for months after their awakening as a Lich. Q. Do Liches lose hit points as they become Undead? A. Yes they can lose a few hit points in the translation to Undeath, but this is to be expected (with a drop in Constitution). The great powers gained come at a price, and a Death Touched or Living Dead character can suffer greatly from their reduced Constitution. They do not ever suffer a negative hit point total (or a negative hit dice modifier due to a very low Constitution). Q. Do Arcana Points (APs) have to be spent? A. Nope. You can save them or spend them as you see fit. You may not have time to spend all of your points as you have to be able to learn a new Arcana before you can buy it. You can buy a new Arcana power at any time, providing you have an available Mentor or Lich willing to teach it to you (or you can learn it on your own (but you must know the Arcana to be able to develop a Arcana power). Q. How long do Major And Minor Arcana take to learn? A. A general rule of thumb is that a Minor Arcana takes about a week to learn and Major Arcana about a month to learn (more intelligent Liches can learn Arcana far more swiftly. Without a Mentor, a Lich can learn Minor Arcana but they take three to four times the length of time to learn. Once an Arcana is learned, a lich must learn the Arcana powers within it. Minor Arcana Powers take approximately one day per Arcana Rank to learn, and Major Arcana take approximately 1 week per Arcana rank to learn. More intelligent Liches can reduce these times considerably. Q. How do I fit the Darkness Rising setting into my game? A. The Darkness Rising setting is designed to be easily integrated into any campaign. The player characters could be manipulated by a powerful Arcane Lich or skirmish with the minions of the Void. The campaign ‘bad guy’ could be a vampire, or the PCs could just encounter the mundane minions of the Void. With all things, this setting is about shadows, about undefined loyalties and The Lords of the Night: Liches FAQ. Version 1.0. where the divide between good and evil is always nebulous. The PCs should never have all the answers and every encounter with the Void should raise more questions than it answers. Q. Can I become a Vampire-Lich hybrid? A. No. You need an uncontaminated soul to become a Vampire (one not touched by the Arcane). You can not become one of the Children of Vangual or any other form of creature while you are a Lich. Conversely, you cannot become a Lich if you have been once or twice touched by one of the Children of Vangual (the Arcane Rituals simply do not work). Q. Well can I become an Arcane Lich if I’m a normal lich? A. Again, you need a living, mortal soul to become an Arcane Lich. The same applies if you’ve been undead (or transfigured in some way that altered your soul – even some resurrections) and restored back to life. The Rituals in such instances simply will not work. Q. What Spellcraft check is involved in the Prime Lich power Initiate of the Arcane A. A Prime Lich’s Spell Resistance is based on the results of their first Spellcraft check made to determine the spell that triggers the ability. Even if multiple targets are involved, only the Prime Lich’s first Spellcraft check is used to determine their Spell Resistance. To get a better Spell Resistance a Prime Lich must lower and reactivate the power. Q. What does an Artifex Lich’s Artifex Lens do (other than what is currently detailed)? A. Many things. An Artifex Lens is a powerful item that can be configured in much the same way as an Arcane Focus. A Lich can personalise their Lens, adding new powers, or increasing their magical abilities in many ways. No matter what powers are added, no one but the maker can use their Artifex Lens. More information on Artifex Lenses will be revealed in the future. Q. What is Arcanium? A. Arcanium is a magical metal that repels magic. It appears as a purplish metal that gleams with flashes of silver. It is forged from Spectral essence and refined Va’Vash (found only on the Ash Plane). Arcanium is ridiculously expensive. An Arcanium dagger would pass through all known forms of magic resistance, but would cost 100,000s of GPs. Even the Conclave only has access to a few items made fully of Arcanium, but such items vary in power – from offering a substantial bonus to magic resistance, to spell deflection, all the way up to passing through magical armor bonuses and even magical defenses. You must have the Artifice skill rank 6 at least to work with Arcanium and the distillation process requires a complex process that only the Artificers in Kethak have mastered. Arcanium is powerful, but with it in such limited supplies, it isn’t going to win the Great War for the Conclave. Q. What happens to a spellcaster’s familiar when they become a Lich? A. The bond between familiar and Lich is broken as they pass into undeath. The Lich must perform a modified version of the spell to conjure a new familiar (this spell can be found in Kethak and is readily available through common magical circles). The Lords of the Night: Liches FAQ. Version 1.0. Q. How much do the mortal realms know about Arcane Liches and the Powers of Darkness? A. Not much. Even the gods have been kept secret from the Arcane and only now are they becoming more aware of the movements of Liches and the Void. Even now they are unaware of the terrible danger posed by the Void and they are still overlooking the Servants of the Void as being ‘yet another dark power that poses no real threat to the mortal realms’. Ancient organizations are as yet unaware of the rise of the great shadow (with the exception of fragments of lore or a few ancient texts). The Children of Vangual have done well to stick to the shadows. Of course there are some organizations that are aware of the rising shadow. The Conclave have placed their trust in a number of groups, some of which have become ‘hunters’ of evil; those mortals that have dedicated their lives to the destruction of evil. Q. Where are the Powers of Light now that Vampires are devastating the Mortal Realms? A. The Vampires aren’t devastating the Mortal Realms. They’re merely setting up the pieces for some huge game they’re playing. They’re vying for power and struggling to get into the best positions where the feeding is good. Something’s coming, and only they know what… Yes, there are places in the mortal realms where the Children of Vangual are in power (certain small villages and even some towns) and in those places, fear and terror is high, but generally, there are so few Vampires in the mortal realms (at least openly) that people fear ‘something’ but exactly what is still unknown. Constable Berren knows the name Vampire, and he even knows quite a bit more, but even he doesn’t know the whole truth… There are generally so many evils in the world that a few unknown Vampires mean very little. The world is darker, and fear is everywhere, but the dead aren’t walking the streets openly and certainly, not everyone in every city has met a vampire! Yes there are times when great battles blast across populated areas, decimating buildings and slaughtering countless people, and yes, those instances are growing in frequency, but in a magical world, such things are to be expected. Peo ple flee from the scene, and for weeks, it’s on everybody’s lips, but time heals, and people soon forget… As for the Powers of Light - all will become clear very soon, but aside from Auraran, (a very minor) god of knowledge, the Powers of Light don’t exist… Q. Why does Kethak strip away the emotion from mortals? A. Kethak itself strips away the mortal sentiment from a Lich (turning them first into emotionless creatures in a surprisingly short space of time) because the plane is situated so close to the negative energy planes. The passions a Lich held in their mortal life begin to lose their meaning and words like ‘love’ and ‘beauty’ become just words. This is the power of the plane, heightening mental prowess but at a cost of a learner’s mortality. Q. Why Would a Lich Want an Avatar? A. To appear mortal, or to interact with the mortal realms without penalty. If he is horribly degenerated or obviously undead, he can appear fully normal without having to resort to spells or illusions. The Lords of the Night: Liches FAQ. Version 1.0. Additionally, a Lich can fully immerse himself in the activities of the mortal realms without danger of death or destruction. Q. How do I Unweave a Magical Item? A. Unweaving magical items requires that you Unweave every spell in the item before it is rendered non-magical. If you fail to Unweave all the spells/powers in an item within 24 hours, all spells/powers within the item are restored and you must begin your Unweaving attempt anew. You cannot Unweave artifacts at this level of power. The Lords of the Night: Liches FAQ. Version 1.0.