The Archlich Excerpt and PC Death

Another Arcane Power excerpt is out, something that wasnt covered on RPGnet because they didnt want to waste the poster's time. The archlich is an arcane epic destiny that does what the cover advertises: you become a lich. Becoming a lich in past editions was never this easy or cheap, and I'm kind of on the fence about it. On one hand, its a simple matter of making the decision at level 21. On the other hand, it used to take a long time and a lot of cash to seal the deal...

I guess my feelings to this are "at least it'll get used". I mean, I've always wanted to make a necromancer-type character that did become a lich, but since it took much longer to level up in 3rd Edition it was always felt like Duke Nukem Forver: I'll get to it when I get to it.

Also, its really badass. See, when 4th Edition came out I always felt that the archmage was the best possible epic destiny for wizards, since you could cast a daily spell twice per day, recall any one spell you want with shape magic, and change a daily spell into an encounter spell.

This one ramps up your Int by 2, makes it so that you cannot die if you have your phylactery, deal necrotic or radiant damage to enemies that get too close, and grants necrotic and poison resistance. As an opener. Once you hit 24th level you can opt to empower yourself instead of dying, which heals you halfway and also inflicts 20 necrotic damage on any creature that damages you at all. At level 30 you can regain spent encounter powers whenever an enemy dies too close to you.

I dont think that their utility power is as good as the archmage's, as it only works on necrotic or fear powers. Sure, you get resist all 20 for the rest of the encounter, Its still very useful.

Moving things back a bit, there are a few concerns about the fact that you cannot die as an archlich. Everytime you die, you reform one day later next to your phylactery. Now, if you have it on your person, then you would just reappear in the same spot. If you hide it, well...then you'll end up wherever the hell you dropped it. There is no limit on this, just that it takes a day for it to kick in and reconstruct you. It can be destroyed, in which case you have to dump 10 days and 50,000 gp (kind of like a Raise Dead).

Is this a problem?

Well...maybe? In my games, I've yet to actually fully kill a player. Sure, they get knocked out plenty, but I've never killed anyone. Not that slaughtering the party is my aim: I'm an entertainer, damn it. If I had to call this an issue, I'd actually say that the placement of the phylactery is the problem, not its function.
If you die, you dont reform for an entire day, so you have to play the waiting game. Or rather, the rest of the party gets to do stuff (assuming they survived) until they take an extended rest. You also appear adjacent to it, so if the party is really really far away...well, that could cause a problem. I'm not a fan of splitting the party up and running little solo sessions, and that causes the rest of the party to have to stop playing while I figure out other things.
Of course, True Portal can get you where you need to go in most cases, and as long as you're level 28 (and not, say, 21). It also costs 50,000 gp per shot, which isnt cheap (accounting for roughly one treasure parcel at that level, unless you're level 21 when it accounts for basically all your treasure for that level).

You might call it DM fiat, but I think that having a phylactery could be an interesting element to add in the game for social and immersion purposes. Its very valuable, obviously, and it gives the archlich something to worry about. At epic tier you probably made a lot of enemies as you crawled your way to the top, so it makes a very obvious (perhaps heavy-handed) adventure hook to play with.

The archlich looks really cool. Is it a no-brainer epic destiny? I guess if your DM is really good at killing you off, then assuming you can make it to level 21, then it might be handy for you and you alone. I can see the merits of other epic destinies, however, so its not an automatic choice for myself. If I was going for sheer firepower, I'd still go with the archmage.

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