Chaotic Mage's ultimate endgame as a Lich

Okay, so with the release of Dwimmermount it seem we have a true ACKS stat block for the Lich. Assuming I have a Chaotic Mage, becoming a Lich seems like the ultimate goal to achieve. I’m not sure if Zaharan classes are better for this or not, or if there is a more optimal path but I have tried to work out the process.

To create a Lich (using oneself) requires (ideally) 14th level mage with Int 18. Level 14 so we can re-create ourselves as a Lich with the max HD possible and Intelligence 18 so we can get all four '*'s for the abilities.

Now comes the cost.

Requires 2k per HD (14) = 28,000

5k per special ability (4) = 20k

Combined research cost is 48k in gold.

48k = 48 days duration of the procedure.

Success on magic research throw required. Target increased by 1 for every 5k of the cost, come out to be +9 to target value for cost I think depending on how you count the last 3,000.

Also require a private ‘mortuary and embalming chamber’ at least equal in value to the ritual cost (48k). 48k value. 96k combined for research costs and mortuary. 90k extra as ‘safety’ materials mitigates magic research throw penalty so that it is a simple unmodified magical research roll.

186k so far for mitigated research throw. (Roll of 3 or higher).
Or 96k for +9 penalty, ignoring extra investment into mortuary. (Roll of 12 or higher). Should probably go for the safety cash.

48k xp worth of monster guts plus parts of a creature with 4 special abilities ALSO required.

  • Very Old Dragon satisfies 4 special abilities (7,200 xp)
  • Vampire satisfies 4 special abilities (1,840-3,100 xp)
  • There may be other creatures with that many abilities but those stand out.

Assuming a typical RPG career, vampires and potentially a very old dragon could have been killed. If we are a ‘plan ahead’ type of mage, we surely saved some monster guts from these creatures. Maybe helping fulfill the trope of a laboratory filled with odd samples in jars, to keep the organs from going bad before the eventual procedure. Even killing a very old dragon still leaves ~40k xp worth of monster guts to be gathered. Seems like you’d have to be saving for quite awhile, OR using the dungeon beneath your wizard tower to ‘farm’ parts that way.

So. As a chaotic mage, IF you save up monster guts (and preserve them) over the course of your career (to get towards 48k xp’s worth)AND nail a vampire or dragon, AND save up 186,000 gold (besides whatever you put into your wizard tower) to cover the costs of research and mortuary and ‘safety’ materials for the mortuary, turning yourself into a Lich comes down to having 48 days of downtime and being able to roll 3 and above on a d20.

Do I have this about right?

“Everything was proceeding as I had foreseen, until those meddling adventurers showed up and interrupted the cere … arghhhhh!”

“He must have died while writing it.”

Yes, I think you do. And…awesome!

For the curious, as a 14 HD lich, it would cost you 40,960,000 XP to reach 15 HD.

Better secure your grip on the entire world, and then hold it for a few thousand years.

Now we understand their motives!

Joking aside, in one of my earlier spreadsheets I calculated “Empire Maximum”, representing a historical Empire of about the maximum size that ever existed (60MM people), and the ACKS revenue worked out to be about 1.12M GP per month. Subtract the 425K GP threshold and the net is about 700K GP per month.

As such we’d expect the Emperor-Lich of the Middlesea (or whatever) to take 58 months to reach level 15, or about 5 years.

Or over length of reign, his level will be:
Level 15: 5 years
level 16: 15 years
level 17: 35 years
Level 18: 75 years
Level 19: 155 years
Level 20: 315 years
Level 21: 635 years
Level 22: 1,275 years

An Emperor-Lich who reigned for the approximately 2 centuries of the Pax Romana would be level 19…

An Emperor-Lich who reigned for 200,000 years during a prehuman era would…aaaahh

“Even killing a very old dragon still leaves ~40k xp worth of monster guts to be gathered. Seems like you’d have to be saving for quite awhile, OR using the dungeon beneath your wizard tower to ‘farm’ parts that way.”

Ooh, maybe liches research special ritual spells that kill enormous amounts of creatures/monsters by draining away their life? It’s questionable if a DM would give XP for mass slaughter like that, but it would make for a great visual where becoming a lich litterally drains all vitality from the world around you to power your Unlife…

Keep in mind that although for something massive like Lichdom, it might not be picky, but usually these things are pretty specific. Depending on the formula you get, that might be 48k worth of “owlbear eyes” specifically.

Imagine the poor lich who has to collect 48,000 gp worth of something very trivial; earwig pincers- every 200 are worth 1 gp.

And now we know why evil wizards have armies of puny goblins… to collect earwig pincers by the thousands!

I can’t recall, where are the rules for advancing in HD as an undead/creature?

ACKS Core page 252 (Transformations).