Some time ago, I presented Jared Sorensen (Memento Mori Theatricks) with a notion: his Specialist class rules should be used to enable depraved Torchbearer magicians and clerics to attain Lichdom.

Of course, he did not disappoint! And so, as a Halloween treat to you all I present the Lich Specialist class:

The LichThe Lich

You have harnessed forbidden magicks to extend your life beyond mortality and into undeath.

Prerequisites: Arcanist or Ritualist 6 required. You must have at least six points divided between Lore Master and Theologian. You need a wise related to Undeath, Immortality, Phylacteries or Spirit-binding. You cannot be an elf.

Level 1

Taxidermist: Your hobbies are...most peculiar. Gain an advance (pass or fail) in Healer and Alchemist.

Level 2

Librarian: You may make one Scholar test during the town phase without raising your lifestyle obstacle.

Level 3

Sorcery: Those willing to risk their immortal souls may call upon Chaos itself to lend them power. The sorcerer may invoke a Chaos-aligned prayer instead of gaining a new spell slot.

Requirements: Must be a spellcaster. Lawful or unaffiliated characters may not choose this benefit.

Thanatology: You have delved deep into the subject of death and the experience has left you shaken but resolute. You no longer become afraid from fear-based magic or effects.

Level 4

Self-Experimentation: Your research has led you to some fascinating discoveries. Reduce your maximum Health by 1. Increase your maximum Will by 1.

Self-Mortification: Pain and suffering are your constant companions, not your enemies. If you shrug off an injury, you may choose which ability or skill to lower; cross out the fresh condition, permanently.

Level 5

Lair: Choose a location for your lair, either in town or on its outskirts (for example, an abandoned tower). Camping in your Lair is treated as camping in a typical dungeon camp. If in town, you may stay in your lair for free (treat as a flophouse).

Requirements: You must purchase or acquire a property or deed. An ob 5 Resources test is required to furnish your lair—until then it cannot be used.

Level 6

Laboratory: Create a laboratory in your lair. While sequestered away in your laboratory to conduct research, experiments and scholarly work, gain +1D and gain a free Alchemist, Ritualist or Healer test (no lifestyle cost).

Requirements: An ob 6 Resources test to procure chemicals and equipment—until then it cannot be used.

Level 7

Archives: Construct your very own archives within your lair. Your archives allow anyone you permit to conduct research or dig for leads for free; or you may reduce your own lifestyle costs by 1 for each individual who increases their own lifestyle costs to conduct research or dig for leads.

Requirements: An ob 7 Resources test to procure books, paper, ink and other equipment—until then it cannot be used.

Level 8

Phylactery: You begin your great work; the construction of an artifact that will one day contain your vital essence. Choose its form: weapon, armor, gear, objet d' art, gem. You may even use the skeletal remains (a skull, a tooth, a claw) of a once-living creature.

Once enchanted, your Arcanist and Ritualist skills are capped at 7 and anyone attempting to affect you with a spell or prayer does so at -1s while in proximity of this item.

Requirements: The item to become enchanted and an ob 12 Arcanist test to enchant it. Reduce the obstacle by the value of the item or the Might of the creature's remains (a gem worth 6D or a black dragon skull would reduce the Arcanist test to ob 6). You must also have a functioning lair, laboratory and archives.

Level 9

Epic Ability: Choose an ability or skill that succeeds on rolls of 3-6. That skill or ability now succeeds on rolls of 2-6; or you may select another Heroic Ability benefit from your class options.

Level 10

Unlife: After removing your soul and placing it into your phylactery, you become a creature neither dead nor truly alive. You gain the ability to cast/invoke the following spells and prayers without a spellbook or obeyance to the Immortal Lords.

  • Numinous Sigil

  • Sign of Abrogation

  • Communion of the Black Gate

  • Inspiritment of the Black Goat

Requirements: A phylactery. An ob 8 Ritualist test to perform the ritual of unlife.


Liches are undead creatures who have used arcane processes to escape death's cold grasp. All level 10 liches have the dead condition. Fortunately, they are immune to its penalties; they may help, make tests and use wises. They are also immune to the effects of being hungry and thirsty, exhausted and sick—these conditions may be inflicted upon them, but there are no ill effects. However as liches remain vulnerable to the Grind, their bodies will continue to decompose over time—only the magic of their phylactery prevents them from rotting away completely.


Recovery from conditions

  • Liches do not sleep or suffer from fatigue. They recover from exhausted using elixirs or prayers.

  • The recover from angry and afraid as normal.

  • Liches must recover from injured or sick by sucking it up or sweating it out. This will reduce a skill or ability by one point.

  • If killed by a failed test or conflict or from the Grind, gain the Dead condition but ignore its effects. Reduce the lich's Health by 1. A lich whose Health has been reduced to 0 cannot move, act or speak—as if Dead—but will eventually regenerate. 

  • As undead, they may be turned (but not destroyed) by prayers and holy relics. 


Ashes to Ashes...

The lich's soul is contained within the phylactery it created. As long as this phylactery remains intact, one point of lost Health is restored at the end of each session. Liches are reduced to ash when their Health is reduced to 0 and their phylactery is destroyed. Once this happens, they cannot be raised from the dead.


Winter is Coming

Each Winter, replace or increase a trait with Cadaverous as you slowly rot and decay to a skeletal form (see Death Knight for details). You may replace multiple trait. For example, two level 3 Cadaverous traits grant +2s to a tied or successful test associated with the trait.



Art by Matt Gibeault


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Topics: Mordite Mondays, Torchbearer, TB Hacks