MaBu making a Liche

I am sure that this has been addressed but would you create a Liche with the death art magic would you include the Servant to Death ability where they are controlled by their creator or would that be there and just a wasted trait. I can assume from the reading that at the time that you are ritually poisoning yourself that you will gain the traits that come with that.

I don’t have a player that wants to do it I just want to make a story line where one of the enemies are striving towards this goal.

Sounds like a wasted trait to me.

Cool idea for a campaign villain; I guess they are gathering up exotic antecedent elements to perform the ritual, waiting for the stars to align [to FoRK in Astrology], and finding a green eyed virgin to seal the deal.

I’ve never actually been involved in a Burning Wheel Campaign in where Liches have been a thing, but if I did, I might consider adding in a House Rule whereby the Slave to the Power of Death trait would grant access to Death Arts. Maybe it’s just my biases, but I’m not a big fan of the “becoming a liche makes you incapable of using magic” thing that the rules as written imply.

If I remember correctly, Liches were created when a sorcerer placed his soul into an unliving object to archieve immortality. He could then only be killed by destroying the object or (in some stories) killing the lich with the object. Oh yeah, these objects were called phylacteries

I think it would be cool to create traits that reflected this. Especially when you sent the PCs on a scavenger hunt to explore the liche’s past and get a hint on what the object is and where it is hidden.

Let us know how it turns out

This one has been solved through some trickery. The following thread has links to other threads that have the details. In short though, either a major miracle (to protect the gift) or art magic/enchanting to imbue an object with the ability to grant the gift while worn. Also remember that while flinging spells is impossible, lots of slower magic (summoning, spirit binding) can be done by anyone.

Servant of Death for self-created liches sounds like a great potential weakness and complication for self-made liches.

A quick thought, it is kinda cool to think of it as a Liche having no life-force to fuel magic, but maybe you could have your Liche save up some Tax dice “cash” in some manner, through blasphemous rituals and enchantments of some unfathomably evil kind, and these cash dice are burned up with failed tax rolls. This “Mana” pool is only recovered through evil rituals that sacrifice innocents and generate fear and hatred [like recovering taxed resources by working with you Blasphemous-Ritual skill]. Maybe limit the size of the Liches pool to his Blasphemous-Rituals skill, just to put a cap on the bastard, and I think every failed tax roll should probably lead to a corruption tests as his body handles energies it isn’t supposed to.

There are multiple ways I see to approach the liche problem. You might have a different idea as well.

  1. Decide that Death of the Spirit is not the way liches are created. After all, liches are very specifically magic-users who have undergone a process to make themselves everliving. Perhaps there is another Death Art ritual in your world that allows for the creation of liches.

  2. Tweak the Enchanting rules slightly. The trait transference power of Enchanting very specifically calls out the Gifted, Faithful and Chosen One traits as traits that cannot be transferred with Enchanting. But what if there is an exception for Phylacteries? The Phylactery cannot transfer Gifted to someone else, but can allow you to shield your Gifted trait from the Death of the Spirit ritual. I kind of like this, as it also makes your ability to use Sorcery dependent on contact with your Phylactery. That’s cool in my book.

  3. Use Summoning to bargain with a spirit for their Gifted trait. The Rakshah and Uncle Vodnik from the Monster Burner are examples, but the GM could certainly burn his own. There is no rule in Summoning that bars transference of the Gifted trait, so this method has the advantage of being 100% within the RAW.

  4. Decide that if you use Blood Magic, you don’t need the Gifted trait to cast spells. As long as you have Advantage dice from torture and/or sacrifice to burn, you can cast your spells even without the Gifted trait.

Cold Black Blood gives access to Death Art and isn’t disallowed for Enchanting.

So if you’re a necromancer byway of the orc blood in your veins, you can maintain your mastery over death via extracting the Trait from yourself. Alternatively of course a would be liche can try and extract it from a full on orc.