Lich Knight

Lich knights are undead similar to liches in power, but with a different focus – instead of being sustained through purely magical means, they serve as champions of their dark gods, and are granted unlife as part of that service. The path to become a lich knight is a lengthy one – all lich knights must advance through the Lich Knight PrC – but the rewards are well worth the cost.

Lich knights appear much as they did in life, but their skin is grayish and leathery, and their eyes glow bright red. They are often clad in armor bearing the symbol of their god and attended by lesser undead and/or fiends.

Creating a Lich Knight

"Lich knight" is an acquired template that can be added to any humanoid creature, provided it has achieved 10th level in the Lich Knight PrC.

A lich knight uses all the base creature's statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

Size and Type: The base creature's type changes to undead. Do not recalculate base attack bonus, saves, or skill points. Size is unchanged.

Hit Dice: Increase all current and future Hit Dice to d12s.

Speed: Same as the base creature.

Armor Class: A lich knight has a +4 natural armor bonus or the base creature's natural armor bonus, whichever is better.

Attack: A lich knight retains all the base creature's attacks and gains a slam attack if it didn't already have one. Lich knights attack with weapons first – primarily with the bonded weapon, then with any other weapon they have or can acquire, resorting to the slam attack only if disarmed or no weapons are close at hand.

Full Attack: A lich knight fighting without weapons uses its slam attack (see above).

Damage: Lich knights have slam attacks. If the base creature does not have this attack form, then it gains one, dealing damage by size: 1d4 for Small, 1d6 for Medium, or 1d8 for Large creatures. It deals an additional +4 points of negative energy damage on a successful slam attack (no save).

Special Attacks: A lich knight retains all the special attacks of the base creature and also gains those listed below.

Aura of Doom (Su): Anyone not of the same faith as the lich knight that approaches within 10 feet of it must make a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 HD + Cha modifier) or be shaken for as long as it remains in the aura. If the save is successful, that creature cannot be affected again by the same lich knight's aura of doom until 24 hours have passed.

Spell-like Abilities (Sp): A lich knight can use the following spell-like abilities, as applicable: dispel good, summon monster VII at will, inflict critical wounds 3/day; unholy word 1/day. Its caster level is 16th or its character level/HD, whichever is higher.

Spells (Sp): A lich knight can use any spells it could cast in life.

Special Qualities: A lich knight retains all the special qualities of the base creature and those listed below.

DR 10/magic (Su): A lich knight has DR 10/magic. Its natural weapons are treated as magic weapons for purposes of overcoming damage reduction.

Implacable Doom (Ex): A lich knight is immune to all spells and effects that slow or impede movement, including grease, halt undead, slow, and spike stones, but not those that attempt to grapple or hinder targets, like black tentacles or web.

Turn Resistance (Ex): A lich knight has +4 turn resistance.

Saves: Same as the base creature.

Abilities: Increase from the base creature as follows: Str +4, Dex +2, Wis +1, Cha +3. As undead creatures, lich knights have no Constitution score.

Skills: Lich knights have a +6 racial bonus on Perception, Sense Motive, and Stealth checks. Otherwise same as the base creature.

Feats: Lich knights gain Cleave, Great Cleave, and Power Attack, assuming the base creature meets the prerequisites and doesn't already have these feats.

Environment: Any

Organization: Solitary

ECL: Same as the base creature +4.


Alignment: Always evil

Advancement: Same as the base creature.

Sample Lich Knight

The following example uses Olric Darktongue, a Lich Knight PC, as the base creature. Since this template can only be gained through the Lich Knight PrC, he is displayed as a character statblock instead of a monster statblock. Note that many of the class abilities that relate to his change to undead, like dark mind and mummification, as they are subsumed under undead traits.

Olric Darktongue: Undead (half-orc male) Clr 5/Ftr 5/LKn 10; ECL 24; Medium humanoid; HD 20d12+22; hp 153; Init +0; Spd 30 ft.; AC 25, touch 10, flat-footed 25; Base Atk +18; Grp +23; Atk +23 melee (1d8+10, 19-20/x3, +3 crushing unholy warhammer) or +23 melee (1d6+9, slam); Full Atk +26/+21/+16/+11 melee (1d8+10, 19-20/x3, +3 crushing unholy warhammer) or +23 melee (1d6+9, slam); Space/Reach 5 ft./5 ft.; SA Aura of doom, command/rebuke undead 10/day, lord of the dead, smite good 2/day, spell-like abilities, spells, vampiric weapon; SQ Aura of despair, aura of evil, bonded weapon, darkvision, DR 10/magic, half-orc traits, implacable doom, turn resistance +4, undead mount, unholy constitution; AL NE; SV Fort +13, Ref +8, Will +17; Str 21, Dex 10, Con -, Int 10, Wis 19, Cha 17.

Skills and Feats: Concentration +18, Handle Animal +8, Heal +9, Intimidate +18, Knowledge (religion) +14, Perception +14, Ride +5, Sense Motive +9, Spellcraft +10; Cleave, Empower Spell, Extra Turning, Great Cleave, Improved Sunder, Mounted Combat, Power Attack, Trample, Weapon Focus (warhammer), Weapon Specialization.

Cleric Spells Prepared (6/6/6/5/4/2; base DC 14 + spell level): 0 - cure minor wounds, detect poison, inflict minor wounds, purify food and drink, read magic; 1st - deathwatch, detect undead, doom, protection from goodD, shield of faith (x2); 2nd - cure moderate wounds (x2), death knellD, eagle's splendor, hold person, owl's wisdom; 3rd - contagion (x2), cure serious wounds, inflict serious wounds(x2), magic circle against goodD; 4th - cure critical wounds, divine power, freedom of movement, unholy blightD; 5th – slay livingD, symbol of pain

D Domain Spell. Domains: Death (Death touch 1/day); Evil (Cast evil spells at +1 caster level).

Possessions: +3 crushing unholy warhammer*, +2 half plate, +2 heavy steel shield.

*The crushing ability doubles the threat range of a bludgeoning weapon.

The Lich Knight's Weapon

All lich knights have a bonded weapon, which they carry with them at all times, and which stores the knight's life force, like a lich's phylactery. As a rule, the only way to permanently destroy a lich knight is to destroy its weapon. Unless this is done, the lich knight reforms 1d10 days after its apparent death at the spot where it was "slain" and hunts down its weapon.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License