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Ro'Sothian

The Birth of a Lich

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THE BIRTH OF A LICH:

Lich - A dark sorcerer who has put their soul in a box or gem, killing themselves and going insane in the process. They are a walking corpse with all memories but they have few of the biological weaknesses of being a human, like they have infinite stamina. If they die then their body regenerates back at the soul-container, called a phylactery.

 

Necromancy - Rising of corpses from the dead as slaves or soldiers. They work autonomously and follow the orders of whoever raised them. If the necromancer (person who raises corpses) is weak, however, then these corpses can break free and have sentience. They feel great pain and try to kill their master at all costs.

 

As you will soon learn, I have quite the obession with necromancy and liches. D&D is the game of my dreams. However, there are extremely few games, books, movies, etc. that cover these subjects in detail. A few of them have a necromancer but he just consults with spirits, some filthy casual stuff. A few of them have a lich but there is nothing lich-like about them except their looks and immortality.  My goal in life is to create a book, animation, and/or game of sorts to output my needs.

 

The game/book would be about a boy with a really sucky life who turns to books for comfort. One day he finds a Necronomicon then "rips off a Carrie" if you've ever read Stephen King's book. He becomes a lich then exacts revenge on everyone. You are given the choices to do what you want, it's a full sandbox. You can stay human and just do whatever activities are available and never become evil, if you so wish.

 

One of the primary game mechanics would be to switch between an RTS view and a first person view. The first person view is to control the lich/necromancer protagonist and the RTS view is to control the hoardes of corpses under your command.

 

This is nothing but a dream as of this time. I am young, limited in options, and have little experience in coding. If I ever make it it'll be 15-30 years from now. I'll start off with a book then attempt to fund my game that way. I just want to see thoughts on it.

 

Examples of raised corpses (art from Battle for Wesnoth):

[attachment=29637:906013_100491473619545_4239684408141785022_o.jpg][attachment=29638:Untitled.png]

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Sounds like a cool idea for a game - and i generally find most ideas that aren't mine to be sterotypical and uninteresting. :-D Also, liches are damn cool.

 

I think the nastiest part of a lich is never really described in much detail in their lore. It usually gets maybe 1 line. "the Liches remove their own vicera... " I imagine them in some dark ritual circle slicing off their own flesh, face clenched in agony - their life only sustained by their mastery over death. After slicing off their own skin and muscles, they agonizingly remove their own heart and place it in an ornate magical container.

 

If was working on a project like this, I'd just start the game off like this. It would be like a mini-game. A horrible, bloody, mini-game. And you may as well start off as a Lich anyway. Who wants to play a game about a Lich and just walk around as mr normal guy instead? It would also be a great over-the-top way to grab the player's attention.

 

I'm not a fan of D&D or the way they describe Liches though. Aren't they just a dark swirling cloud with a skull floating in the middle? Kind of lame. They're much better if they've got some grim-reaper-esque look, or a skeletal mage vibe.

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I'm not a fan of D&D or the way they describe Liches though. Aren't they just a dark swirling cloud with a skull floating in the middle?

I'm not sure which monster you're thinking of -- perhaps some specific demilich -- but it's certainly not the typical d&d lich, which is usually more akin to your desire: a powerful skeletal spellcaster, often with glowing eyes, and with all the accompanying lore about their creation and phylactery, etc. intact.

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The idea of a Lich has always been awesome in Game Design. I don't really have much to add but to help with motivation: Hopoo once was making a necromancer game and I am not sure why he stopped it: (He also had a demo but I can't find it) It was pretty cool. It basically worked as the skeletons had basic AI and the user could combine them or turn them into a bone tornado etc. I think it was a great concept.

 

[attachment=29639:clip+(2014-05-15+at+07.09.31).png]

Edited by CRYP7IK

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The idea of a Lich has always been awesome in Game Design. I don't really have much to add but to help with motivation: Hopoo once was making a necromancer game and I am not sure why he stopped it: (He also had a demo but I can't find it) It was pretty cool. It basically worked as the skeletons had basic AI and the user could combine them or turn them into a bone tornado etc. I think it was a great concept.

"Always been awesome in Game Design" Fantastic, I'll fit in well here.

The guy who made Risk of Rain? That's awesome! He has money and game-making capabilities so I have high hopes.

 


Sounds like a cool idea for a game - and i generally find most ideas that aren't mine to be sterotypical and uninteresting. :-D Also, liches are damn cool.

I think the nastiest part of a lich is never really described in much detail in their lore. It usually gets maybe 1 line. "the Liches remove their own vicera... " I imagine them in some dark ritual circle slicing off their own flesh, face clenched in agony - their life only sustained by their mastery over death. After slicing off their own skin and muscles, they agonizingly remove their own heart and place it in an ornate magical container.

If was working on a project like this, I'd just start the game off like this. It would be like a mini-game. A horrible, bloody, mini-game. And you may as well start off as a Lich anyway. Who wants to play a game about a Lich and just walk around as mr normal guy instead? It would also be a great over-the-top way to grab the player's attention.

I'm not a fan of D&D or the way they describe Liches though. Aren't they just a dark swirling cloud with a skull floating in the middle? Kind of lame. They're much better if they've got some grim-reaper-esque look, or a skeletal mage vibe.

 

"Sterotypical and uninteresting" that is right. Whenever I Google my ideas to see if they've been done I get like one page of results.

 

"the Liches remove their own vicera... " I've never heard of that part of being a lich. I have done some thinking on my book and when he becomes a lich I decided he would have his skin still but be unable to see because his new "eyes" were glowing in his sockets and fleshy things were blocking the way. Thus he has to gouge them out and pretty much rid his body of flesh because it just weighs you down.

 

 

"A horrible, bloody mini-game" There can definitely be separate games, multiple modes, etc. A lot of people don't give a shit about story or sandbox and just want combat. So definitely an areana mode, I think every intuitive combat game should have one. Like Overgrowth and Ex Anima. I haven't thought about combat much, but I think I want to make it somewhat modular and complicated. You have a series of commands that you combine. So "raise + fire + explode" makes Ghost Rider come out of the ground before exploding.

 

"Not a fan of D&D" You're definitely decribing the demi-lich. It's just a skull and it resides in a parallel "plane" or dimension. The normal liches are the skeleton sorcerers.

 

Here is a quote from the WIkipedia page on how D&D liches work:


A mage becomes a lich by means of necromancy, using a magical receptacle called a Phylactery to store the lich's soul. In some sources the method of becoming a lich is referred to as the Ritual of Becoming or Ceremony of Endless Night. The process is often described as requiring the creation and consumption of a deadly potion, the Elixir of Defilation, which is to be drunk on a full moon; although the exact details of the potion are described differently in various sources, the creation of the potion almost universally entails acts of utter evil, such as using as an ingredient the blood of an infant slain by the potential sorcerer's own hand, or other, similarly vile components. The potion invariably kills the drinker but if the process is successful it rises again some days later as a Lich. Occasionally, this metamorphosis occurs by accident as a result of life-prolonging magic.

Unlike most other forms of undead creatures, the Lich retains all of the memories, personality, and abilities that it possessed in life — but it has a virtual eternity to hone its skills and inevitably becomes very powerful. Like other powerful forms of undead (such as a vampire or mummy), a Lich has unnatural powers owing to its state. For example, it can put mortals in a paralyzed state of hibernation with their minds, making them seem dead to others, and can, through its typically powerful magical spells, summon other lesser undead to protect it. A Lich's bones do not decay. The Lich is capable of sustaining tremendous physical damage, and is immune to disease, poison, fatigue and other effects that affect only the living. However, despite all its undead "gifts", a lich's most valuable resources are its vast intellect, its supreme mastery of sorcery and limitless time to research, plot and scheme.

Since a lich's soul is mystically tied to its phylactery, destroying its body will not kill it. Rather, its soul will return to the phylactery, and its body will be recreated by the power keeping it immortal. Thus the only way to permanently destroy a lich is to destroy the phylactery as well. Therefore, the lich will generally be extremely protective of the priceless item. The phylactery, which can be of virtually any form (the default form is a metal box filled with rune-covered papers, but it usually appears as a valuable amulet or gemstone), will often be hidden in a secret place and protected by powerful spells, charms, monsters and/or other servants; the phylactery itself is usually of magical nature, meaning its destruction will generally be no easier than obtaining it.

 

Lot of good things in here that can be put into a game. The lich must be significantly more powerful and different than his slaves.

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I'm not a fan of D&D or the way they describe Liches though. Aren't they just a dark swirling cloud with a skull floating in the middle?

I'm not sure which monster you're thinking of -- perhaps some specific demilich -- but it's certainly not the typical d&d lich, which is usually more akin to your desire: a powerful skeletal spellcaster, often with glowing eyes, and with all the accompanying lore about their creation and phylactery, etc. intact.

 

 

To add to this, from the SRD (which should be version 3.5 I believe):

 

A lich is an undead spellcaster, usually a wizard or sorcerer but sometimes a cleric or other spellcaster, who has used its magical powers to unnaturally extend its life.

A lich is a gaunt and skeletal humanoid with withered flesh stretched tight across horribly visible bones. Its eyes have long ago been lost to decay, but bright pinpoints of crimson light burn on in the empty sockets.

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Not sure where this thread is going but while we are on the subject of Liches, there was a pretty decent entry to the Week of Awesome III where you played a Lich that recurrently died/returned in an interesting way.

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I find that liches are far too often portrayed as vague 'bad guys for the sake of being evil', which I find to be exceptionally boring story wise. What I find to work much better for making the characters interesting is to make them dynamic. Part of the frequent lore on them is that they gain their lich related power through 'unspeakable evil acts of an unspecified nature', but nothing says they have to have started out as purely evil. 

 

For example: Setting a Good character, probably Neutral Good or Chaotic Good in D&D terms, down a path that leads them to gaining more and more power in their "Big Quest of Goodness!" against evil, which in turn forces them to choose between the good of the many vs the good of the few kind of conflict, may give you far more interesting story options than something along the lines of "Bob is an evil dick, so one day Bob went out and became a Lich, and here we are with Dick Bob the Lich doing his Evil Lich things". 

 

Do you let the character keep slipping deeper and deeper into evil and shed all humanity and become completely corrupted? Do they fight back and find a way to redeem themselves? Do they kind of balance between the two? 

 

Game mechanic wise this also offers some interesting options. Do you potentially weaken yourself and head straight for redemption, where some "Do Gooder" might more easily kill you because you haven't gained enough power? Do you try and hedge your bets, sinking 'just a little deeper' into evil to gain more power first, but at the risk of attracting stronger 'Do Gooders" who offset your power gain? Do you just keep sinking down into evil and accept it as your fate?

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Not sure where this thread is going but while we are on the subject of Liches, there was a pretty decent entry to the Week of Awesome III where you played a Lich that recurrently died/returned in an interesting way.

 

Yep, you can play it on gamejolt http://gamejolt.com/games/lich/86726

 

This is nothing but a dream as of this time. I am young, limited in options, and have little experience in coding. If I ever make it it'll be 15-30 years from now. I'll start off with a book then attempt to fund my game that way. I just want to see thoughts on it.

 

 

I recommend starting small, and making anything. Go through tutorials to make simple things, then maybe enter a game jam or something to really learn how to keep a game simple. This way you'll learn what you need to eventually make something bigger like an FPS+RTS.

 

I worked on my own lich game for a few weeks after the game jam, but got caught up trying to make a big map, and pathfinding. Even though a big open world sounds fun, maybe I should have stuck to a simple arcade style game.

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~snip~

 

The lich more often becomes so out of fear of death. Sometimes they'll be on their deathbed and their family/friends will turn them into a lich. Or if they're a necromancer with many apprentices the apprentices will do it to preserve the knowledge he has. The lich becomes evil because of the very perverted nature of a lich. Taking your soul out of your body, it's like horcruxes from Harry Potter and take a look at Voldemort.

 

Also in one altercation when becoming a lich the lich bound spirits to himself to gain power, however he had to fight them or they would control him. I believe the person who created it just invented their own way of liches working but it's an interesting concept. The more spirits you get the more power you have, but the more voices you hear and the more conciouses fighting for control within your body. The spirits themselves were beings above a certain power level whom you have killed. Orcish leaders and a dragon were among them.

 

 

 

~snip~

I would but I'm just sooo fucking lazy. Once I get out of high school I'll take a "gap year" break before college and get my shit together. A new sleep schedule, some perscribed medication, an infant to slay for my lich ritual, etc. But in all seriousness becoming a lich would solve every problem I have.
I like really want to be an undead lich... ohhhhhh *breaks out into song*

 

I want to be an undead Lich, so frickin’ bad

Raise all of the things I never had

Uh, I wanna be on the top of the wanted board

Sitting on a 10,000 gold reward

Oh, every time I close my eyes

I see myself making the undead rise.

A different village every night

I swear I’ll never have another hitch

When I’m an undead Lich

I could just make an army appear

I would be the monster that caused all the fear

Block off all the entrances

I’d probably kill everything and everybody

No matter how shoddy

Raid a few villages like ‘Minions, I want that’

Make all my victims to go splat

It’s been a couple months since I’ve last had friends

But who needs that when you have undead fiends?

I’d probably take a visit to where the ol’ King lives

Then blow him apart, rip off his limbs

And even if anybody survives

They’ll always remember the monster that took so many lives

Oh, every time I close my eyes

I see myself making the undead rise.

A different village every night

I swear I’ll never have another hitch

When I’m an undead Lich

Oh oooh oh oooh when I’m an undead Lich

Oh oooh oh oooh when I’m an undead Lich

I could just chill (get it?)

And never go downhill

Then I’d kill some "braves"

Who’ll never see their graves

Then I’ll keep their skeletons

To make some more hellions

But I just don’t have enough knowledge

Can’t get a ‘mancer to acknowledge

So that I can fulfill my only dream

And make anybody scream

Never eating, never resting

You may just think I’m jesting…

But hell no I ain’t

You can do anything without restraint

I want to be an undead Lich, so frickin’ bad

Raise all of the things I never had

Uh, I wanna be on the top of the wanted board

Sitting on a 10,000 gold reward

Oh, every time I close my eyes

I see myself making the undead rise.

A different village every night

I swear I’ll never have another hitch

When I’m an undead Lich

Oh oooh oh oooh when I’m an undead Lich

Oh oooh oh oooh

I wanna be an undead Lich so frickin’ bad!

 

In tune with Bruno Mars - Billionaire. Yes I wrote this a while ago and it took me 3-4 hours.

Edited by Ro'Sothian

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