Sorcery currently has an imbalance in planned high level spells. We know 2 different lores and yet, adding planned and existing spells together, 3 of our post level 20 spells use demonology whereas only 1 uses necromancy. As such it is necessary for us to gain atleast one spell post level 20 that uses necromancy.
We already know animate dead, so what could we learn more? The natural progression of animating someone else, is animating yourself. I have been asking for this spell for years, and now that 350 was just released it appears the time is right to get this spell idea approved and implemented. This spell could be 750, 735, 775, an add-on to 730, or even a guild skill (please, not a guild skill).
There are two ways this spell could be achieved (leaving it up to the GM to decide which to implement), the first is that it is worn as a defensive spell like any other defensive spell and when the sorcerer dies while the spell is active it activates. The second method is that the spell is infused into an artifact of sometype that the sorcerer must keep on their person, when they die the artifact activates and casts the spell upon them. I feel the artifact method is superior.
The spell would temporarily bind the sorcerer’s wounds using necromancy magic (nice messaging here, magic sticking wounds together and all that) and provide the sorcerer with the ability to control his animated self.
Balance and Mechanical Benefit
The main mechanical benefit of this spell would be avoiding decay and item loss and having quicker rescues. The professions are already very well balanced for hunting prowess, asking for a super powerful attack or defense spell for a high level slot, asking for anything that helps you avoid death, is going to be difficult. This spell, with it’s requirement that you die every time you use it, makes it unique in the game (or, was unique until 350) and that requirement of death also ensures it doesn’t help prevent death, and so should also justify a good deal of power (like 350 now).
So, the main benefit to a sorcerer will be in preventing post-death item loss & decay. Other professions may (typically) cry foul at this unique ability (no longer unique), however it isn’t really unique (heh). All voln members can self-lk, thereby preventing decay (if not providing for expedient rescue). Additionally anyone who knows 217 also has access to self LK. Finally, anyone can avoid item loss by decaying and paying a couple 100k to the priestess. So in reality all this does is save the sorcerer time and money on priestess potions. Not unlike how 740 saves money on chronomages, everyone can travel, we just do it for less with a little added convenience.
Also, this spell would have a duration so it wouldn’t be 100% fool proof. If you died in some very far away place you may still end up decaying because you couldn’t get out in time.
I would propose a duration based on necromancy lore ranks, the formula of which can be figured out later. I would estimate a user with no necromancy ranks having a 2 minute duration whereas a user with 100 might max out at 15-20 minutes.
How do you ensure that a sorcerer who just died in an area as a person fully spelled and alive doesn’t get torn to pieces as a lich just risen? We cannot make a sanct like clerics do, sancting isn’t our thing. Currently critters ignore animated players. This would be alright, but if you think about it it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense considering critters do not ignore animated critters. Still, if you want the easy way out, continuing this ignore feature is the way to go and the rest of this post is mostly unnecessary.
However… another option is to simply have the magic of the spell provide the lich-form sorcerer with unique abilities and the strength of a corpse.
The same artifact used to cast the spell upon the sorcerer could also be used to recast other defensive spells.
Then you could award physical traits to the sorcerer based on necromancy lore. Ranks in CM, Dodge, all weapon abilities, moc, physical fitness, maybe even dfredux.
This would allow the sorcerer to then defend himself and fight critters still (perhaps exacting revenge on what killed him) while in lich form. Thus critters wouldn’t have to just ignore the corpse, they could engage it.
This opens up a whole slew of other possibilities:
LICH ATTACKS: While in lich form there are 3 attack verbs you may use, none use mana, but all cause a hard RT. All attack damages are based on a level comparison manuever roll.
Slap/punch: If barehanded you may slap/punch, causing slashing/crushing damage and possibly disease.
Scream: A player friendly area-affect fear attack.
Stare: Like 717
LICH IMMUNITES: While a lich you are immune to:
Bloodloss (you’re already dead).
Stuns (you’re already dead).
Fear Attacks (Things are afraid of you, not the other way around, plus you’re already dead, what is left to fear?)
Additionally while in lich form I would say you could drag others, eat & drink herbs & lk.
However, I would put the following limits if all this were done:
1. No Experience from anything killed.
2. No searching any corpses.
3. No casting spells.
So, yes, it has a lot of power, and some might even say that they’re “undead” powers, but no, they’re necromancy powers. All those special abilities are powered by the necromancy magic of the spell, not by unholy life. All that power is justified by the spell restrictions, the fact that you can gain no benefit from the creatures you kill while in that form, and the fact that you have to die first to even use the form.
So ya, lich form would be close to god form if it did everything I suggest, and that kind of power is beyond anything found elsewhere in the game right now, but all the limitations and requirements are also beyond what is out there currently, I think it is justified, sure, 350 doesn’t do all that, but it raises you, this merely lets you walk your corpse out by yourself, you’d still need a raise from a cleric or paladin or NPC or scroll-bearing-friend.
Or… the easy way out of continuing the way critters ignore animated PCs is also an option and just forget about all the combat mechanics.