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The path to lichdom is long and winding, with many pitfalls that overcome all but the most accomplished and precise spellcasters. Despite the trials you underwent and decades spent sequestered away with magical tomes, you know with every fiber of your being that it’s all been worth it. You devised a unique and incredibly evil ritual to tear your soul from your body, and you painstakingly crafted a receptacle to house your freed soul. Immortality now lies within your grasp.

Becoming a lich requires much more than just magical knowledge. It demands fierce intelligence, bold ingenuity, incredible determination, unending patience, and a strict adherence to perfection, along with incredible skill as an artisan, for each lich must create their own soul cage.

A mispronounced word or flaw in the construction of your soul cage would end not in immortality but ignominious death. You have all these skills in abundance and now, with your ascension, you’ve proven your superiority beyond a shadow of a doubt.

As a lich, you understand better than any the power and potential of magic. Many liches strive to increase their magical skills and foil the magic of any who dare oppose them. Others delve so deeply into necromantic arts and foul rituals that their flesh can burn the living, causing biological processes to falter and filling those who behold them with uncontrollable fear. Regardless of what paths they pursue, nearly all liches are obsessed with their soul cage, spending untold hours and a veritable fortune to protect it, surrounding it with magical and mundane hazards, and guarding it with powerful, loyal defenders.

Some liches prefer to secure their soul cage through obscurity rather than force, enshrouding it in magical abjurations or illusions to hide it from prying eyes. The most gifted crafters among liches tinker and improve their soul cage over time, rendering it nigh indestructible.

This is a dangerous proposition, undertaken by only the most confident and arrogant magical engineers, as physically altering one’s soul cage could have unintended consequences on its function. Many wizard liches instead learn to tap into the soul cage’s magical energy from afar to fuel their own spellcasting.

Additional Feats: 14th Magic Sense

Lich Dedication Feat 12

Rare Archetype Dedication

Prerequisites living creature, ability to cast 6th-level or higher spells from spell slots, expert in Crafting, completed ritual to become a lich and crafted a soul cage.

After years of study and careful planning, you finally completed a soul cage to house your soul and successfully performed a ritual to transform yourself into a lich. Now, neither death nor time can prevent you from pursuing your studies and achieving your grand ambitions. You gain the undead trait and the basic undead benefits. Your undead craving is for knowledge.

You gain a unique soul cage—a magic item that houses your soul. Whenever you would die, your soul flees to the soul cage to allow you to be rebuilt. As long as your soul cage exists, you can’t truly be destroyed.

Special You can’t select another dedication feat until you have gained two other feats from the lich archetype.

Drain Soul Cage Feat 14


Prerequisites Lich Dedication, Drain Bonded Item, spellbook

You make your soul cage into your bonded item, allowing you to harness its abundant magical energy. Once per day, when you use Drain Bonded Item, you can choose any spell in your spellbook that you can cast, even if you haven’t prepared or cast it that day. Your soul cage doesn’t need to be on your person for you to use Drain Bonded Item. If your soul cage is broken or destroyed, you can’t use Drain Soul Cage.

Even if you can Drain Bonded Item more than once per day, for instance if you are a universalist wizard, you can still only choose a spell you haven’t prepared and cast once per day.

Enshroud Soul Cage Feat 14


Prerequisites Lich Dedication

You wreathe your soul cage in an ever?growing collection of obfuscating illusions and protective abjurations to hide it from your enemies.

You disguise the soul cage as any non-magical object of the same Bulk, and it gains the effects of the magic aura and nondetection spells. The effects have unlimited durations, are heightened to half your level rounded up, and use your spell DC against any attempt to counteract them. The magic aura makes your soul cage appear non-magical. You can ignore the effects of any of these spells when dealing with your own soul cage. You are mentally alerted whenever your soul cage is damaged.

Hand of The Lich Feat 14


Prerequisites Lich Dedication

Negative energy intensifies your undead form and makes your very touch the antithesis of life. You gain the advanced undead benefits. The damage die for your fist increases to 1d6 instead of 1d4, it deals negative damage instead of bludgeoning damage, and it loses the nonlethal trait. Your fist becomes magical.

When you critically hit a living creature with your fist Strike, the creature is slowed 1 until the end of your next turn unless it succeeds at a Fortitude save against your spell DC.

This is a critical specialization effect.

Bolster Soul Cage Feat 16


Prerequisites Lich Dedication, legendary in Crafting

Your constant efforts to augment and perfect your soul cage have bolstered its efficiency. Your soul cage has Hardness equal to your level and HP equal to four times your level. The time it takes your soul cage to rebuild your body is reduced to 1d6 days rather than 1d10 days.

At 20th level, the time it takes your soul cage to rebuild your body is reduced to 2d12+12 hours.

Spell Gem Feat 16

Uncommon Archetype

Prerequisites Lich Dedication, legendary in Crafting

Inspired by the degenerate demiliches your kind sometimes devolves into, you’ve embedded a gem into your brow, fusing it to your necrotic flesh. This gem has been specially calibrated to hold one of the following spells: repulsion, scrying, or true seeing. You must decide which spell your gem contains when you take this feat; changing the spell requires retraining the feat. Once per day, you can drain the gem’s magical energy to Cast the Spell without spending a spell slot.

At 18th level, you can heighten whichever spell you chose to 7th level. At 20th level, you can heighten whichever spell you chose to 8th level; regardless of which spell you chose, you can instead drain the gem’s magical energy to cast an 8th-level spell turning without spending a spell slot.

Frightful Aura Feat 18

Archetype Aura Emotion Fear Mental

Prerequisites Lich Dedication, master in Intimidation

You’re surrounded by a palpable sense of menace and power that’s terrifying to behold. The aura is a 15-foot emanation. An enemy that enters or ends its turn in the aura must attempt a Will save against the higher of your spell DC or class DC.

Success The creature is unaffected and temporarily immune to your Frightful Aura for 1 minute.

Failure The creature is frightened 1.

Critical Failure The creature is frightened 2.

Soul Cage Item 12

Rare Arcane Necromancy Negative

Price 1,600 gp

Usage held in 1 hand; Bulk

As you Craft your soul cage, you trap your soul within it, an integral part of the complicated process of becoming a lich.

When you’re destroyed, your soul flees to the soul cage, which rebuilds your undead body over the course of 1d10 days.

Afterward, you manifest next to the soul cage, fully healed and in a new body (lacking any equipment you had on your old body).

Only destroying your soul cage can prevent you from returning.

You choose the form of your soul cage when you Craft it.

A few options include a miniature cage, a ring, an amulet, or a crown. Work with your GM to adjust the usage and Bulk as needed, though a soul cage is rarely more than light Bulk. The soul cage has Hardness 9 and 36 HP.

If your soul cage is destroyed but you aren’t, you can attempt to find your soul and trap it again, building a new soul cage. This is no trivial feat and often takes an entire adventure to accomplish. If you don’t cage your soul again, you suffer a long decline as described on page 119.

Craft Requirements You have Lich Dedication.

Soul Cage

The soul cage for the lich archetype is very similar to the lich soul cage from the Pathfinder Bestiary but has a few modifications to cover situations that might come up in play.

While the story of the PCs sneaking in to destroy the NPC lich’s soul cage is classic, it’s difficult to have Npc adversaries do the same to the PC lich’s soul cage without coming across poorly, similar to destroying a PC wizard’s spellbook while it was off screen. Since that’s the only way to defeat a lich, these table-dynamic concerns might effectively grant the lich PC immortality. Because of the way that changes the story and game play, even a group using the other undead archetypes in this book might want to consider whether or not to include the lich archetype. If you’re looking for a compromise, consider having the soul cage act similarly to a Rejuvenation Token, requiring a ritual to awaken the lich’s soul from within the cage.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Pathfinder Book of the Dead © 2022, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Brian Bauman, Tineke Bolleman. Logan Bonner, Jason Bulmahn, Jessica Catalan, John Compton, Chris Eng, Logan Harper, Michelle Jones, Jason Keeley, Luis Loza, Ron Lundeen, Liane Merciel, Patchen Mortimer, Quinn Murphy, Jessica Redekop, Mikhail Rekun, Solomon St. John, Michael Sayre, Mark Seifter, Sen.H.H.S., Kendra Leigh Speedling, Jason Tondro, Andrew White.