Some creatures, in order to gain power and immortality, exchange their mortal flesh for a complex mechanical apparatus that sustains their existence. Its soul-powered furnace powers its intricate system of pumps and pistons granting it mobility and massive strength. Only the iron lich’s skull, floating inside its metallic hood, betrays its mortal origins, and announces its fell nature.
Creating an Iron Lich Creature
“Iron Lich” is an acquired template that can be added to any living creature capable of creating the required mechanical body, or to any standard lich.
An iron lich uses all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.
Alignment: Changes to any evil.
Type: The creature’s type changes to undead, do not recalculate base attack bonuses, saves, or skill points.
Armor Class: An iron lich increases its natural armor by +15.
Melee: An iron lich has a melee claw attack that deals damage appropriate to its size + its Strength modifier; it can use this attack as a free action once per round or use it to make an attack of opportunity.
Weaknesses firebox vulnerability (see below).
Special Abilities: An iron lich creature retains all the special abilities of the base creature, and gains the special abilities as described below.
Soul Cages (Su)
When an iron lich creature inflicts the dead condition upon a living creature, it gains points in its soul pool.
- Mindless Spirits (1 pt.): vermin, basic oozes
- Animal Spirits (2.5 pts.): animal-level intelligence
- Basic Soul (10 pts.): standard intelligent creature, a sentient monster of low CR
- Noteworthy Soul (50 pts.): mid-level character level/CR, and otherwise characters
- Grand Soul (100-500 pts.): High-level characters /CR and other divinely favored souls
This causes a soul to appear inside one of its 4 soul cages, which it can release as a standard action. A soul cage is a diminutive-sized object (AC = the iron lich’s AC + its size modifier) with 5 hit points and hardness 25. Destroying a soul cage frees the souls within (each holding one-quarter of the soul points the iron lich currently possesses), though it does not return the deceased creature to life. This is a death effect. Any attempt to resurrect a body whose soul is trapped in a soul cage requires a DC caster level check equal to 11 + the CR of the iron lich. Failure results in there being no effect, while success returns the creature to life as normal.
The maximum number of soul points it can possess in its pool is equal to 600 + its HD + its Cha modifier. Any points above its soul pool’s maximum are lost. An iron lich creature can cast spells without expending its spell slots by spending 1 pt. per spell level (a 0-level spell is worth 1/2 a spell level). Spending a soul point is a free action. Souls used in this manner are consumed and destroyed utterly.
Firebox Vulnerability (Ex)
Submerging an iron lich completely in a liquid such as water, or it failing a save against a cold spell (it suffers a -4 penalty to the save even though it suffers no damage from the cold spell), extinguishes its firebox. This inflicts the staggered condition on the iron lich for 1 minute after which it must expend 500 soul points to reignite it or gain the helpless condition.
Reliance on Souls (Ex)
Every 12 hour period an iron lich consumes 5 soul points. An iron lich that cannot consume 5 soul points at the time, or one with zero soul points, suffers the staggered condition until it can consume 5 soul points. If it does not do so within 1 minute, it gains the helpless condition.
Special Healing (Su)
An iron lich is not damaged by positive energy (such as cure spells) and negative energy (such as inflict spells) does not heal it. Make whole repairs it as if it were a construct. Iron body cures 10 hp per caster level (maximum 150 hp).
Abilities: Increase from the base creature as follows: Str +10 (+5 to attack and damage, +5 to Climb and Swim skill checks, +5 to Strength, and CMB checks, +5 to CMD), Int +2 (add 1 bonus language, add 1 skill point per HD, +1 to Appraise, Craft, Knowledge, Linguistics, and Spellcraft checks, and +1 to any of the base creature’s Intelligence-based DCs), Wis +2 (+1 to Will saves, +1 to Heal, Perception, Profession, Sense Motive and Survival checks, and +1 to any of the base creature’s Wisdom-based DCs), +2 Cha (+1 to Bluff, Diplomacy, Disguise, Handle Animal, Intimidate, Perform, and Use Magic Device; attempts to influence others, and Channel Energy DCs, +1 to any of the base creature’s Charisma-based DCs). Decrease Dex -4 (-2 to ranged attack rolls, AC and touch AC, initiative, and Ref saves, -2 to Acrobatics, Disable Device, Escape Artist, Fly, Ride, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth checks, and -1 to any of the base creature’s Dexterity-based DCs).
Pathways Bestiary (c) 2017, Rite Publishing LLC.; Author: Steven D. Russell.