While some liches prefer to spend undeath’s eternity in seclusion, a psychic lich sustains its life force by embracing its personal accomplishments to create a powerful astral echo of itself. Even more megalomaniacal than most liches, psychic liches resemble ordinary liches for the most part, but their every moment is attended by ghostly images of past cruelties, a constantly rotating illusory display of the evil deeds that brought them their power. Most psychic liches are humans, or come from other races renowned for their psychic abilities.
To become a psychic lich, one must create and infuse a memoir, which serves a similar function to an ordinary lich’s phylactery. This memoir projects the lich’s personal legend into the Astral Plane, which is tethered through the planes to a physical object, typically a magically strengthened book or scroll (10 hit points, hardness 1, break DC 15). The only way to destroy the lich is to destroy his astral legend, which almost always requires the memoir as a special focus. Unless the astral legend is erased, the lich can rejuvenate after it is killed (see Creating a Psychic Lich).
Each psychic lich must create its own memoir by using the Craft Wondrous Item feat. The character must be able to cast psychic spells at a caster level of 11th or higher. The memoir costs 120,000 gp to create and has a caster level equal to that of its creator at the time of creation.
If the physical memoir is destroyed while the psychic lich’s astral legend survives, the physical memoir gradually reforms over the course of 1d10 days at a site central to its creator’s history (such as the library where he first studied magic or the battlefield where he vanquished a powerful rival). It typically reappears hidden among other books or treasures, where an unwitting dupe might begin reading the text and hasten the psychic lich’s return.
“Psychic lich” is an acquired template that can be added to any living creature (referred to hereafter as the base creature), provided it can create the required astral memoir. A psychic lich retains all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.
Challenge Rating: Base creature’s CR + 2.
Alignment: Any evil.
Senses: A psychic lich gains darkvision 60 ft.
Hit Dice: Change all of the creature’s racial Hit Dice to d8s. All Hit Dice derived from class levels remain unchanged. As undead, psychic liches use their Charisma modifier to determine bonus hit points (instead of Constitution).
Defensive Abilities: A psychic lich gains channel resistance +4, DR 15/bludgeoning and magic, and immunity to cold and electricity (in addition to those abilities granted by its undead traits). The lich also gains the following two defensive abilities.
If a psychic lich succeeds at a Will saving throw against an attack that has a reduced effect on a successful save, it instead avoids the effect entirely. If the effect was a spell with the mind-affecting descriptor, the psychic lich also heals an amount of damage equal to 1d8 plus the spell’s caster level if it succeeds at its save. A psychic lich may automatically succeed on any Will save against a spell it casts that targets only itself.
When a psychic lich is destroyed, its body reforms near its astral memoir 10d10 days later. If a creature reads the psychic lich’s memoir, the total time is reduced to one tenth the original result, which could result in the psychic lich’s immediate restoration in a new body. Once the time elapses, the lich wakens fully healed (albeit without any gear it left behind on its old body).
The only way to ensure that a psychic lich does not rejuvenate is to target its memoir with the spell instigate psychic duel or mindscape door or use it as a special focus when casting plane shift or similar magic.
This allows one creature to instigate a psychic duel on a veiled, harmful mindscape with a self-contained shape inhabited by the lich’s astral legend. The legend has the statistics of the lich, can’t leave the mindscape by any means, and is permanently destroyed if reduced to 0 or fewer hit points. An astral legend can’t be destroyed unless the psychic lich’s physical body has also been destroyed and has not yet rejuvenated.
Weaknesses: A psychic lich doesn’t gain immunity to mind-affecting effects as a result of becoming undead. If the base creature is immune to any mind-affecting effects, it loses those immunities and instead gains a +4 bonus on saving throws against such effects.
Attacks: A psychic lich has a melee touch attack that it can use once per round as a natural weapon. A lich fighting without weapons uses its natural weapons (if it has any) in addition to its touch attack (which is treated as a primary natural weapon that replaces one claw or slam attack, if the creature has any). A lich armed with a weapon uses its weapons normally, and can use its touch attack as a secondary natural weapon.
Damage: A psychic lich’s touch attack uses psychic energy to deal 1d8 points of damage to a target + 1 point of damage per 2 Hit Dice possessed by the lich. This energy has no effect on a creature immune to mind-affecting effects.
Any living creature a psychic lich hits with its touch attack must succeed at a Fortitude saving throw or be permanently confused as its nervous system continuously sends false signals. The creature doesn’t automatically attack the psychic lich if it is targeted by further attacks. Calm emotions or any spell that can remove a curse can free the victim (see the bestow curse spell description) with a DC equal to the bewildering touch’s save DC. As a full-round action, a creature that rolls a result of “act normally” can attempt a new saving throw to end this effect.
Skills: Psychic liches have a +8 racial bonus on Perception, Sense Motive, and Stealth checks. A lich always treats Climb, Disguise, Fly, Intimidate, Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (religion), Perception, Sense Motive, Spellcraft, and Stealth as class skills. Otherwise, skills are the same as the base creature.
Feats: A psychic lich gains Psychic Combatant, and Psychic Defender as bonus feats, even if it does not meet the prerequisites.
Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Occult Bestiary © 2015, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Josh Colon, John Compton, Paris Crenshaw, Adam Daigle, Eleanor Ferron, James Jacobs, Joe Homes, Mikko Kallio, Mike Kimmel, Ron Lundeen, Kate Marshall, Kalervo Oikarinen, Stephen Radney-MacFarland, and F. Wesley Schneider.