A dry lich is an especially horrid sort of undead spellcaster, and the ultimate destiny of a walker in the waste.
A dry lich is not purposefully evil, but it is absorbed with its own agenda and has little regard for living things. It spends its unnatural existence continuing to spread the waste and preserve whatever it encounters as dry, mummified monuments.
A dry lich is gaunt, skeletal, and usually humanoid (although some monstrous humanoids and aberrations occasionally follow the walker's path). Its flesh is parchment-dry and clings tightly to its bones, and a thick encrustation of glittering white salt covers its body. A weird green light lights its hollow eye sockets. It is garbed as it was in life, which is generally in a simple and practical costume rather than the ornate robes of typical liches. Dry lich clerics usually wear heavy armor, since walkers in the waste had immunity to dehydration and heat effects even before they became undead.
The mysterious Dusty Conclave closely guards the secret of becoming a dry lich, and at least one other dry lich must participate in another's creation.
A dry lich speaks any languages it knew in life.
Creating A Dry Lich
"Dry 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 canopic jars and undergo the Sere Rite (see below).
A dry lich has all the base creature's statistics and special abilities except as noted here.
Size and Type: The creature's type changes to undead. Do not recalculate base attack bonus, saves, or skill points.
Size is unchanged.
Hit Dice: Increase all current and future Hit Dice to d12s.
Armor Class: The base creature's natural armor class bonus increases by 5.
Attack: A dry lich retains the desiccating touch of the base creature. If the base creature can use weapons, a dry lich retains this ability. A creature with natural weapons retains those weapons. A dry lich fighting without weapons uses either its desiccating touch or its primary natural weapon (if it has any). A dry lich armed with a weapon uses its touch or its weapon, as is desires.
Full Attack: A dry lich fighting without weapons uses either its desiccating touch attack (see above) or its natural weapons (if it has any). If armed with a weapon, it usually uses the weapon as its primary attack along with a desiccating touch as a natural secondary attack, provided it has away to make that attack (either a free hand or a natural weapon that it can use as a secondary attack).
Damage: A dry lich without natural weapons has a desiccating touch attack that deals 5d6 points of dessication damage (or 5d8 points to plants and elementals of the water subtype) to living creatures; a Fortitude save (DC 15 + dry lich's Wis modifier) halves the damage. A dry lich with natural weapons can use its desiccating touch attack or its natural weapons as it prefers. If it chooses the latter, it deals an extra 5d6 points of dessication damage on one natural weapon attack.
Special Attacks: A dry lich retains all the base creature's special attacks and gains those described below. Save DCs are equal to 10 + 1/2 dry lich's HD + Cha modifier unless otherwise specified.
- Aura of Despair (Su): A dry lich is surrounded by a terrible sense of age, loss, and death. Any creature within a 60-foot radius must succeed on a Will save or be shaken for 1d4 rounds. A creature that successfully saves cannot be affected again by the same dry lich's aura of despair for 4 hours.
- Constitution Drain (Su): Any living creature a dry lich hits with its touch attack must succeed on a Fortitude save or take 1d6 points of Constitution drain. With each successful drain, the dry lich gains 5 temporary hit points.
Special Qualities: A dry lich retains all the base creature's special qualities and gains those described below.
- Turn Resistance (Ex): A dry lich has +6 turn resistance.
- Damage Reduction (Su): A dry lich's salt-cured flesh is leathery and tough, giving it damage reduction 10/bludgeoning and magic.
- Fast Healing (Ex): A dry lich recovers 2 points of damage each round as long as it is in an arid environment. A humid climate, water-based effects such as a fog cloud spell, or immersion in water prevent fast healing.
- Immunities (Ex): Dry liches have immunity to dehydration, heat, polymorph (though they can use polymorph effects on themselves), and mind-affecting spells and abilities.
- Unholy Toughness (Ex): A dry lich gains a bonus to its hit points equal to its Charisma bonus (minimum +1) times its Hit Dice.
- Water Weakness: All water deals damage to a dry lich as if it were holy water.
Abilities: Increase from the base creature as follows: Str +2, Wis +4, Cha +2. As an undead creature, a dry lich has no Constitution score.
Skills: Dry liches have a +8 racial bonus on Hide, Intimidate, Listen, Move Silently, Search, and Spot checks. Otherwise same as the base creature.
Environment: Any deserts.
Organization: Solitary or patrol (1 dry lich, plus 1-2 salt mummies and 2-4 sand golems).
Challenge Rating: Same as the base creature +3.
Treasure: Standard coins; standard goods; double items.
Alignment: Any nongood.
Advancement: By character class.
Level Adjustment: Same as the base creature + 5.
The Sere Rite
To become a dry lich, a walker in the waste who has reached 10th level in that prestige class must undergo the Sere Rite. This ritual requires the participation of at least one other dry lich, and the prospective dry lich must also craft a set of five canopic jars in which to preserve its internal organs. (See page 94 for more information.) These jars retain the dry lich's life force, and unless they are destroyed, a slain dry lich resurrects within 1d6 weeks after its destruction.
The canopic jars have a caster level equal to the creator's at the time of creation. They are Tiny objects, made of magically hardened clay or ceramic and having 40 hit points, hardness 20, and a break DC of 40.
Sample Dry Lich Dry Lich