Login or register. (You can now login/register with your social networks.)

Lifeforms
Third Kingdom
Any
4
6 Votes

26xp


Hits: 2586
Comments: 11
Ideas: 0
Rating: 4
Condition: Normal
ID: 4155

Submitted:

Updated:
August 10, 2009, 8:28 pm

Vote Hall of Honour
Cheka Man

You must be a member to use HoH votes.
Author Status

Options


Print Friendly and PDF

Sorcerghul

By:

Beware this wizardly cadaver! His spells might not kill you, but you will wish they had…

Appearance:

Sorcerguls appear as emaciated cadavers, with their empty eyesockets blazing with cold blue light. Their mouths, filled with blackened, sharp teeth, are stained red by their gruesome diet. They are typically garbed in once fine robes or other clothing associated with magi, but are invariably in bad shape and as heavily bloodstained as their faces.

Details:

The Sorcergul is an undead spellcaster of significantly less power then the better known Lich.  Most closely related to the common ghoul, they are generally much smarter and more powerful. 

In addition to whatever spellcasting abilities that they may have had in life, they acquire a powerful touch attack that may be drawn from the following list:

  1. Progressive Paralysis. At first the target is slowed, then paralyzed, and eventually breathing and heartbeat is stopped.
  2. Withering cold. Touch draws immense amounts of heat from the target, freezing the affected area. Can range from simple frostbite, to total loss of the affected area.
  3. Clutch of the Grave. Entropy as it affects all things is accelerated. Target person or object is aged.
  4. Infestation. Target is subjected to the effects of The Ghastly Sack of Garthian

Feeling that physical combat is beneath it, the Sorcergul will always prefer to use its magic. 

Having fallen short of the Lich form, the Sorcergul’s years are numbered. In a mere century after creation, the magics holding the form together begin to fail and the spirit will pass onto whatever fate awaits it in the afterlife.  Prior to its passing, the final days will be marked by excellerated rotting. Parts will begin to drop off, an unholy stench will arise, and colonization by vermin will mark its end.  Many sorcerguls will destroy themselves by magic rather then undergo this final stage. 

Sorcerguls sustain themselves with escaping life forces, though are unable to drain it directly as some undead can. Instead they devour their fresh victims - preferably still alive but restrained by magic. 

Creation:

Sorerguls are known to arise either from a deliberate ritual, or from failed attempts to become a Lich.

The ritual which transforms one to a lich is quite difficult and risky, and the normal result of failure is death. However, a different fate is sometimes possible, and that is the transformation into the Sorcergul.  The would-be lich is instead trapped into this inferior form, denied the powers that lichhood would have brought.

The second means is use of a deliberate transformational ritual.  The sorcergul form is not powerless, and the ritual is much more likely to succeed. In addition the various materials and costs are much lower. 

Campaign Use

A perpetual runner up and driven to improve its lot, the Sorcergul makes a good low to mid level villain, smart enough to scheme and powerful enough to hold it’s own against low to midlevel PCs.  For higher level games, the creature can serve as lieutenants for more powerful forms of undead.

This is the End

A sorcergul, after having for decades attempted to achive full lichhood, has failed and its time is up. It chooses to take as many other with it before it goes and it plans a suitable end for itself.  Seeking a magical disaster allowed by some means, the PCs must prevent it from obtaining the device/ritual/monster, and perhaps advance its timetable of self-destruction.



Additional Ideas (0)

Please register to add an idea. It only takes a moment.

Codex

School of Parasitism By: valadaar ( Systems ) Mystical - General

Not all magic is pretty, or fair. Some is cold and exploitive.  This is that kind of magic.

[ Show / Hide Submission ]   [ Visit Submission ]



Join Now!!



Gain the ability to:
Vote and add your ideas to submissions.
Upvote and give XP to useful comments.
Work on submissions in private or flag them for assistance.
Earn XP and gain levels that give you more site abilities.
Join a Guild in the forums or complete a Quest and level-up your experience.
Comments ( 11 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

manfred
August 1, 2007, 18:47
0xp
I heard there are rituals that can prolong their life significantly - pity it is mostly the masters who have knowledge of them.
valadaar
January 12, 2009, 18:34
0xp
Updated: Converted to Sub from stub.
Voted Cheka Man
January 12, 2009, 19:00
0xp
Litchlings. 5/5 for this orginal sub.
Voted Ancient Gamer
January 12, 2009, 20:42
3xp
There are several things I like about this sub. First among these is the name: "Sorcerghul". How wonderful. I could say that alound all day long, or not... but I like it!

Secondly the following sentence conjured up some nice visuals:
"Sorcerguls sustain themselves with escaping life forces, though are unable to drain it directly as some undead can. Instead they devour their fresh victims - preferably still alive but restrained by magic."

As for the creature itself: Well, it is certainly down to earth and usable. Might fit right into the monstrous compendium of some Dungeons and Dragons game even.

But this is also my main reason for awarding but a 4/5.

They fall between the chairs of a vampire mage and a lich. The Sorcerghul, for all their nice visuals, are yet another D&D undead clone, with little to separate them from the meat and staple undead of rpgs in that vein.

This might sound harsh, but is not meant to be. I just had to justify the 4, the chain of thoughts leading up to that score.

To get a 5/5 you would have to keep the kick-arse elements, but also do some work to raise these beings above the rest. (Not power-wise, but submission-wise)
Voted Scrasamax
January 12, 2009, 22:55
0xp
Not bad, not bad. I like these rotting magi quite alot. I think AG is onto something though, these fellows need a bit of something to seperate them out from the Undead Hierarchy of DnD. Maybe something of their organization, or their unlifestyle might help.

I wish I could get me a game group together because I would definately use these flawed undead as protagonists. A lich could make them from his failed apprentices, undead leaders for his zombies, or mini-bosses to keep the riff-raff out of his nefarious plans. Could a sorcerghul turn a magic user into an undead like itself?
valadaar
January 13, 2009, 7:10
1xp
I see no reason why not - as I mentioned I saw two ways of entering this sad half-state. Failed attempt at lichhood, and deliberate ritual. Since the ritual exists, I see no reason to restrict it to willing subjects :P

I am actually quite happy with the reception since it was originally a stub for another submission.

As for the D&D comment - guilty as charged, I have played very few other systems in my time, so everything I do likely has D&D influence. This one, by referencing directly Liches and ghouls is probably the most direct of my subs.
The big thing I think they have is their motivation to achieve something other then their current form. They are not dead yet, and they know that these inferior forms are not going to last forever. They have the intellect and power of a mage, so they are aware, generally sane and able to plan. Being hungry but not motivated by hunger itself allows them far more flexiability then the majority of the undead in D&D, while still making them dangerous and not nice people.
Voted manfred
January 13, 2009, 16:51
0xp
A very applicable undead, to say the least. It also brings to mind the many experiments with iron spikes. :)
Voted Strolen
February 18, 2012, 3:49
1xp

I like it, especially the faile lich angle of it. Nice to have some options if a spell failed. Maybe initially it would appear the spell worked and the powers are there but upon an extreme usage they are burned out and realize their attempt had failed. I only mention that because in my head I have the adventurers come upon a newly formed Lich and during the attack the Lich realizes, the hard way, he is only a Sorcerghul. Thought that would be fun to play out. 

Voted Mourngrymn
September 23, 2012, 17:10
0xp
I like it, different and can be entertainingly useful. However the block quote format had me wonder if it was accidental or on purpose. Otherwise, I love me some accidental undead.
valadaar
September 23, 2012, 18:07
0xp
blockquote has changed significantly since I created it.

Bad Strolen! Bad! :)
Mourngrymn
September 23, 2012, 18:24
0xp
:)

Codex

Link Backs

Freetext



Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

       By: Scrasamax

The PCs are invited to play in lumberjack games. They must see how quickly they can cut down a tree, how quickly they can use a great saw to cut a wheel from an already dropped tree, and must stay on top of a floating log while a lumberjack tries to roll the log to make them fall in the water. The winner gets beer and pancakes

Ideas  ( Plots ) | August 7, 2004 | View | UpVote 0xp


Creative Commons License
Individual submissions, unless otherwise noted by the author, are licensed under the
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
and requires a link back to the original.

We would love it if you left a comment when you use an idea!
PayPal
Powered by Lockmor 4.1 with Codeigniter | Copyright © 2013 Strolen's Citadel
A Role Player's Creative Workshop.
Read. Post. Play.
Optimized for anything except IE.
0.0365