Liches - Living ghost and inscription on the soul

Hi all,
So my necromancer verditius is looking at moving into the realm of non-corporeal undead, as the scope for variation of corporeal undead means that he'll end up acting like Dr Frankenstein eventually. I had a thought while digging through my old AD&D books...

A living ghost can still use it's talisman, and inscription on the soul ISTR allows you to use your body as your talisman? (Apologies if I have the wrong mystery virtues here, I'm away from my books as ever. Roll on PDFs!)
If so, could you use IotS and LG and bind yourself into your own body to make yourself a lich?


  • coming up with weird ideas while away from my books seems to be my modus operandi.

I strongly recommend the Hermetic Projects book as it has an excellent chapter on creating a Living Corpse, allowing your magus to live on indefinitely as a liche-like creature.

The specific combination you mention is not covered there, but that's more a function of each Hermetic Project being open to magi without recourse to special Virtues or cults. In essence though, you need a means of summoning a ghost, controlling a corpse, and passing control of that corpse to the ghost indefinitely. If you can get hold of a copy (not sure if it's out in PDF yet), I'd take a look and I'm sure you'd be able to use the techniques you mentioned with that Living Corpse chapter.

I don't see why not, though I'm not sure if that would allow you (the lich) to leave the area (no books here either).
And I'll echo mark's recommendation of Projects - it has a few nice ideas for the practicing necromancer.

I thought there was a specific comment that doing this is a bad idea because you have to destroy your body to do the Living Ghost ritual, thus the reason the recommendation to enchant only the soul if this is your route to immortality.


You're right.
The lower box on p. 72 of TMRE (and a bit on p. 70 as well).

So, what if you don't use Inscriptions, but simply enchant your body after you have become a Living Ghost?
As an LG you can still do magic (that's kinda the point), and still enchant items.
So enchant your newly vacated body (from p. 70 it appears the body is not destroyed) as a talisman.
Or you could even create a new body and enchant that.

It's arguably no longer your body - just a body you have an arcane connection to - once you're a living ghost. Got to give up the meat to become the spirit, and that works both ways. Don't the rules for inscriptions demand that it's your own flesh and blood you're working with?

Sure - but as you point out it is then just a body. And that means it's just an object.
You won't need any mysteries to enchant it - just ordinary Hermetic methods.

Then grap some of the tricks from Projects, add a CrCo effect against putrification, and tadaaa

I went to great lengths to do this exact thing In Game In character. It is a pretty difficult and time consuming task, but I so very cool.

I would suggest learning the virtue to make your spirit your talisman, then there is no problems or risks of having to preserve your body or if in the future your body is destroyed you loosing a Talisman and then having to try and make one while a Living Ghost. (I am not sure why but I remembered it being really hard AFTER becoming a ghost to make a Talisman)

If you uses your soul then you always have it and you always get good bonuses and ect.

I did a whole story thing and attempted to use Art + Acad information to come up with the precise formula to make completely static all of the humors of the body and thus the body never changing, and then went on from there moving my consciousness around in some bizarre pattern. Instead of binding the Living Ghost to a Boundary I had decided I wanted to bind the Ghost to the body itself. The only fear there being if that body is destroyed then so will the Living Ghost. I have my formula to do this when and if I ever get a chance to pull it off and to have the powers time will only tell.

I was being difficult because I know no other way to do magic except in the hardest fashion I know. :laughing:

Good luck I love the liche-talk myself.

TMRE specifically states that the body is destroyed in the transformation.

See, the thing is, it does. Except that in some of the text of p. 70 (IIRC), the body is refered to in ways that indicate it is not destroyed, though what enchantments it might've held are.

That it does, however in the spell and process I was using, which my magus was developing by his own research, and referencing others knowledge, he intended to bring his entire body to a place of complete stasis. I was going to either remove all of the humors (( and have to survive it long enough for the final spell ) or have to find a way to bring all the humors into complete static end so that nothing could enter or leave the body ever again, from a humors point of view.

By the time the character would have gotten to the place to complete his research and attempt his greatest feat (( oddly he was going to experiment on other people at first and then eventually was going to kidnap and then force the process on another magus to be certain the process worked on a Hermetic sorcerer... yeah Belanor was a sinister wizard )) he would have diverged greatly from what the book says.

While the entire chapter of HermSpiritMagic was absolutely beautiful, and I love the Disciples of the Worms more than any other feature of Ars Magica... oh the adventures I wanted to have, seeking them out, learning from them, eventually thwarting their idea to dominate the Living Ghost and becoming a lich free and clear of their control! :laughing: Of course our game was set in 1060 and as such Belanor might have been getting in on the ground floor of the Worms. They had only started working as a cult in the mid-900's I think.

Anyhow, as much as I liked the chapter and how they did the Living Ghosts, I decided that every magus would approach such a thing differently. As such my apothecary necromancer poisoner Tytalus would probably have gone about it in the way I figured.

BTW I found the notes I made... about eight pages of them :blush: for the process if anyone is interested in them.

PS. I had spinal surgery last week so I can't spend much time at computer typing so I didn't want to write them all out here.

I can't find any of that. The thing referring to enchantments is phrased as such: "If the magus enchanted his body, the enchantments are broken when his body is destroyed." [TMRE, p.72] - followed by several more references to the body being destroyed.

I'm not saying it can't be done by original research, only that Living Ghost as presented RAW doesn't leave you with a body. I'm all for coming up with new ways to do things. :wink:

If we're deviating from the RAW here, why not give the liches a "normal" talisman that serves as their phylactery, and have them possess bodies. Then put two difference from RAW" (1) the liche dies if his phylactery is destroyed, rather than losing some of his powers, and (2) the liche does not die if the possessed body is destroyed outside his haunt, rather his spirit is banished to his phylactery for a time.

I did this for an NPC cult to have some "liches" around one time, but they never saw play-time and I didn't bother fully fleshing them out.



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That is really cool. Consider it stolen!

Thanks :slight_smile:

One more thing I thought of while considering how to do "The Scarab King" in Ars Magica: consider for this cult that they cannot possess just any corpse; instead, the body has to have some sort of resonance with their old bodies for the possession ritual to succeed. In practice, this means the SG can pull off some "resonance" with a PC to draw him into their schemes. If you remember, in The Scarab King the chief bad-guy was busy luring in one "PC" because she looked like his beloved dead lover - this was the "resonance" that let her be animated. (And of course, the whole mess was put into motion by people poking around his Haunt, and touching his phylactery ). I think having a ready-hook to draw in PCs to the cult's plots is something nice to have around. :slight_smile:


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This sounds very much like the living corpse from HP.