Skill Challenge: Find the Phylactery

by Wimwick (Neil Ellis) on October 28, 2009

phylacteryDefeating a Lich is not a simple as overcoming it in combat. Liches tie their life force to objects known as phylacteries. The phylactery can range from mundane to mystical. Each Lich has their own preference on what constitutes an acceptable phylactery. What Liches have in common is that their Phylactery is to be well hidden and well protected.

This is the first of two skill challenges that deals with Liches and their phylacteries. In part 1 the PCs must Find The Phylactery and in part 2 the PCs must Unlock The Phylactery.


The PCs have defeated a Lich in combat. However, if they don’t destroy the phylactery their efforts will have been in vain. Of course they can’t destroy the phylactery until they locate it.


5 PC Level + 2 (requires 12 successes before 3 failures).

Primary Skills

Arcana, History, Perception, Religion, Streetwise

  • Each skill can only be used to accomplish 1 success towards the overall skill challenge unless noted otherwise.
  • Skill checks denoted as assist do not count as a success or failure towards the overall skill challenge.

Other Skills


Arcana (moderate DC, maximum 3 sucesses)

You examine the arcane energies that surround the Lich’s body, discerning the direction of the phylactery by the bond it has to the Lich’s corpse.

History (moderate DC, maximum 2 successes)

The Lich was in existance for along time, you retrace its steps through history to determine where it might have hidden the phylactery.

Insight (hard DC, assist)

You recall the battle with the Lich and realize that it was repeating some arcane phrases. Success on this check grants a +2 to your next Arcana check.

Perception (moderate DC, maximum 3 successes)

After the battle you search the Lich’s lair for clues regarding the location of the phylactery.

Religion (moderate DC, maximum 3 successes)

Complex necrotic rituals were performed to grant the Lich life after death. You examine the Lich’s body and the religious icons around the room to determine the location of the phylactery.

Streetwise (hard DC, maximum 2 success)

You’ve learned that the Lich had an unusual fondness for a certain locale, you hit the streets digging for rumours of locations he frequented looking for clues as to where the phylactery might be hidden.


You are able to determine where the Lich hid its phylactery. Now you must make the trek towards that destination.


You are unable to determine the location of the phylactery. The PCs will need to find some outside assitance to locate it, which may be costly and time consuming.

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