Blog (A5E) Level Up’s Archlich: The Mouthless One

With millions of people watching Stranger Things this month, you might be curious what the Level Up version of an archlich might look like. Well, we’re working on one for an as-yet-unannounced project, and we thought we’d give you a preview. If you want a truly challenging end boss, give it a try. Just don’t blame me if your characters learn secrets they weren’t meant to know.


Enchanted Book - Gui Sommer.png
 

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Paul Hughes

Paul Hughes


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J.Quondam

CR 1/8
All I’m able to see is the big Paul Hughes header at the top, followed by post #2
How strange. I'll paste the link directly to the LevelUp blog here:

or:
https://www.levelup5e.com/news/level-ups-archlich-the-mouthless-one

Hopefully one of those works for you?
 


Xaielao

Explorer
This new archlich puts 5e's new Vecna to absolute shame. Not that the Vecna stat block isn't cool, cause it is. But having run a 10-20 campaign myself recently with 5e, I know that a party of 4 well build level 20 PCs would take that character out in 2 rounds.. easily if the GM rolled poorly on initiative. Against my 700+ HP, AC 23 BBEG the party dished out over 200 damage on round 1, and not a one of em were powergamers.

even if you don't utilize the player/DM books (my group ended up sticking with the base 5e game)
What? I mean, I get the player book.. maybe they like the 5e classes better (I don't but more power to them). But coming from 5e and it's dirth of support for GMs, Trials & Treasures was like crack to me lol.

I would honestly take it a step further and have them kill and reform in the persons body to make them even more terrifying
I thought the same immediately. I mean I'm not sure if I'd use this guy any time soon (my next campaign is a naval warfare one that will end around level 12), but should I do so, there's not a chance in the world I wouldn't do just this to scare the ever loving crap out of my group, wondering who he'll appear as next. (Obviously someone they care about lmao).
 
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Xaielao

Explorer
You know I kinda miss having 10th level spells from the old days of D&D. It represented the epitome of spellcasting power and included all the most powerful, world shaping spells. I was happy to see Pathfinder 2e keep that going.

5e, and thus Level Up, rather melded the world altering super-spells into 9th level, which works but it isn't really the same. I like your train of thought Tetrasodium.. no 10th level spells but a 10th level slot (or two), so you can upcast those really potent 7th level+ spells beyond what the party would be capable of. That's definitely something a god-like being like The Mouthless Oneshould be able to do lol.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
You know I kinda miss having 10th level spells from the old days of D&D. It represented the epitome of spellcasting power and included all the most powerful, world shaping spells. I was happy to see Pathfinder 2e keep that going.

5e, and thus Level Up, rather melded the world altering super-spells into 9th level, which works but it isn't really the same. I like your train of thought Tetrasodium.. no 10th level spells but a 10th level slot (or two), so you can upcast those really potent 7th level+ spells beyond what the party would be capable of. That's definitely something a god-like being like The Mouthless Oneshould be able to do lol.
it also allows tenth level spells to be filled by the GM. I recently had players ask "can we tell what level spell he's casting?" with what should have been a terrible ritual of no real level so I told them "you think probably an epic level spell" & later pointed them to the old Epic Level Handbook saying that it was inspiration & that maybe with work they could use it as guidance for building cast much reduced spells using that sort of costs & measures involved in setup. The player was totally jazzed thinking about extending their capabilities in creative ways after that & I can't wait to see them start volunteering ideas instead more fleshed out than "can I use arcana & spellcraft to [solve for x]..." So much was lost in condensing things down like that into 9th level slots & macguffin/plot device level stuff for everything else
 

Stalker0

Legend
You know I kinda miss having 10th level spells from the old days of D&D. It represented the epitome of spellcasting power and included all the most powerful, world shaping spells. I was happy to see Pathfinder 2e keep that going.
So one interesting note in 1e, though Wish was a 9th level spell, it required a 20th level wizard to cast. So effectively it was "10th level"
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
So one interesting note in 1e, though Wish was a 9th level spell, it required a 20th level wizard to cast. So effectively it was "10th level"
Wish didn’t really compare to them, they really were a different type of casting entirely.
  • create a true breeding creature
  • create an island in the sea
  • ten adult red dragons appear & attack....
  • contingent resurrection
  • creature or object permanently warded from spells
  • you achieve remote control over the target
  • Animated ghoul of slain victim fools its companions
  • spells ranging from things like 20d6(and less) to 205d6(and more)
They were all over the place powerwise because casting them was an insane arcana check ()like dc30-200+++ with various things that could theoretically be done to lower the DC like burning spell slots/adding extra casters/spending days casting/ritually sacrificing people during the casting/burning exp/etc. The named spells were packaged up collections of seeds & mitigating factors into end results that were generally insane but it provided a framework a powerful caster could look at to apply into custom & one off "spells." Even with the differences that chapter is a useful light in the dark for getting casters to apply their character's knowledge & abilities beyond mere button mashing "the spell does X & we need X done"
 

dave2008

Legend
Wish didn’t really compare to them, they really were a different type of casting entirely.
  • create a true breeding creature
  • create an island in the sea
  • ten adult red dragons appear & attack....
  • contingent resurrection
  • creature or object permanently warded from spells
  • you achieve remote control over the target
  • Animated ghoul of slain victim fools its companions
  • spells ranging from things like 20d6(and less) to 205d6(and more)
They were all over the place powerwise because casting them was an insane arcana check ()like dc30-200+++ with various things that could theoretically be done to lower the DC like burning spell slots/adding extra casters/spending days casting/ritually sacrificing people during the casting/burning exp/etc. The named spells were packaged up collections of seeds & mitigating factors into end results that were generally insane but it provided a framework a powerful caster could look at to apply into custom & one off "spells." Even with the differences that chapter is a useful light in the dark for getting casters to apply their character's knowledge & abilities beyond mere button mashing "the spell does X & we need X done"
Isn't the ELH from 3e? @Stalker0 mentioned 1e in their post. I think you are talking about different things.
 



Selganor

Explorer
I asked this on the discord but maybe someone here knows about it (or has plans):

Is there a "Whispered One vs. Mouthless One" already somewhere online?

I'll probably have an Archlich duel with the "I almost always play wizards" player from my regular group as Vecna. I am wondering if I should tell him to check what the Book of Vile Darkness (that Vecna has in his chest but apparently doesn't use) could do to help him :D
 

noodohs

Explorer
Question about the Wrest Spell ability: can it be counterspelled? I mean I actually think it's better if it can be since the original caster would end up losing a slot for the original spell and a slot for counterspelling it, but I'm just curious what the intention here is.
 

Question about the Wrest Spell ability: can it be counterspelled? I mean I actually think it's better if it can be since the original caster would end up losing a slot for the original spell and a slot for counterspelling it, but I'm just curious what the intention here is.
Not the author, so I don’t know the RAI, but it is not a spell so it technically can’t be countered
 


So it's an ability, but it specifically says the Mouthless One can then cast the spell. The implication being that they are taking your spell and casting it back at you without having to spend their own slots.
I will look again, but I didn’t see that it said it casts a spell. If it does, then yes it can be countered. I’ll check again

Edit: you are correct it says “cast the spell” so it can be countered and I am sure that is the intent as it is specifically called out as a spell.
 

Selganor

Explorer
BTW: Whispered One vs. .Mouthless One ended in a "Do we really want to do this the next hours?"

MO has better stats (almost everything including a multiple of HP), but a shorter range for the only attack that is pretty sure to cause damage which causes him to be in range for WO's attacks.
WO has more range with his attacks and Counterspells, can cause damage besides his attacks AND can heal himself (which MO can't)...

So unless MO manages to keep out of WO's healing "attack" for a few rounds while still managing to be in range to cause damage it's only a matter of time till MO's HP run out before WO's (way less but still enough to be up for a while)

Regarding spell "duels"... both have an unlimited Counterspell variant, but WO also causes damage with this counterspell and only has to see the target, while MO could theoretically Counterspell/Wrest a spell but only within 60 fr. and then this spell could be Counterspelled (which almost surely causes him damage again)
 

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