From PathfinderWiki
(Magic item)
Type Wondrous item
Slot Headband (normally)
or Slotless (lich's phylactery)

Source: Ultimate Equipment, pg(s). 248ff.

A phylactery is a small box that contains within various texts written on parchment; phylacteries are usually strapped to the forehead.[1] The most infamous of all phylacteries are those created by potential liches to hold their souls.[2]

Lich's phylactery

A lich's phylactery is a magical container that is created by a powerful arcane or divine spellcaster in order to house their soul in preparation to become a lich. The prospective lich must invest considerable time researching and building their phylactery, as it will house their soul and bequeath it functional immortality.[2]


Phylacteries often take the shape of sealed metal boxes that house strips of parchment upon which magical phrases are inscribed,[2] but are also commonly gems, although any object can serve.[3]


Phylacteries are incredibly expensive to produce, costing upwards of 120,000 gold pieces. If a lich is destroyed, but their phylactery is not, the lich will simply reform in one to ten days near their phylactery, most likely with an intense desire to kill the person or people that caused its temporary demise.[2] The lich, therefore, makes certain to hide the phylactery very carefully, as her immortality depends upon it.[3]

Phylactery of the failed

A phylactery of the failed is the vessel for the soul of a creature that failed in their bid to become a lich.[4]

Other phylacteries

In place of a phylactery, psychic liches create a physical object, called a memoir, which projects their personal accomplishments into the Astral Plane and tethers this astral echo through the planes. Psychic liches can only be destroyed by using their memoir as a focus to erase their astral legend.[5]


For additional resources, see the Meta page.

  1. Jason Bulmahn et al. (2012). Ultimate Equipment, p. 206. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-390-3
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Jason Bulmahn. (2009). Bestiary (First Edition), p. 188–189. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-183-1
  3. 3.0 3.1 Amber Stewart, Brandon Hodge, and Steve Kenson. (2011). Undead Revisited, p. 23. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-303-3
  4. F. Wesley Schneider. (2012). Artifacts & Legends, p. 61. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-458-0
  5. Josh Colon et al. (2015). Occult Bestiary, p. 32. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-767-3