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Ur-Shulgi (Vampire the Masquerade) X Larloch (Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms)

Ur-Shulgi vs. Larloch is a What-If? episode of Death Battle.

Description[]

Lichdom isn't for everyone. Neither is vampirism. But Larloch and Ur-Shulgi show us how it's done. Can the most powerful arcanist in the Forgotten Realms come out on top, or is one of the oldest vampires in the Classic World of Darkness too mighty an occult threat? Find out in this episode of DEATH BATTLE!

Interlude[]

Wiz: The undead are compelling antagonists for fantasy stories, and what better fantasy stories than those of tabletop roleplaying games?

Boomstick: You don't need a special effects budget in your imagination. From the Classic World of Darkness, we're tossing Ur-Shulgi, childe of Haqim--

Wiz: --in with Larloch, the Shadow King, from the Forgotten Realms of Dungeons and Dragons.

Boomstick: He's Wiz and I'm Boomstick--

Wiz: --and it's our job to analyze their weapons, armor, and skills to find out who would win a Death Battle.

Ur-Shulgi[]

Wiz: Over nine thousand years ago--

Boomstick: Too easy, Wiz.

Wiz: --the founder of the Assamite clan, Haqim, threw a corrupted child into a pit of demonic influence. After an assault by infernalist vampires on the Second City that held the pit, Haqim went back and transformed the boy into a new vampire, Ur-Shulgi.

Boomstick: And then he went to sleep for a long time or two. I guess he needed his naps...

Wiz: His past is deliberately vague. In modern times, Ur-Shulgi has woken up, and his still-reawakening power is all contained within himself. No weapons, no armor, just a robe for decoration.

Boomstick: And his eyes! The EYES, man!

Wiz: Ur-Shulgi's eyes have either been removed or burned out, but apparently he can see just fine. Because Ur-Shulgi doesn't have a complete character sheet, some of his abilities are a matter of interpretation--

Boomstick: Which means no one can stop the, say it with me, FANBOY WHINING!

Wiz: Yeah, that.

Boomstick: Ur-Shulgi's powers are bundled up in his vampire Disciplines. In the game, each one is rated from 1 to 10, with 1 keeping it simple and 10 being a plot device. That's right, the writers just gave up. I guess when you can notice an ancient curse from multiple mages on your entire bloodline, and you just decide you don't like it and it's gone, it gets pretty hard to actually explain what you can do.

Wiz: But a vampire can only reach level 10 in their Disciplines if they're in the 3rd generation, meaning they're the third vampire in a chain starting from the original vampire, Caine. Ur-Shulgi can only reach level 9, because he's in the 4th generation, but that's more than enough to terrify an entire branch of the vampire family tree.

Boomstick: Explaining using the official jargon would take a while, so we cut that part, since I'd get bored if Death Battles were an hour long, too.

Wiz: Regarding his abilities, Ur-Shulgi doesn't move, he just...

Boomstick. He just kinda blinks over to wherever he feels like. Otherwise he stays still.

Wiz: How this works isn't clear, but since his clan has Celerity as one of their primary disciplines, it's safe to assume it's an application of Celerity. Since there is a similar-but-costly ability called Zephyr at Celerity 8, and obviously Ur-Shulgi can't use it all the time or he'll run out of the blood necessary to power it, it's reasonable to say he has Celerity 9.

Boomstick: We get it Wiz. He's overpowered.

Wiz: His other physical abilities are unclear. It's unlikely that he survived for this long without at least the Fortitude discipline, which grants supernatural durability.

Boomstick: Otherwise, the books wouldn't have lines about how he can snuff out anyone less than a thousand years old before breakfast. And we have tanks now. What about the tanks, huh? The tanks, Mr. Scary Vampire?

Wiz: Fortitude is a common Discipline to acquire outside of one's clan. To get an estimate for Ur-Shulgi, we did a linear regression of Fortitude values of vampires at his Generation, correlating with their lifespan. It isn't exactly open-and-shut, but after throwing out a major outlier, it turns out Ur-Shulgi's age of 9000 years should place him comfortably at Fortitude 9.

Boomstick: Because it doesn't go any higher! And before you talk about all the time he was dozing off underground, we didn't count sleepytime for the regressinationers either. This kind of defense makes weapons fall apart if they hit him the wrong way. What can't this guy do?

Wiz: Again, the books are deliberately unclear, but he's probably the least subtle vampire among the ancients. That means he probably doesn't have Dominate or Presence. If he does, they're at low levels that won't make much of a difference. What he does have for sure, though, are Obsfucate, Quietus, and Assamite Sorcerey, all at level 9, and Auspex at level 8. Obfuscate gives him the ability to obscure himself and others in a variety of ways—such as invisibility, mental shielding, and changing his appearance to essentially whatever he wants.

Boomstick: Quietus gives him lots of ways to assassinate people using his blood, though it kinda makes even Assassin's Creed stuff look subtle. And the more powerful stuff isn't really assassination, just mystical blood powers. Look, it basically lets you turn your blood into a bunch of kinds of super-acid, lets you silence people so you don't hear 'em screaming, that kind of stuff. Then there's Assamite Sorcery, which is, uhhhhh, mystical blood powers. Stuff like telekinesis, shooting fire, conjuring stuff out of thin air, and decaying anything he touches. And there's a lot of fancy rituals.

Wiz: Due to the large number of rituals and sub-powers of Ur-Shulgi's Disciplines, we won't be covering them all, partly because they're not all relevant to the fight--like the rituals, generally.

Boomstick: Auspex counts, right?

Wiz: It does.

Boomstick: This one lets him use all sorts of mystical sensory powers. He gets telepathy powerful enough to read minds, and he can see people's auras. He can learn all about people just by touching something they use, and if he wants too, he can straight-up mind crush someone, no children's card game required.

Wiz: Despite all this, Ur-Shulgi is bound by the Path of Blood, which is a set of immoral and seemingly-arbitrary codes mostly based around coverting the worthy to Haqim's teachings, and killing them if they refuse. Ur-Shulgi will learn all he can about an enemy before engaging them, since not doing that is a sin to him.

Boomstick: He can also run out of batteries.

Wiz: Ur-Shulgi has a concentrated form of converted blood in his body, known as vitae. By burning this off, he can increase his physical might, recover from damage not caused by fire or sunlight, and power his Disciplines. However, he can only store up 50 doses of it. We'll assume Ur-Shulgi has all 50 doses for this fight.

Boomstick: And he's a vampire, so he can be burned by the sun. He doesn't like fire very much, either. Either can hurt his actual soul, and even send him into rot...roat...rowboat--

Wiz: Roetschrek, the vampire version of running away. Wooden stakes through the heart can paralyze him, too. Finally, Ur-Shulgi is a megalomaniac, though with how powerful he is, he can get away with it. Ur-Shulgi might just be the most terrifying vampire in the World of Darkness, short of the 3rd generation members themselves.

Boomstick: Plot device! I mean, come on, plot device!

(Ur-Shulgi's hollow eyes stare forward. He says nothing.)

Larloch[]

Wiz: Larloch, the Shadow King. Born two thousand years before the Spellplauge--

Boomstick: Don't ask about the Spellplague. Just don't.

Wiz: Larloch discovered his own method of lichdom, but not before becoming one of the decadent Sorcerer-Kings of Netheril. Even since the fall of his enclave, Larloch has been considered one of the most powerful arcanists in the Forgotten Realms.

Boomstick: Isn't this the setting where your grocery bagger is probably 15th level out of a usual 20?

Wiz: That's...a bit of an exaggeration about the Forgotten Realms, but it's true that Larloch is a power among powers. Using the revised 3rd edition of Dungeons and Dragons, where caster supremacy is in full swing, Larloch is level 32 out of a usual maximum of 20. Boomstick, you play D&D, right?

Boomstick: Yep. A wizard's power doubles every two levels, and this gets so out-of-control that they can grant wishes before even hitting 20. It scale a little differently above 20, but it's still pretty crazy.

Wiz: Thankfully, Larloch has a full character sheet, so we can determine the extent of his power without extrapolation, except for the indeterminate abilities in his history—such as the creation of the Death Moon Orb.

Boomstick: ...Dot Tumblr Dot Com.

Wiz: The Death Moon Orb's powers involved summoning fiends and acting as a class crystal ball, but since it was destroyed after Karsus's Folly, we won't be using it. It's just Larloch's equipment and his spells this time. Speaking of spells, Larloch has spellbooks containing practically every spell in existence, and because there are literally thouands of them in the game, we can't hope to go over them all.

Boomstick: But basically, a wizard like Larloch can do whatever he wants. Just go check d20srd.com. Not necessarily anything he wants in terms of power, but you get the idea. Wishes, Wiz.

Wiz: And it's not guaranteed that Larloch will have any given one of them. Larloch relies on Vancian spellcasting, which means that he prepares a chosen set of spells in the morning and can fire them off one by one as the day goes on. It's possible for him to expend all of his prepared spells. But with 62 spell slots, not including cantrips, it's not likely that he'll run out. In fact, he has enough to reliably perform counterspells, which let him negate some of spell with a similar one of his own.

Boomstick: But a few of Larloch's spells are gonna come out no matter what. Dude plays favorites; he's mastered a few spells and prepares them all the time.

Wiz: Magic Missile, which needs no--

Boomstick: Magic homing rockets!

Wiz: Ugh. Dispel magic, which does just what it sounds like it does; bestow curse, fly, fireball and teleport, which are self-explanatory; chain lightning, which lets him blasts multiple targets with lightning; disintegrate, which is a thin green ray that can turn a 10 foot cube of anything into dust; and time stop, which accelerates Larloch to such a speed that he can get several spells out while his enemies are effectively frozen in time.

Boomstick: And then there's DEVASTATE UNDEAD, which autokills anything undead and heals Larloch in the process. Wait, how is this fair?

Wiz: Most of Larloch's spells can be resisted, partially or entirely, including devastate undead. Whether that be by raw physical might, speed or will, it's possible to shrug off Larloch's spells entirely.

Boomstick: But not all of them. It's complicated. Larloch gets a few freebie spells too; every day he can cast a spell without all the tricky 'casting' stuff. Magic missile, web, dispel magic, arcane eye, animate dead, chain lightning, control undead, devastate undead, and energy drain.

Wiz: Arcane eye creates a small visual probe, animate dead makes skeletons and zombies out of corpses, control undead is self explanatory, and web bogs down an area in sticky strands that trap anyone within.

Boomstick: And if regular spells don't work, he can just cast versions of them that are faster or don't need some of the hand-waving or secret words.

Wiz: But spells aren't all that Larloch has to offer. Larloch is a lich, which means that his undead body is immune to anything that would influence his dead mind. Poisons and ailments against the living don't work on him. Of course, he has a phylactery, and thus can come back from the dead if killed...given a few days to recover.

Boomstick: And he's completely decked out in magical gear. He's got enough Ioun stones to make your head spin, which are little pebbles that float around your head and give you magic upgrades.

Wiz: Mostly passive ones that make him more talented in general, but a few of Larloch's ioun sones allow him to regain spells or absorb—then reflect—spells cast at him. Another of them lets him shift to the coexisting ethereal plane for up to 20 minutes, which is good for avoiding danger. What's more, Larloch's magic jewelry, cloak, and bracers render him resistant to magical and physical attacks. The details are a bit difficult to go over in a reasonable time frame. He also has a ring of three wishes and a 'contingency' teleport set up beforehand for emergencies, and he carries with him a legendary Staff of the Magi, an artifact very difficult to destroy outside of just breaking it in half.

Boomstick: It gives him more spells. More. Spells. And it can absorb magic to charge itself up, but if it absorbs too much, it explodes and might send you to an alternate dimension. That's if you don't break it and make it explode yourself, but who would do that? Right?

Wiz: Finally, Larloch has some unique abilities. Anyone who touches him is cursed with age and idiocy, and he's immune to an unknown set of nine spells. Larloch is immune to a variety of threats, such as cold, electricity, magical movement inhibitors, getting hit--

Boomstick: Half of the time. It's an illusion thingie.

Wiz: --and he can see past any invisibility. His only weakness seems to be silver, which deals twice and much damage as it otherwise would and bypasses some of his innate resilience due to being made of bone. This ancient wizard is the pinnacle of arcane might, and can bring anyone short of a god to their knees.

(Larloch's eyes, nothing more than red beads of light, burn in their sockets as he stares.)

DEATH BATTLE![]

Larloch sits at an old wooden desk, poring over one of innumerable spellbooks. After a few seconds, he closes it, puts it back on a bookcase shelf, and starts walking along the length of the bookcase. He picks out a book written in Arabic script. Still standing, he begins reading.

A voice in his head speaks. You wish to learn of Haqim, then.

Larloch slowly turns around, seeing an obsidian-skinned child—perhaps a ten year old boy—staring at him from the other side of his oh-so-spacious, albeit dimly-lit, study chambers. The boy is bald, with missing eyes, and standing perfectly still.

Larloch: Only in the academic sense. I have no desire to follow his teachings.

Ur-Shulgi: And so another seeks his own death.

Larloch: Ah, fight you? I suppose.

Larloch holds up his colorful Staff of the Magi, his other hand free to deploy spells. Ur-Shulgi remains motionless.

Fight!

Larloch: Ether.

Larloch vanishes, with only a specter of him invisible as an ethereal being. He continues casting spells, waving his free hand around as he does so:

Larloch: Haste.

Ur-Shulgi stares into the spot where Larloch's shade is, and sees the distinct dim glow of Larloch's sparkling purple aura. The symbol of an eye flashes as Larloch continues to stare, and Larloch's head appears to distort and invert in colors for a moment. The lich, however, is not even distracted by the psychic assault. Meanwhile, Larloch continues casting.

Larloch: Fly. Shield. Mirror Image.

Apparent copies of Larloch's shade appear next to the existing one. Ur-Shulgi continues looking, seeing only the aura on the correct Larloch. Silently, Ur-Shulgi's muscles expand slightly as he begins channeling blood into his strength and endurance. With his spells active, Larloch blinks back into reality, hovering far above Ur-Shulgi. Ur-Shulgi's body flickers--

Larloch: Quickened Time Stop.

Ur-Shulgi's incalculable speed slows to visibility as a clock ticks in the background, himself now hovering right in front of Larloch, while other books and accouterments form Larloch's study telekinetically float nearby along with him. He strikes the true Larloch's ribs with an open palm, shattering one of them.

Ur-Shulgi's body appears to wither for a bit.

Larloch: No use seeing through my Displacement if you can't handle my curses.

The vampire's palm closes, and a shattering noise breaks out as his body resets. Larloch takes the opportunity to fly backwards about twenty feet.

Larloch: Magic Missile.

The missiles impact on Ur-Shulgi's body. The resulting scratches immediately seal up again.

Larloch: Disintegrate. Command Undead.

Ur-Shulgi seems unfazed as the green ray simply exfoliates him, and the attempted psychic lock on his mind fails to close.In the meantime, Ur-Shulgi points towards Larloch. The Ioun stones begin to move towards him, but two of them twinkle, and the Ioun stones resume orbiting as if nothing had happened.

Larloch: Flesh to Stone. Polymorph Any Object.

The shining streams of magic strike Ur-Shulgi without effect. Ur-Shulgi continues pointing. This time, all of the Ioun stones save the twinkling offenders fly into the vampire's hand. His fingers close over the colorful bundle, and images of Larloch's spells, abilities, strengths and weaknesses play in the vampire's mind. Then he smashes his palms together, pulverizing the Ioun Stones.

The Time Stop ends as the clock's ticking speeds back up and fades out. Larloch's gloves, boots, bracers, and remaining Ioun Stones begin to dissolve as Ur-Shulgi seems to 'twitch' in the air about twenty feet from Larloch, blinking back and forth to attack rapidly.

Larloch: Time Stop!

Ur-Shulgi slows again. He points his finger and a small bead of flame appears--

Larloch: Counterspell.

The bead turns into an inferno jet, which is swallowed up into a fireball that implodes upon itself into nothing. The books hovering around Ur-Shulgi then zip towards Larloch.

Larloch: Dispel Magic.

The books freeze in the air, mere feet from striking Larloch.

Ur-Shulgi: Perhaps I should take this seriously.

The vampire exhales a mist of blood while Larloch bats away the books with his Staff of the Magi. The blood overs Larloch, and the sound of tinnitus blots out the sound of the books being stuck. Larloch tries to speak, but fails. Ur-Shulgi closes in.

Larloch [thinking]: Silent spells, then. Silent Wall of Fire.

A thick sheet of fire separates the two before Ur-Shulgi can get within melee distance, which gives him pause.

Larloch: [thinking]: Spell-Like: Chain Lightning.

Electricity erupts between the two. Besides a thin smoke emerging from him, Ur-Shulgi appears fine. A brief swipe of blackness covers the vampire, leaving nothingness behind.

Larloch [thinking]: Only invisiblity? Enough.

The lich grabs a small mace at his hip and swats at his right.

Larloch [thinking]: Spell-Like: Devastate Undead.

Ur-Shulgi reappears where Larloch struck. A conduit of black connects Larloch and Ur-Shulgi through the mace, which seems to be pulling towards Larloch. The conduit shakes abruptly and shatters. Ur-Shulgi spits a jet of blood from his mouth, striking Larloch's skull and beginning to sizzle. Larloch backs away once more, into a corner, as his Time Stop times out. Ur-Shulgi resumes twitching, and Larloch's remaining items begin instantly eroding one-by-one.

Larloch [thinking]: Quickened Silent Prestidigitation. Silent Time Stop.

The caustic blood clears from Larloch's face and Ur-Shulgi's twitching slows back to visibility again. Ur-Shulgi busily applies a second layer of acid-blood to the Staff of the Magi, but the artifact is resisting such methods.

Desperate and running out of suitable spells, Larloch swings the Staff of the Magi as a bludgeon into Ur-Shulgi's head. The staff snaps upon impact, and erupts in a flash of multicolored light. The two are flung tumbling end-over-end through dimensions, and are promptly deposited upon a nighttime rocky gravel field—although both decline to actually land, hovering about a foot off the ground, forty feet from one another. Larloch's bones are badly scoured, and Ur-Shulgi's body is cracked and bleeding.

Larloch's Prestidigitation completes, cleaning him of all the silencing mist-blood.

Larloch: I wish to duplicate...

Ur-Shulgi approaches, fangs bared, fists clenched, his body instantly healing from its wounds. Larloch raises his fist, revealing the Ring of Three Wishes. Ur-Shulgi closes in, but Larloch's Contingency Teleport takes him about 500 feet backwards towards the horizon.

Larloch: SUNBURST.

An explosion of sunlight erupts on Ur-Shulgi, blotting out everything visible with searing white.

Larloch drops out of Time Stop again. The flash clears. A horribly-scarred and bleeding—but still-standing—Ur-Shulgi is visible.

Larloch: Quickened--

Ur-Shulgi conjures a scimitar, gleaming like solid silver.

Larloch: --Time--

The vampire licks the bladed edge, covering it in a boiling, crimson blood that starts to decay the scimitar even with this split-second of contact.

Larloch: --Stop!

Ur-Shulgi blinks forward, in the nick of time for him to be just within melee range of Larloch when the Time Stop kicks in. He brings the blade down upon Larloch's skull. A burst of bone fragments erupts as the blade cleaves all the way down through Larloch's spine, and the rest of his bones simply collapse into a pile.

Results[]

(Ur-Shulgi shreds the second curse that the late Larloch just put on him due to getting hit, then blinks away to who-knows-where.)

Boomstick: Did you see that? How fast was that?

Wiz: Usually, a Time Stop completely freezes the world around the user. But since Time Stop is the biggest speedup in Dungeons and Dragons without the unlimited power of Epic Magic, and Celerity 9 is the biggest speedup in Vampire: The Masquerade without the unlimited power of a plot device, it's reasonable to assume the speeds are roughly comparable. Both characters can move so quickly that they're untraceable to the naked eye.

Boomstick: And those Time Stops don't last forever, Wiz. Larloch stopped getting his way every time the spell ended.

Wiz: Larloch just had difficulty answering Ur-Shulgi's defenses. While Larloch could deal with most of the vampire's offense, Ur-Shulgi could also no-sell Larloch's abilities for the most part. The ones he couldn't, he just healed himself from. Ur-Shulgi has incredible speed and durability, and his willpower is canonically as strong as supernaturally possible. His Auspex also rendered Larloch's Mirror Images and illusionary protection effects moot. Ultimately, each combatant only had a few ways of actually taking damage: Ur-Shulgi's vulnerability to fire and sunlight, along with Larloch's relative fragility without his equipment—and that crippling vulnerability to silver.

Boomstick: And don't forget, Ur-Shulgi could use all of his powers on the fly. Larloch had to prep his spell slots in advance, and when you're a powerful wizard, not everything's good for one fight. Sometimes it's stuff like, I dunno, Tenser's Floating Disk. Eventually, you're gonna run out of stops to pull out.

Wiz: Larloch's wish for a Sunburst spell was a clever move to make up for not having the right preparation, and this could have killed most vampires, but the exposure was relatively short. Since a vampire with Fortitude 5 can almost daywalk, Ur-Shulgi could stand up to it without being obliterated.

Boomstick: Looks like Larloch picked a fight that he ur-shouldn't have.

Wiz: The winner is Ur-Shulgi.

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