|No. of Attacks:
||+1 or better magical
||weapon to hit
||M (6' tall)
||M (6' tall)
The lich is, perhaps, the single most powerful form of undead known to exist.
They seek to further their own power at all costs and have little or no
interest in the affairs of the living, except where those affairs interfere with their
A lich greatly resembles a wight or mummy, being gaunt and skeletal in form.
The creature's eye sockets are black and empty save for the fierce pinpoints of
light which serve the lich as eyes. The lich can see with normal vision in even
the darkest of environments but is unaffected by even the brightest light. An
aura of cold and darkness radiates from the lich which makes it an ominous and
fearsome sight. They were originally wizards of at least 18th level.
Liches are often (75%) garbed in the rich clothes of nobility. If not so
attired, the lich will be found in the robes of its former profession. In either
case, the clothes will be tattered and rotting with a 25% chance of being magical
in some way.
Although a lich will seldom engage in actual melee combat with those it
considers enemies, it is more than capable of holding its own when forced into battle.
The aura of magical power which surrounds a lich is so potent that any
creature of fewer than 5 Hit Dice (or 5th level) which sees it must save vs. spell or
flee in terror for 5-20 (5d4) rounds.
Should the lich elect to touch a living creature, its aura of absolute cold
will inflict 1-10 points of damage. Further, the victim must save vs. paralysis
or be utterly unable to move. This paralysis lasts until dispelled
in some manner.
Liches can themselves be hit only by weapons of at least +1, by magical
spells, or by monsters with 6 or more Hit Dice and/or magical properties. The magical
nature of the lich and its undead state make it utterly immune to charm, sleep, enfeeblement, polymorph, cold, electricity, insanity
, or death
spells. Priests of at least 8th level can attempt to turn a lich, as can
paladins of no less than 10th level.
A lich is able to employ spells just as it did in life. It still requires the
use of its spell books, magical components, and similar objects. It is
important to note that most, if not all, liches have had a great deal of time in which
to research and create new magical spells and objects. Thus, adventurers should
be prepared to face magic the likes of which they have never seen before when
stalking a lich. In addition, liches are able to use any magical objects which
they might possess just as if they were still alive.
Defeating a lich in combat is difficult indeed, but managing to actually
destroy the creature is harder still. In all cases, a lich will protect itself from
annihilation with the creation of a phylactery in which it stores its life
force. This is similar to a magic jar
spell. In order to ensure the final destruction of a lich, its body must be
wholly annihilated and its phylactery must be sought out and destroyed in some
manner. Since the lich will always take great care to see to it that its
phylactery is well hidden and protected this can be an undertaking fully as daunting
as the defeat of the lich in its physical form.
Liches are usually solitary creatures. They have cast aside their places as
living beings by choice and now want as little to do with the world of men as
possible. From time to time, however, a lich's interest in the world at large may
be reawakened by some great event of personal importance.
A lich will make its home in some ominous fortified area, often a strong keep
or vast subterranean crypt.
When a lich does decide to become involved with the world beyond its lair, its
keen intelligence makes it a dangerous adversary. In some cases, a lich will
depend on its magical powers to accomplish its goals. If this is not sufficient,
however, the lich is quite capable of animating
a force of undead troops to act on its behalf. If such is the case, the
lich's endless patience and cunning more than make up for the inherent disadvantages
of the lesser forms of undead which it commands.
Although the lich has no interest in good or evil as we understand it, the
creature will do whatever it must to further its own causes. Since it feels that
the living are of little importance, the lich is often viewed as evil by those
who encounter it. In rare cases, liches of a most unusual nature can be found
which are of any alignment.
The lich can exist for centuries without change. Its will drives it onward to
master new magics and harness mystical powers not available to it in its
previous life. So obsessed does the monster become with its quest for power that it
often forgets its former existence utterly. Few liches call themselves by their
old names when the years have drained the last vestiges of their humanity from
them. Instead, they often adopt pseudonyms like “the Black Hand” or “the
Forgotten King.” Learning the true name of a lich is rumored to confer power over the
The lich is not a thing of this world. Although it was once a living creature,
it has entered into an unnatural existence.
In order to become a lich, the wizard must prepare its phylactery by the use
of the enchant an item, magic jar, permanency
spells. The phylactery, which can be almost any manner of object, must be of
the finest craftsmanship and materials with a value of not less than 1,500 gold
pieces per level of the wizard. Once this object is created, the would-be lich
must craft a potion of extreme toxicity, which is then enchanted with the
following spells: wraithform, permanency, cone of cold, feign death,
and animate dead
. When next the moon is full, the potion is imbibed. Rather than death, the
potion causes the wizard to undergo a transformation into its new state. A system
shock survival throw is required, with failure indicating an error in the
creation of the potion which kills the wizard and renders him forever dead.
The demilich is not, as the name implies, a weaker form of the lich. Rather,
it is the stage into which a lich will eventually evolve as the power which has
sustained its physical form gradually begins to fail. In most cases, all that
remains of a demilich's body are a skull, some bones, and a pile of dust.
When it has learned all that it feels it can in its undead life, the lich will
continue its quest for power in strange planes unknown to even the wisest of
sages. Since it has no use for its physical body at this point, the lich leaves
it to decay as it should have done centuries ago.
If the final resting place of a demilich's remains are entered, the dust which
was once its body will rise up and assume a man-like shape. In the case of the
oldest demiliches (25%), the shape will advance and threaten, but dissipate
without attacking in 3 rounds unless attacked. Younger demiliches (75%) still
retain a link to their remains, however, and will form with the powers of a
wraith. This dust form cannot be turned. In addition, it can store energy from
attacks and use this power to engage its foes. If the dust form is attacked, each
point of damage which is delivered to it is converted to an energy point. Since
the demilich will fall back and seem to suffer injury from each attack (though
none is actually inflicted), its attackers are likely to press on in their
attempts to destroy it. Once the demilich has acquired 50 energy points, it will
assume a manifestation which looks much like the lich's earlier undead form and has
the powers and abilities of a ghost, but which cannot be turned.
If anyone touches the skull it will rise into the air and turn to face the
most powerful of the intruders (a spell user will be chosen over a non-spell
user). Instantly, it unleashes a howl which acts as a death ray
, affecting all creatures within a 20' radius of the skull. Those who fail to
save vs. death are permanently dead.
On the next round, the demilich will employ another manner of attack. In order
to attain the status of a demilich, a lich must have replaced 5-8 (1d4+4) of
its teeth with gems. Each of these gems now serves as a powerful magical device
which can trap the soul
of its adversaries. The physical body of someone hit with the demilich's
spell collapses and rots away in a single round. Once it has drained the life
essence from the most powerful member of the party, the skull sinks back to the
floor. If it continues to be challenged, the demilich can repeat this attack until
all of its gems are filled. An amulet of life protection
will prevail over the gem, but the character's body will perish regardless.
In addition to the attacks mentioned above, a demilich can also pronounce a
on those who disturb it. These can be so mighty as to include: always being
hit by one's enemies, never making a saving throw, or the inability to acquire
new experience points. Demilich curses
can be overcome with a remove curse
, but the victim loses one point of charisma permanently when the curse is
The skull of a demilich is Armor Class -6 and has 50 hit points. It can be
affected by spells in only a few ways: a forget
spell will cause it to sink down without attacking (either by howling or
draining a soul), a dispel evil
will do 5-8 (1d4+4) points of damage to it, a shatter
spell will inflict 3-18 (3d6) points of damage to it, a holy word
pronounced against it will deliver 5-30 (5d6) points of damage, and a power word kill
spell cast by an ethereal or astral wizard will cause the skull to shatter
Most weapons will be unable to harm the skull of a demilich, but there are
exceptions. A fighter or ranger with a vorpal sword
, sword of sharpness
, sword +5
, or vorpal weapon can inflict normal damage on the skull, as can a paladin
with a vorpal or +4 weapon. Further, any character with a +4 or better weapon or
a mace of disruption
can inflict 1 point of damage to the skull each time he strikes it.
Upon the destruction of the skull, those who have been trapped inside the gems
must make a saving throw vs. spell. Those who fail are lost forever, having
been consumed by the demilich to power its magical nature. If the character
survives, the gem glows with a faint inner light, and true seeing
will reveal a tiny figure trapped within. If the throw is made the soul can
be freed by simply crushing the gem. A new body must be within 10 yards for the
soul to enter or it will be lost. Such a body might be a clone or simulacrum . (See spells of those names.)
If the fragments of the destroyed skull are not destroyed by immersion in holy
water and the casting of a dispel magic
the demilich will reform in 1-10 days.
From time to time, sages have heard rumors of liches having alignments other
than evil, and even lawful good liches apparently have existed. There have even
been reports of priests who, in extreme circumstances, have become liches.
These reports have recently been verified, but the archlich is as rare as Roc's