I’ve mentioned before that my favorite undead was the bodak. Read my various posts about Thelisn to see why. So I’m going to take this time to talk about my least favorite undead, the lich. Like dragons, liches are an overused trope in Dungeons & Dragons. They seem to be the go-to creature type any time someone needs a major bad guy for a module or story. It’s gotten to be tired.
From Acererak to Kiaransalee to Vecna to Zhengyi and all of the others in between, there is just an endless array of liches throughout the D&D universe of products. They never seem to stop. Even the latest product, Tomb of Annihilation, is about Acererak. It’s yet another foray against a lich bad guy.
I think the only bad guys more over used would be the “evil wizard” trope. Why do wizards get such a bad wrap? They’re just trying to expand their understanding of the forces of the universe. And isn’t expanded knowledge a good thing? So next time you come across an evil wizard, thank them for their efforts.
All this does have one benefit, however. It makes DMs and players really appreciate when someone comes up with a creative bad guy to be the big boss at the end of a module. I guess that’s not a bad thing.