Lich Shade

Family: Lich

Medium undead, neutral evil

Armor Class 16 (natural armor)
Hit Points 85 (9d8 + 45)
Speed 30 ft.

11 (+0) 16 (+3) 20 (+5) 18 (+4) 16 (+3) 13 (+1)

Skills Arcana +7, History +7, Insight +6, Perception +6
Damage Resistances cold, lightning, poison; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from nonmagical weapons
Damage Immunities necrotic
Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, frightened, paralyzed, poisoned
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 16
Languages Common, Infernal, plus up to four other languages
Challenge 8 (3,900 XP)

Special Traits

  • Death Throes. When the lich shade drops to 0 hit points, it explodes in a cloud of dust in a 10-foot radius. Creatures within this area must make a DC 16 Constitution saving throw. On a failed saving throw, the creature takes 22 (4d10) necrotic damage, and the creature’s maximum hit points are reduced by the same amount. If a creature’s maximum hit points are reduced to 0, it dies. Magic such as greater restoration is necessary to cure this effect. On a successful saving throw, the creature takes half damage and is poisoned for 1 minute, but its maximum hit points are unaffected.
  • Magic Resistance. The lich shade has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
  • Magic Weapon. The lich shade’s weapon attacks are magical.


  • Multiattack. The lich shade makes two claw attacks.
  • Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 12 (2d8 + 3) slashing damage plus 11 (2d10) cold damage.


  • Spell Leech. When a creature the lich shade can see within 30 feet of it casts a spell of 1st level or higher, the lich shade can counter the spell, as if the lich shade had cast counterspell. If the lich shade attempts to leech a spell of 4th level or higher, it must make an Intelligence ability check. The DC for this check is 10 + the spell’s level. If the spell leech is successful, the lich shade absorbs the magical energy and can use it only on its next turn in one of the following ways:
    • Cast. The lich shade can cast the spell as an action on its turn, using the original caster’s spell save DC and spell attack modifier.
    • Eldritch Bolt. The lich shade chooses one creature it can see within 60 feet of it as an action. That creature must make a DC 16 Dexterity saving throw, taking 22 (4d10) force damage on a failed saving throw, or half as much damage on a successful one.
    • Heal. The lich shade uses an action to regain 22 (4d10) hit points, up to its maximum hit points. If the lich shade does not use the absorbed magic, it fades at the end of its next turn.


This creature appears as a rotting and skeletal humanoid dressed in tattered and worn robes with ancient runes etched on their surface. Its eyes blaze with a crimson fire.

The road a spellcaster travels in his or her quest for lichdom is not without danger. During the dark rituals invoked to achieve lichdom, the caster sometimes errs in his or her calculations or unleashes mystic forces best left untapped.

When such an event occurs, the spellcaster is usually destroyed outright. Other times, something is born as a result of this failed ritual – a lich shade.

Lich shades are evil creatures who attempted to achieve lichdom but failed for whatever reason. The creature is not destroyed, nor does it become a lich, it becomes something in between – something in between mortal life and eternal unlife.

Lich shades retain portions of their life’s memories and always retain full memory of the dark ritual they attempted while trying to become a lich. For this reason alone, they have grown to hate the living and particularly living spellcasters whom they blame (in some warp twisted way) for their current condition. A lich shade always attacks any opponents who have a spellcaster in their midst, often targeting that individual directly above all others.

A lich shade stands about 6 to 6½ feet tall and weighs about 160 pounds.

A lich shade attacks with its powerful claws, rending and tearing at its foes. If facing a spellcaster and it leeches one of its spells, it usually releases the first spell leeched as an eldritch bolt against its closest foe. Further leeched spells are used to heal the lich shade or cast back against its foes. If faced with certain defeat, a lich shade wills its own destruction, invoking its death throes ability, hoping to take several of its opponents with it.

A lich shade’s natural weapons are treated as magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Tome of Horrors © 2018, Frog God Games, LLC; Authors: Kevin Baase, Erica Balsley, John “Pexx” Barnhouse, Christopher Bishop, Casey Christofferson, Jim Collura, Andrea Costantini, Jayson ‘Rocky' Gardner, Zach Glazar, Meghan Greene, Scott Greene, Lance Hawvermale, Travis Hawvermale, Ian S. Johnston, Bill Kenower, Patrick Lawinger, Rhiannon Louve, Ian McGarty, Edwin Nagy, James Patterson, Nathan Paul, Patrick N. Pilgrim, Clark Peterson, Anthony Pryor, Greg Ragland, Robert Schwalb, G. Scott Swift, Greg A. Vaughan, and Bill Webb

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