Talk:Lich (Dungeons & Dragons)

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Changed "he can slay mortals with a mere touch" to "he can put mortals in a paralyzed state of hibernation with a touch, making them seem dead to others", as described of Myomoto 19:52, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

Early Lichdom[edit]

The way it's currently worded, the article gives the impression that liches are immediately transformed into skeletal beings. While most depictions of liches show them as such, it is also mentioned (in the Monster Manual, I believe) that their bodies simply become undead, expanded abilities aside. As they exist ("live" is obviously not quite the right word) for years and years in a state of undeath, their bodies naturally decay into the common walking-corpse appearance. The parts about the poison are also, to my knowledge, not commonly listed in the books.

For that matter, the first two paragraphs of the Ecology paragraph are a bit iffy and could use some references. Between the Monster Manual, Libris Mortis, and other publications, there should be no shortage of sources for information. I'm fascinated by the Undead, but unfortunately, the books are expensive, and I don't have as many as I'd like. If someone could look this up it'd be great; otherwise, I'll try to do some research over the weekend or early next week. Xiphe 23:00, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Image copyright problem with Image:DieVecnaDieCover.jpg[edit]

The image Image:DieVecnaDieCover.jpg is used in this article under a claim of fair use, but it does not have an adequate explanation for why it meets the requirements for such images when used here. In particular, for each page the image is used on, it must have an explanation linking to that page which explains why it needs to be used on that page. Please check

  • That there is a non-free use rationale on the image's description page for the use in this article.
  • That this article is linked to from the image description page.

This is an automated notice by FairuseBot. For assistance on the image use policy, see Wikipedia:Media copyright questions. --00:36, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

Cannot be forced[edit]

In the section on good lich, it says that lichdom cannot be forced on an individual, but page 90 of Monsters of Faerun says "...a very few liches sought undeath (or had it forced upon them)...". Very first paragraph of the good lich section. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:19, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

Liches list[edit]

What no Wulgreth?, no Skall? I'm sure we can do better folks. :) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:21, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

add them! (talk) 19:28, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

Redeye from N5 Under Illefarn is a 7th level Lizardman Shaman. I have the product and just checked. This is a 1st edition adventure. Was there a later change? Lizardman Shaman to Lich is a big jump. — Preceding unsigned comment added by GurfatehPal (talkcontribs) 12:14, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

There may have been, but without a citation it's not possible to be certain. (talk) 16:11, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

Lich image[edit]

As I said on my talk page, the image violates NFCC. As it's a non free image showing a generic picture of an undead creature, something that can be adequately described with text, and no valid reason has been given for why it is required, it should not be in the article. It fails NFCC #1, and #8. The lack of a generic undead image is not detrimental to the article, and adding it gives no additional insight or clarity. - SudoGhost 22:36, 10 November 2011 (UTC)

I decline to discuss this issue here. This is not an issue that affects this article only; its a concern that potentially affects numerous articles, and should be discussed somewhere else, at WikiProject Dungeons & Dragons, for instance. But let me note again that starting an edit war at one article over potential copyright issues that might affect a large number of other articles is an utterly inappropriate way of addressing the issue. Polisher of Cobwebs (talk) 23:10, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
This concern is about a single image on this single article. No other images are involved, no other articles are involved, and never were. If you will not demonstrate that it belongs on the article, it will be removed, as it violates Wikipedia policy. - SudoGhost 23:13, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
Preposterous. Other images at other articles suffer from exactly the same problem - or are you concerned about copyright issues only here, and see no problem with copyright being potentially violated elsewhere? I've nothing more to say. Polisher of Cobwebs (talk) 23:19, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
If you feel other images suffer the other problems, you're more than willing to address them elsewhere, they aren't being discussed here and are not relevant in any way. Please demonstrate why this meets NFCC, or the image will be removed, per Wikipedia policy. Thank you. - SudoGhost 23:21, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
This isn't an appropriate form of dispute resolution. No response. Polisher of Cobwebs (talk) 23:32, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
A talk page discussion is required before dispute resolution is needed. Please explain why the image meets NFCC, that's all I'm asking, is an explanation. Without that, the image does not belong. - SudoGhost 23:40, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
On your talk page, you actually had the nerve to imply that possible copyright violations at a large number of articles are "not important" (see here). If that's the case, then there's nothing to discuss, since it seems you don't take copyright very seriously. Polisher of Cobwebs (talk) 23:45, 10 November 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── As I said, you're more than welcome to address that. However, that something else exists is not a reason to ignore the fact that this image does not meet the requirements of NFCC. Per the lack of explanation, the image does not belong, per WP:NFCC. Thank you for your input. - SudoGhost 23:49, 10 November 2011 (UTC)

To address what? What does the first sentence of your post refer to? To the fact that, by your own apparent admission, you don't think copyright matters anywhere else except here and that other copyright violations are therefore OK? Oh, and you can stop "thanking me for my input" every time I say something; it comes across as creepy. Polisher of Cobwebs (talk) 23:57, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
This is an incorrect assessment, and your refusal to answer why this image meets NFCC shows quite clearly that it does not. "What about other copyright?" is not an answer and not in the scope of this talk page, but you're more than welcome to address that elsewhere. In the meantime, please give an explanation of why this image meets NFCC in regards to this article. - SudoGhost 00:01, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
Incorrect assessment of what? What are you talking about? Polisher of Cobwebs (talk) 00:03, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
My position in regards to "admissions" I never made. Please give an explanation of why this image meets NFCC in regards to this article. - SudoGhost 00:05, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
You actually stated here that the other D&D images were "not important." You didn't say "not important in regards to this dispute at this article." You just said "not important". If that doesn't imply that you think that it's fine that they are possible copyright vios, what does it imply? Polisher of Cobwebs (talk) 00:07, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
Polisher of Cobwebs, with respect, SudoGhost is right about the existence of other images in other articles being irrelevant here. Take a read of this. If this image does not meet the NFCC, it should be removed. No ifs, no buts. If you think that there are problem images elsewhere, then you are welcome to deal with them, but potentially problematic images elsewhere does not excuse the use of this image, if the use of this image is not legit. The only thing worth discussing here is whether that particular image meets the NFCC in this particular article. J Milburn (talk) 00:11, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
SudoGhost has effectively asserted that there is no larger problem, and with respect, J Milburn, he's dead wrong about that. Polisher of Cobwebs (talk) 00:16, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
I have "effectively asserted" nothing of the sort. What I have asserted is that it is irrelevant to this situation. If you want to address any other issues, they can easily be discussed elsewhere. That has no bearing on this image. - 00:20, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
Yes you did, since that's the implication of claiming that other pictures are "not important." If they're really "not important" in themselves, there's no reason why you should consider this one important. Polisher of Cobwebs (talk) 00:23, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
Just to make it clear so that there can be no confusion, any "larger problem" that exists is not being condoned by myself, and any assertion otherwise is a misunderstanding of what I meant. For the moment, I'm interested in establishing whether or not this particular image meets NFCC. Anything else that exists can be discussed at the appropriate venue, but NFCC compliant images cannot be determined en masse, but are taken on an image-by-image basis. Please stop asserting that other images exist, and that by discussing this image, I'm "allowing" the others. This is a misunderstanding of my position, and I'm stating as clear as I can that this is not my position, so there's no need to continue to assert this. - SudoGhost 00:30, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
Well, thank you for "clarifying" your view. Please express yourself more carefully in future. It remains true that the appropriate thing for you to have done would have been to raise the larger issue at WikiProject D&D, not by edit warring here over one picture. Polisher of Cobwebs (talk) 00:36, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
Then please keep this in mind the next time you edit war over one picture. - SudoGhost 01:00, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

If it helps, this is actually not a "generic picture of an undead creature", but rather it is specifically the picture of the lich by Dave Trampier from the original 1977 Monster Manual. It is the first depiction of a lich as far as I am aware, so players would have associated this image specifically with the lich from the early days of the game. That it resembles other undead creatures is part of the nature of the lich's appaearance, but it is still distinct from a common skeleton or other creature in its dress and menacing posture. (talk) 00:13, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

The purpose of an image that meets NFCC is to aid in identifying or articulating the article's subject. An image that may be recognized by people already familiar with the image does not fulfill this criteria. For someone viewing the article that does not know what they are already looking at, this gives no additional information, and removing the image does not hinder that understanding in any way that cannot be expressed through prose. That it resembles other undead is exactly the reason the image is not necessary. - SudoGhost 00:20, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
What conceivable difference does it make that some people might recognize the image? Either it's appropriate and encyclopedic to show what the creature looked like in the original game material or it's not. And where's the sense in saying, "That it resembles other undead is exactly the reason the image is not necessary" - obviously it differs from other undead, and one can just as easily say that that's why the image is necessary. Polisher of Cobwebs (talk) 00:27, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
"obviously it differs from other undead" is exactly my point, it doesn't, and if it does it certainly isn't obvious. The only thing I see that makes it in any way different than a skeletal undead is a crown. Liches are not defined by crowns, and a Dungeons and Dragons lich description does not include a crown. There's no obvious difference here. - SudoGhost 01:33, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
As someone that does try to minimize NFCC, you're taking a very strong stance on NFCC#8 that is generally not considered. Generally, we are lenient on identifying images of notable topics, as would be the case for the Lich article; this is because there is the assumption based on NFCC#8 that those unfamiliar with the topic will need to see what the topic is to understand and provide a visual connection to the topic. If you disagree with that and the strong consensus that seems to be here, please don't edit war but take it to WP:FFD to get a wider community consensus. Note: This would be far different if it were an element not introduced by D&D, say Skeleton (Dungeons & Dragons) or Goblin (Dungeons & Dragon) in which the D&D game has borrowed the classical appearance of said creatures. Lich (as I read it and on Lich) on the other hand was a creature which, though borrowing from past novels, gained its appearance through D&D, so again, it's use is appropriate here (with other variants of Lich in other game systems/games/genres borrowing from the D&D appearance).
Now, that said, a question to the D&D community editors here is if there any particularly way of getting a free image of a Lich based on the D&D franchise? We can't use photos of official miniatures (2D works of copyrighted 3D art) but if anyone's created a lich figuring from scratch, that may be possible. But that's a strong may, fan derivatives may be considered non-free as well. --MASEM (t) 00:38, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
The point about whether someone would recognize it is exactly my point, the fact that people would recognize it does not make it appropriate. This is not a notable or distinguishable image for an editor not very familiar with the subject.
Masem, what is different between that image and any other undead creature that makes it necessary for this article? A crown? This is a stylistic choice, not a defining feature of a lich. As for a "strong conesnsus", not even a weak consensus exists in any form or fashion either for or against the image. - SudoGhost 00:46, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
NFCC #8 says "Non-free content is used only if its presence would significantly increase readers' understanding of the topic." It might be argued that the image could increase a reader's understanding, but not significantly so, and not in any way that cannot be done through prose. The image is of a skeletal figure in robes with glowing eyes and a crown. With that one sentence, I just described it completely, and that it can be explained so easily is why it fails NFCC. The removal of the image is not detrimental to the article, and the addition of it is not so important that the article is significantly hindered by it. - SudoGhost 00:54, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
No, you can't describe it completely in one sentence. You could go into as much detail as you liked, far more detail than that, and probably write several sentences about it. So the image does make a difference - I feel it conveys something about the shocking, decayed appearance of a lich that the sentence you propose wouldn't convey. Polisher of Cobwebs (talk) 01:03, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
If the attitude of NFCC across was different, I would easily agree with you, just as numerous album, book, and movie cover posters that are simply shots of real people or things that can be easily described in text would be render moot. But this is not how NFCC is currently seen. There is acceptance that as long as there is no free replacement for an image, the use of a non-free image for identification in an infobox of a notable topic is appropriate. I've argued against this point, and consensus is clearly in support of non-free identification images. So NFCC#8 is "met" from this standpoint (I will respect the consensus here).
So we have to turn to the "is there an equivalent free replacement, including text" that we could use here. Arguably -- I don't know. We're talking an animated undead creature, something that simply doesn't exist in the real world, so we already have a strike against getting a free photographic image of one. So the next question is if we can create one artistically, and that's what I question above, but the more I think about it, any image of a Lich created based on the D&D description is going to be a derivative work, regardless of how vague that description starts. So I think the answer is , "can we get a free image replacement" for NFCC#1, the answer is very likely no.
That leaves a good point you've made, it's just a skeleton with a crown. Sorta a big whoop and something that can be likely understood by a text phrase. That said, I ask the other D&D editors, is there a better non-free image of a D&D lich that provides more descriptive clarity than this one? If we're going to allow for the non-free for identification due to lack of a free replacement, then you might as you the best possible non-free you can get your hands on that accurately shows what the D&D manuals indicate what the Lich looks like. Getting a better quality free image may help this surpass the concerns that SudoGhost has laid out. --MASEM (t) 01:02, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
With respect, this seems like apples and oranges. Book, movie, and album covers are consistent. If I'm going to look for an image of an album poster, I'm generally going to get the same album cover no matter where I look. This album cover is "iconic" of the album, and cannot easily be expressed through prose. The album cover is "the" official album cover, and cannot possibly be replaced by a free alternative. This is not the case. This is not "the lich" image, it is "a lich", and is one that can be easily described. As such, it can easily be replaced. NFCC #1 does not require a replacement be found for an image to not meet NFCC. "Non-free content is used only where no free equivalent is available, or could be created." A skeletal undead could be drawn that would be a free equivalent, making this image fail NFCC as per #1 and #8. - SudoGhost 01:10, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
Thank you, Masem. I'm sure an image exists which would better depict just what a D&D lich should be, but I'd have to be able to find the time to look through some of my books. BOZ (talk) 01:14, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
I'm not in love with the image, but there is this, which is the image used on the primary lich article. So a free alternative does exist, although it could be argued that this is not a "Dungeons and Dragons" lich, it provides all the information the current image does, without needing to use an image under copyright. - SudoGhost 01:17, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
And this. - SudoGhost 01:19, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
I do not know for sure, but there is a potential of an issue with derivative works if, say, you drew an image of a lich based on the text description of it from the D&D monster manual. WOTC would own that copyright of the description, but I do not know if the translation of text description to a completely new image is sufficient to not be derivative or not. If it is not the case - the new image is free of derivative art from the D&D sources, then yay, we have a free replacement. If it is not, then we have to use a non-free image. My gut tells me we'd likely err to the latter, but I'm not 100% sure. --MASEM (t) 01:41, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
I think if that was true, then this would be considered a derivative work, and not be acceptable in any articles. However, I'm by no means an expert on derivative works, so please take that with a grain of salt, it just being an observation. - SudoGhost 01:45, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
Looking through policy/guidelines and MCQ log I can't say there is any indication that Masem's claim is correct (that using the description of a skeleton with a crow is enough to justify a definitive work if the person does not base it on any image. On the other hand, I can't find anything that says it wouldn't be. There just hasn't been a question that has arisen like this from what I seen. Most of the derivative works would be based on an image->image basis, not a vague text description->image. The others were of a similar type of same media->same media question.Jinnai 04:44, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
The issue arises in that the D&D manuals have not only provided a text description but a visual image. Any user-created image based on the text description is "tainted" by that picture in the manuals, even if the user never ever saw that picture. But again, at the same time, we're talking highly generic figures. I don't think its straightforward but there's a couple options available to either improve the NFCC image or to replace it with something free. --MASEM (t) 07:03, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

Note: I've asked the question about a derivative work from text over at WP:MCQ. --MASEM (t) 14:02, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

Symbol question.svg Question: - Is there any particular reason the infobox has an image, and then a link to the Wizard's website image of a Lich? Most of the D&D monster articles I've looked at either have one or the other, but not both, and neither Template:Infobox D&D creature or Wikipedia:WikiProject Dungeons & Dragons/style really say anything regarding this. I'm certainly not going to touch either one without a definitive consensus, but should the image link be removed if an image is present? - SudoGhost 09:03, 13 November 2011 (UTC)


As I understand it, it's only the first part of the requirements of NFCC - the no-free equivalent part - that is being questioned here. Is that an accurate reading of the situation? Polisher of Cobwebs (talk) 00:38, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

Technically, it's NFCC #8 and NFCC #1. --MASEM (t) 00:53, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

Unprotect article, please[edit]

BOZ, you can unprotect the article if you like. You have my assurance I won't revert if SudoGhost removes the image again. I'm giving up not only on this article but on all D&D articles, as this kind of dispute is more than I can take. I apologize for my edit warring here. Polisher of Cobwebs (talk) 05:33, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

I had assumed the content unquestioningly failed to meet NFCC, but I see that this is not the case. That should have been established first, and until the above is resolved, I have no intention of editing the page (in regards to the image) further without a consensus. - SudoGhost 11:57, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
I am sorry to hear that, Polisher of Cobwebs. :( I'm afraid that similarly vigorous debates have driven away many other regular D&D-article editors in the past, and hate to see it happen again. I hope you will reconsider at some point in the future. BOZ (talk) 15:04, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

Phylactery redirect[edit]

Why dies phylactery redirect here? There are several magic items of type "phylactery", is it only because there is no other article on the subject?Sheriffjt (talk) 20:52, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

Phylactery is a disambiguation page, not a redirect. Phylactery (Dungeons & Dragons) redirects here because that relates specifically to liches in D&D; would you care to elaborate on what other magic item types relate to phylacteries in D&D? 2601:D:9400:3CD:C1BF:FC9D:15E7:A222 (talk) 04:33, 2 February 2014 (UTC)
The Phylactery of Bravery, Phylactery of Faithfulness, Haroistem's Phylactery of Faithfulness, Phylactery of Long Years, Phylactery of Monstrous Attention, and the Phylactery of of Righteousness. There may be more than that, it seems as though some other reference should be made, or at least make it more clear why it goes straight to Lich.Sheriffjt (talk) 02:47, 14 February 2014 (UTC)
I doubt any of those have the same recognition as the Lich's phylactery, that's why it redirects here. Do you have any third-party sources that note any of these as being particularly notable? - Aoidh (talk) 02:54, 14 February 2014 (UTC)