We have hit the half-way point for the 30 Day D&D Challenge!
15. What is your Favorite Undead?
The undead make some of the best monsters. They touch on primal fears about death and the afterlife and remind us of our own mortality. There’s a wide variety of undead, perfect for finding just the right horror to touch on your particular fear. From skeletons to vampires, ghosts to wraiths, the undead are vomited up from the darkest parts of our psyches. Perhaps the most horrific aspect of the undead is that they were once as we are now, that perhaps the only escape from mouldering in our graves is the cursed existence they represent.
There are a lot of great undead. For low level nightmarish legions I have always preferred skeletons over zombies, no doubt due to the influence of Ray Harryhausen. For sheer grotesque horror I have a great affection for the Penanggalan taken from southeast Asian folklore and first detailed in the Fiend Folio. But ultimately there is one undead that reigns supreme, standing skull and shoulders over the rest.
The lich! The most powerful of magic users who seek to gain immortality through blasphemous rites that transform them into sorcerers nightmares. The lich is one of the apex predators of Dungeons & Dragons, able to wreak havoc on entire kingdoms. Often they are the architects of the dungeons our delvers venture into, filling them with traps and monsters that defy rational sense. With dark reality-shaping powers at their commands the adventurers can never know what to expect and the players know that everything they encounter is just a warm up for the undead master itself, lurking somewhere below.
The lich represents power and evil in a way few other creatures can match. You can base entire campaigns on battles with these master-villains.