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More specifically has there been any lore for a quasi-lich or proto-lich type of monster of lesser strength than a lich or Demi-lich in an officially sanctioned product or from a licensed third party publisher and if so where might I find it?

I'm also aware of a previous question on this subject and my question while more direct might still be considered too vague.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ what edition? ... \$\endgroup\$ Nov 3 '17 at 20:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ Huh, that's something I've seen twice in two days… I posted a meta: Has how we want to use our “pan-edition” D&D tag changed? /cc @thedarkwanderer \$\endgroup\$ Nov 3 '17 at 21:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm the OP for the lich question. I am currently running 5e but would rather be running either Moldvey BECMI or an OSR variant. Sadly I don't feel confident enough with 5e to just make a spell-casting creature out of whole cloth. Any information from any edition would be of benefit to me (and presumably anyone referencing this question). I added 'lore' to the body of the question. What should I do to get this question back on track? \$\endgroup\$
    – Marlond
    Nov 6 '17 at 22:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ Oddly, I recently found an answer to my own question. There is a weakened lich stat and description in one of the adventures detailed in the 5e volume Tales from the Yawning Portal. But I don't have my copy with me to write a proper answer and the question is still on hold so I can't. \$\endgroup\$
    – Marlond
    Nov 6 '17 at 22:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Marlond to get the question opened, we need clear criterea for what makes a good answer. It sounds like you want an answer to suggest one monster and support that. How would we tell if one suggestion is better than another? I think we can all agree that a review of every undead creature in the history of D&D is a bit overbroad; what makes something a 'quasi-lich' or 'proto-lich' for you? \$\endgroup\$ Nov 15 '17 at 0:42
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In the event that you are dealing with 5E, I would recommend looking at the Flameskull (MM p. 134).

Blazing green flames and mad, echoing laughter follow a disembodied skull as it patrols its demesne. When the undead flameskull discovers trespassers, it blasts the intruders with fiery rays from its eyes and dreadful spells called up from the dark recesses of its mem9ry. Dark spellcasters fashion flameskulls from the remains of dead wizards. When the ritual is complete, green flames erupt from the skull to complete its ghastly transformation

While it isn't a wizard that has achieved some form of lichdom or un-life, it's unlikely that a wizard potent enough to overcome death would be suited to battle a lower-level character. If you're hell-bent on having them encounter such a creature, I would recommend that you send them against a demilich or a lich that has somehow been weakened, wether it's by having its lair blessed by powerful clerics, or by having part of its phylactery partially destroyed.

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    \$\begingroup\$ " part of its phylactery partially destroyed." So it is mostly intact? \$\endgroup\$
    – Mindwin
    Nov 3 '17 at 18:41
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I can't find any official source for "quasi-lich." Several unofficial ones, but nothing official.

There HAS been a "demi-lich," first described I think in the old 1st edition AD&D module "Tomb of Horrors." It was not something you'd want a group of 4th level character to meet.

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