Dread lich

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Version 0.31: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.

For a list of all liches, see list of liches.

dread lich LDread lich.png
HP 71-144
HD 27
XP 5119
Speed 10
AC 20
EV 10
Will Immune
Attack1 20 (touch: drain experience)

Resistances rF+
Vulnerabilities Holy
Habitat Land
Intelligence Human
Uses Weapons & armour
Starting equipment
Open doors
Holiness Undead
Size Medium
Type lich, lich
Flags Evil
See invisible
A lich who has made terrible pacts with demonic forces to augment its dark magic

Useful info

Dread liches are powerful undead summoners with a wide array of resistances. They appear in the Realm of Zot, the Hells, the last floor of the Vaults and rarely in the Crypt and the Tomb.


Spell set I
Slot1 Summon Greater Demon Wizard flag
Slot2 Paralyse Wizard flag
Slot3 Haste Wizard flag
Slot4 Invisibility Wizard flag


While not as immediately threatening as an ancient lich, dread liches are scary in their own way:

  • They can summon multiple greater demons, which can quickly spiral out of control. Fiends can freely torment you, since their summoner is immune.
  • They also can inflict paralysis, which is a very dangerous effect. Being next to a fiend for 2-5 turns can outright kill you.
It takes 172 willpower in order for Paralyse to reach 0% success. A human needs 3 external stacks of Will+ (that's Will+++++ at XL27, Will++++ below that) to fully resist paralysis.

Dread liches resist most elements and have infinite will themselves. Blaster casters should use pure Conjurations or Earth Magic, Necromancy specialists can use Dispel Undead, and hexers can try disabling it with Enfeeble. Melee fighters should lure them around corners, or use scrolls of fog, to limit the amount of summons. Holy wrath and antimagic work well as brands.

Tips & Tricks

  • Dread liches can be silenced, preventing them from casting any spells. However, silence does nothing to any existing demons. If you need to silence, do so early in the fight.
  • As always, remember that killing a summoner destroys all its summons. If you are confident you can finish off a dread lich before its summoned fiends can tear you to pieces, go for it. If you aren't confident of that, consider what safe escape routes you have available.
  • Like most enemies in Crawl, liches are vulnerable to throwing nets. Throwing a net at the edge of LOS guarantees that you can run away. Nets also allow for stab attempts.
  • Absurdly dangerous in Tartarus, a realm which halves willpower. Even at max will, it has a 27% chance to paralyse you.
  • Also, watch out for cacodemons. Their Bolt of Devastation halves your willpower, making you vulnerable to paralysis from the lich.


  • Dread liches were added in 0.27 as a summoning-focused version of the ancient lich.