Do Vecna’s New Stats Mean D&D is Killing the Phylactery?

ThinkDM

On June 9, 2022, WotC released new stats for the undead lich Vecna via DnDBeyond, capitalizing on the zeitgeist around the villain of Stranger Things season 4. Notably absent from this stat block is something that has long defined liches in Dungeons & Dragons: the phylactery.

What’s a Phylactery?

In modern D&D terms, a phylactery is an object where a lich stores their soul. When a lich’s body is slain, it reconstitutes from their phylactery (presumably stored faraway in a safe space). Here’s a brief description from the 5th Edition Monster Manual:

While many D&D monsters are functionally immortal (rakshasa) or regenerate (aboleth), the unique thing about liches is the way they do it. Trapping their soul in a foreign object creates an interesting puzzle for the adventuring party to solve, else they face the same villain over and over again.

Why Remove Phylacteries?

For the unaware, the term “phylactery”…

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