Devil (Dungeons & Dragons)

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Devil
Characteristics
Alignment Lawful Evil
Type Outsider (Fiend)
Image Wizards.com image
Stats Open Game License stats
Publication history
Mythological origins Devil

In the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game, devils are a powerful group of monsters used as a high-level challenge for players of the game. Devils are Lawful Evil in alignment and originate from the Nine Hells of Baator. True to their Lawful Evil alignment, devils are locked in a strict and brutal hierarchy (changing form as they worked their way up the ladder of power). At the top of the hierarchy are the supreme Archdevils or Lords of the Nine, who are the rulers of the different regions of Baator. Devils often see the various worlds in the D&D metacosmos as tools to use for their own ends, including prosecuting the Blood War, a millennia-long war between the devils and their arch-enemies, demons.

Publication history[edit]

Devils first appeared in the original first edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual.[1]

Many of the early devils were inspired directly by real-world religion and mythology, with Mephistopheles best known from the Faust cycle, Asmodeus, a devil from the Deuterocanonical Book of Tobit and Baalzebul appearing as high devils in the D&D cosmology.[citation needed] Other inspirations came from the Erinyes, Greek demigoddesses of vengeance, and the Lemures, Roman spirits of the dead.[citation needed]

The release of the 2nd Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons rule set brought a name change for the devils and their counterparts demons. Concerned about protests from religious groups and others who viewed the game as an entryway into Satanic worship, TSR, Inc. dropped the words "devil" and "demon" from all descriptors of the monsters,[2] substituting instead baatezu /bˈɑːtɛz/ and tanar'ri .[citation needed] This persisted until the rollout of 3rd Edition, when the original terms were reinstated. Since the change, the term "baatezu" has been retained as a specific subset of powerful devils.

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition (1977–1988)[edit]

Devils first appear in the first edition Monster Manual (1977), which includes the barbed devil (lesser devil), the bone devil (lesser devil), the eryines (lesser devil), the horned devil (malebranche) (greater devil), the ice devil (greater devil), the lemure, the pit fiend (greater devil), and the arch-devils Asmodeus, Baalzebul, Dispater, and Geryon. The imp, a frequent servant of devils, also first appeared in the original Monster Manual.[3] The Monster Manual was reviewed by Don Turnbull in the British magazine White Dwarf #8 (August/September 1978). As part of his review, Turnbull comments on several new monsters introduced in the book, considering the devils the most prominent among them. Turnbull notes that "they are all pretty strong and compare not unfavourably in this respect with the Demons we already know".[4]

Astaroth, Belial, and Satan appeared in the article "The Politics of Hell," in Dragon # 28 (August 1979);[5] note that this article does not appear to be connected to the established canon of the Nine Hells.[citation needed] Selm, Prince of the Possessors, and the asperim appeared in Dragon #42 (October 1980).

The Styx devil (greater devil) first appears in the Fiend Folio (1981)[6]

A series of articles appearing in Dragon in 1983 greatly expanded upon the devils and their home, the Nine Hells, and presented numerous new devils and arch-devils. The article "From the Sorcerer's Scroll: New Denizens of Devildom" by Gary Gygax in Dragon #75 (July 1983) introduced the black abishai, blue abishai, green abishai, red abishai, and white abishai (lesser devil), the bearded devil (lesser devil), the spined devil (least devil), the princess of Hell Glasya, the dukes of Hell Amon, Bael, Bitru, Hutijin, and Titivilus, and the arch devils Belial, Mammon, Mephistopheles, and Moloch.[7] Dozens of unique devils appeared in a two-part article by Ed Greenwood, including the greater devils Bist, Caim, and Nergal, the dukes of Hell Agares, Alocer, Amduscias, Arioch, Balan, Bathym, Biffant, Caarcrinolaas, Chamo, Focalor, Gaziel, Gorson, Herodias, Machalas, Malphas, Melchon, and Merodach, and the princesses of Hell Cozbi, Lilis, and Naome in "The Nine Hells Part I" in Dragon #75,[8] and the dukes of Hell Abigor, Adonides, Barbas, Barbatos, Bele, Bifrons, Bileth, Buer, Bune, Morax, Neabaz, Rimmon, Tartach, Zagum, and Zepar, the princesses of Hell Baalphegor, Baftis, and Lilith, the chancellor of Hell Adramalech, the queen of Hell Bensozia, and the inquisitor of Hell Phongor in "The Nine Hells Part II" in Dragon #76 (August 1983).[9]

The black abishai, blue abishai, green abishai, red abishai, and white abishai (lesser devil), the bearded devil (lesser devil), the nupperibo (least devil), the spined devil (least devil), appeared in the first edition Monster Manual II (1983), along with the princess of Hell Glasya, the dukes of Hell Amon, Bael, Hutijin, and Titivilus, and the arch devils Belial, Mammon, Mephistopheles, and Moloch.[10] Ed Greenwood's follow-up article, "The Nine Hells Revisited" in Dragon #91 (November 1984) introduced the greater devils Armaros, Azazel, Cahor, Dagon, Duskur, Kochbiel, Malarea, Nisroch, Rumjal, and the arch-devil Gargoth.[11]

Baalphegor appeared as the ultimate villain of "Caermor" in Dungeon #2 (November 1986)[12] (which was later reprinted in the Dungeons of Despair anthology (1999).[13]).

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition (1989–1999)[edit]

The black abishai, green abishai, and red abishai lesser baatezu, the amnizu greater baatezu, the barbazu lesser baatezu, the cornugon greater baatezu, the erinyes lesser baatezu, the gelugon greater baatezu, the hamatula lesser baatezu, the lemure, the nupperibo least baatezu, the osyluth lesser baatezu, the pit fiend greater baatezu, and the spinagon least baatezu appear in the Monstrous Compendium Volume Outer Planes Appendix (1991).[14] The black abishai, green abishai, and red abishai lesser baatezu, and the pit fiend greater baatezu next appear in the Monstrous Manual (1993).[15]

The Planescape campaign setting utilized devils, known exclusively as baatezu under 2nd edition rules, extensively. The black abishai, green abishai, and red abishai lesser baatezu, the amnizu greater baatezu, the barbazu lesser baatezu, the cornugon greater baatezu, the erinyes lesser baatezu, the gelugon greater baatezu, the hamatula lesser baatezu, the lemure, the nupperibo least baatezu, the osyluth lesser baatezu, the pit fiend greater baatezu, and the spinagon least baatezu are detailed in the first Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix (1994).[16] The kocrachon lesser baatezu and the kyton appear in the Planes of Law boxed set (1995).[17] Monstrous Compendium Annual Three (1996) featured the kyton again.

Guide to Hell (1999) described the transition of the devils and archdevils throughout the millennia, and reconciled the differences between the first edition and second edition archdevils by explaining the Reckoning of Hell. The book also described the mezzikim.[18] Moloch appeared in and played a key role in the adventure The Apocalypse Stone (2000).[19]

Dungeons & Dragons 3.0 edition (2000–2002)[edit]

Devils appear in the Monster Manual for this edition (2000),[20] including the barbazu (baatezu), the cornugon (baatezu), the erinyes (baatezu), the gelugon (baatezu), the hamatula (baatezu), the hellcat, the imp, the kyton, the lemure (baatezu), the osyluth (baatezu), and the pit fiend (baatezu).

The black abishai, blue abishai, green abishai, red abishai, and white abishai for the Forgotten Realms setting appear in Monsters of Faerûn (2000).[21]

The spinagon (baatezu) and the narzugon (baatezu) appear in this edition's Manual of the Planes (2001).[22] The kocrachon (baatezu) and the ghargatula (baatezu), as well as the archdevils Bel, Lord of the First; Dispater, Lord of the Second; Mammon, Lord of the Third; Belial/Fierna, Lord of the Fourth; Levistus, Lord of the Fifth; The Hag Countess, Lord of the Sixth (not technically a devil, but a powerful night hag); Baalzebul, Lord of the Seventh; Mephistopheles, Lord of the Eighth; and Asmodeus, Lord of the Ninth appear in the Book of Vile Darkness (2002).[23] The advespa (baatezu), the amnizu (baatezu), and the malebranche (baatezu) appear in this edition's Monster Manual II (2002).[24] The paeliryon (baatezu) and xerfilstyx (baatezu), as well as the bloodbag imp, the euphoric imp, and the filth imp appear in this edition's Fiend Folio (2003).[25]

Savage Species (2003) presented the hamatula (devil), the imp (devil), and the kyton (devil) both as races and as playable classes.[26]

The hellforged devils, including the coal devil, the glass devil, the lead devil, the obsidian devil, the sand devil, and the spiked devil appear in Dragon #306 (April 2003).[27]

The stony devil appears in Underdark (2003).[28]

Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 edition (2003–2007)[edit]

Devils appear in the revised Monster Manual for this edition (2003), including the barbed devil (hamatula), the bearded devil (barbazu), the bone devil (osyluth), the chain devil (kyton), the erinyes, the hellcat (bezekira), the horned devil (cornugon), the ice devil (gelugon), the imp, the lemure, and the pit fiend.

The chain devil is presented as a player character race in the Planar Handbook (2004).[29]

The desert devil (araton) appears in Sandstorm: Mastering the Perils of Fire and Sand (2005).[30]

The unique devil Malkizid, the Branded King appears in Champions of Ruin (2005) for the Forgotten Realms setting.[31]

The logokron devil appeared in the Tome of Magic: Pact, Shadow, and Truename Magic (2006).[32]

Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells (2006) includes new content for devils and inhabitants of Baator, including the black abishai, blue abishai, green abishai, red abishai, and white abishai, the amnizu, the assassin devil (dogai), the ayperobos swarm, the harvester devil (falxugon), the hellfire engine, the kalabon, the legion devil (merregon), the malebranche, the narzugon, the nupperibo, the orthon, the paeliryon, the pain devil (excruciarch), the pleasure devil (brachina), the spined devil (spinagon), the steel devil (bueroza), and the xerfilstyx. The book also contains statistics the aspects of the Lords of the Nine, including Bel, Lord of the First; Dispater, Lord of the Second; Mammon, Lord of the Third; Belial and Fierna, Lords of the Fourth; Levistus, Lord of the Fifth; Glasya, Lord of the Sixth; Baalzebul, Lord of the Seventh; Mephistopheles, Lord of the Eighth; and Asmodeus, Lord of the Ninth .[33]

The death devil (jerul) appears in Dragon #353 (March 2007). The gulthir devil, the remmanon devil, and the stitched devil appeared in Monster Manual V (2007).

The unique devils Moloch the Outcast, Titivilus, Bael, Balan, and Bathym all reappeared in the online version of Dragon, in issue #360 (October 2007) in the "Infernal Aristocracy" feature.[34] The unique devils Agares, Tartach, Lilith, Hutijin, and Adramalech reappeared in Dragon #361 (December 2007) in the second part of the "Infernal Aristocracy" feature.[35]

Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition (2008–)[edit]

Devils appear in the Monster Manual for this edition (2008),[36] including the bearded devil (barbazu), the bone devil (osyluth), the chain devil (kyton), the ice devil (gelugon), the imp, legion devils (legion devil grunt, legion devil hellguard, legion devil veteran, and legion devil legionnaire), the pit fiend, the spined devil (spinagon), the succubus, and the war devil (malebranche). All devils now have the "Evil" alignment and speak Supernal. There were no changes to the line-up of the Lords of the Nine from Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells.

Asmodeus appears as one of the gods of evil in the 4th edition Dungeon Masters Guide (2008).[37]

The assassin devil (dogai), erinyes, gorechain devil, infernal armor animus, misfortune devil, shocktroop devil, and withering devil appeared in the fourth edition Monster Manual 2 (2009). More devils are detailed in the Manual of the Planes (2008): barbed devil (hamatula), brazen devil, pain devil (excruciarch), storm devil and Dispater, the Lord of Dis; The Plane Above: Secrets of the Astral Sea (2010): burning devil, indwelling devil, pillager devil and warder devil; and Monster Manual 3 (2010): corruption devil (paeliryon), hell knight (narzugon), hellwasp, passion devil, rage devil, slime devil, swarm devil and vizier devil; while Monster Vault (2010) revisited several devils originally printed in the Monster Manual - all of them except for the bearded devil, spined devil and war devil - and Monster Vault: Threats to the Nentir Vale (2011) only contained the tar devil. Various high-ranking devils, including Alloces and Geryon, have had published statistics in the Codex of Betrayal feature in Dungeon magazine; the only Lords of the Nine with published statistics as of July 2012 are Dispater and Glasya.

History[edit]

The Reckoning of Hell (often referred to as the Reckoning) was a civil war that shaped the political landscape of the Nine Hells into its current form. The Reckoning received its fullest treatment in the D&D sourcebook A Guide to Hell.

Types of devils[edit]

Archdevils[edit]

Zariel once ruled Avernus, the first layer of the Nine Hells of Baator, until she was deposed by her chief warlord, a pit fiend called Bel, thousands of years in the past. She was first mentioned in the second edition book Guide to Hell (1999).[38] Zariel was also mentioned in third edition in the Manual of the Planes (2001),[39]:117 and Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells (2006).[40]

Baatezu[edit]

Baatezu (bay-AT-eh-zoo) are the ruling race of Baator's nine hells. They are lawful and evil.
Abishai
[41][42] There are five kinds, easily distinguishable by color (black, blue, green, red, and white).
Advespa
[43] Female, wasp-like devils that patrol infernal skies.
Amnizu
[41][43] Short, stocky winged guardians of the gates of the Nine Hells.
Ayperobos
[41] Small, hateful devils that work together as a swarm to bring down larger foes.
Barbazu ("Bearded Devil")
[44] Ferocious warrior that frenzies with a saw-toothed glaive.
Barbazu, Half-Troll
[45]
Brachina ("Pleasure Devil")
[41] Devilish counterpart of the demonic succubus, and an advanced Erinyes.
Bueroza ("Steel Devil")
[41]
Cornugon ("Horned Devil")
[44] Gargoyle-like fiend armed with a spiked chain.
Dogai ("Assassin Devil")
[41]
Erinyes
[44] A fallen angel that delivers death from her fiery bow. The devilish counterpart to the demonic succubus.
Excruciarch ("Pain Devil")
[41]
Falxugon ("Harvester Devil")
[41]
Gelugon ("Ice Devil")
[44] Insectile horror promising a cold death.
Ghargatula
[46] Dinosaurlike guardians with massive maw and a wicked stinger.
Hamatula ("Barbed Devil")
[44] Elite infernal warrior with impaling spikes.
Kocrachon
[46] Insectoid diabolical torturer.
Lemure
[44] Mindless, tormented creature that attacks in mobs. Cannon fodder in Blood War.
Logokron
[47] Delight in learning the personal truenames of their foes, then tormenting them or turning them into slaves.
Malebranche
[41][43] Hulking, horned warriors, enforcers, punishers, and mounts.
Merregon ("Legion Devil")
[41]
Narzugon
[41][48] Nightmare-riding elite cavalry.
Nupperibo
[41] A grossly fat devil, one of the least powerful of its kind.
Orthon
[41] Foot soldiers of Hell's armies specializing in killing demons.
Osyluth ("Bone Devil")
[44] Osyluths serve as the informers and police of the Nine Hells.
Paeliryon
[41][45] Disgusting spymasters with deforming fingernails. Slightly more powerful than Pit Fiends. Rarely encountered as they work behind the scenes where they manipulate others.
Pit Fiend
[44] Lord of devils, with great strength and deadly power.
Spinagon ("Spined Devil")
[41][48] Spike-covered eyes and ears of Baator.
Xerfilstyx
[41][45] Memory-stealing guardians of the River Styx in Avernus.

Non-Baatezu[edit]

  • Chain Devil (Kyton)[44][48] – Murderous torturer with an infernal command of chains.
  • Desert Devil (Araton)[49] – Scimitar-wielding desert-dwelling devils.
  • Hellcat (Bezekira)[44] - Infernal, invisible catlike devil the size of a tiger.
  • Hellfire Engine[41] – Constructs of cold iron made to combat celestials and demons. Enhanced with hellfire.
  • Imp[44] – Clever devil that aids evil mortals with dark counsel and trickery.
  • Imp, Filth[45] – Foul-smelling imp with a talent for forgery and translation.
  • Imp, Bloodbag[45] – Imp that serves as infernal nurse corps.
  • Imp, Euphoric[45] – Imp that serves as dealer of hallucinogenic slime.
  • Kalabon[41] – Devils spawned from the rotting flesh of the Hag Countess's carcass that can combine their individual bodies into large amalgamations which fights as a single creature.

Hellforged devils[edit]

A subgroup of devils, known as hellforged devils, were constructs that over time were transformed by the Nine Hells of Baator into living beings. They rigidly follow and enforce the laws of the Hells.[50]

  • Coal Devil: Enforcers and shock troops.
  • Glass Devil: Spies and watchers.
  • Lead Devil: Dispatched to capture prisoners alive.
  • Obsidian Devil: Police force of the Nine Hells.
  • Sand Devil: Spies and informers.
  • Spiked Devil: Covered with sharp iron spikes.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Turnbull, Don (August–September 1978). "The Open Box, The Monster Manual". White Dwarf 2 (8): 16–17. 
  2. ^ Ward; "The Games Wizards: Angry Mothers From Heck (And what we do about them)" in Dragon #154
  3. ^ Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual (TSR, 1977)
  4. ^ Turnbull, Don (August–September 1978). "Open Box". White Dwarf (8): 16–17. 
  5. ^ Von Thorn, Alexander. "The Politics of Hell." Dragon # 28 (TSR, 1979)
  6. ^ Turnbull, Don, ed. Fiend Folio (TSR, 1981)
  7. ^ Gygax, Gary. "From the Sorcerer's Scroll: New Denizens of Devildom." Dragon #75 (TSR, 1983)
  8. ^ Greenwood, Ed. "The Nine Hells Part I." Dragon #75 (TSR, 1983)
  9. ^ Greenwood, Ed. "The Nine Hells Part II." Dragon #76 (TSR, 1983)
  10. ^ Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual II (TSR, 1983)
  11. ^ Greenwood, Ed. "The Nine Hells Revisited." Dragon #91 (TSR, 1984)
  12. ^ Findley, Nigel D. "Caermor." Dungeon #2 (TSR, 1986)
  13. ^ Perkins, Christopher, ed. Dungeons of Despair (TSR, 1999)
  14. ^ LaFountain, J. Paul. Monstrous Compendium Outer Planes Appendix. (TSR, 1991)
  15. ^ Stewart, Doug, ed. Monstrous Manual (TSR, 1993)
  16. ^ Varney, Allen, ed. Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix (TSR, 1994)
  17. ^ McComb, Colin and Wolfgang Baur. Planes of Law (TSR, 1995)
  18. ^ Pramas, Chris. Guide to Hell (TSR, 1999)
  19. ^ Carl, Jason, and Chris Pramas. The Apocalypse Stone (Wizards of the Coast, 2000)
  20. ^ Cook, Monte, Jonathan Tweet, and Skip Williams. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2000)
  21. ^ Wyatt, James and Rob Heinsoo. Monstrous Compendium: Monsters of Faerûn (Wizards of the Coast, 2001)
  22. ^ Grubb, Jeff, David Noonan, and Bruce Cordell. Manual of the Planes (Wizards of the Coast, 2001)
  23. ^ Cook, Monte. Book of Vile Darkness (Wizards of the Coast, 2002)
  24. ^ Bonny, Ed, Jeff Grubb, Rich Redman, Skip Williams, and Steve Winter. Monster Manual II (Wizards of the Coast, 2002)
  25. ^ Cagle, Eric, Jesse Decker, James Jacobs, Erik Mona, Matt Sernett, Chris Thomasson, and James Wyatt. Fiend Folio (Wizards of the Coast, 2003)
  26. ^ Eckelberry, David, Rich Redman, and Jennifer Clarke Wilkes. Savage Species (Wizards of the Coast, 2003)
  27. ^ Mearls, Mike. "By Evil Bound." Dragon #306 (Paizo Publishing, April 2003)
  28. ^ Cordell, Bruce R, Gwendolyn FM Kestrel, and Jeff Quick. Underdark (Wizards of the Coast, 2003)
  29. ^ Cordell, Bruce, and Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel. Planar Handbook (Wizards of the Coast, 2004)
  30. ^ Cordell, Bruce, Jennifer Clarke-Wilkes, and J.D. Wiker. Sandstorm (Wizards of the Coast, 2005)
  31. ^ Boyd, Eric L, Jeff Crook, and Wil Upchurch. Champions of Ruin (Wizards of the Coast, 2005)
  32. ^ Sernett, Matthew, Dave Noonan, Ari Marmell, and Robert J. Schwalb. (Wizards of the Coast, 2006)
  33. ^ Laws, Robin D., and Robert J. Schwalb. Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells (Wizards of the Coast, 2006)
  34. ^ Schwalb, Robert J. "Infernal Aristocracy." Dragon #360, October 2007. Available online: [1]
  35. ^ Schwalb, Robert J. "Infernal Aristocracy." Dragon #361, December 2007. Available online: [2]
  36. ^ Mearls, Mike, Stephen Schubert, and James Wyatt. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2008)
  37. ^ James Wyatt. Dungeon Masters Guide (Wizards of the Coast, 2008).
  38. ^ Pramas, Chris. Guide to Hell (TSR, 1999)
  39. ^ Grubb, Jeff, David Noonan, and Bruce Cordell. Manual of the Planes (Wizards of the Coast, 2001)
  40. ^ Laws, Robin D., and Robert J. Schwalb. Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells. Wizards of the Coast, 2006
  41. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Laws, Robin D. and Robert J. Schwalb. Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells (Wizards of the Coast, 2006).
  42. ^ Wyatt, James and Rob Heinsoo. Monstrous Compendium: Monsters of Faerûn (Wizards of the Coast, 2001).
  43. ^ a b c Bonny, Ed, Jeff Grubb, Rich Redman, Skip Williams, and Steve Winter. Monster Manual II (Wizards of the Coast, 2002)
  44. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Williams, Skip, Jonathan Tweet, and Monte Cook. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2000).
  45. ^ a b c d e f Cagle, Eric, Jesse Decker, James Jacobs, Erik Mona, Matt Sernett, Chris Thomasson, and James Wyatt. Fiend Folio (Wizards of the Coast, 2003).
  46. ^ a b Cook, Monte. Book of Vile Darkness (Wizards of the Coast, 2002).
  47. ^ Sernett, Matthew, Dave Noonan, Ari Marmell, and Robert J. Schwalb. Tome of Magic: Pact, Shadow, and Truename Magic (Wizards of the Coast, 2006). Pg. 265.
  48. ^ a b c Grubb, Jeff, David Noonan, and Bruce Cordell. Manual of the Planes (Wizards of the Coast, 2001).
  49. ^ Cordell, Bruce, Jennifer Clarke-Wilkes, and JD Wiker. Sandstorm (Wizards of the Coast, 2005). Pg. 147.
  50. ^ Mearls, Mike. "By Evil Bound." Dragon #306 (Paizo Publishing, April 2003). pg. 26–44.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]