Monster Manual A-Z: Devils – Part 2

Monster Manual A-Z is a series of quick looks at each and every monster presented in the Monster Manual for Dungeons & Dragons 5e. New monsters go up every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in alphabetical order, touching on lore, mechanics, and ways to use them in your campaign. To search for all Monster Manual A-Z articles, search MMAZ in the search bar as we’ve excluded them from our Roleplaying Games tag to keep things tidy.

Devil - Pit Fiend

Pit Fiend

We have the rest of the devils to get through today, including the most fearsome of the bunch: the Pit Fiend! We also have the lowest of the low, the Lemure. But wherever they rank on the infernal hierarchy of the Nine Hells, we’ll be taking a look at the last five!

Today we start with the Ice Devil! The second highest ranked greater devil, just below Pit Fiend, they commonly serve as commanders of armies and torment the lower ranking devils for leisure and anger management. Extremely strong, offensively and defensively, the Ice Devil has a few tricks up their sleeve. Firstly, they have a healthy serving of hit points and a good armor class, keeping them protecting from attacks, and their resistances to damage and magic help them protect themselves from pesky wizards. On the offensive, they attack with their bite, claws, and tail- each promising to hit very precisely and deal not just physical damage, but a lot of cold damage with each attack. Some forgo their bite and claws to wield ice spears, potentially slowing their target as though they were targeted by the slow spell. They can also bring up huge walls of ice, blocking movement and freezing those who stand too close.

Then we have the least of the lesser devils, the Imps. They fill the role of spy, messenger, errand runner, and trickster and proudly serve any greater devil- they just don’t show off that drive when attending to their duties. Unsurprisingly, as the low devil on the totem pole, they are neither hardy not particularly hard hitting (though the poison in their scorpion-like tail can be fatal to new adventurers!). Aiding in their spying and trickster duties are two more abilities; invisibility and the ability to shapechange in small animals. Both of these hide the Imps and allow them to gather intel for their masters quite easily. After the Imp, we have the devil that’s so low, it technically isn’t on the hierarchy.

Lemures are shapeless mounds of flesh, in agony and pain until some benevolent devil turns them into an Imp to serve them. Slow, almost impossible to miss, and extremely weak, Lemures should be the easiest of easy pickings for even the newest adventurers. Also, even if they’re killed in the Nine Hells they come back unless holy water is sprinkled or a bless spell is cast, freeing them of the torment.

Now we have the Pit Fiend, the biggest, baddest devil other than the Archdevils. They are the right hands of the archdukes and archduchesses of the Nine Hells, serving as generals and fearless combatants that refuse to acknowledge that failure is ever an option. With natural armor that is hard to pierce and the vitality to take on more damage that you can shake a vorpal sword at. They give out an aura of fear that has even the most seasoned adventurers shaking in their boots, can cast a few good spells like wall of fire and hold monster a few times per day, and can cast fireball at will. FIREBALL. AT WILL. Beyond that they can make four attacks; one with their tail that bludgeons you to death, one with their claws that slashes you to death, one with their mace that smashes and burns you, and finally one with their bite that pierces and poisons you, and prevents you from healing up. Also, to state it again, fireball at will.

And finally we have the Spined Devil, who is just one step above the Imp. They also serve as messengers and spies, or otherwise as flying artillery in an infernal army. They can fly quickly, but go down just as fast. They can perform flyby attacks without fear of reactionary swings, and they can shoot out their spines, which ignite on fire, at their foes. Seems pretty straight forward and awesome to me!

So that’s it for the devils! While many devils serve those above them, they also all show some form of ambition, hoping to be promoted into a stronger form. For that matter, its important to note that most Pit Fiends may have started as Lemure, however impossibly long ago that was. And while they are unlikely to have any sympathy or care to remember those days, it can drive an interesting narrative on exactly how the Nine Hells impact the souls of the damned.

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