The Demons of Hell | New Monsters for Fifth Edition (BroadSword Preview)

This article is part of the Monster Hunters series that will appear in BroadSword Monthly. If you’d like a preview of additional content, be sure to check out the Monster Hunter material on my Patreon.


In some cosmologies, demons are malevolent spirits from Hell that act the direct opposites to angels. These demons are created from human souls (petitioners) that have endured extensive torture in Hell. In this process, they become corrupted, extremely evil, and also very powerful. Similar to angels, they require a vessel to walk the Earth, though they are able to roam in their smoke form.

Common Demon

The standard class of demons, common demons possess only basic powers, such as possession, super strength, and telekinesis.

Crossroad Demons

Crossroads Demons are one level higher than common demons and have more powerful abilities.  Crossroad demons make deals with humans, granting them one wish in exchange for their soul. Generally, crossroad demons possess attractive females, presumably to attract men to make a deal. If favored by the Ruler of Hell, or another higher demon, crossroad demons can be promoted to a higher position.

Greater Demon

Greater demons are the rightful rulers of hell. They are terrifyingly powerful and they rank the highest in the hierarchy of Hell. They inspire fear in their subordinates as all other demons seem to be terrified of them.

Common Demon

Medium fiend (demon), neutral evil


Armor Class 13

Hit Points 54 (12d8)

Speed 0 ft., fly 60 ft. (hover)


Abilities Str 7 (-2), Dex 17 (+3), Con 10 (+0), Int 14 (+2), Wis 14 (+2), Cha 19 (+4)


Skills Deception +7, Persuasion +7

Damage Vulnerabilities radiant

Damage Resistances cold, lightning

Damage Immunities fire, poison; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks not made with cold iron

Condition Immunities exhaustion, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, restrained

Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 12

Languages Common, Abyssal

Challenge 5 (1,800 XP)


Smoke Form. The demon can occupy another creature’s space and vice versa. In addition, if air can pass through a space, the demon can pass through it without squeezing. Each foot of movement in water costs it 2 extra feet, rather than 1 extra foot. The demon can’t manipulate objects in any way that requires fingers or manual dexterity.

Harmed by Salt. The demon cannot cross a line of pure salt. In addition, the demon takes 10 acid damage if it touches or is attacked with salt.

Innate Spellcasting. The demon’s innate spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 15). It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no components:

  • At will: mage hand (the hand is invisible)
  • 3/day: telekinesis

Actions

Multiattack. The demon makes two slam attacks.

Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 12 (2d6 + 5) bludgeoning damage.

Possession (Recharge 6). One humanoid that the demon can see within 5 feet of it must succeed on a DC 15 Charisma saving throw or be possessed by the demon; the demon then disappears, and the target is incapacitated and loses control of its body. The demon now controls the body but doesn’t deprive the target of awareness. The demon can’t be targeted by any attack, spell, or other effects, except ones that affect fiends such as holy water, the hallow spell, or salt. It retains its alignment, Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma, skills, darkvision, and slam attack, plus its Innate Spellcasting trait. In addition, the host’s Strength score becomes 19 unless it is already higher. It otherwise uses the possessed target’s statistics but doesn’t gain access to the target’s knowledge, class features, or proficiencies.

While possessed, the body having 0 hit points doesn’t knock the host or the demon unconscious. The body must still make death saving throws, and it suffers the normal effects of taking damage while at 0 hit points. However, if the body would die due to failing death saving throws, it doesn’t die until the possession ends, and then dies then only if it still has 0 hit points.

If the host takes radiant damage, both the host and the demon take damage from the attack, and the host can make another Charisma saving throw, ending the demon’s Possession with a success.

Otherwise, the possession lasts until the demon ends the possession as a bonus action, or the demon is turned or forced out by an effect like the dispel evil and good spell. When the possession ends, the demon reappears in an unoccupied space within 5 feet of the body. The target is immune to this demon’s Possession for 24 hours after succeeding on the saving throw or after the possession ends.

 

Crossroads Demon

Medium fiend (demon), lawful evil


Armor Class 13

Hit Points 72 (16d8)

Speed 0 ft., fly 60 ft. (hover)


Abilities Str 7 (-2), Dex 17 (+3), Con 10 (+0), Int 16 (+3), Wis 16 (+3), Cha 20 (+5)


Saving Throws Int +6, Wis +6, Cha +8

Skills Deception +8, Insight +6, Persuasion +8

Damage Vulnerabilities radiant

Damage Resistances cold, lightning

Damage Immunities fire, poison; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks not made with cold iron

Condition Immunities exhaustion, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, restrained

Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 13

Languages Common, Abyssal

Challenge 6 (2,300 XP)


Smoke Form. The demon can occupy another creature’s space and vice versa. In addition, if air can pass through a space, the demon can pass through it without squeezing. Each foot of movement in water costs it 2 extra feet, rather than 1 extra foot. The demon can’t manipulate objects in any way that requires fingers or manual dexterity.

Harmed by Salt. The demon cannot cross a line of pure salt. In addition, the demon takes 10 acid damage if it touches or is attacked with salt.

Innate Spellcasting. The demon’s innate spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 16). It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no components:

  • At will: detect thoughtsmage hand (the hand is invisible)
  • 3/day: telekinesis, teleportation (self only)

Wish Granting. A crossroads demon can grant one wish to any creature that makes a deal with it. To be granted a wish, a creature within 60 feet of the crossroads demon states a desired effect to it. The demon can then cast the wish spell on the creature’s behalf to bring about the effect. Often, the demon may try to pervert the intent of the wish by exploiting the wish’s poor wording. The perversion of the wording is usually crafted to be to the demon’s benefit.


Actions

Multiattack. The demon makes two slam attacks.

Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 12 (2d6 + 5) bludgeoning damage.

Possession (Recharge 6). One humanoid that the demon can see within 5 feet of it must succeed on a DC 16 Charisma saving throw or be possessed by the demon; the demon then disappears, and the target is incapacitated and loses control of its body. The demon now controls the body but doesn’t deprive the target of awareness. The demon can’t be targeted by any attack, spell, or other effects, except ones that affect fiends such as holy water, the hallow spell, or salt. It retains its alignment, Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma, skills, darkvision, and slam attack, plus its Innate Spellcasting and Wish Granting traits. In addition, the host’s Strength score becomes 20 unless it is already higher. It otherwise uses the possessed target’s statistics but doesn’t gain access to the target’s knowledge, class features, or proficiencies.

While possessed, the body having 0 hit points doesn’t knock the host or the demon unconscious. The body must still make death saving throws, and it suffers the normal effects of taking damage while at 0 hit points. However, if the body would die due to failing death saving throws, it doesn’t die until the possession ends, and then dies then only if it still has 0 hit points.

If the host takes radiant damage, both the host and the demon take damage from the attack, and the host can make another Charisma saving throw, ending the demon’s Possession with a success.

Otherwise, the possession lasts until the demon ends the possession as a bonus action, or the demon is turned or forced out by an effect like the dispel evil and good spell. When the possession ends, the demon reappears in an unoccupied space within 5 feet of the body. The target is immune to this demon’s Possession for 24 hours after succeeding on the saving throw or after the possession ends.

Summon Hellhound (1/Day). The demon summons a hellhound which appears in an unoccupied space within 60 feet of the demon, acts as an ally of the demon, and can’t summon other fiends. The demon must task the hellhound with pursuing a quarry, typically a creature that’s made a deal with the demon in exchange for a wish. The hellhound knows the direction and distance to its quarry as long as the two of them are on the same plane of existence. To all creatures other than its quarry, the hellhound is invisible. The hellhound remains for 8 hours or until the demon, its quarry is dead, or the demon uses its bonus action to dismiss it.

 

Greater Demon

Medium fiend (demon), neutral evil


Armor Class 15

Hit Points 99 (22d8)

Speed 0 ft., fly 60 ft. (hover)


Abilities Str 7 (-2), Dex 20 (+5), Con 10 (+0), Int 20 (+5), Wis 20 (+5), Cha 24 (+7)


Saving Throws Int +10, Wis +10, Cha +12

Skills Arcana +10, Deception +12, Insight +10, Intimidation +12, Perception +10, Persuasion +12

Damage Resistances cold, lightning

Damage Immunities holy water, fire, poison; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks not made with cold iron

Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, frightened, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, restrained

Senses truesight 60 ft., passive Perception 20

Languages all, telepathy 120 ft.

Challenge 14 (11,500 XP)


Smoke Form. The demon can occupy another creature’s space and vice versa. In addition, if air can pass through a space, the demon can pass through it without squeezing. Each foot of movement in water costs it 2 extra feet, rather than 1 extra foot. The demon can’t manipulate objects in any way that requires fingers or manual dexterity.

Legendary Resistance (3/Day). If the demon fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.

Magic Resistance. The demon has advantage on saving throws against spells and magic effects.

Innate Spellcasting. The demon’s innate spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 20). It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no components:

  • At will: control firedetect thoughtsmage hand (the hand is invisible)
  • 3/day: telekinesis, teleportation (self only)
  • 1/day: demonic glyph*, dream

Actions

Multiattack. The demon makes two slam attacks.

Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +11 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 14 (2d6 + 7) bludgeoning damage.

Telekinetic Thrust. The demon targets a creature or unattended object within 30 feet of it. A creature must be Medium or smaller to be affected by this magic, and an object can weigh up to 150 pounds.

If the target is a creature, the demon makes a Charisma check contested by the target’s Strength check. If the demon wins the contest, the demon hurls the target up to 30 feet in any direction, including upward. If the target then comes into contact with a hard surface or heavy object, the target takes 1d6 damage per 10 feet moved.

If the target is an object that isn’t being worn or carried, the demon hurls it up to 30 feet in any direction. The demon can use the object as a ranged weapon, attacking one creature along the object’s path (+11 to hit) and dealing 9 (2d8) bludgeoning damage on a hit.

Etherealness. The demon enters the Ethereal Plane from the Material Plane or vice versa. It is visible on the Material Plane while it is in the Border Ethereal, and vice versa, et it can’t affect or be affected by anything on the other plane.

Possession (Recharge 6). One creature that the demon can see within 5 feet of it must succeed on a DC 20 Charisma saving throw or be possessed by the demon; the demon then disappears, and the target is incapacitated and loses control of its body. The demon now controls the body but doesn’t deprive the target of awareness. The demon can’t be targeted by any attack, spell, or other effects, except ones that affect fiends such as holy water, the hallow spell, or salt. It retains its alignment, Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma, skills, truesight, telepathy, slam, and telekinetic thrust attacks, plus all of its traits except for its Smoke Form. In addition, the host’s Strength score becomes 24 unless it is already higher. It otherwise uses the possessed target’s statistics but doesn’t gain access to the target’s knowledge, class features, or proficiencies.

While possessed, the body having 0 hit points doesn’t knock the host or the demon unconscious. The body must still make death saving throws, and it suffers the normal effects of taking damage while at 0 hit points. However, if the body would die due to failing death saving throws, it doesn’t die until the possession ends, and then dies then only if it still has 0 hit points.

If the host takes radiant damage, both the host and the demon take damage from the attack, and the host can make another Charisma saving throw, ending the demon’s Possession with a success.

Otherwise, the possession lasts until the demon ends the possession as a bonus action, or the demon is turned or forced out by an effect like the dispel evil and good spell. When the possession ends, the demon reappears in an unoccupied space within 5 feet of the body. The target is immune to this demon’s Possession for 24 hours after succeeding on the saving throw or after the possession ends.


Legendary Actions

The demon can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. The demon regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.

At-Will Spell. The demon uses one of its at-will spells.

Slam. The demon makes a slam attack.

Telekinetic Thrust (Costs 2 Actions). The demon uses its telekinetic thrust ability.

 

New Spell

The following demonic glyph spell is mentioned in the greater demon’s stat block.

Demonic Glyph

8th-level necromancy

Casting Time: 1 action

Range: 60 feet

Components: V, S

Duration: Special

You target a creature that you can see within range. The target must make a Constitution saving throw. On a failed saving throw, the creature takes 8d10 necrotic damage. If this damage causes the creature to drop to 0 hit points, it dies and becomes implanted with a demonic glyph. The glyph acts as a glyph of warding (as if cast with a 3rd-level spell slot) except that the glyph is inscribed on the target’s dead body. Until the glyph is triggered, the target cannot be moved even if it is defying gravity. A creature can use an action to make a DC 30 Strength check, moving the fixed body up to 10 feet on a success.

 

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