The Fiend category of monsters offers a huge array of truly wicked monsters to throw at your party. These spawn of evil can present challenges for every tier of play and a number of adventures are set in the Abyss or Nine Hells or deal with an invasion of demons and devils.
If you are hoping to use fiends in your campaign for more than one encounter, make sure they have a solid objective to accomplish in the game world. Whether that is corrupting the players or some other fiendish plot. Even a demon with no other agenda than to murder the players could be used to introduce temptation to a player character to accept a fiendish bargain.
Fiends as Monsters of the Week
These shapeshifting little nuisances can sometimes be found as a warlock’s familiar. They can also be given to cultists who employ them to further their master’s nefarious plans. A nest of imps or quasits can be a difficult challenge for even seasoned adventurers to dislodge.
Cambion CR 5
The pawn of incubi and humanoids, cambions are born bad and quickly learn that they should be the ones dominating all the other mortals. They will orchestrate uprisings, sew chaos, and generally try to gather a gang of nasties to assert their power.
Night Hag CR 5
These naughty grandmas like to sneak into people’s homes and steal their dreams through the Ethereal Plane. Capable spellcasters and often found in covens, Night Hags can only be killed in their home plane, making them potentially powerful recurring enemies.
Rakshasa CR 13
Rakshasas are masters of manipulation, preferring the more subtle path to power. They can be found installed at the top of criminal organizations, or ruling over a region as a nobleman. They are also immune to spells of 6th level or lower while being powerful spell casters, making them a very potent enemy.
Balor CR 19
The generals of demonic armies, the Balor is a potent enemy to throw against a party. With a fire aura dealing damage to melee combatants, and a teleport to prevent any ranged characters from avoiding its sword or whip, the Balor will try to take out the party, even in death with his fiery Death Throws.
Fiends as a Big Bad
It’s impossible for me to choose just one fiend monster to recommend as a big bad. These guys wrote the literal book on being both big and bad. So, instead, I’ll give you highlights of some of the most powerful fiends in Dungeons & Dragons.
Baphomet CR 23
Baphomet is serving classic goat daddy demon realness with his legion of minotaur cultists and his call to overthrow civilization. This demon from the Abyss offers a great Big Bad that you can use for a campaign set in Theros, or if the idea of the party going up against a hoard of blood-thirsty minotaurs sets your imagination on fire.
Demogorgon CR 26
Demogorgon, the Prince of Demons, the Sibilant Beast, and Master of the Spiraling Depths, is working the multiverse with a magical gaze sure to drive you mad and tentacles for days. If insanity is your thing, Demogorgon is serving an all-you-can-eat buffet of madness and confusion.
Orcus CR 26
Don’t be deceived by the wand in his hand, this Demon Prince of Undeath isn’t a fairy godmother. Always with his zombie groupies, Orcus is the life of any party and is sure to leave you gagging as you become his next best ghoul-friend. Say “braiiiiins” and watch him shamble down the runway.
Zariel CR 26
This scream queen rules Avernus, the first layer of the Nine Hells. A fallen angel, there will be hell to pay if you cross her and her fiery gaze. Zariel is the rallying point for all the devils heading out to boogie-oogie-oogie with their hated demon rivals and so you are sure to find the worst and ugliest the Nine Hells has to offer in her retinue.
Jubilex CR 23
Fun to say, but don’t get too close to the demon prince called the Oozing Hunger. This slimy boi is all about that mucus life and wants to spread his corrupting influence across the multiverse. The world’s worst runny nose, Jubilex will burn you away with corrosive slime — so don’t get too close!
Tiamat CR 30
Serving not one, not two but FIVE dragon heads each another couture color, Tiamat is the grandmother of the fiendish ball. With five legendary actions, resistances, and a regeneration factor that would make even Wolverine blush, Tiamat is ready to take down any would-be heroes that try to stop her from destroying the world. Don’t even think of it, hun.
Next week, we’ll look at Dragons!
Art is from Wizards of the Coast.