Fiends are creatures of wickedness that are native to the Lower Planes. A few are the servants of deities, but many more labor under the leadership of archdevils and demon princes. Evil priests and mages sometimes summon fiends to the material world to do their bidding. If an evil celestial is a rarity, a good fiend is almost inconceivable. Fiends include demons, devils, hell hounds, rakshasas, and yugoloths.

All Fiends

Fiends are the ultimate enemy, the very definition of evil, and willing to do anything to achieve their aims. You need to be very careful bringing such creatures into your games. If you have younger players or people who are sensitive to overly wicked portrayals, be mindful that when fiends enter the fray, everything is fair game. Each campaign should be different, so the gamemaster needs to know the players well enough to take them to the brink of what is comfortable.

Wicked Games

Entering into any fiendish bargain requires certain knowledge that the party has what it takes to decimate the foul creature if necessary. Anything less is just a foolish step closer to a dismal end.

  • Cheating to win should be a standard operating procedure for any fiend. They will lie, cheat, steal, bully, torture, or kill to get what they want.
  • Weapons should be barbed or poisoned. While destroying the party outright is always an option, anything that causes pain and suffering is open for consideration.
  • Opportunities to burn or crush the players could be introduced with traps or terrain effects.
  • Being savaged by dire animal companions adds another dimension to encounters, keeping the party busy with minions while the fiends focus on making an example of a wizard or priest.
  • Capturing foes for later interrogation and torture is another great way to impress upon the party the truly capricious evil of these beings.

Tearing in mind, fiends are not simply powerful monsters; they have goals to destroy all that is good and heroic in the world. They want to infest the mortal plane with their own depraved wickedness. “I want to see the sun blotted out from the sky” is a sentiment that many fiends would find intriguing.

Casual Cruelty

Play them with a sense of carefree evil and with no regrets for those they grind up in their wicked ambitions. They laugh at the piteous cries of their captives and spit in the face of any who attempt to parley or derail them from their goals.

Depending on the fiend’s sphere of interest, they may: Use psychological warfare to confuse opponents or attack loved ones or important NPCs in the character’s life.

  • Conceive intricate plans and ways to lead the PCs around, testing, provoking, and mentally grinding the heroes down.
  • Harry a weaker character constantly in the sure knowledge that their victim can do little to respond.
  • Wait patiently wait until a particular character is on watch and make a lightning attack only to disappear while the rest of the party is rousing from slumber.

They might do this for nights on end if the party cannot find a way to secure their camp against it. Consider having the affected character make checks as the fear takes hold and their sanity begins to erode.

Physical attacks should conclude with horrifying results. Tearing and rending, wounds that heal with grotesque scars, punctures that constantly itch, and diseases or secondary effects that cause the skin to crawl, or quiver, or have some other reaction are all excellent ways of separating fiends from other tough, supernatural foes. A fiend’s touch bears the vileness of the infernal and diabolic realms they come from.

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