So back in the day when Lucifer decided to rebel, he supposedly was able to get a third of the entire angelic host to rebel with him. While I’m no bible scholar, the numbers of angels I generally see quoted fall under the umbrella of “innumerable.” So a third of innumerable is still well…innumerable. I am providing here some information on a hundred or so particularly well known demons based mostly on the Ars Goetia with a little bit of inspiration taken from here and there and some of my own flair.
The Pseudomonarchia Daemonum, the Grand Grimoire, The Book of Abraham, a few other grimoires and the works of Wayne Barlowe further gave inspiration to this list.
How to Deal with Demons
Dealing with demons is generally a bad idea. They are millennia older than you and have been dealing in this game for a long time. That said, centuries of occultists have researched and interacted with these fallen spirits and have found myriad incantations and ceremonies that can help in your endeavors. There are a few basics that need to be a part of any demon summoning ceremony:
1. Magic Circle– This should be a given for all but the most rudimentary of summoning magic. A well crafted Magic Circle helps to focus and refine the summoning energies required to locate and call an individual spirit rather than a broad category of creatures. Furthermore it will bind the spirit to the circumference of the circle and thus keep the summoner (mostly) safe from the spirit’s direct influence. For summoning demons in particular, silver is the best material for a circle but salt will do in a pinch. Circles without some sort of anathema tied to it will do the job of summoning a spirit but be sorely under-equipped for binding the spirit.
2. Bait– Demons don’t work for free unless forced to by an exceptional power greater than their own (eg Solomon’s Seal.) So to call up the demon you want, you will need some sort of bait or sacrifice. This is not the price you are paying for the demon’s service, think of it more like an entrance fee. Some demons have fairly simple hungers while others might be significantly more complex, this does not necessarily match with the power of said demon.
3. True Name– There are three broad categories of demons for our purposes here. Demons Major, Demons Minor and Lesser Demons. From a DnD standpoint think of them along the lines of True, Greater, and Lesser. Lesser Demons were part of the vast hordes of ordinary spirits who fell, their True Names were weak and shattered in their fall leaving them as near identical creatures that any old summoning will grab at random. Demons Minor were among the high Choirs, such as Powers, Virtues, and Dominions.Demons Major were the chiefest of angels before their fall, Seraphs, Cherubs, and Thrones. These Demon’s names were twisted and corrupted in their fall but remain deeply embedded in their being and are represented by complex sigils. To call upon one of these mighty individuals you must know and use their Sigil as a part of the summoning, even a small error may call upon the wrong demon or worse, gravely insult the demon you were attempting to call.
The Benefits of Demon Summoning
Now that you have a general understanding of how, now you need to know the why. Here’s the thing: you want something. You want it badly and you are willing to go to extreme lengths to get it. An honest person might work at more conventional means to reach that goal, but if you’ve even considered this then you probably can’t be described as an “honest person.” Demons provide a short cut to success. Angels will want to guide you. Elementals can’t give two craps about your meat-needs. The Fae are more interested in mischief than they are in honoring deals. Demons, for the most part, have an active interest in you. Mostly this interest in finding ways to tempt you and lead your soul to their clutches. But hey, that’s a problem for later right?
Think of the power that Demons are able to grant something like a specialized genie that works on commission. They can do one or a few things really well and in return ask for specific favors or sacrifices. A Demon with the appropriately sealed contract is less likely to Monkey Paw your wishes, because unlike the angry bottle-bound Efreet they are getting paid. That said, what a Demon gives is power, power is an addictive drug and Demons know that addicts are willing to pay a premium. The first taste is all but free, however further services will require escalating costs.
There are those out there who are not mere wizards and occultists, but true professional Summoners. Their focus and expertise is such that they are able to manifest and bind entities to their will for hours on end rather than bare minutes or just long enough to negotiate a contract. They are best known for the 99 Entities from their own lexicon, but a few move into the field of Demonology and draw from this list instead. These summoners do not make contracts for singular great feats, but instead form longer term bonds for lesser services. Some say that these summoners are actually calling up minor Avatars of these demons rather than the beings themselves, but that is a matter for the scholars.
D2 Willing to Negotiate. Demons who negotiate are sometimes also called Devils.
- Yes, let’s make a bargain!
- GIMME YOUR SOUL NOW MORTAL!
D4 Cardinal Direction/Element/Season/ Preferred Sacrifice
- North – Air – Winter – Blood
- East – Fire – Spring – Riches
- South – Water – Summer – Souls
- West – Earth – Autumn – Rare Reagents
D6 Body Plan- All Demons have horns, increasingly powerful ones have more, but they are able to absorb or display the horns at will. Demons often take the horns of rivals as a trophy.
- Mammalian (1-in-6 chance of Lion, Otherwise random)
- Avian (1-in-6 chance of Raven/Crow, Otherwise Random)
- Abstract, such as a screaming pentagram or stygian blue lightning
- Holy Sutras/Chants
- Holy Water
- Specific Scents and Oils/Incense
- Innocence also Puppies
- Holy Symbols
D10 Title– Roll on the d12 table once per rank level
- No Title
- Marquess- Roll 2x on d100 table
- Duke- Roll 2x on d100 table, 2x on General Powers
- Prince- Roll 4x on d100 table, 2x on General Powers
- King- Roll 4x on d100 table, 4x on General Powers
- Unique Title- Roll 6x on d100 table, 6x on General Powers
- One of those really obscure ones like eating bed stuffing or something from deviantart
D12 Common Granted Powers– These are the common things they usually are summoned to grant, but these are not necessarily what they are limited to. All titled demons are also capable of granting familiars from their Legions.
- Mastery of Arts (Liberal or Physical)
- Granting magical power
- Granting love
- Reveal Secret Treasures/Grant Wealth
- Build great artifices
- Answering questions of the Past or Future
- Astral Project/Flight
- Power over Animals
- Power over People
- Causing Harm
D20 General Powers
- Elemental -mancy (matching to d4 result)
- Entropy Control
- Mind Control/Charm
- Weather Control
- Massive Physical Strength
- Poison Generation
- Flesh Crafting
- Gravity Manipulation
- Transmutation of Materials (Lead to Gold, Water to Blood etc)
- Darkness/Shadow Manipulation
- Insect Spawning/Control
- Disease Creation/Manipulation
- Localized Omniscience
- Dream Control
D100 Unique Attributes
- Affinity for Slime/Filth
- Affinity for Rot/Mushrooms
- Resistant to Sacred/Hallowed Lands
- Projectile Vomiting of Unnatural Things (insects, blood, change, etc.)
- Aversion to Weirdly Specific Objects/Places (the local Walmart, holly, etc.)
- Suits, Suits, and more Suits. Also carries a suitcase full of souls.
- Is the Tax Man
- Is a Hellmouth, can act as a gate for other demons
- Aura of Rot, everything around them ages at 100x the normal speed
- Feeds on Fear
- Let’s Give it Wings, higher rank = more wings.
- Strange Geometry
- Creepy Child Form
- Aura of Inciting Rage
- Two Mouths, One is Constantly Eating, the other Constantly Talking
- Has only 666 more souls they need to personally damn before they win a bet with an angel and gets to switch roles.
- Fa/Mother Of Monsters: Can rapidly spawn other hideous monsters
- Has 1d100 eyes which
- Are jammed into its skull
- Distributed across their body
- Extend in stalks
- Float freely
- Are inside of Thrall bodies
- Make up the whole of their form
- Has a terrible, hideous steed
- Aura of constant ominous Latin chanting
- Turn water into 80-proof whiskey
- 1d20 Extra mouths that are always whispering inappropriate things
- Non-euclidean face geometry
- Has a shrill, unintimidating voice that they are very sensitive about, but can release devastating screams.
- Can absorb dead organic matter into their being
- Has uncooperative snakes for hair
- Is mildly allergic to the air in the material plane
- Has limbs that split and grow like fractals
- Has horns and claws honed to molecular sharpness
- Sweats highly corrosive acid
- Smells of fire and brimstone
- Smells of fire and brimstone, but it’s actually rancid egg farts
- Perfectly, hideously immaculate and symmetrical
- Can shift between 2D, 3D and 4D forms.
- Being “killed” only causes it to reform as a new demon of a rank lower
- Can shift between classical elemental powers/resistances with a thought.
- Capable of creating vast and life-like illusions
- Is actually made up of a massive swarm of locusts that slot perfectly into place to form the demon.
- Phases through any material that isn’t silver or blessed.
- Has a vast cult at their beck and call.
- Always appears with two vassal demons, generate 2 demons of 2 ranks lower
- Has very strange rebellious politics
- Can manifest any mundane object with a snap
- Speaks backwards
- Magic is suppressed in their presence unless their weakness is presented
- Has breath that is a spiritual poison, affects even things normally unaffected by poison. A specially prepared silver ring negates this.
- Master over Hellfire, which affects normally incombustible things and can only be put out with holy water
- Master of Felfire, which is invisible and painless, but still destructive. Using magical means of looking at it is damaging to the retina.
- Can shrink to flea size or inflate to titanic kaiju size.
- Oozes The ORKUS
- Can spit petrifying loogies.
- Can split themselves into multiple lesser demons and recombine
- Is favored by the Court of the Fly and enjoys special political protections and privileges in Hell
- Is favored by the Court of Sargatanas and is secretly working on a method to redeem Hell’s inhabitants.
- Is a Vassal of Abaddon, Lord of the Pit, and specializes in negating the defenses of other infernal beings.
- Always arrives with a great cacophony of trumpets and gratuitous special effects.
- Their presence is so terrible that the unprepared are frozen with fear and the especially faint of heart may drop dead
- Can heal any wound on a target. It leaves behind an infernal brand and the demon can reopen the wound at will
- Can levitate at will with perfect precision
- Knows the names and histories of all dead sinners.
- All Demons possess terrible magical weapons, however this one’s weapon is a truly mighty pre-Fall artifact.
- Has 1d6+1 Heads, each a different creature
- Only speaks in High Infernal, somewhere between extreme Legalese and an agonized wail. Listening to it makes ears bleed.
- Is distantly related to the party’s Tiefling
- Is able to teleport themselves and anyone else contracted to them anywhere without error.
- Is not actually a demon, but a primordial Abyssal, one of the original native of Hell.
- Has a fondness for taking the form of saints, priests, and other holy figures to tempt and confound mortals.
- Was trained in the sensual arts by Lilith herself.
- Disregard everything else, its actually Buer or one of his Minions
- Any space they occupy has constant shifting haunting effects
- Is a writhing mass of flesh and chain, the chain is the true demon
- Is bound by an ancient contract not to harm anyone of a specific bloodline.
- Bleeds ink that writes itself into vindictive curses.
- Is sealed inside of an Iron Flask because its physical form is too hideous for ever other demons
- Has secretly been behind all the best music to come out in the past century.
- Collects the skulls of their victims and can call them into their service.
- Make a hobby of creating hideous experimental zombies
- Appears like a completely average human, but has an incredibly unnerving presence
- Is actually several dozen imps in a papier-mâché skin filling in for their master.
- Grows blades from their back that can cut through absolutely anything
- Is bound to a powerful blade which possesses the body of a lesser demon
- Is so hideously corpulent that all but the greatest attacks are mere flesh-wounds to it
- Is a master Conjurer and can effectively cast and modify any spell-effect 5 times out of 6
- Is able to bring mortal’s sins to the surface as dense black orbs, more sinful the mortal more overwhelmingly heavy the orb is
- Is a full on sado-masochist Cenobite
- Body constantly oozes molten metal that it is able to quickly solidify into anything in its terrible imagination
- Is able to corrupt and control all nearby plantlife
- Has taken on the perfect form, that of a great crustacean with countless claws
- Possesses a chimerical parasite that doesn’t always agree with the main body, such as a smary snake-tail
- Can continuously grow its teeth and control their shape even if they’re removed from their mouth
- While still harmed by their weakness, it also invokes a masochistic delight in them
- Any wound they deliver is instantly infested with infernal maggots.
- They are actually a very lost daemon who is looking for the humans they’re supposed to be patrons for.
- Is actually an angel working deep undercover (50% Chance this is a delusion)
- Is actually a Dharmapala, and wants to help you reach enlightenment
- You know that gut feeling you get that everything is about to go to shit despite everything otherwise seeming fine? Yeah its this demon’s fault
- Will grant a corrupted wish to whomever says it’s name 3 times
- 98 Roll 2 more times on the General Power list
- 99 Roll 3 more times on this list
- Shit, you summoned Lucifer. Anything on this post, whenever they want