Fiendish Codex II says that "[s]teel devils are consummate soldiers. They have no purpose or drive to do anything other than to march in step to battle" (138).

However, steel devils aren't mindless—they're described as intelligent and clever. So how would a steel devil act if it were on its own—without a devilish commander—if were to, for example, stumble accidentally through a portal?

I know there's not a lot of information about steel devils. This means that answers can draw from, for example, experience in playing or running a campaign with a rogue steel devil or other super-lawful creature that is used to following orders and now can't. Or, for example, an answer can draw on an expert's knowledge of how devils and similar creatures behave generally when undirected.


My sense of Devils in general is that they are lawful because they fear reprisal of acting outside of the law. This reinforces the idea that Devils are punisher's of transgressions even within their own ranks and species. Higher level devils thus punish lower level devils into compliance with their orders and so on down to the lowest echelons like the Lemure. Therefore any Devil could be expected to act in the manner of a tyrant, inflicting punishment (in the manner of attacking) on anything the devil considers inferior whom is observed to not be following it's commands. This would include almost anyone most appropriately the PC's.

The description of the Steel Devil indicating that they are "consummate soldiers. They have no purpose or drive to do anything other than to march in step to battle" would influence me to role-playing a Steel Devil as an angry Drill Sargent barking out orders and then flogging anyone who fails to obey quickly enough. This isn't to say they would attack blindly or foolishly, consummate soldiers are soldiers and therefore tactical in their approach to combat. If the devil has reason to be cautious in it's approach to combat then it likely recognizes a threat and therefore will either cower to curry favor or more likely flee with the intent to remove the threat surreptitiously later in either case. Even soldiers are not without guile when it serves a purpose.

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