Basically I'm looking for the devil version of a shadow demon. Should I just use the shadow demon statline?

I don't care about the mechanical aspect, I just want to know if I'm overlooking something already in the lore, or if I can freely just use a shadow demon in my campaign for when/if my players kill a trapped devil.

  • 8
    \$\begingroup\$ This question feels like it should be providing information on why the devil can’t reform in Hell. That’s not wholly impossible, of course, but it’s certainly an exceptional case and it seems like whatever that thing is will be the best place to look for what happens instead. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Jan 11 at 5:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm running a campaign in the Domains of Dread that is going a bit heavy on the devils. Since Ravenloft/Domains of Dread are demiplanes which prevent all and any interplanar travel that doesn't use the mists, aka creatures that the mists/dark powers want to keep trapped there will remain trapped there no matter what, destroyed fiends and celestials will not be able to escape to hell/the abyss/heaven when destroyed. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zope
    Commented Jan 12 at 2:12
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ OK! That seems like a very different question—“what happens to a devil that’s killed in the Demiplane of Dread?” is a way better question, in my opinion. Since this one already has an answer—about as well as it can—you might want to ask that as a separate question. You will likely also want to specify what sources you’re using: Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft contradicts/maybe-ret-cons a lot of older lore, so it might make a difference if you’re talking about Van Richten’s or before that. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Jan 12 at 2:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ I mean, I may have missed it but nothing in Van Richten's guide tells you about fiends does it? If you have any information from older lore, I'd appreciate it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zope
    Commented Jan 17 at 0:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Not off the top of my head, though I might be able to track some down. But your best bet is to ask that as a separate Question; even if I did have an answer off the top of my head, I wouldn’t be allowed to put it in a comment. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Jan 17 at 3:59

1 Answer 1


Nothing would happen, unless the DM wants it to

The Shadow Demon has specific text that states how it is formed:

When a demon's body is destroyed but the fiend is prevented from reforming in the Abyss, its essence sometimes takes on a vague physical form. These shadow demons exist outside the normal abyssal hierarchy, since their creation results most often from mortal magic, not from transformation or promotion.

The text is clear that this only happens if a demon's body is destroyed, not if a devil's body is destroyed. Hence this effect will not work for a devil.

There is no other monster that states something similar for devils, nor is there any general statement what happens if a devil is prevented from reforming in hell (at least not in the Monster Manual, Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes, and Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus, which are the primary sources for this kind of information for 5e).

Because of this, how you handle it if a devil is somehow prevented from reforming is up to you, as the DM. As per the given monster rules and lore, there is nothing that happens in this case, so you would need to rule it works in a similar way.


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