Devils are supremely powerful beings in Dungeons and Dragons. Many players have asked me if and how they age.
Are devils immortal in DND?
According to the D&D Monster Manual, devils are immortal. They do not age or die of old age. Players, other monsters, and other celestial beings can destroy devils. They spend their immortality in slavery, strict rule-keeping, and sudden power grabs.
In this article, I’ll answer the most common questions I get about devils and immortality.
Why Devils Are Immortal (Brief History)
The official Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual states explicitly that devils are immortal.
The Monster Manual says:
To own a creature’s soul is to have absolute control over that creature, and most devils accept no other currency in exchange for the fiendish power and boons they can provide. A soul is usually forfeited when a mortal dies naturally, for devils are immortal and can wait years for a contract to play out. If a contract allows a devil to claim a mortal’s soul before death, it can instantly return to the Nine Hells with the soul in its possession. Only divine intervention can release a soul after a devil has claimed it.
Demons live forever in the Lower Planes.
The Lower Planes consist of 9 outer realms populated by devils, demons, fiends, and other creatures on a sliding scale of evil alignment.
Are All Devils Immortal?
All devils in D&D are immortal, bound by the same powerful laws.
Let’s be clear:
- Devils in 1st edition D&D were immortal
- Devils in 2nd edition D&D were immortal
- Devils in 3rd edition D&D were immortal
- Devils in 4th edition D&D were immortal
- Devils in 5th edition D&D were immortal
- Devils in 6th edition D&D are immortal
The Lords of the Nine, who rule the Nine Hells in the Lower Planes, enforce the laws. They oversee and rule the devils.
Devils operate under a strict hierarchy, like an old-school organizational chart where power trickles down from top to bottom.
If you meet a devil in a D&D campaign, then you know they are ageless and timeless.
And probably super powerful, too.
List of Immortal Devils in DND
There are many immortal devils in Dungeons and Dragons.
Here is a quick list for your reference:
- Barbed Devil
- Bearded Devil
- Black Abishai
- Blue Abishai
- Bone Devil
- Chain Devil
- Green Abishai
- Hellfire Engine
- Horned Devil
- Ice Devil
- Monastery of the Distressed Body, Grand Master
- Pit Fiend
- Red Abishai
- Spined Devil
- White Abishai
This list includes the well-known devils based on official D&D gamebooks and lore.
Dungeon Masters (DMs) can homebrew an unlimited number of devils.
Are Devils Immortal in DND Beyond?
Devils are immortal in DND Beyond.
DND Beyond follows the official “rules as written” by Wizards of the Coast, the company that runs DND. Therefore, most of the content on DND Beyond is synchronous with the official DND.
On DND Beyond, there is also a ton of homebrew content about devils and demons.
Are Demons Immortal in D&D?
Demons in D&D are also immortal. However, demons and devils are completely different beings.
Demons are intensely evil, destroying everything in wild abandon.
A big difference between the two entities is that demons possess chaotic evil alignment, while devils follow lawful evil alignment.
Demons use their immortality to gain power by any means.
On the other hand, devils work in a militaristic system with rules and boundaries beyond human comprehension.
What Do Devils Do With Their Immortality?
During their immortality, devils wage war with demons.
They also love making crafty deals with mortals to gain an advantage in the Lower Planes and take the souls of nieve adventurers. Devils travel between the Lower Plane and Mortal Plan by portals and summoning spells.
They spend the rest of their time religiously following laws and trying to advance their own power.
They will spend all of eternity to gain another level.
How Do Devils Age in DND?
Devils do not age in the Lower Planes.
Theoretically, a devil might be hundreds of years old, yet still appear as a young adult to mortals.
Many devils consider their form unchanging.
They do not concern themselves with physical appearances, age, or time.
If Devils Are Immortal, How Do They Die?
Although devils are immortal in Dungeons and Dragons, that doesn’t mean they always live forever.
The Lower Planes are dangerous.
A devil could be destroyed by powerful demons or other devils. When devils cross over to the Mortal Plane, other creatures or even adventures could technically kill or trap them.
To do this, you’d need the right number of DND players, high-level characters, and a lot of luck.
FAQs About the Immortality of Devils
Immortality is, by definition, a long time.
Here are the answers to frequently asked questions about devil immortality.
Were Devils Ever Mortal?
Some devils started as mortals, who then were granted immortality by devils.
A devil might have been touched by a fiend or god in the past and thus became an immortal outsider.
Other devils were originally mortals who broke a contract with another devil. Their soul evolved into a monstrous fiend after countless generations in the Lower Planes.
Can Player Characters Become Immortal Devils?
Players cannot become devils following the standard rules of Dungeons and Dragons. Instead, players must homebrew a path to the dark side with their Dungeon Master.
With the license to homebrew, your DND character can be anything.
Player characters can also become demons.
The easiest path seems to be playing a Chaotic Evil character that dies. Once the character dies, their soul goes to the Abyss, where they become a demon.
Can Immortal Devils Become Immortal Demons?
With all that time on their hands, you might wonder if enterprising devils can whip up a bridge between being a devil and a demon.
There is not a lot of information available about this possibility in the D&D canon.
Therefore, we are left to speculate.
Based on D&D lore, some devils and demons have switched from one side to the other, so there is a precedent. Yet, the two beings are so diametrically different that it seems some major intervention would need to trigger the shift.
How Do Immortal Devils Reproduce?
Devils do not reproduce like Mortals.
Instead, devils take the souls of mortals to the Lower Planes, where the mortals become devils.
Demons are formless creatures, unlike most devils who have a humanoid form. They are unable to create a life on their own.
Thus, any demon children must come from another plane of existence or be created with magic.
To continue a demon’s bloodline, the demon may create a humanoid vessel in which to place its essence.
Where Can I Find More About Devils?
The best D&D books for devils are The Encyclopedia of Demons and Devils, The Book of Vile Darkness, Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes, and Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells.
DND Beyond also offers content about devils and demons.
Here is a good video about devils in D&D:
Final Thoughts: Are Devils Immortal in DND?
The immortality of devils is a fun concept to play around with as a Dungeon Master and as a player character.
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Wizards of the Coast
D&D Monster Manual