Demonic Monster Overhaul

Name dcss:brainstorm:monster: demon
Summary Demons occur in many places in Crawl, but most of them are very boring. This page lists attempts to fix specific ones and to fix demons as a whole.
Further information If you're aware of any SF pages, Mantis items, etc. relating to demons then please edit them in here.
Added by eronarn
Added on 2010-01-03 04:52

Demons are one of the least popular enemy groups in Crawl, perhaps rivaled only by bees and jellies. Most hellspawn span a range of failure modes from very boring to very annoying, with a thin offering of interesting challenges (e.g., Executioners). Please submit suggestions here.

Note that any demon changes will have to take into account their differing environs. Within most branches demons only appear in rare vaults or when summoned, and they should be particularly interesting combatants in these situations. However, demons are quite common within Pandaemonium, the Hells, and the Abyss and there they have to be suitable as common enemies.

0.6 Demon Stats

Note that these stats are from Gretell. They do not incorporate all monster characteristics - there is no single way of accessing that information.

Rulers of Hell
Antaeus (C) Speed: 10 HD: 22 Health: 700 AC/EV: 28/4 Damage: 75(cold), 30(cold) Flags: demonic, amphibious Res: magic(264), cold++, elec++ Vul: fire XP: 15000 Sp: b.cold, b.lightning.
Asmodeus (&) Speed: 10 HD: 17 Health: 450 AC/EV: 30/7 Damage: 50 Flags: demonic, evil, see invisible, fly Res: magic(272), hellfire, elec++, poison XP: 15000 Sp:, hellfire, demon, greater demon, b.draining, teleport self.
Dispater (&) Speed: 10 HD: 16 Health: 450 AC/EV: 40/3 Damage: 50 Flags: demonic, see invisible Res: magic(213), hellfire, cold, elec++, poison XP: 13932 Sp: greater demon, iron shot, demon, b.lightning, hellfire.
Ereshkigal (&) Speed: 14 HD: 18 Health: 250 AC/EV: 10/30 Damage: 40 Flags: demonic, evil, see invisible Res: magic(240), cold, elec++, poison XP: 14085 Sp: b.draining, b.cold, greater demon, torment symbol, paralyse, minor healing.
Geryon (&) Speed: 10 HD: 15 Health: 300 AC/EV: 15/6 Damage: 35 Flags: demonic, see invisible, fly Res: magic(120) XP: 6391 Sp: beast.
Serpent of Hell (D) Speed: 14 HD: 20 Health: 80-160 AC/EV: 12/9 Damage: 35, 15, 15 Flags: demonic, sense invisible, fly Res: magic(346), hellfire, poison XP: 10832 Sp: hellfire.
Lords of Pandemonium
Cerebov (&) Speed: 10 HD: 21 Health: 650 AC/EV: 30/8 Damage: 60 Flags: demonic, see invisible Res: magic(168), hellfire+++, poison XP: 15000 Sp: fire storm, iron shot, haste, greater demon.
Gloorx Vloq (&) Speed: 20 HD: 16 Health: 350 AC/EV: 10/10 Damage: 45 Flags: demonic, evil, see invisible, lev Res: magic(298), cold, elec++, poison XP: 15000 Sp: poison arrow, miasma, torment symbol, b.draining, dispel undead, invisibility.
Lom Lobon (&) Speed: 10 HD: 19 Health: 360 AC/EV: 10/20 Damage: 40 Flags: demonic, see invisible, lev Res: magic(immune), fire, cold+++, elec+++, poison XP: 11582 Sp: ice storm, conjure ball lightning, major healing, blink range, blink away.
Mnoleg (&) Speed: 13 HD: 17 Health: 250 AC/EV: 10/25 Damage: 35, 23 Flags: demonic, see invisible Res: magic(immune), fire, elec++, poison XP: 11754 Sp: greater demon, smiting, invisibility, horrible things, teleport self.
pandemonium lord (&) Speed: 9-17 HD: 13 Health: 121-239 AC/EV: 13/14 Damage: 49 Flags: demonic Res: magic(26), elec, poison XP: 5027 Sp: (random).
Fiend (1) Speed: 10 HD: 18 Health: 54-144 AC/EV: 15/6 Damage: 25, 15, 15 Flags: demonic, see invisible, fly Res: magic(288), hellfire, poison Vul: cold XP: 3715.
Ice Fiend (1) Speed: 10 HD: 18 Health: 54-144 AC/EV: 15/6 Damage: 25(cold), 25(cold) Flags: demonic, evil, see invisible, fly Res: magic(288), cold+++, poison Vul: fire XP: 2614 Sp: b.cold, torment symbol, demon.
Pit Fiend (1) Speed: 8 HD: 19 Health: 76-171 AC/EV: 17/5 Damage: 28, 21, 21 Flags: demonic, see invisible, fly Res: magic(304), hellfire, cold, elec++, poison XP: 1877.
Shadow Fiend (1) Speed: 10 HD: 18 Health: 54-144 AC/EV: 15/6 Damage: 25(drain), 15(drain), 15(drain) Flags: demonic, evil, see invisible, lev Res: magic(312), cold++, elec++, poison XP: 2782 Sp: b.cold, b.draining, torment symbol, dispel undead, demon.
Greater Demons
Balrug (1) Speed: 12 HD: 14 Health: 42-112 AC/EV: 5/12 Damage: 25(fire) Flags: demonic, see invisible, fly Res: magic(168), hellfire, poison Vul: cold XP: 2524 Sp:, fireball, sticky flame, smiting, teleport self.
Blue Death (1) Speed: 12 HD: 12 Health: 36-96 AC/EV: 10/10 Damage: 20, 20 Flags: demonic, see invisible, fly Res: magic(144), cold++, elec++, poison Vul: fire XP: 1702 Sp: b.lightning, b.cold, call imp, shadow creatures, teleport other.
Cacodemon (1) Speed: 10 HD: 13 Health: 39-104 AC/EV: 11/10 Damage: 22 Flags: demonic, see invisible, lev Res: magic(156), elec++, poison XP: 1404 Sp: call imp, polymorph other, b.dig, demon.
Executioner (1) Speed: 20 HD: 12 Health: 36-96 AC/EV: 10/15 Damage: 30, 10, 10 Flags: demonic, evil, see invisible Res: magic(144), fire, cold, elec++, poison XP: 2373 Sp: pain, haste.
Green Death (1) Speed: 12 HD: 13 Health: 39-104 AC/EV: 5/7 Damage: 32 Flags: demonic, see invisible Res: magic(156), poison XP: 1834 Sp: poison arrow, poisonous cloud, b.venom, call imp, blink.
Major Demons
beast (2) Speed: 10-17 HD: 6 Health: 42-96 AC/EV: 4/9 Damage: 28, 20 Flags: demonic Res: magic(28) XP: 289.
hellion (2) Speed: 13 HD: 7 Health: 21-56 AC/EV: 5/10 Damage: 10 Flags: demonic Res: magic(65), hellfire, poison Vul: cold XP: 594 Sp: hellfire burst.
ice devil (2) Speed: 10 HD: 11 Health: 33-88 AC/EV: 12/10 Damage: 16(cold) Flags: demonic Res: magic(88), cold+++, poison Vul: fire XP: 788.
Lorocyproca (2) Speed: 9 HD: 12 Health: 36-96 AC/EV: 10/12 Damage: 25, 25 Flags: demonic, sense invisible Res: magic(112), fire, cold, elec++, poison XP: 503.
reaper (2) Speed: 10 HD: 8 Health: 24-64 AC/EV: 15/10 Damage: 32 Flags: demonic, see invisible Res: magic(immune), cold, poison XP: 445.
soul eater (2) Speed: 10 HD: 11 Health: 33-88 AC/EV: 18/10 Damage: 25(drain) Flags: demonic, evil, see invisible, lev Res: magic(146), cold, poison XP: 858.
sun demon (2) Speed: 12 HD: 10 Health: 30-80 AC/EV: 10/12 Damage: 30(fire) Flags: demonic, sense invisible, lev Res: magic(80), hellfire, elec++, poison Vul: cold XP: 918.
Lesser Demons
blue devil (3) Speed: 10 HD: 7 Health: 21-56 AC/EV: 14/10 Damage: 21 Flags: demonic, fly Res: magic(46), cold+++, poison Vul: fire XP: 224.
chaos spawn (3) Speed: 11 HD: 6 Health: 18-48 AC/EV: 7/12 Damage: 21(chaos)(elec) Flags: demonic, see invisible Res: magic(56) XP: 197.
iron devil (3) Speed: 8 HD: 8 Health: 24-64 AC/EV: 16/8 Damage: 14, 14 Flags: demonic Res: magic(64), hellfire, cold, elec++, poison XP: 323.
neqoxec (3) Speed: 10 HD: 6 Health: 18-48 AC/EV: 4/12 Damage: 15 Flags: demonic, evil, lev Res: magic(48), poison XP: 182 Sp: polymorph other, brain feed, call imp.
orange demon (3) Speed: 10 HD: 8 Health: 32-72 AC/EV: 3/7 Damage: 8, 10(poison, drain stat) Flags: demonic Res: magic(64) XP: 416.
shadow demon (3) Speed: 11 HD: 6 Health: 18-48 AC/EV: 7/12 Damage: 21 Flags: demonic, see invisible Res: magic(56), cold++, poison XP: 198.
smoke demon (3) Speed: 9 HD: 7 Health: 21-56 AC/EV: 5/9 Damage: 8, 5, 5 Flags: demonic, fly Res: magic(56), fire++, poison XP: 314 Sp: sticky flame, steam ball, smiting.
tormentor (3) Speed: 13 HD: 7 Health: 21-56 AC/EV: 12/12 Damage: 8, 8 Flags: demonic, evil, fly Res: magic(56), fire, poison XP: 413 Sp: pain, torment symbol.
ynoxinul (3) Speed: 10 HD: 6 Health: 18-48 AC/EV: 3/10 Damage: 12 Flags: demonic, sense invisible, fly Res: magic(48), cold, elec++, poison XP: 197 Sp: iron shot, ufetubus.
Minor Demons
hairy devil (4) Speed: 10 HD: 6 Health: 18-48 AC/EV: 7/10 Damage: 9, 9 Flags: demonic Res: magic(32), poison XP: 156.
hellwing (4) Speed: 10 HD: 7 Health: 28-63 AC/EV: 8/10 Damage: 17, 10 Flags: demonic, evil, fly Res: magic(56), poison XP: 388 Sp: teleport other, animate dead, teleport self.
red devil (4) Speed: 10 HD: 5 Health: 15-40 AC/EV: 10/10 Damage: 18 Flags: demonic, fly Res: magic(46), hellfire, poison Vul: cold XP: 129.
rotting devil (4) Speed: 10 HD: 5 Health: 15-40 AC/EV: 2/10 Damage: 8(rot) Flags: demonic Res: magic(46), cold, poison XP: 105.
sixfirhy (4) Speed: 30 (move: 60%) HD: 6 Health: 18-48 AC/EV: 2/20 Damage: 12(elec) Flags: demonic Res: magic(48) XP: 261.
imp (5) Speed: 10 HD: 3 Health: 9-18 AC/EV: 3/14 Damage: 4 Flags: demonic, fly Res: magic(36), hellfire, poison Vul: cold XP: 48.
iron imp (5) Speed: 8 HD: 3 Health: 9-24 AC/EV: 5/8 Damage: 12 Flags: demonic Res: magic(12), hellfire, cold, elec++, poison XP: 10.
lemure (5) Speed: 12 HD: 2 Health: 6-16 AC/EV: 1/12 Damage: 5, 3, 3 Flags: demonic Res: magic(8), poison XP: 13.
midge (5) Speed: 10 HD: 2 Health: 6-16 AC/EV: 4/10 Damage: 8(blink) Flags: demonic, fly Res: magic(8), poison XP: 13.
quasit (5) Speed: 13 HD: 3 Health: 6-24 AC/EV: 5/17 Damage: 3(drain dexterity), 2(drain dexterity), 2(drain dexterity) Flags: demonic Res: magic(5), fire, cold, poison XP: 34.
shadow imp (5) Speed: 10 HD: 2 Health: 6-16 AC/EV: 3/11 Damage: 6 Flags: demonic, see invisible, evil Res: magic(8), cold++, poison XP: 11 Sp: pain, animate dead.
ufetubus (5) Speed: 15 HD: 1 Health: 4-10 AC/EV: 2/15 Damage: 5, 5 Flags: demonic Res: magic(4), cold Vul: fire XP: 3.
white imp (5) Speed: 10 HD: 2 Health: 6-16 AC/EV: 4/10 Damage: 4(cold) Flags: demonic, fly Res: magic(8), cold++, poison Vul: fire XP: 10 Sp: throw frost.
Other Demonic Creatures
small abomination (x) Speed: 7-15 HD: 6 Health: 12-42 AC/EV: 0/0 Damage: 23 Flags: demonic Res: magic(40), poison XP: 118.
large abomination (X) Speed: 6-12 HD: 11 Health: 22-77 AC/EV: 0/0 Damage: 40 Flags: demonic Res: magic(102), poison XP: 511.
Azrael (E) Speed: 10 HD: 11 Health: 88 AC/EV: 10/5 Damage: 12 Flags: demonic, lev Res: magic(44), fire+++, poison Vul: cold XP: 1588 Sp:, sticky flame, fireball, hellfire, hellfire burst.
demonic crawler (s) Speed: 9 HD: 9 Health: 27-72 AC/EV: 10/6 Damage: 13, 13, 13 Flags: demonic, no skeleton, see invisible Res: magic(72), fire, cold, elec++, poison XP: 238.
efreet (E) Speed: 10 HD: 7 Health: 21-56 AC/EV: 10/5 Damage: 12 Flags: demonic, lev Res: magic(28), fire+++, poison Vul: cold XP: 337 Sp:, fireball.
hell hog (h) Speed: 14 HD: 11 Health: 33-88 AC/EV: 2/9 Damage: 20 Flags: demonic Res: magic(44) XP: 980 Sp: sticky flame splash.
hell hound (h) Speed: 15 HD: 5 Health: 15-40 AC/EV: 6/13 Damage: 13 Flags: demonic, sense invisible Res: magic(20), hellfire, poison Vul: cold XP: 145.
Mara (R) Speed: 10 HD: 20 Health: 140 AC/EV: 10/14 Damage: 30 Flags: demonic, evil, spellcaster, see invisible Res: magic(213), elec++, poison XP: 7532 Sp: mislead, mara summon, b.lightning, player ghost, pain, teleport self.
rakshasa (R) Speed: 10 HD: 10 Health: 30-80 AC/EV: 10/14 Damage: 20 Flags: demonic, spellcaster, see invisible Res: magic(133), poison XP: 1070 Sp: rakshasa summon, blink, invisibility, teleport self.
tentacled monstrosity (X) Speed: 9 HD: 25 Health: 75-200 AC/EV: 5/5 Damage: 22, 17, 13 Flags: demonic, amphibious, see invisible Res: magic(166), fire, cold, elec++, poison XP: 2136.

Non-Systematic Fixes

For changes that can be done in their own right.


Being the overly arrogant king of Hell, he should be perfectly confident in his physical abilities and doesn't need summoning or torment for backup. However, a flavorful way for him to deal with kiting would be him blinking the player to melee range. “No, YOU come to me.” — tonfa 2011-07-03 14:04

Sounds interesting, but wouldn't an amulet of stasis render this ineffective? Many people already wear stasis in hells to prevent paralysis from hell effects, so this ability might be wasted most of the time. — minmay 2011-07-04 1:51
Stasis in general seems to be a very hard counter to many creatures' spells. Most of MR-resistable ones actually. It's swapped much like Resist Mutation, except Stasis works 100% of the time. — b0rsuk 2011-07-04 18:09

Systematic Fixes

For changes that only make sense as part of a larger overhaul.

Standard Model of Demonology (Eronarn)

This is an attempt to do the following:

  • Provide more flavor to areas where demons congregate.
  • Make demon glyphs correspond directly to threat.
  • Make individual demons more interesting, both in flavor and abilities.

It is composed of three parts: Demonic Symmetry, Revised Demons, and New Demons.

Demonic Symmetry

In this proposal, there is some measure of symmetry to demon assignment to demonic locations. In other words, certain demons would reside in various places. They wouldn't be found there exclusively, but perhaps more commonly, and effects may take this into account (for example, a summoning spell that summons many creatures but only from one specific Hell). The flavor of existing demons lines up fairly well with this goal, and this component of the plan largely consists of renaming and reassigning with a few holes to fill.

The Legions of Hell
Guardian??Serpent of Hell?
Fiend (1)Ice FiendIron FiendSmoke FiendShadow Fiend
Major Demon (2)ice devil?sun demonreaper
Major Demon (2)??hellionsoul eater
Lesser Demon (3)blue deviliron devilsmoke demonshadow demon
Imp (5)white impiron impred impshadow imp

As can be seen, there is a fair amount of symmetry here. There is room to add aligned 4s, if more demons are desired.

As for the entries in italics:

  • Iron Fiend: The current Pit Fiend, but renamed and unable to fly (Their flight is the only factor where they differ from other iron creatures). Possibly, loss of Hellfire for a more “metallic” spell. Possibly, more spell variety (in line with Ice/Shadow Fiends).
  • Smoke Fiend: The current Fiend, but renamed. Possibly, more spell variety (in line with Ice/Shadow Fiends).
  • red imp: The current imp, but renamed.
    • Big NO to Diablo-style copy/paste variety. — b0rsuk 2010-01-17 10:00
      • I don't mean copying the current imp - I mean just renaming it to 'red imp' instead of 'imp'. Like we did with manes ⇒ 'iron imp' already.

There are these gaps left to fill:

  • A new major demon for Cocytus.
  • Two new major demons for Dis.
  • Guardians for the other Hells. This isn't strictly necessary - the Serpent could be a truly one-off addition to Gehenna.

Note that dragons line up neatly with the Hells. I think it would be a nice touch of flavor if they appeared randomly in them fairly rarely, but always came as an escort/guard to that Hell's ruler. This could be accompanied by messages like “The iron dragons at the foot of Dispater's throne take notice of you!”

Hordes of Pandemonium
RulerCerebovGloorx VloqLom LobonMnoleg
Major Demon (1)BalrugExecutionerBlue Death??
Minor Demon (4)ice devilrotting devilsixfirhyneqoxec*
Least Demon (5)?
Wall Colordark reddark greywhitedark red
Floor Colordark reddark greygreyyellow
Entry Message“Searing heat pours from the
floors and walls of this place.”
“Shadowy figures dance
across your vision.”
“You sense a powerful magical presence.
It is not pleased.”
“The air here is
shimmering with an eerie glow.”

The special Pan lord levels don't have the same flavor that the Hells do - indeed, nobody has even given them names. We could do a lot to improve these. One aspect would be to have flavorful demonic legions at the command of these Pan lords. Above is an attempt to do that.

Note that 5s are currently intended to be filled by a “generic 5” of uncertain current stats. Also, the gap between 1 and 4 is dramatic and there's already a “violation” there with neqoxecs being 3s, so it is not set in stone. For example, the Pan Lords could have 2s or 3s at their command.

Other Demonic Clades

Malign Spirits

Efreets and rakshasa, including their corresponding uniques Azrael and Mara, could be considered evil spirits rather than true demons. I propose that a new “spirit” classification be added. This would represent beings that have a magical “essence” or “presence”, but don't fit into the demonic hierarchy. Most (but not all) abilities that affect demons could also affect spirits with the evil flag. Other spirits could include some non-living creatures: insubstantial wisps, vortexes, vapours, or possibly even elementals. There are also the holy spirits from the 0.7 holy monsters wiki page.

And what would be the point of this ? The distinction seems very arbitrary for me. — b0rsuk 2010-01-17 10:00
Since Zaba asked for a better explanation: the idea is to separate 'true demons' that embody Hell, Abyss, or Pan from other types of creatures that may be evil, malign presences, and may reside in those places, but are not truly 'of' them. The point of this is further expansion: it lets us have an ability that only affects true demons, for example, or one that affects spirits (regardless of how (un)holy they are). It also lets us have modifiers, such as “affects all undead spirits”, that right now would have to be listed along the lines of “affects all shadows, spectres, wraiths, etc.”. Not much would change right now, except from a bookkeeping perspective, but we could do a lot of cool things with this in the future. — eronarn 2010-04-16 19:34

Demonic Animals

Hell hounds and hell hogs are currently classified as demons, but use the h glyph. Despite their annoyance, they are good additions to the game. However, they do not necessarily have to be “true” demons. They could be evil spirits, or they could become “unaligned” 4s - there is strong precedent for this, as smoke demons look like smoke yet aren't # glyph.


“X” represents abominations (undead), but also otherworldy beings. The only current example of one is the Tentacled Monstrosity - which is solid, but a bit boring. I recommend that, like efreets and rakshasa, it becomes an evil spirit rather than a “true” demon. I also recommend that we add more creatures in this classification. The spell Summon Horrible Things has the potential to become very flavorful if we replace the abominations it summons with Presences From Beyond.

Revised Demons

One of the goals is to make individual demons more interesting, and another is to make their threat level and glyph correspond. Many demons are boring or poorly matched to their glyph, so there is a long list of suggested changes (which take into account my suggestions above about symmetry):

New abilities for demons: (— b0rsuk 2010-01-17 10:00)

Sense Arcane:

These demons can smell use of magic spells. If player casts a spell, for their purposes it counts as an EXTREMELY loud noise that only these demons can hear. The effect should be very noticable, so it makes one or two demons stand out.

>I love this ability! — eronarn 2010-09-22 17:54 Teleport Pursuit:

When a creature (including player) is teleported, all creatures with Teleport Pursuit immediately spawn there. I think it should go to Lemure - strong enough to scratch mid-late game spellcasters, not strong enough to devastate and make player feel cheated.

> This one too! Though I would do it like this: these creatures have teleport control, blink, and teleport self. If you gain the tele status, they start to tele themselves. If you blink or tele to a spot, all on the level are awoken. The ones in LOS will have had some time to start teleporting, but the ones out of LOS will take a few turns to show up (and will do so staggered). — eronarn 2010-09-22 17:54 Swollen with Poison:

Creates a Poisonous Cloud on death. Almost all demons resist poison so potential for friendly fire is very small.

Let's do this with rotting demons and their miasma. — eronarn 2010-09-22 17:54 Another thing: Behavior and AI Proposals could be used for one of demons. Some could actively seek and attack all nearest targets. Think of Horned Reaper from Dungeon Keeper.

  • Cacodemon should have some more threatening spells, for example: have summon demon replace call imp, have an offensive spell replace dig (like maybe crystal spear or orb of destruction) and maybe also give it another spell like shadow creatures.
    • On dig, I hear that in ancient versions, monsters always knew the player's position, so cacodemons would quickly tunnel to the player. I propose to revive this, with cacodemons specially knowing the player's position, and digging noisily (or otherwise attracting a band), to it. With that out of the way, call imp is a bit of clutter, and I wouldn't mind a demon with iood, so that sounds nice. Apparently cacodemons already have summon demon, but it's in the escape slot, so it never gets used. — mrmistermonkey 2010-10-24 10:49
  • Sun demons should have a large Cornea type of effect around themselves.
  • Soul eater should have a 'negative energy field' around themselves that does damage based on Negative energy resistance.
  • Reapers should have the ability to summon spectral versions of monsters you have previously killed.
  • beasts – give them knockback (suggested by og17), and bleed effect on hit — blue_anna 2010-09-19 18:28
  • Blue devils sometimes offer deals to you in exchange for items, or temporary use(draining) of your stats or max hp/pp. The devils that offer this become neutral if you accept the deal and disappear, and attack if you chose not to accept. They should offer temporary enhancements such as might, agility, or swiftness, or offer an unidentified glowing/randart object. The unidentified items should be heavily slanted towards being bad, or not that great, but with the rare chance to get something that you might want to use.
  • Orange demons should use different poisons each time they attack and possibly have multiple, weaker attacks that all use different poisons. Their poisons should include Str, Dex, Int drain, curare, paralyzing, confusing, sickness and normal poisons. This would create a much more interesting threat then current provided from them.
    • All those listed poisons sound like overkill to me, especially for a type “3” demon. That being said, the poisons to drain Int and Dex as well as Str sound good and fit the orange demon thematically. I've implemented them in master. — dolorous
  • Red devils have the same 'deals with the devil' as Blue devils provide, but with lesser costs and lesser rewards.
  • Hellwings should becomes some type of skeletal devil, made from the skeletons of various monsters. They should have sizes like slime creatures do, but their sizes are based on the amount of skeletons they are composed of. A Hellwing start out made of five through six skeletons, and as it is damaged it sometimes drops off a skeleton. If one drop off a skeleton like this, it should passively animate it. In addition, a Hellwing can chose to drop off multiple skeletons and automatically animate them. When a Hellwing is severely hurt, it will Teleport you or itself. If it is out of LOS it will scrounge the Dungeon level for skeletons to add to itself. If it doesn't find any in a long enough amount of time, fake it finding some by adding monsters of the appropriate depth to its being. When a Hellwing is destroyed, generate some of the skeletons of the monster that compose it. This would help to provide necromancers in the Hells and Pan with a small amount of skeletons to make use of now and then in addition to being a more interesting monster mechanically and favor fully.
  • Lemures are totally boring.
    • Does the same apply to midges? — dolorous
  • “5” demons are important because this is presumably what Summon Imp spell should produce. Common, red Imp is good as a early game challenge for player, but totally sucks as an ally - it's too defensive and doesn't distract monsters.

b0rsuk 2010-01-17 10:00

I love the idea of imps distracting monsters better than other summons, by taunting them (loudly). They're so annoying to players, after all. — eronarn 2010-09-22 17:54

New Demons

When I see proposals for new demons while current ones as boring as hell, I want to scream. I think many demons should be removed or at least replaced first. — b0rsuk 2010-01-17 10:00

To fill the holes in the symmetrical assignment, I suggest these new demons:

Rust Demon (2/3)

One of the empty Dis slots should be a rust-related demon. Perhaps non-acidic corrosion attacks? Perhaps it could not play nice with iron creatures (including demons): weakening them to strengthen itself, or maybe spawning more rust demons.

Blade Demon (2)

Cyan demon, described as a “churning maelstrom of excellent swordsmanship”. It's made entirely of swords, possibly even demon blades only. It can split off parts of itself, like a slime creature's merge but not guaranteed. XP should be handled in such a way that there is no difference between killing it and killing all of its swords.

sorear had the idea of making it into a Horror (X), rather than a Dis inhabitant 2. I'd be fine with that.

Magenta Death (1)

A horrible bright magenta demon. Kin to Mnoleg. Casts Mutagenic Cloud (like Poisonous Cloud, but mutagenic fog), Mutagenic Radiance (like OTR, but polymorph), and… Summon Butterflies. If that's felt to be too silly, they could summon a bunch of “terrified humans” or “test subjects” with MR 0, or Pulsating Lumps.

I don't think we need symmetry for demons. Symmetry is way far from chaos. Symmetry is useful to give tip when you want new ideas, though.
However, I think we should leave all demons we have strong memory (like common imps) or special usage (like beast). Remove/replace all the other demons. And discuss carefully before adding a new kind of demon. — ahyangyi 2010-02-10 15:20
Gate Demon (2)

A type of iron demon, slow and heavily armoured. Rather unimpressive on their own, but will tend to spawn in pairs. Gate demons will always try to stay precisely one square apart from other nearby gate demons, moving in parallel. The space between two gate demons is occupied by a cloud of seething chaos. Chaos Spawn will periodically be summoned via this chaotic gateway. Larger groups of gate demons could arrange themselves into more elaborate gating configurations, summoning ever more powerful abyssal creatures. — Mu. 2010-03-13 16:26


I like the tables. I like the idea of “Summon Tartarus Demons”. I like the idea of Pan having different types of levels, where the monster generation and other features are skewed towards some defined set. Those would of course provide different challenges to different types of characters. I don't like the thought that the sets should have 1-2-3-4-5 symmetry. Those niches can be filled with the “other demonic clades”, for instance. One of the things we should strive for is to mix up the end-game in terms of what kind of character builds can play it. Now that it's all-evil, all-non-corpse-dropping, TSO is a no-brainer while Fedhas has no hope. We should give tentacled monstrosities, etc. corpses. The idea of holy Pan levels is good as well. — evktalo 2010-04-02 19:17

  • Hell hounds, hell hogs and demonic crawlers (the first two thanks to kilobyte) now leave corpses in master. — dolorous

It seems to me that the main problem with demons if that by the time you meet them, only those with torment, hellfire, smite, a mutating attack or powerful attacks (executioners) are somewhat challenging, and other demons mostly just feel like a speedbump that fills the square and needs to be removed to go forward. Some of these speedbumps require casting the Abjuration spell, but are not otherwise more threatening. So basically only fiends, balrugs, Executioners, hellions, neqoxecs, tormentors, smoke demons are threatening, and everything else tends to be mostly irrelevant. Imps appear early in the dungeon and are interesting there, but most other tier 2-5 demons very rarely seem to get a chance to shine. — luca

How about mostly empowering the existing demons? A general principle could be:

  • Lords of Hell and Pandemonium, and their guardians, are the most powerful enemies in the game
  • Tier 1 demons are resilient, have powerful melee, powerful magic and powerful partially irresistible attacks (hellfire, torment, executioner melee)
  • Tier 2 demons have only some of the above
  • Tier 3 demons have only a single interesting attack and are otherwise average
  • Tier 4 demons have some interesting ability which is not however very threatening
  • Tier 5 demons are quirky but not very dangerous

For instance (mostly a brainstorm):

  • Raise the HPs of Gloorx Vloq, Lom Lobon to around 450-500
  • Mnoleg needs to become more powerful: maybe an “aura of chaos” that gives you (cumulative) temporary levels of bad mutations while he is in sight (“Mnoleg's aura temporarily warps your very nature!”), with a short timeout otherwise. This is fun since your helmets, boots, gloves, etc. will start falling out as you fight him, etc. Also raise his HP to 600-1000 to make the fun last longer, with a temporary bad mutation level gained each turn, and fast regeneration so it's hard to escape and retry. Give him high powered abjuration so you can't just send summons in. Also give him Blink, so it's harder to fire/ice storm him from out of los. Make him entering los from out of los give a *lot* of bad temporary mutations and a single permanent one (“Mnoleg gets in sight! His apparition permanently mutates you, but you become accustomed to his presence!”), so the fire/ice storm strategy is further discouraged.
  • Antaeus is non-threatening outside melee, so give it a partially irresistible ranged ice attack (“Antaeus throws a huge icy boulder!”, like fireball but with an irrestible portion like ice storm?) and maybe summon ice fiend too (which torments)
  • Ice fiends start being generated normally in Cocytus
  • Shadow fiends start being generated normally in Tartarus
  • Make tier 1 demons more frequent in Pandemonium
  • Add an Iron Fiend (maybe from the pit fiend) with torment and high-powered crystal spear
  • Make the Ice Fiend bolt of cold partially irresistible (“throws shards of ice”?)
  • Improve the Cacodemon's ability to alter the dungeon: let it entomb any demon with low HP, or surround it with lava if the player does not fly.
  • Give the sun demon an “aura of hellfire” that does (reduced?) hellfire damage to the enemies close to it. Give it to the Serpent of Hell too for flavor.
  • Give the reaper a *much* more powerful melee attack. Maybe it should be a slow attack consisting of an announcement (“The reaper lifts his scythe, preparing to reap you!”, then “Death itself strikes you down!” with a powerful melee attack capable of killing a fragile character in no more than two hits)
  • Give the soul eater an “halo of void” that negatively enhances magic to anything in los, and gives them a negative slaying bonus (if multiple soul eaters are present, base the power on the logarithm of their number). This is also rather appropriate when they come from miscasts/god wrath.
  • Give something to the Lorocyproca (blink + blink other + an electric spell?). Blink other from an invisible monster should be fun.
  • Buff up the beast in attack and defense
  • Give the iron devil a tier 2 demon with mid-powered crystal spear, upgrade to 2
  • Give the blue devil a tier 2 demon with some of Nikola's spells, upgrade to 2
  • Make the red devil a tier 2 demon with Fireball and Bolt of Fire
  • Give the shadow demon a variant of Haunt
  • Add a tier 3 succubus which behaves like a siren
  • Give something to the orange demon (an attack and a spell that make you glow?)
  • Give the sixfirhy Shock
  • Give the hairy devil a sickness attack
  • Add a new tier 4 demon called “shifting imp” that changes himself into the imp most suitable to the situation (if enemies deal fire damage or are vulnerable to fire, switch to imp, etc.), maybe remove the midge in favor of this
  • Make lemures turn into more powerful demons if not killed quickly (“The lemure graduates to an higher demonic tier!”, turning it into with 75% change into a tier 4 demon, and with 25% in a tier 3 one)

Furthermore, add hellish portal vaults where tier 2-3 demons can shine. Maybe even make (deep!) shafts send you into hellish portal vaults sometimes (“You fall into a shaft! You find yourself in a region of Hell! You must find a portal to escape!”). Shafts in Zot could always send you to hell.

The hellish vaults would have mostly tier 2-5 demons and an unescorted fiend at the end.

Also, maybe add guardians for other hells:

  • Kraken Duke of Cocytus: high HP demonic kraken with irrestistible ice cloud instead of ink, summon succubi (aka demonic siren), and maybe other tweaks
  • Colossal Guardian of Dis: high HP golem with crystal spear, orb of destruction, LRD and shatter (should zap metal walls when appropriate)
  • Supreme Judge of Tartarus: high HP reaper with super melee, torment, dispel undead, Haunt
  • Serpent of Hell gains the aura of hellfire
  • For more fun:
    • Also add an “Eel of Hell”, which randomly pops up as an hell effect on any Cocytus floor, zaps the player with chain lightning, conjures multiple ball lightnings in a single turn, and then disappears. The Kraken could also summon the Eel.
    • Supreme Judge of Tartarus summons player ghosts (without deleting them, and maybe also of ascended players)
    • Serpent of Hell summons multiple (red) dragons haunt-style
    • Also Antaeus should prefer to summon the Kraken Duke instead of swimming himself, if the player is over/near water



  • Demons aren't THAT boring. Most of the reason it seems that way is because 2s through (most) 5s are never generated and summoned where they're relevant.
    • Placement is valid, but half of them actually are that boring, and appearing earlier to be a wall of stats would make them a boring threat. — og17 2010-10-31 16:52
  • 1s shouldn't waste their time summoning huge masses of 3s that summon huge masses of 5s. It's pointless.
    • Crowds like this limit movement, which is hardly pointless with smiters/tormentors/ranged attackers/mutators/whatever. Not everyone is a pan farmer. — og17 2010-10-31 16:52
      • Maybe they should spend their time smiting/tormenting/mutating/whatever instead of blocking off melee and ranged threats. — tgw 2010-10-31 18:14
        • Demons can displace each other. Also, the biggest threat on the map is the player, so blocking him off seems like a good plan. — og17 2010-10-31 18:32
  • Any amount of differentiation among the lesser demons is pointless as long as they all die in one hit without doing anything.
    • What does “without doing anything” mean? Shadow imps raise high-HD dead (if they ever had corpses) and white imps destroy potions, for example, despite both being imps. If demons can't “do anything,” it's because they're boring and need differentiation. “One hit” is also ignoring your own point of placement. — og17 2010-10-31 16:52
      • There aren't any corpses where there are demons (well, maybe some elf corpses (i.e. more popcorn)). White imps can probably destroy potions, in theory, but they also have 6-16 HP. This is the same point as above: demons aren't placed well. — tgw 2010-10-31 18:14
        • White imps destroy potions in hell, which shows that monsters don't need HP to have an impact. This sort of property is ideal, actually, as such monsters remain significant long after they cease to be a straight threat (regardless of if they actually show up or not). — og17 2010-10-31 18:32
  • Eronarn suggests tier-N demons come with one respawning N+1 demon (maybe a few), like demonic guardian. This creates the feel of a hierarchy without the current summoning spam.
    • This would feel like they're keeping pets, and complicate exp gain or abjuration, and remove spam. — og17 2010-10-31 16:52
      • I don't see the problem with any of these. Experience gain would not be affected that much, considering the drop-off in experience between tiers. I'm not sure what “complicating abjuration” even means. — tgw 2010-10-31 18:14
        • Are these pets temporary? Can they be abjured? Do they give exp? Are they like royal jelly spawns? Though these are just complications, losing swarms would be undesirable in itself. — og17 2010-10-31 18:32
  • Early demons should show up somewhere they're not useless. An early branch or portal vault with demons would be a good place to use the 4s and 5s that never show up.

tgw 2010-10-31 05:28


I think it would be benificial if you drew from existing literature on the topic. The Lesser Key of Solomon (17th century) and Dictionnaire Infernal (18th century) are two great grimoires on demonology. Drawing influence from these texts will certainly benefit Crawl.

If you look at the demons described within the books, and the abilities that they have, you can surely create interesting and appropriate demons/abilities (instead of coming up with things that 'seem cool' but are utterly random and out-of-key with existing texts).

Also, saying that a demon is 'boring' because it poses no challenge is flawed. If the player is constantly overwhelmed by challenging monsters, they will never have a chance to 'breath'. The 'fun' they experience will have diminishing returns. There need to be monsters that don't pose a challenge to balance the flow of the game. You wouldn't want to cycle up a hill all day without a break.

The idea of 'filling the gap' so all regions of Hell are the same shouldn't be done unless a very suitable monster can be placed there. Cloning low-tier/high-tier monsters but making them weaker/stronger is not the way to go about it. All areas do not need to have identical tiers of demons as not all the lords/rulers will organise their legions in the same way. — studiomk

I completely agree with that last paragraph; I don't think it's necessarily desirable for the demons native to/associated with a Hell to have cognates/counterparts in the other Hells. It's fine for some of them, but if most of them are like that, it seems awkward and, in my opinion, reduces game variety and branch differentiation. — danei 2010-09-17 22:26
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