Best of the Beastiary, D&D

Demons Part 2: Balor (Best of the Bestiary)

Demons are painfully difficult to summon and control. It is not a burden for the weak of heart or the weak of spirit.
-From the Demonomicon of Iggwilv

Part One: Demonic Lore

It’s a Balrog. The designers watched ‘Fellowship of the Ring’ and said “Yes! That! We need that in the game!” when the ‘You Shall Not Pass’ scene came on.

Their flavor text is dead simple. They lead armies of destruction with a flaming sword and a lightning whip. Destruction is their only goal, and they are super good at getting it. That is literally everything that you need to know.

A Balor Demon in it of itself is not worthy of a story. It’s a piece in a much larger Demonic plot. Whether you use it as a primary antagonist or just as an obstacle, it serves one purpose: to be a wall of meat and power that the party will have a hard time killing.

But hey. At least he looks cool! But when you rip off the Balrog, that’s kind of a given.

Design: Servants of Morgoth- I Mean the Abyss

No, I’m not letting that go. These things are just fucking Balrogs! It even has an ability that lights itself on fire!

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Those weapons are metal as fuck though. Balrog didn’t have no lightning sword!

Honestly, out of all the demons, this thing is hardly the most creative. It really does look like a generic demon: big, red, flaming, and evil. Compared to the three monsters on the next page over, this thing is hardly all that interesting.

Still, at least it gets the point across. One look at this thing and you know exactly what you’re looking at. Though it does have one minor problem.

You may suddenly be compelled to read/watch The Lord of the Rings again. Like I was. If you’ll excuse me for a moment!

Stats: Don’t Roll a Nat 1

That’s probably the best advice I could give to any players going to fight one of these things.

The Balor demon has a decently high AC and a preporsterously high HP pool. Sure, it isn’t Tarasque or Tiamat levels of insane. But killing it won’t be easy for any adventurers, no matter how strong. Plus, it has an assload of resistances, along with complete immunity to fire and poison damage. So even if you do break its AC, it won’t be taking much damage.

But it’ll sure be dishing out its fair share.

This thing can make two attacks every turn, one with its whip and the other with its sword. Each one on its own would be dangerous enough. But when you combine the swords crazy damage with the whip’s ability to pull enemies closer to it? And its potentially damaging fire aura? And its teleporting spell? Well, that’s when you’ve got a recipe for trouble.

Also, all of its attacks are magical. Just so you know.

Oh, and don’t get comfortable after you kill it. Thanks to its Death Throes ability, the Balor demon explodes when it dies. Not only does this light basically everything in the area on fire and destroy the Balor’s weapons (in case you really wanted to upset the party’s barbarian). It also does, at worst: 70(20d6) fire damage.

Also in case you wanted to ruin the barbarian’s day. Because let’s face it, that’s always a good time!

This monster makes for a very straight-forward fight. Creativity on the part of the players can help defeat it. But it isn’t an absolute must for doing so. As long as they’re properly prepared, a high-level party can defeat a Balor demon.

Key word there being can.

Conclusion

Honestly, I have no strong love for the Balor demon. The lore exists only to service the greater demonic plotlines that are capable. Its design is a blatant copy-paste of an iconic Tolkien monster. The best and coolest thing about the Balor demon are its abilities! Aside from that, it’s one of the more forgettable of the Demons.

With that in mind, let’s put the Balor demon on the Best of the Bestiary!

  1. Beholder
  2. Death Tyrant
  3. Couatl
  4. Behir
  5. Aboleth
  6. Chuul
  7. Chimera
  8. Death Knight
  9. Ankheg
  10. Aarackockra
  11. Azer
  12. Demilich
  13. Spectator
  14. Cambion
  15. Animated Armor
  16. Banshee
  17. Basilisk
  18. Bulette
  19. Cloaker
  20. Darkmantle
  21. Balor <———
  22. Planetar
  23. Carrion Crawler
  24. Rug of Smothering
  25. Bugbear Chief
  26. Bugbear
  27. Vine Blight
  28. Twig Blight
  29. Needle Blight
  30. Bullywug
  31. Cockatrice
  32. Solar
  33. Deva
  34. Cyclops
  35. Centaur
  36. Flying Sword
  37. Crawling Claw

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