Best of the Beastiary, D&D

Devils Part 3: Barbazu, the Bearded Devil (Best of the Bestiary)

Our next devilish friend is the Barbazu. Otherwise known as the Bearded Devil. Let that sink in. Everyone else gets an intimidating name, like the Barbed Devil or the Chain Devil. This guy? He’s the Bearded Devil! Ooh! I’m shaking in my boots!

While the Barbed Devil is a guardian, the Bearded Devil is a warrior. They fight shoulder-to-shoulder on the front lines and respond with violence to even the slightest slight against them. Their snake-like beards contain a powerful venom which they use to poison their enemies, weakening them enough for their glaives to make easy work of.

On its own, you can’t really do anything with this guy. It’s a fodder enemy through and through. If you’re playing through a Devil-themed quest/campaign, you’ll undoubtedly make use of these guys. But if you want to tell a compelling tale with them on their own? Good luck.

Design: Medusa Beard!

From one beard to another: you might want to get that checked out.

This design is great! It’s simple and effective! Sure, it doesn’t look especially intimidating compared to the later Devils. But it still works on its own! Take a look!

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You can glean a ton just by looking at this thing! Both the glaive and the beard immediately stand out as threats, informing you as to what to watch out for during the fight. Its masculine form, the armor, and its proper stance with its weapon make it clear that it is a powerful warrior.

Plus, it is a fairly creative design! Not as much as certain other monsters in here, like the one that’s coming next week. But there is no monster quite like the Bearded Devil.

This isn’t some mind-boggling design. It’s incredibly simple. But that’s part of its charm. It clearly isn’t standing at the top of the hierarchy. But it’s still damn cool and intimidating!

Stats: An (Almost) Honorable Warrior

Out of all the Devils inhabiting the Nine Hells, this guy is among the weakest. He’s not as weak as the Imp or the Lemure. It could make for a decent boss fight for a first-level party (and a nice bit of foreshadowing), but it really isn’t much of a threat.

In terms of defenses, the Bearded Devil is hardly durable. Its AC is pretty low and the HP ranges around fifty. It’s resistant to cold and non-silvered, non-magical weapons. On top of that, it’s immune to fire and poison entirely. So, while the numbers aren’t all that high, it will take some time to kill. At least if the party is level one to three.

Not only that, but it’s immune to many status effects. Not only is the poison effect off the table, but it is also impossible to frighten this monster. On top of that, it has Devil Sight, which allows them to see through magical darkness.

When it comes to offensive abilities, this thing is fairly dangerous for low-level parties. It can make two attacks per turn, once with its glaive and another with its beard. Each one has a fair share of stuff going for them.

Damage wise, the Beard attack isn’t all that threatening. It only does 6(1d8+2) piercing damage. What makes it threatening is the poison. If you get hit, prepare to roll a Con save (which is fairly easy to beat). If you get poisoned, you will both be unable to move and unable to be healed.

The glaive weapon is just as dangerous. If you get hit, you’ll take an initial 8(1d10+3) slashing damage. If you then fail another Con save (equally easy), you’ll suffer from another 5(1d10) at the start of every turn. If you get hit again, that damage will increase by another 5(1d10). If you let that number add up, you will quickly find yourself in a shit ton of trouble! Worse yet, it requires magical healing to seal the wound shut.

Hope your cleric has your ass covered. Otherwise, your ass is literal toast!

If you kill this guy quickly, it won’t be much of a problem. But if you get hit and start failing saving throws? This enemy will quickly become dangerous! Taking that extra damage could cause a ton of panic in the party! How will they handle it? How will they avoid it? If more than one party member suffers from it, how will the party healer handle it? How will they handle it if they don’t have a healer? If this thing lasts long enough, it could cause quite the terrifying stir in your party members!

Or it could just murder them all. Believe me, I’m speaking from experience here when I tell you how dangerous this ability is.

Conclusion

The Bearded Devil is a fairly strong monster. The lore is super fucking weak, sure, but it’s made up for by its great design and fun abilities! It isn’t quite as interesting as others, sure. But it’s still a damn cool Devil!

With all that in mind, let’s put the Bearded Devil 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. Shadow Demon
  11. Marilith
  12. Aarackockra
  13. Azer
  14. Demilich
  15. Spectator
  16. Cambion
  17. Animated Armor
  18. Banshee
  19. Basilisk
  20. Yochlol
  21. Bulette
  22. Cloaker
  23. Darkmantle
  24. Bearded Devil <———-
  25. Barbed Devil
  26. Nalfeshnee
  27. Glabrezu
  28. Chasme
  29. Barlgura
  30. Balor
  31. Vrock
  32. Dretch
  33. Goristro
  34. Hezrou
  35. Manes
  36. Quasit
  37. Planetar
  38. Carrion Crawler
  39. Rug of Smothering
  40. Bugbear Chief
  41. Bugbear
  42. Vine Blight
  43. Twig Blight
  44. Needle Blight
  45. Bullywug
  46. Cockatrice
  47. Solar
  48. Deva
  49. Cyclops
  50. Centaur
  51. Flying Sword
  52. Crawling Claw

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