Oh, joy! Time for nightmares!
The Bone Devil is one of the only two Devils that I’ve personally used in a campaign so far. Granted, I had no idea what I was doing when I did. I threw him in there because he looked strong and scary, not because he worked on a narrative level. But now that I know that lore? I’m more than likely to use him again!
Osyluths are the taskmasters of the Nine Hells, driven by hate, lust (don’t make me think about that), and envy. They set lesser devils to work. But they find great pleasure in watching those very devils disobey them, as it can then give the Bone Devil the pleasure of getting it demoted. At the same time, it is deeply, bitterly envious of its superiors. It will do whatever it takes to curry favor, even if it heavily injures its pride to do so.
In a Devil-themed campaign, you can do a lot with this monster! Maybe the party runs into one and manages to trick it, promising to murder its superiors to help it get promoted! Or maybe you could set the party against a Bone Devil, sending them on a quest of espionage to frame the creature and demote it in a moment of karmic justice! If you put your imagination cap on, you can do a lot with this monster’s flavor text!
Design: Remember the Zerg from Starcraft?
Yeah, it’s that. It even has wings! That’s something I didn’t notice until I started writing this. Now I hate it even more.
This thing is legitimately terrifying! It’s like if a scorpion and a moth merged with a fucking vampire! Worse yet, this thing is classified as a Large class monster. Meaning that this thing is about as large as an adult Elephant! AND IT CAN FUCKING FLY!!
Nightmares aside, this is an incredibly good design! It’s both vastly creative and effective! It’s clear that the artists were allowed to go crazy with this one and they did an amazing job! This is easily one of my favorite monster designs in the entire book!
Everything you need to know about this monster, you can get it just by looking at it! The claws and stinger immediately draw the eyes, making its primary forms of attack impossible to miss! The wings help communicate as to how this creature can move, while the curved, animal-like legs make it clear that it can move far on foot! That face is unmistakably devil-like, hinting at its hellish origins!
It’s not as iconic as the Beholder. But it is exactly what I look for in a D&D design! It’s creative, effective, and damn cool! This thing gets an easy A+!
Even if it might end up giving me nightmares, now that I know it can fly. Speaking of which!
Stats: Yo, We Got Variations Now!
In terms of a fight, this monster isn’t super tricky. It has some troublesome abilities that could make a fight more memorable! But none of them would push a properly leveled party as far as other monsters.
Defensively speaking, this is a fairly intimidating beast. The AC is sitting at a fairly high 19, the HP averages at just below 150, and it’s completely immune to both fire and poison. Worse yet, all non-silvered, non-magical weapons do half damage. And if you had faith in cold magic, too bad. That’s cut in half as well.
Don’t count on blinding it, either. Devil’s Sight gives it immunity to magical darkness. Plus, it has Magic Resistance, giving it advantage on all magical saving throws. Spellcasters beware because this guy won’t go down easily.
Scarier yet are the Bone Devil’s movement options. Not only can it run up to 40 feet per turn. It can also fly at that same speed! That’s right, this thing can take the battle to the skies! Hope you aren’t afraid of mosquitos!
Offensively, this guy has a fair few options available. With Multiattack, it can swing three times: twice with its claws and once with its stinger. On their own, none of these attacks are especially dangerous. But together? This thing could make for a bad time!
The claw is very straightforward. Each hit deals 8(1d8+4) slashing damage. So, should both attacks hit, it can deal up to 16(2d8+8) damage. Not especially dangerous, but it could be problematic should it stack up.
The stinger, on the other hand, is very dangerous! It can deal up to 13(2d8+4) piercing damage, with an additional 17(5d6) poison damage. That alone would make it frightening! But should someone be hit by it, they will need to make a Constitution saving throw. Fail that, and they’ll be poisoned for up to one minute, leaving them helpless. Should they fail that saving throw again on their next turn, they’ll be totally vulnerable to all three of the Bone Devil’s attacks.
Pray that the wizard doesn’t get hit. Like always.
Do you not like the idea of claws? How about giving it a weapon? If you want, you could swap the monster’s claws out for a Hooked Polearm weapon. Not only does this thing deal 17(2d12+4) piercing damage, but it can also grapple any creature Huge or smaller should they fail the saving throw. If grappled, that leaves them even more vulnerable to the Stinger. Plus, should it lose the weapon, it can go right back to using its claws!
Again, this all makes for a fairly straightforward fight. But that doesn’t make it any less exhilarating! Maybe the party can try to disarm the monster? Or perhaps they could try to slice off the stinger? The options available to this monster can make the battle, while not especially unique, super intense and fun!
By the Nine Hells, this thing is amazing! Sure, the flavor text isn’t especially deep, but it’s interesting! The design is incredible! The stats could make for an amazing fight! This is easily the best monster we’ve talked about in a long fucking time!
With all that in mind, let’s put the Bone Devil on the Best of the Bestiary!
- Death Tyrant
- Death Knight
- Bone Devil <——
- Shadow Demon
- Animated Armor
- Bearded Devil
- Barbed Devil
- Carrion Crawler
- Rug of Smothering
- Bugbear Chief
- Vine Blight
- Twig Blight
- Needle Blight
- Flying Sword
- Crawling Claw