Best of the Beastiary, D&D

Devils Part 8: Gelugon, the Ice Devil (Best of the Bestiary)

Bet you didn’t expect to see the words ‘ice’ and ‘devil’ right next to each other!

Ice Devils often dwell on the cold layers of the Nine Hells, those being Stygia and Cania. They serve as the commanders of the infernal armies, though they are hardly generous. For their pleasure or to vent their frustrations, they’ll often torment those beneath them. They live in longing for the power of their Pit Fiend superiors and work tirelessly towards a promotion. As such, they are some of the hardest workers and deadliest soldiers in the Nine Hells.

Honestly, there’s not a lot you can do with this. It doesn’t work as a stand-alone villain and it only really serves as a high-level fodder enemy for a Devil-themed campaign. Maybe if you put your imagination cap on, you’ll be able to find some possibilities that I can’t see. But I have no doubt that it will take a lot of time and effort.

I have neither of those. I’m a low-class American!

Design: Chilly Ant… Thing

I fucking love this thing’s design! It’s a total subversion of what you’d expect from a devil while still being a cool and effective design in its own right! Just look at this thing!

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This thing looks so damn cool! It’s like a giant ant with a dragon’s tail made of ice! It’s intimidating, unique, and creepy as hell! Just look at that thing’s mouth and tell me that you aren’t uncomfortable!

Plus, there’s a lot to be gleaned just by looking at it! The chilly blue armor immediately communicates it’s cold nature, hinting at its resistances and one of its major abilities. The tail and jaws immediately draw the eyes, making it impossible to miss its two main methods of attack. Plus, if you’re into variants, it’s kind of impossible to miss the spear.

Also, I love how this thing stands out! All the other devils, with a few exceptions, look very fiend-like. Most of them are unique, but they follow that rule pretty strictly. This one is totally different! It’s a giant frozen ant monster! From HELL!

That’s metal as fuck! I don’t care what you say!

Stats: Huh. That’s an odd spell.

I was expecting a lot of different ice spells. Maybe a variety. Ray of Frost, Hailstorm, something along those lines. So imagine my surprise when I saw Wall of Ice and literally nothing else.

We’ll get to that later. First, let’s talk about the defenses. This is a fairly bulky monster; the AC is just shy of a full twenty and the HP is equally shy of two hundred. It’s resistant to all non-magical, non-silvered weapon attacks, so damage numbers are cut in half. More annoying yet, it’s completely immune to cold, poison, and fire.

Huh. Figured an ice monster would be vulnerable to fire, but whatever. It does live in Hell, I suppose.

In terms of offensive power, this certainly isn’t a monster to be sneezed at. It can make three attacks per turn, once with a bite, once with its claws, and once more with its tail. If you want to spice things up a bit, you can replace the bite and the claws with a spear, which is a fairly dangerous weapon. Or, if you want to be a pain in the ass, you can just cast Wall of Ice and call it a day.

Let’s break down the numbers. The bite attack does 12(2d6+5) piercing damage with an added bonus of 10(3d6) cold damage. The claws do 10(2d4+5) slashing damage, also with that extra cold damage. The tail can do 12(2d6+5) bludgeoning damage with, wait for it, an extra 10(3d6) cold damage! Hit with all three of those attacks, and you’re looking at 30(9d6) cold damage with 32(4d6+2d4+15) damage.

tenor

If you want to make your players panic more, you can give the Ice Devil an Ice Devil Spear! This does 14(2d8+5) piercing damage with an extra, wait for it, 10(3d6) cold damage. Not only that, but if the victim then fails a DC 15 Con saving throw, it’s movement speed will be reduced to 10 feet and loses the ability to make reactions. On top of that, the victim loses its ability to make an action and a bonus action in one turn; it can only do one or the other.

That is, understandably, pretty fucking scary.

And then there’s its sole spell: Wall of Ice. There are a lot of details here, such as how the wall affects the placement of the players, but we’ll focus on the numbers. The wall is one foot thick, thirty feet long, and ten feet high. If someone is within range when the wall is summoned, they’ll have to make a DC 17 Dex save or take 35(10d6) cold damage on a failed save, half of that on a successful one.

There are a lot of different options for dealing with the wall. You can leap over it, but you risk taking 17(5d6) cold damage on another saving throw. Or, if you’re feeling smashy, you can just bust through it! It only has an AC of 5, 30 HP, and it’s vulnerable to fire! However, simply destroying it isn’t enough. The broken space leaves frigid air which forces the aforementioned saving throw. That air only vanishes when the rest of the wall disappears.

Without the spear or Wall of Ice, this thing makes for a very straight-forward, number-based fight. With those two things, however, it becomes much trickier! How do the players get past the wall? How do they deal with the negative effects of the spear? These two questions alone can make the Ice Devil go from a boring slugfest to an interesting puzzle!

Or a royal pain in the ass. Remember to use Wall of Ice sparingly.

Conclusion

The Ice Devil is a pretty cool bastard! It has a cool, unique, and interesting design with the stats that can make for an interesting, memorable fight! Unfortunately, the lore surrounding it really isn’t all that strong. It has a solid sixty-six percent success rate. Not terrible, but not impressive.

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

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