Best of the Beastiary, D&D

Devils FINALE: Spinagon, the Spined Devil (Best of the Bestiary)

Fly, my pretties, fly! Fly!
-Fierna, Archduchess of Phlegethos, commanding her Spined Devil legions

At last! I’m done! From Demons to Devils, I’m finally done! I get to talk about dinosaurs after this shit!

But first, I need to talk about the last denizen of the Nine Hells: the Spined Devil.

These devils are smaller than most. Thus, they are perfect for their role as messengers or spies. They serve as the eyes and ears of the Nine Hells. They’re so useful that even those greater than them, those that despise their weakness, treat them with respect. If they aren’t delivering messages or spying, they’re serving as the flying artillery. They make up for their lackluster strength by mobbing together. While they do lust for a promotion, as most devils do, they are craven by nature; should a fight start to go poorly, they will immediately scatter.

This is a fairly interesting bit of lore. It fleshes out the Nine Hells and makes for an interesting monster. It can’t do much to stand on its own, though. It makes for a great fodder enemy (or enemies, given their horde mentality). But you can’t tell a compelling story with just a Spined Devil.

But god damn, do they look cool!

Designed: I’m Batman… IN HELL!!

Come on. Tell me this thing doesn’t look like devil-Batman. I dare you!

spined-devil

This thing comes dangerously close to having the same problems as the Pit Fiend. In many ways, it does look like a generic devil monster, especially with its weapon. Thankfully, there are plenty of additions that help it stand out!

The main one is the color scheme. Most of the devils we’ve discussed so far have either been dark red or pink. This guy? Deep purple, baby! Not only is it nice visually, but it also serves as a subtle hint to it’s true nature. This is a monster that primarily works in the shadows as a spy and a messenger. Naturally, it should look dark!

It helps that it looks super menacing! The spines alone are creepy as fuck, but then you incorporate the sharp face, massive wings, and the tail! It looks like a gargoyle fucked Satan with a porcupine and I love it! It’s pretty creative, plus it serves as an effective hint at its primary ability.

Plot twist: a monster called the Spined Devil uses its spines to fight. Shocking, I know.

Also, this thing is categorized as small. That means this motherfucker is about the same size as a gnome, dwarf, or halfling. That discovery makes me uncomfortable and I can’t tell you why.

Stats: So Many Options, All of Them Weak

Yeah, this thing isn’t exactly the most imposing creature. It sits at a nice Challenge Level 2. But remember: they fight in swarms. So really, you’re facing, like, ten or twenty of these. That’s, what, Challenge Level 20? 40?

Not really. You could wave your hand haphazardly and this thing would drop dead. The AC isn’t pathetic by any means, but it’s also not impressive. The HP, on the other hand, is incredibly pathetic. It’s only saving graces are the resistances (I wonder what those are) and the immunities to poison and fire.

It also has a few abilities that make it trickier to fight. For one, with Flyby, it doesn’t provoke an opportunity attack when it leaves an enemy’s range. With Devil’s Sight, it’s immune to all magical darkness. With Magic Resistance, it has advantage on all magic-related saving throws. None of these are especially game-breaking, but they do make the fight a bit more challenging.

Attack wise, this monster isn’t especially threatening. It can attack twice, either once with a bite and a fork or twice with its tail spines. The bite and the fork aren’t all that intimidating; the bite only does 5(2d4) slashing and the fork only does 3(1d6). The tail spine isn’t much either; it deals 4(1d4+2) plus 3(1d6) fire damage. That would be frightening if it weren’t limited to twelve uses of that a day.

Meh. That’s honestly all I have to say about this thing in a fight. Meh. Honestly, it only sounds annoying. The party has to deal with a small swarm of these fuckers? It just sounds like a waste of time. It’s not especially threatening. But it does seem like a perfect test of their patience.

I know it’s testing mine!

Conclusion

This is a thoroughly ‘meh’ monster. It has some decent lore and a great design, but it doesn’t make for an interesting fight. It’s not the worst Devil we’ve talked about. But as a finale to this segment, it is fairly underwhelming.

With all that said, let’s put the Spined 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. Pit Fiend
  26. Erinyes
  27. Chain Devil
  28. Bearded Devil
  29. Barbed Devil
  30. Spined Devil <——
  31. Ice Devil
  32. Nalfeshnee
  33. Glabrezu
  34. Chasme
  35. Barlgura
  36. Horned Devil
  37. Balor
  38. Vrock
  39. Dretch
  40. Goristro
  41. Hezrou
  42. Manes
  43. Quasit
  44. Planetar
  45. Imp
  46. Carrion Crawler
  47. Rug of Smothering
  48. Bugbear Chief
  49. Bugbear
  50. Vine Blight
  51. Twig Blight
  52. Needle Blight
  53. Bullywug
  54. Cockatrice
  55. Lemure
  56. Solar
  57. Deva
  58. Cyclops
  59. Centaur
  60. Flying Sword
  61. Crawling Claw

Finally! I’m done! I can finally talk about other monsters again! I’m free, I’m free at last!

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