Demons in Pathfinder: Fiends of the Abyss

Of all the Monstrous Creatures in fantasy roleplaying, almost none strike the most fear into the hearts of heroes than the Fiends of the Infinite Abyss.

Demons are one of the most powerful villains in a GMs arsenal, but it is all too often they are just used as “HULK SMASH” when they really have more nuance than that.

Below we are going to take a look at Demons in Pathfinder, where they come from, and what they do. Following that, we are going to list a few demons from both Pathfinder 1st and 2nd Edition.

Finally, we will wrap up with how to use demons in your games.

What Are Demons?

Demons are evil outsiders native to the infinite planes of The Abyss. Relatively speaking, Demons are the equal and opposite to the Devils, who make their home in the Nine Hells.

Whereas Devils are evil outsiders of Law, a Demon is an evil outsider of unfettered chaos. They seek to dispoil and destroy the world around them.

Some have more complex motives and complicated plans, but for the most part they delight in unrepentant ruination of almost all creation.

Chaos Incarnate

Whereas the Devils have a complex and rigid hierarchy, Demons believe in one thing and one thing only: Might makes Right.

They have a semi-hierarchy based loosely on the power and cunning of an individual demon. More powerful Demonic entities will conquer and lord it over their lessers, demanding fealty of a sort.

Generally, the lesser demons will serve until they can find a way to usurp their leaders.

Demons are constantly scheming against each other, and they are as often fighting each other rather than the Devils or Angels. This is largely considered a boon to the rest of the Multiverse, as if the demons ever did get organized (an impossible feat), they would probably overrun all of reality.

Irredeemable Evil

Demons almost universally come from the souls of chaotic mortals judged too evil to go on to the Heavens, and too irredeemably evil for anywhere else. The mortals typically made pacts or deals with demons for power, or counted on them for allies while they were alive.

Souls are cast into the Abyss and shaped by its chaotic and evil energies, becoming the lowest levels of demon kind. Over time, through service to Abyssal Masters and cut-throat ruthlessness, they can rise through the ranks of Demonhood to become more powerful.

To rise into the ranks of demonhood takes some truly evil acts, making those who follow that path Irredeemable by anything but the deepest of Magic.

Abyssal Domains

The home plane of all Demons, the Abyss is a rolling and chaotic place. It has seas of boiling blood and fire, fields of chilled hellish ice, and an entire layer of just spider webs.

Most of the Abyss is uncharted. Its chaotic nature makes maps all but meaningless. There are a few landmarks though, specific places and layers that are constants.

These places are known as Anchored Realms and are ruled over by Demon Lords or Evil Deities. These powerful entities force their sheer will onto the chaotic realm just to shape it to their liking.

Demons Listed By Challenge

Below is a list of demons from both Pathfinder 1st and 2nd Edition ranked by their Challenge Rating/Creature Rating.

Pathfinder 1st Edition

Challenge Rating 2


“This red-skinned, demonic humanoid has a forked tongue, and a pair of black horns sprout from its brow.”

Cambions are demons much like Tieflings, born of an outsider parent and a mortal from the material plane. What makes them different from Tieflings is that the parent carrying the child spends the majority of the pregnancy in the Abyss itself. The powers of the Abyss seep into the woman and warp the child into more Demon than Mortal.


“This creature’s bloated frame shudders with each heaving step, yet despite its shape, the thing moves with surprising quickness.”

The Lowest of the Low. Dretches are the larval forms of mortal souls consigned to the Abyss. Typically they serve more powerful demons, or are summoned to the material plane by foolish spellcasters.


“Ram horns curl back from the twisted head of this tiny winged demon, and its body is thin and wiry.”

Impish-like creatures who are the level 2 demons just above the Dretches. Quasits come from living souls that touch the Abyss when spellcasters reach out for demonic power. They typically serve as familiars for Evil Spellcasters, but they hate their lieges, and wish to slowly undermine and capture their masters.

Challenge Rating 3


“This deformed, horned, hunchbacked humanoid has a forked, ratlike tail and two thumbs on each taloned hand.”

Demon ground troops and maulers, Abrikandilu are unaffectionately known as “Wrecker Demons” for their hatred of all things beautiful. They will seek out and destroy works of art, statuary, and physical beauty to make them ugly like themselves.


“A hideous, pale, wormlike head pushes violently up and out of a corpulent man’s body.”

Vermlek are born of the souls of those who would often despoil the dead while they were alive. Necromancers and Graverobbers become Vermlek in death. They will squirm into dead bodies to reanimate them, either to sow confusion amongst mortals or to reinforce demonic armies on the battlefield.

Challenge Rating 4


“Skin the color of thunderheads and wings made for soaring through the most violent winds mark this lean, cyclopic being as a master of terrible storms. The sound of shrieking wind emanates from its mouth full of needle-sharp teeth.”

Scouts and Spies for Demon Lords, Hala are often known as Storm Demons. They fly on the winds of the Abysses myriad storms. Very intelligent and possessive, they rain down Hail and call up winds in combat.


Kringkuks are rare demons that look like a nightmarish combination of Owl and Spider. They are rarely used amongst Demon Armies and instead are more creatures that roam the Abyss’s icy wastes.


“This goat-headed humanoid is covered in a mangy gray hide that only partly covers its gaunt but muscled frame.”

Schir are frontline soldiers for most of the Demon Armies of the Abyss. They are formed from the souls of mortals who framed others for deadly and diabolical crimes in life, but now serve as one of the lowest ranks in demon armies.


“This creepy ash-gray goblin-like creature has empty eye sockets and scraggly, stained teeth.”

Swaithe Demons come from mortals who employed animals in brutal acts in their mortal lives. Dogfighting, Bullfighting, and Cockfighting all lead to becoming one of these demons. They delight in continuing their activities as demons, scaring animals to accidentally harm or kill mortals.

Challenge Rating 5


“This muscular, red-eyed, goat-headed demon wields a burning sword. Fire licks up from its flaming hooves.”

Arsonists in life, and now flame demons after the end. Brimorak delights in nothing except starting giant fires.

Challenge Rating 6


“This emaciated figure looks like a horned human skeleton smothered within a bone-tight hide of slimy leather.”

The Assassin for Demon Kind. They are ambush killers who excel at stealth. They take great pride in their killing art.


“This darkly handsome humanoid’s batlike wings, curving horns, and bestial legs betray his demonic origin.”

The Iconic trickster and seducer, Incubus demons often serve other demons as torturers and advisors. They can sometimes be called to the Material realm to do the same for mortals…for a price.


“Patches of fur adorn the sickly flesh of this gangly but muscular hyena-headed humanoid.”

Yaenit demons are mortal souls who were torturers, bullies, and tormentors. They look suspiciously like Gnolls with demonic traits. 

Challenge Rating 7


“Only this shadowy bat-winged demon’s teeth and claws have any sense of physicality to them—the rest is lost in darkness.”

Shadow demons are possessors, beings who like to crawl into a mortal body and slowly corrupt the soul as they ruin the person’s life. They are a patchwork of evil souls, thrown into the Abyss after death and “sewn” together into a malevolent force.


“Tiny horns, bat-like wings, and a sinuous tail betray the demonic nature of this alluring woman.”

Manipulators and Tempters, Succubi are demons of temptation and seduction. Like their Incubus brethren, they are often summoned by evil spellcasters in the material realm.

Challenge Rating 8


“This lanky fiend’s mouth is filled with sharp fangs, while great bat-like wings stretch from its scaly hide.”

Born from the souls of evil gluttonous mortals, Nabasu are born directly into the Material Plane rather than the Abyss. They consume mortals live to slowly grow until they become monstrous in size.

Challenge Rating 9


“This creature combines the features of a scorpion and a horse— slavering humanoid faces peer from between its two pincers.”

Beastial Demons born from animal abusers. Kithangian are monstrous looking beasts who come to the material plane to corrupt whole animal ecosystems.


“A cloud of spores and a trail of feathers surrounds this twisted cross between a man and a gigantic vulture.”

Champions of the Abyss and elite demonic soldiers, Vrocks embody all the anger and malice of the Demon Race. They are bloodthirsty and ravenous, delighting in bloodshed. 

Challenge Rating 10


“The size of a horse, this demonic locust has a scorpion’s stinger and an almost-human face. Its front legs end in clawed hands.”

Derakni are created from the souls of those who started disasters or great tragedies. They are Locust Demons who fly the skies of the Abyss in great swarms. 

Kalavakus (Horned Demon) 

“This muscular, violet demon walks upon elephantine feet. Large, razor-sharp horns cover its body.”

The Slavers of the Abyss, these Demons are guards and wardens for more powerful demons. They are often found guarding the harems of the demon lords.

Xenarth (Ichor Shark)

“This huge beast rests atop four thick legs that end in sleek, curved claws, and its body is covered in red-hued armor plates that drip with foul ichor. Its eyes glow red like hot coals, and strange veins between its plates pulse and glow like flames. Along its spine, a slender armored crest peaks at mid-back, much like the top fin of a shark.”

Abyssal Bulettes! These monsters were breed from Bullettes pulled from the Material plane and tainted with the chaotic energies of the Abyss.

Challenge Rating 11


“This flying, bulbous, tumor-riddled mass has numerous arms, no legs, and a leering, three-eyed face.”

Demons of Disease and filth, Gilbrileth are so disgusting that even other demons refuse to be around them. They are born from the souls of mortals who caused great disease to spread due to malicious intent.


“This fiend’s armored flesh is scaly and moist. Its large, toothy mouth gapes below a pair of hungry, reptilian eyes.”

Poison Demons who dwell in the deep waters of the Abyss. They sometimes come to the Material Plane where they foul waterways and destroy natural water formations until they are removed.


“This winged abomination is a horrid mix of demonic and angelic features, as if two bodies were carelessly fused into one. Its fanged, inhuman face is frozen in permanent contempt, while a beautiful visage with an expression of horror bulges from the back of its skull.”

Formed from the souls of Blasphemers and Heretics, Shachath demons are literally two-faced. They work to subvert and overthrow religions. They often serve more power demons as interrogators.

Challenge Rating 12


“This figure would be the picture of elegance and refinement were it not for its grotesque fly head and shivering insectile wings.”

Narcissistic Mortal souls become these Fly-like demons when they come to the Abyss. They are typically very polite and courteous, Coloxus are often used as diplomats and emissaries among the demon elite.


“This rancid-smelling mound of animated ooze has about its shifting countenance the hideous shape of a half-melted man.”

Those who destroyed and despoiled beautiful things in life become this creature of living slime. They befoul waterways and turn lakes into fetid and filth encrusted pools.

Challenge Rating 13


“Four arms grace the torso of this towering monstrosity. The monster’s eyes shine with a mix of intelligence and cruelty.”

Glabrezu are demons of treachery and lies. They exist to deceive and twitch truth into lies using their illusion magic. They enjoy making deals with mortals, but always twist the deal into a mockery of the idea.


“This skeletally thin woman has a mothlike face, flies upon dragonfly wings, and is wrapped in shadows.”

Demons of Mind Control and Brashwashing, Oolioddroo like to take control of mortals by implanting eggs in their skulls. Through these eggs they will cause the mortal to commit heinous acts. 

Challenge Rating 14


“A towering, corpulent beast, this fiend has the hideous head of a boar and arms ending in fatty, four-fingered hands.”

Greedy mortals often become Nalfeshnee. These demons are powerful guardians who jealously lord over parts of the Abyss. These individual demons will often claim parts of the Abyss for themselves, and enslave lesser demons to their service. 


“The eight spider eyes of this pale, towering humanoid glisten hungrily, and its mouth contains dozens of sharp teeth. It carries a barbed spear with a long, clinking chain attached to its end.”

Demons of Nightmares, these monsters come from mortals whose deeds in life caused nightmares in other mortal victims. They exist to put fear into the minds of mortals, traveling from the Abyss to Dream Dimensions to hunt and feed.

Challenge Rating 15


“This corpulent, four-armed fiend is covered in yellow-orange dragon scales, and draconic wings sprout from its back.”

Tyrant Demons and Abyssal Commanders, Ghalzarokh come from the souls of petty tyrants and dictators. They lord over smaller demons and lash out in anger when their authority is questioned.


“This woman’s flesh is pale and clammy, as if her body had been drained of blood from the fanged slashes on her four arms.”

Seraptis are powerful champions of the Abyss, sometimes called on to be bodyguards to more powerful demons. These demons typically come from those mortals who commit suicide as an act of revenge.

Challenge Rating 16


“This enormous, bestial demon combines the worst aspects of a bear, a mantis, a wolf, and a reptilian humanoid.”

Born from sadistic mortal torturers, Shemhazian delight in tearing their victims (mortal or demon) limb from limb. 


“This fiend seems carved from weathered ivory, and runes and symbols of power cover its pale flesh. Its eyes glow an eerie yellow, and horns curl from its eerie, mouthless head.”

Vilsteth demons are demons of corruption and pride. They are convinced of their own importance and power, much like the deluded souls they are fashioned of. 

Challenge Rating 17


“While this seductive woman has goat horns, goat hooves, and a serpentine tail, her eyeless face is her most disturbing feature.”

Subtle demons who seduce and deceive mortals into sinful acts. They ferret out the deepest desires of mortals, and convince them to act on them. They rarely act on lustful sins like Succubi or Incubi, rather instead fueling pride and greed.


“This snake-bodied fiend has a six-armed woman’s torso, pointed ears, and glittering, otherworldly eyes.”

The Queens of the Abyss, Mariliths are the commanders of the Fiendish Legions. They are much sought after as generals and leaders, and are powerful opponents in combat.

Challenge Rating 18


“This reptilian demon has a quadrupedal dinosaur’s lower body, a vaguely humanoid upper torso, and a draconic saurian head.”

Massive and powerful Demonic beasts, Vavakia are born from exceedingly cruel and destructive mortal souls. They are ravaging beasts that consume their victims body and soul.

Challenge Rating 19

Gallu (Warmonger Demon) 

“This horned, winged, wolf-headed demon has bone-white flesh onto which have been riveted plates of spiky armor.”

The Gallu demon lives up to its name as a Warmonger. Born from the Souls of Weapons Dealers and War Profiteers, they constantly forment war between the demons because of their lust for combat and death.


“This black-skinned, bat-winged demon has four arms; a long, thin tail; and a leering, fanged face with dead, white eyes.”

What happens when a Nabasu returns from its hunt in the Material Plane, they turn into these horrific monsters. They stake their claim on unclaimed territory in the Abyss, beginning the process of becoming Demon Lords themselves.

Challenge Rating 20


“This winged fiend’s horned head and fanged visage present the perfection of the demonic form, fire spurting from its flesh.”

Balrogs…um I mean Balor demons are the highest form of demon before becoming a Demon Lord itself. Balors command legions of Abyssal Armies for the Demon Lords, being generals and the top of the demon food chain.

Challenge Rating N/A

The Demon Lords

The Demon Lords of the Abyss are the most powerful Demons in existence. These individuals are named entities that are sometimes worshiped by evil mortals as gods. These creatures are entities beyond most parties, but can act as Arch-Villains for long term campaigns.

Pathfinder 2nd Edition

Pathfinder 2e shares many of the same Demon names/types as Pathfinder 1e. There are many overlapping themes and ideas.

All 2nd Edition Demons will be listed here with their Creature Level, but if they are repeats, we will only list the differences or changes.

Quasit Creature 1

Dretch Creature 2

Dretches are the same, but instead, they are born from the souls of those who are slothful.

Vermlek Creature 3

Abrikandilu Creature 4

Brimorak Creature 5

Babau Creature 6

Invidiak Creature 7

The new name of the Shadow Demon. These Demons are born of those who are envious of other mortals.

Roru Creature 7

Roru demons are like the Kithangian above, born of those who mutilate and torture animals. They infiltrate animal packs and herds, turning them feral and blood thirsty.

Succubus Creature 7

Pathfinder 2e makes no difference between Succubus and Incubus, as all Lust Demons have a fluid gender. 

Nabasu Creature 8

Vrock Creature 9

Vrocks are more specifically born from the souls of Wrath, and hunt in pacts.

Kalavakus Creature 10

Fiendish Slavers, who regularly hunt for mortal souls to add to their slave pits in the Abyss.

Hezrou Creature 11

Omox Creature 12

Same as above, but come from the souls of those who regularly polluted their environment.

Glabrezu Creature 13

Nalfeshnee Creature 14

Shemhazian Creature 16

Marilith Creature 17

Same as above, but they are often associated with Pride rather than anger and wrath.

Vavakia Creature 18

Vrolikai Creature 19

Balor Creature 20 

Roleplaying the Demonic

Most GMs who run TTRPGs are not demonic beings, and so cannot really get into the mindset of immortal beings of unrelenting evil.

That is normal, and you shouldn’t feel bad about that.

Agents of Chaos

Demons are agents of chaos. While they can and often do scheme and plan, Demons never really respect authority. They do not fit into molds, and often defy classification or quantification. Each one is as unique as the mortal soul it is grown from.

Think of them as much like the Joker or Riddler. These entities do have plans and use logic, but that logic often makes sense only to them. They often follow their own whims and fancy.

Joys of Destruction

All Demons live for the idea of corrupting, despoiling, defacing, defiling, and destroying. They take their joy from the destruction of anything created, from mortals to nature to even societies and governments.

Methods will change and vary between demon and demon type. A Succubus or Incubus will seek to use Lust to tear down a kingdom or a city, while a Marilith would prey on the Pride of the Kingdom’s leaders. 

All demons seek Destruction as their end goal for whatever they do.

Subtle Versus Unsubtle

Though their end goals are all the same, demons have many different methods of carrying out their plans. 

When GMing a Demon as an antagonist, keep in mind what kind of demon it is, and what its strengths are.

A Glabrezu is going to seek to use lies and illusion magic to confuse and shake a mortal mind. Whereas a Vrock will simply channel its wrath to tear something apart.

A Lilitu will deceive using guile to prey on mortal hearts, whereas a Succubus will simply ooze raw sex appeal to force someone to do their will.

Demons are a varied and interesting lot, and entire campaigns can be written about ending their schemes and plans. The campaign is simply “Stop the Rampaging Monster” to “Root out the corruption in the Church,” both of these are very valid avenues of using Demons in your game.

Keep Fighting the Good Fight, Pathfinder!