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There are many demons and Demon Lords that terrorize the infinite levels of the Abyss, but none have stood at the top for as long as the Demogorgon.
While Orcus might have his fancy liches and hordes of the undead, Demogorgon has been with us since the beginning of DnD. Mainly as that maniac you do not want to mess with. Not under any circumstances, even when 20th level and even that is pushing it.
Quests involving Demogorgon should not be taken lightly, as the effects he will leave on your mind and soul are irreversible. If you have ever crossed demons in DnD, you have crossed their Prince.
Welcome to a Demogorgon 5e Guide.
Demogorgon, The Double Domed Prince of Demons
Demogorgon is the Prince of Demons and, as such, the entirety of the (assumedly) Infinite Abyss. His titles include Prince of Demons, Sibilant Beast, the First Accident, and Master of the Spiraling Depth. As a deity-level entity, he embodies chaos, madness, and destruction.
He takes the form of a perfect amalgamation of multiple beasts. Its strength is shown through a torso resembling a gorilla’s, with massive biceps that each split into a pair of suckered tentacles.
Its lower body is that of a saurian (dinosaur-esque creature) with clawed webbed feet and a forked tail that, like Demogrogon’s arms, splits off near the end into two massive tentacles.
Demogorgon’s most striking feature is the two simian heads resembling demonic baboons. Both hold the same high intellect as distinct individuals.
Still, both are mad to the point of infecting a weaker mind with mindnumbing madness or, if reality is merciful, merely madness’ toe-dip with overwhelming confusion.
The heads are individually named Aameual (left) and Hathradiah (right). While rumors may say these two personalities are equal, the only trait they seem to share is an overwhelming madness of differing flavors.
This means one of Demogorgon’s key traits is the only time he is likely not arguing with himself is when they have both decided to kill you. Unfortunately, this silence will probably last a single solid round, as they will then start arguing about the method by which to kill you.
- Demogorgon is THE original big bad. It was the deadliest monster in the original Advanced DnD. It continues to reign supreme as one of the mightiest challenges to face CR-wise.
- The title of Prince of Demons is self-appointed but proven by being highly contested.
- Prince of Demons makes him the highest-ranked of the Demon Lords. Orcus and Graz’zt would contest this but have yet to achieve the title themselves.
- Demon Lord of the Undead, Orcus, is widely considered to be the only demon that stands on Demogorgon’s level. Some consider Demogorgon to be more powerful in title alone.
- Even if begrudgingly, all demons will follow orders given by Demogorgon. This means his minions include ALL demons. His aura demands it.
- Demogorgon created Chimeras when he was summoned to the material plane, considered the creatures surrounding him dull, and turned them into the first Chimeras.
- Demogorgon is credited as being the first evil soul to make it into the Abyss and turn into a demon.
- Demogorgon, technically, has Dagon’s entire realm as his palace’s basement.
- Demogorgon’s most significant flaw is both Aameual and Hathradiah believe they could be so much more without the other. Unfortunately, if one head dies, the other will perish with it.
- Aameual is charismatic and calculating. Hathradiah is savage and instinctive.
- Despite his rank, Demogorgon is relatively unknown to the material plane. His presence is known through deities worshipped by civilized races under a different name in their tongue. The https://explorednd.com/gameplay/yuan-ti-pureblood-5e-guide/Yuan-ti, for example, worships him under the name Siosivash.
Demogorgon Abilities & Stats
- CR 26 (90,000 XP)
- Passive Perception 29
- AC: 22 (Natural armor) Hit Points: 406 (28d12+224)
- Speed 50 ft, swim 50 ft
- Str 29 (+9) Dex 14 (+2) Con 26 (+8)
- Int 20 (+5) Wis 17 (+3) Cha 25 (+7)
- Saving Throws Dex +10, Con +16, Wis +11, Cha +15
- Skills Insight +11, Perception +19
- Senses: true-sight 120 ft.
- Languages: All, telepath 120 ft.
- Damage Resistance: Cold, fire, lightning
- Magic Immunities: poison; nonmagical bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing.
- Condition Immunities: charmed, exhausted, poisoned, frightened.
- Legendary Resistance (3/day)
If he fails a saving throw, Demogorgon can instead choose to have it succeed.
- Magic Resistance
Demogorgon has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
- Innate Spellcasting
His spellcasting ability is based on his Charisma.
- Spell Save: DC 23
- At-Will: detect magic, minor image
- 3/day: dispel magic, fear, telekinesis
- 1/day: feeble-mind, project image.
- Magic Weapon
Demogorgon’s weapon attacks are considered magical.
- Two Heads
Aameual and Hathradiah are tenacious. Demogorgon has advantage on saves against being blinded, deafened, stunned, or knocked unconscious.
Demogorgon makes two tentacle attacks.
- Melee Weapon Attack: +17 to hit
- Range: 10 ft reach, one target.
- Hit: 28 (3d12) bludgeoning
Save DC 23 Con. Otherwise, the target’s hit point maximum is reduced equal to the damage taken. This reduction in health will last until the target finishes a long rest. If the target’s maximum reaches 0, they will die.
- Range: 120 feet, one creature.
- Save DC 23 Wisdom
Unless incapacitated, the target can automatically succeed by averting their eyes and pointedly avoiding Demogorgon’s gaze.
However, doing so comes at the cost of not seeing him until the start of Demogorgon’s next turn. Meeting his gaze until then will require them to immediately roll the save.
Failure will cause one of the following effects either by Demogorgon/DM’s choice or at random.
- Beguiling Gaze: Performed by the left head, Aameual. The target is stunned until Demogorgon’s next turn or if he leaves the target’s line of sight.
- Insanity Gaze: Performed by the right head, Hathradiah. Target immediately takes the effects of a Confusion Spell without a save. The effect lasts until Demogorgon’s turn and requires no concentration on either head’s part.
- Hypnotic Gaze: The stars align, and both heads focus on the same target. The target is charmed by Demogorgon until the start of his next turn. This means Demogorgon can choose how the affected target uses its turn. Moves, action, and all. As this requires the focus of both heads, Demogorgon cannot use Maddening Gaze (legendary action) until his next turn.
A legendary action is unique because it can only be used at the end of another creature’s turn. Additionally, only one legendary action can be used at a time.
Demogorgon may take 2 legendary actions per round of turns.
- Melee Weapon Attack: +17 to hit
- Range: 15 ft, one target
- Hit: 20 (2d10+9) bludgeoning plus (+) 11 (2d10) necrotic
- Maddening Gaze
Demogorgon uses Gaze but may only choose either Beguiling Gaze or Insanity Gaze. Hypnotic Gaze requires the concentration of both heads and can not be used.
Aura of Demonic Command
Range: Any demon within 120 feet, automatic
The demon can not take any action that the Demogorgon does not approve of. Few exceptions exist, including Demon Lords and demons of similarly immense power.
The Madness of Demogorgon
Succumbing to insanity from being within his line of sight or merely losing it in his lair is NOT considered a status effect. Instead, it is regarded as a character flaw. This curse of madness runs so deep that it is a chip in your mind and personality. It lasts until cured.
|01-20||“Someone is plotting to kill me. I need to strike first to stop them!”|
|21-40||“There is only one solution to my problems; kill them all!”|
|41-60||“There is more than one mind inside my head.”|
|61-80||“If you don’t agree with me, I’ll beat you into submission to get my way.”|
|81-00||“I can’t allow anyone to touch anything that belongs to me. They might try to take it away from me!”|
Lair and Region Actions
If in his palace known as the Abysm, located in the Gaping Maw, then Demogorgon can use Lair Actions.
On initiative count 20 (losing initiative ties)
Demogorgon can take a lair action to cause one of the following effects if in his lair’s territory.
He can’t use the same effect two rounds in a row.
- Demogorgon makes an illusory duplicate of himself in his own space. This lasts until initiative count 20 on the next round.
On his turn, the illusory duplicate can be moved the same distance as with walking speed, with no action required by Demogorgon.
The first time Demogorgon is physically interacted with, such as being hit with an attack or flung debris, there is a 50% chance that the hit will affect the duplicate instead of Demogorgon himself. In this case, the illusory duplicate is dispelled.
- Demogorgon cases the darkness spell four times on four different areas within view. This effect will end on initiative count 20 in the following round. This action does not require concentration from Demogorgon.
Prince of Demons
The tangible power of the title ‘Prince of Demons’ means that Demogorgon has any demon you could imagine under his thumb.
The nature of demons and the Abyss mean that they are always fighting Demogorgon with the grandiose belief they can take the mantle of Demon Lord and the title of Prince.
These demons inevitably find themselves enslaved under the power of the Demogorgon, with many happily bowing before him after merely standing in his presence. All demons are born barking bluster about battling and besting the Prince of Demons.
Few have even managed to stand under his gaze or under the weight of his Aura of Demonic Command.
The rank of Demon Lord itself already comes with perks in the form of a level of the Abyss to call your own, worshippers & cults, and of course, unimaginable power boosts.
Double Domed Demon
Demogorgon’s most striking feature is his two heads. Aameual, the left head, and Hathradiah, the right head, are two separate entities trapped in the same body.
They both have distinct personalities following their own schedule, and the only thing they can agree on is they are both at the pinnacle of madness. Who the peak is between the two of them, however, is one of their most violent arguments.
Even if they are constantly at odds, this double-headed strategy makes them the Prince of Demons. They can take two actions on their turn and two legendary actions on another creature’s turn (two per round), with the in-lore reason being both heads acting independently.
Both gazes were capable of inflicting the Madness of Demogorgon individually. Still, together they could control the wills of even some of the most powerful entities.
Aameual is the more charismatic of the pair and usually does most of the talking when it comes to interactions with other entities. He controls the left side of the body and has the ability to stupify with his gaze.
Hathradiah, however, was more savage. He works more off instinct and rage, considered the wrath of the Demogorgon. He controls the right side of the body and has the ability to confuse targets with his gaze.
As with many creatures of this power level, the reason Demogorgon has two heads is left vague. In this sense, it is both left up to speculation while also having a commonly repeated legend.
Legend has it that, long ago and during one of the fiercest battles the Abyss had ever conceived, Demogorgon’s head was cleaved in two.
Rather than dying, Demogorgon rapidly regenerated, but thanks to the perfect split down his neck and head and across the lobe where the regenerative ability functions, both heads individually regenerated.
The whole of the Demogorgon’s personality was thus divided between the two halves. Amaeual kept his personality’s charismatic conscious fronting side. At the same time, Hathradiah grew from the more savage and wild side left in the subconscious instinct.
Further splits along the Demogorgon’s forearms and tail in defense during this attack are said to have finalized the forked nature of the First Accident.
Both heads believe they would be more powerful and successful if they had complete control of their body and were rid of the other. Unfortunately, the sad truth is should one head be killed, the other will shortly follow.
For now, the fear of losing their position as Prince of Demons keeps them from acting on their dreams. So instead, schemes of ridding themself of the other are vented through arguments that, alone, inspire madness in other creatures.
Arguments reportedly heard screamed by both heads at each other include:
- Tactics on how to kill rivals,
- What Orcus’ deal is
- Whose head is represented by which tower in their palace, and which is better.
- Battlefield Tactics
- Which of their demons are the most useful.
- Which of their demons are the least useful.
- Ranking Abyssal Planes (eternal argument)
- Does this bring madness?
- Does this bring chaos?
The Gaping Maw
The 88th level of the Abyss was Demogorgon’s home territory and the location of his palace, Abysm. It holds a vast continent, home to the Screaming Jungle, named for the endless fighting demonic apes and gargantuan dinosaurs that call it home.
The entrance to the 90th layer of the Abyss, the Guttering Grove, is found in the center of this Jungle.
The continent is surrounded by a finite ocean separated by brine flats. Island-sized whirlpools and fang-shaped rocks dot the sea. Fortressed carved into the wave-weathered stones are home to countless evil species ranging from demons to constructs.
Attempts to sail to its edge will loop around to the other side of the Screaming Jungle. Like Pacman or a small spherical planet.
The oceans are home to numerous horrific creatures such as Aboleths and Ixitxachitls. At the same time, seabound fortresses are home to countless horrors, such as armies of demons of all types, evil constructs such as unusual retrievers, ichthyoid, and Gibbering Mouthers.
Abysm is the name of Demogorgon’s Palace. It is a place of madness and duality to suit the Two-Faced Prince. Two serpentine towers crowned by skull-shaped mariners pierce the waters and are connected at the top by a bridge.
The towers are where the Demogorgon spends most of his time arguing about schemes and going only the level of crazy that having that crazy voice in your head acting as its OWN head with its OWN agents of whispered chaos could create.
The bottom half of the palace is underwater. Much like an iceberg, this is where the bulk of his palace is hidden. He is not one for interior design, not where he isn’t letting himself argue with himself. This palace portion is mainly made up of chilly, darkened caverns.
They extend so far down they open into the Shadow Sea, the 89th level of the Abyss and realm Dagon. For those long contemplative walks, arguing amongst yourselves.
The region of the Gaping Maw containing Abysm is warped by Demogorgon’s very presence and the power of his magic. This causes one or more effects to happen under his presence. Even after Demogorgon dies, these effects will take 1d10 days to fade.
- A radius of six miles around the lair becomes overpopulated with venomous beasts, including lizards and snakes.
- All beasts, including docile and peaceful grazers, within 1 mile of Demogorgon’s lair become violent and crazed.
- A humanoid that spends at least one hour within one mile of the lair must succeed in a DC 23 Wisdom save or be inflicted by madness as determined by the Madness of Demogorgon table. Succeeding on the save grants the humanoid immunity to this effect for 24 hours.
The Gaping Maw is home to one of the most populated cities in the Abyss. This is saying a lot given the infinite layers/planes the realm of the Abyss is known for. Its name is Lemoriax, and it functions as Demogorgon’s capital city.
The Scabwash Sentinels
The Scabwash Sentinels are a pair of fang-shaped fortresses stationed far off the coast of Lemoriax. Here, Demogorgon keeps all his twisted demonic creations, including his biggest failures and greatest successes.
The air and waters surrounding these fortresses are heavily polluted by the toxic chemicals Demogorgon and his followers use to mutate the various creatures.
Some of the most intelligent fiends with the power to warp creatures, such as a Sibriex, are stationed here to assist the Demogorgon in these experiments.
The Harrowrend are a pair of fang-shaped fortresses stationed further off Lemoriax’s coast, further out but close to the Scabwash Sentinels. Winged demons and unassuming seabirds flock around their peaks.
Karizmodus the Carver, a babu, oversees a staff of razor-fingered demons. This location acts as the Demogorgon’s torture and interrogation chamber.
This dedicated staff sees to gleefully tearing at the flesh and souls of their targets, intent on pulling out every scrap of information they can by force and only by force.
The Cult of Demogorgon
As the Prince of all Demon Lords, Demogorgon has followers across the realms. These Followers, if not drawn purely by the power the demon is known for, often find the Duality of the Dual Domed Demon Dignitary the most intriguing.
Scholars and philosophers will often be studying the Prince of Demons in earnest. Good intentions will begin to sour as a commonplace is found in the Duality of Man. However, the Duality of Demon can not be easily considered. Madness is a certainty for the Followers of Demogorgon.
The most massive sects of cultists can, strangely, be found underwater. This has its roots in Demogorgon’s early edition history as a water deity.
The lore also specifies ‘other scaly creatures which hide from the light’ having favor from Demogorgon. Which is kind of cute. Lizardfolk and other scaled beasts of the material have found favor in the Prince of Demons.
As such many of the followers are not mortal, to begin with. The sanity of a supernatural is hard enough to track as it is. However, even these cultists are susceptible to obtaining a dual personality.
This is thanks to their obsession with duality through the form of a two-headed demon that argues with himself.
Demogorgon Cults most commonly crumble due to in-fighting. As they are very dedicated to their Lord and his theme, this in-fight always takes the form of one half of the cult fighting the other.
Sometimes in teams based on the two heads, other times, something that makes less sense but still fits the duality theme.
Strangely, one of Demogorgon’s most devoted followers is the aquatic beast that resembles a manta ray, the Ixitxachitl. To the point of being his favored species of the material planes.
It is unknown why Demogorgon favors these beasts. Some think death by an Ixitxachitl sends your soul directly to Demogorgon. I, personally, believe both heads thought manta rays were neat and gave a bunch of them demonic powers.
The most hilarious idea is that a bunch of manta rays accidentally swam in a synchronized formation, which summoned Demogorgon. He was charmed by it like a human to kittens.
Ways of the Cult
The kidnapping and raising of twins is a continued obsession among the many sects of Demogorgon Cults. Most are raised with expectations that the twins will act as future cult leaders.
Rituals involving Cultists themselves, including the empowering of cultists themselves or rituals done to empower the cult as a whole, are many layers of a horror onion.
The tame ones are, at best, often drug-fueled parties of sin with carnal lust and mass murders to spice things up in the name of Demogorgon.
Other cultists’ rituals include them willingly offering their bodies to demons to act as vessels in the material, but it doesn’t end there. Already having a piece of their body and mind worn just through possession; once the demon is done, they will gift the cultist.
The demon gives this gift by splitting the cultist’s skull, carefully taking a tiny bit of the cultist’s brain matter and chewing it. They will finally regurgitate it into the cultist’s mouth to be consumed.
Through this act consuming their own brain, they become a thrall of Demogorgon. This ritual has a high mortality rate.
Demogorgon is the Prince of all demons. So rituals to any and all demons will, in some manner, be a ritual to Demogorgon.
Sacrifices to Demogorgon
Demogorgon feeds off human sacrifice. The favored sacrifices are inherent enemies of Demogorgon and the Abyss, such as Paladins, Clerics, and Hunters.
Sacrifices to Demogorgon must be made in a specific fashion.
- Good & Innocent souls are of high value to the Abyss and its economy.
- The sacrifice to Demogorgon MUST be completed by a demon.
- The sacrifice must be split in half through the middle.
The result of sacrifices done in this way has their soul sent directly into the Gaping Maw. This is the only known way to make an innocent soul take this direct path; otherwise, a soul must follow the Wheel of Death or similar afterlife cycles. Otherwise, an evil soul or a soul sold to a demon is required.
Of the Demon Lords, only Demogorgon has access to this ritual. Souls acquired by this ritual will immediately be enslaved to the demon prince’s whim.
They are also, by nature, Demogorgon’s preferred method. These majorly pure, innocent, and uncorrupted souls are otherwise rare in the Abyss.
Temples & Trinkets
Architecture, trinkets, and temples to Demogorgon will be symmetrically split down the middle. One half represents Aameual and the other, of course, Hathradiah, with the border representing Demogorgon as a whole along with the Temple or Trinket itself.
Temples and trinkets made in honor of Demogorgon should be treated with tepid care. These artifacts and grounds can often force madness upon adventurers who do not know to avoid the Y sign and other art representing the Duality Demon.
This might come in the form of outright madness or if made by a truly tenacious follower of the Abyss, more cunning in its delivery. Trinkets could slowly ebb at the structure of the people surrounding its wielder, while Temples might do the same on a societal scale.
Even worse, either might house a method to enter or leave the Gaping Maw.
The Sign of the Demogorgon cult is made more elaborate by minor runic symbols. Still, at its core, it resembles the Demogorgun’s forked tail.
The spiraling Y holds a deadly power to those who contemplate it for too long, as it will inspire madness in even the strongest minds.
Question: What is Demogorgon’s Favored Being of the Material Planes?
Answer: Thanks to his early-edition lore as a water deity and the theory murder by Ixitxachitl sends a soul straight to Demogorgon, both heads give two tentacles up to the demonic manta ray.
Question: Were Death Knights in DnD Created by Orcus or Demogorgon?
Answer: The Demogorgon is credited with creating the first death knight by corrupting a human paladin. This paladin went on to betray his brethren and ascended rapidly through the demonic hierarchy.
For this, he is known as Saint Kargoth the Betrayer. He is found in the fortress of Wat Dagon in the Savage Tide 3.5 adventure path.
Question: Is there an Official Adventure that Allows me to Take on the Mighty Demogorgon?
Answer: Demogorgon is a powerhouse and is only for the mightiest of players. A good foundation for a campaign, should you be dedicated enough to take on the challenge, is the 5e adventure Out of the Abyss.
The adventure spans from levels 1-15. It begins in the Underdark before ending with the players sicking demons lords like Demogorgon and Jubilex on each other.
Demogorgon should not be mistaken for Asmodeus. Demons and Devils do not get along, generally. Neither would appreciate the comparison, though both take a bit of inspiration from Lucifer as the ultimate form of Evil that Dnd can shape up.
Demogorgon is better and more robust, though. He has two heads; two is better than one. Clearly the demonic formula tracks.
Unlike devils, demons are pure unadulterated chaos. Laws do not guide them, merely tactics bent on spreading madness and chaos through the many realms. Their minds are as winding and endless as the Infinite Abyss, and their leader has two of them.
Demogorgon’s very name should make the player tremble should it be uttered by an NPC. Like the Outer Gods, his mere mention has the potential to draw the attention of his cult.
Possibly the infinite demons that serve as his demons. Maybe, should you really be edging in for total party kill, the Double Domed Demogorgon himself.
The reputation of defeating him and taking the title of Prince of Demons is mighty tempting, however…