What is the in-universe explanation for why succubi, who were demons, became “neutral evil fiends” in 5e?

The Forgotten Realms wiki page on succubi tell us (specifically in footnote 1) that in 1e, 2e and 3.Xe1, succubi were chaotic evil demons, but then were retconned to be lawful evil2 devils in 4e and have now just been made into generic neutral evil "fiends" in 5e, presumably in an attempt to avoid contradicting any previous editions’ lore.

Does 5e give any sort of in-universe lore explanation as to why they are now neither devil nor demon? The 5e Monster Manual entry doesn’t really explain that besides briefly mentioning that they "can be found in service to devils, demons, night hags, rakshasas and yugoloths", again presumably to avoid contradicting any previous editions’ lore, but without explaining why this is now the case.

This is the second part, which was split out from another question; see: What is the in-universe explanation for why succubi, who were demons, became devils?


1 Actually, the footnote on the Forgotten Realms wiki page only says 3e, but I know it was still true in 3.5e because of Neverwinter Nights 2, which was a video game based on 3.5e. In this game they were considered demons, which is incidentally my introduction to D&D and why I consider succubi being demons to be what they "should" be.

2 I say "lawful evil", because that’s what a devil’s alignment is, but I’m aware that 4e changed the alignment system, so it might not be so accurate to claim they were "lawful evil" in 4e, but at the very least, in the context of D&D overall, they would have been considered lawful evil all the time they were considered to be devils.

What is the in-universe explanation for why succubi, who were demons, became devils, then became “neutral evil fiends”?

The Forgotten Realms wiki page on succubi tell us (specifically in footnote 1) that in 1e, 2e and 3.Xe1, succubi were chaotic evil demons, but then were retconned to be lawful evil2 devils in 4e and have now just been made into generic neutral evil "fiends" in 5e, presumably in an attempt to avoid contradicting any previous editions’ lore.

Unlike with the Shadar-kai, I believe there was supposed to be some kind of canonical in-universe lore reason as to why these demons became devils. What was that reason? I assume it appears in some 4e material somewhere? I’m only really familiar with 5e material…

Furthermore, does 5e give any sort of in-universe lore explanation as to why they are now neither devil nor demon? The 5e Monster Manual entry doesn’t really explain that besides briefly mentioning that they "can be found in service to devils, demons, night hags, rakshasas and yugoloths", again presumably to avoid contradicting any previous editions’ lore, but without explaining why this is now the case.


1 Actually, the footnote on the Forgotten Realms wiki page only says 3e, but I know it was still true in 3.5e because of Neverwinter Nights 2, which was a video game based on 3.5e. In this game they were considered demons, which is incidentally my introduction to D&D and why I consider succubi being demons to be what they "should" be.

2 I say "lawful evil", because that’s what a devil’s alignment is, but I’m aware that 4e changed the alignment system, so it might not be so accurate to claim they were "lawful evil" in 4e, but at the very least, in the context of D&D overall, they would have been considered lawful evil all the time they were considered to be devils.

What demons are related to the demon lords Juiblex and Zuggtmoy?

Juiblex and Zuggtmoy are demon lords, and the 5e material I have access to include the Monster Manual, Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes, and Out of the Abyss. The Monster Manual doesn’t have much to say about these two demon lords (at least not with regards to which demons might follow them), but from Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes (p. 150) and Out of the Abyss (p. 242):

Juiblex’s principal lair is known as the Slime Pits. A realm which Juiblex shares with Zuggtmoy. This layer of the Abyss, which is also known as Shedaklah, is a bubbling mass of oozing, fetid sludge.

So they share the same layer of the Abyss (hence why I thought to ask about these two into one question; this can be split up into two questions if necessary).

However, the Monster Manual only describes oozes as following Juiblex, and Zuggtmoy barely gets a mention. Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes continues talking about oozes for Juiblex, and also describes Zuggtmoy relationship with fungi. Out of the Abyss continues only to associate Juiblex with oozes and Zuggtmoy with fungi (in particular, Chapters 5, 6, and 16).

I was at least able to find this in Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes (p. 130):

Spawn of Juiblex. Alkiliths spring from the cast-off bits of Juiblex’s hideous, shuddering body, then gradually become self-aware and set out to find their way onto the Material Plane.

So Alkiliths, at least, are related to Juiblex, but it seems that there are literally no demons with any relation to Zuggtmoy whatsoever.

As an aside, I get that these two demon lords are all about oozes and fungi respectively, and I expect that most of their time their “followers” or “thralls” will be related to oozes or fungi, but since they are demon lords, it seems strange for there to be no demons associated with them at all (Zuggtmoy specifically, since Juiblex apparently at least has Alkiliths), hence my question:

What demons are related to the demon lords Juiblex and Zuggtmoy?

Ideally I’d like lore from 5e where possible, but I’ll accept anything from any edition of D&D. Since I imagine I might have already found everything from 5e, I’m hoping that, unless I’ve overlooked something, previous editions may yield more information on this.


Related, but about Baphomet: What demons are under the dominion of Baphomet?
Related, but about Dagon: What demons are related to the demon lord Dagon?

Unlike those questions, I’m strictly only interested in demons specifically.

What demons are related to the demon lord Dagon?

I’m planning an underwater adventure for D&D 5e that will contain an underwater portal to Dagon’s layer of the Abyss (the 89th layer, called the Shadowsea, apparently). The portal will have demons spilling out of it, but it will be quite small at this point so it should be something the party should be able to stop; hence I want to know what demons would be thematic for being underwater and being associated with Dagon.

D&D 5e doesn’t contain much information about Dagon (most of what I know of demon lords has come from running Out of the Abyss, in which Dagon does not feature, or the Monster Manual and Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes, neither of which mention Dagon at all as far I as can tell). The only things I know about Dagon come from the Forgotten Realms Wiki page on Dagon, which is not 5e specific and therefore draws on sources I don’t have (I only have 5e materials).

This wiki page mentions:

Dagon was served by aquatic demons, especially wastrilith, […]

But it doesn’t further elaborate on what these other aquatic demons are.

The only appropriate demon I’ve come across so far is the wastrilith, mentioned above, which appears in 5e in Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes (since it is associated with water, though the book mentions no relation to Dagon specifically, but that Forgotten Realms Wiki link does), but it’s CR is quite high for the party level range I’m planning. There is also the hydroloth from the same book, but that’s a yugoloth, not a demon, and I’d prefer demons where possible.

What demons would thematically follow Dagon?

Ideally of a lower CR than a wastrilith and ideally from 5e where possible, but neither of those are hard constraints. I’ll accept anything from any edition of D&D.


Related, but about Baphomet: What demons are under the dominion of Baphomet?

Unlike that question, I’m only interested in demons specifically (unless the creature has business existing in the Abyss, such as yugoloth; I assume that pretty much only demons would be there).

Is Kenabres an extreme example for the view on Tieflings and demons at the worldwound?

In an answer to my question: Status of Tieflings with the worldwound defenders? Kenabres was used as an example for how tieflings were viewed.

While creating chars for a worldwound campaign one of my players and I came into a discussion about this. With how much Kenabres itself was mentioned there he thinks that Kenabres is absolutely extreme there while I’m thinking that it is more a typical city there with its views about anything Tiefling and Demonic.

Now my question is: Is Kenabres an extreme example for the view on Tieflings and demons at the worldwound?

Do summoned creatures, such as with Summon Lesser Demons, give experience points to the party?

I’ve looked at various conversations on here, Reddit, and other forums, but I can’t seem to find any official ruling on this topic, so I figured I’d ask here and see if anyone knows of any.

There are other summoning spells, but in this instance I’m specifically referring to the Xanathar’s Guide To Everything spell Summon Lesser Demons. The demons are not under the caster’s control, have their own initiative and attack any non-demon in reach until they are either killed or the spell ends/is ended.

As an example, in our last session the wizard summoned 4 dretches to help in combat. One of the enemies killed one of the dretches, then, with no other enemies left, the party attacked the dretches, killing 2 of them. The wizard then ended the spell, getting rid of the fourth. Should the party be awarded for killing those 2 dretches?

RAW, it seems that if it’s not a creature under your control that will attack you and the spell doesn’t say anything to the contrary, they should be awarded XP for killing them. Of course, this immediately led to the party joking about XP farming. It’d have diminishing returns, but is still a loophole that I’d rather not leave open. (I know, DM fiat, I’m just wondering if there is any RAW or even RAI that would prevent it without me making a ‘house rule’ ruling on it.)

Can a 17th level sorcerer kill all demons with Simulacrum and Wish?

Inspired by the answer to this question about sunbeams, I realized that there may be a way to exploit Simulacrum to do basically anything an infinite number of times.

Specifically, the course of action would be this:

  1. Be Xanar, a 17th sorcerer. At level 17 you chose Simulacrum as your new spell known, and used your per-level replacement to replace one of your previous spells with Wish. You also know Dispel Magic, and took the Magic Initiate feat to pick up Eldritch Blast.

  2. Cast Simulacrum on yourself, creating a simulacrum with all of your spell slots except the 7th level one. Give it a forked, metal rod worth at least 250 gp, attuned to the Abyss.

  3. Give your simulacrum the following command: “Cast Wish to create a simulacrum of the wizard Xanar. Then immediately repeat this entire command to the new simulacrum. After doing that, take the forked rod and us it to Plane Shift to a random location within the Abyss, dropping the forked rod before you leave. Then search for the nearest demon if there is one, and cast Eldritch Blast on it. Then, cast Dispel Magic on yourself, intentionally failing the saving throw.”

  4. Your simulacrum (henceforth Simulacrum A), acting on your turn, casts Wish using it’s 9th-level spell slot, creating another simulacrum of Xanar, who still has a 9th-level spell slot. This new simulacrum (henceforth simulacrum B), will thus also still have a 9th-level spell slot.

Note: We aren’t using Wish to cast Simulacrum using the “replicate a spell” feature, since that would require being in range of Xanar to cast it. Instead we use the second option to wish for the simulacrum to be made no matter how far away he is. This isn’t asking for much beyond the basic, and so should be a valid wish. This does incur the 33% chance to not be able to cast Wish ever again, but that’s for your simulacrums and thus doesn’t matter.

  1. Simulacrum A, following your order, repeats said order to simulacrum B as a free action.

  2. Simulacrum B, following the order of simulacrum A, and still acting on your turn, becomes the new simulacrum A and repeats steps 4-6.

At this point, since all newly created simulacrum act on the same turn, and all cast Wish on that turn, an infinite number of simulacra are created. On the next turn, those infinite simulacra continue to follow the rest of the order they were given, leading to:

  1. The first simulacrum uses the rod to cast Plane Shift, dropping the rod just before it leaves. The next simulacrum then takes it’s turn, picking up the rod (interaction), casting Plane Shift (action), and then dropping the rod as well before it leaves (free action). In this way, the rod travels along the infinite line of simulacra, allowing all of them to cast Plane Shift.

  2. Infinite simulacra of Xanar appear at every point in the Abyss, and cast an infinite number of Eldritch Blasts upon every demon there.

  3. Every demon takes an infinite amount of force damage, and dies.

  4. Every simulacra casts Dispel Magic on itself, and ceases to exist.

The important thing here is the difference between “arbitrarily large” and “infinite”. Most supposedly “infinite” tricks in DnD are really just arbitrarily large, which means that they can be repeated any number of times, perhaps even over a very short period of time, but ultimately they need to stop at some point. That number can be as big as you want, but it can’t be infinity.

This is important since the Abyss is both infinitely large and contains an infinite number of demons. Any spell which can simply kill an arbitrarily large number of demons would be insufficient, since no matter how many you kill, there would always be an infinite amount left.

Since this trick is recursive, however, and happens on one turn, it actually is infinite, and can therefore be used to kill all infinity demons. Since Eldritch Blast always hits on a 20, and no demon (that I could find) is immune to force damage, and there are potentially infinite Xanars ready to cast it on them, it doesn’t matter how hard any given demon is to hit or how many hit points they have or whatever.

Note that this all does assume that a wished-for simulacrum can take an action immediately, on the same turn that it was created. Otherwise, it would take an infinite amount of time to create the infinite simulacra, which would defeat the whole purpose. For the purposes of this discussion, we will assume that this holds true, though a DM could obviously rule otherwise.

Aside from that issue, do you guys see any flaws in this plan? Any improvements that could be made?

Can angels, demons, aeons change what they are only through magic or also through alignment change?

After reading about Enryies (spelling?) and a few other denizens of the different planes I’m wondering. Is there some magic behind a denizen of a plane becoming that of another one, or is a simple alignment change all that is needed (and if so is it even posible for a succubi as example to become lawful good)?

I have a demon’s true name. Now what?

In the D&D 5e game I am DMing, one of my players (level 15 fiend patron warlock) successfully cast dominate monster on a hezrou and compelled it to tell the player its true name. Now the player has the demon’s true name.

What can a player do with a demon’s true name, particularly if the demon is already on the Material Plane?

I know that true names are useful for summoning spells such as gate and summon greater demon, as discussed here. But those aren’t helpful if the demon is already present. Traditionally, true names grant a large degree of power over fiends and are guarded jealously, but in 5e it appears that true names aren’t that useful outside the summon greater demon spell from Xanathar’s Guide to Everything.

If it helps, this warlock player has an archdevil as his patron. This archdevil can hold the true name and threaten its release or use if the hezrou does not comply with the player’s demands (which is harder to subvert than the player threatening release of the name by his own power). While the threat of a true name being released is also one traditional form of leverage over a demon, true names need to actually be useful and dangerous for this threat to have any value.