Posted Wed, Feb 27, 2013 by gunky
High-level encounters require powerful opponents, and there are few beings more suited to the job than the denizens of the Abyss and the Nine Hells. Demons and devils cover a broad range of challenges, from the lowliest (Imps) to the mightiest (Balors). These are the very essence of malevolence, from the raw, uncheckable fury of raging demons to the corrupting seduction of scheming devils. These monsters are not only physically powerful, but most of them are also adept with magic, and come fully equipped with special attacks and stalwart defenses, making them tough encounters for well-equipped, high-level groups.
Demons and devils are clearly inspired by entities from religious works - a concept that earned the righteous wrath of a number of religious groups in the 1970s and 80s. Much of the early controversy over Dungeons & Dragons came from the inclusion of demons and devils in the earliest editions. By the time TSR rolled out the 2nd Edition, they had changed the names to appease the pressure groups: demons had been renamed Tanar'ri, and devils became Baatezu, but they had all the same attacks and skills and stuff. 3rd Edition relaxed a bit, reverting to demons and devils but keeping the Tanar'ri and Baatezu monikers as "sub-types." 4th Edition seems to have done away with these extraneous labels altogether, using only "demon" and "devil."
While I never encountered demons or devils in the main story arc of Neverwinter, I did encounter many of their illegitimate offspring: Tieflings, one of the playable races. And I did end up battling a large number of them in one of the Foundry adventures posted on the bulletin board, finding myself shuttled off to the Abyss after a wild game of poker using a Deck of Many Things. They are definitely in the game, but I may have to hit higher levels to encounter them in the main story.