Balor Origin


T. Foster said:
Where are you getting this? In vol. 2 all references are plural (e.g. "Balrogs are highly intelligent monsters with a magical nature...") and the No. Appearing is 1-6.

not a critter i ever used in game. i must be getting it confused with the type vi reference from the supplements... eldritch wizardry iirc.

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Was the balrog in OD&D immune to fire or was it the same as 1E's Type VI where it took only half damage?

If you will excuse my semi-autistic pedantry, one of the first things I looked at in the 3.5E MM was to see whether the balor was FINALLY immune to fire. And it was.... ;)


Not your screen monkey (he/him)
diaglo said:
true. darn 2edADnD hacks and newer...

in OD&D there was only 1.

In 1st edition AD&D, there were Type VI demons, referred to as "Balor, et al."
So, if that was a name of a specific Type VI demon, then there was only 1 in 1st edition as well, though there were multiple Type VI demons. Unless that was the name of a particular variety of Type VI demon, in which case the 2nd edition version, using Balor as the name of the type of demon, works just fine.
In any event, it really doesn't matter. Looking at the morphology of the Type VI/Balor demon/tanar'ri, it's clearly based on the balrog even if the name is pulled from another mythic source.
As DMs, we steal from wherever we can and is convenient and gives the situation the right feel.


First Post
Edit: OK. I didn't remembered correctly. It was in fact a confusion made by Olive.

Olive said:
Now, apart form some mucking around with OD&D and 1e when I was little, I'm basically a 3e gamer. I played some 2e, but never read anything but the player's handbook, so didn't keep track of changes to the game.

Now I was just looking through my 1e DMG, and in the back it has demons listed by type. As in type I, type II etc.

Of the non-unique ones theres Manes, succubus and 6 'types'. Type I is the vrock, type 2 are hezrou, and type III is glabrezu, all of which are familiar to us today. After that it gets a bit wierder.

Type IV includes the following: Bilwhr, Johud and Nalfeshnee.
Type V: Aishapra, Kevokulli, Marilith and Rehnaremme
Type VI: Alzoll, Balor, Errtu, Ndulu, Ter-soth and Wendonai

Now, I obviously know Nalfeshnee, Marilith and Balor but what are all these others? And when did other new favourites like the babau come in?

And while this was an error, it was also a very nifty idea.

So, Balor et al. would not be the names of the only six known Type VI demons, but of the only six known Type VI demon species.

Go see the thread number 75392. (I like those [thread] tags, don't you?)
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The word "Balrog" in Tolkien's Elvish (Sindarin, specifically) means "Demon of Might"; bal means "power" while rog means "demon."

I can't say for sure that the name form may or may not have been inspired a bit by Balor, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's just the end result of creating words from his invented language.

As for Gruumsh/Balor, & thus the orcs as Fomorians; that has a bit of a possibility. Then again, Gruumsh could be seen as a sort of Odin-figure (with his son as a Thor-like figure). Or, to take it to another extent, Tolkien's imagery sort of creeps into the orc pantheon as well (at least with the symbols): the Eye of Gruumsh can be compared to the Eye of Sauron; the symbol of the orcish death & disease god can be compared to the White Hand of Saruman. But then again, it's all about how much you want to read into things.
Good point. I hadn't really thought of the Orc Pantheon that way, but then again, I hadn't read into it that much. Strangely fun at time. :)

This was just my idle thoughts about most threads saying that Balor is DEFINITELY from Balrog. It never really had occured to me that there would be more possibilities. Its probably a combination of many things, with the whole name changes(Hobbit to Halfing, Ent to Treant, etc) having a lot to do with it.

Kax Tuglebend

First Post
personally i prefer the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay take on them:

Baalrukh (with a triangle thing over the u, as in Faerun) :p

(of which there were 6, all of whome would claim to be the lord of the others)


First Post
In the very first original D&D books (c) 1974, there were no Demons. Balrogs were listed in the monster section of volume 2 "Monsters & Treasure."

Demons were not introduced until the 3rd D&D supplement called "Eldritch Wizardry" (c) 1976. There were seven types of demons along with two demon princes, Orcus and Demogorgon. The names of each type of demon were simply Type I, Type II, Type III, Type IV, Type V, and Type VI and Succubus. Only the succubus type had a real name.

Interestingly "Balor" was listed in the 4th D&D supplement "Gods, Demi-gods & Heroes" under the Celtic Mythos section as a monster with the following description: "Once a huge monster, this creature is now nothing but a 30 foot tall head. When the eyes of this head are forced open, all beings looking at it will die (no saving throw applicable)."

In the first AD&D Monster Manual the types of demons were listed again as types I-VI. Additionally after each name in parentheses an alternative name was given. Vrock, Hezrou & Glabrezu were given as alterative species names for types 1-3. Types 4-6 didn't have a species name but rather a sample individual name. "Balor" was given as a name of the very largest of the type VI demons, only 6 total were known to exist, the other 5 are named in the DM's Guide p. 198: Alzoll, Errtu, Ndulu, Ter-Soth & Wendonai.

Marilith & Nalfeshnee were also just names of individual type 5 & type 4 demons. The DMG p. 198 also gives some sample names of other type 4's & type 5's.

In later editions Nalfeshnee, Marilith & Balor were adopted as the official species names for demon types 4, 5 & 6.


First Post
I came across "Bhaal Rhuuk " somewhere in ancient indo-asian mythology. They are big mean demons related to the "Rhuuk Shasa" . Indo-european cultures share a lot of root-mythology (and lannguages) even though the myths have been twisted about a lot parets of them endured for a real long time.

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