D&D General Demon Lord Plot

Tyler Dunn

I have heard references to demon lords drawing a world into their layer of the abyss and I think this would make for an good scheme for a demon lord BBEG. Tell me how you think a demon lord could go about this (preferably in a way that a dnd campaign can be centered around).

One idea I had was a demon lord finding an artifact that allowed him to access great planar magic and using it in a ritual that would merge the campaign world into their layer of the abyss and make them incredibly powerful.

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Doug McCrae

1. Maybe it's an evil world. The BBEG sends evil missionaries there to convince the inhabitants to worship him. Evil is so strong on this world that it physically changes, starting to resemble an Abyssal plane. As a result it moves to the Abyss.
2. The BBEG turns traitor in the Blood War (is that still a thing?) and as a reward the archdevils give him his own world.
3. Find a legendary 10th level spell.
4. Become the ally of an evil god.

I figure the more like the Abyss a world gets, the easier it would be for the Abyss to absorb the world into itself. If you look at what demon lords do, there is a lot of create new monster species and/or corrupt mortal races into becoming monstrous. More or less, this is creating "disease vectors" (where the Abyss is the disease), and once the world is sufficiently infected, it gets sucked in. Of course, there are a lot of other players in the universe (including other evil ones) who don't want this to happen.

I would make a list of say 5 entities (of a variety of alignments) that might oppose the demon lord, and then have it be that if the demon lord can strike some kind of blow against them (corrupt an important servant, defile their main temple, etc.), then that will be it. That lets the PC's make a mad dash to prevent this from happening, while possibly being hindered by the people they are trying to help.

Mordenkainen's tome of Foes describes this exactly.

Basically if a Demon Lord gets enough of a beachhead into the World and is allowed to run rampant with their followers for too long, the world will become irrevocably changed and eventually become a layer of the Abyss.

The classic adventure Queen of the Demonweb Pits is even about Lolth trying to suck worlds into the Abyss.


Kobold Enthusiast
Coincidentally, you're describing the core event in the latest 5E campaign book!

I've always enjoyed a good "suck the world into XYZ" doomsday cult mission. Artifact plots can get really twisty because what that artifact used to be is a great way to setup solutions and really give the players a sense of place.

Gooblegork the Demon of Pink Polkadots has drawn the Rainbow Kingdom down from its perch atop Yggdrasil using the lost crown of the Rattatosk King to claim dominion over the throne of Ultraviolet. Now the all forest-animal party must delve deep beneath the roots of the tree to reclaim their home. [Revise to suit level of players and seriousness of campaign.]

Scrivener of Doom

I ran a Neverwinter campaign a few years ago where Graz'zt was trying to steal the city of Neverwinter (as well as the island of Snowdown in the Moonshaes and the city of Athkatla in Amn - he wanted three new layers).

The plot involved cursed gold mined in the Moonshaes and which, when spent and used to close contracts and deals, spread the influence of Graz'zt to the point where the three locations started to merge with Graz'zt's realm in the Abyss.

In the end, the PCs had to fight an aspect of Graz'zt in an Abyssal version of Neverwinter to stop a final ritual to bring the two cities and the island over.

That's the short version. There are probably some notes on my now largely defunct <blog> and an alternate campaign set in the Moonshaes based on the same metaplot got some notes over on <Obsidian Portal>.


Rotten DM
My evil demon plot was to have it plant flowers in every flower bed, help out with the farming, help with the hunting and use it ill gotten gains to build churches to good gawds.

Voidrunner's Codex

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