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5E Ideas for demon lord campaign

Tyler Dunn

I love the demon lords, and I would love to end a campaign by fighting one of them.

The only problem is, I'm having trouble coming up with a plot a demon lord could have

I would like suggestions for a plot for a demon lord and his cult to pursue. Ideally something that would be apocalyptic and involve the players going from levels 10-20

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Orcus is the low hanging fruit here, in my opinion. There's all sorts of baddies you can use; ghouls, vampires, liches, etc. With Orcus' endgame to open a portal to the Abyss so that he can lead his undead armies through and put an end to all that pesky life business.

If you want to put a twist on it, Orcus is being impersonated by Fraz-Urb'Luu, the Demon Lord of Illusions. He's manipulating the cults to his own ends; perhaps to draw the world into any endless dreamscape where he can rule unchallenged.


That is difficult, a demon lord played right has god like powers, especially on his own plane. If you really want to pull that off correctly you need a level 20 party equipped with major artifacts.

Doug McCrae

Orcus (or whoever, it doesn't matter) has an evil plan to open a portal to the Abyss so his demons can conquer the world. To that end he has constructed the Whorl of Utmost Calamity, a 20 level dungeon. At the bottom of the dungeon is an indestructible door made of black diamond. Behind the door, it is said, lies the ultimate treasure. The PCs have to figure out how to open, destroy or otherwise bypass the door in order to acquire the treasure.

In reality, the door leads to the Abyss. It was created in ancient times to keep Orcus (or whoever) confined. Only those able to make it to the 20th level of the dungeon could be capable of opening it.


Ghosts of Saltmash has some decent plot ideas for how to expand one of the Adventures dealing with followers of Orcus.

The events of Tammeraut’s Fate can serve as the flash point for a major event in your campaign. In the years that Syrgaul’s crew spent toiling at the ocean’s floor, they might have been directed by Orcus or Syrgaul to launch other sinister plans. A search of the location of the wrecked ship can turn up clues to further plots.

The following adventures seeds form a story arc that you might use as individual episodes or as the outline of a grand plot to overwhelm the region with undead and call Orcus into the world.

Death Fleet
All pirate captains know that greed and ambition among their crews pose a constant threat. Cultists of Orcus can offer the unswerving loyalty of undead crews in return for allegiance to their foul lord.

In this continuation of the story, a powerful priest of Orcus forms a network of allied pirate captains. The ship crews are augmented by zombies and skeletons, and, unknown to the pirates, the priest can spy through the undead. Captains who prove treacherous are quickly slain and replaced with more amenable allies.

As the pirates gain control of the seas, the priest is free to establish a domain of Orcus with a great portal to the Abyss at its center. It’s up to the characters to track down and defeat the pirate fleet.

The Devouring Gyre
The Pit of Hatred is but one example of the planar sigils that followers of Orcus can use to bolster their power. Off the coast, near heavily trafficked sea lanes, cultists of Orcus create a gateway on the seabed that links to the Abyss. The water above swirls and plunges downward, creating a whirlpool that devours ships and sea life.

Living creatures pulled to the bottom of the whirlpool are slain, warped with Abyssal energy, and unleashed into the sea as undead creatures. Unless someone finds the gate, slips through it into the Abyss, and destroys the unhallowed site found on the other side, the whirlpool will unleash a horde of undead sailors and sea creatures that can transform the region around it into a dead zone.

Island of Bones
Far out to sea, a mass of bones culled from the seabed rises and coalesces into a new island — a sinister place cloaked in necrotic energy. This place, the Island of Bones, serves as a port of call for pirates serving Orcus.

The island swarms with undead creatures that perform repairs on ships, unload loot, and protect the place from attack. More important, it serves as the center of an unholy theocracy founded by priests of Orcus and dedicated to calling their master to the Material Plane.

As the island grows, a massive palace fit for the Lord of the Undead himself arises from the bones. Within its depths, a portal to the Abyss slowly forms as more and more mortal sacrifices are made to Orcus.

With a fleet of pirate captains at their call and the devouring gyre cutting off sea travel, the priests of Orcus threaten to overwhelm the region with their undead hordes. Their efforts, of course, are resisted by the characters and whatever forces the locales can muster.

Tsuga C

If the adventuring party has a paladin, Pazuzu, Lord of the Infernal Aerial Kingdoms, would just LOVE to do him a favor. The first one causes no harm whatsoever to anyone. After that, the price and the resulting damage go ever upwards. Pazuzu is a subtle and patient demon lord with enough guile to let the party--the paladin, especially--think they've gotten the better of him while the noose tightens millimeter by millimeter...


What if the Demon Lord and their Cult are trying to 'summon' a Comet to strike a neighbouring country. The comet itself is a prison of some Elder Evil. The Cult are kidnapping powerful spell-casters to perform the ceremony. Perhaps the players could even get to venture onto the comet at some point. Maybe the best the Players can hope to do is divert the Comet into the Sea.

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