Pit fiend

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Greyhawk creature
Pit fiend
Alignment Lawful evil
Type Outsider
Subtype Lawful, evil, baatezu
First appearance Monster Manual (1977)

Pit fiends are devils of great power.



Pit fiends are native to Nessus, the lowest level of Baator.

Typical physical characteristics

Pit fiends are 12-foot-tall winged humanoids with red, scaly hides and large fangs that drip with vile green fluid. They tend to burst into flame when angered or otherwise emotional; this doesn't harm them in the slightest.


Pit fiends can accurately be described as law and evil incarnate.


Pit fiends are the masters of their race, bowing only to the dukes of Hell and the archdevils, though some are counted as dukes of Hell in their own right. They manage other devils in every infernal enterprise from the Blood War to the damnation of whole societies.

As with other greater devils, devils must have the approval of an archdevil to advance to the rank of pit fiend. They are normally promoted from the ranks of gelugons (sometimes erinyes or paelyrions); worthy candidates are cast into the Pit of Flame in Phlegethos for 1,001 days, emerging as pit fiends.

If there is not otherwise an opening in the hierarchy, the elevation of a new pit fiend is usually accompanied by the demotion of an existing, disfavored pit fiend.


The baatezu don't have a religion in the usual sense of the word. They serve the Lords of the Nine and occasionally various evil gods, but it is not faith or religious feeling that motivates them. If they worship a deity, it is only for the power such a being might grant, and even then they keep such allegiances hidden.


Pit fiends speak Infernal, the language of devils, as well as Mabrahoring, the court language of Baator, which can be spoken only by pit fiends and higher-ranking nobles.

Creative origins

Notable pit fiends


  • Gygax, Gary Monster Manual. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1977.
  • McComb, Colin. Faces of Evil: The Fiends. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 1997.
  • Stewart, Doug, ed. Monstrous Manual. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1993.
  • Varney, Allen, ed. Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1994.