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Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells (3.5)


Fell Legions and Insidious Plots

Through subtle plotting and brutal aggression, the forces of the Nine Hells seek to corrupt or dominate all who stand against them. These fiends, as ancient and terrible as any in the multiverse, forge armies out of the souls of the wicked and use them to enforce their iron rule. Can your adventurers stand against the might and tyranny of the Nine Hells?

This supplement for the D&D game presents the definitive treatise on devils and their malefic home. Along with information about the physiology, psychology, society, and schemes of the devils themselves, you’ll find feats, spells, items, and tactics commonly employed by these infernal creatures and those who oppose them. This book also provides detailed information on various devils, archdevils, and the layers of the Nine Hells.


Product History

Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells (2006), by Robin D. Laws and Robert J. Schwalb, walks alongside the footsteps burned into the planar soil by its predecessor Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss - and that's a very good thing indeed. The abyssal book covered demons and was one of my favorite RPG supplements of that year. This work on devils joined it, expanding on previous supplements to lay out the politics and monsters of Hell in loving, terrible detail.

If you run a planar campaign or have heroes who dream of beating up devils, you'll want this book.

Written for 3.5 D&D, the Fiendish Codex II takes previous work on arch-devils, done for the Book of Vile Darkness, and substantially expands the mythology. This book gives an explanation for how Hell ended up responsible for the discipline of recalcitrant and sinning souls and provides great detail about each arch-devil and his or her particular layer.

There's general detail on devils, advice on how to use the monsters most effectively in both combat and non-combat encounters, a history of the Nine Hells and its labyrinthine politics, rules for Faustian pacts, monster stats, new prestige classes, and new spells and feats. The art ranges from good to great (with some complaints that the portraits of new devils are slightly too shady to pick out great detail), and the maps meet WotC's usual high standard for cartography.

Devils and Arch-Devils. The information on fiends is a mixture of brand new and adapted. The chapter focuses on the baatezu subtype, alluding to other breeds of devils that are less significant. There's some interesting commentary on the intersection of the long-standing tradition of devils summoning more devils, and the play problems that this can create.

Nineteen devils and 10 arch-devils are fully detailed. There are some old favorites here, including the gargoyle-like abishai, the hulking and feral malabranche, the quilled spinagon and the bloated nupperibo. I'm even more delighted to see the paeliryon, which may have my favorite monster art around, and the corrupting brachina, who is incredibly well suited to subtle, long-reaching political plots within a game.

More intriguing for long-term plot development are the description of the arch-devil (or devils) from each layer of Hell. The physical description of their aspect, their lore, their iconic magic items, their strategies and tactics, and their goals accompany each collection of game statistics. With this background, it isn't difficult to craft long-term plot arcs that lead heroes from lowly devils up to facing the aspect of the arch-devil itself.

Like a Layer Cake, but with More Screaming Maggots. Fully 44 pages are given to detailing each layer of Hell. Important locations (including maps, when needed), divine realms, and encounters all join a detailed description of each layer and the lord who runs it.

It is this chapter that truly excels in firing up the imagination. It's hard to read about Dis's corrupt Garden of Delights or the bureaucratic Labyrinth of Truth found in one of Mammon's bubbling swamps and not want to set at least one short adventure on those locales.

Rules and Laws. There are 32 pages turned over to new rules. This section gives us a new race known as the hellbred, a condemned soul who hopes to redeem their afterlife by embarking on one hopeless mission after another. Other than the healthy dose of self-pity that likely accompanies each of them, it's a nice idea for someone wishing to play a tragic figure.

New feats include Devil-Touched (precluding any Exalted feats, understandably) and Divine feats. You can be branded with a mark of Hell and gain favor thereby, you can make pacts with devils to gain a daily bonus, and you can focus on the divine castigation of evil outsiders. The metamagic feat Disrupting Spell is interesting, for instance, as it lowers the saving throws on opponent's spells for a period of time.

Prestige classes include the hellbrakers, thieves who focus on stealing from infernal strongholds; hellfire warlocks, with great power at the expense of versatility; hellreavers, divine warriors who tap into their hatred and anger to attack the minions of Hell; and soulguards, who protect the innocent from the sly machinations of the baatezu. To accompany these classes are a variety of new spells, most of which let characters tap into the power of Hell instead of opposing it.

An Infernal Bargain. This supplement has slightly less flavor text than the prior “Abyssal” book, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Laws and Schwalb manage to pull off a content-filled and tremendously focused book that's still great fun to read. If you're interested in planar explorations, regardless of which game edition you're playing, this book will help tremendously in developing the Nine Hells. 

About the Creators. Robin D. Laws is a Canadian game designer and author who is behind some of the most innovative games in the industry. His work includes Shadowfist, Feng Shui, Over The Edge, Dying Earth Roleplaying Game, GUMSHOE, The Esoterrorists, Ashen Stars, and more.

Robert J. Schwalb is an astoundingly prolific and talented game designer who works primarily for Wizards of the Coast, although his work also includes Witch Hunter: The Invisible World, A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying Game, Grimm, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay

About the Product Historian

History and commentary of this product was written by Kevin Kulp, game designer and admin of the independent D&D fansite ENWorld. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to


We (Wizards) recognize that some of the legacy content available on this website does not reflect the values of the Dungeons & Dragons franchise today. Some older content may reflect ethnic, racial, and gender prejudice that were commonplace in American society at that time. These depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. This content is presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed. Dungeons & Dragons teaches that diversity is a strength, and we strive to make our D&D products as welcoming and inclusive as possible. This part of our work will never end.

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Ancient S January 08, 2024 5:57 pm UTC
POD, let's go!
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Derek B June 24, 2023 3:14 am UTC
Please make this print on demand.
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Alejandro M November 28, 2022 4:13 pm UTC
Does this book replace Book of Vile Darkness (3e)? Or do they complement each other?
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Derek B June 24, 2023 3:10 am UTC
They compliment each other.
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Johnathan D May 14, 2022 12:15 am UTC
POD please
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brian M March 01, 2022 1:50 am UTC
We need this item to be Print on Demand.
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Joshua M February 04, 2022 6:22 pm UTC
POD please!
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Vhayjen . August 08, 2021 2:53 am UTC
Wizards of the Coast is not in the business of providing PoD options on out of print items. These will never become PoD; therefore, you are wasting your time in waiting. You must find and purchase any and all out of print items such as these through Amazon, eBay, and etc. That is just the way it is.
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Josh S January 27, 2022 8:10 pm UTC
You must not have noticed the hundred of similar OOP titles from old editions being offered as PoDs. There are more being added all the time.
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Raymond M January 27, 2022 8:56 pm UTC
>Wizards of the Coast is not in the business of providing PoD options on out of print items.
You're mistaken.

4e - 33 POD Titles as of today

3e - 24 POD Titles as of today

2e - 163 POD Titles as of today

1e - 43 POD Titles as of today

A lot of the ones *I want most* are not yet available in POD (And the Title I want most, the 2e City of Splendors Boxed Set ( ), isn't on DM's Guild at all), but a lot of other titles are already available in POD.
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Edward W September 25, 2022 8:06 pm UTC
Vhayjen, are absolutely and objectively, wrong.
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Dale G May 03, 2021 3:36 am UTC
Please offer PoD
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Nicholas P January 22, 2021 10:28 pm UTC
POD please
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Jeremy G December 30, 2020 1:08 pm UTC
Please do this work in hardback, you'll have a purchase from me.
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Raymond M March 01, 2019 7:21 am UTC
One of many out of print D&D I'm keeping my eye on just waiting for a (hardback & color in this case) print-on-demand option to show up for before I jump on it and make a purchase.
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File Last Updated:
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This title was added to our catalog on July 23, 2013.