The Wizard closes his eyes, muttering under his breath. No one could have expected what came next. A soul-shattering groan echoed through the cave, opening a yawning abyss in the floor near their feet. Black smoke rose and a foul stench filled their lungs as the most horrifying creature appeared in their midst.
The demon cast about, furious at being thus bound… The wide-eyed party looked on in fear, hoping with all their will that the Wizard could keep his concentration.
What is Summon Greater Demon 5e Spell?
If there is one image that typifies the magic classes, in the eyes of the commoner and non-adventurer, it is that they can perhaps summon fell beasts from other planes and turn them loose to do their bidding.
And whilst such an ability is not available to all magic casters by any means, certain classes have this ability and can make them mighty adversaries indeed.
Using a combination of unholy words, eldritch gestures, and a small amount of blood from a humanoid who died within the last day, you can call forth a demon from the Abyssal Plane, temporarily bind it, and set it out to do your will.
Summon Greater Demon 5e Stats
|Casting Time||1 action|
|Classes||Warlock & Wizard|
|Components||Verbal, Somatic, Material*|
Summon Greater Demon Spell Description
Xanathar’s Guide to Everything tells us that it is a 4th level conjuration spell with a 1-hour duration if the concentration is held.
“You utter foul words, summoning one Demon from the chaos of the Abyss. You choose the Demon’s type, which must be one of challenge rating 5 or lower, such as a shadow demon or a barlgura. The Demon appears in an unoccupied space you can see within range, and the Demon disappears when it drops to 0 hit points or when the spell ends.
Roll initiative for the Demon, which has its own turns. When you summon it, and on each of your turns thereafter, you can issue a verbal command to it (requiring no action on your part), telling it what it must do on its next turn. If you issue no command, it spends its turn attacking any creature within reach that has attacked it.”
There is slightly more to it than that, control of the Demon is determined on a turn-by-turn basis via a battle of Charisma roles, and if your concentration is lost, then the Demon also breaks free. A freed Demon is an angry Demon and will seek vengeance on all around it and probably make straight for the magic user presumptuous enough to summon it here in the first place.
As the level of the summoner increases, so does the power of the Demon you can summon.
How Does Summon Greater Demon Work?
It should be noted that Summon Greater Demon 5e isn’t just the more powerful version of Summon Lesser Demon, which will already be available to the caster. That grabs anything from 2-8 Demons from the Abyssal Plane randomly, and they arrive on the material plane angry and out for revenge. They are not under your control. Think of that spell as more like throwing a Demon-shaped hand grenade into the enemy ranks.
Using Summon Greater Demon, you reach into the Abyssal realm and drag out a demon of your choice. If you know their true name, you can summon them specifically, and if you opt to do this, they are less well-equipped to resist your commands. Names are important. Demon names, doubly so. Optionally, you can cast a wider net and grab a random demon of your choosing.
This is a potent spell. No question. Demons are some of the most varied and dangerous monsters in the Dungeons and Dragons multi-verse, and having one obey your commands is one of the most epic things you can do as an eldritch spellcaster.
You could summon a Dybbuk to possess the corpses of your enemies; bring forth a Shadow Demon to act as the ultimate killer, or bind the fearsome Tanarukk in service, an almost unstoppable beast.
Is Summon Greater Demon a Good Spell?
That depends on the type of character you are playing and the situation in which you expect to find yourself. Demons are challenging to control, requiring total concentration and a lot of charismatic will to be exerted over them. This is obviously something that you aren’t going to be able to do in the midst of combat or in a busy marketplace. So the answer is yes, it is a great spell, but only if the situation is right.
Which Classes Can Use Summon Greater Demon Spell?
This spell is mainly one for Warlocks and Wizards; it is, after all, one of the powers with which such classes are most associated. The Eldritch Knight and Arcane Trickster have access to this spell because they are half magic users, and specific Bard subclasses can also get access.
Using Summon Greater Demon in DnD Campaigns
It is a powerful spell that needs to be used only when the situations are right. It may be employed in heavy combat, especially if you need the Demon to cause havoc with an enemy. It is also a helpful spell to cover your escape as Demons will attack the nearest foe rather than vent their anger on the caster. Not straight away, at least.
It has been used away from combat, getting the Demon to undertake dangerous tasks or to reveal secretive information. It takes a brave person to summon a Demon, but they don’t call you adventurers for nothing!