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Basic Information

Devil is sometimes used as just another word for Demon. In other settings, a Devil is a specific type of Demon. In yet others, it is a distinct form of evil Spirit that is similar to, but not the same thing as, a Demon. And sometimes the term Devil refers to THE Devil, the Ultimate Evil.

When fiction or religion makes a distinction between a Devil and a Demon, Devils are usually put in the role of Fallen Angels, or the anti-thesis of an angel. In religious books the distinction between a Devil and a Demon is often rather vague. When a distinction is made in fictional works Devils are usually creatures of corruption and evil, whereas Demons are creatures of chaos and destruction.

One modern and rather common version of a Devil (or THE Devil) is that of the man in a suit who tempts mortals into sin, or abandoning their "Immortal Soul" via trickery or the fulfillment of the mortal's wishes. In the case where supernatural wishes are granted the Devil will often pervert the wishes, but sometimes villains are introduced in fiction as humans or former humans who successfully sold their soul for benefit.

Another common devil depiction is that of a man with shiny red skin, a goatee, horns, and cloven hooves. Pitchfork, Cape and Golden Fiddle optional.

Note that in many works of fiction Demons and Devils are two names for the same creature. Please visit our Demon page, which explores this topic in further detail, and includes many ideas that may apply to Devils as well as Demons.

Devil-Related Tropes

See Also


1. Dungeons & Dragons, and related works.

Game and Story Use

  • A Character or NPC has accidentally, or perhaps not quite so accidentally sold their soul. Can they somehow slip out of the deal before they are thrown into eternal damnation?
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