- 1 Publication history
- 1.1 Dungeons & Dragons (1974–1976)
- 1.2 Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition (1977–1988)
- 1.3 Dungeons & Dragons (1977–1999)
- 1.4 Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition (1989–1999)
- 1.5 Dungeons & Dragons 3.0 edition (2000–2002)
- 1.6 Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 edition (2003–2007)
- 1.7 Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition (2008–2014)
- 1.8 Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition (2014–present)
- 2 Ecology
- 3 Society
- 4 Permutations
- 5 Other publishers
- 6 Reception
- 7 Other media
- 8 References
The succubus is based on the succubi from Western medieval legend.
Dungeons & Dragons (1974–1976)
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition (1977–1988)
Dungeons & Dragons (1977–1999)
This edition of the D&D game included its own version of the succubus, which is known as the whispering demon, first appearing in the Immortal Rules set, in the DM's Guide to Immortals (1986). The whispering lesser fiend appeared in the Wrath of the Immortals set, in "Book One: Codex of the Immortals" (1992).
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition (1989–1999)
In this edition, demons became known as tanar'ri, with the succubus lesser tanar'ri appearing first in the Monstrous Compendium Volume Outer Planes Appendix (1991), and then reprinted in the Monstrous Manual (1993).
Dungeons & Dragons 3.0 edition (2000–2002)
The succubus (tanar'ri) appears in the Monster Manual for this edition (2000); in this edition, the name demon is resumed, and tanar'ri are now considered a sub-type of demon.
Savage Species (2003) presented the succubus/incubus as both a race and a playable class.
Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 edition (2003–2007)
The succubus appears in the revised Monster Manual for this edition (2003).
Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition (2008–2014)
The succubus appears in the Monster Manual for this edition (2008), although in this edition, succubi are classified as devils and appear under the "devil" entry. A great many succubi were stranded in the Abyss at various points of the Blood War – these were corrupted and became ferroliths and incubi.
Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition (2014–present)
The succubus appears in the Monster Manual for this edition (2014). In this edition, they are neither demons nor devils, instead being Neutral Evil fiends that are found on all the Lower Planes.
The objective of succubi is to tempt men to have sex with them. They do this for their own purposes, and it typically yields a dead mortal or a pleased demon lord (in some cases, when succubi are used as assassins, both ends result).
Succubi are native to the Abyss.
Typical physical characteristics
A succubus in its natural state is in the shape and form of a beautiful human woman with demonic features, such as bat-like wings, tiny horns, and/ or a tail. However, the succubus may shape-shift into many forms. They often appear in the guise of a human woman without demonic features.
In the first edition of Dungeons and Dragons, it was established that a succubus shapechanged into male form was known as an incubus. However, in the third edition of D&D, the succubus is the female form of the incubus (i.e. the succubus and the incubus are the female and male manifestations of the same type of demon). The creation of incubi as a separate demon type was featured during the Fourth Edition events of the Blood War.
Succubi are tanar'ri demons, and they are quite numerous. Many are under the command of the Abyssal Lord Graz'zt, but most are ruled by their "Queen," Malcanthet. In Dungeons & Dragons the female child of a succubus and a human is traditionally called an "alu-demon" and the male child a "cambion" (though the latter term can be applied to any demon-mortal offspring). However, the offspring of an alu-demon or cambion, as a result of a union with a human, has no specific name but falls into the larger category of tiefling.
Succubi are featured prominently in the Planescape games.
Though in previous D&D editions succubi were Chaotic Evil demons, under 4th edition D&D rules the succubus is a devil, and its alignment is evil. Succubi serve more powerful fiends as spies or assassins. In 5th edition D&D succubi are Neutral Evil.
In Pathfinder the analogous Neutral Evil "succubus" is the erodaemon.
Rob Bricken of io9 identified the succubus as one of "The 12 Most Obnoxious Dungeons & Dragons Monsters".
Demons like the succubus were considered among the "standard repertoire of "Monsters"" of the game by Fabian Perlini-Pfister.
The succubus appears in the D&D Miniatures: Blood War set #59 (2006).
- DeVarque, Aardy. Literary Sources of D&D.
- Gygax, Gary; Blume, Brian (1976). "Eldritch Wizardry" (1 ed.). Lake Geneva, WI: TSR. Cite journal requires
- Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual (TSR, 1977)
- Mentzer, Frank. Dungeons & Dragons Set 5: Immortal Rules (TSR, 1986)
- Allston, Aaron. Wrath of the Immortals (TSR, 1992)
- LaFountain, J. Paul. Monstrous Compendium Outer Planes Appendix. (TSR, 1991)
- Stewart, Doug, ed. Monstrous Manual (TSR, 1993)
- Varney, Allen, ed. Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix (TSR, 1994)
- Cook, Monte, Jonathan Tweet, and Skip Williams. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2000)
- Eckelberry, David, Rich Redman, and Jennifer Clarke Wilkes. Savage Species (Wizards of the Coast, 2003)
- Mearls, Mike, Stephen Schubert, and James Wyatt. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2008)
- Mearls, Mike, Brian R. James, Steve Townshend. Demonomicon (Wizards of the Coast, 2010)
- Incubus Demonomicon Excerpts. Wizards of the Coast.
- Bornet, Philippe (2011). Religions in play: games, rituals, and virtual worlds. Theologischer Verlag Zürich. Retrieved on 19 December 2019.