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Monday, July 3, 2017

Dungeons & Dragons – A Guide to Baphomet, Demon Lord of Minotaurs

I can't help but notice that Xanathar's Guide to Everything is extremely popular. Tons of people are pre-ordering it! From what I can see, I think that book is going to be a big deal.

Today we’re going to put together a resource on Baphomet. There’s ideas spread through many different old books, and I’ve done my best to pull them all out and put them in one place. If you ever use Baphomet in your campaign, this should give you a bunch of concepts to work with.

If you want just one source, I think that Dragon Magazine 341 has the most information in it.

AD&D 1st Edition – Lost Caverns of Tsjocanth

Baphomet has an ogre’s body, a bull’s head and he is covered in coarse black hair. What we learn:
  • The mutual hatred between Baphomet and Yeenoghu is legendary.
  • Minotaurs are his worshipers and servants.
  • He can communicate telepathically with animals.
  • He wields a bardiche that destroys armor, shields and weapons.
  • Once per day he can bellow, causing all within 300 feet to save or flee in panic.
Monster Manual 2

  • He’s 12 feet tall.
  • He has “limited telepathic communication with animals.” 
  • He can breathe a gout of unholy water 6 times per day. It does 16-64 points of damage. So... that’s... 16d4. No way am I ever rolling that many d4’s. They’re so hard to grab.
Throne of Bloodstone

Pentagon Maze

Baphomet gets a whole stat block and everything.

Baphomet has been captured by Orcus! He’s being kept in the dungeons. “This is the result of a rare (and no doubt temporary!) alliance between Orcus and Yeenoghu.” While Baphomet is imprisoned, Yeenoghu is looting Baphomet’s realm.

Baphomet must stay until he slays a certain number of creatures that intrude. When the group meets him, he needs to slay just one human and then he’s free. He’ll immediately teleport to his home.

They detail a bunch of mazes.
  • Maze 1: The walls do lightning damage if you touch them. There’s a succubus in here with a wand of magic missiles.
  • Maze 2: The Octagon Maze: There is a field of octagons floating in “outer space.” Awesome! They float freely.
  • Maze 3: The Hexagon Maze: You have to enter certain rooms that teleport you to certain areas.
  • Maze 4: The Pentagon Maze: The walls are made of impenetrable darkness. Some walls can be walked through, some can’t. Worse, certain walls do fire/lightning damage when touched (no saving throw). “Any object touched to these walls is destroyed.”
At the end, a huge iron golem greets the visitors and welcomes them to the castle of Orcus.

Special Minotaurs: As they wander the maze, there’s a chance the group will fight minotaurs with special powers! That’s cool. There’s a list. Lightning breath weapon, Flame breath weapon, high level cleric or magic user spells, all sorts of stuff.

AD&D 2nd Edition – Monster Mythology

In 2nd edition they say that Baphomet is a lesser god, in addition to being a demon lord.

It gives a possible origin of the minotaurs: a curse condemned a number of wicked humans, which drew Baphomet’s attention.

He can’t send avatars to the Material Plane. They have to be gated in by evil wizards.

Baphomet can grant minotaurs the power to cast maze or wall of stone. When they do this, there’s a 1% chance that they are plane shifted to Baphomet’s realm.

D&D 3rd Edition – Dragon Magazine #341

This article is huge. We learn a ton of stuff:
  • He is the embodiment of all that is strong and virile, tempered with the keen mind and intellect of a scholar.
  • He rules the 600th layer of the Abyss, an endless maze. 
  • He can breathe negative energy on you.
  • He generally doesn’t pay much attention to his followers on the Material Plane. He sends aspects of himself to do that.
  • Baphomet is obsessed with war against Yeenoghu, personally leading armies of minotaurs, bulezau and goristro. They mostly do battle at outposts, not in their abyssal realms.
  • They don’t usually invade the others layer, they go for other outposts.
  • Pale Night: Ancient, mysterious demon lord who lives here.
  • Dwiergus the Chryalis Prince: He makes demons.
  • He wants to be an ally of Malcanthet, the Queen of the Succubi, as they both hate Yeenoghu.
  • Ardat, Demon Queen of Harpies: Baphomet betrayed her and her Soul Sirens.
Enemies: Yeenoghu, Graz’zt and Orcus

Thralls get powers:
  • Breath of Baphomet: acid cold or fire.
  • Immune to maze spells
  • They grow bull horns
  • Cast maze 3x per day
  • Increase strength, con or dex to +4!!
Minions of Baphomet: We get a look at some demons who serve Baphomet.


Bulezau: Thin demons with writhing flesh, bulezau had ram heads with pale watery eyes and “froth-caked lips”.

Ankshar: This thing is a combination of a bull, a man, a bear and a reptile. If it bites you, you get a disease called “warpflesh” which deforms your body. It also has a “gaze of madness”, which... you know, it looks at you and you go nuts.

Baphomet’s Realm - The Endless Maze: We learn tons of stuff:
  • 600th layer of the Abyss
  • At the center is the Lyktion, Baphomet’s Palace.
  • The further from the Lyktion you get, the more ruined the maze is. As Baphomet’s power grows, these areas become pristine.
  • The sky above looks like gloomy clouds, but in truth it’s a stone ceiling.
  • There are tribes of fiendish minotaurs who lay claim to areas of the maze.
  • There are portals to many different Abyssal layers in the maze.
  • The Lost: Desperate gnolls and humans being hunted by Baphomet.
  • The Fields of Brass: An arena where adventurers fight monsters.
  • The Lyktion: Hundreds of quasits clean it at all times. It is surrounded by a maze-like moat.
  • The Tower of Science: This place is made of brass and iron. It has 16 floors, each devoted to a “science” Baphomet is interested in, like taxidermy, vivisection, breeding experiments, and death.
  • The Maze of the Misbegotten: An unmapped underlabyrinth home to the “cancerous monstrosities that even Baphomet, Prince of Beasts, would rather see locked away.”
Pale Night's Bone Castle: Pale Night is another demon lord who lives in the Endless Maze. She’s mysterious, and is the mother of many other demon lords.

Her castle looks like a tower made of skeletal hands sitting in a circular plain of bones. Inside are galleries of the flickering shadows of her victims.

Here’s a little nugget for you: Pale Night often passes through a gate to Androlynne, where she spends a great deal of time toying with a generation of trapped eladrin children.

Fiendish Codex I

The Endless Maze: Connects to the Puzzling Hedge of Shendilavri (that sounds really cool) and the Valley of the Crypt Things on Thanatos.

When Baphomet was conquering this realm, he found Pale Night’s castle and she “somehow managed to suppress his rage enough to propose a pact that has lasted to the current day.”

4e Manual of the Planes
Baphomet is statted out in this book. Little bits of info:
  • His worshipers include mercenaries, pirates (!), and savage tribes of barbarians.
  • Graz’zt once imprisoned him.
  • Howling Blades: Religious minotaur zealots that worship Baphomet and engage in ritualistic and profane activities that encourage chaos and savagery.  They are led by the Temple of Ire, whose followers conducts raids on patrol of local authorities.
  • The Endless Maze connects to the Valley of Crypt in Thanatos. Wild goristros wander the maze.
D&D 4th Edition – Dragon #369

They did a demonomicon article in 3e, then for some reason they did another one in 4e. That’s weird, because there are so many demon lords that haven’t been fleshed out. Factoids:
  • Baphomet’s Titles: The Prince of Beasts, the Trampler, the Minotaur Lord, and the Horned King.
  • Baphomet coats his fur with “blod fat culled from his victims to accentuate his build.” So.. Baphomet is juicing.
  • He wears an iron crown. Sometimes he impales the head of his victims on his crown.  He wields an axe called Heartcleaver and he is enemies with Melora, a sea god.
Origin of his Beef with Yeenoghu: Baphomet was a primordial who led armies against Kord, Erathis, Melora and Pelor. He fought alongside Yeenoghu. Yeenoghu fled the battle and hung Baphomet out to dry. Baphomet chased after him and ha been chasing him ever since.

Enemies: Yeenoghu, Graz’zt and Orcus.

We get stats for the aspect of Baphomet. He gets bonuses against bloodied opponents (opponents missed half or more of their hit points).

Exarchs of Baphomet: He has some cool flunkies:
  • Asterion: A minotaur thief who loots the dead in the Endless maze. He has shifting tattoos all over his body. The tattoos map the Endless Maze. He wields two axes called Neckfinder and Headstealer.
  • The Misbegotten: A bloated black worm “covered in quivering pustules that give it its distinctive smell.” Baphomet created this worm, and it was so foul that he sent it to the deep tunnels under his palace to destroy the other abominations he creates. It wants to kill Baphomet.
The Endless Maze: Some updated info:
  • The maze has no roof in this edition. If you fly, you attract flying demons.
  • The Bone Castle: Home to Pale Night, the Mother of Demons. She is a “shapely and frightening woman whose gossamer strands of white hair conceal her face." Anybody who can work the word “gossamer” into D&D text is pretty great IMO.
  • The Fields of Brass: Now they’re in an egg-like chamber. There are stands and there is a throne of bronze and bone for Baphomet to sit in.
  • The Horrid Spire: Baphomet’s retreat, a crooked finger of brass. It’s a new name for the Tower of Science. I wonder why they changed it? Maybe they didn’t want to use the word “science” in D&D?
Baphomet’s Servants: Carnage demons, balors, abyssal dragons, and glabrezu. Many mortal cults that Baphomet helps to “embrace the inner beast.”

Oostarix, Eater of Men: A minotaur who clawed his way to power in a minotaur fortress called Patoorn. He wants to be Baphomet’s main sidekick. His body is covered in tattoos and scars. He is a despicable villain.

The Knights of the Horned King: Virina Tabois leads a society of learned people who oppose civilization. They undermine law and dismantle progress. She is a priestess of Erathis by day, but in truth she hates Erathis.

Baphomet’s Fiends: We get some new demons that serve Baphomet:

  • Coflizu: A swirling cloud of crimson droplets. I love the art for this one. When demon corpses collect, these creatures form out of the demonic energy.
  • Kalaka: Each of these demons look different. Baphomet takes mortals and reshapes them. Their form depends on his mood at the time.
  • Perditazu (maze demon): These form from those who die in the Endless Maze. They collect in packs, forming squads to hunt people in the maze. There is literally no description of what they look like, which is a bummer because I think they're cool.
  • They have a power called “phantom assailant” which I think is funny-sounding. It forces a target to attack an ally. I like the idea that it actually summons phantom assailants.
4e Monster Manual 3

This book has some really cool minotaur variants, all of which are part of the Blood League, warriors that steal the power of other creatures by consuming their still-beating hearts. They sometimes work with mind flayers (!).
  • Pale Bloodfiend: A minotaur who consumed the heart of a vampire. It can drink your blood to heal itself.
  • Cinderhoof Trampler: This minotaur smells of brimstone. It ate the heart of a nightmare! It has black skin and its hooves ignite with hellfire.
  • Ironskin Warrior: A minotaur that consumed the heart of a gorgon! How cool is that? A half-gorgon minotaur, sort of.
  • Shardhorn Hunter: No! Guess what they ate? A unicorn heart! These things are assassins that can teleport. They wield a dagger made from a unicorn’s horn.
D&D 5th Edition - Monster Manual

In the minotaur entry, it says that minotaurs are descendants of humanoids transformed by cult rituals. The cults worship Baphomet. Baphomet turns them into minotaurs.

These people who join the cults are looking for power, or they want to be free from authority. They can breed, giving “rise to an independent race of Baphomet’s savage children.”

5th Edition – Out of the Abyss

They changed the way he looks. I like it, the others were pretty forgettable. All sorts of information:
  • Cultists slowly transform into minotaurs, gaining bloodshot eyes, thicker hair, and small horns start to grow.
  • Baphomet is 20 feet tall and he has 6 iron horns.
  • The moat surrounding the Lyktion is a three-dimensional maze.
  • Lair Actions: He’s got a lot of cool lair actions. He can seal doors, reverse gravity, and create massive mirages.
  • Madness: 5e demon lords have madness powers. If you look at them and fail your save, you roll on the madness chart. Baphomet’s madnesses involve anger, savagery and a lack of control.
  • Baphomet’s Goal in Out of the Abyss: In this adventure, the demon lords are stuck in the underdark (the massive tunnels deep underground, inhabited by drow and other weird creatures). Baphomet can be found in an underground labyrinth.  He’s looking for the maze engine, which is a modron item that sets up a really fun encounter.
There you go! Minotaurs are pretty cool, I think they're a bit underused. You can definitely make a good adventure out of this stuff.


Dank Dungeons said...

This was super well researched and a ton of fun to read!

Jon Bupp said...

Love this series.

dickjitters said...

Amazing man thanks a lot. Plan B for when the charge the gates brigade wipe and wake up in HELL er Abyss

Timothy S. Brannan said...

Fantastic as always. Love these deep dives into the D&D lore.

Sean said...

Dank Dungeons: Thanks! Baphomet is relatively easy because he hasn't been used that much.

Jon Bupp: Thanks! There are a lot more on the way.

Dickjitters: Ha! Thanks!

Timothy Brannan: Thank you, there is a pile I am planning on doing. I'm going to try to squeeze in Acererak before September, I have a lot of things I'd like to know about him. I think he actually time-traveled in the 4e Revenge of the Giants adventure.