Dungeons & Dragons
To be greeted with stares and whispers, to suffer violence and insult on the street, to see mistrust and fear in every eye: this is the lot of the tiefling. And to twist the knife, tieflings know that this is because a pact struck generations ago infused the essence of Asmodeus—overlord of the Nine Hells—into their bloodline. Humans with the blood of fiends, most Tieflings in Faerûn share a common connection due to the machinations of the archdevil Asmodeus a century ago. Since the ritual that spread the curse of Asmodeus, tieflings have been born on Faerûn that belong to other infernal bloodlines, but those that bear the mark of the archdevil (and their descendants) remain the most numerous examples of their kind by far.
Their appearance and their nature are not their fault but the result of an ancient sin, for which they and their children and their children’s children will always be held accountable. In spite of what some people believe, however, Asmodeus exerts no power over his “children,” and tieflings today are as free-willed—and willful—as they ever have been. Some do choose to serve the Lord of the Nine Hells and his schemes, while others align themselves with different fiendish factions, or none at all, doing their best to stay out of infernal politics.
Tieflings are derived from human bloodlines, and in the broadest possible sense, they still look human. However, their infernal heritage has left a clear imprint on their appearance. Tieflings have large horns that take any of a variety of shapes: some have curling horns like a ram, others have straight and tall horns like a gazelle’s, and some spiral upward like an antelopes’ horns. They have thick tails, four to tive feet long, which lash or coil around their legs when they get upset or nervous. Their canine teeth are sharply pointed, and their eyes are solid colors—black, red, white, silver, or gold—with no visible sclera or pupil. Their skin tones cover the full range of human coloration, but also include various shades of red. Their hair, cascading down from behind their horns, is usually dark, from black or brown to dark red, blue, or purple.
Self-Reliant and Suspicious
Tieflings subsist in small minorities found mostly in human cities or towns, often in the roughest quarters of those places, where they grow up to be swindlers, thieves, or crime lords, Sometimes they live among other minority populations in enclaves where they are treated with more respect.
Lacking a homeland, tieflings know that they have to make their own way in the world and that they have to be strong to survive, They are not quick to trust anyone who claims to be a friend, but when a tiefling’s companions demonstrate that they trust him or her, the tiefling learns to extend the same trust to them. And once a tiefling gives someone loyalty, the tiefling is a firm friend or ally for life.
Tiefling names fall into three broad categories. Tieflings born into another culture typically have names reflective of that culture. Some have names derived from the Infernal language, passed down through generations, that reftect their fiendish heritage. And some younger tieflings, striving to find a place in the world, adopt a name that signifies a virtue or other concept and then try to embody that concept. For some. the chosen na me is a noble quest. For others. it’s a grim destiny.
Male Infernal Names: Akmenos, Amnon, Barakas, Damakos, Ekemon, lados, Kairon, Leucis, Melech, Mordai, Morthos, Pelaios, Skamos, Therai
Female Infernal Names: Akta, Anakis, Bryseis, Criella, Damaia, Ea, Kallista, Lerissa, Makaria, Nemeia, Orianna. Phelaia, Rieta
‘Virtue’ Names: Art, Carrion, Chant, Creed, Despair, Excellence, Fear, Glory, Hope, Ideal, Music, Nowhere, Open, Poetry, Quest, Random, Reverence, Sorrow, Temerily, Torment, Weary
Tieflings share certain racial traits as a result of their infernal descent.
- Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 2.
- Age. Tieflings mature at the same rate as humans but live a few years longer.
- Alignment. Tieflings might not have an innate tendency toward evil. but many of them end up there. Evil or not, an independent nature inclines many tieflings toward a chaotic alignment.
- Size. Tieflings are about the same size and build as humans. Your size is Medium.
- Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
- Darkvision. Thanks to your infernal heritage, you have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim Iight within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light. and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
- Variants. There are two major variations of tieflings: diabolic and demonic. To play a tiefling with diabolic lineage, choose the Infernal variant. To play a demonic tiefling, choose the Abyssal variant.
- Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score increases by 1.
- Hellish Resistance. You have resistance to fire damage.
- Infernal Legacy. You know the thaumaturgy cantrip. Once you reach 3rd level, you can cast the hellish rebuke spell once per day as a 2nd-level spell. Once you reach 5th levei, you can also cast the darkness spell once per day. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells.
- Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Infernal.
All abyssal tieflings trace their bloodline to the demons of the Abyss. These tieflings have the following additional features.
- Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 1.
- Abyssal Fortitude. Your hit point maximum increases by half your level (minimum 1).
- Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Abyssal.
- Abyssal Arcana. Each time you finish a long rest, you gain the ability to cast cantrips and spells randomly determined from a short list. At 1st level, you can cast a cantrip. When you reach 3rd level, you can also cast a 1st level spell. At 5th level, you can cast a 2nd level spell.
You can cast a spell gained from this trait only once until you complete your next long rest. You can cast a cantrip gained from this trait at will, as normal. For 1st level spells whose effect changes if cast using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, you cast the spell as if using a 2nd level slot. Spells of 2nd level are cast as if using a 2nd level slot.
At the end of each long rest, you lose the cantrips and spells previously granted by this feature, even if you did not cast them. You replace those cantrips and spells by rolling for new ones on the Abyssal Arcana Spells table. Roll separately for each cantrip and spell. If you roll the same spell or cantrip you gained at the end of your previous long rest, roll again until you get a different result.
Since not all Infernal tieflings are of the blood of Asmodeus, some have traits that differ from those listed above. These variations are available for both Infernal and Abyssal tieflings, the only requirement being that you have the trait which the variation replaces. The ’Devil’s Tongue’, ‘Hellfire’, and ‘Winged’ variants are mutually exclusive.
- Appearance. Your tiefling might not look like other tieflings. Choose 1d4+1 of the following features: small horns; fangs or sharp teeth; a forked tongue; catlike eyes; six fingers on each hand; goatlike legs; cloven hoofs; a forked tail; leathery or scaly skin; red or dark blue skin; cast no shadow or reflection; exude a smell of brimstone.
- Feral. Your Intelligence score increases by 1, and your Dexterity score increases by 2. This trait replaces the Ability Score Increase trait.
- Devil’s Tongue. You know the vicious mockery cantrip. When you reach 3rd level, you can cast the charm person spell as a 2nd-level spell once with this trait. When you reach 5th level, you can cast the enthrall spell once with this trait. You must finish a long rest to cast these spells once again with this trait. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for them. This trait replaces the Infernal Legacy trait.
- Hellfire. Once you reach 3rd level, you can cast the burning hands spell once per day as a 2nd-level spell. This trait replaces the hellish rebuke spell of the Infernal Legacy trait.
- Winged. You have bat-like wings sprouting from your shoulder blades. You have a flying speed of 30 feet. This trait replaces the Infernal Legacy trait.