Tieflings are human-based planetouched, native outsiders that are infused with the touch of the fiendish planes, most often through descent from fiends — demons, devils, evil deities, and others who have bred with humans. Tieflings are known for their cunning and personal allure, which makes them excellent deceivers as well as inspiring leaders when prejudices are laid aside.
Tieflings don't have any modified ECL on CoA.
Racial Abilities: +2 Intelligence +2 Charisma +2 bonus on Bluff and Hide checks Fire / Cold / Electricity Resistance 5/- Darkvision Darkness 1/day
Favored Class: Rogue
Carrying the taint of evil in their very souls, tiefling are persecuted and feared in most parts of Faerun. Those with gross physical alterations are often killed at birth, and even those with less noticeable physical traits are sometimes killed by their own horrified parents. Occasionally, a tiefling is born to someone indifferent to its appearance, determined to redeem it, willing to exploit it, or evil enough to not care about its nature, and these tieflings are most likely to survive to adulthood. Most tieflings are evil, but a few have managed to overcome their bloodline's influence to make their own choices about good and evil.
Tieflings are the distant descendants of a human and some evil outsider, such as a demon (usually a marilith or succubus), devil (usually an erinyes, gelugon, or pit fiend), night hag, rakshasa, or even a servant of an evil deity (some of these creatures must use magic to assume a form that is compatible with a human mate, of course). Fiend-touched and similarly tainted mixes of elves (notably the fey'ri) orcs (such as tanarukk), and other races are known, but those are distinct lines and are not true tieflings.
Tieflings look human except for one or two distinguishing features related to their unusual ancestor. Some examples of these features (and the ancestors that cause them) are:
- small horns on head (demon, devil, night hag)
- fangs or pointed teeth
- forked tongue (demon, devil)
- glowing red eyes (demon, devil, night hag)
- cat eyes (rakshasa)
- more or less than 5 fingers (demon, devil)
- goatlike legs (devil)
- hooves (devil)
- non-prehensile tail (demon, devil)
- furry, leathery, or scaly skin (demon, devil, rakshasa)
- red skin (demon, devil)
- bruised blue skin (night hag)
- casts no shadow (demon, devil)
- throws no reflection (demon, devil)
- skin is hot to the touch (demon, devil)
- smell of brimstone (demon, devil)
Tieflings are aware at an early age that they are different from the people around them, and often have strange urges, desires, or needs because of their evil heritage. Because tieflings are born of different creatures, it is difficult to tell if any two of them are related, and because many of them come from demonic bloodlines, even two tieflings descended from similar demons or the very same demon might look very different.
Tieflings have the same life expectancy and age categories as a human.
Most Faerunian tieflings come from bloodlines originating in Mulhorand and Thay. The Mulhorand tieflings are descended from servants or manifestations of Set or Sebek, while those from Thay are usually the result of dalliances with fiends of all kinds.
As with the aasimar from Mulhorand, many tieflings from that ancient land leave the region to seek their own destiny without outside interference. Thayan tieflings are usually the grandchildren of powerful wizards, birthed as part of some power scheme, and usually spend their lives as slaves or pawns to both sides of the family (although Nevron, the zulkir of Conjuration, is rumored to be a tiefling). In either case, tieflings from these two regions usually resemble the human race of their parents, with their inhuman traits making them stand out from other Thayans or Mulhorandi.
Unther is reputed to have a tiefling population comparable to Mulhorand, but in truth this is a misconception, for the evil and mad god-king Gilgeam sired no children for fear of creating something that might usurp his throne. However, Nergal (the Untheric god of underworld) is thought to have fathered at least one child before he was slain during the Orcgate Wars over two thousand years ago, and it is possible that some Untheric men and women still carry that evil deity's bloodline. The mages of Unther may also be responsible for some devil-spawned tiefling as well.
It is often whispered that the survivors of the Nar Empire carried demonic blood and tieflings are incredibly common in this region of the Realms.
Tieflings live as outcasts. Feared for their evil heritage and often acting appropriately to their ancestry, they learn to keep people at a distance and hide that which makes them different. Like all the planetouched, they are different from their own parents; rarely has a tiefling been raised in a home filled with love.
Tieflings are bitter folk who expect eventual rejection from even their best friends and easily fall into lives of crime, depravity, and cruelty. Tieflings look upon true fiends and other evil outsiders with envy and fear.
Some tieflings reject their tainted blood and seek the light. Not many succeed for long, and far more slide to a comfortable place midway between evil and good. But of the creatures who work to be good, good-aligned tieflings probably work the hardest.
Because of the varied circumstances of their births, most tieflings become adults without knowing another of their kind. Given their scattered heritage and tendency toward evil, tieflings mistrust each other, while at the same time wanting another of their kind near to experience a limited kinship. Therefore it is not unusual to find a small group of like-minded tieflings at the head of a thieves' guild. Sometimes a good tiefling will search out others of her kind in the hopes of rescuing them from evil or persecution, but most tieflings are so used to looking out only for themselves that such a thought never occurs to them.
Thay is unusual because of its numbers of tiefling slaves. An unknown number of fiendish bloodlines exist in Thay, some of them lost for generations. When a true tiefling arises from latent bloodline, there is often a scramble as the Red Wizards struggle to collect the planetouched offspring. Some Red Wizards train these young tieflings with others of their kind, either to work as spies in other households, personal assassins, or as some sort of sacrifice to an evil being. These tieflings can develop a sense of community among their fellows. If they are lucky, they may manage to escape their evil masters, scattering to the four winds to elude pursuit. Some of these slaves start revolts to cover their tracks, otehrs return to kill their former owners, and still others leave and never look back. In this way, certain tieflings have extended families, although how to find their adopted siblings usually poses a problem.
Language and Literacy
Tieflings share no common language. Some learn Infernal or Abyssal, althought since most have no idea where their bloodline comes from as often as not they choose the wrong racial language. A tiefling usually learns the language of her parents and may pick up other languages appropriate to her region.
All tieflings are literate, except for barbarians and commoners.
Tiefling Magic and Lore
May tieflings seek out magic that brings the power of the Lower Planes to them, especially divination magic that lets tieflings ask questions of powerful fiends and conjuration spells that call forth creatures of darkness.
Tieflings have no common racial deity, but sometimes worship powerful demons, devils, or whatever divine being their ancestor serves (or that being itself, if the ancestor is a deity). A tiefling born outside the Old Empires or Thay, or one whose travels have taken her far from those lands, usually takes a like-minded patron appropriate to her new country. The following deities are the most common patrons of evil tieflings but are certainly not the only ones.
Beshaba, the Maid of Misfortune, appeals to a number of tieflings. This wicked and beautiful goddess has created a few tiefling bloodlines over the ages, many of which have white hair and manifested antlers instead of other kind of horns. Tieflings who worship Beshaba do so because they believe they are unlucky to have been born as what they are and seek to pass this misfortune on to others. While Cyric has not fathered any tiefling bloodlines since his apotheosis, tiefling assassins, illusionists, and those drawn to conflict and aggression because of their heritatge often worship Cyric.
Gargauth, the god of corruption, betrayal, and cruelty, has been known to disguise himself as a helpful stranger, befriend a good woman in difficult circumstances, and leave her just before she gives birth to their halfbreed child. These children of evil emulate their father's practices, and so the bloodline of Gargauth has many scions in Faerun. He is worshiped by tieflings looking to destroy a hated rival (possibly a good-aligned temple that harassed them as a youth) or those looking to gain power very quickly.
As many tieflings naturally gravitate toward the arts of the rogue, a number of them have taken Mask for their patron. Only one Maskarran tiefling bloodline is known, a line from Thesk noted for never casting reflections, but Mask's secretive nature means that others could be almost anywhere. Mask is worshiped by tieflings thieves or those who must do their work concealed by shadows. Shar is not known to have any planetouched offspring, but she draws the worship of those who wish to forget their old pains and hurts. She particularly enjoys pitting her tiefling worshippers against the aasimar servants of Selune.
Many tieflings multiclass between rogue and another class; even the most skilled tiefling wizard might have a knack for tumbling, opening locks, or sneaking about. A tiefling is versatile enough to be just about anything, although they make poor sorcerers.
Relations with other Races
Tieflings treat most other races equally-- at arms's length. They are very slow to trust others and always wary of a friend suddenly becoming an enemy. Aasimar often trigger an instinctive fear or revulsion in tieflings, making it difficult for them to work together at all.
Half-orcs are the only race tieflings easily tolerate, since they are the only common mixed-breed race that is derided as much as tiefling. Still, a tiefling isn't more likely to trust a half-orcs; she's just more likely to understand his perspective.
Tieflings share no common equipment, although they do have a fondness for weapons that inflict a lot of pain and cause a lot of bleeding. A tiefling usually feels very comfortable with an unholy weapon in his hand.
Animals and Pets
Given their diverse background, tieflings don't have any particular animal that can be recognized as a racial favorite. However, they do favor vicious dogs, rats, snakes, and ravens as pets, and those with talent for magic can sometimes establish a bond with fiendish animal of some sort.
Favored Class: Rogue. No other class rewards high Dexterity and Intelligence like the rogue does, and its flexible nature suits the tiefling's status as an outcast.
Prestige Classes: Because of their innate association with evil, many evil tieflings become blackguards. Still others become assassins, shadowdancers, or shadow adepts.