Tiefling

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Note: The Tiefling race may only be selected by spending a Major Award!

Carrying the taint of Evil in their very souls, tieflings 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 it's appearance, determined to redeem it, willing to exploit it, or Evil enough not to care about it's 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. Even if they manage to overcome their evil blood, doing good feels awkward or just down right wrong.

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, glugon, 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 the Tanarukk), and other races are known, but those are distinct lines and not true Tieflings.

Appearances

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 many 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 look like their base race 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 the head. (For demons, devils, or night hags.)
  • Fangs or pointed teeth.
  • Forked tongues. (Demons or devils.)
  • Cat eyes. (Rakshasa.)
  • More or less than five fingers. (Demons or devils.)
  • Hooves. (Devils.)
  • Non-prehensile tails. (Demons or devils.)
  • Furry, leathery, or scaly skin. (Demons, devils, or rakshasa.)
  • Red skin tones. (Demon or devils.)
  • Bruised blue skin. (Night hags)
  • Casts no shadow. (Demons or devils.)
  • Throws no reflection. (Demons or devils.)
  • Skin is abnormally hot to the touch. (Demons or devils.)
  • Smell of brimstone. (Demons or devils.)

Mind that traits like glowing eyes or goatlike legs are not or otherwise supported in the models and are therefore in principal not allowed.

However, as per the Arelith remarks upon creating a subrace: Due to racial dilution, on Arelith, the skin tones noted are VERY faint. Characters who choose deep colors for these races that are outside of the offered features will be asked to remake, or deleted. Certain obvious racial characteristics WILL prohibit or limit greatly interaction with certain groups or individuals. Common sense dictates that any creatures of monstrous appearance will be treated as monsters, and players who choose these characteristics will interact accordingly, or be asked to remake, adjusted, or deleted at the DM's discretion.

What this comes down to: when considering the overall appearance of the character, is it 'slightly creepy' (on a par with a creepy mundane) or is it 'monstrous and scary' on a par with an ogre walking down the street? The latter is where the line has been crossed. If you are in doubt, try contacting a DM to clarify whether your idea is viable or not, or accept the consequences it may have if you decide to take the gamble (like, as mentioned above, adjustment/removal of character).

History

Most Faeruinian Tieflings come from bloodlines originating in Mulhorand and Thay. The Mulhorandi Tieflings are descended from servants or manifestations of Set or Sebek, while those from That 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 the 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 Tieflings as well.

Outlook

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 friends 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.

Society

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 it's 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 a 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, others 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.

Roleplay tips

Good tiefling

(written by Purgatid)

Having a Tiefling who wants to do good isn't as hard as it sounds. The trick is to successfully implement "the means justify the goal." A "good" Tiefling wanting to stop the evil baron who's oppressing the peasants could very well abduct the Baron's daughter and threaten to kill her if the oppression doesn't end. The goal is good - to stop the oppression, but the means is evil - abduction and possible murder. In the same way, he could mug the rich (not steal, like Robin Hood - but actually jump out and beat up the noble whether or not the Noble is a greedy one or not, and steal their gold from the unconscious battered nobleman) and give to the poor. As long as the plus and minus is zero, I think he'd be considered neutral. A good person will not do evil things - even if the end goal is good, while a neutral person may very well do that.

Creating new character on Arelith

Prerequisites:

Abilities

All base race abilities, stats and feats
Bluff +2, Hide +2
15% damage immunity to fire, cold and electricity
Spell Like Ability: Darkness 1/day

ECL +1

Bloodlines

At character creation, a tiefling may select a bloodline at the cost of an increased +1 ECL. Only one can be chosen and once chosen it cannot be modified.

  • Bloodline of Brutality: +2 STR, +2 CON, -2 WIS, -2 CHA.
  • Bloodline of Lethality: +2 DEX, +2 CON, -2 CHA.
  • Bloodline of Insidious: +2 INT, +2 CON, -2 CHA.
  • Bloodline of Allure: +2 CHA, +2 CON, -2 WIS.
  • Bloodline of Vision: +2 WIS, +2 CON, -2 DEX.

Gifts and base race ability modifiers stack with bloodlines. The increased ECL from the bloodline does not limit the selection of gifts in any way, though the increased ECL from the [aasimar/tiefling] subrace does.

Appearance

Tieflings look human except for one or two distinguishing features related to their unusual ancestor. (Note that demons are chaotic evil by nature and devils are lawful evil. Chaotic descendant of devil is very unlikely.)

For some examples of these features (and the ancestors that cause them) see the appearance description above.

At Arelith you can contact a DM in game for getting a tail attached to your character, however if you already have horns on your character then you can not, as you can not have both.

Life expectancy and ageing: the same as their base race.


Notes

  • Bonus language:
Infernal if Lawful
Abyssal if Chaotic or Neutral
  • Due to their in-part outsider nature, they are affected by Dismissal and Banishment.
  • Starting city: Cordor, or Andunor with Outcast or Slave background (only available to human and half-orc tieflings).