Plagued by a dark and sinister heritage, tieflings walk through the shadows of their race's past, savoring the darkness or trying to escape it. Tieflings are scattered throughout Faerûn, littered geographically in a reminder of distant times when devils and demons exerted an active influence over the lands. As a race, tieflings have prospered despite prejudice and preconceived notions of their evil nature. They have arisen from obscurity and darkness to become active participants in the affairs of Faerûn.

With the fall of Mulhorand, the disintegration of Unther, and the transformation of Thay into a land where the dead walk, many tieflings have been forced to search out new homes. Although some have turned to their former dark practices, others have learned to enjoy the freedom and morality of their new homelands.

Description and Homelands

Tieflings are widely dispersed throughout Faerûn. In the east, tieflings are common in Narfell and southern High Imaskar. In Tymanther, the dragonborn accept their presence openly. Many of these eastern tieflings have continued to practice the fell traditions of their former homes of Unther and Mulhorand. The tieflings in the west have become an integral part of Calimshan's ongoing war. Memnon's faction eagerly absorbs any migrant tieflings whom it can put to military use. Not all tieflings choose this path, however, and many live in the west and north, along the Sword Coast, the Dragon Coast, and in the environs of Baldur's Gate. Tieflings have prospered there and risen to positions of minor authority, allowing them to shirk their dark reputation.

Even Aglarond, an enemy of Thay, begrudgingly tolerates tieflings. Tieflings, who comprised much of Thay's population, now work in service to Aglarond, defending against the undead that overwhelmed Thay and made them refugees. Regardless of location, though, tieflings face the traditional prejudices associated with their race. Although assumptions of the race's evil nature have lessened in recent decades, these attitudes nonetheless persist.

A tiefling can escape the taint of his background, but he cannot escape the skin and physical features that indicate his heritage. Tieflings' tails and horns, not to mention their reddish skin and sharp teeth, suggest evil progenitors. As such, many members of other races balk at the sight of a tiefling. At the same time, tieflings have a wide range of views regarding their appearance—some are ashamed of how they look, and others are steadfastly proud.

Playing a Tiefling in Toril

Tieflings either embrace their dark heritage or try to escape it, and consequently two distinct tiefling archetypes exist. Regardless of how tieflings feel about their ancestry, they are proud but secretive, bound by the inherent mystique that surrounds their creation.

A tiefling who embraces his or her past is preoccupied with the dark and sinister events of the world, whether in an effort to learn more about such occurrences or out of a desire to thwart them. Tieflings are found throughout Faerûn in part because they are undaunted by the dangers of the world. Few settlements consist entirely of tieflings because members of the race are rarely content to lead provincial lives. Whether because of their ancestry or cultural values, tieflings are ambitious and pursue fame or infamy with determination.

On the other hand, some tieflings deny their ancestry, making their only ambition to escape the darkness of their distant past. This feeling leads members of the race to try to accomplish good in the world, as if to compensate for some vague terrible deed of the past. Other tieflings, ashamed of their heritage, want no more than to pass through the world unnoticed.

Tiefling adventurers are common, though their motivations are varied. Tieflings' dark demeanor and natural attributes lead many to become rogues and thieves or else give them cause to pursue the black arcane arts. However, some tieflings find that their ambitions are well suited to positions of leadership, and stories tell of tieflings who have become mighty paladins and warlords. Ultimately, for many tieflings, the greatest battle they will ever face is the challenge of reconciling their own existence, whether for good or evil.

Tiefling Characteristics: Cunning, disquieting, imposing, mysterious, proud, rebellious, self-reliant, sinister, sly, unconventional
Male Names: Akmenos, Amnon, Barakas, Damakos, Ekemon, Iados, Kairon, Leucis, Melech, Morthos, Pelaios, Skamos, Therai
Female Names: Akta, Bryseis, Damaia, Ea, Kallista, Lerissa, Makaria, Nemeia, Orianna, Phelaia, Rieta

Some young tieflings, striving to find a place in the world, choose a name that signifies a concept and then try to embody the concept. For some, the chosen name is a noble quest. For others, it’s a grim destiny.

Modern Names: Art, Carrion, Chant, Despair, Fear, Gladness, Hope, Ideal, Music, Nowhere, Open, Poetry, Quest, Random, Reverence, Sorrow, Torment, Weary

Tiefling Adventurers

Three sample tiefling adventurers are described below.

Akmenos, tiefling warlock

Akmenos is a tiefling warlock torn between good and evil. He longs to fit into the human society in which he lives and would like to call himself genuinely good. At the same time, he fears that his soul is irretrievably tainted by the touch of evil—both the evil in his blood and the sinister nature of his infernal pact. He feels as if he is on a tightrope between good and evil and might eventually fall either way. His companions recognize the good in his heart and trust him, and that trust has been enough on some days to keep him from sliding into evil. His life is tormented, and though he believes he is called to a great destiny, he is not sure whether he will become a hero or a villain.

Kallista, tiefling warlord

Kallista is a tiefling warlord who prays daily that Bahamut will help her keep her commitment to live justly and honorably. She has no love for Bahamut's priests and temples, but she feels a personal connection to the Platinum Dragon, which inspires her to acts of nobility and sacrifice. She leads a group of adventurers in strikes against evil forces but dreams of one day leading an army under Bahamut's banner. In his name, she struggles to keep her violent temper and cruel streak under tight control.

Random, tiefling rogue

Random is a tiefling rogue, a native of the streets and alleys of a human city and no stranger to poverty, mistrust, or prejudice. As far as he's concerned, good and evil are a matter for priests and philosophers to discuss in their marble temples and universities. The reality of life on the street is survival, and he's willing to do what is necessary to survive. As part of an adventuring group, he has had his first taste of wealth and discovered that he likes it, but he hasn’t forgotten his roots. He has also had his first taste of trust and friendship, which are growing on him as well.

Tiefling Racial Traits

Average Height: 5' 6"–6' 2"
Average Weight: 140–230 lb.

Ability Scores: +2 Intelligence, +2 Charisma
Size: Medium
Speed: 6 squares
Vision: Low-light

Languages: Common, choice of one other
Skill Bonuses: +2 Bluff, +2 Stealth
Bloodhunt: You gain a +1 racial bonus to attack rolls against bloodied foes.
Fire Resistance: You have resist fire 5 + one-half your level.
Infernal Wrath: You can use infernal wrath as an encounter power.

Infernal Wrath Tiefling Racial Power
You call upon your furious nature to improve your odds of harming your foe.
Minor Action Personal
Effect: You can channel your fury to gain a +1 power bonus to your next attack roll against an enemy that hit you since your last turn. If your attack hits and deals damage, add your Charisma modifier as extra damage.

Play a tiefling if you want …

  • to be a hero who has a dark side to overcome.
  • to be good at tricking, intimidating, or persuading others to do your will.
  • to be a member of a race that favors the warlock, warlord, and rogue classes.

Character Races
Player's Handbook DragonbornDwarvesEladrinElvesHalf-ElvesHalflingsHumansTieflings
Player's Handbook 2 DevasGnomesGoliathsHalf-OrcsShifters
Player's Handbook 3 GithzeraiMinotaurShardmindWilden
Forgotten Realms Player's Guide DrowGenasi
Character Races

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