Simultaneously more and less than mortal, tieflings are humanoids touched by the essence of the lower planes. With otherworldly blood and traits to match, tieflings are often shunned and despised out of reactionary fear. Tieflings need not be descended from fiends, the mere taint of a lower plane can curse a mundane bloodline. Some do trace their descent to fiends, generally many generations back. The taint is long-lasting and persistent, often manifesting at birth or sometimes later in life, as a powerful, though often unwanted, boon. Despite their fiendish appearance and netherworld origins, tieflings have the capacity of choosing their fate, and while many embrace their dark heritage and side with fiendish powers, others reject their darker predilections. Though the power of their blood calls nearly every tiefling to fury, destruction, and wrath, even the spawn of a Hell can become a saint and the grandchild of the Abyss an unsuspecting hero.
No two tieflings look alike; the fiendish blood running through their veins manifests inconsistently, granting them an array of fiendish traits. One tiefling might appear as a human with small horns, a barbed tail, and oddly colored eyes, while another might manifest a mouth of fangs, tiny wings, and claws, and yet another might possess the perpetual smell of blood, foul incenses, and brimstone. The admixture of humanoid and fiendish blood is rarely ruled by sane, mortal laws, and the vast flexibility it produces in tieflings is a thing of wonder, running the gamut from oddly beautiful to utterly terrifying.
Tieflings on the Material Plane rarely create their own settlements and holdings. Instead, they live on the fringes of the land where they were born or choose to settle. Most societies view tieflings as aberrations or curses. Tieflings seldom see another of their own kind, and thus they usually simply adopt the culture and mannerisms of their humanoid parents. On other planes, tieflings form enclaves of their own kind. But often such enclaves are less than harmonious—the diversity of tiefling forms and philosophies is an inherent source of conflict between members of the race, and cliques and factions constantly form in an ever-shifting hierarchy where only the most opportunistic or devious gain advantage. Only those of common bloodlines or those who manage to divorce their worldview from the inherently selfish, devious, and evil nature of their birth manage to find true acceptance, camaraderie, and common ground among others of their kind.
Curious, Opportunistic, Self-victimizing.
People with visible birth defects or associated with bad luck, like Hiroshima victims in Japan.
Tieflings are rarely born to their own race, instead appearing as spontaneous mutations in other races. Theiflings conform to local family customs when allowed to. They can procreate with humanoids of their racial heritage, in which case the offspring is generally of the partner's race. Theifling couples are just barely fertile, and generally birth theifling children.
Tieflings are not well known or understood in Greyhawk. Common people might mistake them for half-fiends, fauns, or other fey. They are often met with curiosity or fear. The widespread assumption that tieflings are innately evil—ill-founded though it may be—prevents many from easily fitting into most cultures on the Material Plane except in exceedingly cosmopolitan or planar-influenced nations. Tieflings are most common close to the Empire of Iuz and former Great Kingdom, and these are also the lands where they are the least feared.
Many tieflings often grow up in institutions, that can be religious, magical, martial, or criminal. This means that tieflings are vastly over-represented among adventurers, many tieflings have adventuring occupations. This makes tieflings seem more powerful that they innately are, further increasing the aura of fear surrounding them.
The negative opinion applies among most well-established races. Other races that are also often outsiders, such as halflings, halfbreeds, planetouched, and outcasts tend to view tieflings as similar to themselves and see the persecution they suffer. This does not mean they are always friendly; there can be a great deal of competition among outcasts.
Alignment and Religion
Despite their fiendish heritage and the insidious influence of prejudice, tieflings can be of any alignment. Many of them fall prey to the dark desires that haunt their psyches, and give in to the seduction of the whispering evil within, yet others steadfastly reject their origins and actively fight against evil lures and the negative assumptions they face from others by performing acts of good. Most, however, strive to simply find their own way in the world, though they tend to adopt a very amoral, neutral view when they do. Though many creatures just assume that tieflings worship devils and demons, their religious views are as varied as their physical forms. Individual tieflings worship all manner of deities, but they are just as likely to shun religion all together. Those who give in to the dark whispers that haunt the psyche of all tieflings serve all manner of powerful fiends. Tieflings with an interest in religion rarely gain access to the clergy, but are often in direct contact with the divine as oracles. Sadly, prejudices means their teachings rarely gain traction except among evil creatures.
Tieflings rarely integrate into the mortal societies they call home. Drawn to the adventuring life as a method of escape, they hope to make a better life for themselves, to prove their freedom from their blood's taint, or to punish a world that fears and rejects them. Tieflings make popular bards of the more edgy variety, skilled warriors, and especially puissant kineticists, oracles, and sorcerers as their potent blood empowers them.
Baru, Dellisar, Maldrek, Molos, Sarvin, Shoremoth, Temerith, Voren, Zoren.
Allizsah, Indranna, Kasidra, Kilarra, Mellisan, Mordren, Nisha.
Standard Racial Traits
These traits are the norm, but variations are common.
Ability Score Racial Traits: Tieflings are hale and have colorful personalities, but are inherently alien and alienated. They gain +2 Constitution, +2 Charisma, and –2 Wisdom.
Type: Tieflings have dual creature types. They are humanoids of their parent race's subtype, but are also outsiders of the native subtype. An effect that targets either humanoids (of their parent's subtype) or native outsiders work on tieflings.
Size: Tieflings are Medium creatures and thus receive no bonuses or penalties due to their size. Teiflings whose humanoid parent race is Small share this size and gain a +1 size bonus to their AC, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, a –1 penalty to their CMB and CMD, and a +4 size bonus on Stealth checks.
Speed: Tieflings have a base speed of 30 feet.
Languages: Tieflings begin play speaking Common and either Abyssal or Infernal. Tieflings with high intelligence scores can choose from the following: Abyssal, Draconic, Dwarven, Elven, Gnome, Goblin, Halfling, Infernal, and Orc. See the Linguistics skill for more information about these languages.
Defense Racial Traits
Fiendish Resistance: Tieflings have cold resistance 5, electricity resistance 5, and fire resistance 5.
Feat and Skill Racial Traits
Skilled: Tieflings gain a +2 racial bonus on Bluff and Stealth checks.
Magical Racial Traits
Dark Magic: Tieflings can use darkness once per day as a spell-like ability. The caster level for this ability equals the tiefling's class level.
Senses Racial Traits
Darkvision: Tieflings can see in the dark at distances up to 60 feet. Darkvision is monochromatic.
Alternate Racial Traits
The following alternate racial traits may be selected in place of one or more of the standard racial traits above. Consult your GM before selecting any of these new options.
Beguiling Liar Many tieflings find that the best way to get along in the world is to tell others what they want to hear. These tieflings' practice of telling habitual falsehoods grants them a +4 racial bonus on Bluff checks, but they suffer a -2 penalty on Diplomacy checks. This racial trait replaces skilled.
Bullying Tieflings are often disparaged and resort to bullying and false bravado to make a name for themselves. These tieflings gain a +2 racial bonus on Bluff and Intimidate checks. This racial trait replaces skilled.
Fiendish Sprinter Some tieflings have feet that are more bestial than human. Whether their feet resemble those of a clawed predator or are the cloven hooves common to many of their kind, tieflings with this trait gain a 10-foot racial bonus to their speed when using the charge, run, or withdraw actions. This racial trait replaces skilled.
Light from the Darkness Tieflings who deny the evil of their heritage to go on to become heroes refuse to use the dark magic of their blood, but their struggle grants them uncanny resilience against evil's touch. As long as they retain a good alignment, they can cast corruption resistance against evil once per day as a spell-like ability. If a tiefling uses this ability on themselves, the duration increases to 1 hour per level. This racial trait replaces dark magic.
Maw or Claw Some tieflings take on the more bestial aspects of their fiendish ancestors. These tieflings exhibit either powerful, toothy maws or dangerous claws. The tiefling can choose a bite attack that deals 1d6 points of damage or two claws that each deal 1d4 points of damage. These attacks are primary natural attacks. This racial trait replaces the spell-like ability racial trait.
Pass for Human Discrimination against tieflings with horrifically fiendish features is so intense that even tieflings look up to those precious few of their kind who can pass as a normal humanoid. These tieflings have otherworldly features that are so subtle, they aren't often noticed unless the tiefling points them out (for example, eyes that flash red in the throes of passion, or fingernails that are naturally hard and pointed). Such a tiefling doesn't need to succeed at a Disguise check to appear to be members of their humanoid parent race. The tiefling does not automatically gain his associated outsider language (but may select it as a bonus language if his Intelligence score is high enough), and he may not select other racial traits that would grant him obviously fiendish features (such as the fiendish sprinter, maw or claw, prehensile tail, scaled skin, or vestigial wings alternate racial traits). This ability alters the tiefling's languages.
Prehensile Tail Many tieflings have tails, but some have long, flexible tails that can be used to carry items. While they cannot wield weapons with their tails, they can use them to retrieve small, stowed objects carried on their persons as a swift action. This tail also gives a +2 racial bonus on Sleight of Hand and the tiefling can use the tail to draw a hidden weapon as a move action instead of as a standard action. This racial trait replaces skilled.
Scaled Skin The skin of these tieflings provides some energy resistance, but is also as hard as armor. Choose one of the following energy types: cold, electricity, or fire. A tiefling with this trait gains resistance 5 in the chosen energy type and also gains a +1 natural armor bonus to AC. This racial trait replaces fiendish resistance.
Soul Seer Rare tieflings have a peculiar sight that allows them to see the state of a creature's soul. They can use deathwatch at will as spell-like ability. This racial trait replaces the fiendish resistance racial trait.
Thieving Tieflings are often disparaged and kept low in the social order, where they commonly resort to robbing those weaker than themselves. Tieflings with this racial trait gain a +2 racial bonus on Sleight of Hand and +2 racial bonus on combat maneuver checks for steal maneuvers. This racial trait replaces skilled.
Underworld Guide Those who brave the lightless tunnels below the world's surface learn to identify the dangerous phenomena that characterize the Underworld. Characters with this trait gain a +2 bonus on initiative checks, and on saves against traps and hazards when underground (from a lifetime of dodging accursed pools, cave-ins, and green slime). This racial trait replaces dark magic.
Vestigial Wings Some tieflings possess a pair of undersized, withered, or stunted wings like a mockery of those of their fiendish forbearer. Sometimes these wings are leathery, like those of a bat. Other times they are covered with a scattering of black, red, or violet feathers. Rare manifestations can take even more bizarre forms. These wings do not provide the lift required for actual flight, but do have enough power to aid flight attained by some other method, and grant a +4 racial bonus on Fly skill checks. At 10th level, the tiefling qualifies for the Angel Wings feat, except the wings look like full-sized versions of the wings gained by vestigial wings. This racial trait replaces skilled.
Favored Class Options
The following favored class options are available to all characters of this race who have the listed favored class, and unless otherwise stated, the bonus applies each time you select the favored class reward.
Alchemist Add +1/2 to the alchemist's bomb damage.
Barbarian Add +1/6 to the barbarian’s damage reduction.
Bard Treat the bard’s level as +1/2 level higher when determining the effect of the fascinate bardic performance ability.
Cavalier: The cavalier's mount gains energy resistance 1 against any one type of energy damage or DR 1/silver. Energy resistance can't be higher than the tiefling's racial energy resistance against each type of energy, and DR/silver cannot be higher than 5.
Cleric Add a +1/2 bonus on caster level checks made to overcome the spell resistance of outsiders.
Druid Add a +1/2 bonus on wild empathy checks made to improve the attitude of fiendish animals.
Fighter Add +1/3 to the fighter’s saving throws versus fear effects.
Gunslinger Add +1/4 to the dodge bonus to AC granted by the nimble class feature (maximum +4
Inquisitor Add a +1/2 bonus on Intimidate checks and Knowledge checks to identify creatures.
Magus Add +1/4 point to the magus's arcane pool.
Monk: Add +1/4 to the monk's level for the purpose of what materials his ki strike counts as. At 20th level, his unarmed attacks count as epic weapons. At an effective level of 25, his unarmed attacks penetrate all DR of any kind.
Oracle Add +1/4 to the armor or natural armor bonus granted by oracle spells or revelation abilities he uses on himself.
Paladin Add +1/2 to the amount of damage the paladin heals with lay on hands, but only when the paladin uses that ability on herself.
Ranger Add +1/6 to the character’s effective druid level for determining animal companion statistics.
Rogue Add +1/2 to sneak attack damage dealt to creatures with the outsider type.
Sorcerer Add +1/2 to the number of times per day a sorcerer can use the corrupting touch infernal bloodline power, or +1 to the total number of rounds per day the sorcerer can use the claws abyssal bloodline power. The sorcerer need not possess these abilities to select these bonuses.
Summoner Add +1 hit point or +1 skill rank to the summoner's eidolon.
Witch The witch's familiar gains resistance 1 against cold, electricity, or fire. Each time the witch selects this reward, increase the familiar's resistance to one of these energy types by 1 (maximum 5 for any one type). If the witch ever replaces her familiar, the new familiar gains these resistances.
Wizard Select one arcane school power at 1st level that is normally usable a number of times per day equal to 3 + the wizard's Intelligence modifier. The wizard adds +1/2 to the number of uses per day of that arcane school power.
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Section 15 Addendum
Advanced Player's Guide. Copyright 2010, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Jason Bulmahn.
Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Inner Sea Races © 2015, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Ross Byers, John Compton, Adam Daigle, Crystal Frasier, Matthew Goodall, Alex Greenshields, James Jacobs, Amanda Hamon Kunz, Ron Lundeen, Rob McCreary, Jessica Price, David N. Ross, Owen K.C. Stephens, James L. Sutter, Russ Taylor, and Jerome Virnich.
Pathfinder Player Companion: Blood of Fiends. © 2012, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors: Hal Maclean and Colin McComb.
Pathfinder Player Companion: Blood of Shadows © 2016, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Alexander Augunas, Steven T. Helt, Luis Loza, and Ron Lundeen.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Advanced Race Guide © 2012, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors: Dennis Baker, Jesse Benner, Benjamin Bruck, Jason Bulmahn, Adam Daigle, Jim Groves, Tim Hitchcock, Hal MacLean, Jason Nelson, Stephen Radney-MacFarland, Owen K.C. Stephens, Todd Stewart, and Russ Taylor.
Shadowsfall: Favored Class Options. ©2012, Jon Brazer Enterprises; Author Dale C. McCoy, Jr.