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- This article is about the playable race of tieflings. For more information on the tiefling race in general, see tiefling.
Simultaneously more and less than mortal, tieflings are the offspring of humans and fiends. With otherworldly blood and traits to match, tieflings are often shunned and despised out of reactionary fear. Most tieflings never know their fiendish sire, as the coupling that produced their curse occurred generations earlier. 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 a human's 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 succubus can become a saint and the grandchild of a pit fiend 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. Typically, these qualities hearken back in some way to the manner of fiend that spawned the tiefling's bloodline, but even then the admixture of human 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 terrible.
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, but in cultures where there are frequent interactions with summoned fiends, and especially where the worship of demons, devils, or other evil outsiders is legal or obligatory, tieflings might be much more populous and accepted, even cherished as blessings of their fiendish overlords.
Tieflings seldom see another of their own kind, and thus they usually simply adopt the culture and mannerisms of their human 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.
RelationsEditTieflings face a significant amount of prejudice from most other races, who view them as fiend-spawn, seeds of evil, monsters, and lingering curses placed upon the world. Far too often, civilized races shun or marginalize them, while more monstrous ones simply fear and reject them unless forced or cowed into acceptance. But half-elves, half-orcs, fetchlings and—most oddly—aasimars tend to view them as kindred spirits who are too often rejected or who don't fit into most societies by virtue of their birth. 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.
Alignment and ReligionEdit
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 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 skilled rogues, powerful wizards and magi, and especially puissant sorcerers as their potent blood empowers them. Those who succumb to the evil within often become powerful clerics of fiendish powers.
Male Names: Baru, Dellisar, Maldrek, Molos, Sarvin, Shoremoth, Temerith, Voren, Zoren.
Female Names: Allizsah, Indranna, Kasidra, Kilarra, Mellisan, Mordren, Nisha.
Tiefling Racial TraitsEdit
+2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence, –2 Charisma: Tieflings are quick in body and mind, but are inherently strange and unnerving.
- Native Outsider: Tieflings are outsiders with the native subtype.
- Medium: Tieflings are Medium creatures and receive no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
- Normal Speed: Tieflings have a base speed of 30 feet.
- Darkvision: Tieflings see in the dark for up to 60 feet.
- Skilled: Tieflings gain a +2 racial bonus on Bluff and Stealth checks.
- Spell-Like Ability: Tieflings can use darkness once per day as a spell-like ability. The caster level for this ability equals the tiefling's class level.
- Fiendish Resistance: Tieflings have cold resistance 5, electricity resistance 5, and fire resistance 5.
- Fiendish Sorcery: Tiefling sorcerers with the Abyssal or Infernal bloodlines treat their Charisma score as 2 points higher for all sorcerer class abilities.
- 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.
Alternate Racial TraitsEdit
The following racial traits may be selected instead of existing tiefling racial traits. 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 to convince an opponent that what they are saying is true when they tell a lie. 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.
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.
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 racial trait replaces fiendish sorcery.
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 spell-like ability and fiendish sorcery racial traits.
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. This racial trait replaces skilled.
Favored Class OptionsEdit
The following options are available to all tieflings who have the listed favored class, and unless otherwise stated, the bonus applies each time you select the class reward.
Alchemist: Add +1/2 to the alchemist's bomb damage.
Cleric: Add a +1 bonus on caster level checks made to overcome the spell resistance of outsiders.
Druid: Add a +1 bonus on wild empathy checks made to improve the attitude of fiendish animals.
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.
Paladin: Add +1 to the amount of damage the paladin heals with lay on hands, but only when the paladin uses that ability on herself.
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 must possess the applicable power 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 has 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.
Though for most tieflings the source of their fiendish blood is unknown, there are some who can trace their tainted blood back to a specific type of fiend and their very personalities may be warped in a way echoing this ancestry. These tiefling heritages are as follows:
- ↑ Hal Maclean and Colin McComb (2012). Blood of Fiends, p. 18ff'. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-423-8.
Section 15: Copyright NoticeEdit
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.
Pathfinder Player Companion: Blood of Fiends © 2012, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors: Hal Maclean and Colin McComb.
The Book of Fiends © 2003, Green Ronin Publishing; Authors: Aaron Loeb, Erik Mona, Chris Pramas, Robert J. Schwalb.
Demodand from the Tome of Horrors Complete © 2011, Necromancer Games, Inc., published and distributed by Frog God Games; Author: Scott Greene, based on original material by Gary Gygax.