Tiefling

To be greeted with stares and whispers, to suffer violence and insult on the street, to see mistrust and fear in every eye: this is the lot of the tiefling. And to twist the knife, tieflings know that this is because a pact struck generations ago infused the essence of Asmodeus—overlord of the Nine Hells—into their bloodline. Their appearance and their nature are not their fault but the result of an ancient sin, for which they and their children and their children’s children will always be held accountable.

Tieflings are derived from human bloodlines, and in the broadest possible sense, they still look human. However, their infernal heritage has left a clear imprint on their appearance. Tieflings have large horns that take any of a variety of shapes: some have curling horns like a ram, others have straight and tall horns like a gazelle’s, and some spiral upward like an antelopes’ horns. They have thick tails, four to five feet long, which lash or coil around their legs when they get upset or nervous. Their canine teeth are sharply pointed, and their eyes are solid colors—black, red, white, silver, or gold—with no visible sclera or pupil. Their skin tones cover the full range of human coloration, but also include various shades of red. Their hair, cascading down from behind their horns, is usually dark, from black or brown to dark red, blue, or purple.

Tieflings subsist in small minorities found mostly in human cities or towns, often in the roughest quarters of those places, where they grow up to be swindlers, thieves, or crime lords. Sometimes they live among other minority populations in enclaves where they are treated with more respect.

Lacking a homeland, tieflings know that they have to make their own way in the world and that they have to be strong to survive. They are not quick to trust anyone who claims to be a friend, but when a tiefling’s companions demonstrate that they trust him or her, the tiefling learns to extend the same trust to them. And once a tiefling gives someone loyalty, the tiefling is a firm friend or ally for life.

Tiefling Traits

  • Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 2.
  • Age. Tieflings mature at the same rate as humans but live a few years longer.
  • Alignment. Tieflings might not have an innate tendency toward evil, but many of them end up there. Evil or not, an independent nature inclines many tieflings toward a chaotic alignment.
  • Size. Tieflings are about the same size and build as humans. Your size is Medium.
  • Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
  • Darkvision. Thanks to your infernal heritage, you have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
  • Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common.

Infernal

  • Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score increases by 1.
  • Hellish Resistance. You have resistance to fire damage.
  • Infernal Legacy. You know the thaumaturgy cantrip. Once you reach 3rd level, you can cast the hellish rebuke spell once per day as a 2nd-level spell. Once you reach 5th level, you can also cast the darkness spell once per day. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells.
  • Languages. You can speak, read and write Infernal.

Abyssal

  • Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 1.
  • Abyssal Arcana. Each time you finish a long rest, you gain the ability to cast cantrips and spells randomly determined from a short list. At 1st level, you can cast a cantrip. When you reach 3rd level, you can also cast a 1st-­level spell. At 5th level, you can cast a 2nd-­level spell. You can cast a spell gained from this trait only once until you complete your next long rest. You can cast a cantrip gained from this trait at will, as normal. For 1st-­level spells whose effect changes if cast using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, you cast the spell as if using a 2nd-­level slot. Spells of 2nd level are cast as if using a 2nd-­level slot. At the end of each long rest, you lose the cantrips and spells previously granted by this feature, even if you did not cast them. You replace those cantrips and spells by rolling for new ones on the Abyssal Arcana Spells table. Roll separately for each cantrip and spell. If you roll the same spell or cantrip you gained at the end of your previous long rest, roll again until you get a different result.
  • Abyssal Fortitude. Your hit point maximum increases by half your level (minimum 1).
  • Languages. You can speak, read and write Abyssal.
Abyssal Arcana Spells
d6 1st Level 3rd Level 5th Level
1 Dancing lights Burning hands Alter self
2 True strike Charm person Darkness
3 Light Magic missile Invisibility
4 Message Cure wounds Levitate
5 Spare the dying Tasha’s hideous laughter Mirror image
6 Prestidigitation Thunderwave Spider climb

Revenant

  • Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 1.

Relentless Nature. Your DM assigns a goal to you—typically, one related to your character’s death. The goal must be a specific task you can complete, such as slaying an enemy or liberating an area and its people. Until you fulfill that goal, you gain the following benefits:

  • If you are below half your hit point maximum at the start of your turn, you regain 1 hit point.
  • If you die, you return to life 24 hours after death. If your body is destroyed, you reform within 1 mile of the place of your death at a spot determined by the DM. If your equipment was also destroyed, you do not regain it.
  • You know the distance and direction between you and any creature involved in your goal, such as a person you seek vengeance against or someone you pledged to defend. This awareness fails if the creature is on another plane of existence.

When your goal is complete, you finally find rest. You die and cannot be restored to life.

Tiefling: Demonic Subraces

At your DM’s discretion, you can create a tiefling character whose ancestry includes a special link to one of the Lords of the Nine Hells. This link is represented by a subrace.

If your tiefling has a subrace, choose one of the following options—whichever one corresponds to the diabolic being connected to the tiefling’s family. The traits of the chosen subrace replace the tiefling’s Ability Score Increase and Infernal Legacy traits given in the Player’s Handbook. There is one exception: tieflings connected to Asmodeus. Those tieflings use the traits in the Player’s Handbook.

Subrace Traits

Asmodeus

The tieflings connected to Nessus command the power of fire and darkness, guided by a keener than normal intellect, as befits those linked to Asmodeus himself. Such tieflings use the Ability Score Increase and Infernal Legacy traits in the Player’s Handbook.

Baalzebul

The crumbling realm of Maladomini is ruled by Baalzebul, who excels at corrupting those whose minor sins can be transformed into acts of damnation. Tieflings linked to this layer can corrupt others both physically and psychically.

  • Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 2, and your Intelligence score increases by 1.
  • Legacy of Maladomini. You know the thaumaturgy cantrip. When you reach 3rd level, you can cast the ray of sickness spell as a 2nd- level spell once with this trait and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. When you reach 5th level, you can cast the crown of madness spell once with this trait and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells.

Dispater

The great city of Dis occupies most of Hell’s second layer. It is a place where secrets are uncovered and shared with the highest bidder, making tieflings tied to Dispater excellent spies and infiltrators.

  • Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 2, and your Dexterity score increases by 1.
  • Legacy of Dis. You know the thaumaturgy cantrip. When you reach 3rd level, you can cast the disguise self spell once with this trait and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. When you reach 5th level, you can cast the invisibility spell once with this trait and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells.

Fierna

A master manipulator, Fierna grants tieflings tied to her forceful personalities.

  • Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 2, and your Wisdom score increases by 1.
  • Legacy of Phlegethos. You know the friends cantrip. When you reach 3rd level, you can cast the charm person spell as a 2nd-level spell once with this trait and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. When you reach 5th level, you can cast the suggestion spell once with this trait and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells.

Glasya

Glasya, Hell’s criminal mastermind, grants her tieflings useful magic in committing heists.

  • Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 2, and your Dexterity score increases by 1.
  • Legacy of Malbolge. You know the minor illusion cantrip. When you reach 3rd level, you can cast the disguise self spell once with this trait and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. When you reach 5th level, you can cast the invisibility spell once with this trait and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells.

Levistus

Frozen Stygia is ruled by Levistus, an archdevil known for offering bargains to those who face n inescapable doom.

  • Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 2, and your Constitution score increases by 1.
  • Legacy of Stygia. You know the ray of frost cantrip. When you reach 3rd level, you can cast the armor of Agathys spell as a 2nd-level spell once with this trait and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. When you reach 5th level, you can cast the darkness spell once with this trait and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells.

Mammon

The great miser Mammon loves coins above all else. Tieflings tied to him excel at gathering and safeguarding wealth.

  • Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 2, and your Intelligence score increases by 1.
  • Legacy of Minauros. You know the mage hand cantrip. When you reach 3rd level, you can cast the Tenser’s floating disk spell once with this trait and regain the ability to do so when you finish a short or long rest. When you reach 5th level, you can cast the arcane lock spell once with this trait, requiring no material component, and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells.

Mephistopheles

In the frozen realm of Cania, Mephistopheles offers arcane power to those who entreat with him. Tieflings linked to this place master some arcane magic.

  • Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 2, and your Intelligence score increases by 1.
  • Legacy of Cania. You know the mage hand cantrip. When you reach 3rd level, you can cast the magic missile spell as a 2nd-level spell once with this trait and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. When you reach 5th level, you can cast the web spell once with this trait and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells.

Zariel

Tieflings with a blood tie to Zariel are stronger than the typical tiefling and receive magical abilities that aid them in battle.

  • Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 2, and your Strength score increases by 1.
  • Legacy of Avernus. You know the thaumaturgy cantrip. When you reach 3rd level, you can cast the searing smite spell as a 2nd-level spell once with this trait and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. When you reach 5th level, you can cast the branding smite spell once with this trait and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells.

Diabolical Cults

Cults dedicated to infernal beings are the foes of adventurers throughout the D&D multiverse. This section gives DMs ways to customize the members of cults dedicated to the powers of the Nine Hells. Each archdevil attracts a certain type of person based on the gifts the devil offers. In the following cult descriptions, stat blocks from the Monster Manual are suggested in a cult’s Typical Cultist entry to help you represent those people.

Each description also includes a list of signature spells associated with the cult. If a cult member can cast spells, you can replace any of those spells with spells from that list, as long as the new spell is of the same level as the spell it replaces.

Cult of Asmodeus

Asmodeus demands the loyalty of all cultists who gain power and leadership in the cults of the Nine. His cult overarches all the others. Any NPC who leads a diabolical cult must also acknowledge the power of Asmodeus. In return, the most skilled and worthy of those cult leaders gain the Demands of Nessus trait.

  • Demands of Nessus. At the start of each of this creature’s turns, this creature can choose one ally it can see within 30 feet of it. The chosen ally loses 10 hit points, and this creature regains the same number of hit points. If the creature is incapacitated, it makes no choice; instead, the closest ally within 30 feet is the chosen ally.

Cult of Baalzebul

Goals: Restoration of honor and respect, at the cost of those who stole it
Typical Cultist: Any NPC or monster who has suffered a fall from grace
Signature Spells: Minor illusion (cantrip), disguise self (1st level), phantasmal force (2nd level), major image (3rd level)

Baalzebul typically recruits individuals rather than cults. He offers hope to those whose failures drive them to seek redemption. Baalzebul sometimes increases the Charisma of those who follow him. He also grants a boon, the Path of Baalzebul trait, that allows a favored cultist to look good in light of an ally’s failure.

  • Path of Baalzebul. As a bonus action on its turn, this creature can choose one ally it can see within 30 feet of it. Until the start of this creature’s next turn, it gains advantage on all ability checks and attack rolls, while the chosen ally suffers disadvantage on all ability checks, attack rolls, and saving throws.

Cult of Dispater

Goals: Power gained and used in secret, influence exerted via blackmail, control of people and organizations through knowledge of their weaknesses and shames
Typical Cultist: Acolyte, bandit, bandit captain, cult fanatic, cultist, mage, noble, spy
Signature Spells: Guidance (cantrip), identify (1st level), see invisibility (2nd level), clairvoyance (3rd level)

Dispater trades in secrets, offering them in return for a creature’s soul. His cults typically trade secrets to devils in return for other information. They often hatch conspiracies aimed at toppling and replacing governments or religious orders. Renegade mind flayers sometimes strike pacts with Dispater in search of the secrets needed to forever escape an Elder Brain’s domination. Cultists can gain the Infernal Insight trait. Cult leaders might also have the Vexing Escape trait.

  • Infernal Insight (Recharges after a Short or Long Rest). As a bonus action, this creature gains advantage on all ability checks and attack rolls it makes until the end of the current turn.
  • Vexing Escape (1/Day). As a reaction when this creature takes damage, it reduces that damage to 0 and teleports up to 60 feet to an unoccupied space it can see.

Cult of Fierna

Goals: Control over the emotions of others, turning them into puppets and playthings
Typical Cultist: Acolyte, archmage, bandit captain, cult fanatic, cultist, knight, noble, priest, spy
Signature Spells: Friends (cantrip), charm person (1st level), suggestion (2nd level), hypnotic pattern (3rd level)

Fierna is a master manipulator. Mortals who desire success in love or who seek to become beloved leaders at the head of a band of fanatics are drawn to striking bargains with her. Fierna grants gifts that allow her cultists to manipulate emotions; they gain increases to Charisma, as well as proficiency with skills such as Persuasion and Intimidation. In addition, cultists can gain the Infernal Loyalty trait. Cult leaders can also gain the Loyalty beyond Death trait.

  • Infernal Loyalty. This creature has advantage on saving throws while it can see a creature within 30 feet of it that has the Loyalty beyond Death trait.
  • Loyalty beyond Death (Recharges after a Short or Long Rest). As a reaction when an ally this creature can see is reduced to 0 hit points, that ally is instead reduced to 1 hit point and gains temporary hit points equal to this creature’s Charisma score + half its number of Hit Dice.

Cult of Geryon

Goals: Physical prowess, domination of others through strength, destruction of all opposition
Typical Cultist: Bandit, bandit captain, berserker, cult fanatic, cultist, gladiator, thug, tribal warrior, veterans
Signature Spells: Shillelagh (cantrip), wrathful smite(1st level), enhance ability(2nd level), aura of vitality (3rd level)

Despite being deposed, Geryon still has the ability to strike bargains. He deals especially with those who seek brute strength. Any warlike monster—such as orcs, ogres, and trolls—can be lured into Geryon’s cult. Geryon’s cultists typically form fighting companies and bandit gangs, proving their strength by defeating others in battle and taking what they want as loot. Geryon grants increases to Strength and Constitution. In addition, cultists can gain the Crushing Blow trait. Cult leaders can also gain the Indomitable Strength trait.

  • Crushing Blow (Recharges after a Short or Long Rest). As a bonus action, the creature gains a bonus to the damage roll of its next melee weapon attack. The bonus equals its Strength modifier (minimum of +1).
  • Indomitable Strength (Recharge 5–6). As a reaction when this creature takes damage, it can roll a d10 and subtract the number rolled from the damage.

Cult of Glasya

Goals: Power gained by turning a system against itself, yielding power that is not only absolute but legitimate on a cultural and legal basis
Typical Cultist: Bandit, bandit captain, cult fanatic, cultist, knight, noble, spy, thug
Signature Spells: Friends (cantrip), charm person (1st level), invisibility (2nd level), haste (3rd level)

As an expert in finding loopholes and exploiting the law for her own good, Glasya is a patron of thieves and other criminals, especially corrupt nobles. Her influence is supposed to strengthen family bonds, but she has taken a liberal interpretation of that and offers gifts that can be turned against family members. Goblins who risk insurrection against their hobgoblin masters make pacts with Glasya, as do kenku who form criminal gangs. Glasya grants increases to Charisma and Dexterity. In addition, cultists can gain the Step into Shadows trait. Cult leaders can also gain the Infernal Ring Leader trait.

  • Step into Shadows (Recharges after a Short or Long Rest). As an action, this creature, along with anything it is wearing and carrying, magically becomes invisible until the end of its next turn.
  • Infernal Ring Leader. As a reaction when this creature is hit by an attack roll, it can choose one ally it can see within 5 feet of it and cause that ally to be the target of that attack roll instead.

Cult of Levistus

Goals: Survival and eventual revenge against those who wrong them
Typical Cultist: Assassin, bandit captain, cult fanatic, cultist, mage, noble, spy, thug
Signature Spells: Blade ward (cantrip), expeditious retreat (1st level), spider climb(2nd level), gaseous form (3rd level)

Levistus has no cult in the traditional sense. Instead, he offers favors to those who are desperate to escape a seemingly inevitable fate. Drow are sometimes worshipers of Levistus, as their cruel society often pushes them into situations they feel they can’t escape. Levistus usually grants those who pledge their souls to him a single chance to escape from danger, but some cunning folk strike a deal with Levistus, pledging their souls to him in return for escape at a future date. This boon takes the form of the Path of Levistus trait.

  • Path of Levistus. This creature magically teleports to a location of Levistus’s choice within 1 mile of its location. This ability also restores all of the creature’s hit points. It can be invoked as an action by the creature or when the creature would die. Once the creature uses it, the creature can’t use it again.

Cult of Mammon

Goals: Wealth, secured not only to promise personal comfort and power but to deny wealth and its benefits to others.
Typical Cultist: Bandit, bandit captain, cult fanatic, cultist, noble, spy, thug
Signature Spells: Mending (cantrip), Tenser’s floating disk (1st level), arcane lock (2nd level), glyph of warding(3rd level)

Mammon’s greed overwhelms everything else. He deals with mortals who desire material wealth and provides them with the ability to spread that greed like an infection. The greedy duergar and even some dragons are prone to falling prey to Mammon’s temptations, and merchants and trade guilds are vulnerable to his bargains. Mammon’s cultists can gain the Grasping Hands trait. Cult leaders can also gain the Promise of Wealth trait.

  • Grasping Hands (Recharges after a Short or Long Rest). As a bonus action, this creature makes a Dexterity (Sleight of Hand) check contested by the Wisdom (Insight) check of a creature it can see within 15 feet of it. If this creature succeeds, one handheld item of its choice that it can see on the target magically teleports to its open hand. The item can’t be one that the target is holding, and it must weigh no more than 10 pounds.
  • Promise of Wealth (Recharges after a Short or Long Rest). As a bonus action, this creature chooses one creature it can see. Up to five allies of its choice become convinced that the target carries great wealth. Until the end of this creature’s next turn, those allies gain advantage on all attack rolls against the target.

Cult of Mephistopheles

Goals: Magical skill and power, backed with the will to use it to crush rivals
Typical Cultist: Archmage, cult fanatic, cultist, mage, priest
Signature Spells: Fire bolt(cantrip),burning hands(1st level), flaming sphere(2nd level), fireball(3rd level)

As a master of the arcane arts, Mephistopheles finds eager recruits among those who study magic. Any monster that uses spells, such as storm giants and oni, might follow him, and wizards’ guilds and conclaves of sages are the most likely to come under his influence. Mephistopheles grants spellcasting ability to many of his followers. In addition, cultists can gain the Spell Shield trait. Cult leaders can also gain the Spell Leech trait.

  • Spell Shield. This creature gains advantage on saving throws against spells. If it succeeds on such a saving throw, it gains temporary hit points equal to the spell’s level.
  • Spell Leech. As a bonus action, this creature chooses one ally it can see within 30 feet of it. The target loses its lowest-level spell slot, and this creature gains it.

Cult of Zariel

Goals: Conquest, glory in battle, fame and fortune derived from military conquest
Typical Cultist: Berserker, cult fanatic, cultist, gladiator, guard, knight, veteran
Signature Spells:True strike(cantrip), heroism (1st level), spiritual weapon(2nd level), crusader’s mantle (3rd level)

Zariel’s cult offers martial training and talent. It flourishes in areas wracked by war. Refugees with the will to fight but lacking experience are drawn to Zariel, as she can provide them with the skills needed to survive. Established warriors looking for an edge are otherwise her most common recruits. Knightly orders, fighters’ guilds, and mercenary companies are the most likely to come under her sway. Hobgoblins sometimes turn to her, but only if they have escaped the influence of Maglubiyet and his priests. Zariel gifts her followers with martial prowess. For example, a simple peasant might gain the abilities of a veteran. In addition, cultists can gain the Ferocious Surge trait. Cult leaders can also gain the Infernal Tactics trait.

  • Ferocious Surge (Recharges after a Short or Long Rest). When this creature hits with an attack that isn’t a critical hit, it can turn the hit into a critical hit.
  • Infernal Tactics. This creature has a keen eye for seizing a tactical advantage. Immediately after rolling initiative, it can choose itself and up to three allies it can see if it isn’t incapacitated. It can swap the initiative results of the chosen creatures among them.
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