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Tiefling heritage is often credited to humans who entered into a fiendish pact with a demon or devil. Usually, however, those of tiefling ancestry have no connection to this event in their lineage.

Ancestral Traits

Tieflings share certain ancestral traits as a result of their infernal descent, whether inherited from a parent or from a more distant ancestor.

Age. Tieflings mature at the same rate as humans but live a few years longer.

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 ancestry, 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.

Hellish Resistance. You have resistance to fire damage.

Cultural Traits

Predominantly tiefling communities are rare. Most tieflings belong to other cultures, as the tiefling heritage is not reliably inherited from generation to generation, particularly when couples of diverse ancestry have children. The tiefling societies that do exist, however, often embrace their infernal heritage and make it their own, which leads them to become more comfortable with their identities.

Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score increases by 1, and your Charisma score increases by 2.

Alignment. Tieflings do not have an innate tendency toward evil, though many non-tieflings falsely believe they do. Evil or not, an independent nature inclines many in tiefling culture toward a chaotic alignment.

Infernal Legacy. You know the thaumaturgy cantrip. When you reach 3rd level, you can cast the hellish rebuke 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.

Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Infernal.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Ancestry & Culture: An Alternative to Race in 5e © 2020 Arcanist Press Author: Eugene Marshall