DnD Tiefling 5e race guide 2023

The DnD Tiefling is an unusual, versatile, and drama-charged Dungeons and Dragons race - Here are the key Tiefling 5e subraces, traits, and builds.

DnD Tiefling 5e - a purple-skinned cartoon tiefling with three horns.

Members of DnD’s horned Tiefling 5e race are a distinctive, proud, diverse, and colorful bunch – and a perennially popular choice for Dungeons and Dragons characters. This guide explains everything you need to know to make your first DnD Tiefling character – from Tiefling traits and abilities to the many different Tiefling subraces, called ‘bloodlines’.

These humanoids descended from demons (sort of) due to some ill-advised pact their ancestors made with Asmodeus. Tieflings are known for their outwardly demonic features: large horns, a long tail, pointy teeth, pupil-less eyes, and (usually) skin in varying tones of red. As a result, they’ve a distinct ‘cool factor’ compared to the more vanilla DnD races, as well as access to some unique abilities and useful bonuses to their magic-related DnD stats.

Bear in mind that, in most 5e DnD settings, Tieflings’ unapologetically demon-like appearance means they’re generally viewed with some suspicion, meaning many end up as self-reliant, loner-types. However, it’s still easy to build your perfect horny hero, whichever of the DnD classes you choose. To help you along, we recommend you also read our guides to DnD character sheets and the best free, online DnD character creator tools.

Wizards of the Coast art of a DnD Tiefling 5e spellcaster with glowing hands

Tiefling 5e traits

These are the DnD Tiefling 5e traits your character will benefit from:

Ability score increase +2 Charisma
Size Medium
Walking speed 30 feet
Abilities Darkvision, Hellish Resistance
Languages Common, Infernal

D&D Tieflings are perfectly average in both size and speed, but they get extra Charisma, which can really help out, as this is the primary ability score for a large a number of classes. Tieflings therefore make good choices for the Warlock 5e, Bard 5e, Sorcerer 5e, and Paladin 5e classes.

Both Tiefling abilities are super useful. Darkvision lets you see in the dark to a certain radius, handy for both combat and stealth. Your Hellish Resistance means you avoid fire damage. The Infernal DnD language spoken by devils isn’t likely to super common, but knowing it might come in handy now and again.

DnD Tiefling 5e - Wizards of the Coast art of a pair of monstrous looking tieflings charging into battle.

Tiefling 5e subraces

Currently, there are only two versions of the DnD Tiefling. The Asmodeus Tiefling is considered the ‘standard’ Tiefling, but you may often come across A Variant Tiefling that doesn’t come from Asmodeus’ bloodline.

In legacy DnD books like Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes, Tiefling 5e subraces were slightly more specific. Here’s a list of legacy subraces that showed the variety of Tieflings you might meet:

  • Baalzebul Tiefling
  • Dispater Tiefling
  • Fierna Tiefling
  • Glasya Tiefling
  • Levistus Tiefling
  • Mammon Tiefling
  • Mephistopheles Tiefling
  • Zariel Tiefling

We’ll look at each of these subraces in more detail. Let’s start with the Tieflings from the current sourcebooks. Then we’ll explore some legacy content, in case you still want to give them a try.

Asmodeus Tiefling

The Asmodeus Tiefling bloodline is considered the default D&D Tiefling, as most Tieflings are linked through blood to the archdevil Asmodeus, ruler of The Nine Hells.

Tieflings with this bloodline gain +1 Intelligence, and can use the following 5e spells. Note that Tieflings always use their charisma stat as their spellcasting ability for racial spells. They can use their spells once per long rest, and their DnD cantrips as normal.

Level Spells
1st Thaumaturgy
3rd Hellish Rebuke
5th Darkness

Thaumaturgy 5e is a cantrip you can use for all sorts of little tricks, Hellish Rebuke is quite the powerful reaction spell, and Darkness, while situational, can come in handy if you’re in a situation where you don’t want anyone to be able to see anything.

Variant Tiefling

A Variant Tiefling refers to any member of the race that isn’t associated with Asmodeus. They might have a slightly more unusual appearance. In particular, Variant Tieflings tend to have wings – which give the added bonus of 30ft flying speed when not wearing heavy DnD armor.

Level Spells
1st Vicious Mockery 5e
3rd Charm Person, Burning Hands
5th Enthrall

Baalzebul Tiefling

A Baalzebul Tiefling is linked to the archdevil Baalzebul – who specializes in corruption – and the crumbling layer of hell known as Maladomini. You get +1 Intelligence, and can use the following corruption-based spells thanks to your Legacy of Maladomini ability.

Level Spells
1st Thaumaturgy
3rd Ray of Sickness
5th Crown of Madness

Wizards of the Coast art of a purple-skinned DnD Tiefling 5e with three horns

Dispater Tiefling

Dispater is an archdevil who’s all about intrigue and sneakiness, so Dispater Tieflings, connected to this devil through their bloodline, get +1 Dexterity, and can access these cunning spells that are perfect for spycraft:

Level Spells
1st Thaumaturgy
3rd Disguise Self
5th Detect Thoughts 5e

Fierna Tiefling

Fierna is an archdevil that excels at manipulation, so Fierna Tieflings, with a bloodline connection to this devil, get +1 Wisdom. They can also access spells that will help them make friends and influence people:

Level Spells
1st Friends
3rd  Charm Person
5th Suggestion

Wizards of the Coast art of a red-skinned DnD Tiefling 5e child playing with a wooden sword

Glasya Tiefling

Glasya, is the youngest archdevil, and Asmodeus’ daughter. Glaysa Tieflings are particularly attractive, get +1 Dexterity, and gain a set of spells which, like that of Dispater Tieflings, are geared towards subterfuge and stealth:

Level Spells
1st Minor Illusion 5e
3rd Disguise Self
5th Invisibility 5e

Levistus Tiefling

Levistus is the archdevil in charge of the cold frozen sea hell, Stygia. He’s also trapped in an iceberg. Levistus Tieflings get +1 Constitution, and can access the following cold-themed spells:

Level Spells
1st Ray of Frost
3rd Armor of Agathys
5th Darkness

Wizards of the Coast art of a fierce-looking DnD Tiefling 5e with a thick, reptilian tail.

Mammon Tiefling

Mammon bloody loves money, and Tieflings with this bloodline are apparently great at organizing their finances. Mammon Tieflings get +1 Intelligence and gain the following spells:

Level Spells
1st  Mage Hand 5e
3rd  Tenser’s Floating Disk
5th  Arcane Lock

Mephistopheles Tiefling

Mephistopheles is an archdevil who rules the frozen hell of Cania, but uses hellfire magic. He’s also the greatest wizard out of all the devils. A Mephistopheles Tiefling, connected to this archdevil through their bloodline, gets +1 Intelligence, and can access these fire-themed spells:

Level Spells
1st  Mage Hand
3rd Burning Hands
 5th  Flame Blade

Zariel Tiefling

Zariel is an archdevil obsessed with battle. As a result, Zariel Tieflings make better DnD Fighters than most. They get +1 Strength, and their racial spells are related to improving their weapon attacks.

Level Spells
1st Thaumaturgy
3rd Searing Smite
5th Branding Smite

DnD Tiefling 5e race guide - Wizards of the Coast artwork showing a quill magically scribbling on a page of parchment

Tiefling names

In keeping with their demonic provenance, DnD Tiefling names tend to incorporate nods to various epic-sounding Old Testament bible characters and/or Latin-sounding overtones. Their names often have at least one ‘Z’ or ‘X’ in them, and often end in ‘ius’; ‘ios’; ‘ias’; or ‘iath’ – or, of course, the classic angelic/demonic name suffix ‘iel’.

A few traditional Tiefling names might be:

  • Moriath
  • Axariel
  • Zaxion
  • Baranius
  • Kaivas
  • Ixorios

Tiefling virtue names

Some DnD Tiefling characters prefer not to have their name reflect their demonic heritage, and may either choose a name from another culture – or they can choose what’s called a Tiefling virtue name.

These are one word long, and are chosen to represent a given abstract concept, value, or obsession that shapes your character’s sense of self. A few possible virtue names could be:

  • Absolution
  • Suffering
  • Tumult
  • Excoriation
  • Endless
  • Gleaming

Tiefling name generator

As ever, the internet is rife with tools for spitting out the perfect name for your DnD character – here are a couple of our favorite Tiefling name generators:

Once you’ve picked your bloodline, crafted a name that suits your Tiefling’s heritage and deepest self, and decided just what sort of adventurer you’re going to be, you’re ready for your next DnD campaign.

Wizards of the Coast art of a DnD Tiefling 5e casting a spell with a staff

One DnD Tiefling

Like all DnD races, the Tiefling will look a bit different in the next generation of the game. One DnD (or DnD 6e, as we were previously calling it) arrives in 2024, but we’ve already seen playtest material for the Tiefling race.

In One DnD, Tieflings no longer have an Infernal Legacy. Instead, they can choose one of three fiendish legacies: Abyssal, Cthonic, or Infernal. Like 5e bloodlines, these grant various spells with occasional DnD level ups.

Tieflings are also no longer naturally resistant to fire damage. Each legacy choice offers resistance to different effects. Their Hellish Resistance race feature has been replaced with Otherworldly Presence, which means they automatically know the Thaumaturgy cantrip.

It’s also important to note DnD races will no longer have associated ability scores in One DnD. These are now tied to DnD backgrounds.

Need more ideas? Here’s some of our favorite DnD character builds. And here’s the very best DnD campaigns and DnD one shots you can play your brand-new Tiefling in.