DnD fans: if you want your Dungeons and Dragons character to be brightly coloured, with horns and a tail, then the Tiefling is the DnD race for you. Tieflings are descended from demons, sort of, due to some ill-advised pact their ancestors made with Asmodeus. They look a lot like humans, but have demonic traits too: large horns, a long tail, pointy teeth, and eyes with no pupils. Some Tieflings have human skin tones, while others are shades of red.
DnD Tieflings look pretty cool, in other words – although, in most 5e DnD settings, such a satanic appearance means you’re generally viewed with some suspicion. Tieflings typically reside in small numbers in human settlements, and tend to be self-reliant, loner-types. As Player Characters, Tieflings get access to some unique abilities, as well as stat bonuses that make them ideal Warlocks and Sorcerers. However, there’s a ridiculous number of Tiefling subraces, which means it’s easy to build a Tiefling character that’s any D&D class you choose.
If you’re finding D&D character creation an infernal challenge, and want to learn more about the Tiefling race, then you’re in the right spot. We’ll teach you everything you need to know to make your first Tiefling 5e character, from Tiefling traits and abilities to the many, many different Tiefling subraces or ‘bloodlines’.
Here’s what you should know about Tiefling 5e DnD characters:
Tiefling 5e Traits
These are the DnD Tiefling 5e traits your character will benefit from:
|Ability score increase||+2 Charisma|
|Walking Speed||30 feet|
|Abilities||Darkvision, Hellish Resistance|
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 Warlocks, Bards, Sorcerers, and Paladins.
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 language spoken by devils isn’t likely to super common, but knowing it might come in handy now and again.
Tiefling 5e Subraces
- Asmodeus Tiefling
- Baalzebul Tiefling
- Dispater Tiefling
- Fierna Tiefling
- Glasya Tiefling
- Levistus Tiefling
- Mammon Tiefling
- Mephistopheles Tiefling
- Zariel Tiefling
- Variant Tiefling
This 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 cantrips as normal.
Thaumaturgy 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.
A Tiefling with the Baalzebul bloodline is linked to the archdevil Baalzebul – who specialises 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.
|3rd||Ray of Sickness|
|5th||Crown of Madness|
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:
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:
Glasya, is the youngest archdevil, and Asmodeus’ daughter. Tieflings with a connection to Glasya are particularly attractive, get +1 dexterity, and gain a set of spells which, like that of Dispater Tieflings, are geared towards subterfuge and stealth:
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:
|1st||Ray of Frost|
|3rd||Armor of Agathys|
Mammon bloody loves money, and Tieflings with this bloodline are apparently great at organising their finances. Mammon Tieflings get +1 intelligence and gain the following utility spells
|3rd||Tenser’s Floating Disk|
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. Mephistophelus Tieflings, connected to this archdevil through their bloodline, get +1 intelligence, and can access these fire-themed spells:
Zariel is an archdevil obsessed with battle. As a result, Tieflings with the Zariel bloodline make for better Fighters than most. They get +1 strength, and their racial spells are related to improving their weapon attacks.
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:
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 ‘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:
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 favourite Tiefling name generators: