Archives of Nethys

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Core Races | Other Races


Source Inner Sea Races pg. 251, Pathfinder RPG Bestiary pg. 264, Advanced Race Guide pg. 168
Monster Entry Link
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.

Physical Description: 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.

Society: 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.

Relations: Tieflings 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 Religion: 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.  

Adventurers: 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.

Non-Human Tieflings

The creatures of the depths of the Outer Planes do not limit their foul miscegenation to humanity. Elves, dwarves, halflings, and gnomes all have tales of tieflings in their histories, and those who appear among them now often suffer even greater stigma than those born to humans. Other humanoids see tieflings in their midst as well. Many of the monstrous races of the world have demonic origins—most notably gnolls, who still thank the Mother of Monsters for their birth. Ogres, orcs, half-orcs, goblins, and other creatures that call upon the powers of the evil Outer Planes are equally likely to see tieflings living among them, but unless a given race holds to a code of racial purity, tieflings are far less likely to be shunned by such populations.

It should be noted that while any monster or animal that breeds with a fiend may give birth to half-fiend offspring, only humanoids may give birth to tieflings. Thus, while it’s possible to encounter a half-fiend dragon, bear, or otyugh, any children of such creatures would be either half-fiends or normal members of their race. (And just as often, these less conventional half-fiends are simply sterile.) When discussing half-fiends and tieflings, it’s important to distinguish them from both true fiends (devils, demons, etc.) and simple fiendish creatures (creatures with the fiendish template, which are themselves denizens of the evil Outer Planes but similar in many ways to their Material Plane counterparts).

In game terms, the difference between non-human tieflings and human tieflings is purely a matter of size. Unless they have specific tiefling-related size modifiers, the tieflings of each of these races are the same size as their non-fiendish ancestors. They gain any of the bonuses or penalties related to that size, but gain no racial bonuses except those of the tiefling; beyond size, their humanoid ancestry is purely cosmetic.

Tiefling Racial Traits

+2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence, –2 Charisma: Tieflings are quick in body and mind, but are inherently unnerving. Tieflings of specific bloodlines (see below) gain different ability score modifiers as indicated.
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. Tieflings of specific bloodlines (see below) gain a +2 bonus on different skill checks as indicated.
Spell-Like Ability: Tieflings can use darkness once per day as a spell-like ability (with a caster level equal to the tiefling’s character level). Tieflings of specific bloodlines (see below) gain different spell-like abilities.
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 scores as 2 points higher for the purposes of 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 languages: Abyssal, Draconic, Dwarven, Elven, Gnome, Goblin, Halfling, Infernal, and Orc.


Asura-Spawn (Faultspawn)

Source Blood of Fiends pg. 19
Lacking any sense of empathy or pity, faultspawn often abhor all ways of life but their own. They inflict severe emotional and physical pain on others, and never stop picking at the resulting psychological scars.

Ancestry Asura
Typical Alignment LE
Ability Modifiers +2 Dex, +2 Wis, –2 Int
Alternate Skill Modifiers Appraise, Knowledge (local)
Alternate Spell-Like Ability Faultspawn gain hideous laughter as a spell-like ability.

Daemon-Spawn (Grimspawn)

Source Blood of Fiends pg. 19
Dreary and pessimistic, grimspawn are so enthralled by death, disease, and dilapidation that they often dedicate themselves to ending lives from behind the scenes as macabre saboteurs.

Ancestry Daemon
Typical Alignment NE
Ability Modifiers +2 Dex, +2 Int, –2 Wis
Alternate Skill Modifiers Disable Device, Sleight of Hand
Alternate Spell-Like Ability Grimspawn gain death knell as a spell-like ability.

Demodand-Spawn (Foulspawn)

Source Blood of Fiends pg. 20
Crude and boorish, foulspawn take a particular delight in giving offense and scandalizing polite society. They enjoy violating taboos even more than breaking laws, especially if it means degrading or repulsing an innocent.

Ancestry Demodand
Typical Alignment CE
Ability Modifiers +2 Con, +2 Wis, –2 Int
Alternate Skill Modifiers Intimidate, Knowledge (religion)
Alternate Spell-Like Ability Foulspawn gain bear’s endurance as a spell-like ability.

Demon-Spawn (Pitborn)

Source Blood of Fiends pg. 20
Pitborn delight in destruction, especially while unleashing their havoc on what others consider valuable or precious. Perhaps because of this volatility, others tend to simply defer to pitborn, an act that often grants them the dominance they crave.

Ancestry Demon
Typical Alignment CE
Ability Modifiers +2 Str, +2 Cha, –2 Int
Alternate Skill Modifiers Disable Device, Perception
Alternate Spell-Like Ability Pitborn gain shatter as a spell-like ability.

Devil-Spawn (Hellspawn)

Source Blood of Fiends pg. 21
While often rigid, stubborn, and highly focused on sticking to plans and schedules, hellspawn also have a rare talent for penetrating others’ facades. They know a lie when they hear one, and can often determine what hidden vice or secret shame motivates another.

Ancestry Devil Typical Alignment LE
Ability Modifiers +2 Con, +2 Wis, –2 Cha
Alternate Skill Modifiers Diplomacy, Sense Motive
Alternate Spell-Like Ability Hellspawn gain pyrotechnics as a spell-like ability.

Div-Spawn (Spitespawn)

Source Blood of Fiends pg. 21
An innate sense of jealousy and pure malice drives spitespawn to spread misery and despair. Unable to experience joy themselves, they devote their lives to promoting gloom, all the while hiding the hatefulness that lurks at their core.

Ancestry Div
Typical Alignment NE
Ability Modifiers +2 Dex, +2 Cha, –2 Int
Alternate Skill Modifiers Diplomacy, Linguistics
Alternate Spell-Like Ability Spitespawn gain misdirection as a spell-like ability.

Kyton-Spawn (Shackleborn)

Source Blood of Fiends pg. 22
Shackleborn are fascinated by mutilation and torture. Though they prefer to practice their cruel art on others, they accept that sometimes the wheel must turn and greet their own moments of anguish and confinement with an odd serenity.

Ancestry Kyton
Typical Alignment LE
Ability Modifiers +2 Con, +2 Cha, –2 Wis
Alternate Skill Modifiers Escape Artist, Intimidate
Alternate Spell-Like Ability Shackleborn gain web as a spell-like ability.

Oni-Spawn (Hungerseed)

Source Blood of Fiends pg. 22
Endowed with brawny muscles and thick bones, hungerseed always seem poised to explode into some larger, more powerful form, and have a voracious appetite for sensory pleasures and carnal delights.

Ancestry Oni
Typical Alignment LE
Ability Modifiers +2 Str, +2 Wis, –2 Cha
Alternate Skill Modifiers Disguise, Intimidate
Alternate Spell-Like Ability Hungerseed gain alter self as a spell-like ability.

Qlippoth-Spawn (the Motherless)

Source Blood of Fiends pg. 23
No woman survives the birth of a babe whose qlippoth ancestry has emerged. At best, qlippoth-spawn rip their mothers apart during labor. At worst, they tear themselves out even earlier.

Ancestry Qlippoth
Typical Alignment CE
Ability Modifiers +2 Str, +2 Wis, –2 Int
Alternate Skill Modifiers Escape Artist, Survival
Alternate Spell-Like Ability The motherless gain blur as a spell-like ability.

Rakshasa-Spawn (Beastbrood)

Source Blood of Fiends pg. 23
Beastbrood regard themselves as deserving of appreciation and opulence. Through deceit and sheer willpower, they often achieve privileged stations in society.

Ancestry Rakshasa
Typical Alignment LE
Ability Modifiers +2 Dex, +2 Cha, –2 Wis
Alternate Skill Modifiers Disguise, Sense Motive
Alternate Spell-Like Ability Beastbrood gain detect thoughts as a spell-like ability.

Tiefling Alternate Racial Trait

Replaces Fiendish Resistance

Scaled Skin
Source Advanced Race Guide pg. 169
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.

Replaces Fiendish Sorcery

Prehensile Tail
Source Advanced Race Guide pg. 169
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.

Replaces Fiendish Sorcery, Spell-Like Ability

Smite Good
Source Agents of Evil pg. 25
Once per day, a tiefling with this racial trait can smite a good-aligned creature. As a swift action, the tiefling chooses one target within sight to smite. If this target is good, the tiefling adds her Charisma bonus (if any) to attack rolls against the target and gains a bonus on damage rolls against the target equal to her number of Hit Dice. This effect lasts until the first time the tiefling successfully hits her designated target. This racial trait replaces fiendish sorcery and the tiefling’s spell-like ability.

Replaces Languages, Subtype, Type

Pass for Human
Source Inner Sea Races pg. 217
Discrimination against tief lings with horrifically fiendish features is so intense that even tieflings look up to those precious few of their kind who can pass as human. These tieflings have otherworldly features that are so subtle, they aren’t often noticed unless the tiefling points them out (for example, eyes that flash red in the throes of passion, or fingernails that are naturally hard and pointed). Such a tiefling doesn’t need to succeed at a Disguise check to appear to be human and count as humanoid (human) as well as outsider (native) for all purposes (such as humanoid-affecting spells like charm person or enlarge person). The tiefling does not automatically gain his associated outsider language (but may select it as a bonus language if his Intelligence score is high enough), and he may not select other racial traits that would grant him obviously fiendish features (such as the fiendish sprinter, maw or claw, prehensile tail, scaled skin, or vestigial wings alternate racial traits listed in the Advanced Race Guide). This ability alters the tiefling’s type, subtype, and languages.

Replaces Skilled

Beguiling Liar
Source Advanced Race Guide pg. 168
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.

Source Inner Sea Races pg. 216
Tieflings are often disparaged and kept low in the social order, where they commonly resort to robbing those weaker than themselves. Tieflings with this racial trait gain a +1 racial bonus on combat maneuver checks to disarm or steal. This racial trait replaces skilled.

Fiendish Sprinter
Source Advanced Race Guide pg. 169
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.

Vestigial Wings
Source Advanced Race Guide pg. 169
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.

Replaces Spell-Like Ability

Darklands Guide
Source Blood of Shadows pg. 5
Those who brave the lightless tunnels below Golarion’s surface learn to identify the dangerous phenomena that characterize the Darklands. Characters with this trait gain a +2 bonus on initiative checks, and on saves against traps and hazards when underground (from a lifetime of dodging accursed pools, cave-ins, and green slime).

Drow and half-elves can take this trait in place of keen senses. Tieflings can take this trait in place of the darkness spell-like ability.

Light from the Darkness
Source Inner Sea Races pg. 217
Tieflings who deny the evil of their heritage to go on to become heroes refuse to use the dark magic of their blood, but their struggle grants them uncanny resilience against evil’s touch. As long as they retain a good alignment, they gain the aasimar’s incorruptible alternate racial trait (Advanced Race Guide 85). This racial trait replaces the spell-like ability racial trait.

Maw or Claw
Source Advanced Race Guide pg. 169
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.

Replaces Spell-Like Ability, Fiendish Sorcery

Soul Seer
Source Advanced Race Guide pg. 169
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.

Tiefling Favored Class Options

Instead of receiving an additional skill rank or hit point whenever they gain a level in a favored class, Tieflings have the option of choosing from a number of other bonuses, depending upon their favored class.

The following options are available to all Tieflings who have the listed favored class.

Alchemist (Advanced Race Guide pg. 170): Add +1/2 to the alchemist’s bomb damage.
Cleric (Advanced Race Guide pg. 170): Add a +1 bonus on caster level checks made to overcome the spell resistance of outsiders.
Druid (Advanced Race Guide pg. 170): Add a +1 bonus on wild empathy checks made to improve the attitude of fiendish animals.
Inquisitor (Advanced Race Guide pg. 170): Add a +1/2 bonus on Intimidate checks and Knowledge checks to identify creatures.
Magus (Advanced Race Guide pg. 170): Add +1/4 point to the magus’s arcane pool.
Paladin (Advanced Race Guide pg. 170): 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 (Advanced Race Guide pg. 170): Add +1/2 to sneak attack damage dealt to creatures with the outsider type.
Shifter (Wilderness Origins pg. 8): Add a +1 bonus on wild empathy checks to improve the attitude of fiendish creatures.
Sorcerer (Advanced Race Guide pg. 170): 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 (Advanced Race Guide pg. 170): Add +1 hit point or +1 skill rank to the summoner’s eidolon.
Witch (Advanced Race Guide pg. 170): 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 (Advanced Race Guide pg. 170): 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.