|Dungeons & Dragons creature|
A tiefling (pronounced either as /'ti.flɪŋ/ or /'taɪ.flɪŋ/) is a creature in the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game. Tieflings are planetouched — descended from evil creatures of the outer planes — fiends, (not daemons or the like) evil deities, and other evil creatures. Although their evil ancestor may be many generations removed, the taint lingers.
The name "tiefling" was coined by Wolfgang Baur, when original Planescape designer David "Zeb" Cook asked for a Germanic-sounding word for humans with fiendish blood. Baur derived the name from teufel, or "Devil" in German. The direct translation of tiefling, however, would be "deepling," since tief means "deep." A closer derivation from teufel would be teufling.
Typical physical characteristicsEdit
Tieflings tend to have an unsettling air about them, and most people are uncomfortable around them, whether they are aware of the tiefling's unsavory ancestry or not. While some look like normal humans, others retain physical characteristics derived from their ancestor, such as horns, pointed teeth, cloven hooves for feet, wicked or red eyes, tails, red skin, etc.
Unlike half-fiends, tieflings are not predisposed to evil alignments and vary in alignment as widely as full humans, though tieflings are certainly devious. The celestial counterparts of tieflings are called aasimar.
Tieflings in various campaign settingsEdit
Tieflings appear in number campaign settings.
Tieflings in the Forgotten RealmsEdit
In the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, both tieflings and aasimar are more common than in other settings. Tieflings even have elven and orc counterparts (Fey'ri and Tanarruk, respectively). In the 3rd Edition of Dungeons and Dragons, less common varieties of the tiefling were introduced, including a dwarven counterpart, the Maeluth and a halfling counterpart, the Wispling.
Tieflings in PlanescapeEdit
Tieflings in Urban ArcanaEdit
Tieflings are a playable race in Urban Arcana, which is based on the premise that races from Dungeons and Dragons exist on earth. Most tieflings in Urban arcana are humans with horns, although more obvious appearances exist. To regular humans who cannot perceive shadow, they appear to be cynical humans-the horns are not visible to those unable to perceive shadow.
- Cook, Monte. The Planewalker's Handbook. TSR, 1996.
- Varney, Allen, ed. Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix. TSR, 1994.
- Williams, Skip, Jonathan Tweet, and Monte Cook. Monster Manual. Wizards of the Coast, 2000.