To Chance with Hell (Planescape)
Quick navigation: Main | Races | Factions | The Planes | Sigil | Characters | NPCs | House Rules
The tieflings are one of the most numerous planetouched races, the offspring of humans and some lower planar denizen. This ancestry causes tieflings to often be shunned by respectable society, driving them to associate with those on the wrong side of the law. Often tieflings grow up with no family or close relations, and few feel the need to look after other members of their kind. Despite these obstacles, tieflings often have a strong personal drive to rise to positions of power, wealth, and respect.
Personality: Some have theorized that tieflings are born sharp, for it seems that they always know a little bit about everything. Part of this is because tieflings are children of the planes; unlike many other races they have no home and are much more willing to explore. Tieflings are often driven to prove that they are better than their fiendish heritage, and thus try to stay on top of things, more so than most other folk. In their desire to rise to the top, however, many tieflings take risks that others would shy away from, and they sometimes find it convenient to bend, or even break, the law. This gives some the impression that tieflings are untrustworthy and deceitful. This is of course not universally true; there are some tieflings that are as virtuous as any paladin. The vast majority, however, seem shady to most.
Physical Description: Tieflings look like normal humans, with only a few physical traits to show their heritage. It is said that all tieflings come from the inbreeding of humans and fiends, with the fiendish traits being diluted over time. The most noticeable of these include: goat legs, cloven hooves, horns, tails, fur, and scales. Note that no tiefling possesses all of these traits, and some possess none of them. The less noticeable traits include pointed teeth, unnatural eye or hair color, and pointed nails.
Relations: Tieflings are generally tolerant of other races, though most other people do not extend this generosity to them. Many distrust and fear them, and a few are openly hostile. Residents of cosmopolitan areas, such as Sigil, interact with many tieflings, and thus are more accustomed to them. While these people still often distrust them, they will not react with open fear or anger. In general tieflings get along better with the shadier side of society than with those who live uprightly, even if the tiefling is of a good nature.
Alignment: Tieflings can be found possessing any alignment, though because of the way they are raised, or perhaps because of their fiendish blood, they seem to have a disposition towards being evil. This could just as likely be a stereotype placed on them, however.
Tiefling Lands: Tieflings do not have any specific lands of their own. However, as a group they gravitate toward cities and other heavily populated areas where they are more likely to be accepted. While tieflings can be found on all of the planes, there are very few residing on the Upper Planes, as the inhabitants there are disturbed by the tieflings’ connections to the Lower Planes.
Belief: There are very few clerics found among the tieflings. This is not because they do not believe in the powers; rather it is because they do not like putting others above themselves. They would rather strive to be a power than to worship one. Tieflings who find themselves in Sigil are naturally attracted to the [[Mind’s Eye]], as it preaches that all beings can rise above their origins to greater things, and gain great power by doing so, just as many tieflings have risen above their fiendish origins. Many are also attracted to the Free League, as its philosophy of independence suits them well, plus its association with the Grand Bazaar doesn’t hurt. There is no faction that doesn’t contain at least some tiefling members, as they have as diverse a world-view as any race, but the faction that appeals to them least is the Harmonium, whose strict regulations attract few tieflings.
Language: Most tieflings speak Planar Trade, as well as a few other languages they may have picked up either from their planar travels or their dealings in Sigil.
Names: Like many of the planetouched, tieflings names are based on whatever culture they were raised in.
Adventurers: Many tieflings end up as adventurers. Some are trying to figure out where they belong, and others are coming to grips with their dark heritage. Most are adventurers for far less noble reasons, however. These tieflings have come to terms with their past and are more focused in establishing a name for themselves, along with wealth and power. Realizing that their past doesn’t have to limit them, many tieflings are driven to rise from humble beginnings, and gain the respect and prestige that may be denied to them because of their appearance. This drives some to embrace their heritage and attempt to rise to great power within the ranks of the fiends themselves.
Roleplaying a Tiefling: Who really cares where a body came from? If a body makes a name for himself through his deeds none can say that he didn’t earn it. If the multiverse gives you lemons use them to corner the lemon market, push your competitors out of business, and amass a huge pile of coin. Sometimes it may be necessary to bend the law a little, but that is the price of success, and you are willing to pay it. You may have some disadvantages, but no one can stop you now; you will rise to the top of society, and then you won’t have to hear any whispers about your origins again.