D&D 5e: Tiefling Bard Guide
What differs with Tiefling bards is they are likelier to attract than to act as they aren’t particular with attachments. Although bards are iconic as comedic relief, it can actually be a struggle to be the jack of all trades. They’re pretty much that one strange cousin in the mage family reunion.
How to Make a Tiefling Bard
There’s a couple of things that must be known when building a Tiefling. They aren’t succubus or incubus as rule 34 fanatics claim. In fact, they are usually discriminated against.
There are three ways a Tiefling is created:
- Descended from a Tiefling parent (regardless if both or only one is a tiefling) or ancestor
- A human is transformed into one through magical means.
- When a devil/demon of the nine realms of hell mates with a human
Here’s a table of options open in creating a tiefling:
- Infernal tieflings– most common and possibly be related to Asmodeus or some other hellish being.
|Skin||Human shadesHot Red Dark blueScalyFurryLeathery|
|Eyes||Solid coloured and catlike (compulsory feature) BlackRedWhiteSilverGold Glowing eyes|
|Mouth||vampire-like pointed teeth (compulsory feature)FangsForked tongue|
|Horns(compulsory feature)||Small or bigSpiral/Ringed CurledFlat and extending sideways (good luck getting through doors)Single horn|
|Tails(compulsory feature)||LOOONG AND T H I C C|
|Optionals||Smelling like eau de brimstoneSkin hot to touch (as if looking the part wasn’t enough)More or less than 5 fingersYour tail can grab thingsGoat like legshoof for feetCast no shadow or reflectionBat like wings|
- Planar Tieflings– Rare variety that are descendants of demons, devils, rakshasas, night hags, the avatars of evil deities, or Karens. Compared to Infernals, certain qualities are required:
|demons||May look like infernal tieflingsNo hooves or goatlike legs|
|devils||may resemble the infernal tieflings not of Asmodeus|
|rakhasas||Cat eyes and furry skins|
|night hags||bruised-looking blue skinsmall hornsglowing red eyes|
|Applies to all Planar Tieflings||Can almost pass as a human but have certain dead giveaways such as, but not limited to:red eyessmall hornsa missing shadow .|
- Rare traits
- As if there wasn’t enough variety to a Tiefling, a rare few have a few unique qualities, more detrimental than not. A few examples are:
- Susceptible to holy water
- Vulnerable to certain holy spells
- Can’t enter holy grounds or areas
- Silver = bad
- Skin that flakes ash- practically eczema or desquamation.
- Smelling like ash, brimstone, sulfur, or rotten meat- Not even deodorant can help you.
- Unnaturally cold or hot skin
- Your touch can kill plants
- Uneasing aura- You’re the creepy guy even if you aren’t the creepy guy.
- Hellish nightmares- Sleep paralysis must be awkward as a Tiefling)
-A few examples of this case is:
- The tiefling Tenosh has the power to generate cold from her hand, climb sheer surfaces with ease, and does not need to sleep.
- Ghienna cannot use portals and can never leave the city of Sigil, though this is a close secret.
- Factol Rhys of the Transcendent Order has a partial protective carapace, and her hair seems to move on its own as if blown by wind
Just because you or a character you come across performs tricks, plays music, or wants to bang anything within a 60ft radius doesn’t make them a bard. Bards have a way with their music, words, and actions with the magic they weave. Compared to other classes, a bard’s backstory matters less compared to the stories they tell.
Tieflings aren’t accustomed to forming bonds even with a fellow tiefling or fiend. Although reserved, they still value art and music especially ones with dark themes. Their voices are known to be powerful, often their cries are heard in battle.
Bard Colleges, oh how art imitates life. Bards are actually considered scholars. As funny as “the horny wacky bard strikes again!” is, not every bard has to be that way. Bard Colleges, like warlock patrons and wizard academia, are like subcategories or subclasses that identify your character’s specialty.
- College of Lore- if Aristotle, Buddha, Hypatia, or Socrates became bards this would be their college. These bards are known for their pursuit of knowledge. Dipping into other spellcasting lists and spending time learning additional skills, they tend to be the most versatile of an already versatile class.
- Bonus Proficiencies: you gain proficiency with three skills of your choice.
- Cutting Words – Use distracting words to save your allies from harm.
- Additional Magical Secrets – Pick spells from another class’ list!
- Peerless Skill – Use your own bardic inspiration for a skill check
- College of Valor- probably the most common portrayal of bards. Great storytellers and singers of epics of old and heroes. Most commonly known for being that old veteran whose personality has survived his brutal past.
- Bonus Proficiencies: you gain proficiency with medium armor, shields, and martial weapons.
- Combat Inspiration
- Extra Attack– you get to attack TWICE!
- Battle Magic
- College of Creation- All-powerful hippies taking “music is in our souls” quite literally. These bards are able to create things (nonliving only) with the sound of their voices.
- Note of Potential
- Performance of Creation
- Animating performance
- Creative Crescendo
- Force-Empowered Slam (Only applicable to melee weapon)
- Immutable Form
- Irrepressible Dance
- Immunity to poison and psychic damage, exhaustion, fear, and being charmed.
- College of Eloquence- a.k.a college of dramatic Lawyers. Never try to argue with them. These bards have a way with their words that can make and break a person. Bringing truth to the saying: “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words leave psychological wounds that will never heal.”
- Silver Tongue
- Unsettling Words
- Unfailing Inspiration
- Universal Speech
- Infectious Inspiration
- College of Glamour- Their charismatic levels are so off the charts that having ‘stunning beauty’ becomes literal. Tutored by satyrs, eladrin, and other fey, bards under this collage can practically be instant superstars or create cult followings if they wanted to.
- Mantle of Inspiration
- Enthralling Performance
- Mantle of Majesty
- Unbreakable Majesty
- College of Swords- A mix between a fighter and a rogue-ish playstyle, these bards blend swordplay and art.
- Bonus Proficiencies: at 3rd level, you gain proficiency with medium armor and the scimitar.
- If you’re proficient with a simple or martial melee weapon, you can use it as a spellcasting focus for your bard spells.
- Fighting Style:
- Two-weapon fight
- Blade Flourish:
- Defensive Flourish.
- Slashing Flourish.
- Mobile Flourish.
- Extra Attack- You can attack TWICE!
- Master’s Flourish
- Bonus Proficiencies: at 3rd level, you gain proficiency with medium armor and the scimitar.
- College of Whispers- The sneakier side of the bardic craft. The name of this college is due to how secrets, important information, and even stories are exchanged. Best for those wanting to be spies and information brokers.
- Psychic Blades
- Word of Terror
- Mantle of Whispers
- Shadow lore
Bards are known to be a charismatic class, being a tiefling comes with an advantage as there is a +2 to charisma built in. Bards are advised to make sure their Charisma is as high as possible, followed by Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Strength. The build is almost similar to that of a Rogue but you’re a bit more on your feet as some rely on strength. Apart from that, you get dark vision, but everything is gray in the darkness, advantage in speed, and resistance to fire damage.
How to Play a Tiefling Bard
Hit Dice: 1d8 per bard level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 8 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + your Constitution modifier per bard level after 1st
Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier
Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier
Some defaults to being a Bard (also see chart above):
- Spellcasting- You can wield magic with your music and performance.
- Bardic Inspiration- Your cheerleading actually boosts the morale of your teammates or any creature you pick within 60 ft. Does it do anything apart from that? Ask your DM if they’ll let you pick what else it does or if they have something in mind.
- Jack of All Trades- It’s simple, you can add half your proficiency to any of your abilities. Anything you’re bad at you get good at and anything you’re good at you get greater at.
- Song of Rest- Even healing yourself and others requires to be done with a musical number.
As a Tiefling, a big plus is you are a natural in thaumaturgy cantrip. By 3rd level, you get to do hellish rebuke as a 2nd level spell, and by 5th level, darkness spell. All these spells require charisma, so it plays well with the Bard class.
Think of a Tieflings as the counterpart of half-elves that got the shorter end of the stick. Tieflings face a lot of racism and discrimination regardless of wether they are evil or not. This has caused them to be very reserved, suspicious, and self-reliant loners. They have a quick temper, stubbornness, self-confidence, and fickleness in relationships.
Fortunately, though, they will learn to reciprocate the trust given to them in a way. When they allow themselves to open up or give loyalty towards someone, that person/receiving a friend and ally for life.
How to Roleplay as a Tiefling Bard
The topic of how Tieflings came to be is covered but what of their lives? Like most hybrids, they have no land of their own or a place where their kind gathers. Tieflings are uncommon and with the whole hot topic of Asmodeus, they are rarely friendly with their own kind or relatives. As mentioned before, racism and discrimination have been part of a Tiefling’s life since the day they are born. Even a Tiefling baby born to two human parents (where one so happened to have a Tiefling or Fiend blood in the lineage or the baby was cursed) would likely be abandoned and be taken in by orphanages, churches, or crime rings.
Despite their strange form, their bodies are very similar to that of humans, from weight and height (Maximum height for a male Tiefling is 6”7, for a female 6”5) to the skeletal structure. On the other hand, life expectancy is similar to humans, but a few can live to a max of 150 years. They can live on an omnivorous diet (like humans) but lean more to meat.
Though they consume other stuff such as bone, gristle, marrow, blubber, blood, ash and can subsist on coal or inorganic rock. They at times even drink a cocktail of broth, oil, and sulfur. Tieflings can be both male and female, one of the other, or none at all. Some Tieflings can even pass as humans in appearance.
Similarities or not, so long as fiendish blood runs and features are evident, they are treated with caution. With the rejection a Tiefling faces, many turn to a life of crime or mischief, which has further people’s prejudiced perspectives on them. Well, it’s not like it’d be easy to change others’ views or someone is advocating for them. In being a bard, it’s best to consider what kind of bard you would be rather than why did you become one. What is your specialty in performance? What is your goal as a bard? Where have you gone to, and who have you been with? Will the tales you speak of the bitterness of your existence?
Your best work will likely be edgier, darker, and deeper in themes. As if you took a sip out of Edgar Allen Poe or Lovecraft’s souls for inspiration. Apart from that, you’ll be able to speak and write infernal despite not studying it or Abyssal along with Common language. Plus, you’re ambidextrous, which means you can write with both hands and even tail.