D&D 5e: Tiefling Cleric Guide

D&D 5e: Tiefling Cleric Guide

Tieflings are one of D&D’s rarer races, the result of an infernal curse placed upon their bloodline. Their horns, tails, and thick tails can make the more pronounced tieflings hard to miss in any society. That said, tieflings need not feel proud or ashamed of this internal heritage, nor will it hold them back from serving whichever gods they please. They start with a natural bonus to their charisma and intelligence, which makes them a good fit for social settings and parts of society that will accept them. Sure enough, wherever society convenes in large enough groups, one will find temples, and in one of those temples, you might find yourself meeting a tiefling cleric.

How to Make a Tiefling Cleric

Clerics have incredible versatility but are simple enough to build when it comes to stats. You should always prioritize your wisdom, as it powers both your spells and some of your class features. After that, it’s a matter of how you plan to do most of your damage. 

Strength is a great second priority, especially for melee, and many of your offensive spells will have you either on the frontlines or somewhere near them. You could go for ranged attacks and then consider dexterity, but I would not recommend the cleric for this type of play. 

Only some clerics have access to heavy armor so you might consider dexterity for your armor class. Constitution regardless should be your third priority, as most clerics have a variety of concentration spells available and you do not want to fail your constitution/concentration save when you take damage.

As a tiefling, you could play as one of Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide’s variant tieflings if your DM allows, and could even attain flight which might make a ranged, dexterity or cantrip based cleric more viable. 

Consider also in the creation of your character, your backstory, as it will very likely impact the Divine Domain (subclass) of the cleric you choose to play. These domains range from the classical healing, life domain cleric (who also has access to heavy armor), to the bloodthirsty war domain cleric, magic item creating forge domain cleric, or even the tempest domain cleric, who is more or less the thematic equivalent to Marvel’s Thor. Choose also which god your cleric serves, not that they need to be a big part of your character, but you should choose one that matches your divine domain.

How to Play a Tiefling Cleric

War, Tempest, Order, Life, Nature, and Forge domain clerics all have access to heavy armor, allowing them to be in more dangerous positions during combat. Those domains which lack this feature, such as Death, Grave, Light, Knowledge, and Arcane make up for it both in their added utility or boosted spell lists or damage.

Each domain has access to a unique channel divinity option, allowing you to turn the power of your god into something that might allow you to clutch an awful situation in your favor, or otherwise granting you unique abilities.

No matter which domain you’ve chosen, you should still have access to a number of support spells on the battlefield, so be sure to consider the build of your party when choosing who to help and how. Are you providing an ally with advantage on their next attack? That’s something that’ll help the rogue. Is the barbarian being targeted by a spell he might need to save from? You might have something that can grant him a bonus to that save. Will this fight take place in a cramped area? You may have the spells to suppress all enemies in that area, provided you stay concentrating.

Always position yourself, so you’re an annoyance to your enemies and a boon to your allies, and if you do take a hit, don’t allow the enemy a celebration, you’re a tiefling after all and you can use hellish rebuke!

How to Roleplay as a Tiefling Cleric

The infernal legacy of your tiefling needn’t align them with Avernus or any of the other layers of The 9 Hells, nor do they need to spend their lives making amends for what they are.

A tiefling might become a cleric for the same reason as any other sentient creature. But maybe you do feel that your infernal heritage burns within you, and perhaps you feel you need to fight it.

Regardless, consider who trained your character, where they learned, and what they know of their god. Do they merely serve in the name of their deity, or are they devoted servants? Do they worship with actions, or with words? Is your deity a private matter, or something you talk to your party about? 

Another thing many clerics fail to consider is the temples that their deities might have across the region. Perhaps such temples have facilities for you if you wish to stay, provide you with helpful information, or even offer blessings! Remember to ask your DM about your deity and how involved they are in the life of your cleric.

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