D&D 5e: Tiefling Paladin Guide

D&D 5e: Tiefling Paladin Guide

It’s not actually out of character for a Tiefling to become a paladin even if the deity they serve isn’t tall, dark, and evil or if they don’t choose to be an oathbreaker. When society turns its back on you perhaps there is a place you do have a purpose and a reason to have been born. 

How to Make a Tiefling Paladin

There’s a couple of things that must be known when building a Tiefling. They aren’t succubus or incubus as rule 34 fanatics and people in need of a good “no-horny-bonk” claim. Neither are they well-loved but in fact, 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 being of the nine realms of hell mates with a human

Tieflings are humanoid beings and creating one feels a lot like those mix and match custom character sim games as heritage has to be taken into account. To make it simpler, 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.
SkinHuman shadesHot Red Dark blueScalyFurryLeathery
EyesSolid colored and catlike (compulsory feature) BlackRedWhiteSilverGold Glowing eyes 
Mouthvampire-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
OptionalSmelling 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 of tieflings. Descendants of demons, devils, rakshasas, night hags, the avatars of evil deities, or those that oppress workers and demand to see the manager. Compared to Infernals, certain qualities are required:
demonsMay look like infernal tieflingsNo hooves or goatlike legs
devilsmay resemble the infernal tieflings, not of Asmodeus 
rakshasasCat eyes and furry skins 
night hagsbruised-looking blue skinsmall hornsglowing red eyes
Applies to all Planar TieflingsCan 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:
  • Being harmed by direct sunlight
  • Susceptible to holy water
  • Vulnerable to certain spells such as spirit wrack or cacofiend
  • 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- Yes, to the point that you can cook or freeze food on your skin.
  • Your touch can kill plants 
  • Uneasing aura- You’re the creepy guy even if you aren’t the creepy guy.
  • Other hellish beings can recognize you just like your relatives in real life where they know you but you don’t have any idea who they are.
  • Armor for skin, resistance to any injury made by non-magical or non-silver weapons.
  • Hellish nightmares- Sleep paralysis must be awkward as a Tiefling)

-A few examples of this case are:

  • 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 the wind

Path of the Paladin: “It’s time to crusade against the horny ones!”

If we were to base on the handbook, Paladins are limited to the good alignment with moral choices unless the character is an oathbreaker. Frankly, no player/s should be limited to following the rules to enjoy the game. So long as you are a fighter that is/was in service to a deity with an oath, the basics are. You don’t have to necessarily break your oath either if you want to be on the edgier side of the spectrum.

Like contracts that enslave you into crippling debt in reality there is a variety of oaths you can choose from:

  • Oath of Devotion- You decide to swear an oath to a deity because you want to take up their cause. This oath is the closest to being a crusader. All for justice and none for bull******. 
    • Tenets of Devotion( Characteristics):
      • Honesty- Don’t lie or cheat. Let your word be your promise.
      • Courage- Never fear to act, though caution is wise.
      • Compassion- Aid others, protect the weak, and punish those who threaten them. Show mercy to your foes, but temper it with wisdom.
      • Honor- Treat others with fairness, and let your honorable deeds be an example to them. Do as much good as possible while causing the least amount of harm.
      • Duty- Be responsible for your actions and their consequences, protect those entrusted to your care, and obey those who have just authority over you.
    • Aura of devotion
    • Purity of Spirit
    • Holy Nimbus
  • Oaths of the Ancients- You love the environment(life) and the light so much you decided to make an oath to protect it. Paladins who make this oath are also known as fey knights, green knights, horned knights, and disciples of Mothman
    • Your garb is most likely to be adorned with images of growing things—leaves, antlers, or flowers. A reflection of your commitment to life and the light and that you wouldn’t think twice in murdering an illegal logger or someone littering.
  • Tenets of Devotion(Characteristics):
    • Kindle the Light. Through your acts of mercy, kindness, and forgiveness, kindle the light of hope in the world, beating back despair.
    • Shelter the Light. Where there is good, beauty, love, and laughter in the world, stand against the wickedness that would swallow it. Where life flourishes, stand against the forces that would render it barren.
    • Preserve Your Own Light. Delight in song and laughter, in beauty and art. If you allow the light to die in your own heart, you can’t preserve it in the world.
    • Be the Light. Be a glorious beacon for all who live in despair. Let the light of your joy and courage shine forth in all your deeds.
  • Aura of Warding
  • Undying Sentinel
  • Elder Champion
  • Oath of Vengeance-  Something terrible happened in life that made you swear an oath where you desire revenge. It might be your village getting pillaged, an oppressive guild ruling your people, someone killing your dog that your deceased wife gifted you, or you witness your parents getting mugged and killed outside of a movie theater. These types of paladins are called avengers or dark knights.
    • Tenets of Devotion(Characteristics):
      • Fight the Greater Evil. Faced with a choice of fighting my sworn foes or combating a lesser evil. I choose the greater evil.
      • No Mercy for the Wicked. Ordinary foes might win my mercy, but my sworn enemies do not.
      • By Any Means Necessary. My qualms can’t get in the way of exterminating my foes.
      • Restitution. If my foes raise ruin on the world, it is because I failed to stop them. I must help those harmed by their misdeeds.
    • Relentless Avenger
    • Soul of Vengeance
    • Avenging Angel
  • Oathbreaker- This isn’t technically a kind of oath, but instead, after choosing an oath, you can intentionally choose to become an oath breaker. Sometimes the price of being a paladin is way too much, or perhaps your ambitions have changed. You have to ask your DM if they will allow you to continue as an Oathbreaker paladin or have you switch classes. 
    • No, you can’t take your previous moves and attacks when you weren’t an oathbreaker.
    • Aura of Hate
    • Supernatural Resistance
    • Dread Lord

Paladins have three best builds depending on which you want to be proficient:

  • Tieflings get +2 in Charisma and +1 in Intelligence. Other than that you have fire resistance and darkvision.
  • The first build for a paladin would be prioritizing Strength. Paladins don’t have access to any ranged combat style, plus heavy armor can get in the way that’s why it’s best to choose Strength. What follows should be Charisma, Constitution, Wisdom, Intelligence, then Dexterity.
  • The second best would be prioritizing Charisma as some of a paladin’s skills and abilities rely on Charisma. What should follow is Strength which should be good over 12 since you have heavy armor and close-range combat. This is what follows Constitution, Wisdom, Intelligence, then Dexterity. Surprisingly this is the SECOND best build for Tieflings.
  • The Dexterity build is the best build for Tieflings. Although charisma is a strong characteristic of a Tiefling this doesn’t mean you should play safe. In this build, you prioritize Dexterity THEN Charisma, Constitution, Wisdom, Intelligence, and Strength. This is the best build as it makes good use of nimbleness and your natural charisma. 

How to Play a Tiefling Paladin

Hit Dice: 1d10 per paladin level

Hit Points at 1st Level: 10 + your Constitution modifier

Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d 10 (or 6) + your

Constitution modifier per paladin level after 1st

  • Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier
    • Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier
  • Spellcasting Focus– You can use a holy symbol (found in chapter 5) as a spellcasting focus for your paladin spells.

As Paladin, you get the advantages and (not limited to) the following features (see first chart above):

  • 2 skills from Athletics, Insight, Intimidation, Medicine, Persuasion, and Religion
    • Divine Sense- You can sense, hear, and smell anything evil or magical around you. You know the location and type if it’s a celestial, fiend, or undead within 60 feet of you that is not behind total cover. Within the same radius, you also detect the presence of any place or object that has been consecrated or desecrated, as with the hallow spell.
    • You can use this feature a number of times equal to 1 + your Charisma modifier. When you finish a long rest, you regain all expended uses.
  • Lay on Hands- You have the power of healing anyone you touch- yes you can slap someone to health. You can restore a total number of hit points equal to your paladin level x 5.
    • As an action, you can touch a creature and draw power from the pool of healing to restore a number of hit points to that creature, up to the maximum amount remaining in your power.
    • No this doesn’t work on the undead and constructs. 
  • Fighting Style- Unlocked at level 2, you can choose from the following.
    • Defense
    • Dueling
    • Greater Weapon Fighting
    • Protection
  • Divine Smite- Call upon your radiant divine power when you hit a creature with a melee attack.
  • Divine Health- Congratulations! You have health care and vaccine shots (immunity to diseases) compared to 80% of the world’s population.
  • Sacred Oaths- Unlocked at level 3,
    • Oath Spells & Channel Divinity- Whichever oath you make has its spells and you can channel divine energy to fuel magical effects.
Sacred OathLvl-Oath Spells
Oath of Devotion3rd lvl – protection from evil and good, sanctuary5th lvl –  lesser restoration, zone of truth9th lvl –  beacon of hope, dispel magic13th lvl –  freedom of movement, guardian of faith17th lvl – commune, flame strike
Channel DivinitySacred Weapon, Turn the Unholy
Oath of Ancients3rd lvl – ensnaring strike, speak with animals5th lvl –  moonbeam, misty step9th lvl –  plant growth, protection from energy13th lvl – ice storm, stoneskin17th lvl – commune with nature, tree stride
Channel DivinityNature’s Wrath, Turn the Faithless
Oath of Vengeance3rd lvl – bane, hunter’s mark5th lvl – hold person, misty step9th lvl – haste, protection from energy13th lvl – banishment, dimension door17th lvl – hold monster, scrying
Channel DivinityAbjure Enemy, Vow of Enmity
Oath Breaker3rd lvl – Hellish Rebuke, Inflict Wounds5th lvl – Crown of Madness, Darkness9th lvl – Animate Dead, Bestow Curse13th lvl – Blight, Confusion17th lvl – Contagion, Dominate Person
Channel DivinityControl Undead, Dreadful Aspect
  • Additionally, since you’re a Tiefling, you’re a natural in thaumaturgy cantrip. 
    • At 3rd level, hellish rebuke as a 2nd level spell
    • By 5th level, darkness spell. 
      • All these spells require charisma

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 whether 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. This does not limit them from working with others as they’d likely treat others in a contractual or work-type relationship. 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 Paladin

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 style or relatives. As mentioned before, racism and discrimination have been part of a Tiefling’s life since the day of their birth or creation. 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 taken in by orphanages and churches, or crime rings. 

Despite their strange form, their bodies are similar to 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 few can live 150 years. They can live on an omnivorous diet (like humans) but slightly lean more to meat. They can 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 cautiously. With the rejection Tiefling faces, many turn to a life of crime or mischief, which has further prejudiced perspectives on them. Well, it’s not like it’d be easy to change others’ views or have someone advocate for them. So why bother changing society’s views?

Being a paladin isn’t always going on missionary and crusading trips. It’s similar to a warlock, but instead of a sugar daddy, you get the child-friendly version which is a sponsor. You don’t have to completely or even love the deity you are in service to as becoming a paladin comes for various reasons- unless the oath you take is the path of Devotion. You can be in it for just liking the deities’ cause, goal, or you’d like them to do or give you something in exchange within their power. For Tieflings, they aren’t very keen on looking up to a being of higher power unless that power impresses them. Perhaps the desire to be or at least feel accepted is why a Tiefling would pursue this path? To inherit the greatness of that deity?

It may be laughable for others that a creature of fiendish origin would be humbled, and perhaps if a Tiefling paladin serves an evil deity or becomes an oathbreaker, it would be unsurprising for them. Tieflings are individuals free to choose who and why they would serve even if it doesn’t fit the edgy stereotype. They are capable paladins, being notoriously known to be great at being bodyguards, mercenaries, assassins, and even their powerful voices famously heard in battle. 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 register with both hands and even your tail- not a big deal to being a paladin but impressive as a skill.

Sage Gamers

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