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Like they have the same face and everything

They look like heads from the Oblivion PC generator lol - they take a couple and smush em in a little bit, fatten the others

Anyone else notice this?

Somehow we go from haer'dalis 20 years ago...to these lil red dough balls

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Please see: all of 4e. Specifically its Asmodeus's fault and the fact that wizards wanted to standardize Tieflings into roughly one type for 4e.

It's got a little better in 5e (especially since most people ignore the hard rules and just make whatever they want), but few dnd games in the past decade have had good Tiefling variety. We got colours and horns and that's about it.

Last edited by Piff; 11/11/20 02:57 AM.
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Originally Posted by Piff
Please see: all of 4e. Specifically its Asmodeus's fault and the fact that wizards wanted to standardize Tieflings into roughly one type for 4e.

It's got a little better in 5e (especially since most people ignore the hard rules and just make whatever they want), but few dnd games in the past decade have had good Tiefling variety. We got colours and horns and that's about it.


I'm assuming Cambions are like the half-fiends template? Tieflings to me were always like the 2nd or so many generations after deluded line of the tryst with the demonic, infernal, or evil deity? Would be kind of cool if tielflings could have wings, but if sorcerers get infernal/draconic bloodline they will get that eventually. Do have a quick question though when I researched up on Tieflings, aren't we supposed to be awarded powers for hitting 3rd level as one like the drow characters did or is that later. Could have sworn the 5E rulebook I skimmed said they get Hellish Rebuke or Asmodeous Tieflings and Smite or some such as a Zariel line.

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Yes, you get some more racial spells at both 3rd and 5th level, but I don't think those have been fully implemented yet, one tiefling line has them, the other doesn't yet, most likely the spells haven't actually been added yet.

Cambions are half-devils. Traditionally tieflings have always been, at their very most fiend-blooded, the children of cambions and alufiends (another type of half-fiend). Logically cambions would have as varied a parentage as tieflings do, but they all look the same in most dnd video games, I chalk this up to one part overworked dev and one part "that's what it looks like in the monster manual!".

In 2nd edition your origins were up to you and left vague on purpose, along with having a truly massive roll table for your fiendish features (including wings, and almost anything you could think of). 3/3.5e reigned it in a bit more, but also went with the "distant descendant of evil outsiders" path, which again left it mostly up to the player as to their origin, but still their bottom line was "no two tieflings look alike".

Then 4e came in and basically rewrote tiefling origins to a specific area, kingdom, and group of people. Their basic descriptions also changed. You can read about it in a 2007 publication called Wizards Presents Classes and Races, which was a 4e preview publication and it goes into depth about the tiefling origin. They wanted to standardise the race and make them ethnically similar to each other.

Now, this is where I get a little fuzzy, because I don't keep up with the novel universe. There were two books that came out 2015/16 time, which was a dnd 5e manual, Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide, and a novel, The Devil You Know. These two books rewote tiefling origins AGAIN, basically setting up Asmodeus as the racial god of tieflings, by making all tieflings in the world his direct blood descendants. Yup.

5e tieflings suffered from this decision to make all tieflings the same, but wizards then almost immediately undid that by putting out a whole lineup of tiefling subraces in Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes (which also gave us many elf subraces) because many players didn't like the decision and were ignoring the basic descriptions in the handbook and making whatever they wanted. But larian is sticking to the books in this regard, as much as it pains me.

The planetouched races are my favourite races, can you tell?

Last edited by Piff; 11/11/20 05:05 AM.
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Originally Posted by Piff
Yes, you get some more racial spells at both 3rd and 5th level, but I don't think those have been fully implemented yet, one tiefling line has them, the other doesn't yet, most likely the spells haven't actually been added yet.

Cambions are half-devils. Traditionally tieflings have always been, at their very most fiend-blooded, the children of cambions and alufiends (another type of half-fiend). Logically cambions would have as varied a parentage as tieflings do, but they all look the same in most dnd video games, I chalk this up to one part overworked dev and one part "that's what it looks like in the monster manual!".

In 2nd edition your origins were up to you and left vague on purpose, along with having a truly massive roll table for your fiendish features (including wings, and almost anything you could think of). 3/3.5e reigned it in a bit more, but also went with the "distant descendant of evil outsiders" path, which again left it mostly up to the player as to their origin, but still their bottom line was "no two tieflings look alike".

Then 4e came in and basically rewrote tiefling origins to a specific area, kingdom, and group of people. Their basic descriptions also changed. You can read about it in a 2007 publication called Wizards Presents Classes and Races, which was a 4e preview publication and it goes into depth about the tiefling origin. They wanted to standardise the race and make them ethnically similar to each other.

Now, this is where I get a little fuzzy, because I don't keep up with the novel universe. There were two books that came out 2015/16 time, which was a dnd 5e manual, Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide, and a novel, The Devil You Know. These two books rewote tiefling origins AGAIN, basically setting up Asmodeus as the racial god of tieflings, by making all tieflings in the world his direct blood descendants. Yup.

5e tieflings suffered from this decision to make all tieflings the same, but wizards then almost immediately undid that by putting out a whole lineup of tiefling subraces in Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes (which also gave us many elf subraces) because many players didn't like the decision and were ignoring the basic descriptions in the handbook and making whatever they wanted. But larian is sticking to the books in this regard, as much as it pains me.

The planetouched races are my favourite races, can you tell?


Really interesting rundown of the appearance rules from the different editions! I remember running into the problem with the phb that tieflings had to look a certain way but I wanted to make one with antlers. I found some old lore that said they could have more mammal-looking horns aside from ram and was going to roll with it. I never got to play with that character but still want to make a druid tiefling with antlers. Hopefully someone is able to make a mod with more horn variety.

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Piff, I can indeed tell you like the planetouched races! I too like planar races, but rarely had the opportunity to play many of them. Thanks for the detailed explanation because I thought I was going nuts not seeing hellish rebuke when the book clearly said it was at 3rd level.

Fey'ri (the Elven variant of Tieflings) is what I always wanted to play, but never got the chance. It would be nice to get to play one eventually (not necessarily in BG3, but perhaps one day I will grace a tabletop game again) to play that race.

I mean all the better if they do get added, but I won't hold my breath.

The main Planetouched I would like to see are the Genasi, Aasimar, and Githzerai (just to see how Lae'zal would react to having to fight along side her other racial enemy to get off that ship). I mean I'm pretty sure that is literally the only thing they both can agree upon is killing Mind Flayers. Outside of that they just fight each other on sight. I just think it would be interesting to see is all.

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Originally Posted by Ghost King


The main Planetouched I would like to see are the Genasi, Aasimar, and Githzerai (just to see how Lae'zal would react to having to fight along side her other racial enemy to get off that ship). I mean I'm pretty sure that is literally the only thing they both can agree upon is killing Mind Flayers. Outside of that they just fight each other on sight. I just think it would be interesting to see is all.


I also really want the Githzerai. They wouldn't need as much work as other full races given they look so similar to Githyanki who are already in. Plus they get a WIS bonus and I really, really want to play an alien druid from a plane that has no nature. Sounds like a pretty rich field for story.

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Yes! I'd also like to see how they do genasi and aasimar. i feel like aasimar often doesn't get the same amount of development love because people seems to always get stuck on traditional depictions of renaissance angels and just end up making shiny humans, when there is a whole host of celestial powers and sentients, some very otherworldly looking, out there to take visual cues from. Imagine an aasimar whose ancestor was blessed by Selune and they have colourful feathers and scales like a lillend.

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I absolutely loathe the 4th (and thus 5th) edition tieflings and I do not think i will ever get over it. They took what I thought was the most interesting race and made it into shitty, cartoony Hellboy knockoffs.

As an effect of this, I guess, these days I only like anti-tieflings. Characters who look exactly like humans and have nothing cool or interesting quirks about them at all, except maybe that they smell of rotten eggs when they fart (and they're of course appropriately embarrassed by it!).

@Piff - I think that was a very good sum up of the changes. One thing I'd add to it though is how since 4th ed they've wanted tieflings (and other planetouched) to be true-breeding races rather than supernatural variations (deviations?) to humans and other races. I tend to put it like previously a tiefling being born to human parents was the standard, and even two tieflings having children together would be more likely to result in a normal human than a tiefling; whereas since 4th ed tieflings always have tiefling children and their whole extended family are all tieflings too.


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I don't dislike how tieflings look now, but... 4e/5e took the best thing out of tieflings. The variety. Let me create a tiefling that looks almost human. Or one that looks very fiendish, but in a different way than hellish tieflings. What about abyssal tieflings, hag tieflings, yugoloth tieflings, rakshasa tieflings? Tieflings with digitigrade clawed legs, with hooves?

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@Dexai yes, you are right, it was one of the changes that happened during 4e. Previously it was normal for tieflings to "breed out" with normal mudane races and eventually the family would resemble normal mudane people, and then suddenly sport a tiefling somewhere down the track when the fiend blood would get active somehow, or get lucky on the roulette wheel of genetics. It was a fairly common backstory for making warlocks, fiendish blood in your ancestry. I actually had a tiefling alchemist with a similar story (we were playing 5e, but not playing in the realms, so I thought it would be fine) that unfortunately got given away when his human parents realised their baby had horn buds and a little tail.

But now there's no such thing as diluting the blood, tieflings always breed tieflings, regardless of the race of the other party. (with obvious exceptions for races that are incompatible in that way, or with fiends). Or, as I like to say "It's Tieflings all the way down".

Which you know, as well as being kind of strange, also begs the question of if tieflings always breed true, does that meant he population of tieflings is exponentially increasing?

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Originally Posted by Piff
Which you know, as well as being kind of strange, also begs the question of if tieflings always breed true, does that meant he population of tieflings is exponentially increasing?


Faerun in a couple hundred years: humans are extinct. There are only tieflings now.

Actually, what is the result of tieflings breeding with elves or half-elves? "Human" tieflings?

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Originally Posted by Uncle Lester
Actually, what is the result of tieflings breeding with elves or half-elves? "Human" tieflings?


Tielfings with more delicate elven features, I'd assume. If this were tabletop I'd say chat to your DM about swapping out your infernal legacy spells for something more fey-flavoured.

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Cambions are a weird breed honestly. I would have preferred different shades of tieflings and then their "mommies" succubi to be the Karens in the camp.

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Let's not pretend that Haer'Daelis design was somehow better. If anything, that is up to taste.

To me, he always just looked like some other random elf, and was insufferable besides.

Tieflings actually show roughly the same variety that other races do (even after Asmodeus pulled his stunt), they just share very prominent features in their horns & tails, which I personally happen to be a fan of aesthetically.

Cambions *can* look similar. So far we only know the designs for two, though, and one of them is clearly descended from devils, so that checks out.

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Why do humans with devil ancestry look similar to offspring of humans with devil ancestry and demons?

That's just racist.

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Cambions are Tieflings with wings. There's like zero distinction.

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Guys, the OP isnt talking about how they look in game, not how tieflings exist and function in the D&D lore...

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You say that like the two aren't linked. Larian didn't just pull the basics of the model design from thin air, they've very obviously looked at how cambions and tieflings are depicted in the art and in their text of the books and likely how other official dnd video games have depicted them.

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Originally Posted by merkmerk73
Cambions are Tieflings with wings. There's like zero distinction.


There are tieflings with wings and they are not cambions. Cambions are flat out fiends even if they have human parentage.

Tieflings, on the other hand, are mortals and are equally likely to be good as they are to be evil. Also, in general, tieflings tend to be weaker. That's not 100% since there are "mortals" that are basically demigods to the point of basically not aging at all. (one of the of the post 20th level epic boons is immunity to age and to be frank, unaging is such a low impact thing I would just let people have it. They just wouldn't be immune to supernatural aging such as from dealing with some undead.).

That said, winged tieflings are rare. It's pretty much a PC / important NPC only feature.

Also, the similarity of all tieflings is something of a sore point with me and started with....really near the middle or end of 3.X (see the standard appearance of tieflings in NWN2 which was produced and published well before 4th ed was a thing.) I don't dislike the horns/tail(sometimes wings) aesthetic. Indeed it is one I appreciate, but originally tieflings were basically human with one or two stand out odd features. (one of my 3rd tieflings looked human save for tattoos that covered most of her body and depicted a bastion of virtue surrounded by scenes of siege and cruelty...the tattoos shifted when people weren't looking and she hid them under robes.)

I think when tieflings started getting more popular that there was a push to make them more uniform. 4th edition tieflings sort of explained this by them being the descendants of an ancient fallen empire that had made a deal with Asmodeus. This was fine 4e's default setting was the Points of Light setting...which honestly, was interesting and had a new pantheon and a new cosmology (I'm fine with the Great Wheel but I like alternate cosmological settings to play with.) My problem was that they decided to extend the Points of Light cosmology and tiefling origins to Faerun and other settings...where it...created a lot of static with fans like me.

The beginning of 5e had the lore continue along this trend by deciding that Asmodeus, as part of becoming a legitimate God, had a bunch of warlocks cast a ritual that caused him to "claim" all tieflings the effect of which is to make them all have the horns/tail + sometimes wing look. Because there's no actual metaphysical impact from what I can tell. A tiefling who loyally serves Tyr isn't going to be pulled to hell by Asmodeus when they die. There's some variation in colorization based on their actual bloodlines...Zariel, Mephistopheles, etc. But they still all have that horns + tails + sometimes wings. And non-Devilish tieflings are just not canonically a thing anymore. Which...again...would be fine...if they gave us parallels for demons and daemons (tanar'ri and yugoloth). And I kind think making mechanically different from tieflings would be overcomplicating matters and...so again WHY BOTHER?

I really don't like the standardization of their appearance. At all.

In many ways, Aasimar and Tieflings are actually more common to a wider section of myth, legend, and fantasy fiction than Elves, Dwarves, and Halflings. I am seriously a Tolkien fan, but really, dwarves and elves aren't as common in myth as children of humans and spiritual entities of various types ranging from Greek style Demigods to Abe no Seimei's fox-spirit mother and the versions of Merlin that have him the child of a devil. Fantasy, yeah, lots of elves there, but again, that's due to the influence of Tolkien and, actually, more than Tolkien...D&D itself. (most pop culture Elves and Dwarves are much more D&D than Tolkien).

Last edited by Thrythlind; 12/11/20 10:39 PM.
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