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Originally Posted by Eldath

If you want to sell me on the idea that tieflings are "just people", then make them a subrace of humans, otherwise I'm not interested in continuing this discussion.

Well, strictly speaking, tieflings from the fourth edition have become a subrace of humans. So, Bael Turath was a human empire, from where virtually all 4th edition tieflings originated.
Nothing has changed in the fifth edition, where tieflings have human proportions, and non-human tieflings are not mentioned at all.
Funnily enough, Pathfinder, who originally gave many pedigrees of tieflings and assumed that they could not only be humans, changed this in the second edition, making tieflings a subrace of humans.
The same is true of aasimar.


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Originally Posted by Argyle
I am not able to reconcile what D&D really means by "race", other than the tables of abilities in the player's handbook.

The basic biological taxonomy goes as follows:
kingdom,
phylum,
class,
order,
family,
genus, and
species

Then where do Tieflings branch away from humans? They seem to have a spinal cord, so the phylum "chordata" is the same. I would guess they could be considered mammals? But on the other hand, maybe they could actually be in a different class. Once again, the virtue of unknowing reveals itself.
I don't think Zoology in D&D would have the same kind of system of classification. really

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Originally Posted by Argyle
I am not able to reconcile what D&D really means by "race", other than the tables of abilities in the player's handbook.

The basic biological taxonomy goes as follows:
kingdom,
phylum,
class,
order,
family,
genus, and
species

Then where do Tieflings branch away from humans? They seem to have a spinal cord, so the phylum "chordata" is the same. I would guess they could be considered mammals? But on the other hand, maybe they could actually be in a different class. Once again, the virtue of unknowing reveals itself.


The term "race" is certainly misleading. As you suggest, "race" exists merely as a mechanical construct in DnD, at least for player characters.

With a few exceptions, all available player races are classified as "humanoids" and among those, almost all of them can interbreed. In biological terms, it'd make sense to classify them as part of the same genus. From there, it gets tricky, because magic enters the equation. Tieflings are, for the most part, humans, whose bloodline got changed by fiendish essence.

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My issue with kill all tieflings attitude is related to the rules of this world as I understand them (and as very patient forum users explained them to me). If we know that in FR there are inherently good and inherently evil beings, but there are those that aren't (like the php races that could have any alignment). If you arbitrarily decide that because X percentage of tieflings are evil all tieflings are evil, why not apply this logic to all other races that are not inherently good?


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Originally Posted by BuckettMonkey
Originally Posted by Eldath

If you want to sell me on the idea that tieflings are "just people", then make them a subrace of humans, otherwise I'm not interested in continuing this discussion.

Well, strictly speaking, tieflings from the fourth edition have become a subrace of humans. So, Bael Turath was a human empire, from where virtually all 4th edition tieflings originated.
Nothing has changed in the fifth edition, where tieflings have human proportions, and non-human tieflings are not mentioned at all.
Funnily enough, Pathfinder, who originally gave many pedigrees of tieflings and assumed that they could not only be humans, changed this in the second edition, making tieflings a subrace of humans.
The same is true of aasimar.


Tieflings, and all Planetouched races, use to be assumed to be planetouched subtypes of human, rules-wise. As far as I know, at least. Fluff-wise there's always been the extrapolated existence of non-human tieflings, but whenever such a thing has been rule-ified it's usually under a different name -- Fey'ri (elf/demon), Whispling (halfling/fiend), Tanarukk (Orc/Fiend) for example. I am not sure whether or not these are direct equivalents to tieflings, though, but they're similar.

Anyway, this human-subtype assumption actually changed with 4th edition. Previously, tieflings did not breed true. Two humans could have a tiefling child, and two tieflings were more likely to give birth to an ordinary human than they were another tiefling. What caused Tieflings to be born was supernatural influences, or bloodlines that lay dormant and unexpressed for generations. But 4th Ed decided to make them their own, true-breeding race. Sure, they were still descended from humans. But now all tieflings had tiefling parents and made tiefling children (and they're all made out of ticky tacky and they all look just the same). I think it's pretty fair to consider them no longer a type of human but their own race entirely.


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Originally Posted by Dexai
Originally Posted by BuckettMonkey
Originally Posted by Eldath

If you want to sell me on the idea that tieflings are "just people", then make them a subrace of humans, otherwise I'm not interested in continuing this discussion.

Well, strictly speaking, tieflings from the fourth edition have become a subrace of humans. So, Bael Turath was a human empire, from where virtually all 4th edition tieflings originated.
Nothing has changed in the fifth edition, where tieflings have human proportions, and non-human tieflings are not mentioned at all.
Funnily enough, Pathfinder, who originally gave many pedigrees of tieflings and assumed that they could not only be humans, changed this in the second edition, making tieflings a subrace of humans.
The same is true of aasimar.
Tieflings, and all Planetouched races, use to be assumed to be planetouched subtypes of human, rules-wise. As far as I know, at least. Fluff-wise there's always been the extrapolated existence of non-human tieflings, but whenever such a thing has been rule-ified it's usually under a different name -- Fey'ri (elf/demon), Whispling (halfling/fiend), Tanarukk (Orc/Fiend) for example. I am not sure whether or not these are direct equivalents to tieflings, though, but they're similar.

Anyway, this human-subtype assumption actually changed with 4th edition. Previously, tieflings did not breed true. Two humans could have a tiefling child, and two tieflings were more likely to give birth to an ordinary human than they were another tiefling. What caused Tieflings to be born was supernatural influences, or bloodlines that lay dormant and unexpressed for generations. But 4th Ed decided to make them their own, true-breeding race. Sure, they were still descended from humans. But now all tieflings had tiefling parents and made tiefling children (and they're all made out of ticky tacky and they all look just the same). I think it's pretty fair to consider them no longer a type of human but their own race entirely.
Very true, but because of the popularity of Tieflings (and seemingly for no other reason) they've been given very special treatment, to the point that I'm not sure they're can really be considered Planetouched anymore.

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Originally Posted by Abits
My issue with kill all tieflings attitude is related to the rules of this world as I understand them (and as very patient forum users explained them to me). If we know that in FR there are inherently good and inherently evil beings, but there are those that aren't (like the php races that could have any alignment). If you arbitrarily decide that because X percentage of tieflings are evil all tieflings are evil, why not apply this logic to all other races that are not inherently good?


I'm sure the answer to this is pretty obvious.
Let's say that 99% of all drow everywhere are baby-eating murderous bastards who would kill you for the sheer fun of it.
And then let's say 60% of all gnomes are standoffish isolationist who just want to stay out of your way and leave you alone.

No-one would equivocate between killing a drow and a gnome on first sight under these circumstances.
At that point, killing a drow on first sight is either self-defense or a favor to the realms, while gnomes just leave everyone alone and for the most part they don't hurt anyone even though 40% of them might be up to no good. The point is not about moral perfection, the point is about some races being dangerous and actively harmful to everyone else.
If you can kill a 100 drow with only one of them being someone who isn't explicitly evil, can anyone justifiably blame you for prejudice, when statistically speaking, your prejudice makes the world a better place? I mean, most places in the realms are not going to be nice to orcs, because orcs are primitive savages who will murder and rape for fun (hence half-orcs).

Add to that the fact that in the Forgotten realms you can just worship a God who is okay with this kind of behaviour and you get yourself an afterlife that is not Hell. Case in point: Kagha
I mean who is going to blame someone in the Forgotten Realms for dedicating their lives to the elimination of goblins, drow or orcs? And why should he care about other people's judgement? There is an elven deity whose portfolio is exterminating the drow (unless they removed him).

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I try very hard to see your point, and at some stage I thought perhaps in the realms it would morally good while not in the real world and vise versa, but no matter how much I think of that I can't find it "good". If you are talking about self defense it is something else entirely. But if you kill someone on sight because he might be evil* you are evil. If any of the good aligned Gods allow this kind of behaviour it is more of problem of the settings than of your train of thought.

*Not talking about situations like war zone or something like that.

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Originally Posted by Dexai

Tieflings, and all Planetouched races, use to be assumed to be planetouched subtypes of human, rules-wise. As far as I know, at least. Fluff-wise there's always been the extrapolated existence of non-human tieflings, but whenever such a thing has been rule-ified it's usually under a different name -- Fey'ri (elf/demon), Whispling (halfling/fiend), Tanarukk (Orc/Fiend) for example. I am not sure whether or not these are direct equivalents to tieflings, though, but they're similar.

Tiefling is a pretty broad concept. Baphitaur (Half-demon minotaurs, chosen by Baphomet), for example, were recognized as tieflings. Same with Durzagon (Half-Devil Duergar).
Personally, I'd love to see the return of non-human versions of tieflings as playable races.
Originally Posted by Dexai

Anyway, this human-subtype assumption actually changed with 4th edition. Previously, tieflings did not breed true.

Not really. Until the 4th edition, tieflings could produce offspring with fiends, the result was cambions. By the way, cambions could also produce offspring. For example, Ravel from Planescape had a tiefling daughter, conceived by Cambion.
Originally Posted by Dexai

I think it's pretty fair to consider them no longer a type of human but their own race entirely.

Well, I agree with you.

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Originally Posted by Abits
I try very hard to see your point, and at some stage I thought perhaps in the realms it would morally good while not in the real world and vise versa, but no matter how much I think of that I can't find it "good". If you are talking about self defense it is something else entirely. But if you kill someone on sight because he might be evil* you are evil. If any of the good aligned Gods allow this kind of behaviour it is more of problem of the settings than of your train of thought.

*Not talking about situations like war zone or something like that.


It's not about being good it's about being acceptable. If you go to a forest and you see a hag, virtually no-one is going to judge you for killing her and then bragging about it, because it is understood that hags are evil creatures that eat babies and make people's live miserable.
The same way, if you kill a red dragon without said dragon first initiating combat, no-one will call you an irredeemable villain for it, because red dragons are cruel and evil beasts (even though they are sentient).
Now here we arrive at drow. It is understood in the realms that the drow are evil, cruel, and seek the death of all surfacers to please their evil goddess. Killing a drow wouldn't be considered a crime pretty much anywhere, because the tales about the drow being evil are actually true, and the chance that you killed a "good drow" is virtually zero. Keep in mind that you are not killing the drow because it's evil, you are killing it because you know that drows seek to harm you or others on the surface.

The real world is very different, because in the real world we are all humans, God's existence can't be proven with material evidence and most importantly, we are the only sentient race on the planet.
Now, as for good aligned gods allowing this or that kind of behaviour, it's up to them. But there are most certainly plenty of neutral gods who aren't going to make a fuss about killing some drow or tiefling, and since your afterlife ultimately depends on faithfully serving your deity, everyone is incentivized to pick a deity whose tenets they can live up to, and whose afterlife they find to be appealing.
Kagha really isn't going to care that you think she is evil, because what she did doesn't really violate Silvanus. She will just die one day and end up in her chosen afterlife. Your judgements will mean nothing to her, because frankly, she has no reason to care for it.

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Rule of thumb: Those who are attacked, have the right to defend. I don't like tieflings. They are hellspawn/abyss spawn. Being created in hell/abyss? You're evil. Died and ended up in hell/abyss? You're evil. Stay extended times in hell/abyss? The plane warps you into an evil being. It's part of how devils can turn demon and vise versa. Not even angels can resist the change forever let alone mortals. Will I go out of my way to kill them? No. Would I put myself in a position to be screwed over by them? Not if I can help it. Whether something is good or bad is relative and circumstantial.

Do tieflings have evil blood? Yes. Are tieflings evil? Depends. Actions speak louder than words and I do mostly trial by trial.

The humanization of races muddled things. If you don't like tieflings then you don't like tieflings. No need for general action unless something happens. Just be on guard and stick with what you like.

If you are concerned about being good you shouldn't kill anything. You might as well give up adventuring. Killing without purpose is chatioc evil. Killing with purpose is lawful good. Everything else is kind of grey. Is the problem being good or is the the problem tieflings?

That's how I see things at least.

Minor spoiler.
The tieflings are not as good as people think, and the druids are nowhere near as bad as people think. The only actual evil one so far in the grove drama is Zevlor. Everyone else is just grey. More info is in datamine topics and videos.

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i kill all humans on sight. they are inherently evil and should be eradicated regardless of the odd "good human" (Never met one). I am lawful good and my god favors me for my actions.

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First post, hay!

A little strange discussion of companions. I'll try to dilute it with my thoughts.

First run in BG3 i begin like a warlock with the fiend as patron. After first rest in camp and Karlach quest (and seeing portrait of Wyll ofcourse) i started thinking, that maybe, just maybe, the Larian Studios do some quest for classess and as warlock i will try save my soul in some devil mindgames with my patron... just like in "The Devil's Advocate" oh my! Ah, well, that was just another dream. But i remembered one very good game: Dark Messiah. And ofcourse - Xana, a demon that accompanies player all the way. She is one of my favorit companion, remembering how was changing my opinion about her from start to end of game, when you realised that she was not absolute evil, but still - the demon. I always liked that kind of companion when you dont know what going next: evil, not evil, good, not good. Something like this was in Divinity: Original Sin 2 with gods, or in Neverwinter Nights with Aribeth, well that the point: controversial character.

About races - whould like to see, some bestialy races, i think its great addition, having some "rare" companions make the jorney even more exotic. In Pathfinder you can take a kobold companion (not long), and goblin - that was nice expirience! In DOS2 cool lizard race, some kind of drakonids - wery proud and ambicious, really like them! In Mass Effect series you can fall in love with the alien races and there really good romances.

I like this kind of games for opportunities - the bigger, the better. Wanna be sneaky-peeky pinkhired orc-bastard with tiny knife? Ofcourse! Do you want to be the biggest and tallest in the party? Here - take a goblin, halfling and gnome with you! Liked this sssscales coldblooded lady? Well go and try, maybe she like you too! Or she will just eat you... How about building some kingdom of your own, mm? In DnD we play same way, it's all a matter of taste and having a choise is better part of game.

Sorry for mistakens, my english is not good. And sorry, not everything on the topic.

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Originally Posted by VikNG
First post, hay!

A little strange discussion of companions. I'll try to dilute it with my thoughts.

First run in BG3 i begin like a warlock with the fiend as patron. After first rest in camp and Karlach quest (and seeing portrait of Wyll ofcourse) i started thinking, that maybe, just maybe, the Larian Studios do some quest for classess and as warlock i will try save my soul in some devil mindgames with my patron... just like in "The Devil's Advocate" oh my! Ah, well, that was just another dream. But i remembered one very good game: Dark Messiah. And ofcourse - Xana, a demon that accompanies player all the way. She is one of my favorit companion, remembering how was changing my opinion about her from start to end of game, when you realised that she was not absolute evil, but still - the demon. I always liked that kind of companion when you dont know what going next: evil, not evil, good, not good. Something like this was in Divinity: Original Sin 2 with gods, or in Neverwinter Nights with Aribeth, well that the point: controversial character.

About races - whould like to see, some bestialy races, i think its great addition, having some "rare" companions make the jorney even more exotic. In Pathfinder you can take a kobold companion (not long), and goblin - that was nice expirience! In DOS2 cool lizard race, some kind of drakonids - wery proud and ambicious, really like them! In Mass Effect series you can fall in love with the alien races and there really good romances.

I like this kind of games for opportunities - the bigger, the better. Wanna be sneaky-peeky pinkhired orc-bastard with tiny knife? Ofcourse! Do you want to be the biggest and tallest in the party? Here - take a goblin, halfling and gnome with you! Liked this sssscales coldblooded lady? Well go and try, maybe she like you too! Or she will just eat you... How about building some kingdom of your own, mm? In DnD we play same way, it's all a matter of taste and having a choise is better part of game.

Sorry for mistakens, my english is not good. And sorry, not everything on the topic.
Welcome to the forum, you're certain more on topic than all this Tiefling talk wink

I like the idea of class specific companions but I've seen nothing to point in that direction, they seem to want you to see everybody in one go (even if you decline to travel with them)

I thought the Kobold's and Mites in Pathfinder were cute, but like all the just sentient creatures could become parts of some creepy storylines. D&D goblins aren't quite as stupid as those guys but I'm not how Larian would translate that into a PC character.

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Originally Posted by Argyle
I am not able to reconcile what D&D really means by "race", other than the tables of abilities in the player's handbook.

The basic biological taxonomy goes as follows:
kingdom,
phylum,
class,
order,
family,
genus, and
species

Then where do Tieflings branch away from humans? They seem to have a spinal cord, so the phylum "chordata" is the same. I would guess they could be considered mammals? But on the other hand, maybe they could actually be in a different class. Once again, the virtue of unknowing reveals itself.



The taxonomical classifications in Faerun do not reflect real life.

They are:

Humanoids: Any human-sized and vaguely human-shaped race.
Beasts: Non-sapient but naturally created creatures.
Aberrations: Tentacly creatures with crazy mind powers that usually come from other worlds.
Fey: Creatures from the Feywild.
Elemental: Elemental beings from the Elemental Planes.
Monstrosities: Usually magically created or otherwise freakish mutant things.
Fiends: Denizens of the lower planes.
Celestials: Denizens of the upper planes.
Dragons: Draconic creatures like dragons, wyverns, etc. For some reason kobolds and dragonborn don't count.

Probably more than I am missing.

Humans, gnomes, elves, etc are all humanoids. So are tabaxi, lizardfolk, tieflings, dragonborn, etc.

Some humanoids have ancestry that could classify then as something else but don't for mostly mechanical reasons. Dragonborn and kobolds are humanoids that are related to dragons. Tieflings are humanoids who are related to fiends. Shoot, elves are humanoids related to the Fey.

The concept of species is mostly meaningless in Faerun. Some races can breed true like humans, orcs, and elves while others cannot (to the best of my knowledge, I could be wrong) like dragonborn and lizardfolk. And even then with magic all things are possible. Dragons can breed true with basically anything with the use of polymorph.

Tieflings are the descendents of humans who made some blood pacts with devils for power. Thus the tieflings look like devils due to what their ancestors did but aren't actually bound to the Hells in any way, meaning they can be just as good or evil as anyone else.

On the other hand Yuan-Ti were humans who decided snakes were rad and went through some crazy rituals to become snake people. Part of this ritual involved killing their empathy for others, which is why their race is uniformly evil.

Both are new races that spun off from humanity due to magic shenanigans but their capacity for good is very different.

I hope this helps.

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I thought so


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Are Outsiders still a classification in 5e?


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Originally Posted by Dexai
Are Outsiders still a classification in 5e?


I don't recall the term cropping up. It's certainly not used as an actual monster classification in the rules.

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I think that the term 'Extraplanar' has somewhat taken that niche but D&D5e is, for some reason, less keen to have an overall label for creatures who originate from other than the Prime Material Plane.

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Originally Posted by Leuenherz
Originally Posted by Dexai
Are Outsiders still a classification in 5e?


I don't recall the term cropping up. It's certainly not used as an actual monster classification in the rules.


I've noticed it as well, anyone has an idea why it's the case? There are many instances where it's specified "fiends, celestials, fey, elementals" (like Abjure the Extraplanar). Would be much easier with just "Outsiders" and the creatures having appropriate tags (Abishai: Outsider - fiend (devil) or something like that).

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