Tiefling Skin Color

People love making Tieflings with all arrays of skin color. What do the rules say about that? And should you listen? Let’s scope out some infernal bloodlines.

Red Devils

The D&D Player’s Handbook has the following to say about Tiefling skin color:

“Their skin tones cover the full range of human coloration, but also include various shades of red.”

D&D Player’s Handbook, p. 42

Sure, devils are red. There’s plenty of classic examples, from the mighty Pit Fiend to the lowly Imp, or the lanky Chain Devil to the chonky Moloch.

We get an idea where this came from in Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide, which basically explains that Asmodeus took over all the Warlocks:

“Asmodeus and a coven of warlocks, the Toril Thirteen, performed a rite wherein the archdevil claimed all tieflings in the world as his own, cursing them to bear “the blood of Asmodeus .” This act marked all tieflings as “descendants” of the Lord of the Nine Hells, regardless of their true heritage, and changed them into creatures that resembled their supposed progenitor.”

Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide, p. 118

But, not every setting is Forgotten Realms.

Multicolor Tieflings

Who’s to say where your infernal bloodline comes from? Maybe Hellboy isn’t your aesthetic. Pick whatever color suits your concept! Your PC’s skin color has no impact on the mechanics of the game. Just be sure to work with your DM and the other players to make sure you’re in sync with the world.

Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide even contemplates Tieflings who are not the blood of Asmodeus. It suggests multiple alternative appearances, including “dark blue” skin:

Check out these infernal specimens for some inspiration:

Yellow: Bael

Green: Aminizu

Blue: Blue Abishai

Purple: Bearded Devil

White: Bone Devil

Black: Geryon

Gold: Merregon

Silver: Narzugon

These images are shared as part of unofficial fan content, to give players inspiration for their D&D characters. Please consider supporting us on the ThinkDM Patreon, where you can get original content, early releases, and personalized help on your own designs.

2 thoughts on “Tiefling Skin Color

  1. I find the weird, artificial limitations on tiefling culture frustrating. I’m playing with a DM who is very easy going, but I have played with folks who act like Tieflings are a true breeding race. Mine character is a drow-heritage tiefling so he’s got black skin and silver hair. I went with the Fierna heritage for the tiefling part. Since it’s based in Forgotten Realms I’m sticking with the whole Blood War thing, so he was outcast as a child because of the Devil ancestry and was never a part of Drow culture. I think it’s important if you play a tiefling to not lean entirely on the Infernal bloodline to define your character’s acculturation. I like how in Dimension 20’s “Fantasy High” campaign the tiefling is defined strongly by her elven heritage as well as her infernal background. To my mind, it’s one of the few games that handled it “realistically.”

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