Tieflings: +2 Con, +2 Int

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So I was lamenting the lack of +Con, +Int races for warlocks (aside from the githzerai, whose appearance just really upsets me, are MM races, and total reflavoring makes DMs twitchy) and the perfect setup tieflings have for the fey pact, when suddenly it hit me.

This is ridiculous.

Here's why.

Arguments Against +Cha
  • Look at the tiefling characteristics list: cunning, disquieting,
    imposing, mysterious, proud, rebellious, self-reliant,
    sinister, sly, and unconventional. Basically, a race of arrogant, nasty schemers that make you nervous. Which of those traits suggests charismatic to you? Imposing? Dragonborn are noble and half-elves are charming, but the best side of a tiefling is they act like they're better then you. Which is odd, because...
  • Everyone hates tieflings. Everyone knows they're demonic, they look scary, they wrecked the dragonborn (a race portrayed as a bunch of honorable, noble samurai ronin), and their personalities probably leave a lot of bad impressions. Everybody loves half-elves and respects dragonborn, but tieflings are written with social prejudice in mind right off the bat.
  • Tieflings aren't pretty. Granted, Charisma is not just about looks, but usually it indicates strong, compelling personalities (tieflings might be strong, but compelling they ain't...unlike, for example, the darkly beautiful drow, who are evil but sexy about it) or overwhelming good looks or both. Tieflings don't win any nice guy or leadership awards...and they're not attractive, either, at least by racial standards. They're scary horn-headed demon-people with tails. In fact, the only race that logically MIGHT find them aesthetically pleasing, the dragonborn (horns and tails might not be such a turnoff?) are both the least likely to look for aesthetics in other races and the most likely to hate a tiefling on sight because, you know, Arkhosia is no more.


Arguments For +Con
  • Tieflings are not just the original warlocks, they're the original infernal pact warlocks. But they're not all that great at it. Their racial feat for +win to fire and fear powers is as useful for the multitude of fear keywords among star and fey pact powers and the handful of fire keywords among the same as it is for an infernal pact warlock. And most of an infernal pact warlock's powers target Fort, the strongest save, or Reflex, the second-strongest. That extra +2 Con means a lot to them. They can't really afford to skip it.
  • Tieflings have horns and tails and demonic blood and they're fire-resistant. It makes sense that they'd be tough, too.


Anybody else been scratching their heads trying to figure out what's up with +2 cha tieflings?
Tieflings aren't necessarily ugly, as most of their portrayals are quite handsome/pretty folk, they just have horns and tails. I mean, Satan is often portrayed as quite charming/charismatic/devious and is also portrayed generally with horns & a tail, so it's not like having horns + tail means that you will be unattractive in the case of, say, a person's face, and I think it is exemplified in the tiefling.

Now, and this will come off as harsh but it really isn't intended with mean-ness, but are you really seeing a problem with tieflings, or a problem with the race with the right flavor for your character idea doesn't have the optimal stats you were hoping for?
Your second two arguments against the CHA bonus seem to indicate to me that CHA in D&D doesn't mean what you think it means...

However, I tend to agree that there's no particular reason for them to have gotten a CHA bonus. I was ready for them to get +2 DEX, +2 INT, actually...

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Tieflings in third edition had a penalty to Charisma, because they were kind of shunned and aloof. I thought that their ancestry left plenty of room for high Charisma tieflings who manage to be socially adept in spite of their situation, or due to having a servant of Grazzt or Malcanthet as their ancestor.

It looks like fourth edition tieflings are supposed to be a bit of a subversive influence on society, maybe even existing as a testament to the power of infernal pacts.
I second this. In fact, I was looking forward to playing an infernal warlock tiefling right out the bat, but their stats being better for a faiwy warlock was a deal breaker for me.
Why would not having 20 Constitution be a deal-breaker? I mean, it's not even a negative modifier. People didn't avoid elven warriors in third edition because of -2 to Constitution.
I second this. In fact, I was looking forward to playing an infernal warlock tiefling right out the bat, but their stats being better for a faiwy warlock was a deal breaker for me.

Faiwy? I'm just stepping into 4E now, so would that be a joke referring to an Infernal Warlock?
Judging from the pictures we have of tieflings (large, inescapably obvious horns very striking nature, heavy, low-set, protruding brows, glowy evil eyes) I'd say having attractive faces isn't helping them out much. I can see the aristocratic features, but they just don't overcome their demonic element. I think most people would agree that those horns are hard to overlook.

Satan's charming, seductive protrayal and his goat-man protrayal almost never go together in literature or myth. If he wants to seduce, he skips the horns. Tieflings ought to have done the same. These are not small, cutesy horns that poke up through the hair (unless you say they are, but that's a departure from the PHB). These are massive, thick, twisted bony things.

The tail, additionally, is thick and hairless like a rat's. It's overlookable, probably, but it's a tail that specifically evokes an upsetting comparison.

I have a valid problem with the race. I think my arguments are sound. Their stats are not optimal for the character concept I was making when I realized the problem with tieflings, but that's okay: I'd still play a half-elf even if they had the con bonus. The mechanical concern is that they've gone to a lot of trouble to align these guys specifically with infernal pact warlocks, but they're not good at it. Their racial feat only just makes up the lack, in MOST cases (not all). And that's a feat. It's an annoying discrepancy, like if Dragonborn were squishy in gameplay.

My impression of Cha in DnD is that it's directly linked to strong, compelling personalities and/or striking, compelling physical appearance. Nymphs are high-cha creatures, but their force of personality has never been indicated as anything special. Fey tend to be strange and whimsical, though, so it's possible the opposite is true, even (I know they're not here yet, I'm going on the past - Charisma's definition hasn't changed much) Dragons are high-cha, and the epitome of strong personalities that compell weaker-willed beings. They're atypically beautiful creatures, and even if you just see them as big lizards, they're very striking big lizards. You don't look at a dragon and then ignore it.

What's your definition of Charisma in DnD?

Edit for the last poster: It's a cutesy way of saying "fairy", meaning fey pact. Which on the one hand is strange, terrible, and full of savage or maddening effects, but on the other hand all your power is given to you by the fairies. New age fairies are badass and all, read the Dresden Files if you want to see what kind of freaky-scary evil the Feywild can throw around, it's just...the word is hard to swallow for some of us.
Maybe +2 CHA was a way of saying that in general, tieflings don't get along real well with the outside world (distrusted, etc) but the adventurers who are tieflings already have a natural bent towards being trusted, etc. I dunno, it's a stretch...
Well if Dragons, huge winged fire-breathing lizards, can be given a Cha bonus for force of personality, I don't see why a race of horned aristocrats with demonic heritage can't have strong personalities as well.
Charisma represents force of personality, but it doesn't have to be the kind of force of personality which makes everyone like you - an overbearing person has a high Cha too, but they're not likely to be all that popular because of it. That's the sort of Charisma that tieflings have.

Ever seen the Britcom "Keeping Up Appearances"? Hyacinth Bucket is a perfect example of a high Charisma, unlikeable person.
Digressing a moment to stats for Tieflings, remember that they are fleshed out by more than just their attribute bonuses. Warlocks, and I guess infernal warlocks, are linked to devils, and devils pride themselves in scheming, lying, and manipulating. So while their attacks might be based off of con, alot of their other skills, especially social, are dependant on charisma. So, that +2 bluff you got, speaks to infernal more than any other. And +2 stealth is good for any warlock once you get shadow walk from out of the darkness or some area. Btw, take a look at the feat hellfire blood, +1 attack and damage (untyped I believe) to all powers with fire or fear keyword. There's a perfect representation of infernal blood.
Speculation Post

The reason they're better at the fey pact is because over the generations they've actively tried not to be good at the infernal pact. It's bad for business to constantly be associated with devils. Tends to make people a little prejudiced against you. Thus, they've stepped away from it as a species, and have fallen out of practice. The tieflings of old probably did have +2 Con, +2 Int, but that was back when they either embraced their infernal heritage more often, or it was simply more newly granted, so was more prevalent. They've tried hard over the generations to become better accepted, so pushed away their infernal heritage and worked on being more personable.
Who says that Tieflings are bad at being Infernal Warlocks? They can easily pick up Hellfire Blood to make up the attack bonus difference for a significant number of Infernal Pact powers.

Str 12
Con 16
Dex 8
Int 14
Wis 10
Cha 18

That's a very reasonable stat array for a Tiefling Infernal Pact Warlock. They can select freely from the Charisma-based attack powers and they'll be just as good at using many of the Infernal Pact powers. That freedom to select powers regardless of the attack attribute is a major bonus at the moment, because Warlock power selection isn't what it should be when you restrict yourself to just one attack stat.

The Warlock above will also qualify for Chain/Scale as soon as they hit paragon tier, when their AC is starting to drop off.
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Why would not having 20 Constitution be a deal-breaker? I mean, it's not even a negative modifier. People didn't avoid elven warriors in third edition because of -2 to Constitution.

Because elves didn't use Constitution for attack rolls.

Faiwy? I'm just stepping into 4E now, so would that be a joke referring to an Infernal Warlock?

Yes, I'm talking smack about fey warlocks. It wouldn't be hard for me to stomach, if, say... ELADRIN made ideal feylocks, or elves, or something. But I kinda expected tieflings to make good infernal warlocks, eladrin to make good fey warlocks, and I expect kobolds to make good sorcerers and dragonpact warlocks, etc.

Don't get me wrong, I'd play a tiefling paladin (lawl), warlord or wizard, not so much an infernalist.
dragonpact warlocks

This is the best ever. WotC, are you paying attention?! This man just won at having ideas you should be marketing.

Level 29 daily: summon dracolich?! (although summons so far are pretty restricted, I think your final attack power having a happy little list of fun things to do with it is pretty reasonable)

also, I quit this thread. There's a fair amount of opinions on both sides of the issue, so I guess it's not worth fighting over. I'll just homebrew for myself.
I didn't realize that the flavor of a race (what classes they favor) had to be reflected in the stat bonuses given. Is this something new?
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I suppose +2 con, +2 int wouldn't be unreasonable. At least... I can't think of any objections to it as a house rule, other than, for instance, "you're not the DM and the DM doesn't like it."
Because elves didn't use Constitution for attack rolls.

Fair enough. So maybe gnome monks would be a better example. Gnome monks, by the way, are awesome. Anyway, my point is that not having a bonus (but not having a penalty either) is no reason to avoid a character (especially since Charisma is good for stuff like diplomacy). I will type this in all lowercase letters here, and then go take out my undying rage at character optimization people on some virtual enemies: you do not have to have the maximum possible chance to hit somebody in order to have a solid character. Even now that DnD is a video game.
Even now that DnD is a video game.

It is? Where is the CD? I didn't get one with my books. Damn, I'll have to complain to WotC.
People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf. --George Orwell There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people. --Howard Zinn He who fights with monsters must take care lest he thereby become a monster. --Friedrich Nietzsche Devil\'s Brigade
Argument for +2 Con for Tieflings:

Cause then they can be good Infernal Warlocks

Argument against it:

They're not one of the hardier races. They get the +2 to Charisma because they are silver tongued, tricky, and somewhat manipulating. People don't quite -trust- them, but the Tiefling -knows- it and can -still- trick you out of your wallet.

3.x was the -oddity- in giving them a penalty to Charisma. The original 2nd edition Tieflings got a bonus to Charisma.
Edit for the last poster: It's a cutesy way of saying "fairy", meaning fey pact. Which on the one hand is strange, terrible, and full of savage or maddening effects, but on the other hand all your power is given to you by the fairies. New age fairies are badass and all, read the Dresden Files if you want to see what kind of freaky-scary evil the Feywild can throw around, it's just...the word is hard to swallow for some of us.

New age fairies are the cutesy butterfly-winged pixies you see in artwork. Tinkerbell is a new-age fairy. The Fey in 4E are traditional fairies. If you go back into your old Northern European and Gaelic folklore, you'll find that fairies were traditionally scary things, forces of nature with a will and intelligence beyond the understanding of humans. They were definitive monsters.

As to the charisma bonus, it's quite possible for a person to have something off-putting about them, that still makes them difficult to argue with or to turn down. Remember that 1) intimidation is based off of charisma -- as is lying (bluff), and 2) tieflings in 2E (where they were introduced) had a CHA bonus, while being described even more than in 4E as a widely-distrusted race.
Seems fine to me. Maybe take away the LLV to compensate a little for the change? They're humans anyway, so it's not farfetched to give them normal vision.
You don't understand what Charisma is.

Dragons are highly charismatic creatures, even chromatic dragons. As is the Christian Satan. Just because people don't like you doesn't mean you're not highly charismatic.
Name a crazy dictator. They probably had a hell of a Charisma score. For sure Hitler and Napoleon and Stalin. People hated them a lot. I bet Nero did too.
Heck in the 3.5 MM ghouls had a charisma bonus.
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I agree flavor wise they should probably have a con bonus but they are balanced against the special abilities they have, which are good, against the fact that they don't have a physical stat bonus. Remember, physical stat bonuses are generally concidered better than non physical ones. It would also be easy to change their racial power to con. But the fire resistance and low light vision are hard to beat.
Arguments For +Con
  • Tieflings are not just the original warlocks, they're the original infernal pact warlocks. But they're not all that great at it. Their racial feat for +win to fire and fear powers is as useful for the multitude of fear keywords among star and fey pact powers and the handful of fire keywords among the same as it is for an infernal pact warlock. And most of an infernal pact warlock's powers target Fort, the strongest save, or Reflex, the second-strongest. That extra +2 Con means a lot to them. They can't really afford to skip it.
  • Tieflings have horns and tails and demonic blood and they're fire-resistant. It makes sense that they'd be tough, too.


Anybody else been scratching their heads trying to figure out what's up with +2 cha tieflings?

I totally agree. I think that +2 Int +2 Con makes a lot more sense for the race of tieflings.


Half elves are another example of a race that has stat bonuses that don't make a lot of sense. None of the elf races get +2 con and none of them get +2 charisma, but because half elves are known for their ability to get along with both humans and elves, I can go along with +2 charisma. But +2 con makes little sense and it makes half elves less good at their traditional wizard class. I would have gone +2 intelligence, +2 charisma, or +2 wisdom/+2 charisma and then given them some extra ability to make up for the fact that they would not have stat bonuses that help with 2 different defenses.
I totally agree. I think that +2 Int +2 Con makes a lot more sense for the race of tieflings.


Half elves are another example of a race that has stat bonuses that don't make a lot of sense. None of the elf races get +2 con and none of them get +2 charisma, but because half elves are known for their ability to get along with both humans and elves, I can go along with +2 charisma. But +2 con makes little sense and it makes half elves less good at their traditional wizard class. I would have gone +2 intelligence, +2 charisma, or +2 wisdom/+2 charisma and then given them some extra ability to make up for the fact that they would not have stat bonuses that help with 2 different defenses.

The con comes from their hardy human background. Since they have human blood, their sturdier than their elven counterparts.
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I agree flavor wise they should probably have a con bonus but they are balanced against the special abilities they have, which are good, against the fact that they don't have a physical stat bonus. Remember, physical stat bonuses are generally concidered better than non physical ones. It would also be easy to change their racial power to con. But the fire resistance and low light vision are hard to beat.

(bolded emphasis mine)

Um, that was the case in 3.x, but it is much less true in 4e. With the classes set up to get many of their powers based on certain ability scores, all the scores are important to one class or another.
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Half elves are another example of a race that has stat bonuses that don't make a lot of sense. None of the elf races get +2 con and none of them get +2 charisma, but because half elves are known for their ability to get along with both humans and elves, I can go along with +2 charisma. But +2 con makes little sense and it makes half elves less good at their traditional wizard class. I would have gone +2 intelligence, +2 charisma, or +2 wisdom/+2 charisma and then given them some extra ability to make up for the fact that they would not have stat bonuses that help with 2 different defenses.

IMO Half-Elves get +2 Con due to two factors: being adaptable survivors like the PHB states, and hybrid vigor. Take a look at the Mongrelfolk from 3e or the Muls from Dark Sun for a good comparison.

Ultimately, half-elves are survivors, able to adapt to almost any situation.

IMO Half-Elves get +2 Con due to two factors: being adaptable survivors like the PHB states, and hybrid vigor. Take a look at the Mongrelfolk from 3e or the Muls from Dark Sun for a good comparison.

You just made my day by explaining the half-elf CON bonus to hybrid vigor.
You just made my day by explaining the half-elf CON bonus to hybrid vigor.

Glad I could make your day

I wish I could take credit for thinking of that, but I saw someone else suggest it a couple of weeks ago on the boards here, and it made sense. There is a pretty good parallel between 4e Half-Elves and the Mongrelfolk of 3e, in terms of being a hardy survivor hybrid race; that part I did think of myself.

Muls are simply a classic example of hybrid vigor, being tall as Humans and muscular as Dwarves, giving them a Str bonus where both parent races had none.
Not to be nit-picky, but Tieflings aren't Demonic, they're Infernal. Detail, I know, but still.

As for the Cha bonus, well, being pretty, trusted, and polite isn't what charisma is all about in 4e. It also covers your ability to subtly manipulate people. You don't pay someone you don't like a blatantly untrue compliment to be polite, you do it to be manipulative. Tieflings strike me as a type of, "power behind the throne," type. They're not good at charming everybody, granted, but they're good at finding that one person who's in good standing, and getting on their good side, so nobody can mess with them.

Working as intended, imo. Tieflings aren't meant to be reflavored Drow (who are naturally and intentionally good at being rogues, etc), they're meant to be trying to overcome, and at the same time maintain, a dark heritage.

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What I might suggest over changing the teifling bonus to con is to change which attribute the infernal powers use, although you might have the change which attribute the fey ones use to balance it out.
Tiefling Infernal Warlocks DO get +2 to con; it's called Hellfire Blood.
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my 2 cents . . .

it KILLS me how infernal warlocks, which, let's be honest, were tailor made for tieflings, do not fit hand in glove with tieflings. simply put, tieflings should be the best fit for infernal warlocks among the standard races.

mind you, i am not selfishly motivated by a single character development. i am talking about the concept tieflings and infernal warlocks.

stat changes
+2 con, +2 int is most appropriate, if only because the existing natural fit between tieflings and feylocks is just too maddening (seriously, this reason alone is compelling enough). if tielfings have horns and a tail, then why not an infernally stronger constitution, as well (maybe that is why their genes are dominant when mating with humans)?

skills changes
+2 bluff
this is not an unreasonable tiefling bonus, given the influence of devils, who are master manipulators, but i think that
+2 intimidate
is a more appropriate bonus because (i) tieflings descend from the leaders of the bael turath empire (see phb, "leaders of the human empire of bael turath" and "heirs of the surviving noble dynasties that ruled the empire"), so i see intimidation--which, by the way, is just as legitimate an aspect of manipulation as bluffing--more widely practiced by ruling tielfings than bluffing in the subjugation of the peoples of bael turath. also (ii) when you consider a typical first or early encounter between a tiefling and a human, for example, it is easier to envision the human being slightly more intimidated by the tielfing than slightly more duped by the tiefling. and that slightly easier ability to intimidate, by virtue of their appearance and their history, is something many tieflings would likely exploit in order to survive in a post-bael turath world.

additionally, the tielfings' bloodhunt racial feature would fit well with the use of the intimidation skill in combat. flavorwise, this could be seen as yet another way in which tielfings have an augmented power against bloodied foes.

+2 stealth
4E tieflings have nothing that is remarkably stealthy about them. they are not highly dexterous. instead, i think that
+2 arcana
is a more appropriate bonus because devils taught the tielfings the arcane ways of the infernal warlock (i highly recommend that everyone revisit the tielfing section of wizrds presents: races and classes).

in sum
in general, tielfings should be the best standard race for infernal warlocks. these changes would make them so.
I think most here are missing Viatos point, or IMHO what I believe Viatos is trying to point out. First he's not dissing the Tiefling, he's merely saying that as the original Warlocks, it should be natural that they should have the best abilities geared towards that, I think if they made Charisma the primay ability score for warlock powers, he wouldn't have an issue. I kinda agree with that point too since 3.5 Warlocks Charisma powered the DCs of their powers but Con does for some odd reason in 4e. Mind you I'm not against having a blaster with a 20 con score either. So Viatos this is what I recommend, since your chances of changing Wizards minds to make the Tieflings have a +2 to con instead of charisma, try going the other route. Try getting your DM to houserule like I do that Warlock powers be based off of the Charisma score instead of the Con score, you can show him proof of how it was done like that in 3.5 if that helps.
But also not that in the latest ampersand article with the Dark Pact Warlocks, dark pact powers primarily use charisma for the attack bonus not con, so you could also use that. Hope i helped.
i think i have an even simpler and less pervasively game altering house rule.

the diabolic sources of the infernal warlocks granted an additional boon to tieflings: tieflings may use charisma in place of constitution for all infernal warlock powers.

although it is out of 4E character for a feat, i would even be willing to charge a feat for this boon for tieflings only.
I've just been reading about the Spellplague and its effects on Faerun in the Dragon (?) articles, and was interested to note that for those living in Faerun, the Spellplague meant that casters of all "denominations" had to look to other sources for their magic. This weighs in on this debate, since although Tieflings were originally the product of an infernal pact, this is not necessarily the case now. In fact, Tieflings are almost as likely to go with other pacts as they are the infernal one. And again, Tieflings have about the same likelihood of becoming Warlocks as other races, since they are no longer bound to their ancient heritage (this is how I read it at least). So the +2 CHA is essentially unrelated.

As to the Half-Elf bonus to CON, I'm still not sure how that works, since having that bonus makes it more likely for them to be constitutionally strong than humans, of whom they are supposed to be descended from! Elven blood is thinner, human blood thicker, but merging the two bloodlines shouldn't make the mix stronger than the original, should it?
Like it was mentioned above. Hybrid vigor. That sort of thing happens in real life, so why not use it to explain half-elves.

Personally I don't think that the races need to be built optimally for what seems to be a class that might be common for them (because it by no means has to be, you could decide that generally, tieflings avoid it like the plague to escape the prejudice of their beginnings in your world if you so choose). Plus, because of some of the things that were put forth already, I think the Cha bonus suits them fine. As to it should being a Con bonus, I thought about this: They are descended from nobles and aristocrats and such. Last time I checked, these tend to NOT be people of sturdy stature or tough bodies or what not.