An army of skeletons marches through the jungle. Possessed by unnatural forces, the monsters race towards a nearby village. An owl watches them from the cover of an ancient oak.
The owl spreads its snow-white wings and glides gracefully to the forest floor. It lands and transforms into a tiefling. The tiefling raises her gnarled staff, calling on nature’s wrath to vanquish the defilers.
Playing a Tiefling Druid presents a great opportunity for those who love making off-the-wall characters. Cursed by Asmodeus, lord of the Nine Hells, tieflings are survivors and outcasts, traits that are perfect for playing the druid class.
Stats: Wisdom the Druid’s first priority, followed by Constitution and Dexterity.
Armor and Weapons: Typical choices include a scimitar, Leather armor and a wooden shield. Druids will not wear armor made of metal.
Offensive Actions: At low levels characters can rely on melee attack, spells, or Wild Shape. At higher level Druids can wield powerful offensive magic, or shapeshift into a grizzly bear or another fierce beast.
Defensive Actions: Druidic magic includes many defensive spells such as entangle and snare. Also the spells goodberry, cure wounds and healing word can be used to heal the party.
Subclass Decisions: Most characters will either join the circle of the moon, focusing on their Wild Shape abilities, or else join the circle of the land where they will hone their skills with nature magic.
How to Create a Tiefling Druid
The first thing to consider when making a tiefling druid is the character’s background. It can be helpful to ask yourself some questions about the person behind the character sheet.
Where did they come from? What are their goals and ambitions, and even their fears? Is the character a loner, or does your character have a vast social circle?
Think of some traits and characteristics you’d like your character to have. For example, maybe they’re oblivious in social situations, often failing to meet expectations. Players can get help creating backgrounds for their characters in the Player’s Handbook.
Making some decisions early on about a character’s personality gives them life, and keeps them from being merely a collection of statistics. While tieflings are known for following a wicked path, it’s not uncommon to see them exhibit neutral behavior.
Such a tiefling may be drawn to the call of nature and its promise of sublime power and eternal balance.
Born with powerful abilities, tieflings make excellent allies of the natural world. Often mistrustful, tieflings may find dealing with the elements easier than facing the harsh realities of many social situations. Life in the city can be as ruthless as the darkest forest or the deepest jungle.
Tieflings receive a bonus to their Intelligence and Charisma scores. Druids favor Wisdom and Constitution, so players are advised to prioritize those abilities. Wisdom is the most important ability for druids because their spells rely on it.
Tieflings may favor their Charisma, but druidic magic requires insight and perception more than anything. Dexterity will also be important, so players may want to put more points in this ability than in Constitution. Some will prefer to have more hit points, while others will want the benefits of greater speed and agility.
Tieflings are naturally intelligent and receive a +1 bonus to their Intelligence score. Intelligence is one of the druid’s saving throws, giving the tiefling an edge in this area.
Loners by nature, a tiefling might seek the druidic life for a number of reasons. Druids are often hermits, avoiding civilization and all its complications whenever possible, and tieflings usually face undue hardship within city walls due to their infernal bloodline.
Trained in the druidic arts, a tiefling could avoid these pressures and survive off the land, learning nature’s secrets.
Remember, there are no limitations to your character’s personality in 5e. Tieflings can be any alignment or class. Still, most tieflings end up on the dark side, choosing self-interest over empathy and gold over good.
Whatever path the tiefling chooses, these characters are usually chaotically aligned and will skirt rules in order to do what they feel is right.
Other backgrounds that are well suited for a tiefling druid include urchin or outlander. These both fit the experiences of the average tiefling. The haunted one background from the Curse of Strahd adventure is also a good choice.
With this background, the druid will be defined by a single, harrowing event that forever left its mark.
Gear and Other Supplies
All characters start the game with adventuring gear. At 1st level, druids have the option of either a wooden shield, or two simple weapons. Druids can wear Light or Medium armor.
This armor can not be made of metal as druids refuse to wear the stuff. For this reason, druids start with Leather armor.
As for weapons, druids have several choices. The classic druidic weapon is the scimitar, but players are free to choose other simple weapons, including daggers, spears, quarterstaffs, or slings.
Druids also begin with an Herbalism kit. Because druids consider nature sacred, they collect certain plants, using them to channel elemental magic and life-giving energy. A good druid will know how to use the local flora and fauna to her advantage.
Druidic magic involves tapping into the essence of the natural world, and bending it toward the will of the spellcaster. Druids rely on their Wisdom to unravel nature’s secrets.
High-level druids become so attuned to the elements, they seem almost one with the environment.
Because druids are a versatile class, the spells you choose will largely depend on the character’s role in the party. In a group with a fighter, a barbarian, and a ranger, a druid would make an excellent support character, serving as both the group’s healer and dedicated magic-user.
Spells like cure wounds, detect magic, entangle, and faerie fire will be a good choice for this type of druid.
However, if the party has a cleric, a wizard, or both, the druid’s role will shift toward the offensive. A druid in this party can focus on dealing damage with spells like thunderwave and call lightning because other characters will handle healing and utility magic.
Because tieflings are innate spellcasters, our druid will automatically learn a few additional spells. At first level, tieflings know the thaumaturgy cantrip. At level 3, they learn hellish rebuke. And at 5th level, the tiefling druid learns the darkness spell.
Playing a Tiefling Druid
Because of their infernal descent, tieflings are often forced to live outside the bounds of normal society. With their strange horns and long tails, these characters are used to drawing attention from local authorities, often running afoul of the law.
Druids are surprisingly flexible and able to fulfill many different roles. Druidic magic can twist nature to support the druid, offering spells that benefit the entire party, such as faerie fire or entangle. Druids also have access to the healing arts.
As for offense, druids learn Wild Shape at level 2, allowing them to shapeshift into beasts. By assuming Beast Shape, druids can gain the powers of a wolf, including its fangs and claws. Or by taking the shape of a boar, the druid can wield razor sharp tusks.
Choosing a Druid Circle
When druids reach level 2, they must choose a druid circle to identify with. Druid circles give your tiefling additional spells and abilities. There are many circles to choose from. Each offers its own path towards unlocking nature’s secrets.
The Player’s Handbook gives players a choice between two druid circles: the circle of the moon or the circle of the land. Other circles are available as well. These circles are highly secretive and cross all ties of nationality or kinship.
For a tiefling druid, choosing a circle will be a matter of style. Those who join the circle of the moon will extend their shapeshifting abilities beyond that of other druids. These druids can use the Wild Shape ability as a bonus action.
Other druids seek the mystic knowledge of the cosmos through nature’s wisdom. These druids share a sacred bond with the elements of nature, channeling them with all the force of a summer storm.
Druids who follow the circle of the land learn to harness the power of the earth itself through a deep commune with nature. By connecting directly with the land, druids in this circle gain access to additional magic.
Tiefling druids can take a variety of offensive actions, even at low levels. At level 1, druids know two cantrips and have two 1st level spell slots, meaning they can use magic offensively.
Alternatively, 1st-level druids can attack opponents with a weapon. Druids are proficient with a range of weapons, including daggers, clubs, sickles, spears, quarterstaffs, and javelins.