I am planning on creating a tiefling build for an upcoming game and I am wondering if there is any feasible way for a level 5 tiefling cleric to permanently have an ivory white skin tone?

I've talked with my GM and in the end he will allow it, but we would both prefer to have something that is supported by the rules.

  • \$\begingroup\$ @munHunger Will the DM accept a disfigurement in a backstory as a rule-supported option? \$\endgroup\$ – SmugDoodleBug Dec 29 '19 at 22:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Dec 29 '19 at 23:53

The tiefling was born that way

According to the PHB, not all tieflings are red; quite the opposite, their skin might have "the full range of human coloration":

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

5e low-level magic can only change your appearance temporarily, so it would be easier for you as a player just to say you that you were with the ivory white skin tone (probably rare, but a possible case).

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    \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 - Albinism. \$\endgroup\$ – Lino Frank Ciaralli Dec 28 '19 at 14:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ I had already considered albinism/leucism and ruled them out because they cause other things such as sunlight sensitivity, eye discoloration, involuntary eye movements, and poor/blurred vision. Apologies, but it's not that simple \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Dec 28 '19 at 16:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 A common theme on this stack seems to be that the rules only do what they say they do, even if it violates common sense. While I'm not sure how much I enjoy that particular approach to reasoning, this may be a case where it's good for the player: they can have albino skin without otherwise suffering from albinism. \$\endgroup\$ – Nat Dec 29 '19 at 20:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 If you're in the Forgotten Realms, the answer is a definite "yes", since the Imaskari ethnicity are a thing. p. 111 of the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. \$\endgroup\$ – nick012000 Dec 29 '19 at 22:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ I have lived in western countries and can affirm that white skin does exist. Ivory is definitely not the palest shade of normal white skin. \$\endgroup\$ – gszavae Jan 6 at 4:30

The DnD world supports examples of various curses.

So your Tiefling could have came across a cursed artifact (either by stealing it, or receiving it, knowingly or not, as stolen property). It could have been a necklace, ring, knife, etc. Upon touching the object, it changed their skin tone as a punishment (to mark them as a thief).

Because the magic used has an anti-dispel effect, this is an in-game mechanic that would justify why it can't be easily removed: and thus why the tieflings skin color remains changed.

The game mechanics also support giving your character physical traits as part of a backstory. The official Basic Rules on Personality and Background states the following:

You choose your character’s age and the color of his or her hair, eyes, and skin. To add a touch of distinctiveness, you might want to give your character an unusual or memorable physical characteristic, such as a scar, a limp, or a tattoo.

So, explaining that your character is the victim of a purely cosmetic curse is legitimate, especially as it doesn't affect the core game mechanics.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ BTW, I think the quote's short enough that it doesn't matter too much either way, but the block-quote formatting (which you edited out in favor of using quotation marks instead) does help set the quoted text apart from your own writing and help it stand out slightly. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jan 5 at 19:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast Re-edited... :p \$\endgroup\$ – SmugDoodleBug Jan 6 at 4:21

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