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I am considering my next character to be a changeling with a tiefling parent. A child has a 50/50 chance of being either, when born to a human.

Is there existing lore where a changeling and tiefling have a changeling child?

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    \$\begingroup\$ And welcome to our stack! Please take the tour to learn more about us and how we operate. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Jan 1 '20 at 16:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ I've added the Eberron tag because changelings are not something from base 5e, they're from the Eberron campaign setting. They don't, by default, exist in Faerun, the "default" setting most D&D campaigns take place in, so Eberron lore is where you'll need to look. \$\endgroup\$ – Theik Jan 2 '20 at 8:23
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Yes

While this is not established in 5E, old lore often carries through from older editions if it is not superseded by new lore. So, the only book I'm aware of that talks about Changeling reproduction is the 3.5E book Races of Eberron. From there, we get the following...

Two changeling parents breed a changeling child. A changeling and a humanoid can mate to produce an offspring with the child having a 50% chance to be of either race.

-Page 45 (Emphasis Mine)

Your question noted that there's a 50/50 chance of getting a changeling if they mate with a human...but it's not just human. It's any humanoid. Changelings can reproduce with literally any creature with the Humanoid Type, and there is a 50/50 chance of getting a Changeling, or getting whatever the other parent was. And it is binary...you don't get, say, a Half-Changeling, Half-Bullywug.

Aside

It is, perhaps, worth noting that Planetouched (i.e. Tieflings) in 3.5E were not actually considered humanoid. They were 'Native Outsiders.' But they are Humanoids now, and it's not clear in Races of Eberron that this ruling was meant to exclude humanoid-but-not-really races like Planetouched.

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Yes, most probably

Tieflings have a human bloodline and Changelings have a human bloodline.

So, I have tried to answer your question as far as I can, taking information from D&D 5e sources including Eberron: Rising from the Last War (ERLW), the Player's Handbook (PHB), Xanathar's Guide to Everything (XGE), Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes (MTF) and the Monster Manual (MM).

There is no concrete answer to this, but I have made some conjectures based on 5e sources which I hope will be helpful.

First of all, there is nothing to suggest that a Changeling could not have a Tiefling parent. Tieflings "are derived from human bloodlines". (PHB, p. 42) You can read about 5e lore about Tieflings in the PHB in the section on races and in MTF under the chapter on The Blood War. Also, the subrace described in the PHB has a bloodline to Asmodeous; for other Tiefling sub-races, see the "Tiefling Subraces" section (MTF, p. 21-23).

Note: There is no lore in D&D 5e about 50/50 chance of being born a Changeling, so far. This comes from D&D 3.5.

In the lore so far for Eberron in D&D 5e, it is not explicitly said that Changelings themselves must have a human parent, but the human bloodline is strongly suggested in the opening legend (ERLW, p. 17) described by Chance, the changeling priest, where he talks about the woman, named Jes:

Long ago there was a woman named Jes, and she had one hundred children. Her rivals conspired against her and swore to kill her children. Jes begged the Sovereigns for help, but their only answer was the wind and rain. In the depths of her despair, a lonely traveler took her hand. "I will protect your children if they follow my path. Let them wander the world. They may be shunned and feared, but they will never be destroyed." Jes agreed, and the traveler gave her his cloak. When she draped it over her children, their old faces melted away and they could be whoever they wanted to be. And so it remains. Though the children are shunned by all, the gift of the Traveler protects them still.

In D&D 5e when text refers to men or women it generally refers to Humans. Otherwise, the text would refer to Jes as a female Dwarf, for example.

Given that Tieflings have a human bloodline and Changelings most likely, too, I do not see why a Changeling could not be born of a Tiefling parent. Who was the other parent? It could have been a Changeling or a human? Or, even another Tiefling with a Changeling in his/her ancestry?

As to the question whether a Changeling might be raised by a Tiefling parent, this is also hinted at in that "Some are orphans, raised by other races". (ERLW, p. 17) It does not specify which ones, so Tiefling parent/s would be fine. Obviously the DM has the final say on this.

While working on a backstory I would suggest establishing whether the Tiefling parent is Sedentary or Nomadic.

Growing up with a Tiefling parent who is sedentary might suggest that the family would have most likely but not necessarily grown up in a human settlement (PHB, p. 42-43):

Tieflings subsist in small minorities found mostly in human cities or towns. [...] Sometimes they live among other minority populations in enclaves where they are treated with more respect.

A Tiefling is likely to be keenly aware of oppression, segregation and prejudice in the world and might be, for this very reason, all the more protective of their Changeling child. For example, they may ask their child to take the form of another Tiefling so that they do not attract more attention. The Tiefling parent is likely to be over-protective as Tieflings generally "are not quick to trust" because (PHB, p. 43):

Lacking a homeland, tieflings know that they have to make their own way in the world and that they have to be strong to survive.

If the Tiefling parent is nomadic, the Changeling might find it easier to use their shape-shifting abilities to adapt to the lands in which they travel. The Changeling child could adopt various forms to suit their needs. The changeling's Shapechanger trait reads (ERLW, p. 18):

Shapechanger. As an action, you can change your appearance and your voice. You determine the specifics of the changes, including your coloration, hair length, and sex. You can also adjust your height and weight, but not so much that your size changes. You can make yourself appear as a member of another race, though none of your game statistics change. You can't duplicate the appearance of a creature you've never seen, and you must adopt a form that has the same basic arrangement of limbs that you have.

For a Changeling, maintaining their persona could mean the difference between life and death for themselves and/or their Tiefling mum or dad.

Changelings and Doppelgangers

In previous editions Changelings lore points to the inter-breeding between humans and doppelgangers. Interestingly in the D&D 5e Eberron campaign setting this notion is not quite the same:

Spawn of the Daelkyr (ERLW, p. 284):

Most of the aberrations on Eberron are the creations of the daelkyr. The daelkyr are masters of flesh-shaping, and they altered existing life forms—often beyond recognition—to create soldiers for their wars [...]

Doppelgangers (ERLW, p. 284):

The daelkyr Dyrrn the Corruptor enhanced the latent psychic abilities of changelings to develop doppelgangers, while implanting a desire to cause chaos in the communities around them.—even when there's no benefit in it for the doppelganger. Some doppelgangers, driven by visions from the daelkyr, can be found working with the Cults of the Dragon Below or fighting alongside aberrations in Khyber. Others operate alone.

In D&D 5e, outside of the Eberron campaign setting, the Doppelganger entry in the Monster Manual still includes the heading "Changelings" (MM, p. 82):

Changelings. Doppelgangers are too lazy or self-interested to raise their young. They assume attractive male forms and seduce women, leaving them to raise their progeny. A doppelganger child appears to be a normal member of its mother's species until it reaches adolescence, at which point it discovers its true nature and is driven to seek out its kind to join them.

But this is not to be confused with the actual Changeling race appearing in Eberron; it is merely a descriptor of their abilities, not a reference to the Eberron race.

In conclusion, given that both Tieflings and Changelings have a human bloodline and the lore so far in 5e, it would suggest that yes, a changeling be indeed be born from a Tiefling parent.

In the end, it is up to your DM to decide what story of origin or lore best suits the campaign.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I would also note that just because lore doesn't say you can't do something is not strong evidence that you can do something. 5E lore doesn't say that the Tarrasque cannot mate with a Gnoll...so just because 5E lore doesn't say that a Changeling cannot mate with a Tiefling and get a Changeling doesn't mean that they can. Lack of a negative does not mean a positive. \$\endgroup\$ – guildsbounty Jan 2 '20 at 17:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ This answer has been tidied up and the information is based on D&D 5e (not 3.5). A Tarrasque/Gnoll offspring is not the same as they do not share ancestry. Tieflings and Changelings have a human bloodline. Other than humans, it stands to reason that Half-Elves or Half-Orcs would also be able to parent a Changeling because of their own human ancestry. \$\endgroup\$ – Senmurv Jan 18 '20 at 8:13
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From the tiefling's point of view, No most likey. The tiefling (PHB) suggests/hints that a tiefling will always produce another tiefling.

... Their appearance and their nature are not their fault but the result of an ancient sin, for which they and their children and their children's children will always be held accountable. (PHB p.42)

and the table in Xanathar's suggests it can't happen, at all, but that table has flaws. It could be/have been humanoid i.s.o. human.

TIEFLING PARENTS d8 Parents

1 - 4 Both parents were humans, their infernal heritage dormant until you came along.

5 - 6 One parent was a tiefling and the other was a human.

7 One parent was a tiefling and the other was a devil.

8 One parent was a human and the other was a devil.

(XGtE p. 62)

numder 8 is wrong, that would be a Cambion or Half-fiend.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to answering on rpg.se please take the tour and if you look for further gauidance, then have a gander at the help center, happy gaming :) Please cite why number 8 would be wrong from proper source material to support your agrument. \$\endgroup\$ – Akixkisu Oct 8 '20 at 4:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ Does this account for any likelihood of changeling status? \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Oct 8 '20 at 4:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ What does "i.s.o." stand for? You should expand that acronym. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Oct 8 '20 at 11:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ The problem with the Teifling parentage chart in answer to this question is that is when we know the child is a teifling. You'd need the chart that shows the odds of teifling and a changeling to produce either a teifling or a changeling. In logical implication if we consider this p -> q, the chart starts at a particular q, and tells you the p's. We want to know if other q's are possible. \$\endgroup\$ – J. A. Streich Oct 8 '20 at 16:22

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