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So my son has decided to play a Tiefling Sorcerer with the Draconic bloodline class feature. Although our Encounters DM shrugged her shoulders when asked and he's already played two sessions with him. Aren't those choices rather antithetical?

I can't find anything that specifically disallows it, but it sounds really edgy to me.

Does anyone know if there is a ruling on this anywhere? I won't spoil his fun if the DM allows it, but I was surprised when she did.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ By "our Encounters DM", did you mean Adventurers League organized play? \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Dec 9 '19 at 9:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ Just a comment on this part: "but it sounds really edgy to me" - that may well be the case, but whether or not it sounds or even is objectively (if there is such a thing) "edgy" is very much besides the point on whether or not it's allowed. Keep in mind that many class options, backgrounds and such actively encourage "edgy" characters. Edgy isn't bad. It's a good fit for some players and some campaigns. Less so for others of course, but the rules make no judgement about what you should or shouldn't like or dislike. \$\endgroup\$
    – Cubic
    Dec 12 '20 at 16:24
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There are no rules that prevent this. Furthermore, there's no in-fiction reason that would prevent a DM from having a world where this is possible.

In most fictional worlds, as in the real one, one person is the product of many bloodlines:

The family tree of Sigmund Christoph von Waldburg-Zeil-Trauchburg, used as an example, showing five generations and the diversity of dynasties (aka "bloodlines") in the ancestry of this one person.
Public domain image (source). Click to enlarge.

A Tiefling has at least one bloodline that is derived from an infernal. A sorcerer with a draconic bloodline, similarly, has at least one bloodline that is derived from dragons. A given Tiefling sorcerer could easily have both (as well as a bunch of others that are normal and human).

Of course, a given DM's world may make this combination impossible; it might be that, in their particular setting, dragons' blood and infernal blood are antithetical somehow and any such combination is non-viable, or something else with a similar end result of making the combination impossible. DMs are given a lot of explicit latitude in the DMG to create worlds with such details that may impact certain player character–creation choices. But if your DM shrugged and proceeded, then they haven't ruled it out and neither has the game.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Once again, SSD beat me to the punch with an answer :p Here's what I was adding: From a quick search, it appears that it is while not common, it is not rare. The reasoning that I found was taken from the 3.5 edition book. Fiends can breed with anything except celestials, and dragons really have no restrictions. Teiflings are descended from fiends, and dragonborn from dragons, so it is not unreasonable to have a draconic heritage somewhere in a tiefling family. \$\endgroup\$
    – JohnP
    Jan 16 '15 at 16:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JohnP 3.5 dragonborn are not (generally) descended from dragons, they engage in a special ritual to become dragonborn. I suppose someone with draconic ancestry could also do the ritual and become dragonborn, but that's not typical. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Jan 16 '15 at 16:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ SSD and John, thank you for your responses. I suppose I should clarify the source of my consternation. Although Dragonborn and Dragon bloodline is not the same thing, they both indeed DO say that there is dragon ancestry for both. The first Dragonborn came from a dragon's egg, and dragon bloodlines come from claiming dragon parentage at some point in the past (yes it also mentions perhaps a pact with a dragon, but you still have to claim ancestry). In the dragonborn entry in the PHB, the reaction to Tiefling is "supernatural fear". That is the basis of my wondering whether this choice is valid \$\endgroup\$
    – Escoce
    Jan 16 '15 at 17:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ It does not guarantee that this reaction is absolute or universal, and not all with dragon blood would necessarily be dragonborn, just as not everyone with an infernal heritage would show the traits of a tiefling. After many generations of breeding with humans, the blood can dilute, for examples. Dragonborn don't look like Half-Dragons, after all. \$\endgroup\$
    – Aviose
    Jan 16 '15 at 18:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Escoce The "supernatural fear" line comes from the sidebar on p 33, right? That refers to how everybody sees the uncommon races, not just Dragonborn (you'll notice none of the other uncommon races have this sidebar), so RAW there's no specific friction between Tieflings and Dragonborn. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 16 '15 at 19:22
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Draconic Bloodline

your innate magic comes from draconic magic that was mingled with your blood or that of your ancestors. Most often, sorcerors with this origin trace their descent back to a mighty sorceror of ancient times who made a bargain with a dragon or who might have even claimed a dragon parent

(emphasis mine)

being a sorceror of Draconic bloodline does not necessarily mean that you are in any way descended from dragons. a Tiefling is just as capable of making a bargain with dragons as any other race and as such their descendants are just as capable of becoming Draconic bloodline sorcerors as any other.

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What about diabolic dragons?

As other answers have explained, a character could easily have both diabolic and draconic ancestry from different ancestral lines. But a character can also have diabolic and draconic ancestry from the same line.

Abishai for 5th edition are found in Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes and are antagonists in Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus. (I am currently playing in the latter and so am not currently at liberty to offer quotes from it, but can amend this post later once I have completed the module if someone else does not offer a more complete post.)

Abishai are draconic devils. They have the creature type of Fiend (Devil) and speak Infernal, and have all of the resistances of lesser devils. But they also speak Draconic, are physically like humanoid dragons (with wings and claw / bite attacks). They come in five colors to match the five types of evil dragons and have immunity to one damage type that matches their color. They are followers and worshippers of Tiamat, a great diabolic dragon who was once the ruler of Avernus, the first layer of the Hells.

All of the above features I have learned as a player in the Baldur's Gate module. I don't know whether their lore explains whether they are diabolic dragons or draconic devils, and I don't know whether it is possible for them to sire children with humanoids, and whether such children would be considered to have both draconic and Infernal bloodlines. But it is not a great stretch to make it so for any DM so inclined. Thus it would be possible for someone with a single Abishai ancestor to be a Tiefling sorcerer with the Dragonic bloodline. Or, for that matter, a Dragonborn sorcerer with the Infernal bloodline.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Good point about Abishai. An Abishai ancestor, or an ancestor who made a pact with an Abishai or even Tiamat herself, could absolutely lead to a tiefling with draconic bloodline. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 13 '20 at 16:10
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Well, given of all of the lore that I have read, dragons can interbreed with almost any species, even an Infernal(Devils) or Celestial(Angel). so if an infernal can mix DNA with a Human and dragon. then I don't see any restrictions.

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    \$\begingroup\$ It would be helpful if you could add some citations and references regarding the lore you've read. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 9 '19 at 5:28

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