Dungeons & Dragons: 12 Best Subclasses For A Spelljammer Setting
After much waiting, one of the most beloved settings in all of Dungeons & Dragons history is about to arrive for 5th edition. Spelljammer is coming! At the time of writing, the setting is set to release with the addition of three books to the 5e archives: The Astral Adventurer’s Guide, Light of Xaryxis, and Boo’s Astral Menagerie.
What better way to experience the spacey flavor of spelljammer than with an appropriately relevant player character! As it just so happens, a handful of subclasses have already been printed that are perfect for the setting.
10 Fighter: Gunslinger / Psi Warrior
While Fighter may be the most basic class option in D&D, it also has some of the most imaginative subclasses in the game. The gunslinger class was originally designed by Matt Mercer and technically remains unofficial content – however, it does provide some very cool rules for using firearms, the existence of which makes complete sense in a setting where you're traveling through space.
If gunslinging isn't your fighting forte, there's also the psi warrior introduced in Tasha's Cauldron of Everything. These telekinetically powered champions use the power of their minds to strengthen their martial abilities with psionics. There is also precedent for many Githyanki, the ancient enemies of the mind flayers, to train as psi warriors, which makes this subclass especially well-placed for spelljamming adventures.
9 Barbarian: Path of Wild Magic
The path of wild magic is a perfect pair for the barbarian's rage class mechanic. With this path, each time a barbarian enters a rage, they also get the additional effect of a random magical ability.
Similar to the wizard's wild magic subclass, the origin of the barbarian's wild magic is hinted at being exposed to some strange supernatural phenomena. And, really, what better place for strange supernatural phenomena than the endless stars?
8 Warlock: The Great Old One
The GOO (Great Old One) warlock is a well-beloved subclass that comes all the way back from the original 5e player's handbook. As with all warlocks, the GOO spellcaster derives his or her powers from a patron.
The difference here is that the flavor of the patron is some kind of great old being that has shared with you its nigh-infinite knowledge. It would honestly be strange if a being so ancient didn't come from space, or at least know quite a bit about it. All hail space Cthulu.
7 Wizard: School of Divination
Wizards who focus on the school of divination concern themselves with the inner workings of fate, time, and space itself. Theirs is the work of attempting to make sense of the unintelligible, glimpse what cannot be seen, and foresee what futures may come. Couple this with the vast and incomprehensible nature of Wildspace, and you've got a match made in heaven.
Not to mention, the divination wizard is among the best subclasses in the game, thanks to its incredible class feature: portent. This ability lets you roll two d20s at the start of each day and substitute one of the results for any future roll. Did you see that coming?
6 Druid: Circle of Stars
It doesn't get much more on the nose than this. Wildspace is filled with stars, among other unspeakable things, so it only makes sense that a circle of stars druid would be right at home there. The circle of stars druid, like the divination wizard, is yet another incredibly good subclass. Druids have long been hailed as the kings of versatility when it comes to characters thanks to their ability to wild shape into a variety creatures as well as their unique access to many strange and situational spells.
As a circle of stars druid, this versatility kit is even further expounded upon thanks to the starry form feature, which allows you to choose between three incredible options: archer, chalice, and dragon. Archer provides a reliable bonus action attack, chalice allows you to heal yourself or an ally whenever you cast a spell, and dragon makes it nearly impossible to lose concentration on a spell.
5 Rogue: Soulknife
Similar to the psi warrior fighter, the soulknife rogue is another subclass that's frequently used by the gith in their eternal war against their own kind. The soulknife also draws its powers from psionics, using their mind as a literal weapon by forming psychic blades. These blades can be wielded in melee or thrown up to an impressive normal range of 60 feet.
Additionally, they always deal psychic damage, which is one of the best damage types in the game. As always, the rogue is also one of the best skill monkeys in the game, thanks to its access to expertise.
4 Ranger: Horizon Walker
As appears to be an unintentional subtheme of this list, the horizon walker is yet another of the best subclasses in the game. Arguably, it's the best Ranger subclass by a fair margin. In their short description in Xanathar's Guide to Everything, horizon walkers are said to be protectors of the planes.
They specifically exist in order to guard mortal realms from otherworldy influence by protecting areas where portals exist and chasing dangerous creatures who step through them back to the other side when necessary. In other words, the horizon walker is about as perfect as a fit as you're going to get for spelljamming.
3 Paladin: Oath Of The Watchers
Akin to the horizon walker, the oath of the watchers paladin guards mortal realms against the dangers of things from beyond. They are the ones who keep watch on that which cannot be seen: cosmic horrors from other planes, beyond the stars, and worse.
Among these paladin's tenets are the virtues of vigilance, loyalty, and discipline. After all, even a moment's weakness can be all it takes to lose in a fight against those who come from the far realms.
2 Sorcerer: Aberrant Mind / Clockwork Soul
As is the case with all battles, there are those who believe that fighting fire with fire is the only surefire way to claim victory. Enter the aberrant mind sorcerer. As opposed to pressing against what comes from the stars above, these brave sorcerers welcome alien influence into their minds, bodies, and souls, hoping to harness their weird powers. Appropriately, they gain access to a number of tentacle-based warlock spells as well as psionic powers.
Meanwhile, the clockwork soul sorcerers also harness their powers from a source beyond. One that may be even weirder than anything we've talked about so far. The plane of Mechanus is the central hub of all law and order across the realms. It is a plane constructed by literal clockwork and is the place the modrons call home. To these difficult-to-understand folk, the forces of good and evil are about as important as leaves dancing in the wind. Instead, the clockwork soul concerns themself with enforcing order across the universe for the betterment of all things. To them, the chaos caused by vile gods from ages long forgotten is anathema.
1 Cleric: Twilight Domain
The twilight cleric was released with Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. For those who haven’t heard about this subclass, the first thing you should know is that it’s very, very powerful. Some claim that the twilight cleric is so strong, it hardly leaves much reason to pick any other cleric subclass.
While this sentiment might be taking things a little too far, it's certainly something to consider if you're a power gamer. Twilight clerics are said to guide against the horrors of the night, transforming the fear of darkness and the unknown into understanding. What could possibly be darker and more unknown than the infinite stars of Wildspace?
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