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Dungeons & Dragons: Subclasses Perfect For Playing In A Western Setting

One of the more unique settings for a Dungeons & Dragons game is the wild west. The combination of adventure and magic of D&D, with chaos, ambitions, and lawlessness of western themes can create fun and memorable stories.

When creating characters for niche settings, choosing a class and subclass that fits the world can be challenging. But considering how many subclasses with different mechanics and flavors are available for players, you can always find what you are looking for.

10 Oath Of Conquest Paladin

In the era of discovering new lands, the rush for gold or other valuable materials, and surviving the harsh environments, those who have the strength and force of personality to lead, will come out on top. Paladins are great characters for doing that, and the oath of conquest can be a perfect fit for wild west settings.

Oath of Conquest's spells such as command and fear, and abilities such as conquering presence, make the paladin a fearsome leader, that can be role-played as a sheriff, the leader of an expedition, or any strong personality in such a world. You can interpret the features of the subclass in many ways, and create a fitting character for your western game.

9 Circle Of Wildfire Druid

In the search for gold and discovering rich mines, explosions and fire play a crucial role. Explosion experts can use their chemical know-how to solve these issues, but sometimes they might use the magical aspect of fire in a more unique way.

Circle of Wildfire druids manifest the power of fire to cast a variety of different spells, and they can even summon companions in the form of wildfire spirits. With the versatility that the druid class has on its own, this subclass can be a unique addition to your wild west adventures.

8 Wild Magic Sorcerer

The wild west is chaotic, and the combination of chaos and magic can have wonderfully devastating results. But Wild Magic sorcerers can channel this devastation into their magic, and create unexpected outcomes.

Unless your campaign is strictly low magic, the Wild Magic subclass, with feature such as tides of chaos that gives them advantage on their rolls, and wild magic surge that makes random events happen, can be a thematically fitting spell caster for western settings.

7 Hunter Conclave Ranger

When a bounty hunter steps into a town, criminals will cower and hide, and passersby will clear the streets to avoid getting caught in the crossfire. Bounty hunters are a staple of the western genre, and many classes and subclasses can be played as bounty hunters in D&D.

Rangers are experts in tracking and finding their target, and the Hunter Conclave subclass offers strong features to improve their combat capabilities. If your DM allows it, you can even replace your typical bow and arrow with firearms to fit the setting better.

6 Way Of Drunken Master Monk

Wild west towns and cities are known for their bars and saloons, and you can always find inebriated patrons spending their day resting in these places. But sometimes, among all the drunkards at the saloon, there's a master of martial arts, hiding in plain sight.

Way of Drunken Master is a flavorful and fun subclass for monks, and they can be the best subclass for playing in a western game. Their movements and fighting style imitates those of a drunk person in order to distract their opponents, and they get powerful features to help them in combat.

5 College Of Eloquence Bard

A talented entertainer, a persuasive negotiator, or an expert lawyer might all be different professions found in a western setting. But if you don't limit your bard character to only being a musician, this class can be portrayed as all of these professions, and even more.

The College of Eloquence subclass is one of the best options for playing bards that aren't necessarily musicians or entertainers. Their main skill is their silver tongue, and the subclass features perfectly incorporate this trait into the game.

4 Artillerist Artificer

Guns and firearms can play an important role in western settings, and those who have expertise in creating and using such weapons can fit in easily into such worlds. Artificers are one of those experts, and the Artillerist subclass can specialize in creating special weapons.

The subclass lets you create magical canons that can either attack your enemies with powerful magic projectiles or help your allies by giving them temporary hit points. Combined with the firearm proficiency that the artificer class gets by default, you can create a powerful character for your western game.

3 Thief Rogue

When lawlessness is rampant, people won't simply view bank robbers as thieves. They fear them, and might even respect them. In such a world, playing as a rogue can have a whole new feeling, and the Thief subclass can be the option that best suits this purpose.

In addition to the powerful class abilities, thieves get access to features such as Fast Hands which lets you use objects or make sleight of hand checks as a bonus action, and Second-Story work which improves your climbing speed and jumping distance.

2 Alchemist Artificer

The physician, or the "Doc", is another popular character trope in western settings. The concept of a smart healer who helps his fellow man in these harsh environments is fascinating, and playing as one can be a rewarding experience. But unlike most D&D games, a cleric doesn't really fit the role flavorwise.

This is when the Alchemist subclass comes in. Aesthetically and thematically, this subclass is the perfect healer for the wild west, and its features combined with the artificer spell list can prove to be a capable healer. This can be a great option for multiclassing with other martial classes to give you an edge in combat.

1 Gunslinger Fighter

When talking about westerns, the first thing that comes to mind is two gunslingers at sunrise, facing each other in an empty street, with their hands near their holsters, ready to duel to the end. While this Gunslinger subclass made by Matthew Mercer is not official, it is one of the most popular homebrew subclasses, it's fairly balanced, and a great fit for the wild west.

This fighter subclass is available on D&D Beyond. It has detailed statistics for different types of guns that you can create, and it offers many different cool and powerful abilities for your guns. If you ever get the chance to play in a western campaign, you should seriously consider this subclass.

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