Weird Western NPCs

Old Western Town by BLMcKinney

“Jammer J. Spellman for governor! What a joke! His illegitimate son disappeared after following some madwoman some weeks back, plus there’s some scandal over him giving the okay to try to lynch some wolf man over some caravan dispute. The howling varmint broke free and ran, making Spellman look like an idiot! He even gave the sad sack of a mayor a lick on the face, like something out of a satirical illustration book. The rear kissing heeler was never a good mayor, that’s for certain… and now he wants to be some provincial governor? HA! I hope his loss is a huge one. If not, that idiot will run the territories right into the ground.” – Garvin Fripp, disgruntled farmer

Lots of folks populate countless settlements, villages, boom towns, what have you. While the adventurers are trying to uncover all the mysteries of the west; lots of folks have plenty of other jobs to attend to. And beyond those expansive tracts, tons of folks live their day to day, dealing with all sorts of things. Few townsfolk know what the tribesfolk are up to, but it’s known they’re hard working and persevering all the same.

Author’s Note: Yes, I know. A lot of this is reposted material that’s slightly brushed up. But, I figure it’s getting time to wrap things up soon, at least for the weird west. I’m probably gonna continue to my gaslamp stuff in one way or another. I focused a bit too much on the west.  Also, I already posted a couple of NPCs in my previous post with the Gun-Mage and the Mad Scientist.  Check them out too!



Community defense, militia and vigilante types, mostly.  Anyone who can pick up a gun and fight off something with it counts as this.  A step above the average folk, by all means.

Medium humanoid (any race), any-alignment

Armor Class 12 (reinforced clothes)

Hit Points 22 (5d8)

Speed 30ft.

STR 10 (+1) DEX 12 (+1) CON 11 (+0) INT 11 (+0) WIS 13 (+1) CHA 10 (+0)

Senses passive Perception 11

Languages Common and one additional language

Challenge 1/4 (50 XP)

Reloading. After a revolver fires 6 shots, the gunfighter must use either a bonus action or action to reload its shots.


Revolver.  Ranged Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, range 60ft./120ft., one creature. Hit: 8 (2d6 + 1) piercing damage.


An expert with firearms, capable of dishing out all sorts of incredible damage against almost any foe.

Medium humanoid (any race), any-alignment

Armor Class 15 (leather armor)

Hit Points 38 (6d8+6)

Speed 30 ft.

STR 11 (+0), DEX 18 (+4), CON 13 (+1), INT 10 (+0), WIS 11 (+0), CHA 12 (+1)

Senses. Passive Perception 10

Languages. any one language (usually Common)

Challenge 3 (700 XP)

Point Blank Shooter. The Gunslinger does not get disadvantage for making a ranged attack with their gun while adjacent to an enemy.

Careful Shot. The Gunslinger gains advantage on a target within 30 ft. of them if there is no other target within 10 ft. of them.

Reloading. After a Revolver fires 6 shots, the gunslinger must use either a bonus action or action to reload its shots.


Multiattack. The Gunslinger may make up to 2 Revolver attacks.

Revolver. Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, range 60 ft./180 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d6 + 4) piercing damage.


VARIANT. Guns Akimbo.

  • Gain additional trait: Akimbo.  When you hit with an attack using the revolver, you may use a bonus action to attack with an off-hand revolver attack, adding its dexterity modifier to damage.  This can be used in between multiattack.
  • Increase Challenge. 4 (1,100 XP)


VARIANT. Rifleman.

  • Replace revolver with rifle
    • Rifle.  Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, range 120ft./600ft., one target.  Hit: 13 (2d8 + 4) piercing damage; Reload 2
    • Increase Careful shot range to 60ft. within 10ft.
  • Gain additional trait: Dead Eye.  Sight based Perception checks are made with advantage.




The no-good worst of the worst!  Any old gunfighter can cause issues with their weapons, an outlaw really knows how to bring hell with them too!

Medium humanoid (any race), any non-good alignment

Armor Class 14 (padded clothes)

Hit Points 39 (6d8+12)

Speed 30 ft.

STR 12 (+1), DEX 17 (+3), CON 14 (+2), INT 10 (+0), WIS 12 (+1), CHR 8 (-1)

Skills Intimidate +1, Perception +3

Senses Passive Perception 13

Languages any one language (usually Common)

Challenge 2 (450 XP)

Reloading. After a Revolver fires 6 shots, the gunslinger must use either a bonus action or action to reload its shots.

Tricky Shot. When the Outlaw hits with an attack, the target must make a Dexterity saving throw (DC 13) or fall prone.

This is a Stick Up! The Outlaw gets advantage on all Intimidate checks related to robbery and theft.  Alternatively, this could be granted to other relevant abilities.


Multiattack. The Outlaw may make up to 2 Revolver attacks.

Revolver. Ranged Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, range 60 ft./180 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (2d6+3) piercing damage.



Spiritual Shaman

Priests of the Olden Ways, Elementalists from distant empires, Kineticists from old world colleges, Oracles of the Spirits and more.  The shaman is capable of utilizing spirits against foes while protecting their own through incredible deeds.

Medium humanoid (any race), any alignment

Armor Class 11 (16 with barkskin)

Hit Points 60 (11d8 + 11)

Speed 30ft.

STR 12 (+1) DEX 13 (+1) CON 13 (+1) INT 12 (+1) WIS 18 (+4) CHA 11 (+0)

Skills Medicine +7, Religion +7, Perception +7

Damage Resistances. Acid, Cold, Fire, Lightning

Senses passive Perception 17

Languages Common, Druidic, two other languages

Challenge 5 (1,800 XP)

Balanced Mind.  The shaman is more apt at fighting off mental attacks and invaders than others.  It has advantage on all saves against enchantments, illusions and any manipulation of the mind; including from non-magical effects.

Charged Soul.  When the Spiritual Shaman is hit with a damage type it is resistant to, its next weapon attack is rolled with advantage.

Spellcasting.  The Shaman functions like a druid of 8th level.  Its casting stat is Wisdom (+7 to hit, DC 15).  It has the following modified spell list:

  • Cantrips (3 Cantrips): Druidcraft, Mold Earth, Poison Spray
  • 1st Level (4 Slots): Cure Wounds, Entangle, Ice Knife, Thunderwave
  • 2nd Level (3 Slots): Barkskin, Flame Blade, Warding Wind
  • 3rd Level (3 Slots): Call Lightning, Fireball, Sleet Storm
  • 4th Level (2 Slots): Elemental Bane, Vitriolic Sphere


Staff.  Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5ft., one target.  Hit: 4 (1d6 + 1) bludgeoning damage, 5 (1d8 + 1) bludgeoning damage if wielded with two hands.


Elemental Shielding.  When a creature attacks the shaman within 30ft. of it, the shaman may take a reaction to have the elemental auras strike back.  The target must succeed a (DC 15) Dexterity saving throw.  Upon failure, they take 5 (1d10) damage.  The damage type can be chosen a the time of the reaction and must be one of the damage types that the shaman is resistant to.


Variant: Medium

Mediums are spiritual minded psychics capable of contacting the dead.  Through seance rituals, they can breach the barriers between this world and the next.  Some get lost in the process, usually becoming possessed vessels for wretched things.

  • Replace Damage Resistances from the Shaman with the following:  cold, necrotic, poison, radiant
  • Replace Charge Soul with: Ritual Seance.  Upon dedicating one hour to set up, the medium may call out to a spirit in the great beyond.  The result of this could range from communication with the spirit for up to 1 hour (with the spirit’s cooperation) to an assault of supernatural force.  This works similarly to both Speak with Dead and Contact Other Plane.  However, spirit is summoned and bound during the ritual as well.
  • Replace Elemental Shielding with Ghastly Shielding, which applies to Cold, Force, Necrotic or Radiant damage types instead.
  • Alternate Spell List.  Replace the spiritual shaman spell list with the following:
    • Cantrips: Spare the Dying, Toll the Dead, Word of Radiance
    • 1st Level (4 Slots): Cure Wounds, Inflict Wounds, Protection from Evil and Good, Sanctuary
    • 2nd Level (3 Slots): Calm Emotions, Gentle Repose, Ghostly Armor (Barkskin reflavored)
    • 3rd Level (3 Slots): Clairvoyance, Erupting Earth, Speak with Dead
    • 4th Level (2 Slots): Divination, Shadow of Moil


Variant: Mentalist

Powerful psychics that are in-tune with mental occultism.  These powerful mind mages tend to hail from distance lands, practicing all sorts of esoteric philosophies and beliefs.  Some use arcane sciences to expand the mind, while others hold ancient secrets.

  • Replace Damage Resistances from the Shaman with the following:  force, lightning, psychic, thunder
  • Replace Charge Soul with: Psionic Power.  You’re capable of harnessing raw psychic power for your aid.  As an action, you may read the base thoughts of someone’s mind, if they’re within 60ft.  Any attempts to pry further will fail.  Furthermore, unwilling targets may attempt to succeed a (DC 15) Wisdom saving throw to block this out.  Furthermore, you may conjure a magical, invisible force capable of manipulating up to 10 lbs. worth of content.  This otherwise works like Mage Hand.
  • Replace Elemental Shielding with: Psychic Shielding, which applies to Force, Lightning, Psychic, and Thunder damage types instead.
  • Alternate Spell List.  Replace the spiritual shaman spell list with the following:
    • Cantrips: Minor Illusion, Sword Burst, Vicious Mockery
    • 1st Level (4 Slots): Charm Person, Dissonant Whispers, Magic Missile, Sleep
    • 2nd Level (3 Slots): Hold Person, Psionic Cloaking (Barkskin reflavored), Shatter
    • 3rd Level (3 Slots): Fly, Hypnotic Pattern, Thunder Step
    • 4th Level (2 Slots): Charm Monster, Phantasmal Killer



Variant Commoners – Townsfolk.

Remove Club weapon, except where relevant.  Otherwise, they make a 1 damage unarmed strike.  The DM may choose to grant these NPCs firearms, effectively raising the challenge to 1/8 or 1/4.  More exceptional townsfolk are likely to be variants of the Gunslinger and Outlaw, as written above.  Grant the Commoner NPC the following, depending on occupation:

  • Banker – Increase Intelligence and Wisdom to 12, add proficiency to all checks dealing with money.  The banker has double proficiency when dealing in checks that involve telling or money management.
  • Barber – Grant barber scissors, which can be used as a d4 piercing weapon.  Also, gain proficiency in checks relevant to fashion and styling.
  • Business Owner – Gain proficiency in up to two crafting tools, gain double proficiency when using Charisma or Intelligence for checks related to commerce or business management.
  • Butcher – Grant a 1d6 meat cleaver, proficient in weapon for both fighting and chopping meat.  Increase strength to 14.
  • Con Man – Gain proficiency in Deception and Performance.  The Con Man gains double proficiency while using it to sell a fraud service that they focus in, such as snake oil.
  • Cook – Gain double proficiency in cooking tools, as well as proficiency in nature and investigation checks involving food.
  • Courier – Gain Animal Handling and Acrobatics checks, may ride horses
  • Doctor – Gain double proficiency in Medicine and Investigation checks, increase Intelligence to 15 and Wisdom to 13.
  • Educator – Gain proficiency in Persuasion and History checks.
  • Gambler – Gain proficiency in Deception and Insight checks, increase charisma to 14.
  • Homesteader/Farmer – Gain double proficiency in all checks related to agriculture and survival in the wilderness.
  • Herder – Gain double proficiency in Animal Handling.
  • Lawman – Gain double proficiency in checks related to order and law.  Gain proficiency in Intimidation and Perception checks.
  • Manual Laborer – Increase Strength to 14, gain proficiency in Athletics.
  • Miner – Gain 1d6 piercing pickax, gain proficiency in Perception and Survival.
  • Pioneer – Gain proficiency in Nature, Perception and Survival.  Gain proficiency in various tool checks related to frontier exploration.
  • Politician –  Gain proficiency in Deception, Performance and Persuasion, grant one skill with double proficiency.  Increase charisma to 15.
  • Prostitute –  Increase charisma to 14, grant proficiency in Acrobatics, Performance and Persuasion.
  • Railroad Worker – Gain proficiency in checks related to the railroad and rail work, increase Strength to 13, give 1d6 hammer (1d8 with two hands).
  • Religious Leader – Grant double proficiency in Religion checks, and proficiency in History and Persuasion checks.  Increase Intelligence to 12, Charisma to 14.
  • Saloon Worker – Same as cook, but in relation to alcohol.
  • Smith – Grant double proficiency to a certain kind of crafting tools (such as blacksmithing, leather, gunsmithing, etc), grant proficiency to persuasion and insight.
  • Wood Worker – The wood worker has proficiency to any crafting check using tools to work with wood.  As an option, the DM may allow double proficiency for specific tasks (such as carpentry and cabinet making).



NPCs using existing sources:

Taking a hint from a previous post, here’s how to use a handful of NPCs for a western setting:

  • Arcane Researcher – Mage (Monster Manual, Page 348)
  • Death Cult Leader – Necromancer (Volo’s Guide to Monsters, Page 217)
  • Death Cultist/Death Cult Fanatic (Monster Manual, Page 346)
  • Divine Soldier – War Priest (Volo’s Guide to Monsters, Page 218)
  • Elder Shaman – Archdruid (Volo’s Guide to Monsters, Page 210)
  • Hitman – Assassin (Replace bow with compact rifle, 2d6 damage – Monster Manual, Page 344)
  • Master Bandit – Master Thief (modify with 2d6 piercing revolver, ignore reloading as well as long distance disadvantage, modify attacks to two per round – Volo’s Guide to Monsters, page 216)
  • Padre – Acolyte/Priest (Monster Manual, Page 342/348)
  • Psychic Master – Diviner (Volo’s Guide to Monsters, Page 213)
  • Tribal Archer – Archer (Volo’s Guide to Monsters, Page 210)
  • Tribal Fighter – Tribal Warrior (Monster Manual, Page 351)
  • Tribal Rage Warrior – Berserker (Monster Manual, Page 345)
  • Tribal Scout – Scout (replace sword with axe that deals slashing damage – Monster Manual, Page 350)
  • Tribal Shaman – Druid (Monster Manual, Page 347)
  • Veteran Gunslinger – Champion (modify with 2d8 piercing rifle, ignore reloading as well as long distance disadvantage – Volo’s Guide to Monsters, Page 212)
  • Warlock of The Spirits/Old Scratch/The Dreaming – Warlocks (Volo’s Guide to Monsters, Page 219 – 220)


IMAGE CREDIT: Old Western Town – BLMcKinney

Created by Doctor Necrotic, for Doctor Necrotic Media.  All rights and copyrights belong to respective owners.

Author: Doctor Necrotic

Hobbyist, amateur writer/screenwriter, wannabe-philosopher, music fan, history lover, cinemaphile, gamer, reviewer, and more. I'm a 30 year old hodgepodge of jobs and interests. My current projects on WordPress creating a wide variety of content for various tabletop roleplaying games, even showcasing published content here as well. When I have the time, I also create editorials and reviews spanning various bits of popular culture. I hope you take a moment to check my content out and maybe tell me what you think.

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