Wild West Setting for D&D 5e – Tribal Shaman NPC

I put together a 5th edition Gunfighter Class for player characters recently. I think it fits well into an 1870’s Wild West campaign that I’ve been working on. Wild West was one of the first homebrew settings that I put together when 5th edition came out in 2014. I had put together a Native American Warrior and a Wild West Outlaw, but since then I’ve needed to add a little more magic into the game.

GhostDancePaiuteTo add more magic, I’ve focused on a Tribal Shaman NPC for now, but I am also working on a Shaman Class for player characters that want to play Native Americans, and later a Scout that is an back country explorer that shares traits of the Ranger class. Also some magic items that would make sense for a Wild West campaign.

Using the Druid NPC as a basis and focusing on the Circle of Land (desert) to create a Wild West Tribal Shaman NPC. To correlate all of this from our world into the game, I picked the Southern Paiute Tribe for my Wild West campaign since I have the campaign occurring in the Colorado River Basin and Mojave Desert region. Also, the Southern Paiute have a rich and wonderful culture with a lot of information that is available. The Southern Paiute are a strong and powerful tribe, and are a great example for everyone on how to live within nature. The Southern Paiute tribal shamans are called puakantï (one who is characterized by spiritual power), and they were the spiritual leaders of the tribe.

P U A K A N T Ï (Tribal Shaman)

Medium humanoid, any alignment

Armor Class 11 (16 with barkskin)
Hit Points 27 (5d8 + 5)
Speed 30 ft.
11 (+0) 12 (+1) 13 (+1) 12 (+1) 16 (+3) 10 (+0)
Skills Medicine +6, Nature +4, Perception +6
Saving Throws Intelligence +4, Wisdom +6
Senses passive Perception 16
Languages Uto-Aztecan, English
Challenge 2 (450 XP)
Spellcasting. The Puakantï is a 5th-level spellcaster. His spellcasting ability is Wisdom (spell save DC 14, +6 to hit with spell attacks). He has the following druid spells prepared:
Cantrips (at will): druidcraft, guidance, shillelagh
1st level (4 slots): charm person, healing word, longstrider, speak with animals, thunderwave
2nd level (3 slots): animal messenger, barkskin, heat metal, pass without trace
3rd Level (2 slots): conjure animals, create food and water


Multiattack. The puakantï makes two melee attacks or two ranged attacks.
Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit (+6 to hit with shillelagh), reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 3 (1d6) bludgeoning damage, 4 (1d8) bludgeoning damage if wielded with two hands, or 6 (1d8 + 3) bludgeoning damage with shillelagh.
Longbow. Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, ranged 150/600 ft. , one target. Hit: 6 (1d8 + 1) piercing damage.
Wildshape. As an action, Puakantï can magically assume the shape of a 1/2 CR Creature for up to 2 hours. They can use this feature twice, and then regains expended uses after a short or long rest. The tribal shaman can revert to normal form by using a bonus action, or automatically if the new form falls unconscious, drops to 0 hp, or dies. Any excess damage carries over to his normal form.
Suggested creature for combat situations is the Black Bear:


Black Bear – CR 1/2

Medium beast, Puakantï’s alignment

Armor Class 11 (natural armor)
Hit Points 19 (3d8 + 6)
Speed 40 ft., climb 30 ft.

15 (+2) 10 (+0) 14 (+2) 12 (+1) 16 (+3) 10 (+0)

Skills Medicine +6, Nature +4, Perception +6
Saving Throws Intelligence +4, Wisdom +6
Senses Perception 16

Special Traits
  • Keen Smell: The bear has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on smell.
  • Multiattack: The bear makes two attacks: one with its bite and one with its claws.
  • Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d6 + 2) piercing damage.
  • Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (2d4 + 2) slashing damage.

Other animal forms: (0) Badger, Cat, Deer, Jackal, Lizard, Poisonous Snake, Rat, Scorpion, Spider (CR 1/8) Giant Rat, Mule, Pony, (CR 1/4) Boar, Draft Horse, Elk, Giant Badger, Giant Centipede, Giant Goat, Giant Lizard, Giant Poisonous Snake, Giant Wolf Spider, Riding Horse, Swarm of Rats, Wolf (CR 1/2) Swarm of Insects, Warhorse

Tribal Shamans

used appropriate words, objects and rituals to protect men from evil spirits – his role is that of opponent to the bad spirits and of guardian to the ordinary man. The role of the Shaman differs from tribe to tribe as there are some regional and tribal variations to their beliefs in Shamanism. There are, however, several common roles that are shared by every Shaman. A Shaman was a

healer, communicator, educator, prophet and mystic:
  • Communicator: The Tribal Shaman would give advice to the people of the tribe.
  • Educator: All of the traditions and wisdom was kept by the Shaman
  • Healer: Spiritual healing is as important as physical, and the Shaman had the ability to treat the sick against evil sprits.
  • Prophet: The Shaman had the ability to perform various forms of prophecy
  • Mystic:  The spirt world would speak to the Tribal Shaman by allowing him to leave the physical world and visiting the spirit world to find answers for the tribe.

There are many tribes that the Shaman led the other warriors into battle. This made the Shaman one of the most powerful and influential members of the tribe.







Amazon: Southern Paiutes: Legends, Lore, Language and Lineage


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