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7 Goth D&D Classes

Written By Rachael Conrad

Rachael Conrad is an award-winning indie bookseller with over a decade of experience in the industry. When she's not reading or writing Rachael can often be found exploring the woods and tide pools of Maine and discussing who the best Chris is (it's Pine, obviously). Her writing can be found in Tor/Reactor, Polygon, and Kirkus Reviews."

While the overarching themes of Dungeons & Dragons often include found family, good triumphing over evil, and—especially if you’re a bard—romancing your way out of a tricky situation, there are some who play the game with darkness in mind, and there are plenty of character classes waiting for them to try out. Similarly, not every campaign is a lighthearted one, or someone might want to dabble in bringing the dead back to life or practice magic gifted to them by an eldritch creature. 

Below you’ll find 7 of the most goth classes a player can pick for their Dungeons & Dragons character. 

Warlock: The Great Old One 

Warlocks, like most spell casters in the world of Dungeons & Dragons, seek out knowledge. But, unlike Wizards and Sorcerers, their knowledge comes from a patron who gifts their magical abilities to them instead of books or birthright. 

For a player who chooses the path of a Great Old One Warlock, that knowledge comes specifically from an entity beyond mortal comprehension (aka an eldritch being straight from the pages of an H.P. Lovecraft novel). 

Way of the Shadow Monk 

Not unlike Gloom Stalker Rangers and Soul Knife Rogue, Way of the Shadow Monks rely on stealth, deception, and darkness to defeat their enemies. In particular, Shadow Arts and Shadow Step come in handy for these sneakier monks. Shadow Arts allows a monk—typically not a magic user—to cast spells such as darkness, pass without a trace, and darkvision, all of which come in handy for a character who’s trying to not be noticed. Shadow Step is, frankly, extremely cool as it allows a Way of the Shadow Monk to teleport from one shadow to another. At higher levels, Cloak of Shadows allows a player to take things to the next level by turning their character invisible in dim light or darkness. 

Fallen Aasimar 

Descended from a celestial being or imbued with heavenly power for various reasons, an Aasimar stands out in an adventuring party because of their (often literally) angelic features and their feathered wings. That said, the Fallen Aasimar tread a slightly different path from their Protector and Scourge brethren. 

A Fallen Aasimar is an Aasimar who, at some point in their life, has been touched by darkness or turned evil. They are, when you break it down, truly a fallen angel. Their skeletal wings in particular make them stand out. Rather than the glorious feathers that an Aasimar typically has, theirs are flightless and often featherless with the purpose of scaring their enemies. 

Wizard: School of Necromancy 

While it’s a Grave Cleric’s job to make sure that the dead stay dead, a Necromancer wants nothing more than to bring the dead back to life. 

If you’re playing as a Wizard and choose School of Necromancy, you have the potential to become an expert in everything that has to do with death and undeath. At sixth level you add a spell called Animate Death to your spell book, which allows you to turn a pile of bones into a skeleton or a body into a zombie for a limited amount of time. Higher levels allow you to control any undead you stumble across, even those made by other wizards. 

Grave Cleric 

Clerics are, first and foremost, a connection between the gods and the mortal world. A cleric is often the healer in an adventuring party as well, someone who looks out for the characters hacking and slashing away at enemies and makes sure that they stay upright. 

It is a Grave Cleric’s job in particular to help put spirits to rest and to destroy undead wherever they might find them. At early levels a Grave Cleric can use Eyes of the Grave, which allows them to magically sense if any undead are present within a certain radius, and at higher levels they become a Keeper of Souls, which allows them to siphon vitality from a passing soul and use it to heal the living.  

Gloom Stalker Ranger 

In Dungeons & Dragons, Rangers are probably best known as characters who are at home exploring the far reaches of the world and all it has to offer. They’re natural explorers, and have favored terrain—ranging from grassy fields, to mountains, to deep forests—and enemies they are skilled at tracking down as a result of this. But a Gloom Stalker Ranger takes things a step further. 

Gloom Stalker Rangers exist and excel in the darkest places the world has to offer. While some might be afraid of what lurks in the shadows, they face it head on. At higher levels Gloom Stalkers can become one with the darkness they excel in when they gain Umbral Sight, a skill that means they are invisible in darkness, even to a creature with dark vision. And at higher levels still, Shadowy Dodge allows them to evade an attack by utilizing the shadows around them. 

Soulknife Rogue 

In the scale of goth Dungeons & Dragons classes, the Soulknife Rogue is definitely at the top of the list just based on name alone. 

Naturally stealthy, rogues (for the most part) have a tendency to stick to the shadows and are often experts in skills that allow them to be more tricksy, such as sleight of hand and deception. They even have a skill called sneak attack that allows them to deal extra damage while their opponent is distracted. The Soulknife Rogue—beyond having an incredibly metal name—are gifted with a psionic power that means they can penetrate an opponent’s mind or even unlock a door without the use of thieves’ tools.