Last Updated on November 6, 2023
There are plenty of backgrounds, subclasses, and character options that you can adopt in D&D. Today, we’re looking at one of these options, the Marine Background.
Marine Background Quick Info
Skill Proficiencies: Athletics, Survival
Tool Proficiencies: Vehicles (Land and Water)
Equipment: A dagger that belonged to a fallen comrade, a folded rag emblazoned with the symbol of your ship or company, a set of traveler’s clothes, and a pouch containing 10gp
You can move twice the normal amount of time (up to 16 hours) each day before being subject to the effect of a forced march. Additionally, you can automatically find a safe route to land a boat on shore, provided such a route exists.
What Is the Marine Background in 5e?
The marine background is a sort of cross between the sailor and soldier backgrounds, providing the groundwork for a character who has experienced the hardships of war at sea. Such a backstory provides a lot of groundwork for building a character.
This Background Features a Hardship and 4 Characteristics. All of which we have tables for below.
Hardships Endured by Marines
Hardships are an important part of the marine background. Some event from your past has become a driving factor in your life. Whatever this hardship was, it helped to form your morals and many pieces of your personality that you still carry today.
The marine comes with a d6 table for hardships, which you can roll on below.
As you can see, these aren’t fully fleshed-out backstories. Instead, they provide some sort of big plot point that you can work to elaborate on if you want a more detailed character history.
You by no means are restricted to these options either. Knowing what we know about marines, there are a lot of terrible things they would have faced.
A hardship can also easily become a story beat that ties your character into the world around them if you let it.
Talk to your DM, and see if there are any ways you can connect the hardship you want to use with major story elements or world elements from the game you’re about to play.
On top of the backstory foundations, backgrounds also give us a set of characteristics to use in our roleplay. These can be extremely useful whenever we find ourselves in the midst of a difficult situation.
Let’s look at those suggested characteristics now.
The best part of these characteristics is that they can all be tied to your specific hardship. You get to decide why your character acts in the way that they do.
While backgrounds might not play a huge mechanical role in D&D 5e, they can have a large impact on your roleplaying if you let them.
With the marine, you can forge a character who’s endured a life of tough decisions at sea, and you can use that to guide you through the rest of your game.
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As a kid, I was often told to get my head out of the clouds and to stop living in a fantasy world. That never really jived with me, so I decided to make a living out of games, stories, and all sorts of fantastical works. Now, as an adult, I aspire to remind people that sometimes a little bit of fantasy is all you need when life gets to be too much.