DnD 5E Fisher Background

Hello adventurers! Welcome to my spellbook and thank you so much for checking out the 20th episode of our background series. If you would like to check out the series in its entirety please free to check out the full page where all the dnd 5e backgrounds explained. In any case let’s talk about the fisher 5e background in dnd. So the fisher is one of the four backgrounds added into 5e through the ghosts of salt marsh release.

Overall it’s an okay adventurer module, i don’t think it’s all that popular though most dungeon masters i’ve spoken with don’t have it but i don’t know it seems to be written fine. But overall it offers fours backgrounds and to the best of my knowledge not a lot of people know about them. So this should be pretty cool. The fisher in particular is one of my favorites. In any case let’s dive into its description here.


You have bee spent your life aboard either fishing vessels or combing the shallows for the sake of bounty of ocean. Probably, you’re born into the family of a fisher folk and working with your kin in order to feed your village.

Of course maybe a job was a means to an end – so a way out of an undesirable circumstance which is forced you for taking up life aboard a ship. Even though regardless of how you have started and you soon fell in love with a sea, and also the art of fishing, the promise of an eternal horizon.

Very cool stuff, long story short you like the ocean pretty cool stuff, however you want to spin that is up to you. Now let’s take a look at its mechanics.


Under skill proficiencies you gain access to both history and survival which are both incredibly useful in campaigns you’re going to be the wilderness a lot. Under languages you get one of your choice. And under equipment you get fishing tackle, net, a favorite fishing lure or oiled leather wading boots, a set of traveler’s clothes, and a belt pouch containing 10 gold piece.

  • Skill Proficiencies: History, Survival
  • Languages: One of your choice
  • Equipment: Fishing tackle, a net, a favorite fishing lure or oiled leather wading boots, a set of traveler’s clothes, and a belt pouch containing 10 gp.

In terms of just a quick commentary on this i would assume that any phishing checks would just be survival checks just to clear that up. I’m sure there’s some official reading on it but that makes logical sense. Now let’s take a quick look at its feature here or its official feature has another kind of sort of feature but we will start with this one and then check out the other one in a bit. So its official feature is harvest the water.

Feature: Harvest the Water

The ability checks which are made by using the fishing tackle were gain an advantage. But if you’ve an access for a body of water which sustains a marine life, even you can maintain the moderate lifestyle during working like a fisher, and also you can even catch enough food for feeding yourself and even up to ten other people each of the day.

Which is super awesome if you’re on a seafaring campaign or just anything you do with wilderness whatsoever completely removes that need for food and well i guess technically you can just keep spamming good berry over and over again. I would assume that this would be much more filling and in general a much preferred option.

Now let’s take a look at its secondary feature. This is an interesting one because although it’s not officially a feature it’s worth going over nonetheless. This one is called fishing tale.

Fishing Tale

You can tell the compelling tale, however whether a tall or true, for impressing and even entertain others. So, once a day, you have a chance to tell your story in order to willing listeners. At a DM’s discretion and a number of those listeners shall become friendly towards you; any how this is not a magical effect, and it is continued amicability on their part which depends upon your actions.

Now it might be worth noting that the book does offer quite a few suggestions on what your tale might be and it does so using a d8 table. Some of them are like kind of meh but some of them are freaking hilarious. There’s one called ghost fish and it reads you are haunted by a ghostly fish that only you can see.

Now i just love the idea 🙂 of this character rolling poorly on an investigation or a perception check and describing the scene really clearly and vividly at fist and then saying something to the effect of, but just as you start to be able to clearly see the scene before you, you see a movement out of the corner of your eye is it could it be it’s the ghost fish and then occupies your vision and distracts you as a quake and fear as it swims towards you unimpeded by objects or the air itself. I don’t know you can just really go ham with it. I think it’s a really funny idea.

Even though, you can roll on the below mentioned table in order to help determine a theme of your tale or select one that best fits your character. So, alternatively work with your DM for creating your own fishing tale.

1Lobster Wrestling: You fought in hand-to-hand combat with an immense lobster.
2It Dragged the Boat: You nearly caught a fish of monstrous size that pulled your boat for miles.
3Fins of Pure Gold: You caught a sea animal whose fins were made of pure gold, but another fisher stole it.
4Ghost Fish: You are haunted by a ghostly fish that only you can see.
5Nemesis Clam: A large clam containing a pearl the size of your head claimed one of your fingers before jetting away; one day, you'll find that clam.
6It Swallowed the Sun: You once saw a fish leap from the water and turn day into night.
7Dive into the Abyss: You found yourself in an underwater cave leading to the Abyss, and your luck has been sour ever since.
8Love Story: You fell in love with a creature of pure water, but your brief romance ended tragically.

There’s another one called nemesis clam and it is as followed: A large clam containing a pearl the size of your head claimed one of your fingers before jetting away, one day you’ll find that clam. I just think it’s all hilarious, i think it’s great stuff.

In any case that’s kind of the secondary trait, basically you can tell a story once per day and group of individuals will be favorable towards you at the end of it. Really nice stuff overall. The two features in general i find are quite fun and useful in their own right. Now let’s quickly take a look at some suggested characteristics here.

Suggested Characteristics

As per this dnd 5e fisher background all the fishers are succeeded only if they do spend time at their specific jobs. Like, most of the fishers have a strong work ethic, and even they admire the others those who earn their living be honestly.

However the fishers are tend to be superstitious and forming attachments for particular fishing lures or else special fishing spots. Even though they do have a connection for their bodies of water in which they fish and also they would think poorly of those whose actions are adversely affect their livelihood.

Personality Trait

For the personality trait i went with “I laugh heartily, feel deeply and fear nothing except the ghost fish.”

d8Personality Trait
1I am unmoved by the wrath of nature.
2My friends are my crew; we sink or float together.
3I need long stretches of quiet to clear my head.
4Rich folk don't know the satisfaction of hard work.
5I laugh heartily, feel deeply, and fear nothing.
6I work hard; nature offers no handouts.
7I dislike bargaining; state your price and mean it.
8Luck favors me, and I take risks others might not.


“Hard work. No wave can move a soul hard at work and that applies to really any alignment.”

1Camaraderie: Good people make even the longest voyage bearable. (Good)
2Luck: Our luck depends on respecting its rules—now throw this salt over your shoulder. (Lawful)
3Daring: The richest bounty goes to those who risk everything. (Chaotic)
4Plunder: Take all that you can and leave nothing for the scavengers. (Evil)
5Balance: Do not fish the same spot twice in a row; suppress your greed, and nature will reward you. (Neutral)
6Hard Work: No wave can move a soul hard at work. (Any)


“The gods saved me during a terrible storm, and i will honor their gift just some sense of gratitude.”

1I lost something important in the deep sea, and I intend to find it.
2Someone else's greed destroyed my livelihood, and I will be compensated.
3I will fish the many famous waters of this land.
4The gods saved me during a terrible storm, and I will honor their gift.
5My destiny awaits me at the bottom of a particular pond in the Feywild.
6I must repay my village's debt.


Under flaw “I work hard, but i play harder.”

1I am judgmental, especially of those I deem homebodies or otherwise lazy.
2I become depressed and anxious if I'm away from the sea too long.
3I have lived a hard life and find it difficult to empathize with others.
4I am inclined to tell long-winded stories at inopportune times.
5I work hard, but I play harder.
6I am obsessed with catching an elusive aquatic beast, often to the detriment of other pursuits.

I do think these are relatively fine traits to have. For just a simple fisherman and maybe thrown into the thralls and adventuring through one misfortune or another or however you want to spin it. Now let’s get to my personal thoughts on fisher.


I really do like this background, i think it works pretty good with most parties there’s really nice synergy in terms of both survivability as well as social interactions and it likely scales pretty good as well. The food is limited by the size of creature which is quite nice and the fishing tale doesn’t have a DC or anything like that attached to it.

So it’s pretty safe to assume it’ll only get better with time or at the very least always remain just as relevant as it is at level one. Outside of that i don’t know, the only real downside to this is i couldn’t imagine the role play opportunities are intrinsically good just based off of the background.

So there’s a little bit more onus on the character to kind of try and liven up their character and put some more soul into them because this background really doesn’t do a forum like a lot of the other backgrounds we’ve discussed up until this point.

That being said, it’s quite well done overall it might actually be the best of the ghost of salt marsh backgrounds at least as far as i can tell. I really like the ghost fish idea, i think it’s so gosh darn hilarious.


That being said, let me know what you think of fisher down beneath in the comment section. Be sure to mention any thoughts, questions, comments or concerns you may have regarding it. That being said, i hope all of you have a great day and as always happy adventuring my friends.

Leave a Comment