Marine DnD 5E Background

Hello adventurers! Welcome to my spellbook and thank you so much for checking out the 34th episode of our background series. Now today we have a pretty unique one in store for us. In the way that not a lot of people are going to know about it. We’re going to be talking about the marine today.

The reason not a lot of people are going to know about it is it as it is one of the four backgrounds that was released in the ghosts of saltmarsh adventure module and for whatever reason every metric i’ve looked at puts ghosts saltmarsh towards one of the more one of the least popular adventures.

I’ve read through it one and half time i guess and i like it doesn’t really fit my particular style of dm’ing all that well but it’s not a bad module, so if you’ve any ideas on why that might be let me know in the below comment section.

In any case the marines pretty cool and i have no doubt that a handful of you will see it as being pretty noteworthy. Anyway, if you haven’t checked our dnd backgrounds basic rules full list yet and you would like to then please use the link to get all the updated backgrounds. In any case let’s move on to its description here.


Being the marine dnd background you had been trained for the sake of a battle on various sandy beaches and also on the rocky shores. Of course you have been launched the midnight raids from the swift ships those names evoke the terror in some of the hearts of your adversaries. Probably the water is your second home, the rain is your shelter, and also the crashing waves your battle cry.

So it sounds pretty damn sweet overall. What a sense of imagery, ghost of salt marsh is kind of written in this kind of a way so it makes sense within the confines of the adventure module but it really stands out in terms of a lot of the other descriptions. Maybe with the exception of the other ghosts of salt marsh and maybe even the haunted one from the curse of straw campaign. In any case let’s move on to its mechanics here.


Under skill proficiencies you will gain access to both athletics and survival which means this is one of the few backgrounds that offer athletics as a skill proficiency. I think we’ve covered three so far one of them is the athlete and i forget what the other one is off the top of my head. But its in the backgrounds home page (link given above) if you’re checking that page you’ll know which one it is.

Under tool proficiencies you’ll get vehicles of water and land which is super useful and something that a lot of dms don’t like to bring up but in any case there you go. You’re not really restricted by any vehicles as well i mean i guess air vehicles but not a lot of campaigns use them. But in any case let’s move on to some equipment here.

  • Skill Proficiencies: Athletics, Survival
  • Tool Proficiencies: Vehicles (land & water)
  • Languages: None
  • 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 belt pouch containing 10 gp

Under equipment you have a sentimental dagger one that maybe belonged to a fallen comrade, a folded emblazoned flag with the symbol of your ship or company, a set of traveler’s clothes and a belt pouch containing 10 gold piece. Which puts you in line with that average.

Very good stuff overall there’s just a lot of flavor you can pull from. Although mechanically it kind of does come down to the campaign when you’re talking about how viable this is. I think proficiency in water and land vehicles is super excellent but a lot of my campaigns involve traveling to far-off places so i don’t know mileage might vary depending on the campaign certainly worth talking with your DM about.

Now let’s move on to its feature here. Basically, this dnd Marine background has two types of features. We have explained them deeply you can read them now from the below mentioned lines. The first one is called steady and another one is hardship endured.

Feature: Steady

As per this feature you are able to move twice a normal amount of time (almost up to 16 hours) but each day before being subjected to an effect of the forced march (you can see this in “Travel Pace” in chapter 8 of the Player’s Handbook). So, in an addition, you can automatically find the safe route for landing the boat on the shore, provided such a route exists

You may also like to know about waterdhavian noble 5e background.

Now what is the forced march you may ask! Great question, not a lot of DMs are even aware this is a thing. Personally i’ve never had to use it before and i’m only loosely familiar with it. So it assumes that parties can travel up to eight hours a day. If you go past the eight hours a day mark though you start to run into some problems and that’s what forced marching is where you extend past eight hours.

So for every hour you go past eight hours, you make a constitution saving throw. The DC is 10+1 for each hour past eight hours and on a failed saving throw you suffer one level of exhaustion for fail. It’s really interesting because it comes down to what kind of a pace you’re going at.

So if you’re going at a fast pace you’re gonna be able to clock in at about four miles per hour, a normal pace is about three miles an hour and a slow pace is two miles an hour and they each have their individual penalties and bonuses.

We’re not going to get too too far into what movement is for a background article of course, but all you need to know is this could potentially save you from eating exhaustion, especially if you’re planning on traveling long distances which is really great.

And the ability to find a safe spot on a route is amazing. Notice how it doesn’t really say that you’re only safe from environmental effects. It basically just says you’re safe safe. Which is really great stuff, if you’re in a pirate themed campaign especially and you have to circumnavigate treacherous waters. Really interesting stuff, now let’s move on to it’s another feature and then its some suggested characteristics down there.

Feature: Hardship Endured

Of course the hardship is in your past has forged you into an unstoppable living weapon. Of course this hardship is more essential to you and mainly it is at the heart of the personal philosophy or else ethos which is frequently guides your actions. You can even roll on to the below mentioned table for determining this hardship or select one which best fits your character.

1You hid underwater to avoid detection by enemies and held your breath for an extremely long time. Just before you would have died, you had a revelation about your existence.
2You spent months enduring thirst, starvation, and torture at the hands of your enemy, but you never broke.
3You enabled the escape of your fellow soldiers, but at great cost to yourself. Some of your past comrades may think you're dead.
4No reasonable explanation can explain how you survived a particular battle. Every arrow and bolt missed you. You slew scores of enemies single-handedly and led your comrades to victory.
5For days, you hid in the bilge of an enemy ship, surviving on brackish water and foolhardy rats. At the right moment, you crept up to the deck and took over the ship on your own.
6You carried an injured marine for miles to avoid capture and death.

Suggested Characteristics Of Marine 5E Background

All the Marines backgrounds are looked up to by an other soldiers and also respected by their superiors. Of course they are almost veteran warriors those who could seldomly lose the composure on the battlefield.

The Marines those who leave the service tend to be working like the mercenaries, but of course their combat experience can also makes them excellent adventurers. Even though they are most self-reliant and also the marines tend to be operated some best in the groups, valuing the camaraderie and also the companionship of like-minded individuals.

Personality Traits

For the personality trait ” I speak rarely but mean every word i say.”

D8Personality Trait
1I speak rarely but mean every word I say.
2I laugh loudly and see the humor in stressful situations.
3I prefer to solve problems without violence, but I finish fights decisively.
4I enjoy being out in nature; poor weather never sours my mood.
5I am dependable.
6I am always working on some project or other.
7I become cantankerous and quiet in the rain.
8When the sea is within my sight, my mood is jovial and optimistic.


For the ideal “Teamwork. Success depends on cooperation and communication and that will put you towards the good alignment.”

1Teamwork: Success depends on cooperation and communication. (Good)
2Code: The marines' code provides a solution for every problem, and following it is imperative. (Lawful)
3Embracing: Life is messy. Throwing yourself into the worst of it is necessary to get the job done. (Chaotic)
4Might: The strong train so that they might rule those who are weak. (Evil)
5Bravery: To act when others quake in fear- this is the essence of the warrior. (Any)
6Perseverance: No injury or obstacle can turn me from my goal. (Any)


Under bond “I face the danger and evil to offset an unredeemable act in my past.” Which sets yourself up for redemption arcs which is always really good stuff.

1I face danger and evil to offset an unredeemable act in my past.
2I. Will. Finish. The. Job.
3I must set an example of hope for those who have given up.
4I'm searching for a fellow marine captured by an elusive enemy.
5Fear leads to tyranny, and both must be eradicated.
6My commander betrayed my unit, and I will have revenge.


Under flaw “I grow combative and unpredictable when i drink.” Which is just a pretty cool thing, if you’re once again in that pirate themed campaign and makes a lot of sense and would likely lead to some interesting altercations as your party kind of progressed through the story.

1I grow combative and unpredictable when I drink.
2I find civilian life difficult and struggle to say the right thing in social situations.
3My intensity can drive others away.
4I hold grudges and have difficulty forgiving others.
5I become irrational when innocent people are hurt.
6I sometimes stay up all night listening to the ghosts of my fallen enemies.

Let me know what you think in terms of the characteristics. The ghost of saltmasrsh has some pretty interesting ideas for them but i don’t know, i think there’s a lot of cool and interesting pirates throughout history you could kind of pull from if you needed to or even just look to the one piece franchise for any sense of inspiration there. In any case let’s move on to my personal thoughts.


I really like it overall, its description is really cool to the right person having that proficiency in athletics is great. The ability to be proficient and essentially most vehicles you’re going to run into throughout the campaign is super useful in its own right and a really neglected part of 5e in general i find. No one really talks about vehicles.

And under the feature it’s really good if you’re planning on covering long distances or if there’s any element of time being an urgent factor. Really good, and of course the ability to do it safely is even more important.


That being said, let me know what you think of the marine down beneath in the comment section. Be sure to mention any thoughts, questions, comments or concerns you have regarding it and of course drop any ideas, cool inspiration or stories of your own down there as well. That being said, i hope you all have a wonderful day and as always happy adventuring.

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