Sage Background D&D 5E

Hello adventurers! Welcome to my spellbook and thank you so much for checking out the 43rd episode of our background series. Today from this article we are going to be talking about sage. This is found in the player’s handbook and is pretty good overall at least relative to a lot of the other player’s handbook. It is replaced by one of the ravnican backgrounds but we’ll get into that one a little bit later on in this dnd backgrounds 5e series here.

By the way if you haven’t checked out our other backgrounds yet and you’d like to check all out then please do visit the home page. In any case let’s dive into the sage by first checking out its description.


As per so many dnd 5e backgrounds you’ve learned so many aspects as a Sage Background 5E by spending so many years in learning the lore of the multiverse. Al though, you’ve scoured manuscripts, studied scrolls, and also listened to the greatest experts on the subjects which interest you. Of course your efforts can be made you a master in your fields of the study.

Feature: Specialty

To actually determine the nature of your scholarly training, roll a d8 or else chose from the options in below mentioned table.

3Discredited academic
7Wizard's apprentice

And it provides a nice little d8 table as to your field of study. Feel free to roll it if you want or if not just come up with your own. It’s up to you one hundred percent. Now let’s take a look at its mechanics.


Under skill proficiencies you gain arcana and history. Usefulness may vary based on the campaign of curse. If you’re dealing with a fairly low magic, fairly modern day-ish kind of scenario then. Who knows but in some campaigns they’re going to be super valuable.

You gain two languages of your choice which is always really nice. Of course chat with your DM see if you can get any feedback as to which languages are going to be the most beneficial for you.

Under equipment you gain quite a few things: a bottle of black ink, a quill, a letter from a colleague and this could be posing the question that you haven’t been able to answer yet. Set of common clothes and a pouch containing 10 gp which basically is the average amount so.

  • Skill Proficiencies: Arcana, History
  • Tool Proficiencies: None
  • Languages: Two of your choice
  • Equipment: A bottle of black ink, a quill, a small knife, a letter from a dead colleague posing a question you have not yet been able to answer, a set of common clothes, and a belt pouch containing 10 gp.

It’s overall pretty decent, not super min maxi i guess, it does lack a tool proficiency which is a little bit disappointing especially if you roll something like the alchemist for your speciality or even the scribe to a lesser extent. It is a little disappointing in that regard, but in any case let’s move on to its feature.

Feature: Researcher

At any time you can learn or recall a piece of lore so whenever you attempt to do this and if you do not know that specific information and then you often know where and even from whom you can obtain it. Normally, this type of information comes from the library, scriptorium, university or even a sage or any other learned person or creature.

Probably, your DM might rule that the knowledge which you’ve seek has secreted away in an almost inaccessible place, or of course it can not be found. So unearthing the deepest secrets of multiverse able to require either an adventure or even a whole campaign.

From this link you can read knight of the order 5e background.

I really like this, overall it’s relatively exploitable by the wizard in particular or really anyone with the ritual caster feat. All you gotta do is just be like well i’d like to be able to possess leomund’s tiny hut and you’re using this feature you can kind of figure out who has it, where it is, all that good stuff.

Which is honestly awesome. Every once in a while when i talk about the broken nature of a couple other ritual spells. Someone will point out like well your DM doesn’t have to give it to you, i’m like yeah that’s fair, well like it’s like a third level ritual spell that’s likely used by parties all over the world but you know yeah i guess if your DM’s being like that sure.

This is a great way to kind of circumvent that. As much as i like to joke about the brokenness of certain spells. There’s always more tools in the DMs toolbox than there are in the players right! Literally always 100% of the time it’s just like the way the game was built intentionally right!

In any case..yeah and it makes sense that you can’t just completely exploit this to the point where you’re like well i wonder what every demon’s real name is and then you just stumble across a book with all of it like some kind of like hotel ledger i don’t know but it’s pretty good that it’s balanced out like that. In any case let’s move on to some suggested characteristics.

Suggested Characteristics

The Sage Background in DnD 5E  are defined by their extensive studies, and also their features would reflect such  life of study.  So devoted to scholarly pursuits, a sage always values knowledge highly-sometimes it its own right, sometimes as a means toward other ideals.

You can check all of Sage Background D&D 5E characteristics in the below mentioned tables.

Personality Traits

For the personality trait i went with ” There’s nothing i like more than a good mystery.”

D8Personality Traits
1I use polysyllabic words that convey the impression of great erudition.
2I've read every book in the world's greatest libraries – or I like to boast that I have.
3I'm used to helping out those who aren't as smart as I am, and I patiently explain anything and everything to others.
4There's nothing I like more than a good mystery.
5I'm willing to listen to every side of an argument before I make my own judgment.
6I… speak… slowly… when talking… to idiots,… which… almost… everyone… is… compared… to me.
7I am horribly, horribly awkward in social situations.
8I'm convinced that people are always trying to steal my secrets.


Under ideal “Self-Improvement. The goal of a life of study is the betterment of oneself. And this is really for any alignment.”

1Knowledge. The path to power and self-improvement is through knowledge. (Neutral)
2Beauty. What is beautiful points us beyond itself toward what is true. (Good)
3Logic. Emotions must not cloud our logical thinking. (Lawful)
4No Limits. Nothing should fetter the infinite possibility inherent in all existence. (Chaotic)
5Power. Knowledge is the path to power and domination. (Evil)
6Self-Improvement. The goal of a life of study is the betterment of oneself. (Any)


Under Bond “I’ve been searching my whole life for the answer to a certain question and probably the question posed to you in the letter from a dead colleague.”

1It is my duty to protect my students.
2I have an ancient text that holds terrible secrets that must not fall into the wrong hands.
3I work to preserve a library, university, scriptorium, or monastery.
4My life's work is a series of tomes related to a specific field of lore.
5I've been searching my whole life for the answer to a certain question.
6I sold my soul for knowledge. I hope to do great deeds and win it back.


Under flaw “I am easily distracted by the promise of information.”

1I am easily distracted by the promise of information.
2Most people scream and run when they see a demon. I stop and take notes on its anatomy.
3Unlocking an ancient mystery is worth the price of a civilization.
4I overlook obvious solutions in favor of complicated ones.
5I speak without really thinking through my words, invariably insulting others.
6I can't keep a secret to save my life, or anyone else's.

I really like this. It’s really nice if you’re a DM and your characters are abundantly motivated by few factors. It makes it a lot easier to provide them incentive to on quests and it helps further the plot along right! relatively quickly which i find quite nice. There are a lot of DMs that are very open worldy and this background still works fine for that as well.

If anything it does a lot of world building for them if they have to constantly search for information, it’ll lead them some pretty interesting dungeons or cities or villages or what have you. But it’s i don’t know, it’s just this is a solid feature for DMs in general which is part of the reason i like it. Now let’s move on to my personal thoughts.


Overall it’s pretty good! Mechanically it might come up short relative to a couple other backgrounds. Arcana and history are really nice when it comes to the exploration pillar of play but it’s sorely lacking when it comes to combat or even social aspects.

That being said, however arcana does have quite a few usefulnesses if you are a spellcaster. For example it might provide some valuable insights as to the nature of a spell before you cast counter spell, something of that nature would be pretty good for arcana.

Outside of spellcasters though i can’t really think of a ton of usefulness. If you can let me know down beneath in the comment section. But for the most part i don’t know most campaigns day to day can’t say these. I can’t see these being super useful.

However its feature is awesome. Really once again if you’re a wizard in particular you’re going to be able to reap a ton of reward out of this or even if you just take the ritual caster feat or book of ancient secrets or what have you’re gonna really be able to use this to very effective means.

Now looking at their characteristics they’re pretty good, The phb and well really all of the backgrounds have very well written characteristics which is nice. That being said, the biggest downside as a whole to the sage that it is pretty directly replaced by one of the ravnican backgrounds.


In any case that’s about all i have to say about the sage. With that being said though, if you have any ideas, comments, questions, concerns, anything like that about the sage please put it down beneath in the comments section and be sure to mention any cool stories or ideas you have involving them as well. With all of that out of the way, i hope you have a great day and as always happy adventuring.

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