D&D Shipwright Background

Hello adventurers! Welcome to my spellbook and thank you so much for checking out the 46th episode of our background series. From this article i’m going to explain about one of the relatively interesting d&d 5e backgrounds.

Not really so much in terms of mechanics but in terms of not a lot of people are going to know about it, we’re going to be going over the shipwright dnd. Which is found in the ghost of salt marsh adventure module. It’s an okay adventure module by the way like it’s written really well and i like it for the most part.

Al though it didn’t really sell that well and not a lot of people i know are like super hyped up about it. It’s really interesting i don’t know if you have it and have ran it let me know what the results were, i’ve only read through it like one and half times i guess. But i haven’t actually had a chance to run it yet not a lot of people are really interesting from the player side either which is really weird.

Because usually if you go online you’re like hey i’m gonna run a dnd game who’s winning they’re like yeah it’ll be ghosts of salt marsh suddenly the DMs dry up. But i’m like oh that’s kind of weird.

In any case, that’s what we’re talking about today, if you haven’t checkout our all 5e backgrounds table or if you would like to then best way to check them all is click on the link we provided. That being said, let’s dive into the shipwright first by checking out its description.


You’ve already been sailed into the war upon the decks of great ships, patching their hulls with the soup bowls and also the prayers. However, you once have helped to build a fishing vessel  which single-handedly saved a town from the starvation.

Anyway you have already seen the majestic prow within your dreams that you haven’t been capable of replicate in the wood. Since your childhood, you’ve loved the water and also been captivated by the many different types of vessels that travel on it.

Basically you’re like the ship building equivalent of a train hobbyist. It’s all you think about, probably all you talked about too just go nuts with it. Been passionate about it since you were a kid you got some skills probably got some pretty decent sea legs on you. Overall you’re just a pretty valuable member of every crew.

You know a crew is only really as good as the ship they’re sailing on. As so far as to say if they got no ship you’re kinda not a very good crew right. In any case let’s now over to its mechanics here.


Under skill proficiencies you gain access to both history and perception. Perception is always great, but history your mileage may vary depending on your campaign. In terms of tool proficiencies you gain carpenter’s tools and water vehicles as well. Which is super nice to have. The carpenter’s tools is almost always great. Water vehicles once much like history it’s very campaign dependent.

  • Skill Proficiencies: History, Perception
  • Tool Proficiencies: Carpenter’s tools, vehicles (water)
  • Equipment: A set of well-loved carpenter’s tools, a blank book, 1 ounce of ink, and ink pen, a set of traveler’s clothes, and a leather pouch with 10 gp.

Taking a look at your equipment you actually get a decent amount..you gain a set of carpenter’s tools, a blank book presumably for jotting down notes. 10 ounces of ink and ink pen, set of traveler’s clothes, and a leather pouch with 10 gp. Which puts you right about the average.

Overall mechanically it’s pretty good especially if you’re on a seafaring campaign i would almost consider it necessary someone take this background. Outside of that though, i don’t know it would be very interesting i would make an argument that you’d just be kind of like a master with woodcraft in general but that’s kind of up to the DM. In any case let’s get into its feature.

Feature: I’LL PATCH IT!

The shipwright background 5e feature I’LL PATCH IT shall be provided you’ve carpenter’s tools and also the wood, of course you are able to perform defferent types of repairs on the water vehicle. So, whenever you use this ability, you can resotre a number of hit points (hp) for the hull of a water vehicle which is equal to 5 + your proficiency modifier. Anyhow, a vehicle can not be patched by you in this way again until after it has been pulled ashore and even fully repaired too.


As a d&d shipwright background your life is always in the sea, so your life at there and in port has shaped you; you can also roll on the below mentioned table in order to determine its impact or else select and element which best fits your character. You can check the below table for more details.

d6Sea’s Influence
1Grand Designs: You are working on plans and schematics for a new, very fast ship. You must examine as many different kinds of vessels as possible to help ensure the success of your design.
2Solid and Sound: You patched up a war gallery and prevented it from sinking. The local navy regards you as a friend.
3Favored: You insisted on thicker planking for a merchant vessel’s hull, which saved it from sinking when it smashed against a reef. You have a standing invitation to visit the merchant’s distant mansion.
4Master of Armaments: You specialized in designing and mounting defenses for the navy. You easily recognize and determine the quality of such items.
5Low Places: You have contacts in the smuggling outfits along the coast, you occasionally repear the criminals’ ships in exchange for coin and favors.
6Mysteries of the Deep: You experienced as encounter with possibly divine being while sailing alone. Work with your DM to determine the secret about the deep waters of the sea that this entity revealed to you.

Basically it’s just a quick patch job, quick band-aid, put it over all the holes just enough to have you hobble back to shore and fully repair it. It really is interesting if you’re on a seafaring campaign i would consider this almost necessary. However if you’re just doing a normal campaign mileage may vary, you know i would make an argument that you could  repair almost any wood-based construct.

However that’ll require some work with your DM. In any case definitely talk with them about it if you’re planning on picking this because it might be more or less completely useless so just bear that in mind. In any case let’s now look at the suggested characteristics.

Suggested Characteristics

Here the Shipwrights are the more powerful resourceful carpenters and also designers. They are frequently have a dedicated spot at their local tavern, since the shipwrights are in-valuable to the coastal communities.

Some of them are travel with the navel fleets and of course they might serve as the officers when if their temperament suits it. Anyway the Shipwrights have an affinity in order to working with their hands and thoroughly perform feats of carpentry which others might deem miraculous.

Personality Trait

For the examples personality trait i went with “I thrive under pressure.”

d8Personality Trait
1I love talking and being heard more than I like to listen.
2I’m extremely fond of puzzles.
3I thrive under pressure.
4I love sketching and designing objects, especially boats.
5I’m not afraid of hard work-in fact, I prefer it.
6A pipe, an ale, and the smell of the sea; paradise.
7I have an endless supply of cautionary tales related to the sea.
8I don’t mind getting my hands dirty.


Under the ideal “Crew: If everyone on deck pitches in, we’ll never sink and this will take you towards the good alignment.”

1Crew: If everyone on deck pitches in, we’ll never sink. (Good)
2Careful Lines: A ship must be balanced according to the laws of the universe. (Lawful)
3Invention: Make what you need out of whatever is at hand. (Chaotic)
4Perfection: To measure a being and find it lacking is the greatest disappointment. (Evil)
5Reflection: Muddled water always clears in time. (Any)
6Hope: The horizon at sea holds the greatest promise.


Under bond “I repair broken things to redeem what’s broken in myself.” which is super edgy.

1I must visit all the oceans of the world and behold the shops that sail there.
2Much of the treasure I claim will be used to enrich my community.
3I must find a kind of wood rumored to possess magical qualities.
4I repair broken things to redeem what’s broken in myself.
5I will craft a boat capable of sailing through the most dangerous of storms.
6A kraken destroyed my masterpiece; its teeth shall adorn my hearth.


Under flaw “I don’t know when to throw something away, i never know when it might be useful again.”

1I don’t know when to throw something away. You never know when it might be useful again.
2I get frustrated to the point of distraction by shoddy craftsmanship.
3Though I am an excellent crafter, my work tends to look as though it belongs on a ship.
4I am so obsessed with sketching my ideas for elaborate inventions that I somtimes forget little things like eating and sleeping.
5I’m judgemental of those who are not skilled with tools of some kind.
6I sometimes take things that don’t belong to me, especially if they are very well made.

Basically you’re a pack rat edgelord who really likes boats. Pretty interesting, a lot of the ghosts of salt marsh suggested characteristics are pretty cool. These are just the ones that kind of sticked out most to me. Thriving under pressure is always a great thing.

Especially when it’s your job to repair a ship that’s on the precipice of sinking. It makes sense that if you believe if everyone pulls their own weight. Everything will go pretty smoothly, just get your head down, get the work done move on.

A little bit of trauma always goes a long way when it comes to character development and holding on to things for an extended duration of time might be incredibly beneficial or a massive hindrance depending on how things play out. In any case let’s get to my personal thoughts.


Once again as i mentioned several times already, mileage is going to vary hugely on this. Some of you are going to be able to use it every single session of every single campaign where others of you aren’t going to get to use it at all.

This is where communication with your dungeon master is super important because if the campaign is gonna be set in a desert and you take this background without knowing that you’re gonna find yourself at least during those early levels being upstaged and no one really likes that feeling so that’s just have the conversation and get it over with.


In any case if you have any thoughts, questions, comments, concerns, or ideas of your own involving the shipwright or if you’ve used it in the past feel free to let me know down beneath and if you have any stories please share those as well. That being said guys, i hope you all have a great day and as always happy adventuring.

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