Astral Drifter 5E | Spelljammer Background

There are numerous backgrounds available in Dungeons & Dragons, but most of them were created with traditional fantasy campaigns in mind. If you are considering a new campaign in the Spelljammer setting, you might want something with a little more Wildspace flavor. Thankfully, Spelljammer: Adventures in Space provides two new backgrounds that are perfect for this setting. One of these options is the Astral Drifter. Learn more about it with our Astral Drifter 5E Guide.

Astral Drifter 5E

astral drifter 5e

An Astral Drifter is someone that has traveled the Astral Sea for so long that they have lost track of the amount of time they have spent there. Aging stops in Wildspace, and it is not hard for adventurers to get lost in time during their travels. Astral Drifters have traveled to the far-flung corners of Wildspace to satiate their wanderlust. Along the way, they have crossed paths with everything from petrified gods to unspeakable monsters. The time they spent wandering space is an excellent background for a Spelljamming adventurer.

Along with the Wildspacer, the Astral Drifter is one of two backgrounds released with Spelljammer: Adventures in Space. With both of these backgrounds, Wizards of the Coast seems to have adopted the approach of attaching a specific feat as the primary background feature. This makes these backgrounds substantially more powerful than many traditional backgrounds. It seems to be a precursor to some of the background changes that are rumored to be coming in One D&D.

Background Traits

Astral Wanderer Traits
  • Skill Proficiencies: Insight, Religion.
  • Languages: Two of your choice (Celestial or Gith suggested)
  • Equipment: A set of traveler’s clothes, a diary, an ink pen, a bottle of ink, and a pouch containing 10 gp.
  • Longevity: You are 20d6 years older than you look, because you have spent that much time in the Astral Sea without aging.
  • Feature: Divine Contract You gain the Magic Initiate feat from the Player’s Handbook and must choose cleric for the feat.
    In the Astral Sea, you crossed paths with a wandering deity. The encounter was brief and nonviolent, yet it made a lasting impression on you. This deity saw fit to share one secret or obscure bit of cosmic lore with you. Work with your DM to determine the details of this knowledge and its impact on the campaign. Roll on the Divine Contact table to determine which deity you encountered, or work with your DM to identify a more suitable choice.

Divine Contact

d10Wandering Deity
1Corellon, god of art and magic (chaotic good)
2Tymora, god of good fortune (chaotic good)
3Fharlanghn, god of horizons and travel (neutral good)
4Istus, god of fate and destiny (neutral)
5Nuada, god of war and warriors (neutral)
6Zivilyn, god of wisdom (neutral)
7Arawn, god of life and death (neutral evil)
8Hecate, god of magic and moons (chaotic evil)
9Celestian, god of stars and wanderers (neutral)
10Ptah, god of knowledge and secrets (lawful neutral)

Background Breakdown

Most of the time, backgrounds offer little more than a handful of new proficiencies and some concepts for your character’s backstory. Recently, Wizards of the Coast seems to be putting a little more meat on the bones. Two languages and two skills alone make this background a nice option when it comes to optimizing your character. The addition of the Magic Initiate feat makes this substantially stronger than most other options.

The Longevity trait is also interesting. Technically, it only makes you substantially older than you look. From a flavor perspective, this makes for some interesting options for a character that is wise beyond their years.

Conclusion: The Astral Drifter 5E Background

The Astral Drifter has a little something for everyone. If you care about character optimization, this feat is a great way to pick up two languages, two skills, two cantrips, and a single-use first-level spell. The background is also a good thematic fit for the Spelljammer setting. Does this sound like a good fit for your next campaign? Let us know in the comment section below.

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