In every D&D setting, part of creating a new character involves selecting a background. That is the case in Spelljammer, which Wizards of the Coast released for 5E in August of 2022. In addition to an array of other player options, Spelljammer: Adventures in Space offers two new backgrounds that are perfect for Wildspace campaigns. See our breakdown of both of them with our Spelljammer Backgrounds Guide.
There are two new background options available in Spelljammer Adventures in Space. They include the Astral Drifter and Wildspacer. Both of these options are a good thematic fit for the setting, and each of them offers something interesting for players.
An Astral Drifter has traversed the Astral Sea for as long as they can remember. You have wandered the Astra Sea for so long that you stopped aging and no longer hunger or thirst.
The great thing about this background is that the mechanics fit the lore perfectly. An Astral Drifter is an ageless wanderer, so the Longevity feature that establishes that you are 20d6 years older than you look makes sense. As with all backgrounds, you also pick up some proficiencies (Insight, Religion, and your choice of two languages) and equipment (traveler’s clothes, a diary, a pen, ink, and some gold.)
The centerpiece of the background is the Divine Contact feature. This feature gives you the Magic Initiate feat, but you must choose from the cleric spells. You also know one secret or obscure bit of cosmic lore from a brief encounter with a wandering deity. Fun stuff all around.
The Wildspacer has always called the Wildspace home. they come from families of asteroid miners, moon farmers, and various space folk. While many adventurers that make their way to the Wildspace hail from somewhere else, Spelljamming has always been in your blood.
The Wildspacer background is a fantastic background for melee-based characters in Wildspace campaigns. You get the standard fare of skill proficiencies and even gain proficiency in space vehicles. Your equipment is standard but useful stuff like rope and grappling hooks. It is your special background feature that really shines, though.
The Wildspace Adaptation feature gives you the Tough feat due to your long exposure to Wildspace. YOu are also not burdened by rolling with advantage on melee attacks when floating in space.
Conclusion – Spelljammer Backgrounds Guide
That wraps up our look at the new backgrounds in Spelljammer. This book is a fun and interesting direction for 5E, and it scratches an itch a lot of players never knew they had. If you are looking for more character options for Spelljammer, be sure to check out our Plasmoid 5E Guide.