Seafaring mechanics


So far, what are all the official rules in D&D 5e concerning seafaring?

• sailing a ship
• navigating, reading stars, ocean water colors, and so on
• cargo capacity, consequences of overloading
• ship racing
• surviving a storm
• motion sickness
• locking onto another ship for combat
• foraging fish and seaweed for food


What are the skills or tools or other mechanics, concerning seafaring, and which books do they come from?


Players Handbook, page 178
‘Survival’ presumably includes the skill to navigate a ship in an accurate direction across a treacherous sea. ‘Guide your group through frozen wastelands’, ‘predict the weather’, ‘avoid other natural hazards’.

Players Handbook, page 91
The Ranger class feature, ‘Natural Explorer’, lists terrains. In the sense of harbors and ports, the ‘coastal’ terrain presumably includes seafaring, thus the terrain over the surfaces of waters. Thus a Ranger who favors the coastal terrain, doubles the ‘Wisdom’ (Survival) proficiency bonus to navigate a ship.

Monster Manual, page 5
The ‘underwater’ places where monsters dwell seems to contrast the coastal seafaring terrain that is above water.


Players Handbook, page 157
A brief list of ‘Waterbourne Vehicles’ and their speed, between 1 and 4 mph.

Dungeon Master Guide, page 117
The same list of ‘Waterbourne Vehicles’ with more stats, including number of crew, passangers, cargo tons, hit points, AC, and damage threshold.

Dungeon Master Guide, page 116-118
‘Underwater’ and ‘Sea’ as separate ‘Unusual Environments’, including random encounter tables.

Dungeon Master Guide, pages 112, 117-118
A navigator uses Wisdom (Survival) to avoid getting lost in open seas (DC 10 or 15), tracking sun, stars, distance and direction.

Dungeon Masters Guide, page 40
A brief description of ‘Swashbuckling’ as a ‘Flavor of Fantasy’.


The PHB background of "Sailor" gives a character proficiency in "Navigators Tools" which seems to conflict somewhat with Survival (Wisdom) being used for actually navigating a ship. Unless they intend for a character to be able to use both bonuses when charting a course.