In what may become a prophet article “Could Legendlore’s return show us the future of D&D?” Geek Native talked to game designer Steffie de Vaan about many things and a combat wheelchair.
It’s LegendLore that provides the illustration for this blog post. How often do you see wheelchairs in fantasy RPGs? Not often. This disabled blogger once tried to commission a series of illustrations of “disabled heroes”, and the project fell apart as a succession of artists struggled to make it work.
Now, Sara Thompson, a writer for R. Talsorian Games, @mustangsart on Twitter, who specialises in disability and chronic illness representation has gone one step forward and created stats and rules for the combat wheelchair.
Starting with the note that anyone can be an adventure, the D&D-designed combat wheelchair grants the user with proficiency with Land Vehicles and Tinker’s Tools.
The chair itself is actually presented as eight pieces of equipment; including gloves, tough terrain tyres and seatbelts.
This combat wheelchair is a high magic one, with a Sensory Stone in each armrest so that the user can guide it by touch, rather than always use the wheel rims.
Players and the DM should, of course, discuss in advance what sort of game they want to play and a session 0 to set the tone is a common recommendation. It might be that you don’t feel as if a combat wheelchair is a good fit for the game you hope to run. There’s no suggestion that it becomes compulsory. It might also be that many talented players prefer inclusive, flexible and friendly gaming sessions and love the idea of the chair.
Sara is able to produce content like this thanks to their Patreon.
Producing content every month, the Patreon has three tiers. The first, at £2 a month (plus VAT) is enough to have your name added to the thank you section in Sara’s future works. £5 gives you early access to Sara’s disability supplements and essays as well as a shoutout while £10 unlocks behind-the-scenes content.
Views on disability in the RPG space are slowly changing. WotC has made edits to the text of Curse of Strahd on D&D Beyond to remove mentions of NPC being ashamed of her disability.
Join (or start) the healthy debate. Share your observations below.