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5E A couple of ideas for a blind PC


Just a notion I've been kicking around since I watched "Daredevil" on Netflix:

1. Blinded = disadvantage on attacks, and people have advantage on attacks against the PC. Tough stuff.

2. No official Blind Fighting feat for 5e, but Alert (as clarified in Sage Advice) at least means attackers don't have advantage by virtue of the PC's blindness.

3. Play a buff-oriented cleric with Alert, and you can start every fight with Sanctuary, and then remain reasonably attack-proof thereafter.

4. Play an arcane caster with a familiar, and you can use an action to see through the familiar's senses. Doesn't help that much in a fight, but it's a cool gimmick. Might be worth picking up Magic Initiate if you're a non-caster, just to pull this off.

5. Seems like Blindfighting as a combat style (for fighters and such) would open up some possibilities.

6. Blind Master as a monk path would be cool, but those first few levels (absent some sort of compensating feat) would be damn near non-viable.

7. Boy, you don't realize until you start running down the spell lists how many spells limit you to targets you can see. Seems to me that some clever mage would come up with a couple of good utility cantrips (one allowing Blindsight, one allowing you to read written language) and a couple of good combat cantrips that can be used against unseen opponents (without just blindly blasting friend and foe alike).

8. Seems like a good fit for a bard (your Celtic blind harper archetype) or for a divine soul sorcerer (where you can cherrypick the sorcerer and cleric spells that work best). A warlock who relies heavily on a seeing-eye familiar might also be viable.

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Hawk Diesel

Why not just say the character is blind, and not change anything mechanically? Whenever a player willingly takes on mechanical disadvantages chasing a concept, it doesn't just hurt them but the entire party as they now have to deal with it as well. And on the flip side, people may want other mechanical advantages to balance out the disadvantages they willing took up, which the gets messy. Like when 3.5 had those optional flaws and traits. Most times, it was done in the service of power gaming or being a munchkin.

Sorry, I'm getting a little rant-y. Not saying that's what you're doing. But if you were playing a game in a vacuum without other people whose enjoyment also mattered, it could be workable. Like playing D&D on hard mode. But since it is a group game, I would recommend bring this up to both the DM and players to see how they feel about it.

But personally, I would just say you have a magic blindfold or goggles that only works for you and gives you sight almost like normal. This way, no need to plan for mechanics to make the character viable, and when the DM wants to make it a role playing opportunity he can set up for it to get removed, you lose it, or need to repair it / make a new one.

Just my 2 copper.


I think the trick on this sort of thing is to allow some degree of adaptation without completely ignoring the consequences of a disability. And it makes a lot of sense to me that people with access to magic would develop some workarounds / aides where a full cure is not possible.

So in response to Hawk Diesel . . . I dunno, what's the point of playing a blind character if already at 1st level he's mechanically indistinguishable from a sighted character?


I'd let a blind character have blindsight 30 ft.

So within 30 ft., they're seeing invisible dudes, ignoring purely visual illusions, and spotting characters that are only hidden by darkness, fog, etc. (I'd rule that blindsight still respects solid cover). But beyond 30 ft., they're blind, so they're at disadvantage to attack and all attacks against them are at advantage, and at a disadvantage to Wisdom (Perception).

The character would not have many good ranged attack options, and would be vulnerable to ranged attacks. Plus if an enemy moves more than 30 feet away it will be hard to chase them (but not impossible). This seems like a reasonable and interesting trade-off to me.

Hawk Diesel

So in response to Hawk Diesel . . . I dunno, what's the point of playing a blind character if already at 1st level he's mechanically indistinguishable from a sighted character?

For the same reason a person may choose to play a first level human fighter even if there is already a human fighter in the party. Because it provides unique role playing opportunities and ways of interacting with the game world. Your class and race alone do not define how you play your character.

D&D is not a single player game. If you purposely choose to make your character mechanically weaker, that means more work for the party around you. And not all groups would be cool with that. Additionally, if you take on a flaw for some other compensatory benefit, that gets really close to mistakes of previous additions that led to power gaming.

Let's change the example in the OP. Instead let's say a player wanted to play a character with no arms. Or no legs. Would you allow it?

Personally, as a DM that has to ensure enjoyment for all players, not just one, I would say no. It just puts undue strain on the rest of the party. The group has to use an undue number of resources to manage the liability of the one player, and as a result that player ends up taking an unfair amount of the spotlight and attention in the game simply due to their choice to take on a handicap. Also, from a role playing perspective, why would an adventuring group bring a person along who couldn't completely hold their own with the challenges ahead? Last time I checked, you can't enlist in the military if you have medical issues that would impair your ability to fight. Why would it be different for adventurers that go out expecting danger and combat?

But, I'd allow this same character if they had some kind of prosthetic, graft, or ghost/psionic limbs. Mechanically it changes nothing, thus no undue strain on the party or stealing of the spotlight. But the player still has a character with a history of having lost their sight/limbs, the challenges they endured with them gone, and their new perspective after regaining their function. It is still a central aspect of the character's identity and affects how one might role play them. You also create opportunities for the DM to remove or threaten to remove the player's crutch during the game, placing the DM and the story in charge of when the player's disability becomes relevant to the game in a way everyone can enjoy, rather than the player forcing it on everyone in the game.

I'm just from a school of thought that not everything in D&D needs to be represented by unique mechanics. Most times its sufficient to just reflavor or reskin existing mechanics, or make them purely story elements without any need for mechanical impact on the game. You have fewer issues with upsetting game balance that way.
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Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
If you really want to replicate DareDevil, I agree with 771M, they need to have blind sight. Matt can "see", he just sees differently.


I had a player who wanted to do this. I told him he could see by seeing auras. He got disadvantage on Perception checks and advantage on insight checks. I'd also randomly give him random 'visions of the future'. I may have also given a penalty on ranged attacks but I don't remember.

Worked for the couple games we played.

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