D&D General Character Description Discrepancy

Reading between the lines, it sounds to me like there is some degree of bullying going on; if Edward's reactions are really as dramatic as you claim, why would anyone continue to bait him other than for the purposes of getting a rise?
That's not "reading between the lines", that's inventing an entirely fantastical and bizarre explanation that the OP doesn't even hint at.

It's not even reasonable as a belief given his behaviour and the situation.
I wonder often what has happened to some people to make them so devoid of empathy.
I mean, you're not "showing empathy", you're making an explanation up (not even a plausible one!) and then seemingly trying to guilt trip people on that basis. There's a big difference. And this person is being rude and disruptive, and is an adult.

Given that Edward is clearly quite open and rude about this, and stays upset whilst playing, he doesn't sound at all like someone who is the victim of "bullying" by anyone involved to me. He sounds like someone with a serious social issue - which may well be caused by neurodiversity, but is still something he needs to manage. Especially given he's in his 20s, not a child.
In light of that, I think the easiest solution would just be to retcon the spectacles into an item with identical function that doesn't set Edward off.
I've met people like this - who were got upset and stayed upset about odd things, and in most cases it was related to neurodiverse conditions, particularly ASD, and assuming that you could fix it simply by changing it to another item, in that case, is foolishness, because you don't know what triggers this. He may well be just as upset by a headband or whatever. The OP needs to talk to him and find out what the issue actually is.

And also, sometimes people are just really picky and they're not even neurodiverse. Like they've got an incredibly narrow conception of what's okay for their character, to the point where it may be a mismatch for the in-game fiction. I played with a guy (briefly) once, and he was not neurodiverse, but like, if his character got in any way dirty/bloody (even through his own actions) he'd just refuse to accept it, because he had this anime-character-esque vision of the PC. It didn't match at all well with the kinda-gritty Shadowrun campaign we were running.

log in or register to remove this ad


Magic Wordsmith
I dunno about that last part. Given that he had previously been vocal about it, this read to me like the artist was either intentionally trying to provoke him or else pretty oblivious. If the former then they are the problem and you should confront them about their bullying behaviour. If the latter, then they will probably feel bad and want to change the drawing.
If he doesn't like his character wearing glasses, then why does he have his character wear glasses? Clearly being able to detect magic at will is more important to the player than the character wearing glasses. I don't think the problem is a bullying artist here, who devoted some of her valuable time to creating art for this player.

Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
Would it be better if the glasses were tinted or if they were more like gadgeteer's goggles?

and I mean...I wear my glasses constantly (not in battle, I rarely engage in battle) and I dont look dumb!

...do I ?


The only viable solution to this is just to straight up ask him why the glasses bother him so much and ask what you can do to help the situation. If you have his contact email, that might be a better way to do it than asking in person, since he'll have time to consider his answer rather than answering while he's still defensive about having the issue brought up at all.

On a larger scale, is there anyone in the group you could go to to get a better picture of the social dynamics of the group outside of the game and maybe a bit of background on Edward that might shine a light on his current reactions, specifically someone you're sure won't immediately broadcast the conversation to the rest of the group?


Follower of the Way
Would it be better if the glasses were tinted or if they were more like gadgeteer's goggles?

and I mean...I wear my glasses constantly (not in battle, I rarely engage in battle) and I dont look dumb!

...do I ?
No, you don't. As a friend of mine said when I discussed this with them: There's some shades of ableism here from Edward, because glasses are a form of disability assistance device. Getting all hung up on "glasses make me look stupid" isn't a great look when 30%-40% of Americans (I don't have worldwide statistics) need corrective lenses of some kind to treat their nearsightedness, and a large number of older Americans use reading glasses to treat age-related farsightedness.


ASD is not an excuse to regularly and frequently disrupt the gaming group at the mere mention of something that one finds bothersome or frustrating. It is a reason why alternate means of addressing the issue might be warranted, sure. But it is not an excuse for the bad behavior described here.
Actually, ASD is very much a valid REASON, not excuse, why a player might be triggered by one specific thing. You are writing as if this is a choice the player is making, as if they are being bad. Neither you nor I is in that group and we do not have all the information, since the DM admits to not having much information about this player. So you are making a lot of assumptions here.

In the real world, neuro-divergent folks deal with a variety of challenges, none of which can be solved by simply expecting them to make a different choice. If that is the case here, then calling his behaviour something that needs an excuse is only going to prevent finding an actual solution.
Last edited:


As is usually the case in something like this... the middle ground is where we can go and settle in, without going out to the extreme end either way to make Edward into a massive a-hole, or the rest of the group into massive a-holes.

This young man doesn't like glasses for whatever reason. That's fine. They don't have to. And if everyone knows he doesn't like them, then they don't need to harass him or bring it up. Likewise, Edward doesn't have to act like a jerk when given a portrait of their character... even though we don't yet know the motivation of the young woman who drew Edward's elf (if she knew Edward hated glasses and his character wearing glasses and she drew the character that way anyway, or if it was just an honest mistake that she didn't think about.)

So whatever the reason is... easiest thing to do is change the item to a headband as you say (or "goggles" or a "visor" or anything else that he might be fine with.) It doesn't matter in the least what form the item is... so if it saves everyone the hassle of possibly getting Edward upset... then there is nothing lost for just swapping the item's form. It doesn't have to be a big deal, it doesn't even need to have attention called to it. Just do it and everything will hopefully work itself out.

As far as "why" it's an issue? Doesn't matter. It just is. But there's no reason for anyone to go all amateur-psychologist here trying to figure it out.


So someone spends time and effort drawing portraits. Something they didn't need to do, something they thought would be cool and fun for the group. She accurately depicts one of the characters with a magic item the character constantly uses. The player then freaks out.

You need to sit down with the person that is complaining and explain to them that they are being a monumental jerk. The gal did this special thing for the group that required time and talent. He should apologize to the gal and grow up.

No no no no no!

Do NOT do that, unless your goal is to create drama and completely alienate Edward from the group.

First, do we know we are dealing with children here? That is not stipulated by the OP, but if that is the case than a number of additional issues come into play.

But one thing we know for sure is that Edward drew a very clear boundary, and this person violated it. It is possible that she was acting kindly and made a mistake. Perhaps she has her own cognitive reasons why she did not pick up on his VERY CLEAR signals. Given the description of the original situation, I think there is a strong chance that she was making a point and her action was a form of bullying behaviour, intended to aggravate Edward. If that is the case, then she is the person who needs the intervention, but framed in constructive terms.

And if we are talking about children, telling them to "grow up" is not really very useful, is it?

The place to start is by getting as much information as you can. The OP admits knowing very little about the overall situation, so you never start taking action until you know what is going on.

At the end of the day, whether or not Edward's character needs to be depicted as wearing the glasses is trivial in itself. Slow down, find out exactly what is going on, and proceed with sensitivity and caution.
Last edited:

Voidrunner's Codex

Remove ads