D&D 5E Wheelchair options. Do these seem balanced?

mellored

Hero
So I'm trying to balance a few wheelchair options, both from low level ones to higher level ones.
I also want to make it a more more interesting. Not just "same as people with legs" but something with it's own advantages and drawbacks.
Mainly, you're faster on flat ground, but worse when not. It's also soft gated behind tool proficiency, meaning most people won't have it, but still allowing access to anyone.
Let me know if this seems balanced.

Edit: version 2. Chairs are now part of armor. With robe/light/medium/heavy options. Still mostly balanced around adjusting movement options.

Wheelchair (tool). If your character can not use their legs as part of their background, they get this proficiency for free. Other characters may get this tool proficiency as normal.
Adventurer's wheelchairs are incorporated as part of armor, replacing the leggings, and is included in purchase price. As part of donning the armor, 2 small gems are placed into the lower part of the back, magically disabling your legs and diverting that energy into moving the chair instead. It also prevents any benefit from magical boots. The chair itself have it's own enchantment in addition to the armor.

DM Note: As the magic chair effectively take the boot slot, magical boots enchantments can generally be directly applied to magical chairs as well, adjusting their appearance to fit.

Spider chair:
The spider chair has 6 or 8 legs and can be used along with any armor. It's functions the same as anyone with 2 legs would.
(Uncommon): The spider chair gains climb speed equal to half your walking speed.
(Rare): Once per day as a bonus action, the chair can shoot out a web, replicating the effects of the web spell. The DC is 13 and does not take your concentration. It can also walk on the web without getting stuck.
(very rare):
(legendary): it can use the web once per short rest. The DC is increased to 16.

Race chair (light armor):
Consisting of little more than 2 large and thin wheels, the user is tucked low into the chair, allowing for quick and unimpeded movement.
  • can't climb or high jump.
  • going up stairs counts as difficult terrain.
  • takes no penalty for squeezing.
  • When you take the dash action, increase your speed by 5' until the end of the turn.
  • When you are subject to forced movement, you can increase the distance by 5' in the same direction. (Reminder that forced movement ignores difficult terrain).
  • You can add your wheelchair proficiency bonus to stealth checks, as you produce no footsteps.
(uncommon): Once per day you can cast Zephyr Strike on yourself.
(rare): Once per day you can cast freedom of movement on yourself.
(very rare): Once per short rest you can cast Zephyr Strike on yourself.
(legendary): Mithril wheels let you slip out of any bond. You are always conceded under the effects of freedom of movement.

Floating chair (medium):
Having 4 large inflated wheels, this chair softly bounces over the terrain.
  • can't climb or high jump.
  • advantage against being knocked prone.
  • floats in water, allowing you to move at half your normal speed in calm waters.
(uncommon): The chair hovers a few feet off the ground, water, and lava.
(rare): you can cast levitate on yourself at-will.
(uncommon): fly speed equal to half your walking speed
(legendary): fly speed equal to your walking speed

Treaded Chair: (heavy, str 15, Disadvantage on sheath checks)
Consisting of heavy treads, this chair gives has extreme traction and it's low center of gravity keeps it upright. Allowing the chair easily rolling over anything in it's way. It also makes the chair bottom heavy, flipping upright as.
  • can't climb or jump.
  • sinks in water, falling 20' per round, and softly landing at the bottom.
  • immune to forced movement and being prone.
  • resistance to damage from ground based attacks, such as caltrops.
  • if you move into a space of a prone creature, they make a DC 13 strength (athletics) or dexterity (acrobatics) check. On a failed check, they are restrained. This effect ends if you no longer occupy the same space. A creature can only be subject save once per turn and can take an action on it's turn to make the check again.
(uncommon): increase the DC to 15
(rare): increase the DC to 17
(very rare): increase the DC to 19
(legendary): adamantine treads make you immune to ground based damage, increase the DC to 21

Wheelchair (tool). If your character can not use their legs as part of their background, they get this proficiency for free. Other characters may get this tool proficiency as normal. Adventurer's wheelchairs are sturdy enough to withstand combat and travel, weigh 25lbs, and cost 5gold. While the chairs allow for people to adventure alone, it's often good to have a party member along to give you a little push when you need it.
Using using a wheelchair you have the following
  • takes an action to get in or out of the chair. This includes straps which prevents you from being forced out of the chair unwillingly.
  • disadvantage on climbing, swimming, or forced movement.
  • can't jump.
  • Double the penalty for difficult terrain (typically 3' for each 1' of movement), going up stairs counts as difficult terrain.
  • can attach a torch, lanterns and similar device to the chair.
  • carrying capacity is increase by 5 times your strength score.
  • reduce the damage taken of ground based attacks, such as caltrops, by your proficiency bonus.
If you are proficient in wheelchairs you also get the following
  • can get in or out of the chair as a bonus action
  • advantage against being knocked prone
  • increase your speed by 5' when moving in a straight line. 10' if your going down hill.
  • When you are subject to forced movement, you can increase the distance by 5' in the same direction. (Reminder that forced movement ignores difficult terrain).
  • Add your proficiency bonus to forced marches.
Feat: Wheelchair Master
  • +1 to any stat.
  • You gain proficiency in wheelchairs, or another tool if your already proficient
  • No longer have disadvantage on climbing, swimming, or forced movement.
Magic Chairs:
Attuning to a magical wheel chair requires proficiency in wheel chairs. The magic of the chair diverts the energy normally used control your leg to the wheels. This allows the attuned to seamlessly control the chair. However, effect also disables their legs, preventing them from walking, standing, forcing them to crawl or have another movement option. They also can not gain any benefit from magical boots. As long as the chair is within line of sight, the attuned user can use their movement to move it around even if they are not in it. They also always know which direction it is in.

Magic chairs effectively take the boot slot. So most magical boots effects, except those that using the legs for (kicking or jumping for instance), can be directly applied to magical chairs, adjusting their appearance to fit.

Floating chair (uncommon, attuned): Adapted from the floating disk wizards spell, this chair floats 3' above the ground. It can move across uneven terrain, up or down stairs, slopes and the like, but it can’t cross an elevation change of 10 feet or more.

Spiked Chair (rare, attuned): It's a good thing you can control this chair without touching it, because it's covered in spikes. When a creature hits you with a melee attack, or you move though the space of a prone creature, they take 1d4+your proficiency bonus piercing damage. In addition, those spikes help keep the chair anchored to the ground. You can add your proficiency bonus to climb checks and to resist forced movement.

Juggernaut tread (very rare, attuned): Made of adamantine and having reads instead of wheels, this chair is indestructible and impossible to stop. Once per turn, you can attempt to move into another creatures space and push them back 5', unless they succeed on a DC20 strength check. If they against a wall or other immoveable object, both the object and the creature take damage equal to your level and are restrained until you move away. In addition, your speed is reduced by 5', you ignores all difficult terrain, have advantage against forced movement (ignoring the normal disadvantage), and rapidly sink in water.
 
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aco175

Legend
Drive-by attack
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Bag of holding with heated lunch compartment. Ale holder- can drink a potion as bonus action.
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Flame thrower attachment
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Umbrella, ella, ella. Half damage from falling.
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The Glen

Hero
What's the hit points on the chair? What happens when an orc decides to take an ax to the wheels instead of the person?

Would also include disadvantage on dexterity saves as you really can't go side to side to dodge. And if you're not prone you can't get back up without help without exiting the chair. If they are connected to the chair by straps to prevent them from being taken out it would take a full action to undo the straps to get back up the next round.

Fighting in a wheelchair should be disadvantageous than being on your feet. There's too many drawbacks especially in a combat scenario
 

my group just said 'can't climb' other then that you are slightly shorter target no game effect...

then again we went from modernish to prof x hover REAL quick anyway
 


mellored

Hero
What's the hit points on the chair? What happens when an orc decides to take an ax to the wheels instead of the person?

Would also include disadvantage on dexterity saves as you really can't go side to side to dodge. And if you're not prone you can't get back up without help without exiting the chair. If they are connected to the chair by straps to prevent them from being taken out it would take a full action to undo the straps to get back up the next round.

Fighting in a wheelchair should be disadvantageous than being on your feet. There's too many drawbacks especially in a combat scenario
Hp is the same as any other adventuring equipment. Do you often break swords, shields, boots, helms, backpacks in your game?
Attacking the wheels is a trip attack, same as attacking the legs is.
You have partial cover from the chair, so that cancels out any disadvantage on dex saves.
I don't see why you would need to get out of a chair to get it upright. These things are bottom heavy. For example I don't see why fighting in a wheelchair should give disadvantage. Nothing stops you from swinging a maul or a rapier.

You might be thinking of old people who are in a chair because they have 4 Str and 4 Dex. Not people with 20 Str or Dex in a chair.
Here is a high dex wheelchair
 




So I'm trying to balance a few wheelchair options, both from low level ones to higher level ones.
I also want to make it a more more interesting. Not just "same as people with legs" but something with it's own advantages and drawbacks.
Mainly, you're faster on flat ground, but worse when not. It's also soft gated behind tool proficiency, meaning most people won't have it, but still allowing access to anyone.
Let me know if this seems balanced.

Wheelchair (tool). If your character can not use their legs as part of their background, they get this proficiency for free. Other characters may get this tool proficiency as normal. Adventurer's wheelchairs are sturdy enough to withstand combat and travel, weigh 25lbs, and cost 5gold. While the chairs allow for people to adventure alone, it's often good to have a party member along to give you a little push when you need it.
Using using a wheelchair you have the following
  • takes an action to get in or out of the chair. This includes straps which prevents you from being forced out of the chair unwillingly.
  • disadvantage on climbing, swimming, or forced movement.
  • can't jump.
  • Double the penalty for difficult terrain (typically 3' for each 1' of movement), going up stairs counts as difficult terrain.
  • can attach a torch, lanterns and similar device to the chair.
  • carrying capacity is increase by 5 times your strength score.
  • reduce the damage taken of ground based attacks, such as caltrops, by your proficiency bonus.
If you are proficient in wheelchairs you also get the following
  • can get in or out of the chair as a bonus action
  • advantage against being knocked prone
  • increase your speed by 5' when moving in a straight line. 10' if your going down hill.
  • When you are subject to forced movement, you can increase the distance by 5' in the same direction. (Reminder that forced movement ignores difficult terrain).
  • Add your proficiency bonus to forced marches.
Feat: Wheelchair Master
  • +1 to any stat.
  • You gain proficiency in wheelchairs, or another tool if your already proficient
  • No longer have disadvantage on climbing, swimming, or forced movement.
Magic Chairs:
Attuning to a magical wheel chair requires proficiency in wheel chairs. The magic of the chair diverts the energy normally used control your leg to the wheels. This allows the attuned to seamlessly control the chair. However, effect also disables their legs, preventing them from walking, standing, forcing them to crawl or have another movement option. They also can not gain any benefit from magical boots. As long as the chair is within line of sight, the attuned user can use their movement to move it around even if they are not in it. They also always know which direction it is in.

Magic chairs effectively take the boot slot. So most magical boots effects, except those that using the legs for (kicking or jumping for instance), can be directly applied to magical chairs, adjusting their appearance to fit.

Floating chair (uncommon, attuned): Adapted from the floating disk wizards spell, this chair floats 3' above the ground. It can move across uneven terrain, up or down stairs, slopes and the like, but it can’t cross an elevation change of 10 feet or more.

Spiked Chair (rare, attuned): It's a good thing you can control this chair without touching it, because it's covered in spikes. When a creature hits you with a melee attack, or you move though the space of a prone creature, they take 1d4+your proficiency bonus piercing damage. In addition, those spikes help keep the chair anchored to the ground. You can add your proficiency bonus to climb checks and to resist forced movement.

Juggernaut tread (very rare, attuned): Made of adamantine and having reads instead of wheels, this chair is indestructible and impossible to stop. Once per turn, you can attempt to move into another creatures space and push them back 5', unless they succeed on a DC20 strength check. If they against a wall or other immoveable object, both the object and the creature take damage equal to your level and are restrained until you move away. In addition, your speed is reduced by 5', you ignores all difficult terrain, have advantage against forced movement (ignoring the normal disadvantage), and rapidly sink in water.
I'm really impressed with these rules. They work very well with idea of a seriously fit adventurer slammin' around in a wheelchair. I don't see any obvious issues, and I agree with your thinking re: Dex saves being balanced out by the chair itself potentially getting in the way.
yeah, in general the person we know who wanted to play one didn't want to learn 100 new rules just because she wanted to play someone in a chair like hers... and if we had loaded it with TOO many disadvantages it would have looked like we were insulting her.
That's also a totally valid approach, and it's pretty obvious that D&D magic could come up with a hoverchair (effectively a permanent Tenser's Floating Disc with a chair with controls built around it maybe?). As there's no real advantage to it, just a difference, it doesn't really matter that it's a magic item or whatever.
 


Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
And this is a human man in our real world.

I imagine that in a fantasy world, there might be chair-based martial arts and magical traditions on top of that.
Agreed. Especially when you start thinking about things like magic wheelchairs, like a permanent Tenser's floating disc powering it. When I did Chromatic Dungeons last year, I had the talented Eric Lofgren do this illustration, because ultimately, representation is important and in a fantasy game, inclusion is easy

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What's the hit points on the chair? What happens when an orc decides to take an ax to the wheels instead of the person?

Would also include disadvantage on dexterity saves as you really can't go side to side to dodge. And if you're not prone you can't get back up without help without exiting the chair. If they are connected to the chair by straps to prevent them from being taken out it would take a full action to undo the straps to get back up the next round.

Fighting in a wheelchair should be disadvantageous than being on your feet. There's too many drawbacks especially in a combat scenario

I think the design would probably evolve though to meet some of these challenges. And there is magic to make something more resilient against things like orcs attacking the wheels.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
I think the design would probably evolve though to meet some of these challenges. And there is magic to make something more resilient against things like orcs attacking the wheels.
I'd imagine something like the solid wheels of the sport chairs, but with a guard to keep weapons from deflecting into you.

Why can the chair climb and swim with just disadvantage, but not jump?
Especially when we not have video evidence of the jumping.
 

I'd imagine something like the solid wheels of the sport chairs, but with a guard to keep weapons from deflecting into you.

I'm also thinking of things like how tanks evolved in modern warfare. This could be something one could engineer so it either balances any lost mobility for dodging with greater armor protection, or has a number of key advantages that make it useful.
 

Clint_L

Hero
Why can the chair climb and swim with just disadvantage, but not jump?
My spouse is playing a goblin artificer whose cart also acts as as their chair and we have more approached it from a roleplaying perspective rather than worrying too much about rules. So when they needed to jump, my spouse just described a pogo-stick contraption in the bottom and we went with it. It's a fantasy game.

So one approach is just to say the character is in a chair, treat the character as normal, and let the player decide how it all works.
 

Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
Would they require free hand(s) to move? That kinda complicate things when it comes to moving and wielding items such as weapons and shields.

I'd probably go with some kind of sled/chariot pulled by small/medium beasts then treat the whole assembly as a mount, using the same rules as if the character was riding a horse or whatever.
 


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