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

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
I cant understand the no jump ruling so I’d say no climbing but can jump (With disadvantage). Maybe Mastery would allow climb too.

otherwise I like it
 

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MGibster

Legend
Oh, people who do that are high Strength too. It is not easy to move your entire body with your arms, much less do it every day, or as a sport, and unlike in D&D, people get stronger with exercise. I am quite sure the guy in the skateboard park can take off any of our heads with a left hook.
I've always found it odd that in many RPGs you can have high value combat or athletic skills while some of your attributes remain relatively low by comparison.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
Str Dex makes more sense if Str is "total muscle mass" while Dex is "Muscles per pound".

Under this model, moving yourself around is Dex (acrobatics), while moving the world is Str (athletics).

Lean athletes would be good Str amazing Dex. A sumo wrestler is high Str low Dex; they care little about strength to mass ratio.

Which makes Dex based jumping make sense.
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
Str Dex makes more sense if Str is "total muscle mass" while Dex is "Muscles per pound".

Under this model, moving yourself around is Dex (acrobatics), while moving the world is Str (athletics).

Lean athletes would be good Str amazing Dex. A sumo wrestler is high Str low Dex; they care little about strength to mass ratio.

Which makes Dex based jumping make sense.
Sumo wrestlers train to strengthen core, back and leg muscles and thus are very agile despite the bulk. Its very different to western ‘strong man’ form So more high Str mid Dex.

I do agree with you though in my game I call Dex Agility and include Athletics under it. Str is Push, Drag, Lift, Knockdown and Smash
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.
The wheelchair provides a platform to rest things on while your hand is in use, so not sure if that counts as a free hand for movement in combat (relying on free action to draw). Maybe apply disadvantage, but I wouldnt
 


mellored

Hero
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.
I've tried a few variations to balanced the need for hands (i.e. the chair counts as a shield, can attach a weapon and attack by spinning), but just couldn't get one that wasn't balanced against across classes and builds.
Why can the chair climb and swim with just disadvantage, but not jump?
I cant understand the no jump ruling so I’d say no climbing but can jump (With disadvantage). Maybe Mastery would allow climb too.
Fair. I'll change it to can't high jump.
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.
Thought of a way to to make this more interesting. Including adding a simple option.
Mainly, by making it as part of the armor, and having a robe/light/medium/heavy option.

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 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 diverting your energy that is normally used control your leg into moving the chair instead. It also prevents any benefit from magical boots, but the chair itself have it's own enchantment in addition to the armor.

DM Note: As the magic chair effectively take the boot slot, any 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): same as winged boots.
(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
 


Celebrim

Legend
I don't really have a problem with the mechanical concepts, I just don't think it would exist in a fantasy universe because having some living being carry you around is so much more functional. So much magic lets you treat a steed like a wheelchair that leaves your hands free, that I don't think most heroic types facing disabilities would opt for this sort of contrivance. In the long run, I think investing in strapping yourself to a loyal semi-sentient tiger you are empathically bonded to or what not just gives you so much more freedom and is a much more potent platform. Leave the chair for the freedom of your home, but a living steed for battle?
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
I don't really have a problem with the mechanical concepts, I just don't think it would exist in a fantasy universe because having some living being carry you around is so much more functional. So much magic lets you treat a steed like a wheelchair that leaves your hands free, that I don't think most heroic types facing disabilities would opt for this sort of contrivance. In the long run, I think investing in strapping yourself to a loyal semi-sentient tiger you are empathically bonded to or what not just gives you so much more freedom and is a much more potent platform. Leave the chair for the freedom of your home, but a living steed for battle?
I was thinking about this as well, there are SO many ways a fantasy world could solve the problem. An artificer type could have some kind of power armor moving them around. I know of a guy who played a game with a cleric with terrible physical stats (those 3d6 in order types of game). The cleric happened to be a necromancer, so he had undead carry his litter around. Maybe a golem? etc etc etc etc.

That being said, perhaps for some players having the chair in the game is important?
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
I don't really have a problem with the mechanical concepts, I just don't think it would exist in a fantasy universe because having some living being carry you around is so much more functional. So much magic lets you treat a steed like a wheelchair that leaves your hands free, that I don't think most heroic types facing disabilities would opt for this sort of contrivance. In the long run, I think investing in strapping yourself to a loyal semi-sentient tiger you are empathically bonded to or what not just gives you so much more freedom and is a much more potent platform. Leave the chair for the freedom of your home, but a living steed for battle?
It'd have to be a special, extra-small steed though.

You can't bring a horse into a house or castle or pretty much anywhere because horses are bad at traversal.

A fully armored human with break the spine of the biggest dog.

So you'd need like a very friendly spider or giant bug or something.

Also, I feel like we're missing the point: this is about being inclusive for people in wheelchairs. 'Lose the chair if you want to be actually heroic' isn't really the message we want to be conveying.
 

Jaeger

That someone better
Fighting in a wheelchair should be (more) disadvantageous than being on your feet. There's too many drawbacks especially in a combat scenario ...

Dude! I know right?

I don't see why fighting in a wheelchair should give disadvantage. Nothing stops you from swinging a maul or a rapier. ...

You have obviously never done any kind of fencing.

Someone in a wheelchair's compromised mobility is a dead man. It's inevitable.


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.

Yes, like a level 1 heal spell. Then the PC can walk.

Or if the player insists it is a 'condition' of some type, then the group springs for a level 5 greater restoration spell ASAP. Then the PC can walk.

If the player insist that they have no legs, then the party springs for a level 7 regenerate spell ASAP. Then the PC can walk.


was thinking about this as well, there are SO many ways a fantasy world could solve the problem.

Like healing spells.

The willful suspension of disbelief required for people to treat the "combat wheelchair" as a viable and serious thing in high-magic D&D is truly next-level.
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
The willful suspension of disbelief required for people to treat the "combat wheelchair" as a viable and serious thing in high-magic D&D is truly next-level.

So a 1st level spell to restore full mobility to a person with paraplegia is fine but a healthy person in a wheelchair excelling at combat is willful suspension of disbelief?

I really do think people are missing the point and approaching this idea from an ablest perspective.

Nb
1. My father was tetraplegic for 22 years, so Im sensitive to these things
2. I hate Healing spells that do more than basic first aid can (hence I require a med kit or healer skill to use them)
 

Voadam

Legend
You have obviously never done any kind of fencing.

Someone in a wheelchair's compromised mobility is a dead man. It's inevitable.

I don't know, I have seen actual wheelchair fencing at competitions which was cool and impressive and so fantasy wheelchair fencing seems fine to me if you are already getting past the wheelchairs on not flat floors issue of general adventuring.

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Voadam

Legend
Yes, like a level 1 heal spell. Then the PC can walk.
Obviously not. Use of your legs is not taken away or restored by hp (until you drop unconscious with functional legs).
Or if the player insists it is a 'condition' of some type, then the group springs for a level 5 greater restoration spell ASAP. Then the PC can walk.
Does not seem to be under the conditions cured by greater restoration.

Greater Restoration
5th-level abjuration
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Touch
Components: V, S, M (diamond dust w orth at least 100 gp, which the spell consumes)
Duration: Instantaneous
You imbue a creature you touch with positive energy to undo a debilitating effect. You can reduce the target’s exhaustion level by one, or end one of the following effects on the target:
• One effect that charmed or petrified the target
• One curse, including the target’s attunement to a cursed magic item
• Any reduction to one of the target’s ability scores
• One effect reducing the target’s hit point maximum
If the player insist that they have no legs, then the party springs for a level 7 regenerate spell ASAP. Then the PC can walk.
If they are an amputee then 7th level regenerate is a D&D traditional spell that can restore the lost limbs.
 

MGibster

Legend
So a 1st level spell to restore full mobility to a person with paraplegia is fine but a healthy person in a wheelchair excelling at combat is willful suspension of disbelief?
Both require willful suspension of disbelief it's just that we're used to one and not the other. I personally don't care if we just say the PC in the chair had enough training to overcome whatever disadvantages it would normally have. I'm a bit ambivalent about wheelchairs in D&D as they look a bit too modern for my tastes and it looks out of place. But if a player wanted the character to have one I'm unlikely to object.
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
Generally in wheelchair self defence the advice is to target the opponents knees, eyes, grappling the head or knockdowns. The general idea is to get the opponent prone so you both have limited mobility.
So grappler feat would be useful
 

Dude! I know right?



You have obviously never done any kind of fencing.

Someone in a wheelchair's compromised mobility is a dead man. It's inevitable.




Yes, like a level 1 heal spell. Then the PC can walk.

Or if the player insists it is a 'condition' of some type, then the group springs for a level 5 greater restoration spell ASAP. Then the PC can walk.

If the player insist that they have no legs, then the party springs for a level 7 regenerate spell ASAP. Then the PC can walk.




Like healing spells.

The willful suspension of disbelief required for people to treat the "combat wheelchair" as a viable and serious thing in high-magic D&D is truly next-level.

Healing spells won't do anything if the person's legs were missing or non-functional to begin with

Have you ever seen the movie FDR: American Badass, where he had his wheel tricked out with werewolf fighting gear?

BTW, here's the clip (warning, some coarse language)

 

jgsugden

Legend
Just a few thoughts: Characters in D&D can do a lot of things that are not realistic. There is no reason why PCs in wheelchairs can't do the same as all the other PCs. The standard, to me, should be what tells a good story, not what simulates reality the best.

Easy access to a mending cantrip may be a good idea. In my setting I have common magic items that allow any to cast a specified cantrip three times a day, and many wands that can cast first level rituals or cantrips at will. They've never proven to be overpowered.
 
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Vaalingrade

Legend
Yes, like a level 1 heal spell. Then the PC can walk.

Or if the player insists it is a 'condition' of some type, then the group springs for a level 5 greater restoration spell ASAP. Then the PC can walk.

If the player insist that they have no legs, then the party springs for a level 7 regenerate spell ASAP. Then the PC can walk.
The player wants to play a fantastic character like themselves? The party patronizes and insults the crap out of them until the leave the group to find a more couth and accepting one.

~Verisimilitude~ and ~Suspension of Disbelief~ are more important than including and being decent to people, apparently.
 

Jaeger

That someone better
So a 1st level spell to restore full mobility to a person with paraplegia is fine but a healthy person in a wheelchair excelling at combat is willful suspension of disbelief?

I specifically said: "The willful suspension of disbelief required for people to treat the "combat wheelchair" as a viable and serious thing in high-magic D&D is truly next level."

It seems you accept that D&D has a lot of 'because dragons'. Especially with spells.

So since we have already established 'because dragons' with spells, it only follows that there is no need for a 'combat wheelchair' in a D&D high magic setting; because healing spells.


I don't know, I have seen actual wheelchair fencing at competitions which was cool and impressive and so fantasy wheelchair fencing seems fine to me if you are already getting past the wheelchairs on not flat floors issue of general adventuring.

Did you stick around for the fully ambulatory vs. wheelchair competition?


Does not seem to be under the conditions cured by greater restoration.

If your GM is being a restrictive pendant you might have to dig deeper into the spell list.

If you want to be picky; 6th level heal will do the trick. If you want to be really really picky; you have 9th level power word heal as a go to as well, which explicitly cures paralysis.


Healing spells won't do anything if the person's legs were missing or non-functional to begin with ...

Says who? We have already established 'because dragons' with spells. And power word heal explicitly cures paralysis.

If your legs were lopped off and never recovered; I'll readily concede that RAW standard healing spells don't cut the mustard.

Which is why the PC's party will spring for the Clone spell. Then the PC can walk.


... party patronizes and insults ... ~Verisimilitude~ and ~Suspension of Disbelief~ are more important than including and being decent to people, apparently.

What!? Who said anything about the party patronizing and insulting anyone?

How is wanting to cure a fellow party member and friend PC in a fantasy D&D game not being decent? That is a rather odd stance to take.

Why so restrictive?
 

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