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

Vaalingrade

Legend
How is wanting to cure a fellow party member and friend PC in a fantasy D&D game not being decent?
I'm going to give benefit of the doubt here. Please, please, please don't make me regret this.

Okay, so some people like in our world where there's not easy peasy nice and squeazy fix to paralysis and amputation and other reasons one might be in a wheelchair... have to be in wheelchairs. It's part of who they are.

Those people, like all of us, sometimes want to play a character who is like them; to see people like them in their entertainment.

To deny them that and tell them to instead have their character use the super easy, barely an inconvenience solution to stop being how they are invalidates their experience and patronizes them for wanting to play someone like them. It is wrong-headed and rude at best and outright cruel and insulting at worst.

It's like telling me to have my character use skin bleach because there's no elves with my skin tone.
 

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Voadam

Legend
Did you stick around for the fully ambulatory vs. wheelchair competition?
I know that the ones I saw I would not want to fight a duel with real swords. :)

Most actual modern fencing would be a bit terrible in a deadly sword fight against a competent opponent. The training is to hit competition targets more than you get hit and expect to be hit a lot, as opposed to actually fight while at risk of being pierced and dying.

I am fairly certain Mandy Patinkin and Cary Elwes would be torn up in a real swordfight against competent swordsmen. Inigo Montoya and the Dread Pirate Roberts are still fantastic models for fantasy swordsmen.

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Jaeger

That someone better
Okay, so some people like in our world where there's not easy peasy nice and squeazy fix to paralysis and amputation and other reasons one might be in a wheelchair... have to be in wheelchairs. It's part of who they are.

Those people, like all of us, sometimes want to play a character who is like them; to see people like them in their entertainment.

I have no problem with this. At all.

My reductio ad absurdium point was that even within the context of D&D's default high-magic mode of play, the concept of a combat wheelchair is completely ridiculous.

Which for some reason people seem exceptionally reluctant to admit.

If people just owned it, and said: "Yeah, but the player wants to play a PC like this because (insert any reason here), so by the power of GM handwavium it happens..."

That, I can respect.

Yet when someone just taking things at face value simply points out the obvious:
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?

Instead of: "Yeah, but by the power of..." you get this endless series of rhetorical convolutions trying to justify the 'combat wheelchair' as an actual serious thing.

Current baseline D&D is plenty gonzo - when you turn the dial from 10 to 11, yet act as though it was set at 6 all along, you can hardly be surprised when people point it out.


I know that the ones I saw I would not want to fight a duel with real swords. :)

Most actual modern fencing would be a bit terrible in a deadly sword fight against a competent opponent. The training is to hit competition targets more than you get hit and expect to be hit a lot, as opposed to actually fight while at risk of being pierced and dying.

Not my point. My comparison is one of full mobility vs. heavily restricted.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
I have no problem with this. At all.
Good, but here comes the problem:
My reductio ad absurdium point was that even within the context of D&D's default high-magic mode of play, the concept of a combat wheelchair is completely ridiculous.

Which for some reason people seem exceptionally reluctant to admit.
...because you are literally making fun of the idea. And you either know that or don't know what 'reducto ad absurdum' means. Which can go either way because people don't normally proudly admit they're committing logical fallacies.
 

MGibster

Legend
While there wasn't a + in the thread title, the OP clearly wanted some feedback on whether their wheelchair rules were balanced. Clearly they've already decided that wheelchairs for characters is a desirable addition to their game, so regardless of how one might feel about their appropriateness as it relates to adventuring in D&D, it's progbably best to stick with the original question and provide the feedback and make suggestions to better assist the OP and others. That's what being a good buddy is all about.
 

Quartz

Hero
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.

A small restriction should be that the user of a non-magical chair can only wield a one-handed weapon or a shield in close combat, but not both. The person in the chair needs one hand on the weapon or shield and one on the wheel of the chair to manoeuvre.
 

mellored

Legend
A small restriction should be that the user of a non-magical chair can only wield a one-handed weapon or a shield in close combat, but not both. The person in the chair needs one hand on the weapon or shield and one on the wheel of the chair to manoeuvre.
How would you balance that?
I couldn't come up with a way that worked well for all classes. Since ones like paladins want a shield, but blade singers ignore it.
 

My reductio ad absurdium point was that even within the context of D&D's default high-magic mode of play, the concept of a combat wheelchair is completely ridiculous.

Which for some reason people seem exceptionally reluctant to admit.
that's cause it ISN'T. There is nothing any MORE ridiculous between a hero in a wheel chair then there is a hero that gets hit by a giant's axe 3 times (including something we call a critical hit) and they can keep going like it's nothing.

If you don't understand that people in wheelchairs have very little they can't do, and we have a fraction of the abilities magic gives you.
 

Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
For simplicity's sake, I'd go with something like this (a little handwavy, but still)
  • Count as Large creature when grappled, pushed or pulled. Advantage on saves and tests against such effects.
  • Count as one size larger for the purpose of carrying capacity.
  • Squeezing, Climbing and Swimming requires 4 feet of movement for each 1 foot moved.
  • Jumps without a 10 feet running start are reduced to 1/4 of their maximum distance.
 



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