An RPG designer has created a combat wheelchair for Dungeons & Dragons 5E, allowing characters with disabilities to more comfortably traverse the fantasy world.
Sara Thompson’s homebrewed rules for the combat wheelchair describe it as inspired by the chairs used by players of real-world sports such as wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby - although in this case built to attack and defend against attacks from all manner of monsters.
“The Combat Wheelchair can withstand high impact and even work as a weapon in itself, providing the user with a means of both defence and attack,” Thompson writes, adding that the chair means “anyone can be an adventurer”.
The combat wheelchair includes equipment such as gloves, a rear backrest compartment for storing gear, a number of adjustable elements to make the user comfortable and tough tyres to overcome almost any terrain (optional floats for traversing water can be bought from any good local merchant).
The rules allow the wheelchair to be used by any D&D 5E character; Thompson suggests adventurers with high strength and dexterity are as natural a fit as magic users. The wheelchair can be further upgraded and customised, granting its user proficiency with Land Vehicles and Tinker's Tools.
As well as the litany of upgrades that can be added to the chair itself, the combat wheelchair also gains the effect of any attuned magical items. Thompson highlights Dungeons & Dragons 5E’s Boots of Flying as an item not “designed with disabled adventurers in mind”, including those unable to support their own weight standing unaided - something that the combat wheelchair’s magical attunement corrects.
Included with the chair are a pair of beacon stones that allow the combat wheelchair to move via magical power to a location within 30 feet, hovering up to the same distance above the ground.
While the combat wheelchair is said to be as useful in daily activity as combat, it features several special melee attacks while in battle. Players can choose to strike an enemy with a wheel, roll the chair over something to cause crush damage or ram into a creature to unbalance them.
More generally, the user can choose to gain momentum when moving downhill to double their movement speed - with the need to use the emergency brake to come to a sudden stop. The chair is also more stable thanks to a stabiliser wheel, offering advantage on throws against being knocked prone.
As well as creating homebrew and freelance content for tabletop roleplaying games such as D&D, Thompson has contributed to The Witcher RPG as part of her work with publisher R. Talsorian Games and founded disabled streaming community Heroes Without Limits.
As with all of Thompson’s disability content, the combat wheelchair rules are available to download for free, including a book version, a version with autistic-friendly fonts and an audio version.