Content of the article: "I like the idea of a “combat wheelchair”, but I want to make a version that includes more types of assistive devices, and is less mechanically/progression oriented. Thoughts and help?"
Something about the famous combat wheelchair supplement seems like it fits in much more with a mechanically/progression oriented game like 3.5e or pathfinder, rather than a much more theme oriented game like 5e. At the same time, it's pretty much strictly a wheelchair, and not any other sort of assistive device, which leaves out a lot of incredibly diverse assistive devices people use! I love the idea of promoting inclusion and accessibility to the hobby though, so here is my attempt at solving these issues. I plan to make this a baseline of my campaigns going forth, unless there is some serious issue. Can you work with me to make it better?
Character Creation, disability, and assistive devices:
At your option, your character might require the use of one or more assistive devices to walk, to talk, to hear, or any other function common to an adventurer you might think of. You may include the use of one or more of these assistive devices for your character. The form and function of the assistive device is up to you, but effectively, it allows your character to perform all activities that any other adventurer would be able to perform.
You define the assistive device. you may specify whether it polymorphs with you when your character is subject to a polymorph effect for instance. You define its shape and size, though an assistive device is not large enough to change your character's size category. Is your device a throne on a modified Tenser's Floating Disc? Maybe it is an exoskeleton suit of artifice, or a magical tablet that echos words written on it in a fae version of your voice!
You may incorporate magic items that you are attuned to, or which you possess and do not require attunement into the design of your assistive device. For example, it might have a chamber containing your Wand of Magic Missile. The process of attunement might you modifying your assistive device to accomodate he new magical items, as an example! If you elect to do so, you still need to meet whatever requirements another adventurer might have to meet in order to use the items. For example, if you have three items; two magic swords and a magic shield, you could not choose to wield all three items through your assistive device at the same time. Your assistive device is as capable as another adventurer. It has has as many "hands" to grab and hold things or characters (even if these "hands" do not ultimately look like hands, due to your chosen design).
At your option, your character might be able to lose the assistive device. If you want this to be a possibility in your game, talk with your DM and inform him. Otherwise, the standard presumption should be that these assistive devices are inseparable from your character, and if magic in nature, not dispelled by any effect including anti-magic field. If you want this to be a possibility, also work with your DM as to what kind of actions might separate your character from their assistive device. Spells, athletics checks to shove, grapple, and disarm are common possibilities. Work with your DM to identify what your character needs the assistive device to do, and what they should not be able to do without it.
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