[RPG] GMing for [dis]abled players, specifically blind players


What kind of measures should one take when running a game which includes a [dis]abled player (or players) such as a blind of deaf player? Are there any technologies or styles which are particularly fitting or useful under these circumstances? Are there any technologies or styles which are particularly ill-fitting or not useful under these circumstances?

(I don't mean to be rude in grouping all disabilities together, and recognize that the answer varies based on the disability. Nonetheless, I am curious to hear some general answers.)

Best Answer

My girlfriend and I have played 4E D&D and she is completely blind. Here are some of the things I did to help her out:

  • I obtained a PDF copy of the rules and copy/pasted enough of it so she could print enough of the core rules out in Braille. I also made a plain character sheet for her as well that was also printable in Braille.
  • I bought her a set of oversized dice, including a huge, two inch d20. We were able to put Braille labels on all the dice that her character needed.
  • At the gaming table, we used my cork board for positioning. Elements of the map were made tactile with simple cardboard cutouts, textured tape, and placing thumbtacks, pins, etc. with different meanings. It also helped hold all the items in position as she used her hands to figure out where everything was.
  • As a DM, I made sure that I gave accurate descriptions of position, and kept up the descriptions as the characters moved around on the cork board.
  • Above all, we spent a lot of time going over the rules ahead of time to make sure that things would flow smoothly at the game table.

Our gaming sessions have been very fun and successful, and never did any player at the table feel like the game was slowed down in any way.