Ableism in TTRPG
yes, I know, ableism is everywhere. Ableism is such a staple of our society that you need to demand a ramp if you need to go in a building that doesn’t have any. You need to book help if you want to take the train. You need to go blocks around if you want to be able to traverse traffic when you are a wheelchair user. If city-planners and architects would take wheelchair users into account, this was not necessary, but alas… we are not that advanced as we think we are.
What strikes me is that even in make-believe fantasy… ableism is rampant. In the most recent example, at least for me, there was an adventure released in Candlekeep Mysteries. The adventure is written by a wheelchair user and incorporated their disability in the adventure. Nothing ableist their, but inclusive of Wizards of the coast that they included a disabled author in their works. Awesome.
The ableism came in the reviews. In how people thought about the adventure: “there are no ramps in dungeons. There are no elevators in dungeons. Wheelchair users can not be adventurers.” There are only a few examples of the comments. What about patches, wooden legs? What about Vedalken who are clearly autistic if you know a bit about autism. What about so many things… If you can not see a disabled character in a fantasy game, I don’t want to know how you are in real life! Your ableism is showing even in a fantasy game, what if somebody comes up to you in a job interview and your view of disabled people crops up in sentences like: “I don’t see you operating a forklift, because you are in wheelchair”
In recent years disability and TTRPG have been merging more, from the inclusion of stories by amputees (my apologies if this is not the right terminology) in cyberpunk red and the Fate Accessibility toolkit by Evil hat, which isn’t only great for the Fate Core system, but great for every system if you want to incorporate ideas from it!
Drivethrurpg, widely known in the rpg community, when I type in disability, only has 1 page with 18 entries. One, folks. While disabled people are 20 percent of the population. We only have 18 entries on thousands upon thousands that focus on it. That is pathetic.
Every post is written first in scrivener 3, which you can get a 30 day free trial of here at literature and latte.