One of the tenets of Dungeons & Dragons is that your character can be anything. Well nearly anything. There are certain limitations on races, mostly due to fantasy tropes. Those continue to expand. The embrace of characters with crutches, wheelchairs, and other ambulatory aids continues. Official books always include art showing these samples.
While the movement towards inclusion of disabled people as potential heroes is slow. It is there. This is wonderful. Because everyone deserves representation. Everyone should have the choice to see themselves as a hero.
Me? I wear glasses. Have all my life. This includes when I was a cartoon superhero as a linguist in the 5th Special Forces. On the range? Glasses. Jumping out of airplanes? Glasses. Setting det-cord? Glasses. Giving an IV? Glasses.
But how would my character where glasses? How could I play this?
My next D&D character is a glasses wearer.
They carry dozens of lenses for varied uses. One of the land’s best archers, they can shoot a bee’s nest at 300 lengths.
Once a truffle hunter always paying attention what was close, they now look afar, constantly.
Originally tweeted by Dave Clark (@bedirthan) on January 13, 2022.
There’s no rules for wearing glasses. The fix is simple. The worlds of D&D have magnifying glasses (100 gp, can start fires) and spyglasses (1000 gp, doubles size of object). So grinding glass isn’t a problem within typical D&D. Neither is the construction of simple frames. In the real world glasses as we know them date to the 13th century.
Eyeglasses or Spectacles
Type: Adventuring Gear | Cost: 25 gp* | Weight: —
Wearers of eyeglasses or spectacles have their vision corrected to normal within the world.
* any player who wants to start their character with lenses should be permitted at no cost.
Now, you may ask — what happens if they get knocked off?
First, I say? Whatever. No, seriously, is your game a constant barrage of disarming player characters of their weapons, shields, and spell components? If not, then don’t worry about it. If you do run that kind of game, then use the same rules for other disarms and expect that characters would carry an extra set of lenses, as I did when I was a cartoon superhero. Maybe their next attack is at disadvantage if you feel cruelty is necessary in your game of heroics.
Those rules are rather unnecessary. My glasses fell off once during training exercises that involved nearly the highest level of training in the US Army (I was SOT-A, not tabbed).
Hero Forge, DM Heroes, ReRoll, Never Ending all have glasses options for art. Currently DnD Beyond does not. You’ll have to load your own, but that should be corrected, because D&D is for everybody.
My next D&D Character is bespectacled.
They wear lens to correct their poor eyesight. Not a nerd, just a person who lives life with lenses on their face. They slay dragons with a giant sword and use their shield to protect their friends.
4 thoughts on “Your D&D campaign should have glasses”
Actually I’ve done research on this, and while glasses existed for a long time, in the time period that D&D is typically set glasses were practically nonexistent or were incredibly bad. Not because people couldn’t afford them or anything like that, but because the average person’s eyesight gets better the further back you go in time so even the ones who could make glasses were pretty bad at it. You can check as well, since there are many scientific journals that found the same thing. While I do respect the reason that one might want to have glasses in D&D, it really flashes with the typical setting.
1260 CE had glasses. They’re perfectly fine to have in your game. This “well, actually, ignores history for claims of verisimilitude, but it’s quite likely they allow plenty of 15th century goods in their game.
Our D&D campaigns are always set in a different world, not in Earth’s history. It is also a place where magic exists, as do Elves, Dragons, travel between realms and all sorts of other fantastical creatures, items and locations.
So, the questions I and my fellow players and DMs that I play with have are:
Is it fun or desired by the player?
Does it interfere with the fun or enjoyment of other players?
If the answer to first is yes and the second is no then it will probably get a thumbs up.
To allow a bottomless bag but not allow a player to say that their character has bad eyesight and found a way to at a minimum have someone modify other items that are already in the game, as Dave mentioned above, to bring them on par with your average townfolk because “well technically” seems a bit backward to me.
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