View Full Version : [3.5] Template for Paraplegic Characters

2013-12-21, 12:41 PM
A player asked me if he could create a paraplegic character. Since there are no oficial rules for this, or many discussions on how to make a character like this viable, i've created my own set of rules on how a paraplegic character should work after he or she learned how to overcome some of his or her frailties.

I would like opinions, comments or ideas on this template and how to make it more fair/balanced :smallsmile:

(I am aware that this could be a flaw instead of a template, but we usualy play at a 2 flaw limit, and not being able to use your legs seems too much compared to the other types of flaws.)

Acquiring this template gives the character an extra feat.

A paraplegic character either lost control of his legs or was born without them. She eventually learned how to overcome the difficulties of not being able to walk, but due to the trauma or not ever knowing how to use her legs, she may never be able to walk even if her legs are magically restored, or if new legs were created magically.

A paraplegic character gains a +2 bonus to strength, and a +4 bonus to climb checks, due to the heavy usage of her upper muscles for daily tasks. The character gets a -10 on balance checks since she must drag her body on the surface, and can't position the weight of her legs. She also automatically fails jump checks, has a -5 on swim checks, and a -10 to climb surfaces taller than herself (if the character has legs, consider how tall she would be if she could stand).

A dismounted paraplegic character on the ground is always considered prone, but does not receive the usual -4 penalty to attack rolls. She still gains +4 AC against ranged attacks, -4 AC against melee attacks, and is immune to trips. Using a move action, a paraplegic character may position herself on a sitting position that allows her to use ranged weapons other then the crossbow.

A paraplegic character has a crawling movement speed of 10ft, she cannot charge, run, or withdraw, but still may perform 5-foot step actions. Using medium or heavy armor reduces her speed to 5ft. A paraplegic character cannot use tumble skill, but may instead use the climb skill to pass through enemy occupied or threatened spaces without provoking attacks of opportunity.

Due to the lack of the leg limbs or due to muscular atrophy, the paraplegicís body is lighter than normal. A character who does not have legs weights 5/7 of the average weight for that race, and a paraplegic who still has his legs but cannot use them weights 6/7 of the average weight.

Interpretatively, a paraplegic character obviously would not be able to perform actions that would require the use of his legs. However, the DM should encourage the player to attempt to improvise ways to perform such tasks. It is highly unadvised for the DM to allow players to acquire this template for the extra feat and bonuses if they have ways to avoid its penalties, such as by having a fly speed.

2013-12-21, 01:28 PM
a +4 bonus to climb checks
This immediately struck me as wrong. Your legs are as important as your arms for climbing, and this should definitely be a penalty, not a bonus.

2013-12-21, 01:37 PM
Indeed legs are as important as arms for climbing. However, a paraplegic character would get used to climbing small surfaces such as stairs, hence the bonus.

For long walls where she would need the her legs to climb, there is the -10 penalty, as described.

2013-12-25, 06:57 PM
I think you should give his character some help hacking some rules and stuff...He must be a really nice guy and all.

2013-12-26, 12:13 AM
Count as always prone.

Make a few tweaks to aegis and put them inside a suit, go sigourney weaver mech on the uglies.



2013-12-27, 12:52 PM
This is how I would assess a paraplegic character (I've taken bits from various sources and combined them to this:)

A paraplegic character has lost all use of his legs and must rely upon a palanquin, a riding beast, or some other conveyance. He cannot walk or run. However, he can crawl at half his normal base speed. He automatically fails Jump checks. He takes a -10 Circumstance penalty to Balance, Climb, Perform (Dance), Ride and Tumble skills. He takes a -5 Circumstance penalty to Swim checks. He is considered flat-footed and prone in combat and can only move 5 feet as a full-round action without the aid of prosthetics or magic.


2013-12-29, 01:08 PM
Maybe give him a bonus on hide like he was a size below his size

2013-12-29, 01:19 PM
A paraplegic character not on some sort of mount (which would require an expensive custom harness) would have to have a penalty on attack rolls. Nobody is going to teach someone who can't walk how to fight, and Ben fewer people would know how. Even if there were a teacher, you would be unable to use both hands, as one is occupied trying to stay balanced and mobile.

Holding an item in hand would reduce speed to five feet. Using both would reduce speed to 0. Base speed could be ten, and five-foot steps might be doable, but when speed drops, nobody can take five-foot steps, so a fighting paraplegic would barely be able to move, and would always provoke attacks (possibly by attacking...).

I would make the template have many more penalties, to the point that playing a melee character would be impossible. A paraplegic character in a standard D&D world would either never be able to become an adventurer, or would be an extaordinarily gifted mage, able to work equally effectively without legs.

2014-01-01, 11:30 AM
We all know that a paraplegic character would just die in the first fight with almost any creature...But hey...So would any "real life" person. Lets help on building something that will improve more the variety of the game.

A paraplegic character is a good way to make new VERY NICE characters like:
- A rogue that lost his legs movements and got to learn magic so he could keep up with the rest of the group.
- A necromancer that simply dont care he doesnt have legs, he is just pushed by his skeleton familiar in a very COOL way.
-A ex jockey trying to get his limbs movements back by entering a crazy race crossing the continent
- A old psionic that leads a group of young special people and help the world.
- A soldier that goes to another world and becomes a blue-creature and help aliens against his own kind.

An ideia. A character with such a slow movement would be in trouble in any combat. What about it, he has a speed of 10ft, but he can make a climb check and move 20ft.

2014-01-01, 12:48 PM
Maybe give him a bonus on hide like he was a size below his size

This would make sense if he or she were actually missing legs but not being able to move them wouldn't change his or her size appreciably.


2014-01-02, 12:25 AM
If he's not too specific on what class to play, you could use this (https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=17CABKHnYCJSr1VsBBALddw_MZP84LwhaJjJ0C7NKEu E).

EDIT: I had never even heard of the Aegis class before. Awesome. Personally though, I think the ACPA is better (and is explicitly designed for 3.5).

2014-01-21, 09:37 PM
The template is working nicely, obviously the feat dont help much cuz you cant even WALK normaly...But its being very fun character to play