Building a blind character in Dungeons and Dragons can add a unique dimension to your party, while also just being a lot of fun to play. Figuring out your character’s backstory is of course the first step. Are you going to play as a mysterious oracle, a wailing bard, or a blind archer? How long have you been blind? To what degree are your other senses heightened as a result of being blind?
Once these and various other questions have been answered, you must move on to a trickier aspect: figuring out the mechanics of playing a blind character. While the internet offers answers that are often confusing and scattered here are what I find to be the most helpful tips:
Disadvantage on Perception Checks That Rely Mostly On Vision
Most of the time, a blind character can get along with perception checks just fine. Perhaps they don’t see the dragon flying in the distance, but they can sense an irregularity in wind patterns, or they can sense a source of heat getting closer. But, a perception check for picking up on a subtle facial expression is not something that a blind character is likely going to sense.
If Another Sense Becomes Compromised the Character Has Disadvantage on Attack Rolls
This is also pretty intuitive. In a fight, a blind character would rely entirely on other senses to attack, so if they are fighting in a noisy arena, or if the affects of a numbing spell are still wearing off, it’s only fair the character rolls disadvantage.
Gain Advantage on Non-Sight based Perception Checks
Remember, your character’s other senses are how they experience life. Even if your character has been blinded recently, their other senses are being more dramatically exercised then before. Depending on the character’s level they may be able to sense some pretty neat things, like using a heartbeat to check if someone is lying. Or smelling a dead body to tell how long the corpse has been there.
These, along with other ideas can be found at this DnD reddit. Ultimately it is up to you and your DM to work together to figure out what mechanics would be right for your character, and their history.
Have you ever played a blind character in DnD? What mechanics did you use? Let us know in the comments!