Wizards Of The Coast’s Chris Perkins Addresses Concerns Over Disability Representation In Dungeons & Dragons

Wizards Of The Coast’s Chris Perkins Addresses Concerns Over Disability Representation In Dungeons & Dragons
Credit: D&D Beyond via YouTube

In today’s heightened world of visibility and understanding, many people have done what they can to be a bit more careful with the things they say and they way it may impact communities in unforeseen ways. Such is the case with the way in which disabilities and the differently-abled have been represented in Dungeons & Dragons – an issue that senior story designer Chris Perkins took to Twitter to not only acknowledge, but promise to fix.

We haven’t linked directly to the tweet due to profanity, but Perkins responded to a tweet earlier today that discussed the representation of disabilities in the popular D&D module, Curse of Strahd. In it, the Twitter user @mustangsart expressed displeasure that “Ezmeralda is the only explicitly disabled NPC in Curse of Strahd and they made her cover up her disability like it’s some shameful thing, rendering the art of her meaningless.”

The character Ezmeralda was the victim of a werewolf attack in which she lost her right leg, causing her to become an amputee. Ezmeralda is described thusly in the campaign module:

“She commissioned a master artisan to craft a prosthetic lower leg and foot. After several tries, he delivered a prosthesis that restored her mobility. She has since adapted well to the false appendage and takes care to hide it from view.”

It’s understandable why some would see this as the only disabled character hiding their disability as if it’s some sort of mark of shame rather than something that countless people truly live with. In response, however, Perkins completely owned up to it, taking the blame and simply stating, “Yeah, we’re gonna fix that #wotcstaff.”

Further in the comments on the post, Perkins directly let the blame come to him, saying, “I saw this and was like, ‘what boob wrote that?’ And then I’m like, ‘Oh, wait, that was me.'”

It’s heartwarming to see Perkins not only so readily accepting the fall for the gaff, but also stating his intent to ensure that it’s fixed as soon as possible. As the internet is the internet, plenty of the replies are people saying that it isn’t an issue and anyone taking any sort of offense to the situation needs tougher skin, but people genuinely discredit how much the simple factor of understanding, kind, and accurate representation can truly have.

Currently, it’s unknown when this is something that could be expected to be fixed, as it isn’t as easy as altering a small document. There are millions of Curse of Strahd books in circulation, so the unfortunate reality is that we’ll need to wait for the next printing to know if the issue was truly addressed.