Could a deaf/mute individual become a caster?

3 thoughts on “Could a deaf/mute individual become a caster?

    • D. Walker says:

      I like that idea – it reminds me of Shintoism and its ceremonial kagura dances using “kagura suzu”, or ritual handbells.

      Real world religions and rituals (especially the more shamanic ones) tend to be rich sources of inspiration – bells, drums, ritual dance, sacred flutes… they’d all make for fantastic “verbal” or somatic spell components.

      Although, to be honest, there’s technically already an element of that with bards being able to use musical instruments as spell foci, but that’s often overlooked…

      • D. Walker says:

        All of that said, one of the big problems I have with D&D is that it doesn’t do enough to encourage thinking outside the box and looking past the obvious.

        For example, people hear “Rogue” and think “black leather, daggers, sneaking, thievery, assassination, etc” – but you could just as easily build a “Rogue” as a highly skilled medical doctor, or a charming diplomat, or a knowledgeable historian. The possibilities that the class mechanics offer get overshadowed by the stereotype.

        Bards have much the same problem – the term “Bard” conjures up very specific images of classic European troubadours and entertainers, but the class could just as easily represent a tribal shaman and storyteller who summons up spirits with sacred drum music; or a Sufi-inspired mystic who weaves their magic by reciting Dhikr-inspired prayers; or a Buddist-inspired monk who recites “sutras”; or a Christian-inspired priest who utters Gregorian-esque chants, etc.

        Or the poor “Barbarians”, who everyone instantly pictures as Conan-esque primitives clad in hides and seething with berserker rage, but who could just as easily represent a wide array of characters. I’ve personally built a ronin-esque wandering swordsman who “enters a trance” instead of “raging”, despite the mechanical effects being identical. I’ve also built a mafia-inspired thug and “enforcer” wearing a cheap suit and too much hair product, who became infamous for conducting business with his fists and being absurdly hard to kill.

        Anyway, my point is, I wish a little bit more was done to suggest to players that the “flavor” and aesthetic of a class can vary much more wildly than we typically think is possible, and to encourage people to “reskin” mechanics.

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