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Roleplaying blind, visually impaired or hindered characters

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I know that another post was also done on this by the lovely I-Chipz-I, But I thought I'd kinda add onto this a bit, most of my characters are visually impaired and my most active one is a blind healer. don't forget to see I-Chipz-I post too!   I will be using my main character Barii, who is the blind medic I mentioned, for this guide. Most of this I learned from experience, I'm not an expert nor do I know anyone that's personally blind, so please keep this in mind. Barii's examples will be in pink, General examples will be Teal.

1. Senses
Sense plays a huge part in Blind characters, especially the ears, nose, and touch. It's not a good idea to make them ALL super strong, it can come off as OP. pick one that will be better than the rest. All 3 will still be heightened, but usually, its good to have your character have a preference.
For example, Barii is a medic, and Herbs usually have strong or unique scents, so he prefers smell and his nose is stronger than his ears and touch.

2. Flaws and quirks
Now, your blind character isn't perfect at everything. If you have a blind character then they aren't gonna perfectly take down that elk or maul the eyes of a rival. They're most likely gonna have some trouble unless they've trained for a long time.
For example, Barii cannot hunt at all and has no fighting skills, though he has trained as a medic his whole life.
Also Traits: things like the character being Clumsy, always running into stuff or tripping, etc.

3. Appearance
Your character can't see themself! if, in the roleplay, your character needs to fix themself up then typing things like: "The dame slipped the pretty rose behind her ear". doesn't really make sense. How do they know its a rose? how to they know it's behind their ear? try: "The dame felt around for a flower, her paw reaching what felt like a stem. She leaned down to press her nose to a cool, smooth and delicate object which she guessed to be petals. The scent of rose filled her nose and she plucked it. The dame put a paw on her head, finding her ear and brought the other paw with the flower to meet her opposite paw. after fumbling around the managed to slip in behind her ear."Yeah that's kinda lengthy my bad. BUT it shows that she didn't just automatically find the flower and her ear. She had to actually search for it. OR you can have them miss their ear and have another person/RP partner help them. [/color]
Bariis example would be: "The mister wrapped the final root around the ring, tightening it and placing the hoop on his head. "Look at that". He mused to his friend. "A flower Crown". He grinned, the messy 'crown' sat on his head in a messy bundle, Licorice root dangling off the loop and flowers falling off it. "here". The friend said. "Let me help".

4. Word choice
It may not sound that important but it is. I've made this mistake a few times when I accidentally threw "glance" in a post a couple of times. It's okay to describe the area as long as its not a character action. Example: "Barii trotted down the meadowy path, grinning as lavender dangled from his jaws. loose twigs littered the path, every so often a snapping noise sounded when the sir stepped on one. He moved his head in a manner that "looked" around each time a snap was heard, the medic was confused, unsure what the source of the noise was." Here it describes the area he's in, but it doesn't say he saw it. he "looked" around sure, but with the quotes, it means he wasn't literally looking around. it means that his head moved in a way that if an outsider was watching him it may have appeared that he was looking around when in reality he wasn't.

5. fully blind v.s. Visually impaired
Now, this is a good time to keep in mind I've never met a blind person nor am I an expert on eyes. But I know in general, some characters will have different percentages of vison. Some may be fully blind and have 0% vision while another may only have 12% or 15%. in a 0% scenario like Barii's the character cannot see anything at all. in a scenario where they have a low percentile, they may only see shapes or light. Albino characters or chars that weren't born blind may have this feature instead of 0%. A good way to get an idea of what I mean is to close your eyes and turn your head to a light source. now your vision isn't completely black, its a type of dirty/greenish-grey, and even sometimes red depending on how bright the light source is. this is because skin kinda reflects light/light bounces around inside the skin giving shadows and bright light a pinkish/reddish glow or tint. This can also be used in RP for low-percent visioned characters. like "the runt sheepishly followed his mother, who walked in the direction of the sun. He knew his mother turned when his world became a little brighter, his mothers shadow moving away from his face. The runt turned in the direction of footsteps, half of his vision lighter that gradually faded into a darker shade as the sun only hit the right side of his face." see what I mean?
NEW! Personify your senses.I've kinda found out recently that personifying your character's senses may help if you have trouble describing them. For instance, if another person walks into the same area your character is in, typing: "The lad's ears twitched as he heard another walk in" Is good for most situations, but if you wanna make it a bit "fancier", you can try personifying them. e.g.: "Barii's ears told him of another soul entering the den, and his nose promptly reported the scent of a new wolf lurking about."

Omg, bless you. I really like this tutorial, it's very detailed and I hope it'll encourage other players to play more as blind/visually impaired characters. I'll certainly reference this for any future characters. Thank you!


--- Quote from: BirdieBeep on December 09, 2019, 02:26:22 am ---Omg, bless you. I really like this tutorial, it's very detailed and I hope it'll encourage other players to play more as blind/visually impaired characters. I'll certainly reference this for any future characters. Thank you!

--- End quote ---

Aww, thank you! <3

very well thought out and well articulated points here, thank you for putting this out here +floof.

I've never had any blind characters but I've always thought of trying them out. This was a very informative guide! Thank you for putting this together =) Definitely going to look to this in the future if I need any pointers on visually impaired characters~


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