Critical Role Uses the D&D Combat Wheelchair That Took the Internet By Storm

Critical Role's latest episode featured a new NPC using the brilliantly designed combat wheelchair popularized over the summer on the Internet. The latest episode of Critical Role featured the new NPC Dagen Underthorn, a veteran dwarven explorer who uses a specialized combat wheelchair. Matt Mercer, the DM of Critical Role, depicted Dagen as a hard drinking, no-nonsense explorer who has survived on the icy island of Foren for many years with his axe (named Sheila), his versatile wheelchair that's equipped to handle Foren's icy terrain, and his combat and adventuring skills. After the show ended, Mercer confirmed that Dagen is a user of the combat wheelchair designed by Sara Thompson.

Thompson's combat wheelchair design went viral over the summer, after Dungeons & Dragons fans latched onto the innovative and practical design. Inspired by the wheelchairs used by some basketball and rugby players, the combat wheelchair provided players with not only the means to create a character who used a wheelchair, but also mechanics made specifically for players who wanted to use the wheelchair as a combat tool. Thompson's rules included the ability to upgrade the combat wheelchair, providing it with additional abilities and accessories.

The combat wheelchair inspired a series of miniatures and sparked a continuing conversation about the use of disabilities in tabletop roleplaying games. Traditionally, Dungeons & Dragons and other tabletop games have depicted things like limb loss or the partial or total inability to use a limb as a mechanical penalty, but Thompson's design mimicked the reality that people with disabilities have thrived for centuries by adapting or with the help of mobility tools.

Dagen will appear in at least one more episode of Critical Role, so hopefully we see his combat wheelchair in action, If you want to know more about the combat wheelchair, Thompson posted the rules for the wheelchair here. You can also support Thompson through Patreon or Ko-Fi.