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How Dungeons & Dragons Just Made History With Its Newest Adventure

The tabletop role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons has risen to new heights of popularity in the last several years with the publication of the fifth edition of its rule set and the release of countless live-streamed and podcasted games now available online. As D&D gains eager players, including famous actors like Joe Manganiello, who has an incredible Dungeons & Dragons basement, the community has been advocating for the game to expand past its limited origins to include more diverse voices among its creators. The latest sourcebook, Tasha's Cauldron of Everything, took a step toward changing the game's heavily criticized race system, while the newest addition to the official D&D world features an adventure made with wheelchair accessibility in mind.

Candlekeep Mysteries, the new book published by Wizards of the Coast, is full of standalone adventures. Previous official D&D adventure books have primarily been written to be played as long-running campaigns, spanning several gaming sessions that can last decades, but Candlekeep Mysteries breaks the mold in two ways: First, it's a collection of 17 adventures that can be played in one sitting; and second, it includes wheelchair accessible dungeons.

D&D player Jennifer Kretchmer designed her one-shot to have accessibility

According to Polygon, WotC worked with many freelance game designers to craft Candlekeep Mysteries' unique stories. Each one-shot originates with a book found in Candlekeep, a massive and mysterious library, that incites the players' adventure. One such escapade was written by producer, actress, and D&D player Jennifer Kretchmer. She's known in the tabletop role-playing game community for assembling the massive guide on accessibility in gaming.

It was important for Kretchmer, an ambulatory wheelchair user, to make an adventure that would be accessible for disabled characters, who are typically underrepresented in video games, tabletop games, and other media. She told Polygon, "I wanted people to have the opportunity to see themselves represented in-game. We have the ability in fantasy to imagine things. We don't have to pay to make those accommodations. This is something we can imagine in our brains, and it's there. So it's something that was really important to me to put in, into my design."

There's already an independently designed Combat Wheelchair made specifically for D&D fifth edition (by @mustangsart on Twitter), but this new module will certainly expand the ways players can interact with their fantasy worlds in a way that's long overdue. Candlekeep Mysteries releases on March 16.