I’m designing a game in which the PC doesn’t have the standard body type (aka healthy and ableist). The player will choose a “quirk” in the first chapter, from these options:
-double amputee (legs end above the knee)
-mute (but can hear)
-phobia of deep water
They live in a floating city (it’s usually in deep water although it moves around the world) where a large minority of the population is deaf-mute, including their best friend (and romantic interest) Kassandra. The main language of the city is sign language, including several dialects (eg one-handed, underwater, slang, etc). Most people are bilingual (speaking either two distinct sign languages or the primary sign language + English) or multilingual.
The reason so many people are deaf-mute is that there’s a recessive gene combined with a relatively small population pool. I’ve chosen “just” mute for the PC (damage to their vocal cords) so that I can still describe sounds.
Each quirk has the obvious disadvantages of a non-standard body type plus some advantages.
The double amputee version of the PC has a range of awesome prosthetics, including a tail that makes them a superior swimmer.
The mute version of the PC has higher rapport with Kassandra, and has a language they share only with her.
The phobic PC is an insomniac and depressed, but is so used to living with fear that they’re braver and calmer when facing real disasters. They also adapt to being on dry land a lot faster than the other characters.
Since I suffer from an anxiety disorder, I know plenty about phobias. I’d like to talk to a deaf-mute (or just mute) person, and a double amputee to make sure I’m not accidentally writing something offensive.
Obviously I’m also doing research on my own.
Does anyone know someone with specialised knowledge who doesn’t mind answering dumb questions?