Tips for communicating while deaf?

Hi, I booked to attend my first LRP in the 3rd session of this year, which means my first session is now going to be sometime next year. The only issue is, I am worried about communicating with other players because I am deaf, with my remaining hearing rapidly diminishing.

When I booked last year, I could still communicate well with hearing people as long as they faced me, because I lipread.

Now I use SSE (spoken English with BSL signs) to communicate, and I can lipread with great difficulty and a lot of concentration. My hearing aids can only let me know when loud sounds like cars are happening.

I know that very few people know any BSL at all, and I can just about lipread, but I am worried about whether I’ll be able to actually participate in anything at Empire.

I don’t want to fight, I have planned for my character to be an artisan, but I wanted to know if anyone else with hearing loss who has been to an Empire LRP before can give me any tips or tricks or even just assurance about LRPing with hearing loss?


There is another player who uses sign language to communicate on the field, and they and their friends have already come up with signs for the weirder parts of the Empire system, so you won’t be the first. They also did some sign language lessons for other players so some of us may know a little too.

I can see you having issues with seeing the mouth movements of anyone in a full mask or heavy prosthetics, i.e. the orcs or strong lineage, but asking for someone to repeat what it shouldn’t be a problem.

There are note takers at most meetings if following a busy conversation is difficult, and the civil service (NPC’s) will usually have notes you may be able to look at also.

One on one you should be fine. Please do remind us to talk to you face on and keep our hands away from our mouths and we will do our best to remember!

Also making notes and having a note book and pencil with you, especially as an Artisan, is generally recommended for all characters so you can always fall back on that.

This might be helpful


Thank you so much for all the information and advice, I will definitely do all of those things! Thank you again, all of this has really reassured me that I’ll still be able to participate.


I am the Haplocke in the video above :smiley:
If you have any concerns about communicating, please know that I am available to interpret (in character and out of character) at Empire.
I have attended a few events with my Deaf friend whom I interpret for. They use BSL, but I also interpret into SSE (to reassure - this is my day job :D)
I have linked them to this thread too, so hopefully they can also give you their experiences.

Through the few events we’ve done on the field we’ve established quite a nice presence for Deaf people and sign language (we have lots of establish in character signs for different races and nations etc).

Anything specific, please feel free to chat to me directly.

Really excited to potentially meet you on the field! :slight_smile:


Hey, welcome to this wonderful mad hobby and empire.
I’m a deaf player but only have partial bilateral hearing lost so I can only really speak from that point of view. I know zero BSl except for tea, coffee, thank you, sorry and dickhead, all I need really :blush:.There’s a fair bit to do that doesn’t involve necessarily hearing. Carry paper for notes that can be written for messages to be communicated quickly. Leaving notes in peoples pockets that cause drama, looks of concern later are wonderful. The written word is a beautiful prop Ic.
A lot of the meetings are very long and are essential debates and the results can be summarised in a few sentences so you won’t miss out. Trading/message running are big and clever as you get to be a known face, and doesn’t require that much hearing too. And if someone is rude or ignores you for being deaf, just shame them Ic and put them in the bin oc.

Any further questions feel free to pm me or catch me in character, I play a gregarious freeborn called Esteban