I just finished reading the meat of The
Ultimate Adequate Commoner. Well, the preview copy that is. I must say I’m a bit surprised, it has a lot of information in it that supports everything you will need as a player to be ordinary – except one thing and we will get to that at the very end.
The Adequate Commoner starts out by asking you the question about the why you might want to play a commoner. Which is the perfect place to start. Many players will just look at it say why and never think about an application of ordinary. For most of us the goal is to play a hero right? Well don’t you know many of heroes are ordinary, or they were at the start of the story.
After defending the commoner as a class J.W. moves into what I would refer to as archetypes. Sharing with you a few common themes in literature and gaming, like a peasant that enjoys melee, and my personal favorite the peasants that rebel or ninjas. Not ninjas like Hollywood glamorizes, but the original ninjas. The ones that learned to hide because they didn’t know how to fight and guerrilla warfare was their only method. He also includes with each of these descriptions concepts on for a GM to consider when balancing the class for the player. In other words ne is encouraging the GM to help polish the otherwise scuffed commoner. Which is something I think a good GM does anyway.
The class in and of itself is well developed and appears to be balanced in structure – ordinary remember. The class only gets 2 weapon inefficiencies, but they get a job. Something I argue with friends about all the time. Adventurers need to get paid too!
There is a lot of information in the book about gear, magic, alchemy and he even covers the aspect of an all commoner party, but if I tell you everything you won’t buy it. So what was that one thing?
This book will give an excellent frame to build an ordinary character. The kind that gets off the school bus starts to walk down the driveway and sees an orc horde charging the house. What does that common person do? Run, freeze in fright, or charge to help their family? I know my answer. That one thing is the personality of the character.
This book will bring you to that point where an ordinary person is prepared to face that defining moment. A moment that shapes the personality of a character. This book will help players go beyond playing a mere role and step forward into playing a character.