Commoner Campaign

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Not long ago, one of my players said she wanted to have a break from playing heroes all the time and do something completely different. She wanted to have a go at playing an 'ordinary person' for a while.

Her suggestion chimed with a corner of my contrary streak that has wanted to prove that commoners really can survive in D&D land (and you can even have fun with them).

[sblock=Meet Joe Wood, her character]
(Here’s Joe as he started out)

Joe Wood
Male human commoner 1
TN medium humanoid
Init +1 Senses: Listen -1, Spot +1
Languages: Common, Elven
-------------------------------
AC 11 (touch 11, flatfooted 10)
hp 6 (HD 1)
Fort +2, Ref +1, Will -1 Endurance (+4 to resist non-lethal damage)
--------------------------------
Speed 30’
Melee: Dagger, +2 att, Dam 1d4, 19-20 (x2)
Ranged: Dagger, +1 att, Dam 1d4, 19-20 (x2), Range 10
BAB +0, Grapple +2
--------------------------------
Abilities: Str 14, Dex 12, Con 15, Int 13, Wis 8, Cha 10
Feats: Animal Affinity, Endurance
Skills: Craft (Leather) +3, Handle Animal +6, Knowledge (local) +2, Profession (Farming) +1, Ride +3, Spot +1, Use Rope +5
Possesions: Dagger, peasant’s outfit, sack, bedroll, iron pot, clay jug, flint & steel, clay mug, belt pouch, bread, cheese, 1sp, 13cp

(Here's Joe as he is today)
Joe Wood
Male human commoner 4
TN medium humanoid
Init +1 Senses: Listen +0, Spot +2
Languages: Common, Elven
-------------------------------
AC 13 (touch 11, flatfooted 12)
hp 19 (HD 4)
Fort +3, Ref +2, Will +0 Endurance (+4 to resist non-lethal damage)
--------------------------------
Speed 30’
Melee: Mwk Dagger, +5 att, Dam 1d4+2, 19-20 (x2)
Ranged: Mwk Dagger, +4 att, Dam 1d4+2, 19-20 (x2), Range 10
BAB +2, Grapple +4
--------------------------------
Abilities: Str 14, Dex 12, Con 15, Int 14, Wis 8, Cha 10
Feats: Animal Affinity, Endurance, Quick Draw
Skills: Craft (Leather) +7, Handle Animal +11, Knowledge (local) +4, Listen +0, Profession (Farming) +1, Profession (Teamster) +1, Ride +5, Spot +2, Survival +0, Use Rope +8
Possessions: 6 mundane daggers on bandolier, 3 mwk dagger, Leather armor, engraved cloak brooch, everburning lantern, 2 potions CLW, 1 potion Shield of Faith, 1 Oil Magic Weapon, mwk horse tools, mwk leather tools, flask, 4 tindertwigs, 2 belt pouches, clay mug, clay jug, flint & steel, iron pot, bedroll, sack, peasant’s outfit, traveller's outfit, 2 flasks alchemist fire, spare shirt, backpack, 50' silk rope,

[/sblock]

So we started, and before masses of time had passed, her character was becoming a power in his own town.

Here's how it happened:

Episode 1: Joe Wood comes to town

Having been thrown off the farm when his father died, 16 year old Joe Wood heads to nearby Freetown to earn his living. Apart from the peasant's outfit he stands up in, he has only an all-purpose belt knife (dagger), a sack containing the few things he actually owns (Clay jug & mug, cooking pot, flint & steel, a bedroll and a bit of food) and a battered old belt pouch containing more coins than he's ever seen before (1 sp and 13 cp). He feels rich and ready for anything.

Freetown comes as rather a shock to Joe. So many people! So much noise! And the prices! The inn wants more money than he owns, just for one night's food and shelter!

After some searching and some asking, Joe finds the labour corner of the market. Here he can turn up any morning and wait to be hired. Unfortunately, today he is too late. All the hirers have been and gone, and the corner is empty. He sits there hopefully for several hours, eating pieces of his own bread when the smell of good food gets too much for his hunger.

Eventually, he makes his way back out of the gates, buying a pound of flour, 6 eggs and some firewood as he leaves. Outside, he sets up camp on a bit of rough ground and, with the help of a flat stone, manages to turn the flour into reasonable unleavened bread. He hardboils the eggs in his cooking pot and eats one of them with the remains of the loaf he brought from home and a small slice of cheese. He stores the rest of his food in his sack for tomorrow, puts out the fire and settles down in his bedroll with his sack beside him.

In the middle of the night, he starts out of sleep to find he has rolled slightly away from his sack and a fox is trying to get into it...

To be continued...



Joe's Links

Freetown - Joe's base

Episode 2: A cunning Encounter
Episode 3: Everone's pelting around
Episode 4: Life goes on
Episode 5: FIRE!
Episode 6: Stop thief!
Episode 7: Catch that mug!
Episode 8: Whoa!
Episode 9: Nice Job
Episode 10: Horsing Around
Episode 11: Hunt the Child
Episode 12: Nipping Disaster in the Bud
Episode 13: What's This?
Episode 14: A Rose by any other Name would Gleam As Red
Episode 15: Bargain
Episode 16: Rats!
Episode 17: A Knife in the hand...
Episode 18: ...Is worth two in the rat
Episode 19: On Show
Episode 20: Look At Him Go!
Episode 21: Hidden Secrets
Episode 22: Looking Good
Episode 23: Come out, come out, whoever you are...
Episode 24: "We want revenge!"
Episode 25: Rogue Dealings
Episode 26: Clearing up and out
Episode 27: Reward?
Episode 28: Getting ready
Episode 29: On the road
Episode 30: Ambush!
Episode 31: Who's for Dinner?
Episode 32: Recovery
Episode 33: Good Dog
Episode 34: Short Rations
Episode 35: Kennels
Episode 36: Pups
Episode 37: Sale on
Episode 38: Move along, no adventurer here
Episode 39: Parlez vous Elven?
Episode 40: Words and knives
Episode 41: White wings
Episode 42: Negotiations
Episode 43: Stocking up
Episode 44: Moving Out
Episode 45: Bickering
Episode 46: Buzz, buzz, buzz
Episode 47: True and False
Episode 48: A scream in the night
Episode 49: Shadows
Episode 50: Counting the loot
Episode 51: Hafumin
Episode 52: Answers
Episode 53: Smashing Horse
Episode 54: Wanted in Hoof Court
Episode 55: Chalk on Slate
Episode 56: Gold!
Episode 57: Grrr!
Episode 58: Clean up time
Episode 59: Recovery
Episode 60: Bloomin' Adventurers!
Episode 61: Maddening Mud
Episode 62: Bounteous Surprise
Episode 63: Wagers
Episode 64: The Captain wants you...
Episode 65: You want WHAT?
Episode 66: Negotiations
Episode 67: Heading for Hayketh
Episode 68: Hayketh is watching you...
Episode 69: Are you being Good...?
Episode 70: Just looking around
Episode 71: Demon Tamer, I presume?
Episode 72: Getting out
Episode 73: Down under paws and hooves
Episode 74. Reports
Episode 75. Outsider
Episode 76. Home Sweet Home
Episode 77. Moving In
Episode 78. Independence
Episode 79. Carted Off
Episode 80. A Wolfish Grin
Episode 81. Lame warnings
Episode 82. Vanishings
Episode 83. Investigating
Episode 84. Get them!
Episode 85. What have we here?
Episode 86. Getting Home
Episode 87. Mistaken Identity
Episode 88. Words that Bite
Episode 89: Seeing green
Episode 90: When it rains....
Episode 91: A sticky situation
Episode 92: Down came a spider...
Episode 93: On the web
Episode 94: Where there's muck...
Episode 94: ...there's brass.
Episode 95: Scrappy sales
Episode 96: The best laid traps...
Episode 97: Sledge dog
Episode 98: Filling in.
Episode 99: Fellow traveller?
Episode 100: Truce?
Episode 101: A familiar face.
Episode 102: Swift exchange
Episode 103: Feeding
Episode 104: Smashing...
Episode 105: All tied up
Episode 106: Ribbons
Episode 107: Washing day
Episode 108: Stand or deliver
Episode 109: The short end of the arrow
Episode 110: Bowing out
Episode 111: Moans and groans
Episode 112: Squabbles
Episode 113: Adventure comes calling.
Episode 114: Introductions
Episode 115: Sisters
Episode 116: Prices
Episode 117: One cost for you, one cost for me
Episode 118: Pass the Luck
Episode 119: Friend?

(Will add more as I have time)
Competition places
Winner of Hero Craftsmen 3: Gladiator Winner of Master Storyteller Competition 1: Ancient Ruins Gold Medallist in MDMC 38: Populate a map I placed first (that's right, FIRST!) in the second CowCon: "We All get Old" Contest! Gold Medallist in MDMC 42: Create a Remote Location Winner of Master Storyteller Competition 7: I am Legend Best in Category: Rules Use - Hero Craftsman 17 Best in Category: Clarity - Hero Craftsman 17 Second place in Master Storyteller Competition 6: Fall from Grace Silver Medallist in MDMC 32: Magic Item Spectacular Joint Silver in Hero Craftsmen 6: The Frostfell Silver medallist in Hero Craftsman 17: We're going Underground! Silver Medalist in Hero Craftsman 18: We need a Hero! Silver Medalist in Hero Craftsman 20: Back to School
Show
http://drewbaker.com/warlord/images/group9/Durga.jpg Now that's a half-orc! Like Joe Wood? Meet Gwen. http://tinyurl.com/ringofnine
If you think commoners can't do anything, you should meet Joe Wood! The pen is mightier than the sword - but only if the sword is very small and the pen is very sharp - Terry Pratchett Methinks (still) wizards bit off more than they can chew. fantasy-28.gif
hehe
seriously I love it
please keep us up to date
please keep us up to date

My pleasure. Look out, here it comes...


Episode 2: A cunning encounter.

All his life, Joe has both scared wild animals away from the crops and cared for his father’s animals (and their gear). He knows the best thing to do is to look threatening and powerful, but that isn’t easy when you’re wrapped up in bedding.

The fox isn’t fooled and snaps the air in warning. Joe yells at it, all the while scrabbling for his knife, and the fox backs a wary pace out of reach.

Sitting up with his knife now firmly in his grip, Joe eyes up the distance, takes a deep breath, and hurls the knife. To his relief, it hits a weak spot between the eyes and sinks in almost to the hilt. The fox promptly collapses in a heap.

When Joe finally scrambles out of his bedroll and checks everything over he finds that he was in time to prevent the fox from doing more than tearing the mouth of the sack slightly.

The fox itself is quite dead and Joe retrieves and cleans his knife. Remembering that some places offer a bounty on pests like foxes, rats and weasel and unable to get back to sleep, he carefully skins the fox and puts the skin beside his sack.

By the time the sun comes up, Joe is already waiting at the town gates so that he can quickly get to the labour market and earn some money. He has managed to tie the fox pelt to the side of his sack. He easily finds a day’s work loading and unloading a merchant’s wagons.

During their midday break, one of the three other workers, Den, asks if Joe is thinking of selling the pelt anywhere in particular. Joe shrugs and the worker offers him 5sp for it, saying “You won’t get a price like that anywhere else,” while the other two workers snicker into their bread.

Joe thinks it sounds like a fortune and eagerly accepts. It’s a whole week’s wages for something he was just lucky in! That evening though, when the workers return to the market, he spots Den carrying the pelt into one of the more expensive looking shops. A short while later, Den comes out without the pelt and slips what looks very much like gold coins into his purse…

To be continued...

Competition places
Winner of Hero Craftsmen 3: Gladiator Winner of Master Storyteller Competition 1: Ancient Ruins Gold Medallist in MDMC 38: Populate a map I placed first (that's right, FIRST!) in the second CowCon: "We All get Old" Contest! Gold Medallist in MDMC 42: Create a Remote Location Winner of Master Storyteller Competition 7: I am Legend Best in Category: Rules Use - Hero Craftsman 17 Best in Category: Clarity - Hero Craftsman 17 Second place in Master Storyteller Competition 6: Fall from Grace Silver Medallist in MDMC 32: Magic Item Spectacular Joint Silver in Hero Craftsmen 6: The Frostfell Silver medallist in Hero Craftsman 17: We're going Underground! Silver Medalist in Hero Craftsman 18: We need a Hero! Silver Medalist in Hero Craftsman 20: Back to School
Show
http://drewbaker.com/warlord/images/group9/Durga.jpg Now that's a half-orc! Like Joe Wood? Meet Gwen. http://tinyurl.com/ringofnine
If you think commoners can't do anything, you should meet Joe Wood! The pen is mightier than the sword - but only if the sword is very small and the pen is very sharp - Terry Pratchett Methinks (still) wizards bit off more than they can chew. fantasy-28.gif
Kewl thread.
On a side note, I always wanted to play a commoner so I could take max out the Survivor PRC at level 6, commoners get Spot and Listen so it would be interesting, and fun, I hope.
No Armor, One simple weapon proficiency, no BAB, a kingdom to save.
Amazing! I wish I was that creative to get this type of idea.
This is awesome. Please keep the stories coming! I want to see how it turns out for Joe!
Amazing! I wish I was that creative to get this type of idea.

If you want to borrow any of my ideas, go ahead. I meant this thread to be a resource as much as anything else. :D

This is awesome. Please keep the stories coming! I want to see how it turns out for Joe!

The next episode should (cross fingers) be up tomorrow. In the mean time, have a look at Freetown itself.


FREETOWN

Freetown (small town): Conventional (paired councils, high council of nobles & low council of burgesses); AL LG; 800 gp limit; Assets 40,000 gp; Population 1000; Mixed (human 79%, elf 9%, halfling 5%, half-elf 3%, gnome 2%, 1% dwarf, 1% other).

Authority Figures: The High Council: Lord William Sharpsen, LN male human aristocrat 1 (Chief High Councillor and current mayor); Lady Erithae Hallasei, LG female elf aristocrat 1 (high councillor); Sir Thomas Sharpsen (Lord William’s son), LG male human aristocrat 1 (high councillor); Sir Ferith Sweetwater, NG male half-elf aristocrat 1 (high councillor); Lady Giselle Demarka, LE human aristocrat 1 (high councillor). (The high council rotates the mayorship among its members)

The Low Council: Chief Guildsman Harold Clay, TN male half-elf expert 11 (Chief Low Councillor); Chief Husbandman Matthew Piers, NG male human commoner 10 (low councillor); Chief Artisan Renee Dallan, CG female human bard 3 (low councillor); High Priest Dassi Burrowcliff, LG male halfling adept 4 (low councillor); Captain George Frent, LN male human fighter 5 (low councillor and captain of the town guard).

Notes: Freetown is a trade town, specialising in producing good quality food, clothes, tools and other general purpose items. Because so many of these goods are high bulk, low cost types, Freetown accepts both hacksilver (metal handed over in the lump rather than as minted coinage) and farthings (worth 1/4 of a (copper/ silver/ gold) piece, made by cutting coins into quarters) as payment. Small purchases in farthings (3p or less) go for face value; larger farthing purchases and all hacksilver purchases are valued by weight and all shops have a set of scales for precisely this purpose.

Weapons and armour are not forbidden in Freetown, but they are in short supply. Buyers can expect to pay top price and suffer long delays on delivery. Anyone carrying a lot of weapons or wearing expensive armor can expect to be speculatively eyed by guards wondering if they will sell anything and to be charged double or triple for standard goods in the belief that anyone that rich can afford it.

Freetown maintains 10 full time guards and a further 50 militia members.

Guards, led by Captain George Frent, LN male human fighter 5: 1x warrior 6; 2x warrior 3; 2x fighter 3; 4x fighter 1; 1x ranger 1.

Militia: 1x barbarian 2; 2x barbarian 1; 47x warrior 1.
Competition places
Winner of Hero Craftsmen 3: Gladiator Winner of Master Storyteller Competition 1: Ancient Ruins Gold Medallist in MDMC 38: Populate a map I placed first (that's right, FIRST!) in the second CowCon: "We All get Old" Contest! Gold Medallist in MDMC 42: Create a Remote Location Winner of Master Storyteller Competition 7: I am Legend Best in Category: Rules Use - Hero Craftsman 17 Best in Category: Clarity - Hero Craftsman 17 Second place in Master Storyteller Competition 6: Fall from Grace Silver Medallist in MDMC 32: Magic Item Spectacular Joint Silver in Hero Craftsmen 6: The Frostfell Silver medallist in Hero Craftsman 17: We're going Underground! Silver Medalist in Hero Craftsman 18: We need a Hero! Silver Medalist in Hero Craftsman 20: Back to School
Show
http://drewbaker.com/warlord/images/group9/Durga.jpg Now that's a half-orc! Like Joe Wood? Meet Gwen. http://tinyurl.com/ringofnine
If you think commoners can't do anything, you should meet Joe Wood! The pen is mightier than the sword - but only if the sword is very small and the pen is very sharp - Terry Pratchett Methinks (still) wizards bit off more than they can chew. fantasy-28.gif
Episode 3: Everyone’s pelting around.

Joe realises that it will be no use trying to get the truth out of and vows never to be as stupid again. Next time he acquires a pelt, he decides, he will try the shop for himself.

He continues to turn up every morning at the labour market and finds work as either a labourer or a porter about 3 days a week. On the first day he isn’t hired, he splashes out on some good cord and sets a few snares where he knows from past experience that several kinds of animal run. A week later, he has caught 2 rabbits and a squirrel. He skins and cleans them, and stews the meat in his pot with onions and turnips. After a monotonous diet of bread and hard-boiled eggs, broken only once by a ‘don’t ask’ pie (the full nickname being ‘don’t ask what’s in it, you won’t like the answer’), the stew is wonderful and Joe savours every bite.

The next day, he braces himself and goes into the expensive shop. Fur-trimmed clothes sway on every side and bolts of expensive cloth peek out of protective wrappings, and Joe is acutely aware of his own shabbiness. Still, he squares his shoulders and marches up to the counter. “I heard,” he says, “that you sometimes buy pelts?”

The shopkeeper nods without much surprise. “Let’s see them.”

Joe spreads the three skins on the counter and the shopkeeper flips them back and forth, fingers them and examines the fur closely. “Reasonable quality. Here’s your pay. Take it or leave it.” He pushes 2gp across the counter to Joe who tries not to stare as he fumbles them into his fist. So much money, so easily! It’s like a dream! He bites a corner of one to make sure he isn’t dreaming, but the dents he leaves, and the metallic taste in his mouth are quite real.

The shopkeeper nods again. “If you have more squirrel pelts, trapper, bring them here and I’ll pay you top price.”

Joe can only nod, speechless. He slips quickly out of the shop and shoves the coins into the bottom of his belt pouch.

As he crosses the square, someone shouts “Hey, you!”

Joe looks quickly around, but no-one is near him.

“Yes, you in the brown shirt.”

Joe has to admit that his shirt is indeed brown. He turns quickly as hooves clatter on the cobbles behind him only to find himself facing not only a horse and rider, but also a wolf with a gnome on its back.

The rider grins at him. “My friend here insists that his wolf is faster than my horse. I’m racing him to prove him wrong. Start us off, man.” He holds up a silver coin. “For your trouble.”

Joe catches the coin and raises his arm. “Ready? Then, 3, 2, 1, go!” He sweeps his arm down and the pair charge away towards the temple. They are gone before Joe looks down at the coin they gave him and realises that it isn’t silver at all, it’s a metal and design that he has never seen before...

To be continued...

Competition places
Winner of Hero Craftsmen 3: Gladiator Winner of Master Storyteller Competition 1: Ancient Ruins Gold Medallist in MDMC 38: Populate a map I placed first (that's right, FIRST!) in the second CowCon: "We All get Old" Contest! Gold Medallist in MDMC 42: Create a Remote Location Winner of Master Storyteller Competition 7: I am Legend Best in Category: Rules Use - Hero Craftsman 17 Best in Category: Clarity - Hero Craftsman 17 Second place in Master Storyteller Competition 6: Fall from Grace Silver Medallist in MDMC 32: Magic Item Spectacular Joint Silver in Hero Craftsmen 6: The Frostfell Silver medallist in Hero Craftsman 17: We're going Underground! Silver Medalist in Hero Craftsman 18: We need a Hero! Silver Medalist in Hero Craftsman 20: Back to School
Show
http://drewbaker.com/warlord/images/group9/Durga.jpg Now that's a half-orc! Like Joe Wood? Meet Gwen. http://tinyurl.com/ringofnine
If you think commoners can't do anything, you should meet Joe Wood! The pen is mightier than the sword - but only if the sword is very small and the pen is very sharp - Terry Pratchett Methinks (still) wizards bit off more than they can chew. fantasy-28.gif
Man, now I'm hooked.
Yay Joe! Platnum!

A few questions.
1. Will Joe be allowed to gain character levels? He seems like a ranger currently. He's getting pretty good at trapping.
2. If so, Will Joe be joining the rest of your party at any point?
THis is cool....
I'm hooked, I need more Joe! :D

Please keep us up to date!
Well done. You've taken the "mundane" and made it interesting.
I love this. Very creative. Give me more!
Double post... Can never get the right button, blast it all...
He seems like a ranger currently. He's getting pretty good at trapping.

Gih! Wow, coincidence of coincidences... A few years back I was DMing for my cousin in one of his first excursions into the game where he opted to play a horribly un-optimized duergar fighter wandering in the Western Heartlands of FR and demanded the experience be as "realistic and difficult as possible". Meaning, of course, that he wanted to come against challenges as a single individual that regular party would. Faced with such a situation, I threw in Theodoric, the 1st-level pitchfork-wielding commoner DMPC ('twas my first year as a DM, so sue me) with a penchant for trapping and hunting, on the fast-track to Ranger-hood. He was intended basically as a gauge of how difficult play would be going up against all of the Realms' horrors and hurdles at once (i.e., fall prey to a trap or two, get killed in the opening volley of a bandit raid, get torn apart by orc barbarians after a foolhardy charge into their ranks), but, as it turned out, this fellow with all 10's and 11's for ability scores was saving the idiot duergar's life left and right to the point where both characters were retired due to tedium and complaints of deus ex machina (he's a bloody COMMONER, for God's sake... blame the dice, already, will you?).

...In the epilogue, of course, the duergar was torn asunder by trolls while Theodoric the Miracle Commoner managed to become ruler of a small barony in the Border Kingdoms.
Bravo. Keep them coming!
Yay Joe! Platnum!

A few questions.
1. Will Joe be allowed to gain character levels? He seems like a ranger currently. He's getting pretty good at trapping.
2. If so, Will Joe be joining the rest of your party at any point?

A few answers.

To 1. In a way, giving Joe character levels defeats the whole object of playing an 'ordinary' person. At the moment, we're still focused on proving commoners are actually playable.

To 2. Joe has a very long way to climb before he begins to catch up with the regular party (They're sitting around level 7 at the moment), so probably not, although he may end up as a mentor if the group decides to try an all commoner/expert campaign.
Competition places
Winner of Hero Craftsmen 3: Gladiator Winner of Master Storyteller Competition 1: Ancient Ruins Gold Medallist in MDMC 38: Populate a map I placed first (that's right, FIRST!) in the second CowCon: "We All get Old" Contest! Gold Medallist in MDMC 42: Create a Remote Location Winner of Master Storyteller Competition 7: I am Legend Best in Category: Rules Use - Hero Craftsman 17 Best in Category: Clarity - Hero Craftsman 17 Second place in Master Storyteller Competition 6: Fall from Grace Silver Medallist in MDMC 32: Magic Item Spectacular Joint Silver in Hero Craftsmen 6: The Frostfell Silver medallist in Hero Craftsman 17: We're going Underground! Silver Medalist in Hero Craftsman 18: We need a Hero! Silver Medalist in Hero Craftsman 20: Back to School
Show
http://drewbaker.com/warlord/images/group9/Durga.jpg Now that's a half-orc! Like Joe Wood? Meet Gwen. http://tinyurl.com/ringofnine
If you think commoners can't do anything, you should meet Joe Wood! The pen is mightier than the sword - but only if the sword is very small and the pen is very sharp - Terry Pratchett Methinks (still) wizards bit off more than they can chew. fantasy-28.gif
This is great! Insperation! I was thinking of DMing somthing like this awhile back, but everyone hated the idea. Maybe I'll pull it back out.
Outrageous! Baking his own bread! The bakers guild will hear of this. What next? milling his own flour?

Village thugs came out next morning and thrashed him.
The Citadel Megadungeon: http://yellowdingosappendix.blogspot.com.au/2012/08/the-citadel-mega-dungeon-now-with-room.html
Outrageous! Baking his own bread! The bakers guild will hear of this. What next? milling his own flour?

Ah, but the baker's guild makes raised bread. Joe's making flatbread. ;)

Then again...

Episode 4: Life goes on.

Since the strange coin doesn’t seem to be spendable, Joe keeps it as a luck piece and carries on much as before. He comes to the labour market in the mornings, sometimes gets hired, sometimes doesn’t, checks his snares regularly, and spends what money he earns on flour and eggs and occasionally a few vegetables or a ‘don’t ask’ pie.

Over the next few weeks, he brings in 2 more squirrel pelts and several rabbit skins and gets paid the massive amount of 1gp for each squirrel and 5sp for each rabbit.

Then, late on a free afternoon, as he is bringing in his latest few skins, he spots smoke curling out under the door of the neighbouring building…
Competition places
Winner of Hero Craftsmen 3: Gladiator Winner of Master Storyteller Competition 1: Ancient Ruins Gold Medallist in MDMC 38: Populate a map I placed first (that's right, FIRST!) in the second CowCon: "We All get Old" Contest! Gold Medallist in MDMC 42: Create a Remote Location Winner of Master Storyteller Competition 7: I am Legend Best in Category: Rules Use - Hero Craftsman 17 Best in Category: Clarity - Hero Craftsman 17 Second place in Master Storyteller Competition 6: Fall from Grace Silver Medallist in MDMC 32: Magic Item Spectacular Joint Silver in Hero Craftsmen 6: The Frostfell Silver medallist in Hero Craftsman 17: We're going Underground! Silver Medalist in Hero Craftsman 18: We need a Hero! Silver Medalist in Hero Craftsman 20: Back to School
Show
http://drewbaker.com/warlord/images/group9/Durga.jpg Now that's a half-orc! Like Joe Wood? Meet Gwen. http://tinyurl.com/ringofnine
If you think commoners can't do anything, you should meet Joe Wood! The pen is mightier than the sword - but only if the sword is very small and the pen is very sharp - Terry Pratchett Methinks (still) wizards bit off more than they can chew. fantasy-28.gif
Well, I would guess that it was a pretty monotone game, but I must admit that I would not be opposed to trying it out.

But, assuming that it was a platinium coin he received, that's 1000cp! You can survive a long time on that alone...

Adventurers really mess up the economical status of commoners! How many times has an adventurer not given a platinium coin or five for simple directions?
This is cool! Keep up Joe!
Unfortunately this kind of campaign is, more often than not, going to end in a sad way.

To spice up the commoner class, perhaps at 1st level, and at every 5th level thereafter(5th, 10th, 15th, 20th), the commoner may choose to gain a trait, found in unearthed arcana and in the system reference document.

http://www.systemreferencedocuments.org/35/sovelior_sage/unearthedTraits.html

EDIT: Could you please post the rules for snaring creatures in traps, for those who are too lazy to look them up? Thanks. I imagine they'd be proffession checks.
To spice up the commoner class, perhaps at 1st level, and at every 5th level thereafter(5th, 10th, 15th, 20th), the commoner may choose to gain a trait, found in unearthed arcana and in the system reference document.

That defeats the purpose. If you want to play something more with more bells and whistles, just play a regular PC class.
Could you please post the rules for snaring creatures in traps, for those who are too lazy to look them up? Thanks. I imagine they'd be proffession checks.

I confess, I couldn't find a set of rules for actually snaring creatures rather than hunting with weapons, so I made some up. :surrender

Hunting itself actually comes under the Survival skill and since Joe is making his snares from cord, that comes under Use Rope.

So, the rules I used are:

To make a working snare - Use Rope DC 15

To find an animal trail in the woods - Survival DC 10

To set the snare so that it catches something - Survival DC 12 + must be left for 8-12 hours minimum.

If you make all three rolls, you have caught something: Roll 1d10
1-5 = rabbit, 6-7 = squirrel, 8 = weasel, 9 = cat, 10 = a predator got there before you and robbed the snare, roll again to see what you lost.
Competition places
Winner of Hero Craftsmen 3: Gladiator Winner of Master Storyteller Competition 1: Ancient Ruins Gold Medallist in MDMC 38: Populate a map I placed first (that's right, FIRST!) in the second CowCon: "We All get Old" Contest! Gold Medallist in MDMC 42: Create a Remote Location Winner of Master Storyteller Competition 7: I am Legend Best in Category: Rules Use - Hero Craftsman 17 Best in Category: Clarity - Hero Craftsman 17 Second place in Master Storyteller Competition 6: Fall from Grace Silver Medallist in MDMC 32: Magic Item Spectacular Joint Silver in Hero Craftsmen 6: The Frostfell Silver medallist in Hero Craftsman 17: We're going Underground! Silver Medalist in Hero Craftsman 18: We need a Hero! Silver Medalist in Hero Craftsman 20: Back to School
Show
http://drewbaker.com/warlord/images/group9/Durga.jpg Now that's a half-orc! Like Joe Wood? Meet Gwen. http://tinyurl.com/ringofnine
If you think commoners can't do anything, you should meet Joe Wood! The pen is mightier than the sword - but only if the sword is very small and the pen is very sharp - Terry Pratchett Methinks (still) wizards bit off more than they can chew. fantasy-28.gif
Awesome! I must insist that you post more of the mundane mis-adventures of Joe!
whoops double post
Thanks for those rules, and making them up is exactly what I meant. I really just didn't want to figure them out myself lol.

I'll search around and post a few homebrew rules for some extra equipment and animals, unless you don't want that. I really love the lame idea of being a lame commoner all of a sudden so call me a sheep. But I just finnished reading Eldest, and the parts of Roran and the villager's plight, was just more heroic than anything else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DragonicHeritage
To spice up the commoner class, perhaps at 1st level, and at every 5th level thereafter(5th, 10th, 15th, 20th), the commoner may choose to gain a trait, found in unearthed arcana and in the system reference document.

That defeats the purpose. If you want to play something more with more bells and whistles, just play a regular PC class.

Traits don't make you better, they give you a small bonus in return for a double penalty. They add a bit of variety and flavour.

EDIT: Here's some of what I just found:

Pelt, Common Tiny 8cp ½ lb.
Pelt, Fancy Tiny 3sp ½ lb.
Pelt, Common Small 5sp 2lbs.
Pelt, Fancy Small 3gp 2lbs.
Pelt, Common Medium 5gp 8lbs.
Pelt (or Exotic Hide), Fancy Medium 30gp 8lbs.
Pelt, Common Large 25gp 25lbs.
Pelt (or Exotic Hide), Fancy Large 100gp 25lbs.

Pelts and Exotic Hides: Fur pelts and rare hides are considered valuable trade commodities, especially amongst lands with temperate to cooler climates. An often overlooked source of income for adventurers as most tanners usually offer around ¼ the value for uncured hides and merchants ½ value for hides that the adventurers haven taken time to preserve themselves.

Sheep/Goat
Medium-sized Animal
Hite Dice: 2d8+2 (11 hp)
Intitiative: +0 (Dex)
Speed: 30'
AC: 12 (+2 natural)
Attacks: Butt +0 melee (rams and goats only)
Damage: Butt 1d4
Face/Reach: 5'x5'/5'
Special Attacks: Charge 4d4
Special Qualities: Scent
Saves: Fort +4, Ref +3, Will +0
Abilities: Str 11, Dex 11, Con 12, Int 1, Wis 11, Cha 4
Skills: Balance +4, Listen +5, Spot +5
Climate/Terrain: Temperate mountains, hills, and plains
Organization: Solitary or flock (10-80)
Challenge Rating: ½
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: --
-------------
Charge (Ex): A ram or goat typically begins a battle by lowering its head and charging at its opponent. In addition to the normal benefits and hazards of a charge, this allows it to make a single butt attack that deals 4d4 points of damage.
Skills: Sheep and goats have a +4 racial bonus to Balance checks.

Fox
Tiny Animal
Hit Dice: 1d8+1 (5 hp)
Initiative: +2 (Dex)
Speed: 30'
AC: 14 (+2 size, +2 Dex)
Attacks: Bite +4 melee
Damage: Bite 1d3-1
Face/Reach: 2½'x2½'/0'
Special Qualities: Scent
Saves: Fort +3, Ref +4, Will +1
Abilities: Str 6, Dex 15, Con 13, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 6
Skills: Hide +10, Listen +5, Move Silently +6, Spot +5
Feats: Weapon Finesse (bite)
Climate/Terrain: Temperate forest and hills
Organization: Solitary, pair, or family (3-5)
Challenge Rating: ¼
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 2 HD (Tiny)
-------------
Skills: Foxes have a +4 racial bonus to Move Silently checks.
A fox familiar gives its master a +2 to Move Silently checks.

Deer/Stag
[Can also be used for elk, reindeer, and other antlered mammals. Elk and reindeer should have Str 15, Dex 13 and cold resistance 5.]
Large Animal
Hit Dice: 3d8+6 (19 hp)
Initiative: +2 (Dex)
Speed: 60'
AC: 13 (-1 size, +2 Dex, +2 natural)
Attacks: Gore +2 melee
Damage: Gore 1d8+1
Face/Reach: 5'x10'/5'
Special Qualities: Scent
Saves: Fort +5, Ref +5, Will +2
Abilities: Str 13, Dex 15, Con 15, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 6
Skills: Hide +0*, Listen +8, Move Silently +5, Spot +8
Feats: Alertness
Climate/Terrain: Cold and temperate forest or plains
Organization: Solitary, pair, or herd (3-30)
Challenge Rating: 1
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 4-5 HD (Large)
-------------
Skills: *Deer have a +4 racial bonus to Hide checks in woods and heavy undergrowth.

Antelope
Medium-sized Animal
Hit Dice: 2d8+2 (11 hp)
Initiative: +7 (+3 Dex, +4 Improved Intitiative)
Speed: 60'
AC: 15 (+3 Dex, +2 natural)
Attacks: 2 hooves +4 melee, gore -4 melee
Damage: Hoof 1d4, gore 1d6
Face/Reach: 5'x10'/5'
Special Qualities: Scent
Saves: Fort +5, Ref +6, Will +1
Abilities: Str 11, Dex 17, Con 13, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 6
Skills: Hide +5*, Listen +8, Move Silently +6, Spot +8
Feats: Alertness, Improved Initiative, Weapon Finesse (hoof)
Climate/Terrain: Warm plains
Organization: Solitary, pair, or herd (3-30)
Challenge Rating: ½
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 2-3 HD (Medium)
-------------
Skills: *Antelope have a +4 racial bonus to Hide checks in tall grass and heavy undergrowth.

Here's a good link: http://www.community3e.com/dn/equip/equip_and_services.doc

Hope this helps
Awesome! Please don't stop now.
/\ Art
DragonicHeritage, thanks for all the pelt and animal info - now maybe I can take a break from making everything up. :D

Meanwhile, look out, here comes -

Episode 5: FIRE!!

Joe knows that nothing is more dangerous in a town than a rampaging fire. He points to the smoke and yells ‘Fire!’ just as a flame licks under the door beside the smoke. The nearest stall holders and shopkeepers take up the cry as more and more people come running. One look at the flames and smoke and they grab whatever containers they can quickly lay hands on and join the chain stretching down from the central pump. Joe dumps his sack at the foot of an abandoned stall, digs out his cooking pot and runs to join up. Buckets, pots, bowls, jugs and pitchers pass from hand to hand and the water in them hurled frantically at the burning building.

Ten minutes of sweating, choking on smoke and smelling singed hair later, two of the temple priests come hurrying up. They don’t join the chain, they just skid to a halt and thrust their hands out towards the fire as if hoping to get warm. Joe doesn’t think much of them until water suddenly starts appearing out of thin air above the fire and splashing down onto it.

The fire hesitates and stretches out in a new direction. Joe yells back at it, ‘Oh no you don’t’ and leads a second bucket line to quench it. Under the double (and renewed) assault, the fire trembles and begins to shrink. After more frantic work, it finally collapses into embers.

The bucket lines pause, hanging onto the containers and watch it warily. When they are sure that the fire really is out, they start to retrieve their own containers and drift away. Joe collects his pot, turns to retrieve his sack and sees a boy about to run off with it…

To be continued...

Competition places
Winner of Hero Craftsmen 3: Gladiator Winner of Master Storyteller Competition 1: Ancient Ruins Gold Medallist in MDMC 38: Populate a map I placed first (that's right, FIRST!) in the second CowCon: "We All get Old" Contest! Gold Medallist in MDMC 42: Create a Remote Location Winner of Master Storyteller Competition 7: I am Legend Best in Category: Rules Use - Hero Craftsman 17 Best in Category: Clarity - Hero Craftsman 17 Second place in Master Storyteller Competition 6: Fall from Grace Silver Medallist in MDMC 32: Magic Item Spectacular Joint Silver in Hero Craftsmen 6: The Frostfell Silver medallist in Hero Craftsman 17: We're going Underground! Silver Medalist in Hero Craftsman 18: We need a Hero! Silver Medalist in Hero Craftsman 20: Back to School
Show
http://drewbaker.com/warlord/images/group9/Durga.jpg Now that's a half-orc! Like Joe Wood? Meet Gwen. http://tinyurl.com/ringofnine
If you think commoners can't do anything, you should meet Joe Wood! The pen is mightier than the sword - but only if the sword is very small and the pen is very sharp - Terry Pratchett Methinks (still) wizards bit off more than they can chew. fantasy-28.gif
GAH! Another cliff hanger!

Another exciting installment. I must say I am really enjoying this. But poor Joe getting robbed? He pretty much lives out of that sack ... I hope he gets the boy... :D
WOW!!!! This Rocks!
please keep us informed !
GAH! Another cliff hanger!

Another exciting installment. I must say I am really enjoying this. But poor Joe getting robbed? He pretty much lives out of that sack ... I hope he gets the boy... :D

Agreed. I just want him to settle down eventually, open a shop or something. Should help if he ever finds out what that 'worthless coin' actually is.
Once Joe catches that little brat who stole his stuff, he can kick his ass for experience points!:D
Yay Joe! Platnum!

A few questions.
1. Will Joe be allowed to gain character levels? He seems like a ranger currently. He's getting pretty good at trapping.
2. If so, Will Joe be joining the rest of your party at any point?

He seems that soon he should get a level of commoner or expert at best.

I love this keep them coming. I wish my ordinary people could go like this.
I can't wait to see what happens next!
I just want him to settle down eventually, open a shop or something. Should help if he ever finds out what that 'worthless coin' actually is.

Please remember that even a simple house/ shop is worth 1000gp. Even at a low 1% rent, that's still 10gp/ week or month.

He seems that soon he should get a level of commoner or expert at best.

Joe's between half and two-thirds of his way through his first level at this point. (Hint: level 2 will arrive in a few episode's time)

Meanwhile, for all those wanting the next episode in Joe's life, here it is.


Episode 6: Stop thief!

Joe breaks into a run but the boy just thumbs his nose and turns to run himself. With few options left, Joe yells ‘Hey, you!” When the boy momentarily looks back, Joe hurls the cooking pot. He misses and the pot rolls idly past the boy’s now racing feet. ‘No!” Joe yells desperately. ‘Stop! Thief!’

The firefighters are turning to look. The boy looks back and thumbs his nose once more. But he is so busy taunting Joe that he fails to notice the cooking pot rolling around in front of him. Chin still on shoulder, he catches his foot on the pot and goes flying.

Joe increases his speed and manages to reach the boy for he can scramble away again. Sitting triumphantly on the boy’s ankles, he prises his sack out of the boy’s hands and snatches up the cooking pot.

The boy protests, loudly. ‘That’s my stuff! You got no right to chase me down like a-‘ He suddenly gulps to a stop.

‘Like?’ prompts another voice.

Joe looks up to see the two priests who came to help fight the fire.

‘Like as not,’ one of them continues, ‘you’ll be coming out with the same tale as you did when the High Priest caught your hand in the poor-box?’

‘Or the time you cut a stall-holder’s purse,’ adds the other. ‘I think we’ll skip the chatter this time.’ He turns to Joe. ‘Thank you for your assistance in catching him. If you’ll just let him up so I can pat him down…’

Joe scrambles up and backs off, hastily checking through his things. Nothing seems to be missing. The priests, though, keep producing items and piling them into his arms. They top it off with a lumpy pouch. Joe tries to protest that none of this is his. He doesn’t want to be seen as another thief.

‘Nonsense,’ the priests tell him, ‘take it as a reward for catching him. He won’t need it anymore.’

A hand closes on Joe’s shoulder, but his arms are too full for him to turn quickly. ‘You fought the fire too, didn’t you?’ says a faintly familiar voice. Joe nods, and finally manges to turn around. It’s the shopkeeper who has been buying the pelts fron him. ‘I’ll just add my own thank you then,’ the man says and dumps a second lumpy bag into Joe’s arms with a clink that sounds like gold….

To be continued...

Competition places
Winner of Hero Craftsmen 3: Gladiator Winner of Master Storyteller Competition 1: Ancient Ruins Gold Medallist in MDMC 38: Populate a map I placed first (that's right, FIRST!) in the second CowCon: "We All get Old" Contest! Gold Medallist in MDMC 42: Create a Remote Location Winner of Master Storyteller Competition 7: I am Legend Best in Category: Rules Use - Hero Craftsman 17 Best in Category: Clarity - Hero Craftsman 17 Second place in Master Storyteller Competition 6: Fall from Grace Silver Medallist in MDMC 32: Magic Item Spectacular Joint Silver in Hero Craftsmen 6: The Frostfell Silver medallist in Hero Craftsman 17: We're going Underground! Silver Medalist in Hero Craftsman 18: We need a Hero! Silver Medalist in Hero Craftsman 20: Back to School
Show
http://drewbaker.com/warlord/images/group9/Durga.jpg Now that's a half-orc! Like Joe Wood? Meet Gwen. http://tinyurl.com/ringofnine
If you think commoners can't do anything, you should meet Joe Wood! The pen is mightier than the sword - but only if the sword is very small and the pen is very sharp - Terry Pratchett Methinks (still) wizards bit off more than they can chew. fantasy-28.gif
Please remember that even a simple house/ shop is worth 1000gp. Even at a low 1% rent, that's still 10gp/ week or month.

Episode 6: Stop thief!

And he was just handed several months rent if I'm not mistaken.
Wow.. Suscribed. Keep it up! *pounds fists on imaginary table* JOE JOE JOE JOE etc.
This is a must-read thread!!!
KUDOS!!

My DM is running something like this, where we start off with NPC classes, and play our way into PC classes. As the only one to show up week 1, I got the acolyte NPC class. which makes me RICH! (50 gp)

This is an excellent inspiration for the rest of the group.

Kudos, once again!!
I love the thread, but something of my own to add to this....

A DM I have never played for wanted to run a Ravenloft game(which I had not been a part of), and his idea (I don't know if it is original or not) was to start the players out as commoners (the villagers of a small town) and play them through the "village mob that storms the castle and kill the witch" scenario.... in doing so, we would screw up something important and hence be dropped (town and all) into a Ravenloft setting.
I love starting lvl one characters, and even more love creating characters that are what most consider "useless" and trying to make them useful. Try it sometime, you might like it, because creating a character with a niche leaves him/her slightly in a bind when the campaign doesn't go the direction they want it to.
Long story short, everyone rolled occupations (from a premade list), ability scores (anything over a 14 was accompanied by some type of negative, e.i. nervous tick or phobia), family members, and a few other character traits.
I was fortunate (depending on what side you were on) to roll the Gravedigger... and I had a blast. The mentality I took was that once a body was dead and on it's way to MY cemetary, it was mine, and you weren't going to steal it, loot from it, or degrade it... it came to blows the first time with another player...
The idea was to play out the introduction and immersion into Ravenloft (and without their knowing) the DM kept tabs as to what choices characters made on their way.... which led them down a general path for their first Class level. Granted some didn't like getting pidgeon-holed, but those were the same players that bum-rushed into rooms and dug through the barrels full of body parts looking for treasure.

So.... bravo on the commoner game
p.s. I ended up playing the creepy guy in the dark corner that no one trusted.... with Paladin Levels.;)