O Level Characters/and background

O Level Characters/and background

November 12, 2018

Ardvarkglen is a small village right in between Wheelboro and River Run.  Forest surrounds it on 3 sides and the village's farm lands on the last.  The town boasts of a tavern and brewery, The Luck Pig, known in the area for the premier beers it creates and serves.

A self-proscribed retired mage known to live here, Reginald Plump lives in his tower, The Twisted Barrel.  The mage gained notoriety some years back for creating the spell “Plump’s Pic” This cantrip used in the cleaning of teeth and fresh breath on any person, creature, or animal.  It also resulted in clean breath.

This spell later replaced with Chandler’s Cleaning Centerpiece, which cleaned everything including; clothes, hair, and teeth.  Plump’s Pic soon fell out of favor and the mage never got over being supplemented.   Reginald retired to Ardvarkglen.

The Luck Pig servers the best beer, ale, and lager in the Duchy.  The ale is renown as far as Goldia and shipped down to Silverton and even to Istika City.  This homebrew is the major export and money maker for almost everyone in the village of Ardvarkglen.

People here grow the hops, barley, and wheat that goes into producing the beverage.  Trees cut and formed to make the barrels, metal smiths used to create the copper rings that give the barrels their shape.  Cloth created for the filters, and even a local glassblower lured here to make special Ardvarkglen mugs.  The entire town supported by the brewery at the Luck Pig.

A small temple to the Church of the Pure and White Light is here, guarding the souls of the village.  There is also a small Druid Shrine, a druid Greenleaf Bumble is in residence giving blessings to the fields, crops and blessing the barrels.  There is even a sawmill that sees to the logs being turned into boards.

Your character can be from anywhere within the village with any background.  Woodsmen must keep the woods safe, farmers grow, merchants sell, priests look out for those wondering about the afterlife.  This is a microsystem of a much larger area, the difference being instead of being different coopers, there is only one.

Is the adventuring life for you?

The village of Advarkglen has something of a love triangle.  To understand the situation, it is imperative you know the players.

Claxton vanDerSpoonBarrel, the son of the Brewmeister, Igor vanDerSpoonBarrel.  Claxton is the only child of the man.  His mother, Igor’s wife passed away 10 years ago during the Wind Plague.  Claxton is a handsome fellow, standing over 6’ tall, well built, a ready smile, and a great head of blonde hair.  He is not as bright as Igor would like and has the added deficit; he has no desire to take on the family business.  Claxton’s only true love is sculpting things out of stone.

To practice, Claxton carves things out of soap.  This has created a tiny niche industry where people collect his soap carvings and use them while washing up.

Wanda Whippoorwill is a server in the “Luck Pig” the towns brewery and tap room.  Miss Whippoorwill is an attractive young lady and finds herself unaccountably drawn to Claxton.  Perhaps it is his guileless nature, his innate goodness, or she finds him an attractive man.  Whatever it is Wanda finds Claxton someone she would like to spend more time with.

Mabel’s family are farmers and own a modest farm outside of town.  Mabel has 8 brothers and sisters all interested in the farm life.  Her family rarely, if ever, comes to town due to the amount of work on the farm.

Claxton is unaware of this attraction, which makes him even more attractive to Wanda.  Wanda herself has a myriad of admirers and they wait to find out which one of them she will choose.

Mabel Spoonsitter is the eldest daughter of Sven Spoonsitter the town’s livery stable owner.  “The Fresh Horse” is where people go to rent a horse, wagon, cart, whatever needed to move things from point A to point B.  

The Overland Freight Company has a small office in town run by Jacob TwoDoors, their business is to assist Igor vanDerSpoonBarrel get his shipments of the ale, beer, and lager out of the town and into other countries like Goldia.

Mabel has wanted to be Claxton’s subject, his muse, fashioned into marble and made something to behold, forever.  She also wants this done in the nude where she hopes it can make her assets clear and apparent to Claxton.

Claxton isn’t ready yet to take on a living human model.  Besides his soap carvings the only other things he has created has been things found around the “Lucky Pig.”  These include but not everything; barrels, spigots, candles, “Tweeter the dog”, and some robins.  He has carved people out of soap.

Sven Spoonsitter, being the doting father, he is, will do almost anything that Mabel asks him to do.  He had no issue with his daughter marrying Claxton vanDerSpoonBarrel, he would welcome the marriage.

Sven is not ready yet to break the law to have his daughter marry Claxton.  Mabel is.  Mabel hates Wanda and sees her as the competition for Claxton’s hand in marriage.  There is not much Mabel will not do to put herself in a better light than Wanda.

Wanda is not aware of this animosity as yet with Mabel and feels the two of them are friends.

I'm taking this from Walrock Homebrew, all of this is their creation, I had nothing to do with it.  The notes come 
DMs Guild.  Warlock Homebrew can be found at Blog warlock-homebrew.blogspot.com
Twitter: @Walrockhomebrew
Patreon: patreon.com/walrockhomebrew

If you like these rules consider purchasing them on DMs Guild under Pay what you Want

The Commoner
Level 0 Character Class Option

Though she needn’t be up until dawn to milk the cows, a female halfling farmer stands by the barn,
watching the earliest tentative fingers of sunrise grasp the horizon. In her hand is a hefty wooden cudgel,
one she’s only used on louts at the bar, and its unfamiliar weight is but a small comfort to her as she
squints, searching, into the near-light of the early morning. She knows the beast that dragged off two of
her herd is out there, and that when it arrives she’ll be here, waiting.

A male dwarf merchant, his beard frazzled from a night’s events, drags himself home through a
grumbling stupor. His head aches from being accosted by a pair of thugs, who stole his coin pouch after
ambushing him outside a tavern. The dwarf decides, then and there, that he will learn to defend himself.
He can no longer afford to be helpless.

Scrubbing the royal linens, a human washwoman sighs to herself, dreaming tales of intrigue and
subterfuge. She’s always had an ear for secrets, and she’s fairly sure that people would pay good coin for
what she’s heard. It’s just a matter of making the right connections, and staying out of trouble. The rest,
she hopes, should come naturally.

Though adventurers can become figures of lore and legend, most didn’t start their lives quite so
audaciously. Whether reluctantly or of their own volition, commoners sometimes start down the path to
becoming fully-realized adventurers, learning bit by bit what it takes to survive. Many die before achieving
glory, but those that endure are all the greater for their suffering and sacrifice.

Creating a Commoner

The commoner class is not an ordinary class, and does not attempt to compete with actual adventuring
classes, nor does it even offer full class levels.

Rather, the commoner class illustrates the progression an ordinary individual must undertake
when becoming an adventurer, and is suitable both for player characters taking their first steps into a
dangerous world, and NPCs that more seasoned characters can train and adopt into their way of life.

What brought you to seek a life of adventure, and who do you hope to become? Are you a
starry-eyed idealist, or do you have a grim determination to do what is necessary? Do you confront the
peril you face with optimism, conviction, or fatalism, and what do you hope to achieve by placing yourself
in harm’s way?

Tales of the Common Folk

Playing a commoner is fundamentally different than any other kind of adventurer. One major difference
is, naturally, a commoner has much lower odds of survival. Because of this, a second difference is that
where adventurers typically seek out adventure, the same is not usually true for commoners.

Thus, stories involving commoners need a very compelling reason for the commoners to
become involved. Maybe the antagonists have someone you care about, are killing and draining the
blood of your livestock, or have been replacing your fellow townsfolk with twisted aberrant clones.

Regardless of what form the story takes, the stakes for commoners must always be personal.

Further, since commoners are expected to die, your DM may decide to have each player at
your table roll up multiple commoners. It is recommended each player have no more than 3 commoner
characters, though a stupendously lethal campaign may necessitate a maximum of 4 characters. When
any of these characters gains their first class level, it is recommended that they become that player’s
only character.

Finally, commoners are not designed to journey alongside more seasoned adventurers,
excepting the case of an odd NPC the party decides to take along for the ride. Unless there is a plot
reason for it, no player characters should be commoners while another player character has actual
class levels.

If the commoner player characters desire an experienced escort, it is recommended the DM
make an NPC for this purpose. Should this NPC prove too effective or should the player characters rely
on them overmuch, however, the DM may concoct plans to remove them, to turn them against the
player characters, or to otherwise highlight the utter vulnerability of being a commoner, regardless of

Quick Build

You can make a commoner quickly by following these suggestions. First, Strength or Dexterity should be
your highest ability score, followed by Constitution. Second, select the common folk background, found at
the end of this option.

The Commoner

Fate Points
1/8 +1 Common Flaw 0 – 300
1/4 +1 Common Talent, Fate Points 1 – 225
1/2 +1 Uncommon Talent, Unflawed 1 – 125
1st +2 Class Level 0 0
Class Features

As a commoner, you gain the following class features.
Hit Points
Hit Dice: 1d2 per commoner partial level
Hit Points at 1/8 Level: 2 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 2 per commoner partial level after 1/8


Armor: None
Weapons: Choose any two simple weapons
Saving Throws: Choose any one
Skills: Choose any one


You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
● a simple weapon
● a set of common clothes
● (a) a 5 lb. sack of grain, (b) a handful of nails, or (c) an ale tankard
● (a) a chicken and 10 lb. of feed, (b) one set of artisan’s tools, or (c) one random trinket found on
page 160 of the Player’s Handbook
● (a) a worn holy symbol, (b) a diary, or (c) a bucket
● (a) 50 feet of hempen rope, (b) a bedroll, or (c) 10 torches

Levelling and Starting Wealth

When you create a commoner character, it starts with an experience deficit, as noted in the Exp. Level
column of the Commoner table. This is the amount of experience a commoner requires before they can
receive their first true class level. A commoner receives additional partial commoner levels as this
experience deficit diminishes, at the numbers listed in the Exp. Level column.

The commoner class is a precursor to being able to take actual class levels and thus a
commoner cannot multiclass, and no character can multiclass into being a commoner.

If you choose to use starting wealth based on class rather than the equipment provided by
class and background, the commoner class allows you to start play with 1d4 gp.
Common Flaw

Though common folk are hardy and well-versed in labor, most are unsuited for adventuring or the rigors of
combat. When you take your first partial level as a commoner, you gain your choice of one of the
following flaws:

Animal Friend. You consider yourself a close friend of all beasts, big and small. Whenever you
see a beast, regardless of its CR or whether or not it is hostile, you treat it as if it were a friendly creature,
acting as if you were charmed by it. You can use an action on your turn to make a Wisdom saving throw
with a DC of 15 – the CR of the beast (round up). On a success, you are no longer obligated to consider
that beast as friendly for the next 24 hours.

Cowardly. You are automatically frightened of any hostile creature with a CR equal to or greater
than twice your partial character level. You can use an action on your turn to attempt to overcome this
fear, rolling a Wisdom saving throw against a DC of 10 + the creature’s CR (round up). If you are
successful, this flaw does not cause you to be afraid of that creature for the next 24 hours.

Curious. The world contains such dangers, and such wonders! When you first see a lever,
button, tripwire, or similar triggering device, you must make a Wisdom saving throw with a DC of 10 + the
number of these saving throws you have succeeded in the last 24 hours. If you fail this saving throw, you
must move towards the device and attempt to trigger it, until it is either triggered or out of your sight.

Foolhardy. The thrill of real combat often overcomes your common sense. After rolling initiative,
you must use your movement speed to move as close as you can to the hostile creature with the highest
CR that you can see, heedless of dangers between you and your target. You must then use your action to
attack that creature or, if the creature is still out of range, use the Dash action and continue moving as
close as possible to the creature. You can act normally on subsequent turns.

Illiterate. You cannot read any languages, and treat words (and those who read them often) with
extreme skepticism and suspicion.

Rational. Everyone can be reasoned with, and you’ve never met a situation you can’t talk your
way out of. When you encounter a creature with whom you share a language, you cannot attack that
creature, and often attempt to persuade that creature using skill checks or simply defend yourself from
harm using actions such as Dodge or Hide. You can use an action to make a Wisdom (Insight) check
opposed by that creature’s Charisma (Deception). On a success, you can recognize that creature as a
threat, and can make attacks against it.

Superstitious. You see omens and portents everywhere, but fortunately you know the proper
signs to ward them off. The first time you see a specific magical signifier (a glowing skull, a spellbook, a
set of mystic runes etched into a door) and are not engaged with hostile creatures, you must stop what
you are doing and undertake a one minute long routine of mutterings and somatic gestures designed to
ward you from evil. You can take no other action until this is complete.

Talkative. You chatter almost incessantly, including in inopportune moments. Stealth checks
made by friendly creatures within 30 feet of you are made with disadvantage, and hostile creatures have
advantage on initiative checks they make when fighting you, if they were able to hear you before they
could see you.

Common Flaws and Dungeon Mastery

A commoner’s Common Flaw is intended to be both a hindrance and often humorous, though not to
impede gameplay. When creating an adventure for commoner characters, a DM should make sure to
provoke each character’s flaw at least once, though perhaps twice or even three times, if necessary.
Commoners are, by definition, not suited to adventuring, and in dangerous situations are
intended to perhaps die by way of their flaws. A life or death situation should not occur every time a
flaw is provoked, but it should not be unheard of, either.

Players may be tempted to choose a flaw they believe will not occur in gameplay. If the DM
believes this is the case, they should be sure to alter gameplay to accommodate that flaw, or simply
have the players determine their flaws randomly by rolling 1d8 and selecting that entry on the list.

Common Talent

Starting at 1/4 level, you have learned a few basic tricks to enhance your survival. Choose one of the
following benefits to receive:

Skills you are proficient in use a proficiency bonus of +2, instead of +1.

You gain one additional maximum hit point for each commoner partial level you have.
The Gift

You learn a single cantrip from the cleric, sorcerer, or wizard spell list. Your spellcasting ability for this
cantrip is Wisdom if you chose a cleric cantrip, Charisma for a sorcerer cantrip, and Intelligence for a
Wizard cantrip. You do not require a focus or materials to cast this cantrip, but once you use it, you
cannot use it again until you take a short or long rest.

You use your spellcasting ability modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a commoner spell
you cast and when making an attack roll with one, as follows:

Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your spellcasting ability modifier

Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your spellcasting ability modifier

Weapon Training

You have begun extensively training with the weapons you use. You use a proficiency bonus of +2,
instead of +1, for attacks with any weapon you are proficient in.

Fate Points
Also at 1/4 level, your destiny begins to shape itself, and you are likely fated for more than your common
origins. You gain one fate point.

When you would die or be reduced to 0 hit points, you can choose to expend your fate point. If
you do, you instead do not die or you ignore a single source of damage that would reduce you to 0 hit
points. Your DM comes up with a creative and perhaps implausible explanation for how you have
escaped harm.

Once you use a fate point, it does not return, and is permanently expended. At 1/2 level, you gain
one additional fate point, cumulative with the other fate point you may or may not still have.

Uncommon Talent

At 1/2 level, you are beginning to seem more like an actual adventurer, and less like expendable cannon
fodder. You gain the improved version of your Common Talent trait, listed below, which functions in
addition to the trait as described in Common Talent.

Skilled, Improved

You learn one additional skill of your choice.

Sturdy, Improved
You gain proficiency in your choice of either light or medium armor.

The Gift, Improved
You learn one 1st-level spell off the same class spell list as the cantrip you chose. You can cast this spell
once, requiring neither a focus or spell slots. After casting this spell, you require a long rest before you
can cast that spell again.

Weapon Training, Improved
You gain proficiency in one martial weapon of your choice.

Also at 1/2 level, you have learned enough from your trials that you are no longer troubled by the
inexperience that once plagued you. You ignore the effects of your Common Flaw feature.
Class Level

Once you reach 1st level, you are no longer a commoner, and have become a full-fledged (if still
somewhat green) adventurer.

You immediately lose all commoner class features, proficiencies, and unspent fate points, and
gain the benefits associated with the 1st level of a non-commoner class of your choosing (other than
starting gear). You lose all commoner partial levels, and gain the 1st level of your chosen class.

Choosing a Class

Though your choices as a commoner do not mandate that you choose one particular class, you still
may want to select one that roughly follows the path you have taken. It can be jarring for a cowardly
commoner who has learned The Gift of magic to gain their first class level as a barbarian.

Alternatively, such a thematic jump could make for a good story. Why would this character
forsake their natural talents, and choose a different path? Was there something in their early trials that
made them decide this? Or do they intend to return to their initial predilections later on, perhaps
through multiclassing or an appropriate subclass?

Additional Background

The following background is available to all characters, but makes an ideal starting point for a commoner.

Common Folk

Sun up, sun down, you live an ordinary life in one of the many small towns or big cities that are scattered
across the world. You are used to hard work and toil. Though you are relatively poor, you can usually
scrape together enough to get by.

How do you feel about where you have grown up, and the life you have lived? Do you have
regrets, dreams, or aspirations? And, naturally, when adventure comes calling, how will you respond?

Skill Proficiencies: Perception, Survival

Tool Proficiencies: One set of artisan’s tools

Equipment: Dirty common clothes, a set of artisan’s tools, a memento of a friend or loved one, and a belt
pouch containing 5 gp

Daily Toil

In any community, regardless of size, everyone has a purpose. Some may be more essential than others,
but every member fills a role that identifies them and ingrains themselves in the fabric of society. Choose
a vocation for your character from the following list, or determine one randomly.

d8 Daily Toil
1 Farmer
2 Innkeeper
3 Herder
4 Town drunk
5 Town guard
6 Wagon or coach driver
7 Domestic servant
8 Artisan (roll once on the Guild Business table, Player’s Handbook , page 132)

Feature: Hard Worker
You are able to press on through challenging conditions, exerting yourself more than should be possible.
When you would gain a level of exhaustion from any source other than a class feature, make a
Constitution saving throw. The DC of this saving throw is 12 + twice the number of times you’ve rolled this
saving throw in the past 30 days. If you succeed on this saving throw, you do not gain the level of

Suggested Characteristics

Common folk tend to be at once determined and resigned, accepting of their lot in life but willing to make
the most of it and continue to press on. The common folk often pride themselves on their distance from
formality and luxury, considering the hardships they suffer to be the hallmarks of a life well-lived.

d8 Personality Trait
1 If I’m not worn out, the job’s not done.
2 A well-timed grunt or spit says all that needs saying.
3 I celebrate just as hard as I work.
4 I don’t trust large sums of money. Nothing good ever comes from that.
5 I know thousands of jokes about nobles, want to hear one?
6 Singing helps the time go by, and makes life bearable.
7 I understand animals. Usually better than people.
8 I try and learn about all sorts of places I’ll probably never visit.

d6 Ideal
1 Community. Everyone needs a helping hand, sometimes. (Good)
2 Strength. The stronger I get, the more I can do. (Neutral)
3 Selfishness. My needs are all that matter. (Evil)
4 Status. Hard work improves my social standing. (Lawful)
5 Freedom. I’m always looking for a chance to cut loose. (Chaotic)
6 Order. Things are the way they are for a reason. (Lawful)

d6 Bond
1 I believe that my community should prosper, and everything I do is for them.
2 I have a sick relative, and I must work to support them.
3 My gambling debts are particularly large, and I fear those coming to collect.
4 The world is a dangerous place, and I must protect my people from harm.
5 I’m in love with a noble, and must outgrow my social standing if I’m to have a chance.
6 Some day, I’ll make my family name mean something.

d6 Flaw
1 I have an irrational hatred of nobles, or of one noble family in particular.
2 I’m actually surprisingly lazy.
3 I have an almost slavish adherence to protocol.
4 Any time that can be a party, should be a party.
5 Monsters and dragons are just superstition! I refuse to learn otherwise.
6 I’m very practical, and complicated plans completely escape me.

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