Player characters - you are not special.


Registered User
Validated User
You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake.
You are the all-singing, all-dancing crap of
the world.

Thought I'd address a common rpg trope in this thread...

In almost every rpg, player characters are exceptional in some way. They're not normal, everyday people, but rather are considered to be exceptional because of their cool powers, their special status, their unique experiences, etc.

Now I can understand why this is. Being special is cool. Being exceptional is interesting, and makes for engaging stories.

However, I wonder if there's a place for roleplaying the normal guy. I wonder if there's a roleplaying game out there that sees you as just one of the masses, getting into everyday experiences, and having an interesting story develop from that.

I know its possible to tell interesting stories about normal people - look at Clerks (or other Kevin Smith films). Look at everyday soap operas full of normal people.

We still get interesting stories, despite the normal protagonists.

In many games you play a "normal exceptional", like in Vampire you're just one ordinary vampire amongst many... but you're still a vampire in a world of mere mortals. In Call of Cthulu, you're pretty much normal people, but your exposure to the mythos makes you exceptional.

The thing is though, I cannot think of a single real normal people rpg off the top of my head.

How about you guys?


Not the alien spacecat
Validated User
I once had an idea for a game where you walk down the road to get a litre of milk. Upon returning to the tiny bedsit you are in, you find a pothead with a knife and are forced to fight for your life.

Assuming success you're forced to drive your car for help, get your wounds patched and then resume "daily living"

GURPS came to mind.

howard david ingham

We Don't Go Back
Validated User
There's also the terrific Nicotine Girls.
Good call.

Also, pretty much any of the free games at Jeepform.

Notice that so far, it's all indie games. Mainline RPGs don't really support playing an ordinary Joe or Jane on the whole, purely by dint of what they're about (eg. genre conventions, almost always informed by some mixture of action-adventure, fantasy, sci-fi or horror).


Definitely not the Antichrist
RPGnet Member
Validated User
The thing is, I already play an unexceptional person living in unexceptional circumstances. It's not a great marketing ploy...


Retiring User
Validated User
There might be a place for the unexceptional, but I have no interest in doing it. None whatsoever.

Strange Samurai

"Normal" PC's (no more competent then most NPC characters) are my favourite, but I do prefer them in extraordinary circumstances (or extraordinarily humorous circumstances) that push them to their limit. I just draw so much more satisfaction from 'normal people beating the odds' then from 'special people beating the odds'.

And the one I'm playing is diceless and GM-less, to boot.
I'm pretty sure that mine has a GM that cheats, and I'm pretty sure he hates my char!

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