The Nexus of Pop-Culture Fandom

KICKSTARTER ALERT: The Adequate Commoner

Written by: Adam “ManKorn” Korenman, CC2K Video Games Editor

Forget about being an anti-hero. Try playing as a non-hero.

In the box-office miss The Avengers, a cast of unknown actors and actresses join together to defeat a cross-dressing green Hitler from using his army of robot-lizards to take over New York [Editor’s Note: Everything about that last sentence is wrong, and Adam has been punished for typing it]. During one poignant scene where the heroes realize they haven’t been told the full story (and by a super spy, no less. I mean, where do spies get off keeping secrets?). What the spy says is at the center of this article, and therefore I will paraphrase it poorly. 

“Last year, Earth had a visit from another planet that had a grudge match that leveled a small town. We learned that not only are we not alone, but that we are hopelessly–hilariously–outgunned.”

Nick Fury, Super Spy

Doesn’t that just some of the feelings of pretty much every character in a video game who isn’t the main character? How do all those guards in Skyrim feel when they see the Dovakin shout-murder a dragon while firing ethereal arrows at a fucking giant? Hint: their egos to not escape intact. Couldn’t you say that Bowser’s tactic of kidnapping a princess and ransoming for peace is only in response to living in the same world as a fungus-powered serial killer?

It’s a meeeeeeee.

But this train of thought is even more provoking in the world of tabletop gaming. In most RPG’s, your character is a behemoth in the stats department, wielding weapons of the arcane elder gods and pissing fire over the mountainous corpse-piles of your enemies. Non-Playable Characters (or NPC’s…hey, you just learned something. Congratulations!) are often given stats as well, mostly to highlight how incredibly awesome your dwarf lord really is in comparison. So what must it be like for those shopkeepers and blacksmiths living in this nightmare world of trolls and heroes?

Oh, you’re the leader of the Gray Wardens? I don’t remember voting for you.

CC2KOnline contributor and resident DM J.M. Perkins has an answer, and it’s pretty damn impressive.