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What's a word for a non-adventurer?


Well, that was fun
Staff member
I need a word to describe the non-adventuring class of people in a medieval/fantasy world.

We're talking everybody from peasants and workers up to nobles and monarchs. It's the medieval version of "civilian" (as opposed to "adventurer") but it's not linked to rank or status.

Any ideas? "Non-adventurer" works, but it sounds so clumsy. Citizen and civilian sound very modern.

D&D "muggles" as it were.
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Is there a class of "adventuring people" in a medieval/fantasy world?

Look at it this way, what is the word for everyone in society who isn't a mercenary? Like if we were to divide soldiers-of-fortune from every other class of people in society, would we expect that there would be a nice non-awkward sounding word for that class of people which was actually both inclusive and descriptive.

Not only do "citizen" and "civilian" sound modern, but they are not in fact inclusive or descriptive of the whole group. The king is not a civilian, nor are the other members of a militant feudal hierarchy. And there are probably plenty of non-enfranchised people, including for examples slaves but not limited to that category, which are not "citizens". Consider that the vast majority of inhabitants of the Roman Empire, including ones that we theoretically free and not slaves, were not "citizens".

I think that there is a gamist assumption particular to D&D that there is a class of people who have the profession "adventurer" and D&D in particular uses this assumption as a plot device to provide very simple hooks to get players into an adventure as a self-contained social unit that can operate independently of any external authority - that is, it enables a very individualistic view of society, where armed people can go about doing whatever the heck they want and there is some color of why people are sorta OK with that - but that assumption really only works as a game convention and doesn't really have any bearing on real world social organizations and wouldn't necessarily have any bearing on fantasy social organizations.

I mean really what it typically called "adventurers" in D&D could just as easily be described as a "gang", and then you are asking for a word that encompasses all of society that is not gang members. Perhaps gang members have such a word, but I'm not up on my gang slang.


Well, that was fun
Staff member
It’s for a Bestiary entry. The people who aren’t ninjas and wizards and burglars and assassins and clerics and stuff. The commoners, workers, merchants, nobles. The muggles!

All those things have their own stat block entries; I just need a name for the page of muggle stat blocks, and I can’t think of one!


Victoria Rules
The problem is, there's more to it than a binary adventurer/non-adventurer divide. At the very least you've got:

Commoners (peasants, townsfolk, etc.)
Specials (nobility, trade guild barons, etc.)
Quasi-adventurers* (militia, stay-at-home temple clerics or lab mages, sages, etc.)
Adventurers (who could previously have been any of the above)

* - or whatever other term you choose that indicates people who can slowly gain levels (or the equivalent) but who do not adventure to do so.

Which means, unfortunately, that to cover all the non-adventurers properly you're probably stuck with calling them "non-adventurers". :)

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