What the Encyclopedia of the Common Man (hereafter written as ECM) is, in essences, is a scholarly documentation of the various special actions of skilled tradesman and crafters that focuses upon the special aspects of the skills as a crafter, as a service provider, or a combination of the two. In simple terms it is an Encyclopedia that is created at the request of Achilles Davenport that faithfully records the skills of the Homestead Settlers and thus, by extension, a significant part of the history of the Davenport Homestead.
Depending upon who you ask you may very well find a mixture of advice when it comes to completing this collection and thus unlocking its related Achievement/Trophy; advice that will range from the “getting it out of the way” point-of-view to the “let it roll” take it as it comes perspective. You may also find that a mixture of the two approaches is often recommended by your mates who have been there, done that, and got the T-Shirt...
What we suggest is that you will need to be relaxed about this collection anyway since you do not really complete all of the related preparation work that would allow you to unlock it until very late in the game anyway – and when we say preparation work, you should bear in mind that the unlocking of the collection invariably requires you to have added nearly the complete set of Settlers to the Homestead anyway. What that translates to is that there is no rush for this, as unlike some of the other objectives in the game, there really is no way to “miss” this as it can be unlocked through normal play in the free-roaming portion of the game. You can even safely wait until you have completed the story mode of the game if you like, before tackling this. The point is that you should try to have some fun with it and not look at it as a chore, since if you do look at it that way, that is precisely what it will become.
For this collection your basic task is to follow around and observe specific Homestead Settler characters (NPCs) as they go about their business and, when you observe them using Eagle Vision, if/when they are performing a significant task that is worthy of including in ECM they will glow in a golden hue rather than the normal shade of blue that they bear for unimportant tasks.
When you encounter one of the Settlers who is glowing gold under Eagle Vision, you then “scan” them to “record” the activity by placing the targeting marker over them and holding down the Left Joystick – which is the “View Action” button.
Note that in addition to this being part of the game actions, there is an Achievement / Trophy that is associated with this collection, “An Extraordinary Man” (10G) Complete the Encyclopedia of the Common Man.
You can verify the progress that you have made towards completing this collection by checking the log book for active quests. When a particular Settler/Job has been completed you should see that noted as well as a second note indicating that the book has been updated – the book in question is literally The Encyclopedia of the Common Man, which is a book in your room back at the Manor House. You can actually to to your room and read that book to check the progress of the collection/quest as well if you like!
This collection and its quest are filed under the “Building the Homestead” Section of the game for tracking purposes.
Time and Difficulty Notes
This is one of the collections that you can make a lot harder on yourself by not playing it smart than might otherwise be the case. Playing it smart in this instance basically comes down to applying common sense. For example the vast majority of these actions (in fact all of them save for one that the Innkeeper can be scanned doing) take place during the daytime, and usually from the early morning to the late afternoon.
Once the clock hits late afternoon you are better off waiting for the next morning to resume working towards completing this collection.
More than one way to scan a craft: You may be tempted to try to address the collections one Settler at a time but that would not be a very efficient method for several reasons, not the least of which is that it takes a certain amount of time (delay) between actions, so you may find that a more effective approach is to locate in your mind three of the Settlers by placing yourself at one of their homes/craft locations, and then once you have scanned an activity at one, moving to the second, and after scanning an action there, moving to the third. Once you scan an action at the third Settler's Home/Shop return to the first one who will likely have moved on to a new activity, then simply rinse and repeat until you get all three scans you need for each.
Remember that for some of the Settlers the activities you are seeking to scan are not all done by the same Settler! For example when you are working in the Landlord for the Public Inn, be aware that while you can scan him inside the bar cleaning or polishing, his wife will also be performing actions of interest OUTSIDE, so you want to be sure to scan each of the Settlers that are attached to each of the crafts/services.
Scanning Action List
The following lists indicate the different actions that you can scan in order to complete the collection and quest. Please remember that while you only need to scan three unique actions that are relative to that Settler/Job, there are almost always more than three unique actions that can be scanned, which makes this a bit easier since you do not necessarily have to scan the same actions that we did in order to complete this collection!
Homestead Blacksmith (Big Dave)
- Forming Metal with Hammer and Anvil.
- Grinding an Ax.
- Repairing a Wagon Wheel
- Shoeing a Horse
- Splitting Wood.
- Unloading Lumber from a Cart in the Yard.
Homestead Farmers (Warren and Prudence)
- Beekeeping (Prudence)
- Cooking (Prudence)
- Feeding the Chickens (Warren or Prudence)
- Milking the Cow (Prudence)
- Pitching Hay (Warren)
- Plowing the Field (Warren)
- Repairing the Windmill (Warren)
- Working in the Garden (Warren or Prudence)
Homestead Huntress (Myriam)
- Being Measured for an Outfit by Ellen (at Ellen's)
- Cleaning her Rifle/Tools
- Dressing Meat from a Carcass
- Roasting Food
- Setting a Lure and Trap in the woods.
- Skinning a Deer Carcass
Homestead Innkeepers (Corrine and Oliver)
- Dressing a Carcass (Corrine)
- Grinding Wheat into Flour at the Bull Mill (Corrine)
- Pitching Hay (Oliver or Corrine)
- Roasting Meat Outside (Corrine)
- Washing the Counter / Polishing Glasses (Oliver)
Homestead Lumberers (Godfrey, Terry & Catherine)
- Chopping Wood (Terry)
- Churning Butter (Catherine)
- Loading Lumber in the Wagon (Godfrey & Terry)
- Playing Bowls (Terry or Godfrey)
- Sawing Wood (Terry and Godfrey)
- Talking to Lance (Catherine)
Homestead Miner (Norris)
- Filling the Oil Lamp outside the Mine
- Mining with the Pickax
- Panning for Gold
- Repairing a Mine Support
- Sharpening his Tools
Homestead Physician (Dr. Lyle)
- Examining a Patient (on the porch)
- Playing a game of Bowls (near the Inn)
- Picking Medicinal Herbs
- Reading a Book (on log by the bridge)
- Reading the Newspaper (on a rock by the road)
- Talking with other Settlers (on the side of the road)
Homestead Tailor (Ellen)
- Dying Cloth
- Fitting a Customer
- Sewing on the Form
- Upholstering a Chair
- Washing Cloth
Homestead Woodworker (Lance)
- Placing an Order for Lumber at the Mill
- Planing a Board
- Reading a Book
- Repairing the Fence
- Repairing the Wheelbarrow
Before you begin this collection in earnest you should be aware that there are several glitches that are associated with it, and more often than not those glitches will crop up when you are attempting to complete the scans for either the Lumberers, the Miner, or the Huntress. Fortunately this glitch is more annoying than anything else and can easily be corrected by taking the following steps:
(1) If you see that the target is glowing blue instead of gold while performing an action from the list above that you know should have them glowing gold, then you know that you are experiencing this glitch/bug.
(2) To correct this glitch/bug quit to the main game menu, then drop to the console dashboard. Since the game auto-saves that should not be a concern for you.
(3) Reboot the console.
(4) Restart the game. The glitch/bug should now be fixed, and you should see gold instead of blue for actions that are part of the collection.
Note that it is possible to experience the glitch with a Homestead Settler, complete the fix above, scan their actions, and then find that you experience the glitch again with a different Settler! If that happens, since the game auto-saves that is not a concern, so simply repeat the steps above so that you can scan the actions of the glitched Settler, no harm, no foul!
While this collection is primarily an Action-Based Collection, it is also an Information-Based Collection, so it legitimately falls into two sub-types, but we are going to treat it as an Action-Based Collection for consistency and simplicity.