Assassin’s Creed 3 – Encyclopedia of The Common Man Tips

I recently completed Assassin’s Creed 3 and I’ve been slowly working on mopping up the secondary missions and achievement whoring.  As with most Assassin Creed games there’s a lot of monotony, a lot of fluff to add “artificial” length to the game that feels trivial and is in most cases annoying.  The Encyclopedia of The Common Man can be one of those annoying and frustrating objectives.

As you progress through the story you may notice Homestead Missions in Frontier, maybe Boston or New York, and the gist of these initial missions are to get people to settle in Homestead bringing their professions and skills to the community.   Once these people settle, there are additional missions that delve into their history, character, personality, etc.  Where the Encyclopedia comes into play is you’re tasked with watching these skilled trade and labourers doing their thing so history will know what life was like in that day and age.  Fantastic!  Except….

This is a tedious and annoying process.  I learned the hard way that completing this task wasn’t as easy as simply watching them.  In some cases the game was glitchy, in other times I simply hadn’t progressed enough to see the tasks completed.  Below are some tips on how to make this process less frustrating and hopefully more enjoyable.

1.  Use Eagle Vision

Characters that are performing a task that will count towards the Encyclopedia are gold, because they’re target objectives.  While the characters may be illuminated gold, it doesn’t mean it’s a new task you haven’t seen, it just simply is letting you know they’re doing something important.  So as you’re running through Homestead working towards something else, Eagle Vision can help here and there.

2.  Do ALL of the Homestead missions before trying for the Encyclopedia

Sweet Christ this was extremely frustrating.  I only had a few tasks left with the Blacksmith, Big Dave, and he was being a royal prick.  All he would do is walk into his shed, come out with an axe, take it to the grindstone, start sharpening it, put the axe back in the shed, get the axe again, repeat.  Sometimes he’d head out back and eat an apple or have a smoke, like what the fuck Big Dave?  Is that all you do?  Turns out after completing the Homestead missions it gives the people better equipment to do their jobs better so there are more tasks for them to do.

Do something else Big Dave, you lazy bastard!

Do something else Big Dave, you lazy bastard!

3.  Check your Log Book for missions that are currently in progress

The Log Book is a great resource and sometimes I would forget that I had already started a Homestead mission and didn’t complete it.  So I would watch the Doctor read his book, then pick some flowers, then read his book, then pick some flowers….  It was Big Dave all over again but this time I knew better!  Sure enough I had started a mission but never completed it.  Finished the mission, Doctor did some other things, problem solved.

4.  Fast Travel to reset the characters

There were some times where some of the characters had all of their missions complete but I kept getting invalid target, even though they were doing jobs that should have counted towards the progress.  Simply fast travelling to another Homestead location and returning to the characters seemed to reset their activity to actually apply, and in some cases changed the task they were doing completely.  Yay!

5.  Doing missions changed the time of day

When you’re waiting around for up to ten minutes for a character to complete a task that counts, it can eat up the in-game daylight. Once it becomes night, all the characters either head in for bed or hit up the tavern to get their drink on.  I went and did a mission and as soon as it was completed it was day time.  Before I did this, I was waiting for roughly fifteen to twenty minutes for it to become daylight to continue my progress and this was especially annoying as you’re already investing a few hours into this to begin with.

Hopefully some of these tips help you out.  I’m going to get a good capture device soon (Come on Santa!) to provide some related media to articles for added effect.  Good luck everyone!pixelstats trackingpixel


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Author: GamingRendo View all posts by
MJ Goulah, creator of, lifelong gamer, avid hockey fan, and the most random, insane character you'll ever meet.

14 Comments on "Assassin’s Creed 3 – Encyclopedia of The Common Man Tips"

  1. Trevor January 20, 2013 at 4:02 am - Reply

    “like what the fuck Big Dave? Is that all you do”

    oh man that was funny. great tips.

    • GamingRendo January 22, 2013 at 12:16 pm - Reply

      You’re welcome. I wish I could have killed him though. Would have made me feel better.

  2. Crystal January 21, 2013 at 3:57 pm - Reply

    This is extremely helpful and well written. I hope to put all of this into practice and complete the darn encyclopedia. Thank you! 😀

    • GamingRendo January 22, 2013 at 12:14 pm - Reply

      Glad I could help! Kick that Encyclopedia’s ass!

  3. WHATUPTOKYO January 26, 2013 at 12:52 pm - Reply

    I think you forgot to mention zooming on the character doing the task using L1 (on ps3). Target follows character, encyclopedia entry complete in a few seconds. I started these after finishing the game an the hole process took maybe a half hour

    • GamingRendo January 26, 2013 at 10:22 pm - Reply

      Obviously. Just assumed everyone understood that’s how you get the entries so didn’t feel the need to mention it. Thanks though!

  4. Austinisaboss January 29, 2013 at 12:03 pm - Reply

    So what do you even get for completing the encyclopedia ?

    • GamingRendo January 29, 2013 at 5:49 pm - Reply

      It’s an optional side-quest that grants you an achievement upon completion. It’s for all the achievement whores out there as it has very little to do with the story. 😛

  5. Dan Devaney February 1, 2013 at 12:51 am - Reply

    Thanks for taking the time to do this. It settled a lot of questions I was pondering.

    • GamingRendo February 1, 2013 at 6:33 pm - Reply

      No problem. I get frustrated easily at silly things like this, so figured I’d help out the other rageoholics. 😛

  6. Errant Endeavour February 6, 2013 at 6:12 am - Reply

    Thanks for this. I really had no clue how to do this – was always getting ‘invalid target’. Also didn’t realise that the Log Book was useful for checking missions. I’ve been having problems with it, and gave up on using it pretty early on.

    • GamingRendo February 6, 2013 at 8:14 am - Reply

      It was very frustrating when I began working towards this and I spent far too long trying to figure it out. Glad it helped you. 😀

  7. Simon February 9, 2013 at 2:12 am - Reply

    Should add that you need to use the Aim view (LT for xbox)

    The character you are watching doing an activity will highlight then a log book update will show at the top of the screen once you are finished observing.
    So far eagle vision has not helped me complete this.

    • GamingRendo February 9, 2013 at 10:00 am - Reply

      It’s been awhile since I’ve played the game, but I’m fairly certain it explains that you have to target lock whomever you’re looking at. Eagle vision only shows characters that are doing things that can be added to the Encyclopedia, which is a more productive than arbitrarily trying to view every character you run into.

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