So, I was thinking about one of my little worlds, when I stumbled into an interesting problem.
At first, this is a run-of-the-mill isekai (trapped in another world) story. The protagonist, an average high school student, is "transported" into a fantasy world. What's the catch? The description IS the catch, let me elaborate:
The first thing that happens to him is getting shot in the shoulder with an arrow, then chased down by some zombies, a siren head then comes and grabs him. He helplessly flails in the monster's grasp as it lifts up and shoves him into its "mouth". He tries pushing himself away with his only functional arm, but to no avail, while screaming bloody murder. He's ultimately saved by two major-but-not-protagonist characters. Oh, and he will have trouble using his injured arm for quite a while and also gets PTSD from this encounter.
He becomes somewhat better along the way, and even kind of competent, but never at the level a lot of other characters are on.
He isn't a hero, he has no special abilities, sure, he isn't an edgy neet either, but it's still pretty disappointing that his only purpose is to literally be a quest-giver to others. That's his only ability, he's a subtle loudspeaker of a god.
Sure he has a solid goal (get home) and more enjoyable personality than Kirito or Ainz and real stakes, not unsubstantiated paranoia. However, all of those are rendered moot if he's incapable of defending himself and his only power is that he knows where to plot needs his team to go.
Yet, I wanted him to be a character that one can get behind... How can I accomplish that?