Classless Skills & Powers
Appendix A - Classless NPCs
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Character points can also be used to generate non-player characters easily. Leveled NPCs can and should be built under this system just as PCs are, using a base of 200 CPs. This number of character points, however, is a reflection of the fact that player characters (and leveled NPCs) are somehow special - quicker to learn, blessed by the gods, and "larger than life." Most everyday people do not have that wide a variety of abilities.
Here are some rules for generating "level 0" NPCs with a wide range of different skills. First, it's easier to use the Monstrous Manual statistics for level 0 humans and demihumans than to go to the trouble of assigning them Required Tree skills. If you wanted to go to that trouble, a standard L0 human has Rogue hit dice (20 CP), Warrior saves (30 CP), Rogue THAC0 (20 CP), and the Priest XP table (30 CP), for a 100 CP base cost plus racial bundle. Since races with higher racial bundle costs are usually much longer-lived than humans, it's convenient to simply give them the default racial bundles ignoring the additional cost, assuming that the demihumans are getting some CP bonuses for being around for centuries. So now you start out with an unskilled L0 human or demihuman.
Due to the vagaries of intelligence, chance, and situation, some L0 people are more skilled than others are. Here are the common levels of skill found in NPCs. All NPCs also get bonus CP for Intelligence just as PCs do. Note that most skilled NPCs will spend a number of these points on improving their skills' Initial Ratings - no one is going to make a good living as a farmer with the base Agriculture rating of 7, for example.
Laborer - 0 CP
A common, untrained laborer has no skills except what their Intelligence gets them - usually enough for a low level of Agriculture or Endurance (for all that heavy lifting). Only a society's real drudge workers fit into this category.
Tradesman - 10 CP
A tradesman is the "standard" level 0 human. They have a little training in their area of expertise, usually something out of the Tradesman skill tree (e.g. Agriculture, Stonemasonry). Specialized tradesmen would have another primary skill tree (e.g. Sailing for sailors, Wilderness Craft for hunters). The vast bulk of the populace is made up of this level of NPC.
Craftsman - 20 CP
A craftsman is a little more trained than most NPCs. They fill the role of providing specialty services to others, usually something out of the Craftsman skill tree (and something out of the Stealth tree for crooked ones). Merchants, government officials, church administrators, and others who have received some amount of actual job training also fall into this category.
Professional - 30 CP
Professionals are those NPCs with a good amount of training required for their work. Professional soldiers fit into this category (not levies or the average barely trained soldier), as do thieves' guild members, common priests, and other generally prominent local NPCs.
Master - 40 CP
Masters are usually skilled enough that their name is known across a given municipality. Masters of an art or craft, renowned soldiers (usually officers), entrepreneurs, ship's captains, local leaders, and others with a high degree of skill qualify as masters.
Sage - 50 CP
A sage has a great deal of knowledge in their subjects of choice, as much as is usually found of normal people. This category obviously includes the traditional sage, who has spent their life studying certain subjects, but also includes those with world-class knowledge in other areas - an Olympic athlete, a military general, or a head of state. Higher levels of NPC skill are possible, but usually only in leveled NPCs.
Leveled NPCs advance as they gain experience, using the same rules that PCs do. There is no set formula for this advancement - assume that NPCs who are as active as your PCs gain experience at approximately the same rate as the PCs. More sedentary NPCs will gain at a lesser rate, and perhaps never progress past low- to mid- levels in their entire lives.
Even Level 0 NPCs, however, should be expected to advance somewhat in their skills over time. This advancement is slow, but will provide a realistic level of improvement for level 0 NPCs that PCs interact with over long periods of time.
Level 0 NPCs should gain 1 CP every 1-2 years. This is only an average - some will learn more quickly, especially younger NPCs, and should gain a couple CP a year. Some will learn more slowly and improve little if at all ("I was here at this inn a decade ago, and your cooking still stinks!"). Training, local events, and even interaction with PCs can do much to accelerate this rate. Remember that this kind of skill progression should not rival that which actual leveled PCs or NPCs experience.
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