Role-Playing Games           • Home           • Miscellaneous          
Dungeons & Dragons
Adventures
Campaigns
Classes
Fiction
Magic
Miniatures
Monsters
Skills & Feats
Variant

NPC Level By Age

In the Dungeons & Dragons game there often comes the question of what level Commoner is the old man in the tavern, or how skilled in diplomacy is the young aristocrat at the palace. Below is a general, very basic, guideline for determining an NPCs level based on it's age.

The concept is simplified in that it assumes that, in any given year, an NPC will have done enough to gain 500 Experience points. Year in, year out, the commoner toils his fields, the weaponsmith forges her swords, the aristocrat tends to her court, the warrior guards the gates and the adept gives guidance to his tribe.

For more dangerous campaigns one should feel free to adjust the Experience points of the average NPCs as the DM sees fit. On the fringes of civilizations farmers could encounter more dangers than in well governed, and well patrolled, lands. I do not suggest increasing a NPCs yearly experience by more than 1,000 points.

Table I-A: Average Experience Points (starting at Racial Adulthood)
Per YearPer MonthPer Day
50041.6612.5

Table I-B: Racial Average Maximum Level by Middle Age
RaceMiddle Age Level
Human5th (20 years, 10,000 XP)
Dwarf9th (85 years, 42,500 XP)
Elf8th (65 years, 32,500 XP)
Gnome8th (60 years, 30,000 XP)
Half-Elf7th (42 years, 21,000 XP)
Half-Orc4th (16 years, 8,000 XP)
Halfling6th (30 years, 15,000 XP)

Table I-C: Racial Average Maximum Level by Old Age
RaceOld Age Level
Human6th (38 years, 19,000 XP)
Dwarf12th (148 years, 74,000 XP)
Elf12th (154 years, 76,500 XP)
Gnome11th (110 years, 55,000 XP)
Half-Elf9th (73 years, 36,500 XP)
Half-Orc6th (31 years, 15,500 XP)
Halfling8th (65 years, 32,500 XP)

Table I-D: Racial Average Maximum Level by Venerable Age
RaceVenerable Age Level
Human7th (55 years, 27,500 XP)
Dwarf15th (210 years, 105,000 XP)
Elf16th (240 years, 120,000 XP)
Gnome13th (160 years, 80,000 XP)
Half-Elf10th (105 years, 52,500 XP)
Half-Orc7th (46 years, 23,000 XP)
Halfling9th (80 years, 40,000 XP)

Table I-E: Racial Average Maximum Level by Maximum Age
RaceMaximum Age Level
Human10th (110 years old, 95 years, 47,500 XP)
Dwarf20th+ (450 years old, 410 years, 205,000 XP)
Elf20th+ (750 years old, 640 years, 320,000 XP)
Gnome20th+ (500 years old, 460 years, 230,000 XP)
Half-Elf13th (185 years old, 165 years, 82,500 XP)
Half-Orc8th (80 years old, 66 years, 33,000 XP)
Halfling13th (200 years old, 180 years, 90,000 XP)

Table I-F: Basic Level Progression by Years
YearsLevel AttainedHumanDwarf/ GnomeElfHalf-Elf/ HalflingHalf-Orc
01st 15401102014
22nd 17421122216
63rd 21461162620
124th 27521223226
205th35601304034
306th45701405044
427th57821526256
568th71961667670
729th871121829286
9010th105130200110104
11011th125150220130124
13212th147172242152146
15613th171196266176170
18214th197222292202196
21015th225250320230224
24016th255280260254254
27217th287312382392286
30618th321346416326320
34219th357382452362356
38020th395420490400394

Now that a standard procedure has been created for NPCs and their average level progression, work can be done to determine the average amount of Experience points that an NPC spellcaster has at her disposal in creating magical items.

Due to the nature of those who work to create magical items it should be taken into account that either through research, adventuring, dealing with various customers (hostile or otherwise), these individuals will gain more experience than an average NPC.

A average spellcaster NPC who engages in the creation of magical items, as a profession, should be considered to gain addition Experience points equal to 1/10 the yearly average (500/10 = 50) multiplied by their level.

Table II-A: Average NPC Magic Item Creation by Level
Creator LevelDecade XP*Yearly XPMonthly XPDecade GP EquivalentYearly GP EquivalentMonthly GP Equivalent
1st500504.16612,5001,250104.166
2nd1,0001008.3325,0002,500208.33
3rd1,50015012.537,5003,750312.5
4th2,00020016.6650,0005,000416.66
5th2,50025020.83362,5006,250520.833
6th3,0003002575,0007,500625
7th3,50035029.16687,5008,750729.166
8th4,00040033.33100,00010,000833.33
9th4,50045037.5112,50011,250937.5
10th5,00050041.66125,00012,5001,041.66
11th5,50055045.833137,50013,7501,145.833
12th6,00060050150,00015,0001,250
13th6,50065054.166162,50016,2501,354.166
14th7,00070058.33175,00017,5001,458.33
15th7,50075062.5187,50018,7501,562.5
16th8,00080066.66200,00020,0001,666.66
17th8,50085070.833212,50021,2501,770.833
18th9,00090075225,00022,5001,875
19th9,50095079.166237,50023,7501,979.166
20th10,0001,00083.33250,00025,0002,083.33

* Note that for many races they will increase in level within a decade. Adjustment should be made should the DM feel appropriate.

Table II-B: Examples of Items Created by Level
Caster LevelDecadeYearlyMonthly
1st500 Shield Scrolls50 Sleep Scrolls4 Enlarge Scrolls
2nd166 Blur Scrolls 16 Knock Scrolls1 Arcane Lock Scroll
3rd125 Cure Moderate Wounds Potions4 Bags of TricksDust of Tracelessness
4th66 Haste Potions13 Fireball Scrolls1 Invisibility Potion
5th26 +1 Longswords1 Wand of Hold PersonDust of Illusion
6th9 +2 Longswords3 Boots of Elvenkind1 Wand of Light
7th20 +2 Suits of Chaimail4 Slippers of Spider Climbing1 Flame Strike Scroll
8th200 Potions of Truth2 Wands of Magic Missile (5th) 1 Wand of Cure Light Wounds
9th6 +3 Greatswords1 Wand of Charm Person1 Scarab, Golembane (flesh)
10th3 Rods of Flailing1 Bag of Holding (bag 4) 1 Hand of the Mage
11th5 Rods of Thunder & Lightning5 +1 Longswords2 Potions of Truth
12th17 Rings of the Ram1 +2 Longsword+1 Chain Shirt
13th3 Rings of Shooting Stars1 +4 Chain Shirt1 Pipes of the Sewers
14th6 Staves of Fire1 Sword of Subtlety1 Mithril Shirt
15th3 +5 Battleaxes1 +3 Longsword2 Fly Potions
16thRing of Fire Elemental Command1 Carpet of Flying (3x5) 1 Necklace of Fireballs (I)
17th1 Tome of Understanding (+5) 1 Ring of Invisibility1 Scroll of Disintegrate
18th1 Mirror of Life Trapping 1 Cube of Frost Resistance1 Quiver of Ehlonna
19th2 Rings of Regeneration5 +2 Suits of ChainmailHorseshoes of Speed
20th2 Rings of Three WishesBracers of Armor (+5) Ring of Protection (+1)