Careers (Character Origins)
Before the life of adventure came calling, all characters (NPC or other wise) had to make a living somehow. Few people set out to become adventurers, warriors, wizards and thieves of great renown. As-such characterw will likely have a trade they were brought up doing, or at least training to do. Often this trade will be what the characters parents did (or still do), but could also be from an apprenticeship. Even nobles have been known to study in some of these professions, particularly Hunters for men and Weavers for women, though most times these professions are for the common people.
Below is a list of professions characters are likely to come from. From a game perspective, this is a means by which players can wheedle information out of the GameMaster (DM, LL, whatever), but also is a means to add depth and a "day job" for player characters. This is by no means an exhaustive list of possible professions, and GMs are advised to be generous if a player has a really good idea that wont upset the story.
Roll d00 on the following list:
01-02 Acrobat/Jester (dancing, tumbling, acting, jokes)
03-04 Apothecary (herbalism, gossip)
05-10 Baker (baking, food, fire-building)
11-14 Bard**/Minstrel (music, storytelling, history)
15-20 Brewer (brewing, appraisal of alcohol)
21-23 Cobbler/Shoemaker (sewing, leather-working, wood carving)
24-27 Cooper (Barrel Maker)- (carving, minor metalwork)
28-32 Furrier/Trapper (skinning, leather-working)
33-34 Glassblower (minor alchemy)
35-37 Groom (animal handling, minor medical lore)
38-39 Hayward/Shrubber (basic agriculture, minor herbalism, shrubbery)
40-42 Hunter- (basic wood lore, butchering, basic tracking, direction sense)
43-44 Merchant (grocer, peddler, etc) (appraisal, basic math, literacy)
45-46 Miller (mill operation, grain prices, commerce)
47-49 Miner (assaying, stone-cutting)
50-51 Physician/Midwife* (minor magical lore, literacy, surgery)
52-53 Potter (sculpture, kiln operation)
54-56 Rat Catcher (dog handling, traps, poison, pipes**)
57-59 Sailor/Riverman (swimming, boats, knots)
60-62 Scribe (reading, writing, basic math)
63-66 Smith (pick type) (make, repair & evaluate appropriate metal goods)
67-68 Teamster (animal handling, wagon repair)
69-71 Weaver/Tailor (weaving, sewing, embroidery)
72-85 Woodworker (carpentry, carving)
86-00 No skill of measurable worth- Common laborer, plowman, bricklayer etc.
*If a woman.
**If an Elf or Magic User.
Note: Pictured is one "Roger The Shrubber" or Hayward (see list). A noble and important profession.