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Say, my human Wizard permanently True Polymorphs themself into a halfling. That halfling won't have a class, so can it, say, gain Fighter levels? What about creatures that aren't playable races, like a Beholder, or a Cat?

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While I completely agree with Markov's answer, you should ask you DM. I propose here a solution for your issue, in case the DM doesn't have a clear idea either.

You gain class levels in your base character, but your new form remains the same.

So your Wizard can keep leveling up to 20 as you folks do missions. But whatever they polymorphed into doesn't change. It makes it equivalent to cancelling the spell, leveling up, and True Polymorphing again.

I tried this with my players some years ago when everyone turned into Dragons for some questline about Colored and Chromatic ones. By the end, some players didn't want to revert (that sweet sweet breath was pretty fun), so we leveled up with this approach. Everyone had fun, and we didn't see any shortcomings.

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Ask your DM.

If you're true polymorphing into a creature which uses an NPC stat block, then as a player, you are already playing a fundamentally different game than you were before. Player character classes were written for players, and NPC stat blocks were written for NPCs. Permanently true polymorphing yourself into a creature using an NPC statblock is crossing these wires, and the rules just simply weren't written to handle this scenario.

So work out with your DM and the rest of your table how you want to handle this.

This answer outlines some optional rules that were written for the DM to use when utilizing an NPC with class levels, it should be the starting point for you and your DM to work this out.

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