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Is there a definitive list for race, class, and level limitations in regards to PCs and NPCs. I'm aware of the table (Character Race Table II.: Class Level Limitations) in the PHB. However, is it possible for an NPC Dwarf Cleric to multi-class?

I am only concerned with RAW (rules-as-written).

At this time I am not considering Unearthed Arcana, but will consider anything printed in Dragon Magazine prior to the release of UA.

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Yes, it's possible, and it's alluded to in the Monster Manual. If you dig deep enough, a theoretical high of 11th for a Dwarven cleric, based on a City Encounter, might be the cap, but the standard cap of 8th level from Table II in the PHB is more supportable.

Rules-as-Written

Outside of Unearthed Arcana, there's not another table or list like the one you mention.

In the Monster Manual, p. 35, under the entry for Dwarf:

If 200 or more are encountered there will be a fighter/cleric of 3rd to 6th level fighting ability and 4th to 7th level clerical ability in addition to the others. If 320 or more dwarves are encountered there will be the following additional dwarves with the group: an 8th level fighter, a 7th level fighter, a 6th level fighter/7th level cleric, and two 4th level fighter/clerics. If encountered in their lair (home) there will be in addition from 2-12 fighters of from 2nd to 5th level, from 2-8 fighter/clerics of from 2nd to 4th level (each category), and females and young equal to 50% and 25% respectively of the number of adult males.

You will find similar entries to various non-human races in the Monster Manual for gnomes, orcs, goblins, etcetera. The above gives solid RAW support for the 6/7 NPC dwarf Fighter/Cleric.

Consider the max level for a dwarf fighter(9) and consider multi-class.

Multi Class: Let's look at the numbers of XP.
Cleric: level 8 110001 -225,000
Fighter: level 8 125,001-250,000
Fighter: level 9 250,001-500,000

8/8 looks like a solid max for a Dwarf Fighter/Cleric NPC.

Rules Fun

Is there a higher level dwarf cleric possible in the rules? If you just roll dice on the City Encounters table, you could argue that the rules support a cap at 11th level.

DMG, on page 191, City Encounters Matrix. There is:
a chance for a cleric encounter with
a chance for it to be a demi-human (31-00 human, 01 -30 demi human)
a chance for it to be a dwarf. (if the percentile roll came up 01-08)
The level of the cleric is also chosen by a die roll.

Cleric encounters will be with a cleric 6th to 11th. Level (d6 + 5). There will be 0-5 lesser clerics (d4for level) with the major character. Alignment can be rolled for or dictated by area or race. Encountered clerics will typically try to convert the party, ask for contributions, or try to dupe the party becoming sacrificial victims.

With the dice as your guide, you could encounter an 11th level Dwarf Cleric in a city, although the hard cap of (8) in the PHB (aimed at NPC clerics) is a stricter RAW reading.

RAW it from the Monster Manual? Cap it a F/C 6/7.

The simplest? Max NPC cleric levels at (8) per Table II of the PHB (Numbers in Parentheses () indicate that this class exists only as non-player characters in the race in question. PHB. p. 14). That gives you a supportable Dwarven 8/8 Fighter/Cleric.


It's 1e, and you're the DM

Since you're the DM, you can choose to make a multi-class dwarf something/cleric. As long as this character remains an NPC, you won't run into any issues. Some notes in the 1e DMG and guidelines versus rules which means that these are also rules as written for DM's ... :

(From the Preface) ADVANCED D&D is more than a framework around which individual DMs construct their respective milieu ... When you build your campaign you will tailor it to suit your personal tastes.

page 9 The final word, then, is the game. Read how and why the system is as it is, follow the parameters, and then cut portions as needed to maintain excitement.

If you wanted to make a "Thief/Cleric" you could, but I didn't find any reference to one. Given that the DMG for 1e has a variety of entries from E. Gary Gygax on the latitude you as a DM have for customizing your world, it's technically an option.

As to an "assassin/cleric" DMG page 18 yields RAW as "No!"

MULTI-CLASSED ASSASSIN
Race / dwarf / no other class permitted


Dragon article in #129 addressed Dwarf Clerics, but that is 1988, after the 1985 UA printing.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 for Monster Manual. At the time of writing the question, I didn't have that book handy. I should have stated RAW, and have edited my question to include that. I didn't consider the follower restrictions to be a hard and fast rule, however if there is nothing to contradict it, then I must consider it. \$\endgroup\$ – Angelo DeMichaels Feb 23 '16 at 20:36

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