There are five PC (player character) and two NPC (non-player character) Hireling slots in 'The Book of Ceth'. In addition, there is room for any number of QC's (quest characters: rescued princesses and the like).
The PC's are chosen at start-up, they can't be hired or dismissed during the game. However, the player is free to play the game with less than the maximum number of PC's. Such games will be harder to complete, but can potentially score higher. Score in this episode is calculated as the average experience of all PC's divided by time (days completed).
In the standard game, player characters will start at level 1 with knowledge of two fixed plus two selectable skills that vary with class, and a few coins and items.
In addition to the standard game, there are options to play a novice game, where the party starts out more experienced and with extra knowledge, possessions and gold, or a peasant game, where the party starts with nothing at all.
NPC's can be hired and dismissed at any time. They come with a number of professions that boost the skills of the party or add skills of their own, for a price. They do not participate in fights.
NPC's can be found in buildings or wandering around. A list of all NPC professions may be posted later in the NPC section of this menu.
Naturally, the game also features NPC's that cannot be part of the party, but have other important functions like offering quests and providing information.
There is no screen to choose different (battle) formations for the party.
Player Characters gain experience by completing quests and from kills. When sufficient experience is gained, PC's can train to the next level and get extra skill points, hitpoints and (for the magic users) spellpoints. PC's in each class can also get promoted which increases the number of hitpoints and spellpoints per level (new as well as existing); see the Classes section for more details.
Extra experience points necessary to attain the next level are calculated according to the usual formula:
XP (L) = XP (L-1) + 1,000 * L
where XP (1) = 1,000.
To train to level 2, you need to have 1,000 + 1,000 * 2 = 3,000 experience points, then a total of 3,000 + 1,000 * 3 = 6,000 to train to level 3, level 4 is at 10,000, etcetera.
In the standard game, each character receives 1,000 XP and 5 skillpoints at start-up. Added skillpoints per level gained are 5 initially, raised to 6 when training for level 11, 7 starting with level 21, and so on. The game may provide additional ways for characters to gain skillpoints, too.