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This list is intended as a replacement for the secondary skills list found on pg 12 of the DMG, though a fine initial source the resource here is much larger and without care could be much weirder. Note that this does assume all characters have some skill or knack they may call upon. Even if the character for example has King as a skill, this does not grant a kingdom, principality, servants, troops or even a tiny parcel or income. It merely suggests the character might have or know something that would help them behave, act as, skillfully aid or advise those who can be persuaded to attend to the character in that role.
All of the original research is the sole purview of Mr. Vincent (see the credits) and his excellent resources that I have humbly added randomizers (consult the left most column for results from the suggested dice found in Red) to in order to add depth to characters and Scytheopolis/Ormegarten.

Of course putting these into play and making use of them might be good or bad, jut like any other tool.  Just think of this as an expanded ideas list for springing from, uninhibited by print size.

What did people do: in a Medieval City?
Table of Contents (use 1d20 to determine which chart to see for further determining which real profession the character comprehends)
 HYPERLINK “” \l “OpenQuestions” Open Questions
01  HYPERLINK “” \l “Government” Government
02  HYPERLINK “” \l “Military” Military
03  HYPERLINK “” \l “Criminal” Criminal
04  HYPERLINK “” \l “Religious” Religious
05  HYPERLINK “” \l “Merchants” Merchants
06  HYPERLINK “” \l “Entertainers” Entertainers
07-09  HYPERLINK “” \l “Farmers” Farmers
10  HYPERLINK “” \l “Scholars” Scholars
11  HYPERLINK “” \l “Sailors” Sailors
12-14  HYPERLINK “” \l “RegularFolk” Regular Folk
15-17  HYPERLINK “” \l “Craftsmen” Craftsmen
18-19  HYPERLINK “” \l “Services” Services
20  HYPERLINK “” \l “Other” Other
 HYPERLINK “” \l “Credits” Credits
What did people do in the Middle Ages? If you meet a random person on the street, what is his likely occupation? Or did people work at all? Were the Middle Ages some Communist utopia, where everybody laid around all day and things were magically produced by fairies?
Of course not. They didn’t have electronics engineers and computer programmers, but they did have coopers, bakers, blacksmiths, and many other jobs that made their society go around. If you do a little research, there were tons of medieval occupations. Luckily, I’ve done it for you, so you don’t have to!
In the following list, I have made a link to the online version of Webster’s Dictionary, so you can find out what things are. In some cases, the definition is also included locally. I am slowly making local definitions for all these occupations, for your convenience.
Is there something on this page you’d like to see that isn’t here? HYPERLINK “” Send me an email at — let me know what you were looking for — maybe I can help. Also, do you know more occupations that aren’t on this list? Do you have definitions that I’m missing? Send them in! I’d love to improve this page!
Open Questions
This site gets me a fair few questions via email, many of which I can just answer. Some of them have stumped me. This is my current list of stumpers:
Currently none!
If you can answer any of these, or even have some clues, HYPERLINK “” mail me. I and my questioners would be ever grateful.
Governmental Occupations (24, 1d12 high/low)
These are the people who run things. They keep society moving smoothly, if they’re good at what they do, and can bring society to a crunching halt, if they’re not. Rife for corruption, government officials can play a significant role in many campaigns.
Low, 01 Bailiff – the man who makes arrests and executions. Bailiff was not primarily used for the office of policeman. Etymologically, bailiffs were those in charge of the bailey – in effect, manager of the craftsmen and servants in a castle or manor house.
Low, 02 Catchpole – literally ‘chicken catcher’, one who finds and brings in debtors.
Low, 03 Chancellor – a secretary to a noble or royal
Low, 04 Constable – the warden of a town or castle
Low, 05 Diplomat – the person who negotiates with foreign nations
Low, 06 Emperor – the ruler of an empire
Low, 07 Exchequer – the man responsible for the king’s revenue
Low, 08 Hayward – an officer in charge of fences and hedges
Low, 09 Herald – had two responsibilities: a man in charge of making pronouncements and proclamations, and one who is an expert in the field of heraldry (the various insignias used by the rich to identify themselves.) These two responsibilities were one in the same. Medieval Europeans wouldn’t have thought it possible to separate them; much less would they have considered them separate roles.
Low, 10 Jailer – the man responsible for a jail: he keeps the criminals from getting out
Low, 11 Judge – a man who is responsible for deciding questions brought to court
Low, 12 King – ruler of a kingdom
high, 01 Knight
high, 02 Lady
high, 03 Liner – an officer in charge of tracing property boundaries in the city
high, 04 Master of the revels – official in charge of court entertainment, and later of the theaters [note: the first Master of the Revels was not appointed until Henry VII in the 15th century]
high, 05 Nobleman
high, 06 Prince
high, 07 Pursuivant – officer of arms, ranks below herald, similar duties
high, 08 Reeve – church warden. Note that the word ‘reeve’ applies to much more than the Church. Reeves usually came out to be combination administrators and business managers of estates, towns and small territories (i.e. shires) – something like a chief bailiff.
high, 09 Sherrif
high, 10 Summoner – officer of the court who serves subpoenas (see also HYPERLINK “” \l “Religious” religious version)
high, 11 Watchman
high, 12 Woodward – the keeper of a forest
Military Occupations (21 1d10+1d12-1)
Who keeps the country safe from encroaching enemies and wild monsters? Why, the military, of course. These brave men – and sometimes women train against the possibility that they’ll have to protect their country with their lives.
01 Arbalestier – one who fires an arbalest (a type of metal crossbow)
02 Archer – one who shoots arrows
03 Bowman
04 Camp follower – people following an army, making money off of the soldiers
05 Cannoneer
06 Crossbowman
07 Drummer
08 Engineer
09 Guardsman
10 Halberdier
11 Knifeman – one skilled with a knife; specifically, a soldier trained to disembowel horses
12 Mercenary
13 Pikeman
14 Pioneer – an early term for military engineer
15 Sapper – specialist in field fortifications
16 Scout
17 Siege engineer
18 Sergeant
19 Sergeant-at-arms
20 Spearman
21 Spy
Criminal Occupations (11, 2d6-1)
Wherever there is society, there are criminals. These occupations include only the so-called “professional criminal”: it ignores those people who are corrupt at every level of society who has a legal “front”, from kings to beggars.
01 Boothaler – marauder, plunderer
02 Burglar – one who breaks into, and steals things from, other people’s houses. (If you break into and steal stuff from your own house, you’re just a nut.)
03 Diver – fig. a pickpocket
04 Fence – one who trades in stolen goods
05 Footpad – one who robs pedestrians
06 Outlaw – a man wanted by the law
07 Pickpocket – one who picks pockets
08 Poacher – one who illegally kills animals, usually on somebody else’s land
09 Silk-snatcher – one who steals bonnets
10 Stewsman – probably a brothel keeper – “since the words stew and stew holder both mean a bawd, I’m guessing that a stewsman would be a brothel-keeper as well. Whether bawdry counts as a criminal activity varies at different times and places.”
11 Thimblerigger – a professional sharper who runs a thimblerig (a game in which a pea is ostensibly hidden under a thimble and players guess which thimble it is under)
Religious Occupations (30, 1d30 or 2d12+1d8-2, blanks should only be used when the GM decides they are proper)
If Government officials run the affairs of earthly beings, then those occupied with religious pursuits mediate between earth and the gods.
Priests are relatively common in role playing games. These men and women are the people behind the church: not typically “adventuring priests”, but vitally important to the church nonetheless.
01 Female Abbess – superior of a convent
01 Male Abbot – superior of a monastery
02 Almoner – a distributer of money and food to the poor
03 Beadle – church official — ushers preserves order at sermons
Beguine – member of certain Netherland lay sisterhoods
Canon – a prebend attached to a cathedral (the definition is somewhat wider, but that’s the most common usage)
05 Cantor – a choir leader in churches, the man who sings hymns and leads the congregation in prayer in a synagogue
06 Chantry priest – a priest employed to say prayers for the dead; often taught on the side (thus so-called chantry schools)
07 Chaplain
Clark – see clerk
Clerk – a priest
08 Curate – priest in charge of a church
09 Friar – a wandering monk, especially a Franciscan
Metropolitan – a bishop in charge of other bishops; an archbishop
10 Monk
11 Nun
12 Ostiary – a church’s doorkeeper
13 Palmer – a pilgrim who’s been to the Holy Land
14 Pardoner – seller of indulgences
15 Parish priest
16 Pilgrim –
17 Priest
Primate – head of the Church in a country or region (i.e. the Archbishop of Canterbury was Primate of England)
18 Sacristan – a person in charge of the relics and religious items of a church
19 Sexton – minor church officer – rings bells, digs graves
20 Summoner – officer who brings people to episcopal courts (see also HYPERLINK “” \l “Government” government version)
Merchants (50, 1d100/2 round up)
In a society based on trade – either with hard currency or barter, there are always those who spend their lives in the pursuit of selling things to others.
Note that most craftsmen also sell the results of their labor, farmers typically must sell their crops themselves, people in service trades often must hawk their own wares. This section does not include them. It includes only those people who spend their entire lives devoted to selling things, and nothing more.
01-02 Acater – a provisioner (food)
03-04 Alewife – a female alehouse keeper
05-06 Apothecary – a preparer and merchant for drugs and medicines
07 Banker
08-10 Beer seller
11-12 Boothman – one who sells grains
13-14 Chapman – travelling merchant
15-16 Collier – one who makes or sells charcoal (later coal) [can also fit under craftsmen]
17-18 Colporteur – seller of religious books
19-20 Costermonger – fruit seller
21-23 Drover – one who drives sheep or cattle to market
24-25 Eggler – an egg-merchant
26-28 Fishmonger
29 Fruiterer/fruitier – fruitseller, a seller of fresh fruit
30-31 Fueller – one who sells charcoal, wood, or other fuels
32-33 Glass seller
34 Greengrocer – seller of vegetables and fruits
35 Grocer
36-37 Harberdasher – seller of men’s clothing
38 Hay merchant
39 Hetheleder – one who sells heather as fuel
40-44 Innkeeper
45-46 Ironmonger – one who sells things made of iron
47-48 lighterman – one who ferries goods from ship to shore on a small boat
49-50 Linen-draper – one who deals in linens, calicos, etc.
51 Mercer – a dealer in expensive clothing (silk, etc.)
52-56 Merchant
57 Milkmaid – a female servant who milks cows
58 Oil merchant
59-62 Old-clothes dealer
63 Oynter – an oil-merchant
64-67 Peddler
68-69 Pie seller
70 Plumer – a dealer in feathers
72-73 Poulter – seller of poultry
Shrimper – one who catches shrimp
74-77 Skinner – a dealer in furs and skins (essentially, the same thing as a furrier)
78 Spice merchant
79 Spicer – grocer or dealer in spices
80 Stationer – seller of books, etc.; also, a copyist
81-82 Taverner – innkeeper
83-84 Thresher – one who thrashes grain, separating it from straw
85 Unguentary – one who sells unguents
86 Waferer – confectioner (a dealer in ‘wafers’, a kind of cake)
87-89 Waterseller
90-91 Weirkeeper – a keeper of fish traps
92 Wine seller
93-95 Wood seller
96-98 Woodmonger – a seller of fuel wood
99-00 Wool stapler – one who buys and sells wool wholesale
Artists/Entertainers (27, d100)
In any society, there is the need for spare time. And what did people do before television? Well, they mostly sang songs, told stories, and danced. From this, some professional entertainers developed.
Also included in this section are artists: those who devote their lives to creating works of beauty and expressiveness. There is enormous overlap between artists and entertainers.. I won’t get into the argument of whether art should be used to entertain or express the artist’s true feelings. That’s beyond my scope here, certainly.
01 Bard – a Welsh minstrel
02-04 Barker – one who advertises at the entrance to a show
05 Bear-ward – the owner of a performing bear
06-07 Fiddler – this is an unfair translation, “geiger” is applied to any player of bowed and stringed instruments
08-10 Fool
11-13 Fresco painter
14-16 Glasspainter
17-20 Harper
21-26 Illuminator
27-33 Jester
34-39 Limner – illuminator of books
40-43 Lutenist – a lute player
44-47 Minnesinger – a German minstrel who specialized in love songs
48-52 Mummer – actor, specifically the predecessors to mimes
53-60 Musician
61 Nakerer – a player of the naker a small kettle drum
62 Organist
63-65 Painter – portraits and landscapes
66-67 Piper
68-71 Player
72 Playwright
73-76 Poet
77-79 Sculptor
80-88 Singer
89-92 Troubadour – most properly a minstrel from the southern part of France (though it can be used of any minstrel who specializes in romances).
93-97 Tumbler
98-00 Writer
Farming and Workers with Flora and Fauna (32,d%)
Ah — the farmers. Without them, we’d starve. Wresting sustenence from the very earth itself. There’s a large number of occupations associated with farming: you need people to watch the animals, work the fields. In fact, probably most people in a medieval society were farmers.
Also included are hunters and gatherers: those who travel into nature and grab things to eat, as well as all those who work with animals.
There’s also a good HYPERLINK “” overview of horse history in Europe.
01-06 Ackerman(acreman) – an oxherder
07-08 Falconer – breeds, trains, hunts with falcons
09-18 Farmer
19-20 Fewterer – one who keeps the hunting dogs [put it in whatever category you put falconers and hawkers]
21-28 Fisherman
29-30 Forester – game warden or forest ranger
31-33 Fowler – one who hunts for wildfowl
34-37 Gamekeeper
38-45 Goatherd – one who looks after a herd of goats
46 Hawker – breeds, trains, hunts with hawks
47-49 Hayward – a tender of hedges
50-53 Horse trainer
54-57 Hunter
58-60 Huntsman
61 Master of Hounds
62 Molecatcher
63-66 Ostler – cares for horses
Oyster raker – worker on an oyster fishing boat
Oysterer – one who catches oysters
67-69 Parker – caretaker of a park
70-75 Plowman
76 Rat catcher
77-78 Reaper
79 Sheepshearer
80-83 Shepherd – one who looks after a herd of sheep
84-87 Swineherd – one who looks after a herd of swine (sometimes pigherd)
88 Thresher
89 Tillerman
90-94 Trapper
95-98 Woolcomber
99-00 Woolman – sorts wool into differing grades
Scholars (13, 1d8+1d6-1)
They may have called it the dark ages for lack of scientific output, but there were still people interested in the world around them, willing to poke and prod it until something broke.
1 Alchemist – a medieval chemist
2 Astrologer
3 Astronomer
4 Bearleader – a travelling tutor (a silly name) – related to the figurative use of the word bear to describe a boor.
5 Dean
6 Librarian
7 Mathematician
8 Philosopher
9 Professor
10 Scholar
11 Scrivener – scribe
12 Tutor
13 Theologian – a scholar specializing in the study of God and doctrine
Sailors (14. d20)
The lure of the sea, the crash of the waves: a boat-filled life was the norm for a great many medieval people. Some sailed on rivers, some on the ocean. Exciting and dangerous trade missions with far-off empires, exploring strange new places, and always coming back home to tell exciting stories in the local tavern.
01-03 Bargeman
04-06 Boatman
07 Canaller – canal boat worker
08-09 Ferryman
10 Hobbler – boat tower on a river or canal
11-12 Lighter man – worker on a flat-bottomed boat
13 Mariner
14 Navigator
15 Pilot
16-17 Sailor
Sea captain
18 Ship’s captain
19 Shipchandler – ship provisioner
20 Waterman – riverboat sailor
Regular Folks (16, d20) 
One of the problems with coming up with a list of Medieval Occupations is that lots of people in a feudal economy didn’t have occupations at all. They were just tenants of other folks. Also, there are in any society, a large number of homeless and impoverished.
This section deals with people like that.
There’s a HYPERLINK “” fun story about a peasant, who had a bit of an adventure, at Stefan’s Florilegium.
I’ve also heard that the book HYPERLINK “” A Medieval Life: Cecilia Penifader of Brigstock, c. 1297-1344, by Judith Bennett, is recommended by some schools. It reconstructs the life of Cecilia Penifader, a medieval peasant, from various legal records. I’ve never read it, but it seems to get good reviews!
01-03 Begger
04 Buffoon – publically amusing person
05 Clown – a peasant
06-07 Crofter – tenant of a small piece of land
08-09 Franklin – a freeholder
10 Gardner – one who gardens
11 Hermit
12 Housewife
Jew – a class of their own in the Medieval Period
14 Landlord
15 Palmer – one who had been, or pretended to have been, to the Holy Land
16 Peasant
17 Pilgrim
18 Spinster
19-20 Tenter – an unskilled workman’s assistant
Game worlds typically have armorers and blacksmiths, but then it breaks down, and everything else is available from the marketplace or the “general store”. Add a bit of spice to a campaign by having the player’s harness become damaged, and have to deal with the local harness maker – who is also the town shoemaker and his loud wife!
Most of the occupations on this list are craftsmen and service occupations. Because of this, I have separated out the most common craftsmen from the bulk of the list, so that the gentle reader can make sense of it. The list of common occupations was derived from the tax list for Paris in 1292, from the book Life in a Medieval City, by Francis and Joseph Gies. The number indicates how many there in the city.
Common Craftsmen – sorted by frequency (28) (either a d30 with 29+ = Uncommon Craftsman or {[1d3-1] x10} +1d10 [again 29+= Uncommon Craftsman]) 
01-02 366 – Shoemaker – one who makes and repairs shoes
03 214 – Furrier – one who makes and repairs goods made of furs – esp. clothes
04 197 – Tailor – one who makes and repairs clothing
05 131 – Jeweler – maker of jewelry
06 106 – Pastrycook – baker specializing in pastries
07 104 – Mason – bricklayer
08 95 – Carpenter – one who constructs things from wood
09 86 – weaver – weaver of cloth
10 71 – Chandler – one who makes candles, also grocer. Often associated with ships (see shipchandler)
11 70 – Cooper – one who makes and repairs barrels and tubs
12 62 – Baker – one who makes bread and other baked goods
13 58 – Scabbard maker – maker of scabbards
14 54 – Hatmaker – maker of hats
15 51 – Saddler – maker of saddles
16 51 – Chicken butcher – butcher of chickens
17 45 – Purse maker – maker of purses
18 42 – Meat butcher – butcher of all sorts of meats, esp. beef
19 36 – Buckle maker – maker of buckles
20 34 – Blacksmith – one who works with iron to form metal implements: esp. farm tools.
21 28 – Roofer – one who makes and repairs roofs
22 27 – Locksmith – one who makes and repairs locks
22 26 – Ropemaker – maker of rope
23 24 – Tanner – preparer of leather
24 24 – Rugmaker – maker of rugs
25 24 – Harness maker – maker of harnesses
26 23 – Bleacher
27 22 – Cutler – one who makes and repairs cutlery
28 21 – Glover – a glove maker
Less common craftsmen – sorted alphabetically (high/low 0 or 100 +1d100= result for player, some Gm’s may allow the freedom for the player to select any one item of the five nearest that result on the dice) 
Low, 01 Accoutrement maker – makes military accessories
Low, 02 Alabasterer – worker in alabaster
Low, 03 Architect – a designer of buildings and other constructions
Low, 04 arkwright – a maker of “arks” — wooden chests or coffers
Low, 05 armorer [5]
Low, 06 balancemaker
Low, 07 basketmaker
Low, 08 beekeeper – also known as apiarist
Low, 09 beerbrewer
Low, 10 bellfounder[10]
Low, 11 bellmaker – these are the little bells that go on sleighs and clothing, as opposed to the large civic bells cast by the bellfounder
Low, 12 besom maker – one who makes brooms (known as besoms in the middle ages: ‘broom’ was the name of the plant use to make them)
Low, 13 billier – axe-maker
Low, 14 blockcutter – for block printing
Low, 15 bodger – itinerant wood turners ( HYPERLINK “” read more) [15]
Low, 16 bonecarver
Low, 17 bookbinder
Low, 18 bookprinter
Low, 19 bottelier – maker of leather bottles
Low, 20 bowyer – maker of bows [20]
Low, 21 brazier – makes brassware
Low, 22 brewer
Low, 23 bricker – brick baker, not mason
Low, 24 bricker – brick-maker
Low, 25 bricklayer [25]
Low, 26 broderer – embroiderer
Low, 27 bronzefounder
Low, 28 broom-dasher – maker of brooms
Low, 29 brushbinder
Low, 30 builder[30]
Low, 31 buttonmaker
Low, 32 cabinetmaker
Low, 33 campaner – maker of large bells (church-bells, for example)
Low, 34 canvasser – canvas-maker
Low, 35 carder [35]- one who cards wool (combs out wool in preparation for spinning it)
Low, 36 cardmaker
Low, 37 cartwright
Low, 38 chainmaker
Low, 39 charcoalburner
Low, 40 cheesemaker [40]
Low, 41 clockmaker
Low, 42 clothier
Low, 43 cobbler – shoe maker
Low, 44 coiner
Low, 45 combmaker [45]
Low, 46 compasssmith
Low, 47 confectioner
Low, 48 coppersmith a worker in copper
Low, 49 cordwainer – worker in fine leather
Low, 50 corsetier [50]- maker of corsets and other undergarments
Low, 51 currier – one who cures leather
Low, 52 delver – ditchdigger
Low, 53 diamantaire – diamond-cutter (actually, diamond-cutting wasn’t discovered until after the Middle Ages, but once it was diamantaires usually had their own guilds)
Low, 54 disher – a potter who makes dishes
Low, 55 draper [55]- Originally, drapers were clothiers, though today the British use the word for a dry goods merchant.
Low, 56 drycooper
Low, 57 drywaller
Low, 58 dyer – one who dyes cloth
Low, 59 embroiderer – one who decorates fabric with stitched designs
Low, 60 engraver [60]- for printing, not to decorate items
Low, 61 fabricshearer – trims the nap and makes pleats for customers
Low, 62 feltmaker
Low, 63 fewtrer – felt-maker
Low, 64 fletcher – maker of arrows
Low, 65 founder [65]- foundryman
Low, 66 fuller – cloth worker who shrinks, beats, presses cloth
Low, 67 fuller – someone who cleans and thickens cloth by beating it
Low, 68 furniture maker
Low, 69 gemcutter
Low, 70 gilder [70]- one who gilds (applies gold leaf to something)
Low, 71 girdler – leather worker who made girdles and belts, chiefly for the Army
Low, 72 girdler – belt-maker
Low, 73 glassblower – one who makes glass objects by blowing
Low, 74 glazier – maker of stained glass
Low, 75 goldbeater [75]- one who makes gold foil
Low, 76 goldsmith – a worker in precious metals. In the Middle Ages, all people who worked in precious metals were called goldsmiths; the term silversmith is a much later word.
Low, 77 gravedigger
Low, 78 grinder – knife sharpener
Low, 79 gunsmith
Low, 80 gunstocker [80]
Low, 81 hacker – hoe-maker
Low, 82 hatter – one who makes and repairs hats
Low, 83 horner – craftsman who works in horn — spoons, combs, musical instruments
Low, 84 ivorist – an ivory-carver
Low, 85 joiner [85]- skilled carpenter
Low, 86 knacker – harness-maker
Low, 87 knapper – a worker in flint
Low, 88 knifesmith
Low, 89 lacemaker
Low, 90 lampwright [90]- maker of lamps and Lumiers
Low, 91 lancier – a maker of lances
Low, 92 Lumiermaker
Low, 93 lapidary – worker with precious stones — usu. other than diamonds
Low, 94 latoner – worker in brass and latten (a brass-like alloy)
Low, 95 leadworker[95]
Low, 96 lensgrinder
Low, 97 limner – someone who illuminates manuscripts
Low, 98 linen-armorer – one who makes cloth armor [same as a merchant taylor]
Low, 99 linener – a shirt maker [also, a linen-draper]
Low, 100 linenspinner [100]
high, 01 lorimer – maker of horse gear
high, 02 lutemaker
high, 03 luthier – a maker of stringed instruments (lutes, guitars, etc.)
high, 04 mailer – enameller — not a maker of armor
high, 05 mailmaker [105]
high, 06 malemaker – a maker of leather trunks
high, 07 mapmaker – also known as cartographer
high, 08 marler – one who digs ‘marl’, a type of soil used as fertilizer.
high, 09 marleywoman – a maker of marli, a type of fabric (gauze used for embroidery). Note that embroidery on this material is also known as marli.
high, 10 master builder [110]- chief architect
high, 11 merchant taylor – tailors and “linen armourers”; they made the padded tunics soldiers would wear under metal armor
high, 12 milliner – maker of womens’ hats and clothing
high, 13 miner
high, 14 miniaturist – painter of miniatures (small paintings usually found on icons or in books)
high, 15 minter- [115]one who mints coins
high, 16 mintmaster- one who mints coins
high, 17 moneyer – one who mints coins
high, 18 mirrorcr – one who makes mirrors?
high, 19 nailmaker
high, 20 nedeller [120]- maker of needles
high, 21 netmaker
high, 22 oilmaker
high, 23 papermaker
high, 24 parchmenter – a parchment-maker
high, 25 pasteler [125]- a pastry-maker
high, 26 patternmaker
high, 27 perukier – a wig-maker [I don’t know if the word was used in the Middle Ages; the oldest use of the word peruke I can find is 1548]
high, 28 pewterer
high, 29 physician
high, 30 pinmaker[130]
high, 31 plasterer
high, 32 plattner – beat out sheets of metal
high, 33 plumber – worker in lead
high, 34 pointer – lace-maker
high, 35 poleturner [135]- maker of polearms (spears, pikes, halberds, etc.)
high, 36 pot mender
high, 37 potter
high, 38 printer
high, 39 purser – a purse-maker
high, 40 quarryman [140]
high, 41 quilter – a quilt-maker
high, 42 rectifier – one who distilled alcohol
high, 43 redsmith – a worker in brass
high, 44 reedmaker – a maker of flutes and other wind instruments
high, 45 roper [145]- maker of ropes, nets
high, 46 rugweaver – one who makes rugs
high, 47 sailmaker
high, 48 saltboiler – makes salt by boiling water
high, 49 salter – makes or deals in salt
high, 50 sawyer [150]- saws timbers to boards
high, 51 scythesmith
high, 52 seamstress
high, 53 shingler – wooden roof tiler
high, 54 shipwright – a ship builder
high, 55 siever [155] – a maker of sieves ( HYPERLINK “” a picture)
high, 56 silkmaid – a woman who makes items out of silk.
high, 57 silkwoman – a woman who makes items out of silk.
high, 58 silk-dresser – various individuals making silk articles.
high, 59 silk-maker – various individuals making silk articles.
high, 60 silk-mercer [160]- various individuals making silk articles.
high, 61 silk-dyer – various individuals making silk articles.
high, 62 silk-carder – various individuals making silk articles.
high, 63 silversmith
high, 64 smelter – refines raw ore into pure metals
high, 65 smith [165]- blacksmith
high, 66 spectaclesmaker
high, 67 spooner – a spoon-maker
high, 68 spurrer – maker of spurs
high, 69 stonecarver
high, 70 stonecutter[170]
high, 71 swordsmith
high, 72 tallowchandler
high, 73 tapestrymaker
high, 74 tapicer – tapestry maker
high, 75 tasseler [175]- one who makes tassels
high, 76 thacker,
high, 77 thatcher – one who covers roofs with thatch
high, 78 thonger – maker of leather straps or laces
high, 79 threadmaker
high, 80 tile-burner [180]- one who forms clay into tiles and bricks
high, 81 tiler, one who roofs with tile
high, 82 tile-theeker, one who roofs with tile
high, 83 tyler – one who roofs with tile
high, 84 tile maker – tile-maker
high, 85 tinker [185]
high, 86 tinsmith
high, 87 treen maker – one who makes various small wood items
high, 88 turner – lathe worker (makes turned wooden objects, like chair legs)
high, 89 typefounder
high, 90 upholder [190]- an upholsterer
high, 91 vaginarius – scabbard-maker (pl. vaginarii)
high, 92 vintner – a winemaker
high, 93 waxchandler
high, 94 webber – weaver
high, 95 wheeler [195]- maker of spinning wheels
high, 96 wheelwright – a maker of wheels
high, 97 wiredrawer – maker of gold and silver wire
high, 98 woodcarver
high, 99 woodcutter
high, 100 woodturner [200]
Service Occupations
There are many important positions in society for those who do not produce, but serve their fellow man. When they’re done their job for the day, there are no new products, no changes in physical objects, but people are moved, jobs get done, and society keeps moving. These are the service workers.
Service workers can play an enormous role in your campaign. All the time, characters need to get their hair cut, have water fetched, or have something written down.
Unfortunately, since this list is so enormous, I’ve again taken the liberty of separating out the common occupations, again, as defined by the Geis book. The numbers are the count of the occupation in Paris, in 1292.
Common Service Occupations – Sorted by Frequency (9) (1d10 a 10= uncommon service occupation)
01 199 – maidservant
02 151 – barber – one who cuts hair, also performed surgery and pulled teeth.
03 130 – restaurateur – one who owns or runs a restaurant
04 58 – water carrier
05 43 – laundress – also known as lavendar
06 42 – porter – one who carries burdens, or one who waits at doors. Probably the former
07 29 – doctor
08 26 – bather – owner of a bath
09 24 – copyist – one who copies books and documents — not all of them can read
Less common service occupations – sorted alphabetically (use d%)
01-03 3 – accomptant/accountant/actuary- an accountant, one who does financial bookkeeping, clerk
04-05 2 – accoucheur/accoucheus – midwife
06 attendent
07 bagger
08 bailiff – the man who makes arrests and executions. Bailiff was not primarily used for the office of policeman. Etymologically, bailiffs were those in charge of the bailey – in effect, manager of the craftsmen and servants in a castle or manor house.
09 barrister – solicitor or lawyer
10 bath attendent
11 bodyservant
12 butler – one in charge of the buttery (where alcohol was kept)
13-15 3 – carter/carteier/carman – one who drives a vehicle for transporting goods
16 carver – the servant who cut the meat
17 ceiler – one who installs ceilings
18 cellarer – one in charge of the wine cellar
19 chamberlain – a private attendant who waits on his lord in his bedchamber
20-21 chimney sweep – one who cleans chimneys and smokestacks.
22 chirurgeon – surgeon
23 clouter – one who fixes things, a tinkerer
24-25 cook – one who cooks, especially food.
26 cowherd – one who looks after a herd of cows. A medieval cowboy, as it were.
27 currier – see tanner
28 dairymaid
29 dapifer – a servant who brings the meat to the table
30 dentist
31 ditcher – one who digs ditches
32 diver – one who dives for a living.
33 dog trainer
34 drayman – cart driver
35 dung carter
36 executioner
37 famulus – “a servant or attendant, esp. of a scholar or a magician” (Random House Dictionary of the English Language)
38-39 farrier – maker of tack, esp. horcshoes; also a horse-veteranarian
40-44 groom – one who takes care of the horses
45 harlot – male servant, attendant or menial,
46-47 horseleech – veterinarian, farrier
48 hurdle maker – made ‘wattle fences’ for sheep
49 lawyer – a master of the law.
50-52 link boy/man – boy/man who will carry a torch to guide people through the night
53-55 maid – a female household servant. A maid is always female; the word literally means virgin.
56 marshal – a horse tender
57-58 midwife – humorously known as a babycatcher
59-61 miller – the person who turns grains into flour.
62 napier – the person who manages linens
63 nurse
64 panter – keeper of the pantry
65 paperer – needlemaking industry — inserted needles into paper to prepare for selling
66 pavior – one who lays pavement
67 pavyler – put up pavilions/tents
68 pissprophet – doctors who would diagnose disease from a patient’s urine, specifically from the sight, smell, and taste of the urine.
69 potboy – cleans out chamber pots
70 privycleaner
71 procurator – or proctor, this is a kind of legal agent or representative
72 prostitute – one who sells sex
73 quartermaster
74 ragpicker – sorts through leftover rags, find re-usable ones
75 raker – street sanitation worker
76 riveter – one who rivets (a rivet being a nail designed to secure metal to metal)
77-78 scullion – the bottom-rung servant in a household
79 seneschal – senior steward
80-81 solicitor – lawyer
82 sperviter – a keeper of sparrow-hawks
83 stainer – one who stains wood
84 stillroom maid
85 surgeon
86-88 tapster – one who draws ale, etc. at an inn; innkeeper/bartender/barmaid
89-91 teamster – one who drives a team of oxen or horses
92 trencherman – carver, trench-digger
93 userer – a moneylender, specifically a Jewish moneylender (the only people allowed to hold such a job in the Middle Ages)
94-95 wagoner – wagon or cart driver
96-97 waller – one who builds walls
98 wattler – made ‘wattle fences’ for sheep
99 weeper
100 wetnurse
These are occupations that I can’t identify. Any help here would be appreciated. Thanks!
basinbeater – ? a maker of metal basins ?
belter – ? maker of belts ?
fool for money – ?
gluttonous fool – ?
nailer – ? one who makes nails ?
rivener – ?
tentsman – ?
terrazo grinder/mosaic layer – ?
thimbler – ?
Some of this material comes from HYPERLINK “” Stefan’s Florilegium, an online archive of interesting articles from the SCA’s newsgroup, HYPERLINK “” The Rialto (at HYPERLINK “”
A ton of definitions and editorial help were provided by HYPERLINK “” Jared Oakes. Thanks!
Some definitions were provided by HYPERLINK “” Ryan Ramage. Thanks!
Some of the definitions came from HYPERLINK “” A List of Occupations
Adminstrative Details..
This file is a part of the HYPERLINK “” Crystal Obelisk project.
This document is copyright © 1999-2005 HYPERLINK “” Shawn Vincent. Permission is granted to copy, distribute, and/or modify this document under the terms of the HYPERLINK “” Open Gaming Licence
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