An old saying, “Old age and treachery beat youth and skill.” I didn’t spend enough time on Google to find who said that originally. I did see that there is evidently a Waylan Jennings song either by that name or with that line.
My boys and I have wrestled since they were little. It has been a long time since I could wrestle them both at once, but one at a time I can also still out wrestle them. Not bad for a fifty year old bald fat man who once broke his back. Although my youngest is built like a linebacker and probably equals my weight, he’d be a challenge. My oldest is a bean pole that I have at least 50 pounds on him, so I can move him and pick him up as needed.
I haven’t taught them all my moves, and they didn’t really wrestle and get into the fights like my brothers and I did. What’s the other saying, “I taught you everything you know, I didn’t teach you everything I know.”
Magic users and sages will guard their information jealously. Sages are more likely to part with their knowledge for mere coins, but more likely for more information to add to their knowledge. Wizards and illusionists will want to add to their spell books or acquire items that will help them. If mages need money, they will make that seem like they are making an exception to take a larger chunk of coin since the character(s) don’t have any magic they want or can use. Wizards and their apprentices would not be on equal terms until the apprentice nears parity with the master. If the player characters become wizards, will the former 7th level master also advance? In my campaign, I have the classed NPCs gain levels unless I have determined they have retired from adventuring, and their earning of experience is very slow.
Thieves, assassins, monks, druids, and some fighters might have techniques and skills that they reserve for use when they are moving up the hierarchy, assuming AD&D 1st edition rules. I don’t know the newer editions and if they had the same combat to advance rules.
Rangers and Paladins would tend to guide and train each other, but could hold back some skills for personal or personality reasons.
Good Clerics would only hold back mysteries that their fellows were not ready for. Evil or chaotic clerics might hold back information that threatens them being the most powerful cleric of X in the land, world, universe.
I don’t know specifics of how I would use this idea in my game, so far, not a table or some mechanic like that. I have vague ideas of personality quirks, like the guy at work who won’t share what he knows because he thinks he’ll lose his job if others know how to do it.
What ideas does this generate for you?