Critters in the world fall into three distinct categories; Characters that are created by a game player, NPC’s created by the scenario designer, and creatures created within the game itself. Creatures are everything else that can interact with either a player or an NPC that is not a player or NPC.
Creatures are the non-NPC’s that interact with the NPC’s but mostly the characters. They are the goblins, the beholders, bandits. They can interact with the players but they cannot be artisans as such.
NPC’s are the backbone of a society. They perform all the needed functions that allow a society in a given area to succeed. They consist of the artisans, the innkeepers, the mayors, rulers and even some mercenaries that are available for hire.
NPC’s can be also “owned” by an account and associated with a family, clan, or tribal name. This allows characters that are part of the same family or tribal name to obtain benefits not available to other characters. NPC’s also do increase in abilities over time.
Characters are directly playable. A player simply consists of skills that allow the player to interact with the world in various ways. Characters can become proficient in magic both divine and arcane, weapons and armour, as well as simultaneously being a type of artisan.
A fighter/mage may take up blacksmithing as an artisan skill and thus become a magesmith.