Soldier-at-Arms are non-levelled combatants that have received a considerable amount of combat training, transforming them into "professional soldiers" that form the core of medieval armies in the game world. Soldiers are essential to holding a position in battle alongside nobles and levelled fighters.
Possessing a standard morale which is likely to improve quickly, the greatest portion of soldiers serve as retainers to powerful fighters; others, mustered out from the army, seek employment and increased knowledge as town guards, haywards and reeves, constables, members of the merchant marine, mercenaries and other professions taking advantage of their fighting skills. Others use wealth that they've plundered to become freeholders of their own land.
Not a few also seek to become levelled characters through further training, or through extensive campaigning and good luck. Many levelled fighters, paladins and rangers are given time in soldier ranks during their training.
Soldiers possess hit points according to their body mass, +2-5. Due to their hardened condition, though a soldier's negative hit points are reduced from that of levelled persons, they won't die until damage reduces them to below -5 hit points.
They have a THAC0 of 20. They possess proficiencies in club and a hereditary weapon, and often have a 3rd or 4th proficiency as well. Their non-proficiency penalty is either -3 or -4. They're trained to fight in any sort of armour.
Soldiers commonly roll 3d6 for all ability stats, with +1-2 points to both strength or constitution (to a maximum of 18).
Most have a smattering of knowledge points in one or two fighter-class sage studies, always Mastery at Arms and sometimes one other. Knowledge in these studies has been gained in training and some from personal experience; assign 2d4 points if a random number is desired. Some soldiers have specifically sought further training in horse or camel handling, as an artillerist or as a sapper, and even in the handling of dogs.
Soldiers can gain experience (they receive one-half share of the x.p. bonus after combat). If they accumulate as many as 1,500 points, they will have enough acumen to convince an established military post that they are worthy of being trained as a member of the fighting class.