Thanks, I just realize that Otis' starting level is 10 so the effective average party level is ((5 * 5) + 10)/6 = 5.8333. The requirement is below level 6, isn't it? Or is it level 5 max? One of the party member is a Ranger, is it possible to lower the average party level if I let him summon an animal companion? Or should I level squat at level 4? I plan to recruit 3 NPCs in Hommlet (Elmo and 2 others) and let them level up normally because the traders and their assassins are high level (the ninja and the fat trader are level 10). Then I replace one of with Otis and deal with the traders in Nulb. After that, I recruit Mother Screng and Hruda. I'm tempted to recruit Mother Screng and Hruda first but as far as I know, NPCs have no memorized spells when they join.