SocraticCoaster-Just check page 42 of the DMG, and all will be answered.
|You can gain XP for non-combat encounters, it's safe to assume that using your abilities to overcome anything would earn your experience, albeit more slowly. So, the farmer who manages to trap predators would gain experience, as would the blacksmith who manages to create a item he's never made before. Hell, even a barmaid would earn experience by, oh, I don't know, avoiding the bar brawl that just broke out.|
|All those people would add 1/2 of their level to their checks, which is a representation of 'life experience'|
|The fluff skills are left for role-playing and usually don't require rolls.|