During the 1st contract mission you will respawn if KO'd, this is good since the mission is indefinate. You will gain sp and levels as long as you keep playing and never go near your mission goal. After five or six days the points multiplier goes to zero, but if your just into maxing out the sp for the books (rem: limited to swords, horse, and bows) this is best time to do it. I personally stopped after 7 days and got pretty decent fame, lots of gold and hundreds of sp to spend. Remember also gold is going up at 30d a day.
(supplied by: mrmike332)