Learning and Teaching

This article describes my homebrew system for learning and teaching skills (weapons/tools/etc) or languages (including Druidic and Thief’s cant). I assume that the player has a source of knowledge, either another being that is proficient in that skill or a scripture containing the relevant knowledge. Since I don’t like the system from XGtE (p. 134), here is my approach. It is based on the continuous collection of arbitrary units of knowledge (a.u.k.), influenced by the Player’s Intelligence (INT) score and different modifiers. The a.u.k. collected are calculated as follows:

a.u.k. = INT * source_mod * time_mod * background_mod

When enough a.u.k. are collected, the player achieves “Proficiency” or “Expertise” with the trained skill. See below for details and explanations of the modifiers.

Levels of skill

  • You can either have “Proficiency” or “Expertise” in a skill.
  • Having “Proficiency” represents having 600 a.u.k. in that skill, “Expertise” represents having the maximum of 1000 a.u.k..

Sources of knowledge

A player can learn a skill either from another PC/NPC that has “Proficiency” or “Expertise” in it or a sufficiently advanced book on the topic. Based on the source of the knowledge, this gives the learning a different modifier. A book or a person with “Proficiency” can only teach you up to the “Proficiency” level, only a person with “Expertise” can train you beyond that.

  • Learning from a book: source_mod = 0.4
  • Learning from a person with “Proficiency”: source_mod = 0.8
  • Learning from a person with “Expertise”: source_mod = 1.0

Duration of learning

Players can either spend half a day (time_mod = 1) or the full day (time_mod = 2) studying the skill.

Additional influences

Certain backgrounds and feats can influence the learning progression as for example:

In absence of these, background_mod = 1. If you feel that your feat or background should grant you a bonus here, talk to your DM.