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. 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
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.
Certain backgrounds and feats can influence the learning progression as for example:
- Keen Mind (Feat):
background_mod = 2
- Sage (Background):
background_mod = 2for non-physical skills
- Linguist (Feat):
background_mod = 2for languages
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.