Like all skills and abilities, proficiencies do not leap unbidden and fully realized into a character's mind. Instead, a character must train, study, and practice to learn a new proficiency. However, role-playing the training time needed to learn a new skill is not much fun. Thus, there are no training times or study periods associated with any proficiency. When a character chooses a proficiency, it is assumed that he had been studying it in his spare time.

Consider just how much spare time the character has. The player is not role-playing every second of his character's life. The player may decide to have his character spend a night in town before setting out on the long journey the next day. Perhaps the character must wait around for several days while his companions heal from the last adventure. Or he might spend weeks on an uneventful ocean voyage. What is he doing during that time?

Among other things, he is studying whatever new proficiencies he will eventually learn. Using this “down time” to handle the unexciting aspects of a role-playing campaign lets players concentrate on more important (or more interesting) matters.

Another part of training is finding a teacher. Most skills are easier to learn if someone teaches the character. The DM can handle this in several ways. For those who like simplicity, ignore the need for teachers--there are self-taught people everywhere in the world. For those who want more complexity, make the player characters find someone to teach them any new proficiency they want to learn. This can be another player character or an NPC. Although this adds realism, it tends to limit the PC's adventuring options, especially if he is required to stay in regular contact with his instructor. Furthermore, most teachers want payment. While a barter arrangement might be reached, the normal payment is cash. The actual cost of the service depends on the nature of the skill, the amount of training desired, the availability of tutors, the greed of the instructor, and the desire of the DM to remove excess cash from his campaign.

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