Even when a character has earned enough experience to attain the next level, the DM may not allow immediate advancement. He may require the character to receive training to advance. When training, a character studies his skills under a tutor, taking the raw knowledge he has gained and honing it into measurable improvement. On the average, this takes a few weeks (depending on the tutor's ability), and it is normally done during the character's nonadventuring time.

A DM can also rule that the circumstances are not appropriate for the character to advance in level, such as when the game session ends with the characters deep in an abandoned mine complex. The party has just finished a battle with a band of gnolls and faces more such encounters before it can reach the surface. The DM rules that the characters receive no experience until they leave the mines, because he doesn't want them to increase in level in the middle of the adventure. He is perfectly justified in doing this. And if the characters live through the adventure, they will undoubtedly profit from it, either in experience points or knowledge gained.

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