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I asked a while ago about the methods to decrease training time, and the answer I summarily got was, outside of shenanigans, increasing your intelligence is the only way. I'm not too invested in the idea, but I've wondered how balanced would a homebrew feat that affects downtime training be? The examples that I can conjure up are basic and unsophisticated:

Teacher - You become adept at transferring the knowledge you have to those who don't. When training someone, their Intelligence modifier is treated as INT modifier + your PB for the purpose of the training.

Student - You learn how to learn what you have never before. When undergoing downtime training, your Intelligence modifier is treated as INT modifier + your PB for the purpose of the training.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Frame challenge: if you could introduce a feat, you could also just change training time is calculated \$\endgroup\$
    – VLAZ
    Commented Apr 17 at 5:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you a player wanting to train or a DM wanting to encourage it? \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Commented Apr 17 at 6:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ How many times players in your campaign need to learn a new language or how to use a new tool? How many times you had downtime activities? The first feat seems to suggest that there is character2character training, instead of a NPC teacher. \$\endgroup\$
    – Eddymage
    Commented Apr 17 at 7:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ What is intention behind such feat? If you’re a DM, why don’t you just change the rules on training time? \$\endgroup\$
    – AnnaAG
    Commented Apr 17 at 16:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SeriousBri I forgot that was relevant information, haha. I'm a player balancing pros and cons of training, and the uncommitted thought, "I wonder if you modified the training duration with a feat, if that would be balanced?", came across. If it was balanced, then I was considering passing the idea past my DM to see what he said, but we don't often get downtime anyway. \$\endgroup\$
    – J Thompson
    Commented Apr 18 at 4:03

1 Answer 1

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I would argue that both of these feats are ridiculously, absurdly underpowered, except when they're entirely broken. It's important to remember that a feat has to be balanced against giving up an ability score increase (ASI). Is this feat balanced in exchange for a +2 to an ability score?

Also note that there are already existing feats like Skilled and Linguist if you want to use a feat on gaining tools or languages, so you're competing with a player just taking those, getting the three proficiencies they want, and skipping training entirely. The whole point of Training is that you can gain a language or tool proficiency without spending any character resources (feats, etc) to do so.

So I have to ask: Does training really come up so often at your table? I think in all the years of D&D since the training rules were published in Xanathar's Guide, it's come up in my group exactly once, when somebody decided they wanted to learn draconic. And in most cases, if somebody is looking into training, it's because there's a language or tool that nobody in the group already has, so Teacher seems kind of pointless to me. I get that it's possible that a character might want to teach a language they know to the rest of the group, but this seems like a very rare thing and not remotely worth a feat.

If anything, I think a training time reduction could easily be applied as an added benefit on one of the weaker "bullet point" feats from the PHB, like Keen Mind (or the aforementioned Skilled and Linguist).

There's a problem with using proficiency, though. The standard Training rule is it takes 10 weeks, minus a week for each point of INT bonus or adding for each point of INT penalty. INT typically maxes out at +5, so that gives a range of 5 to 12 weeks for most characters, with very rare outliers. But proficiency goes up to +6, so subtracting that from the training time could result in a minimum training time of -1 weeks. This suggests that a moderately high level wizard can effectively learn languages and tools instantaneously (or in one week if we put a minimum on it).

Really, though, if you think the training rules result in training times that are too long, just rework the training rules. Personally, I don't think they're a problem; 10-INT weeks of training at 25gp per week seems entirely reasonable to me. As a DM, I try to give my players enough downtime that they can decide to spend the time between adventures two or three times to gain a new language or tool proficiency. But if it bothers you, adjust it! No need to introduce feats; you could make it 8-INT, or just say all training takes six weeks regardless of intelligence, or add a random 1d6-3 weeks as a modifier. Whatever makes your game work is fine.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I’ve often responded to homebrew feats by saying “this should be a conversation, not a new mechanic”. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 17 at 18:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ "This feat could have been an email." \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 17 at 18:32

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