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I skimmed the PHB but I wasn't able to find any information on "retraining" or any ways to "undo" character advancement. Is retraining (especially of classes and class features) available in any of the core books? How does it work?

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    \$\begingroup\$ What parts of a character do you mean when you ask about retraining? Skill and feat choices, level-up choices, entire class choices, etc.? D&D 5e experts aren't necessarily familiar with other games' retraining possibilities, so it's helpful to say a bit more about what the term means to you. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie May 19 '16 at 19:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't know how to include it without making it two questions, but I'm curious about the possibility of retraining a standard Paladin into a full-on Oathbreaker. \$\endgroup\$ – Robert May 19 '16 at 19:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ It's always good to include the practical problem you're trying to solve with the question. Just stuff it in there however makes sense, and other editors can always help massage it into a nice consistent unity, if necessary. :) \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie May 19 '16 at 19:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ Reminder: comments are for clarifying content, not posting small or incomplete answers. Please use answer posts to submit answers instead. Prior comments containing answers have been removed. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie May 19 '16 at 20:46
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There are no options in any of the core D&D 5e books which allow "retraining" a class using any definition of "retraining" that I can think of.

The only options for training of any sort I see at all are:

The PHB offers rules for multiclassing (p163) but this isn't so much "retraining" as it is training in a different field entirely.

The PHB (p187) presents training in a tool or language as a possible downtime activity. It says, "Your DM might allow additional training options." It takes about as long as a public school year in the US to complete one training option.

The DMG (p131) presents optional rules for training to gain levels. That is to say, with these optional rules you must spend gold when you reach the required XP value to gain a level. This training lasts about 2 days per level.

The DMG (p231) also presents rules for granting training as an "alternative reward." That means this option is presented as an alternative to magic items, so you're not going to be able to just go out and do it. You can spend the same amount of downtime that the PHB requires for training to learn a new skill, gain a feat, or gain inspiration daily for about a week. You'd have to ask someone else how 7-10 days of inspiration compares to a permanent skill or feat, let alone would be worth the 9 months of investment to get it.

However, keep in mind this is 5e, not 3e, and the game takes great pains to remind readers that the DM can use whatever options he wants in his game, including those he makes up himself or adopts from other games.

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This depends a lot on the context. There's two I can think of off the top of my head.

In the core rules and SRD, no, there's no way to undo training, so choose carefully. Once you've made a class selection, you're keeping it unless there's some serious voodoo involved (or you're a druid/cleric/paladin and lose your powers by offending your god/philosophy).

In D&D Adventurer's League, you're permitted to rebuild your character up to the end of Level 4 (Player's Guide, page 4, "Character Rebuilding"), though your name must stay the same and any faction renown is lost if you change factions.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks @Greenstone Walker ! i didn't have anything handy when i wrote this! \$\endgroup\$ – Adam Wells May 20 '16 at 19:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ By serious voodoo, are you thinking the reincarnation spell? \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Oct 18 '18 at 13:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast I am in fact thinking of that as an option! \$\endgroup\$ – Adam Wells Feb 4 at 21:15

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