Rules Index


Chapter 10: Game Mastering / Running Modes of Play / Downtime

Retraining

Source Core Rulebook pg. 502
The retraining rules on page 481 allow a player to change some character choices, but they rely on you to decide whether the retraining requires a teacher, how long it takes, if it has any associated costs, and if the ability can be retrained at all. It’s reasonable for a character to retrain most choices, and you should allow them. Only choices that are truly intrinsic to the character, like a sorcerer’s bloodline, should be off limits without extraordinary circumstances.

Try to make retraining into a story. Use NPCs the character already knows as teachers, have a character undertake intense research in a mysterious old library, or ground the retraining in the game’s narrative by making it the consequence of something that happened to the character in a previous session.

Time

Source Core Rulebook pg. 502
Retraining a feat or skill increase typically takes a week. Class features that require a choice can also be retrained but take longer: at least a month, and possibly more. Retraining might take even longer if it would be especially physically demanding or require travel, lengthy experimentation, or in-depth research, but usually you won’t want to require more than a month for a feat or skill, or 4 months for a class feature.

A character might need to retrain several options at once. For instance, retraining a skill increase might mean they have skill feats they can no longer use, and so they’ll need to retrain those as well. You can add all this retraining time together, then reduce the total a bit to represent the cohesive nature of the retraining.

Instruction and Costs

Source Core Rulebook pg. 502
The rules abstract the process of learning new things as you level up—you’re learning on the job—but retraining suggests that the character works with a teacher or undergoes specific practice to retrain. If you want, you can entirely ignore this aspect of retraining, but it does give an opportunity to introduce (or reintroduce) NPCs and further the game’s story. You can even have one player character mentor another, particularly when it comes to retraining skills.

Any costs to retraining should be pretty minor—about as much as a PC could gain by Earning Income over the same period of time. The costs are mostly there to make the training feel appropriate within the context of the story, not to consume significant amounts of the character’s earnings. A teacher might volunteer to work without pay as a reward for something the character has already done, or simply ask for a favor in return.

Disallowed Options

Source Core Rulebook pg. 502
While some character options can’t normally be retrained, you can invent ways for a character to retrain even these—special rituals, incredible quests, or the perfect tutor. For example, ability scores can’t normally be retrained, as that can unbalance the game. But not all players necessarily want to exploit the system—maybe a player simply wants to swap an ability boost between two low stats. In situations like this, you could let them spend a few months working out or studying to reassign an ability boost.