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For the competency known in D&D 4e as "training", see proficiency.

Training is a rule in Dungeons & Dragons which refers to a period of in-game time and/or money which must be spent in order to increase in character level or gain new abilities.

Training costs to gain levels are optional or ignored in newer editions of Dungeons & Dragons, but occasionally appear as a variant rule in some players' campaigns.

In D&D 4th edition, the term "Training" is instead used to refer to what is known in other editions as proficiency.

Approaches to training

Training costs

Some editions of the Dungeons & Dragons rules require players to spend a fixed amount of spend time and money to gain a character level. Reaching a certain experience total qualifies the players to qualify for a new level, but level gain does not occur automatically.

The exact details of training are usually abstracted away, as it is assumed to be an uninteresting scenario to play through.

This is the rule in Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition.[1]

No training

In many editions of the Dungeons & Dragons rules, characters do not need to spend money in order to gain levels, and either need not spend time in training to gain levels, or their training is assumed to occur "off-screen" and glossed over for convenience.

Training costs may still be imposed by the Dungeon Master as a variant, optional or house rule.

This is the default approach in Original D&D, AD&D 1st edition, and D&D 3rd, 4th and 5th editions.

Training for extra abilities

Some versions of the rules do not require the players to pay to gain a level, but as an option they may spend time and money to gain additional skills or learn additional languages.

This rule appears in Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition.

Publication history

Original D&D

Original Dungeons & Dragons had no training rules. Characters simply increased in level by attaining the correct number of experience points.[2]

Basic D&D

AD&D 1st edition

AD&D introduced detailed training rules in the Dungeon Masters Guide (1e) (1979), p.86[1].

The full rules occupy almost a full page and involve multiple formulae to calculate the exact amount of time and money the character must spend to level up, based on several factors including character level, class, the DM's judgement of how well the player acted in keeping with their character class and alignment, whether or not a tutor is available.

The character must spend 1,500 gold pieces times their current character level per week, with high level characters spending from 1,000gp/level to 4,000gp/level depending on class. A character who qualifies for a level cannot gain any XP until they have gained a level.

AD&D 2nd edition

In AD&D 2nd edition, training is relegated to an optional rule appearing on Dungeon Master Guide (2e) (1989), p.49 and Dungeon Master Guide (2e revised) (1995), p.71.

Characters must pay a tutor around 100 gp per level per week, with the duration based on the instructor's Wisdom score. The character must then pass a Wisdom or Intelligence check to level up, retrying each week until successful. The tutor must be a character of the same class and of higher level.

D&D 3rd edition

The standard rule in D&D 3e is that any training occurs in the background, and player characters are assumed to be practicing their skills in downtime. According to the Dungeon Master's Guide (3.0) (2000), p.41:

"Research and training aren't a part of the standard rules. They're assumed to be going on in the background."

However, a variant allows that a character have a way to learn the new skill, and must train with an instructor in order to gain. The price is 50gp per week, with skills taking one week per skill rank and feats taking two weeks. Class abilities and spells may also require expenditure of time and money.

Strictly speaking, characters only gain XP at the end of an adventure, but immediately gain a new level once they level up.Player's Handbook (3.5) (2003), p.58

D&D 4th edition

Characters do not require training in D&D 4th edition. They gain XP at the end of each encounter. [3]

The term "training" is instead used in that edition to refer to what other editions of D&D call proficiency.

D&D 5th edition

Characters do not require training to gain levels in D&D 5th edition.

However, they may use training to learn a new language or tool proficiency, which is in addition to those granted by class features. Doing so takes 250 days at a cost of 1 gp per day, and requires an instructor.[4]

Under the optional rules in Xanathar's Guide to Everything (2017), p.134, it costs 25 gp per week and takes at least ten minus the character's Intelligence modifier in weeks. Interesting complications may arise, such as the instructor disappearing.

The term "training" is occasionally used to refer to a proficiency, a usage originally introduced by D&D 4th edition.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Dungeon Masters Guide (1e) (1979), p.86.
  2. Men & Magic (1974), p.18.
  3. Player's Handbook (4e) (2008), p.27.
  4. Player's Handbook (5e) (2014), p.187.