Learning represents your character's general book-smarts. Your character gains more skill points when leveling if your Learning is higher.
Learning also plays a minor role in determining MP, because every point of Learning is worth less than 1/6th of what a point of Magic is worth. Learning is the prime attribute of only one spell, and there is no known link between high Learning and an improvement in any of the Learning-related skills. Learning is one of the least useful attributes to train on high level. Investing in Learning early on can save tons of Platinum coins by using additional skill points on high level skills instead of training.
If you have money, the fastest way to improve Learning is to buy slaves or horses and gene engineer pets over and over. Otherwise, the fastest way to improve Learning is to eat Food that improves it (especially vegetables and higher-ranked fish) or use Literacy to read Books of any sort besides possibly skill books. (Skill books will only train Learning if they are skill books about learning-related skills.)
Learning has many practical non-combat skills associated with it. Because Gardening and Cooking both raise learning, and vegetables are the most common type of food grown at a farm, learning both those skills and cooking vegetables you raise yourself can be a good way to increase Learning.
An increase in Learning triggers the message "<character> feels studious."
A decrease in Learning triggers the message "<character> loses curiosity."
As of Elona+, Alchemy (and therefore Learning) is trained by drinking potions, hitting enemies with them, or walking on puddles. It does not appear to affect the duration or strength of potions. Gene Engineering and Gardening (and therefore Learning) are trained by searching at specific gathering spots.
In Elona+, characters will only earn extra skill points upon leveling if their Learning stat is extremely high relative to their character level, and most players will never see that effect. The formula for skill point gains is as follows: SkillPoint bonus = (500 + baseLearning*50)/(300 + characterLevel*15) + 1, with a maximum of 15 and a minimum of 5. It's unlikely that a non-mage character would end up with enough Learning to even reach 6 points. When it said non-mage, it really depends on whether you read books to train learning. Farmer, Pianist, and Gunner have an easier time than Wizard simply because they get learning potential from sleeping.
If my math is right after breaking all that down you would need (characterLevel+20)*0.3 base learning to raise skill points gained by 1 (6 total needed to matter). You also start from almost 2.6 to about 1, however, it steadily decreases as you level. At level 20, it becomes 2 and any lower I recommend thinking of it as just 1. If you want to be more exact you can use the original formula to determine where you are at and then figure out how much you need to increase by.
You need (20+characterLevel*1.5) baseLearning to reach at least 6 and (74+characterLevel*4.2) baseLearning to reach the maximum 15.
Another new benefit from the Learning stat in Elona+ is a chance to obtain up to five times as much skill experience from any action that would grant experience.
To determine whether this "lucky gain" happens, the game first rolls a random number between 0 and ( + 49), and then checks whether or not it's higher than a random number between 0 and 999. This gives a probability of:
The amount of extra experience gained when this check is successful is equal to:
In simple terms, the multiplier begins at 2 when Learning is 0, and maxes out at 5 when Learning is 900.
Skills that train Learning
1.38R : Experience multiplier for extra experience procs increased to 2~5, proportional to the square root of Learning (from a flat 2).
|Strength||Tactics · Two Hand · Weight Lifting · Long Sword · Axe · Martial Arts · Scythe|
|Constitution||Healing · Mining · Shield · Heavy Armor · Medium Armor · Carpentry · Blunt · Polearm · Stave|
|Dexterity||Lock Picking · Dual Wield · Light Armor · Evasion · Tailoring · Pickpocket · Jeweler · Disarm Trap · Short Sword · Bow · Crossbow · Throwing|
|Perception||Stealth · Sense Quality · Detection · Fishing · Eye of Mind · Greater Evasion · Marksman · Firearm · Analysis (Elona+)|
|Learning||Literacy · Memorization · Alchemy · Anatomy · Gardening · Cooking · Gene Engineer|
|Will||Magic Capacity · Faith · Traveling · Riding · Eye of Mind (Elona+)|
|Magic||Meditation · Casting · Magic Device · Control Magic|
|Charisma||Negotiation · Investing · Performer|
|Speed||Swimming · Traveling (Elona+)|