I've been wracking my brain for weeks trying to remember this series. It's about some mild mannered balding dude who gets transported to another world where he he meets this god who looks like a baby, and the baby/god transforms him into this huge slab of beef and makes him one of the best swordsman in the world. At each level of mastery they get a little tattoo on their forehead of whatever they mastered. and I think there are 7 levels of mastery fer each profession. and when someone starts out they wear white and when they master all the levels of their profession they wear blue. I know there is a river in it. If you start at one part of the river and keep sailing you come back to the part you started at.
*** update *** I've found the series I was looking for in another thread. Dave Duncan's The Seventh Sword