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I have encountered several times now that a player needs to pick a talent or specialization, but does not qualify for any. The game does not seem to provide for what happens, from what I can tell?

How should this be handled? Is there precedent elsewhere in the rules?

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As seen in the core rulebook page 65 : Chapter 3 - Focuses, Talents & Specializations

It could be, however, that you don’t want to take a specialization, or can’t qualify for one. If you prefer, you can always take a degree in a regular talent instead of a specialization talent at these levels. The next time you’d get a specialization talent, you can take a specialization at that point or take another regular talent.

That means it gives you the possibility not to choose a specialization at all (maybe you or your avatar is not interested in that), or leaves you the opportunity to delay choosing that specialization if you want or do not meet the prerequisites yet.

That delay being when you would gain a specialization talent, for exemple with first specialization at level 6 it would be at levels 8 and 10 :

The classes are designed so you finish one specialization at level 10 by taking one degree of the specialization talent at each of levels 6, 8, and 10

(same book, same page, above paragraph)

If you opt to take a new talent instead, but qualify for none, you can always take a new rank in a talent you already own (like you would do on new odd levels after the 1st). This, you can check with your GM as the rule is not clear with what taking another regular talent means.

If you are unable to specialize, take a new talent or upgrade one, talk with you GM. He will have the option to let you delay taking a choice until you meet the prerequisites (you naturally gain focuses and attribute points every levels for instance) and maybe invite you to plan your character ahead next time (if it is this kind of table).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ That answers half the question. What if you don't qualify for any regular talents either? It is surprisingly easy when your attributes poorly align with your class. \$\endgroup\$
    – Weckar E.
    Feb 25, 2021 at 18:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @WeckarE. I edited my answer. In the end, you may have to rely on your GM decision ! \$\endgroup\$
    – Glaerferyn
    Feb 25, 2021 at 19:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ That probably makes this the best possible answer. A real shame there's no official provision for it with how often I've seen it happen :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Weckar E.
    Feb 26, 2021 at 11:17

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