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All three classes have Starting Talents gained at level 1, but you may only meet the requirements for one - or in some cases, none. Can you choose a talent even if you don't meet the requirements?

For example, I just rolled up a character as a mage that can't meet the requirements for Chirurgy, Linguistics or Lore, which are the Starting Talents for a mage to choose from. Do I automatically bypass requirements and select the one I want, or do I reroll, or do I play a different class?

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From Page 58 of the rulebook (the most recent core release):

Most talents also have requirements, like specific focuses or weapon groups. If you don’t have the requirement you cannot take the talent unless it’s a talent your class grants you at level 1.

This confirms unequivocally that talent requirements are ignored at level 1.

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You can take any talent from the class-specified list at first level, regardless of requirements.

The book pretty clearly states the general-case answer in the Talents section on page 35:

Each talent lists the classes it is available to; you cannot take talents that are not open to your class. Most talents also have requirements, like specific focuses or weapon groups. If you don't have the requirements, you cannot take the talent.

However, there's an explicit special case for starting talents. First; those talent rules state that they apply to spending the talent points you get when you "gain an odd level (3,5, etc.)", leaving first level out of the list. Second; the first level part of the class advancement chart doesn't say you get a talent point - it straight up says

you become a novice in one of the following talents:

i.e. without spending a point or having to meet requirements. That doesn't mean you shouldn't come up with a decent backstory excuse for your character though - there must be some kind of extraordinary reason that they can do what they do lacking the usual prerequisites.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I feel like that's a fair interpretation - thank you! \$\endgroup\$ – Faye Oct 6 '15 at 19:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ I wasn't convinced by this when I raised this with my group, we delved a little deeper and the DM found the answer I have added which confirms this beyond doubt. \$\endgroup\$ – Rawrgramming Mar 1 '16 at 21:21
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There isn't anything in the Players Guide 1.2 to address this. As someone else here has posted, it has been addressed in the later core release of the books (which I don't own).

In my games, if you can't meet any of the prerequisites for the talents then you go back to the "swap any two abilities" step. If a player instead wanted to take a different Talent at level 1, and had a good background reason for it, I'd probably allow it.

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