Prerequisites and Capstone Talents in Echelon
As a rule, cornerstone and common talents in Echelon do not have prerequisites, at least not mechanically. As far as I'm concerned, if you can come up with a good enough -- and my standards can be awfully low if it's cool enough -- explanation, you can take it. For instance, most
normal humans can't breathe fire, but since PCs are pretty much by definition not normal humans
I'm prepared to accept that your special snowflake can breathe fire because a distant ancestor got busy with a dragon, you have a pact with a demonic power, or (in a sillier game) you really need to back off on the peppers.
Similarly, Bill Willingham's character Dragavon is an immature (very immature) offspring of a dragon. He's surprisingly strong, amazingly resilient, and if he grows up -- and with Dragavon this is questionable because most dragon offspring are killed by their sires, and in his case because, well, Dragavon
-- he'll come into his inheritance. In Echelon terms, somewhere in the higher tiers, perhaps Master tier or so, he'll suddenly get the Dragon cornerstone talent. In the meantime, he's a hedonist that can survive the trouble he gets himself into.
Capstones, on the other hand, do
have prerequisites. They acknowledge the achievements of the character. When Echelon was still modeled after D&D 3.x/PFRPG I might look at ranks in skills, base saves, and so on.
I don't have
ranks in skills anymore, not now that I'm using dice pools. I'm looking around for alternatives. I think I might go with the dice pools themselves. That is, where before I might look for "Heroic Lightning Reflexes" (that is, Lightning Reflexes talent at the Heroic tier), perhaps just look for "4d10 Reflexes". 4d12 satisfies this, 5d10 satisfies this, but 6d8 does not (even if 6d8 does
have higher potential, and even higher expected, number of successes). This is a higher-tier character, but lacks the specific training needed.
Perhaps oddly, the changes I've made to talents means that many more can bump the pools. That is, instead of being specifically "Heroic Lightning Reflexes", you might get the 4d10 needed to qualify via cornerstone or common talents. Or even capstone talents, if you're higher tier (which incidentally is unlikely because prerequisites usually apply only within the same tier).+Grey Knight +Alex Abel +John Payne +Jay Dugger +David Lamb