Specialties represent skill and knowledge in specific areas of the twenty-five Abilities in Exalted.
Specialties and Dots
Specialties are taken individually, and do not have dot ratings per se... however as the same specialty can be taken multiple times, it can be convenient to represent this using dots.
There is no maximum number of different specialties a character may have. However, two caps do apply:
--- No character may take the same Specialty more than 3 times.
--- No dice pool (or pool-based rating) may add more than 3 dice or +3 from Specialties (even in cases where more than 3 specialties are applicable).
Additionally, Specialties convert into Ability dots as a mandatory consequence of reaching a certain number of specialties (see Training), which may produce a functional cap on how many Specialties a character can have at one time.
Note that if such a mandatory consequence is not allowable by the rules, then a character may not take the Specialty that would trigger it.
Example: A character with an Ability at 5 with 9 specialties and Essence 4 cannot learn a 10th specialty as this would trigger the upgrade of the Ability from 5 to 6, which the character cannot do until their Essence has reached 6.
Each Specialty normally requires 1xp and 32 hours to learn. See Training for further details.
Craft and Specialties
To clarify, each type of Craft is a separate Ability, grouped together under a common 'Craft' heading primarily for convenience and favoured-ability purposes. Each type of Craft is increased as an Ability and has its own Specialties, which are not interchangeable. For Abilities applicable to an Esoteric Crafting rating, a specific type of Esoteric Crafting is very much a valid Specialty.