Physical or mental capabilities that are acquired through training--in the most simple terms, skills represent a character's ability to do stuff. All skills are grouped into particular specialties and proficiencies that are referred to as skill trees, based on one of the six attribute scores. As characters level up they are able to add skill points to a tree to increase the odds of success, purchase new skills in an existing tree, and purchase skills in new trees.
There are three types of skill trees. Combat Specialties are a group of trained skills that revolve around the ability to cause or avoid damage. Support Specialties includes trained skills that tend to be more educational, professional, or vocational in nature. Proficiencies represent common skills that are readily available to all and require very little training, often needing only an instructor and an afternoon to gain the basics. Characters typically acquire their specialties and a number proficiency skills during character generation, advancing and adding to them as the game progresses.
There are three skill levels. Novice skills may be immediately purchased for any owned tree. Expert skills may be purchased in an owned tree with four skill points, at Expert character rank (level 12). Master skills can be purchase in an owned tree with eight skill points in it, at Master character rank (level 24).
These include attack, defend, and move type skills that are specific to a distinctive form of combat. Each specialty has its own set of skills that typically pair with certain roles and are available for purchase during character generation and during game play. After a specialty is acquired, players are able to purchase additional novice skills to enhance their overall capabilities or add skill points to increase the odds of success. All skills that are available to be purchased are included in the specialty.
Most often linked to character backgrounds and specific roles, several of these specialty trees have skills that can be used in combat scenarios, but they tend to have a much larger focus in roleplay situations. Each of the support specialties has its own particular set of skills that may be purchased during character generation and as game play proceeds. After one of these trees is acquired, players may choose to purchase additional skills to enhance their capabilities or add skill points to increase the odds of success. All skills that are available to be purchased are included in the specialty.
All common skills fall under one of the three basic proficiencies: Athletics, Cunning, or Vigilance. These skill trees are available to all characters and do not need to be purchased. As characters advance, skill points can be used to increase the odds of success in specific trees or new skills may be purchased. All these skills are static based on the description--meaning that the workings of the skill do not change as the character advances.