Each character can have up to 90 skillpoints assigned at once. Trainable skill levels range from 0 (Inept) to 7 (Masterful), and each skill level costs that number to increase. For instance, getting to level 4 (Proficient) in a skill would require 1+2+3+4, or 10, skill points total. Thus, higher skill levels require more of an investment.
Characters start out able to assign 30 skill points with no skill able to be greater than Proficient (level 4) at the time of chargen, allowing characters to essentially hit the ground running skills-wise rather than start with no skills to speak of.
Various activities will net a character experience, which will fill their "bucket" up to a maximum capacity, with accrual rates lowering as the bucket becomes more full. Experience from the bucket can be assigned to pour into skills via the SKILLS TOGGLE command, raising skill levels. Do note that skills must be actually utilized in order to reach their full potential - one could technically pour experience into the Melee skill and raise it all the way to Masterful, but without ever engaging in actual Melee combat and utilizing the skill, their skill rolls would be weighted down significantly. Knowing the theory does not necessarily translate to practical usage.
The goals command is used to set a character's skill goals and enables characters to set an endgame plan skills-wise. A skill will not increase beyond its associated goal level, preventing accidental skill point usage. Lowering a skill's goal below its current level will - after a confirmation step - lower that skill, allowing characters to abandon skills they end up not enjoying or utilizing in order to free up skill points for spending elsewhere.
Skill levels are described thusly:
- 0 - Inept
- 1 - Novice
- 2 - Dabbling
- 3 - Competent
- 4 - Proficient
- 5 - Talented
- 6 - Exceptional
- 7 - Masterful
- 8 - Legendary (only attainable via temporary skill enhancements)
Below are the skills player characters can know and employ.
- Heavy Armor - Reduces penalties and grants bonuses when wearing heavy armor, such as chainmaille or metal plate. Heavy armor makes many activities difficult, including stealth, swimming, and wilderness climbing. It is also tiring to wear, making prolonged strenuous activity difficult and exhausting. Those who utilize heavy armor are strongly encouraged to have a mount if they wish to do any traveling. On the plus side, a warrior in heavy armor is nigh impervious to harm on the battlefield.
- Light Armor - Reduces penalties and grants bonuses when wearing light armor, such as soft leather or leather scale. Light armor is particularly suited to those who need to be light on their feet, travel and explore often, or utilize stealth.
- Melee Combat - General skill at melee combat with any weapon, both offense and defense. Some weapon types may be less effective without specialization, such as swords, flails, and some of the more awkward polearms.
- Ranged Combat - General skill at ranged combat with any weapon, both offense and defense. Some weapon types may be less effective without specialization, such as slings.
- Animal Husbandry - Animal Husbandry is the skill of breeding and raising livestock.
- Brewing - Brewing is the process of creating drinks from raw materials.
- Construction - Construction applies to projects involving multiple pieces such as building furniture or fences, and even some structures, such as animal sheds and silos for farms.
- Cooking - Cooking is useful for producing edible foods from basic ingredients. Greater skill at cooking can produce finer meals that may increase morale and possibly grant other beneficial effects.
- Farming - Farming training allows a person to farm more effectively. A skilled farmer will find they are able to harvest more each time they plant.
- Glassworking - Shaping glass into various useful items.
- Herbalism - Herbalism goes beyond simple bushcraft foraging and crude first aid, being the dedicated study of plants and fungi. With the correct ingredients, knowledge, and tools, herbalism can be used to produce powerful healing agents, poisons, and potions or salves with a wide variety of effects.
- Knapping - Knapping is the general ability to chip away pieces of stone to craft tools and other useful objects.
- Lapidary - Lapidary training allows you to more effectively cut precious gems and stones from raw material, to be sold or for use in jewelry crafting.
- Leatherworking - Leatherworking is the art of using animal pelts or scales to create useful items such as armor, containers or clothing.
- Locksmithing - Locksmithing is the knowledge of how locking mechanisms work, and imparts skills that can allow one to bypass locks with lockpicks rather than a key.
- Masonry - Masonry is the ability to carve and build with stone.
- Metallurgy - Metallurgy grants the ability to process ores into metals, and higher skill can unlock rarer alloys.
- Metalworking - Metalworking is the general ability to craft metal items, both components and full pieces.
- Mining - Mining training will allow you to more effectively and efficiently mine for precious metals and stones, as well as identify some of the rarer or non-obvious minerals that unskilled miners would not recognize.
- Picking Pockets - This skill involves removing items from someone else's person without them knowing, employing stealth, sleight of hand and the ability to appear innocent or uninvolved.
- Pottery - Shaping clay and similar materials into useful items like jars, bricks, and molds for metal-casting.
- Skinning - Skinning is the ability to remove skins and pelts from dead animals, for selling or for use in other activities such as leatherworking.
- Tailoring - Tailoring is the crafting of clothing out of cloth and thread.
- Traps - This skill imparts knowledge of common trap mechanisms as well as intuitive deduction of unfamiliar traps at higher skill levels, primarily used for disarming traps and occasionally for setting them, as well.
- Weaving - Weaving allows one to craft cloth and thread out of natural materials, knit, and craft some small woven handcrafts.
- Woodcutting - Woodcutting training includes felling trees as well as removing the branches afterward and preparing the felled tree to be ready for use as lumber.
- Woodworking - Woodworking is the general ability to carve, shape and treat wood, crafting it into useful items. Some more specialized branches of woodworking may be required for more complicated crafting.
- Bushcraft - Bushcraft is a general survival skillset, useful for making use of natural resources out in the wilderness.
- Climbing - Training in climbing will aid in virtually all climbing situations such as rock climbing, rope climbing and so forth. A necessary skill for the rugged explorer who wants no paths barred.
- Fishing - Fishing skill allows for a character to catch fish via various means, starting with angling (fishing with a rod, line, hook, and bait).
- Meditation - Meditation is the ability to keep one's mind clear and focused. It generally synergizes well with mental and scholarly skills, and also helps a bit at warding off negative mental effects.
- Perception - Perception is the general ability to pick up on one's surroundings and notice anything of interest. It includes tapping into all the five senses, and some say those with a particularly powerful perception have been able to hone a sort of "sixth sense."
- Riding - Riding skill determines how well one can ride and control mounts.
- Stealth - Stealth is the ability to move and act unseen or unnoticed. It involves both sticking to the shadows as well as adapting to your surroundings to act in a manner that won't draw attention to yourself, effectively hiding in plain sight. If you plan on doing any scouting, spying, elusive game hunting or less-than-reputable acts such as burglary and picking pockets, stealth is a must.
- Swimming - Swimming training will aid in activities such as swimming across a river, fighting strong currents, diving, and holding your breath longer underwater.
- Tracking - Tracking is the ability to identify tracks left by creatures on the ground, and combines well with stealth skill for hunting wild game.
- Acrobatics - The ability to perform acrobatic feats including tumbling, jumping, and flipping.
- Dancing - The ability to perform elaborate and moving dances.
- Music - Music theory, ability to properly discern tone and pitch, and general ability to play musical instruments or sing. Combines well with storytelling into singing.
- Storytelling - The ability to put words into a story with enthusiasm and convey powerful emotion through the spoken word. Combines well with music into singing.
- Arcana - Arcana is a focused study of the arcane, necessary to really understand arcane symbols and occult diagrams.
- Linguistics - Linguistics is the study of language, especially useful for deciphering texts and learning additional languages. Some say that the better grasp of language, the more influence can be wielded through it.
- Lore - Lore is a general study of the world, history, legends, and folklore. It can be useful for identifying relics and artifacts as well as important sites, and can also be somewhat useful in deciphering texts and understanding some of the arcane artifacts that have been described in records and tales.
- Medical - Medical skill determines your skill at treating and tending injuries, such as using bandages to dress wounds, applying a splint to a fractured leg, and at greater skill, surgeries and bone mending.
- Trading - In addition to bartering for better prices at markets and such, those skilled at Trading may also be able to convince NPC merchants to sell things they normally wouldn't part with, or gain access to exclusive trade opportunities and events that other characters cannot.