Skills represent your character's education, the abilities they've gained through both formal learning and life experience, as well as heredity. Each skill is linked to one of your attributes, and the combined scores are checked when a skill is used in the game. There is a limit to the number of skills your character can learn based on their Knowledge attribute. The formula is (Kn * 120%) + 5, so a character with a Knowledge of 10 can learn 17 skills, e.g. (10 * 120% = 12 + 5 = 17). If you go over this limit then the amount of XP needed to raise all of your skills will increase by a fixed factor; first 5%, then 10% (of the original 100XP) for each extra skill, which can quickly make your existing skills much more expensive to improve. So think hard about whether you really need that extra skill if you're about to go over the limit.
Attempting to use a skill which your character lacks (such as operating a mecha without having the Mecha Piloting skill) is treated as though the skill were at level -2, unless one is naturally good at most things.
Improving skills Edit
Skills are easy to learn but difficult to master. The first level of a skill will cost the same number of XP as the base cost, which is 100XP. The second level will cost 200XP, or twice as much; the third 300XP, the fourth 400XP, 500XP, 800XP, 1300… the mathematically literate reader will notice this to be 100 times the Fibonacci sequence (with the exception of 400), and so improving your skills to a high level via XP alone is a, literally, exponentially hard endeavor.
Some skills can be completely mastered through practice. Notable examples are the repair skills; you will likely be using General Repair and Mecha Repair a lot during the game, and possibly some First Aid for dungeon crawlers and Medicine for paramedics. Using these skills will slowly enhance them, as well as give you some additional XP you can spend anywhere else. All four of these skills, as well as numerous others, use Me, which means that your concentration can get much better very quickly as well. Conversation and Flirtation can also be advanced very easily — by talking a lot.
Other skills take longer to refine, often because they are rarely used. A character running around with hunting rifles or laser cannons may not get a chance to train their dodge ability adequately. Mecha Engineering is often improved more or less using XP because improving it through practice can cost a lot of otherwise useful weapons and components.
Selecting starting skills during character creation Edit
You'll get 50 points with which to buy your character's starting skills. The first two levels of a skill cost 1 point each, after that each raise in skill will cost the previous level in points, so raising from level 2 to 3 will cost 2 points, from 3 to 4 will cost 4 points, from 4 to 5 will cost 8 points, and so on. You cannot raise a starting skill above level 5.
Skills acquired from your starting job are an exception to this. You'll start with 1 point for free in these skills, and the cost of raising them will be treated as though they were 1 point lower than they are, allowing you to raise them slightly more cheaply and enabling a maximum level in those skills of 6.
Choose carefully, bearing in mind what sort of character you're creating and your attribute selections. Although it's possible to learn new skills in the game you'll have to spend XP to do so, and that's XP you could be using to improve on skills you already have, or to raise attributes. However, later in the game the 100XP (or slightly more if you are not very knowledgeable) required to learn a new skill is usually inconsequential.
Remember that the maximum number of skills your character can learn is based on your Knowledge attribute, and free skills from their profession still count toward that limit. If the counter showing the number of points you have left to spend turns red then you have over-run the Knowledge limit.
Training skills for cash Edit
You need a skill but don't have the XP to buy it? No problem, but it'll cost you something else.
Skill Schools have NPCs who will train your character's skills in exchange for cash. Your current faction will also provide trainers for various faction-related abilities. No trainer teaches all the skills, so you may need to hunt around a bit to find the right teacher.
The basic rate for skills training is 1XP in a skill for every $200 spent on training. This is modified by your character's relationship with their teacher, so it's worth spending some time becoming friendly with a teacher in the hope of getting some free bonus XP. Your character's Knowledge score also plays a part. A knowledgeable character will get some free bonus XP, while a character with a low knowledge stat will probably be penalized.
List of Skills Edit
Perception-based skills Edit
- Code Breaking
- Electronic Warfare
- First Aid
- General Repair
- Mecha Repair
- Pick Pockets
- Spot Weakness