Skills determine a character’s abilities and proficiencies. Skills are broken up into basic and advanced skills. Basic skills are general skills that can be applied to a broad series of disciplines. Examples include the athletics and knowledge skill. Advanced skills are specialized skills that branch out from a basic skill and serve as more intricate aspects of a basic skill. For example, the climb skill is an advanced skill of the athletics skill.
Proficiency in a skill is determined by skill ranks. Each rank in a skill provides a +5 bonus to skill tests. Ranks are purchased with experience points. Each skill can be ranked up three times. Advanced skills are a subset of basic skills and thus function slightly differently. They cannot be purchased and ranked up until their associated basic skill is also trained. An advanced skill also gains the rank bonus of their parent basic skill, alongside their rank bonus. So if a character attempts to start a fire and he has two ranks in the survival basic skill and one rank in the fire starting advanced skill; he gains +15 to his skill test.