All characters have access to a set of 12 common skills which are used to cover (nearly) all action checks in the game. In addition to the common skills, another four skills exist to cover the four types of magic (described elsewhere).
Each skill has three values associated with it: training, mastery, and critical. A new player character will default to having 0 training, 0 (6+) mastery, and 16+ critical in any giving skill, but this doesn't mean they don't have access to the skill; any character can use the common skills and their associated actions, but may be doing so without any training or mastery (or improved critical chance).
Each rank of training in a skill provides one die upgrade when making a check with that skill.
Mastery is a value attached to each skill for a character. Like training, mastery starts at 0, however, mastery has no upper bound. Mastery for NPCs will be suggested in their corresponding templates. PCs can only acquire mastery by unlocking a corresponding mastery talent in one of their tales. Each mastery talent will provide one mastery to the specified skill.
As each point of mastery is earned, the mastery condition used in checks improved:
There are twelve common skills available to all characters. They are broken down into 3 categories of 4 skills each. They are listed below. Each skill lists its common usage, as well as any specifically defined actions. If a character attempts an action whose associated skill does not explicitly define an action that covers the character's desired outcome, the narrator should assign a DV and have a basic check made to determine the outcome.