General Points about skill use and skills.
Skills can receive a bonus (or penalty) based on how high (or low) certain attributes are. Skills affected by attributes other than IQ will have that attribute listed next to them. What a percentage bonus is, is based on the appropriate attribute and can be found on the Character Generation page.
By default IQ affects ALL skills.
Generally speaking it is assumed that using a skill will be successful all things being equal. However when under stress (like combat) or when dealing with something relatively unknown (like alien technology) then a character may have to make a skill check in order to see if they can perform the skill successfully.
To do this is a bit different from the traditional Palladium way of rolling a percentile and having to roll equal to or lower than your skill percentage. Going forward, while still a percentile, skill checks will be a high roll succeeds style check.
Skills will now have a target percentage that you must equal or roll higher than to succeed. This is essentially 100 subtracting the original Palladium starting skill percentage to be the new target percentage.
Example - Dancing is currently a base of 30% to succeed. In 2.0 it will now be a target of 70% to succeed. (100-30)
Note - all skills will have revisions to them for a variety of reasons including to give the new target number and their new level advancement bonus where necessary (see below regarding basic and advanced skills)
Recap - to make a skill check you roll a percentile adding any bonuses and subtracting any penalties. Success is rolling equal to or above the skill's target number.
Example - to succeed at dancing, a first level character having no bonuses will have to roll a 70 or higher to succeed at whatever dance they are performing.
Rolling a 01 on a percentile is an automatic failure regardless of skill bonuses. GM's discretion as to if there is any additional effect from the failure.
Rolling a 00 on a percentile is an automatic and critical success regardless of penalties. GM's discretion as to if there is any additional effects for the success.
Skills will receive several different possible bonuses from a variety of sources.
First is level advancement. This is a bonus that you receive per level of experience starting at level 2. This will also have a slight change in an effort to better standardize what the advancement bonus of sills will be. Currently skills are all over the place when it comes to what you get per level for advancement ranging from +1% to +6%.
For 2.0 there will two "classes" of skill. Basic and advanced. For an example of what that would mean.... First Aid would be "basic" while medical doctor would "advanced".
Basic skills will grant a +5% bonus per level of experience while Advanced skills will give a +3% bonus per level.
Next we have Attribute bonuses. Add stated above, a high IQ will give a bonus to any and all skills since knowledge is the core of performing any skills. However, raw talent must also be taken into consideration. In this vein all other attributes can potentially give A bonus to skills now if they are high enough to do so.
Example - Dancing is a skill that while you must know how, if you are graceful (high PP) you may be able to perform a dance well enough even with out full proper knowledge of how to do so.
Following that, we have Racial bonuses. Some races will just have a natural talent for doing certain things.
Lastly, we have education and Occupational Character Class bonuses. This represents formal training the character will have gotten in these skills.
All of the above added together will give your character their total bonus to any skill rolls they must make and mitigate to one degree or another how much penalties may affect them.
General penalties - See page 301 of Rifts Ultimate Edition.
Expert and Master level skills. (optional)
This is a variation on the "advanced" skills in Rifter #30 with some notable changes to hopefully simplify things.
Increasing the "quality" of skill will keep the basic method as long as it is an education based or OCC based skill.
Taking such a skill a second time will grant a +10 bonus and an additional +1% per level of experience on top of what the skill grants whether it is basic or advanced.
Taking that skill a third time will grant a further +10% bonus and further +1% per level of experience on top of what the skill grants whether it is basic or advanced. This is to show the formal training and skill of the skill's user.
Where this will change is if the skill is a secondary skill. Secondary skills will only be able to be taken a second time, no more. Also doing this will only grant a +5% bonus but will still give an additional a +1% per level of experience on top of what the skill gives whether it is considered basic or advanced. This is to show the more amateur level of expertise the skill's user has.
A further change is that each skill, instead of skill category, will list whether it can be improved once or twice in this manner. Not all skills will have a "master" lever to them.
Skill Specializations (optional)
There are a number of skills that can allow a character to specialize in more detail for one aspect of it.
Example - Automotive mechanics can be specialized in Motorcycles or Heavy Machinery.
Basically the same thing but enough variation that specializing can and is a useful thing to have.
With that in mind instead of taking an expert level of a general skill, a character can have a specialization in one aspect of a skill.
This requires you to select the skill a second time BUT grants a one time bonus of +20% to your skill when doing that specialized aspect.
Example - A character can take Automotive mechanics: Heavy Machinery as a specialty. You use your automotive mechanics skill when working on cars and motorcycles but when Working on a Bulldozer you get an additional +20% bonus to your skill checks for Automotive Mechanics.
Some skill specializations will already have been covered in Rifter #30. Those that are will be noted in their revised skill listing.
Note - All skills will be getting some sort of minor revision at least. See revised skill list (when posted). Each skill will also list if any attributes other than IQ can give a bonus to it.