As with career skills, players have 50 points to spend over a selection of skills. What skills they can choose, depends on what background they chose.
Specialist backgrounds include highrider and military and buying skills from those packages costs standard characters tripple! (However, specialist background characters can buy the other skills at only double cost - subject to ref veto of course).
All characters have access to the universal skill package. Skills from the specialist backgrounds can be bought by other background types, but their cost is triple(!).
Corporate brats, burb kids and highriders also have access to the education skill package as normal. Skills bought from here are at no extra cost, unlike the other backgrounds who must pay double.
In Dark Age just about everyone can read and write. Okay, so they might not have been taught in school, but the information age is still with us. Illiteracy is a two point flaw and means you cannot read anything.
Example: Harry is originally from the suburbs. I choose for him drive (car); culture: street; contacts (info) from the burb kid collection. I have to pay double skill cost for pick lock (from streetkid) and I choose the school education package for 3 character points.
Athletics, Climbing (Type), Computer Use, Dance, Fast Talk, First Aid, Hide, Language (Type), Perception (vision or listen), Play (instrument), Running, Seduction, Sneak, Style, Swim, Throw
Choose any of the following if you have this option, or you can choose one of the set packages below.
These are sets of skills that a typical student may have. They have been grouped together so that you can quickly pick out an academic background.
Biology, Botany, Chemistry, Genetics, Geology, Geography, History, Library Use, Literary Study, Maths, Pharmacy, Physics, Programming, Teach, Writing, Zoology
School (3 CP):
Any science subject (see below) +2 and either maths, writing or language (type) at +2.
(Choosing this package includes the basics of being able to read & write).
College (6 CP):
Computer use +2, Library Use +1 and choose +3 from one of:
any science subject; History; Writing or Programming.
(Choosing this package includes a good level of reading / writing ability).
Graduate (12 CP):
Writing +2, Library Use +1, Computer Use +2 and choose +5 in one of:
Any science subject; Programming; Electronics (type); Mechanic (type);
Law; Psychology; Criminology; Programming or Literary Study
Valid science subjects include: Biology, biotech, botany, chemistry, geology,
genetics, pharmacy, physics, zoology. Please note that genetics or physiology
are unlikely to be taught in schools to any serious degree. Graduate characters
may choose a different key skill not mentioned above (subject to Referee veto).
Remember: You can buy a skill that is not available in your skill package at double cost. However, if you buy it from highrider or military, it costs triple.
Contacts (type), Culture: Corp or Street, Cycle, Drive (type), Education package, Electronics (type), Electronics: Computer, Mechanic (type), Pistol, Programming, Streetwise (type), Unarmed Combat (type)
Computer Use, Culture: Street, Cycle, Drive (type), Melee (type), Pick Pocket, Pick Lock, Pistol, Resistance, SMG, Streetwise (type), Unarmed Combat (type)
Contacts: Clan, Culture: Clan, Cycle, Drive (type), Mechanic (type), Melee (type), Pistol, Rifle, Streetwise (type), Survival (rural), Unarmed Combat (type), Weaponsmith (type)
As with the other backgrounds, you can buy a skill that is not available in your skill package at double cost.