• Alertness – Picking up on salient details in the world around you.
• Athletics – Jumping, climbing, swimming, dodging. The “pilot” skill for your body. (Used defensively, this is the Fray skill equivalent.)
• Combat, Melee – Covers both hand-to-hand & armed combat within your immediate area.
• Combat, Ranged – Use of weapons that reach beyond your immediate area, which can be carried and operated by a single person.
• Deception – Lying, using an assumed identity, misdirection.
• Hardware – Understanding, breaking and fixing physical tech. Hardware is even more intensively specialized than Academics – you can apply at most +2 shifts from the Hardware skill outside of your specialty. (A turbine engine has relatively little to do with microelectronics, let alone habitat plumbing.)
• Infosec – Hacking and defending against hacking. Making and breaking encryption.
• Investigation – Getting clues, finding logical (in)consistencies, noticing when the information you’ve got just doesn’t add up.
• Kinesics – Empathy, body language, and sign language.
• Maneuver – Maneuvering yourself (flying, microgravity, free fall) or a vehicle in up to 3 dimensions.
• Medicine – Understanding, breaking and fixing wetware and minds (psychosurgery). Specialties? We got ‘em all.
• Military – Tactics, strategy, demolitions, vehicle-mounted and crew-served weapons.
• Networking – Finding and making contacts, getting and exchanging favors through Rep. Also physical socializing, etiquette. Determines # of Rep stress boxes.
• Persuasion – Bargaining, haggling, explaining, manipulating. Handling Old Economy transactions.
• Physique – Brute strength and physical resilience. (Special: Morph property only. Determines # of Physical stress boxes.)
• Provoke – Enticing a base emotional response from another, such as anger, hilarity or arousal.
• Resources – Used to obtain goods and services (only large or unusual transactions are likely to come up in play).
• Software – Understanding, programming, fixing and breaking software.
• Somatics – Your skill at making use of any body you find yourself in. A high Somatics rank is why some people are graceful in any form they adopt, and lack thereof is why some people are ’naturally’ clumsy. (This does cover improvisational dancing, doesn’t cover formal or rehearsed dancing (that’s an Art), doesn’t cover stealth, and does cover your ability to not collect bruises from walking into things.)
• Stealth – Sneaking around, avoiding detection.
• Survival – Knowing how to tackle vacuum exposure, deep sea pressures, toxic atmospheres, radiation, and so on. (Since most people live in constructed habitats, if you want to actually know what you’re doing in some particular region of the great outdoors, that’s a specialization by planet and/or ecosystem type.)
• Will – Willpower, stability and resilience of mind. Determines # of Mental stress boxes.
• Academics – “Academics” as a skill on its own is for general knowledge. Trivia bowl winners likely have high Academics but might not have a specialty. Specialize (Academics:(whatever)) for expertise in specific fields. Most people will come out of college with an academic specialty, but you’re not limited to one.
• Art – Creation, evaluation, appreciation.
• Interests – What do you like? What do you pay particular attention to?
• Hobbies – What do you do in your spare time?
• Language – Languages are all specialized. You can apply +2 shifts from skill in a language other than your native tongue to attempts to speak or understand a related language.
• Profession – Ever had a skilled day job? That goes here.
In general, specializations are worth more than a skill, but less than a stunt. Specializing allows you to spend a skill point to expand the range of a skill rather than increasing the number of shifts it adds to your roll. For example, someone sleeved into a Sundiver morph might want to take Survival (Stars) if they plan to venture away from the pod they associate with.
For Networking, specialization means being invested enough in some particular reputation network that people using it are willing to take a different or more nuanced view of your actions than transhumanity at large.