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Much of your life in Aetolia will revolve around your skills. Skills are either sets of abilities or a single ability representing how well you do something (like dodge arrows and sword blows, for instance). Typing SKILLS or AB will list which ones you have, and typing HELP <skill name> will give you some more information on each skill. Furthermore, many skills have anywhere from 20 to 50 abilities within the skill. An ability could be an individual spell, or something like a particular type of kick or swordstroke.

You'll notice, when you type SKILLS that next to the name of each skill will be a word, like Inept. This word indicates your general proficiency in that skill. As your proficiency in that skill increases, you will gain more abilities, in the case of skills which have abilities in them, or you will grow better at whatever that skill represents. For instance, as you increase your Philosophy, you will take less and less damage from attacks on your mind (psionic attacks). The word next to your skill will also change, indicating your increased mastery of that skill. To see a list of skill ranks, see SkillRanks.

You will notice that when you type SKILLS, mention is made of both skills and 'miniskills'. Miniskills differ from skills only in that they take far fewer lessons to master (see Lessons).

Though the general skills that you start off with are useful, it is the class-specific skills that make up the core of your character. To gain these sets of skills, all of which will have many abilities in them, you will need to join a guild or house.