Skills are things that your character has trained to do. The most points you can have in a skill is 6, and the most points a starting character can have in a skill is 2.

You can make a check using any mundane skill regardless of whether you have any skill points in it. You can make a check using a combat skill as long as you are holding a weapon appropriate to the skill. You may only make checks with arcane skills if you have at least one skill point in the skill and you must have the Arcane Talent edge before you can buy skill points with arcane skills. The Alchemy skills are used to create potions, binaries (usually a liquid and a powder that activate when combined) and pastes. You need some ingredients and equipment and a recipe to make checks with alchemy skills.