YAGS is designed as a generic system that works across many settings and genres, but it is designed to be a modular framework more than a single system. Characters in one setting won't necessarily be created in exactly the same way as one in another setting. In this sense, it is more like d20 than GURPS.
In order to try and simplify things though, the following skills are meant to be common across all settings and genres. This doesn't mean to say that there couldn't be exceptions, but the following skills should be relatively setting neutral.
The eight basic talents are the same for all characters, and are often defaults of more complicated skills. All characters begin with a score of 2 in these skills, so can use them with a reasonable level of confidence.
- Athletics - Running, jumping, climbing, swimming and other physical feats which generally require full body movement. They are often based off of Strength, Health or Agility.
- Awareness - Noticing things around you, either actively or passively. This is nearly always Perception based, but may sometimes be Intelligence based for remembering things or spotting things which are out of place.
- Brawl - Fighting by punching, kicking, dodging and wrestling, or any other means of using your body as a weapon. It also covers small or improvised weapons such as clubs and knives. Generally Agility based. It does allow the use of any melee weapon with some limitations.
- Charm - Being nice to people by appearing open, friendly and honest. It does not cover being directly dishonest. Can be used when calming someone, or when carousing at a party. Generally Empathy based.
- Guile - Lying to people, or noticing when they are lying. It is often Empathy based to notice when others are being deceitful, or Will based when trying to be deceitful yourself.
- Sleight - Sleight of hand, trickery and other feats of manual dexterity. Includes tricks such as juggling, and can also help in tying or untying knots, picking locks or pockets. Based on Dexterity.
- Stealth - Being quiet and stealthy, hiding from sight and not making a noise. Often Agility based to be quiet.
- Throw - Throwing and catching things, such as knives, rocks and spears. Can also be used with bows and guns, though with restrictions. Generally Perception.
The following are common combat skills. Some may be unavailable due to technology limitations.
- Bow - Using a bow or crossbow in combat. Based on Perception.
- Guns - Using a pistol or rifle. Based on Perception.
- Melee - Fighting with melee weapons in combat, based on Dexterity.
- Tactics - Knowing how to use small team tactics in combat, often based on Intelligence.
- Art - Skill at painting and drawing
- Dance - Skill at dancing
- Gamble - Skill and knowledge of games of chance
- Game - Skill at board games or similar tactical games
- Intrigue - Politics and subtle diplomacy
- Perform - Performance skills such as poetry, oratory, acting and singing
- Play - Skill at playing a musical instrument
- Teach - Teaching other people
- Trade - Selling and buying things, bargaining.
- Animal Handling
- First Aid