Skill Columns

Hello again, Gang. Me again. Yeah. Me.
So you want to gain some skills, huh? Increase your Supernatural and/or… Natural abilities? Well keep in mind there are some limitations to how skills can be raised in the game. Mostly, just keep in mind that in the pyramid layout of skills on your character sheet, you can’t have a filled-in skill box above an empty skill box in the lower rank. (You cannot have more skills in Fair than you do in Average, etc.) I’ve added the text from the corebook below. It’s probably best if you take a moment to read page 258-259 for yourself.

Skill Columns
During character creation, you organized your skills into a pyramid. You don’t have to stick to that for character advancement. However, there’s still a limitation you have to deal with, skill columns. This means you can’t have more skills at a certain rank than you have at the rank below it. So if you have three Good columns, you must have at least three Average (1) skills and at least three Fair (2) skills to support your three Good (3) skills.
The pyramid follows this rule already, but when you’re adding skills, you
need to make sure you don’t violate that limit. It’s easy to forget that if you
use a skill point to upgrade one of your own skills, you might suddenly not
have enough skills to “support” it at the new rank.

So let’s say you have one Good (3), two Fair (2), and three Average (1) skills. Your distributions look roughly like this:
Good: Will
Fair: Provoke Rapport
Average: Deceive Contacts Resources

At a milestone, you want to upgrade a Fair (2) skill to Good (3). That’d give you two Good (3), one Fair (2), and three Average (1)

Good: Will Rapport
Fair: Provoke
Average: Deceive Contacts Resources

You see how that doesn’t work? You’re now missing the second Fair skill you’d need to be square with the rules. When this happens, you have one of two options. You can buy a new skill at the lowest possible rank—in this case, Average (1)—and then upgrade it in subsequent milestones until you’re in a position to bump the skill you want to the appropriate level. Or you can “bank” the skill point, not spend it now, and wait until you’ve accumulated enough to buy a skill at whatever rank you need to support the move.
So in the case above, you could buy an Average (1) skill, promote one of your Average skills to a Fair (2), then bump the original skill up to Good (3). That would take three significant or major milestones to do. Or, you could wait, bank up three skill points, buy a new skill at Fair (2), then bump the original skill up to Good (3). It just depends on whether you want to put new stuff on your sheet or not in the interim.

EXAMPLE
Zird gets a significant milestone after the end of a scenario. He gains an additional skill point.
Ryan looks at his character sheet, and decides he wants to take his Notice up from Fair (2) to Good (3). He knows that’s going to screw him up with the rules, though, so instead, he decides to take Resources at Average (1)—the PCs have been on a few lucrative adventures lately, and he figures that’s his opportunity to create a sense of stable wealth.
If he waits two more milestones, he’ll be able to put one of his Average skills at Fair (2), and then bump his Notice up to Good (3) like he originally wanted.
He also has the opportunity to take one of the benefits from a minor milestone. He has been in a lot of fights this game so far, and feels like his Not the Face! is getting old, considering the number of times his character has been hit in the face. He replaces it with Hit Me, and There Will Be Consequences, to reflect his changing attitude about the violence he encounters.

Skill Columns

Fate Core: 1985 RPGuy