In addition to the general skill score, a character will have specialisation bonus scores in one or more areas of specialisation within the skill; these bonus scores add to the character's skill score when he/she does something within that area of specialisation.
The basic rule is that for each point of skill score the character has, he/she also receives one point that he/she can allocate to a specialist area of the skill. If he/she has enough points to allocate, he/she can allocate points to several different specialist areas within the skill, or he/she can allocate all the points to one specialism.
There are two types of specialist area:
Examples of specialist areas. For the Riding skill, one of the broad specialist areas is Horses; if a character allocated a point to this, he/she would gain a +1/2 bonus to his/her Riding when riding any horse. Alternatively, one of the narrow specialist areas is a particular mount; if a character allocated a point to this, he/she would gain a +1 bonus to his/her Riding when riding that particular mount.
Each skill has broad and narrow specialist areas defined for it - see the detailed description of skills for these.
If a character has a half-point in a skill, he/she receives a half-point to allocate to a specialism. This can be allocated only to a narrow specialist area, and gives a + 1/2 bonus to his/her skill score when he/she attempts something related to the specialist area.
For example, Cogan has a Combat skill score of 6 1/2; he chooses to have specialism bonuses of +1 Speed (Broad), +1 Soaking (Broad), and + 2 1/2 Punch (Narrow).