Pytorb wrote: What I have done though is said that a character starts as deficient in one of the two handling skills as it would be a rare culture that emphasises both equally. In game terms it also means that the decision to be deficient in an ability during character creation isn't deminished by adding an extra Ability.
As I understand the game mechanics standard non-deficiency (rank 2) is in general not caused by "nurture" but "nature", i.e. inherent abilities and not training. So being deficient in something just because your culture does not emphasize it seems strange to me (although in some cases, such as the standard Wildlings status 1, it seems justified).
I have also toyed with the idea of adding extra skills. If I'd do it, I would just add it at rank 2 (so not give the players a penalty choice).
Of course you can only do this so often until you will also have to adjust the starting exp. Adding two new ability types would involve re-calculating starting experience: e.g. so two extra ability (21 instead of the original 19), which will start at their natural rank 2, will e.g. mean 230 starting xp for an adult character instead of 210. Of course you can only do that so often until you have to start adjusting exp handed out during play.
So, best not to add too many new abilities. Especially since all current abilities are used in some meaningful way in the game system. Putting new abilities in means you will have to start looking for ways to integrate them in the game's systems.
Would be interesting to see a developer commentary on this aspect of the rules and possible modifications. Any plans in the future to use the chronicle system for more modern settings and how are you thinking of going about this (also with e.g. the upcoming magic system)?