Most actions in the game are those related to Skills. (That doesn’t mean, however, that you always have the Skill you need in a given situation! – See Unskilled Actions)
When a player declares an action, the Game Master determines the appropriate Attribute and Skill required. Remember that when you don’t have the specialty, you can always use the General Skill instead. The dice are rolled, added together, and the total is compared to the Difficulty Chart to determine success. There is no universal pairing of Skills with any one Attribute. As circumstances change, so do the rolls required. The GM is the final word on which Attribute and Skill go together for a particular action.
Kaylee is trying to repair Serenity’s navigational controls in mid-flight. The GM secretly determines that this is a Hard action (Difficulty 11), and decides Intelligence + Mechanical Engineering/Repair are the Attribute and Skill required. The player rolls the dice and hopes for the best.
A simple example involves running across a room, with varying details: Athletics/Running +
• The room is empty, requiring only speed to make it to the other side – Strength.
• The room has obstacles, requiring some manoeuvring to avoid them – Agility.
• The room has caltrop-mines scattered all about, requiring extreme care not to set them off – Alertness.