From the wiki:
General Knowledge is a roleplay skill for smart characters that lets your character learn things while not on a mission. Prior to each mission starting, you are permitted to choose a number of things that you want your character to learn. The number of things you're allowed to try to learn is dependent on your GK skill value.
When choosing things, you arrange your choices in order of prioritization, from "thing I want the most" to "thing I want the least". When the GM rolls all the dice, the dice will be arranged from greatest to lowest. The GM may also apply bonuses/penalties to each item ranging from -4 to +4, based entirely on their own discretion.
Here's a helpful table:
- -2 GK: 0 chances per mission (0% success rate)
- -1 GK: 3 chances per mission (16% success rate)
- 0 GK: 3 chances per mission (28% success rate)
- 1 GK: 3 chances per mission (42% success rate)
- 2 GK: 4 chances per mission (57% success rate)
- 3 GK: 5 chances per mission (71% success rate)
- 4 GK: 7 chances per mission (83% success rate)
- It must be something most characters don't have access to
- It must not be something you could replicate with higher stats/skills, or, if so, only functions in very specific circumstances
- If it would never come up in the future (so you could never use it) or it's something that the GM would never allow, the GM will tell the player this and give them a chance to change it, unless the player consistently requests things like this. When the GM is annoyed, all bets are off.
Requests are more likely to receive bonuses if they:
- …fit your character well - both in terms of personality, and stats/skills
- …fit the story and setting well
- …make things more fun - not just for you, but for all the other players as well
Requests are more likely to receive penalties if they:
- …"make things easier"
- …make your character more "badass" or powerful
- …make more sense as a combat skill than a roleplay skill
- …are difficult to vocally roleplay (i.e. skills that are displayed primarily through actions instead of speech)
- …don't make sense with your character
- …aren't things you could learn with available materials and time