This means that a fresh student at the Engineering school can handle all systems (J-Drive, M-Drive, Power plant and Life Support) at a rudimentary level. With practice and experience he will eventually specialize in e.g. J-Drive. This makes skill 0 very powerful and specialization in J-Drive is just a minor improvement (DM +1 in one out of four possible fields).CRB p 56.
Some skills have specialities – specialised, more focussed forms of that skill. A Traveller picks a speciality when he gains level 1 in a skill that has two or more specialities.
For example, a Traveller might have Engineer 0, allowing him to make Engineer skill checks without the unskilled penalty. He might then gain a level in Engineer, at which point he would need to choose a speciality. For Engineer, this is a choice between jump drive, manoeuvre drive, power plant and
electronics(should be Life Support).
My idea that I would like to hear your opinions on is that specialization could be made already at skill 0, and that you don’t get any knowledge in related fields until you have reached skill 1. Example: The fresh student at the Engineering school learns Engineering (J-Drive) 0 but that does not give him any knowledge with M-Drive, Power plant or Life Support. With practice and experience he will eventually reach Engineering (J-Drive) 1 and can then also be expected to have picked up the basics (i.e. skill 0) in the other three fields. This makes skill 1 very powerful on the expense of skill 0.
Another example is Gun Combat. A recruit goes through basic training and learns to handle an assault rifle, Gun Combat (slug) 0. As his proficiency with weapons increases and he gains Gun Combat (slug) 1, he has also learned the basics of energy weapons and can use them with skill 0.
What pros and cons can you see with this approach?