Please share with me your thoughts - What I see is:
I like the idea of skill groups for several reasons. One is that it lets you build a character faster - thinking you might want to be a gamer, but not knowing yet which game you want to specialize in you can just take the group skill "games" and move on! At a point in the story, if things develop to where you might want to be a specialist in a specific game it would be nice for the game to provide a way to transition.
Currently the book reads that there is not a compatibility between group skills and sub skills, and recommends against having these develop during the game - I don't really like this... The game may change shape as it is being played, and sometimes a variety of challenges can help keep a game fresh. If we take the general skill of games and then make a sub-skill Go, that wouldn't mean the causal "gamer" wouldn't be able to play Go against the specialist... just that they wouldn't perform nearly as well. I'd like to see some way to run a group skill vs a subskill in a check.
I would give my players the ability to transition any group skill to a sub skill at any time. When they do this the ranks in their current group skill would then become the specialist skill. I would allow this as a 1 way transition at any time, as it shows the character developing and becoming more detailed, and I see this as a good thing. I would counsel the player to consider the matter before making the change as I don't think I would freely allow a character to back out of a subskill as easily, so it should be something they are certain about.
There are two situations where comparing the abilities of a group skill user and a subskill user could come into play. Either there is a static test they are both able to attempt, or a competitive check between them. If it is a static test designed for a specialized skill would you accept using a general skill with a penalty? What measure of penalty would be appropriate? How would you handle competitive checks between a group skill and a subskill?
If you would rather be more ridged to limit players from developing a group skill into a sub skill, or you like the idea of separating the interactions between group and sub skills, what are your reasons why?