Just getting acquainted with this system (which I love so far). One thing about skills and difficulty levels has me a bit perplexed, though. It seems like the easiest possible skill tests can be failed by very able characters a surprisingly high fraction of the time.
Looking at the sample characters, a 60 is about as high as their skills get in most cases. This fits with the skill ranges table on p. 174, which says that a 60 is equivalent to PhD-level expertise. A 50 is supposed to be a pretty high level of expertise.
But then the highest difficulty bonus you can get is +30 for an "effortless" task. Combine these two, and the rules are saying that someone with a PhD in mathematics will fail at an effortless math problem 9 percent of the time, and someone with "some advanced training" will fail 19 percent of the time.
That seems like a pretty high failure rate at the easiest possible tasks for highly qualified characters. Do people tend to play this way in practice?