Even though the cost is 8 I thought it would be the level of the linked characteristic? Mainly due to the idea of level caps and in the rules it stats that the starting value is X(x being the linked characteristic). So if you only had a five agility it would be 5 to start(or depending on the martial arts out of the Martial arts/magic book it would be the linked X.
From what I read in the book the starting value of a skill is whatever the linked characteristic is. IE if Joey Nimble Knuckles has an Agility of 8 his starting martial arts skill is then an eight unless he pays character points to push it past what his stat value is. Is this correct or do you add skill and characteristic IE eight plus whatever the skills level is? So if his stat was eight and he paid the points for two levels(a massive 13 total points) is he then rolling 10 dice?