Originally Posted by Glimbur
One possibility is that putting points into a skill that don't directly cause a skill rank increase instead gets you a skill trick. For example, at 4th level a rogue puts a 4th skill point in to Stealth. This does not increase the rank in Stealth, but it does make available, say, a skill trick to hide as a swift action instead of a move action, or something like that.
This does mean that skill tricks will not happen until level 4ish, which could be an issue. It does mean that saving up for the next rank hurts a little less, and gives an answer to "how do I get better than S at a skill?" It also reduces the glut of skill tricks somewhat, as the average S ranked skill will have 3 skill tricks. Rogues can have 8 skills S ranked at level 8, so they have 24 skill tricks. This is a lot of options, but options are good. Use the action economy to make them expensive, and also to give rogues and other people things to do with their swift actions.
This is pretty similar to unsorta's idea.
That isn't really how S rank works. You have to pay the number of skill points just to get past your first rank. So, for instance:
|Rank||Total Skill Ranks|
This is the total Skill Ranks needed to be invested for each actual rank.