In designing a Byron, you have to get your mindset into the highly intelligent but sneaky type who is subverting the status quo for one reason or another. Perception is going to be a common theme across a lot of the Cermak Street Irregulars, but Herbert has a high premium on Dexterity to sneak as well. I left his Dexterity at a Step 6 with a 15 because that is a threshold where a single increase in Dexterity to a 16 will raise the Step.
WIth his Professional Skill of Engine Programming, I selected slots for Awareness, Cryptography, Mechanic, Knowledge(Finance), Firearms, and Stealthy Stride. For his free slots in Knowledge Skills, he has a working knowledge of Building Security related to his avocation of sneaking in and manipulating the Engines that power the Steam Age. His other knowledge skill is Anarchist philosophy that he has learned avidly starting with his father’s teachings. His General Free Skills were Melee Weapons and Artist (Painter) showing his range as a person having been taught Arts both Martial and Fine.
With that 3000 Adventure points, the first thing I did was raise the level of Dexterity to increase his Step by 1 with 800 of them. After raising enough Core and Optional Skills to qualify for Professional Rank 2, and Novice Tier, I added Durability for 100 Adventure Points and added the ability to read both Greek and Latin, though English will escape him at time from his native German. His new Core and Optional skills were Detect Trap and Lock Picking to help his sneaking abilities.
On the low end of the social class scale, there is not much in the way of gear to worry about equipping. Von Kalben is certainly competent in a fight if not extraordinary, but he functions well as an infiltrator and serves a significant function as a Byron in and of itself.
Herbert von Kalben does not the British Empire. Actually, Herbert does not like any of the existing empires and nations as an anarchist. Herbert’s father was one of the original Byrons who absconded with Engine designs from International Calculating Engines, Ltd. in 1845. You see, the original First Generation of Byrons were employees of ICE that ran off with the designs of the Difference Engines and Analytic Engines just as the first Analytic Engines were unveiled. They passed this information on in the shadows of the empire and have continued to push and prod as the Engines have taken on a larger role in the day to day life of the 1860s and 1870s. Herbert’s father had returned to his native Prussia knowing his countryfolk would adopt this technology quickly. It was late in his father’s life that Herbert was born, 1855 to be precise.
Herbert grew up on the run in Prussia with his Father. It may have been a chaotic life, staying just one step ahead of the authorities, but Herbert was not deprived of a good education. Between teachings on anarchist philosophy, Herbert was schooled by different tutors and his father in finance, history, fine arts, and fencing. Herbert learned the Heidelberg school style of Schlaeger fencing, holding his sword in high prime and striking for the head and face; he earned a dueling scar himself across his cheek in one of his trainings adding to his rakish and striking appearance. Never staying in the same place for long has made Herbert long for a home and his appreciation for painting grows from creating a physical form to record his memories.
While his father has passed on, Herbert carries with him his father’s story in his attempts to upend the status quo and continuing to manipulate the engines that are taking away more and more freedom and capability from humanity. As Prussian implemented Prussian Socialism, measuring and quantifying all that their citizens did, Herbert knew he had to find a new home. In London, Herbert blends into the Hackney background, quietly working his craft in the birthplace of the Engines. The Cermak Street Irregulars have been an opportunity for Herbert to test his theories about humanity, engaging in debates with Reginald, watching Richie, but finding a true friend in Flo. The two will compare notes on mechanical contraptions, and when the two of them are joined by Pleasance, you can see the future unfolding in their work.
Fillable PDF Sheet from FASA Games.
1879™ is a Trademark of FASA Corporation. The Grosvenor Land™, The Gruv™, and the Samsut™ are Trademarks of FASA Corporation. This fan work does not claim or imply a claim to any marks or copyrights claimed by the FASA Corporation or other copyright holders. Please visit FASA Games for more information about 1879.