“You misunderstand my devotion to fulfilling my calling in the Worker Caste with blind ignorance at your own risk, human.”
Talking about the Babylon 5 2e rules with a friend years ago led to a the enduring belief that a Worker Caste Minbari Worker would be one of the most effective and statistically frightening characters to build. So I built one. Reviews of the game would take jabs at it for having a Worker class sometimes, but when you dig into it you find a lot of really great and useful parts. A Worker class can be white collar, blue collar, or a performer meaning that small variations on this one class let you play the dockworker, the lawyer, and the lounge singer equally so if you are out exploring, you should hope you have a Worker to do the repair work on your ship or a Worker who is your entry to high society and myriad other possibilities. Similarly, the Worker Caste of the Minbari is the least developed in the show, but also factors into an intriguing development of the Minbari as a whole late in the show.
In the world of Babylon 5, a Blue Collar Technician and Pilot still needs to have a high Intelligence. After the bonus to Strength and Penalty to Charisma all Minabri have, Durvoon’s Ability Scores are: Strength 17, Dexterity 10, Constitution, 12, Intelligence 16, Wisdom 15, Charisma 10. Additionally, Durvoon has bonuses to Initiative and Concentration. As a Worker Caste, he has bonuses to Computer Use, Operations, and Technical checks plus can attempt any Technical Check untrained. Now, you begin to see why the Worker Caste plus Worker Class is beautiful synergy.
For skills, I started with maxing out Computer Use, Operations in both Technical and Sensors, and all three Technical skills – electronics, engineering, and mechanical. I spread a few points around to skills like Drive and Pilot for future developments.
For feats, Durvoon picked up Spacecraft proficiency because I want him to grow into being the pilot if this crew ever were to set out as backup for one of Mia’s later in life cover jobs. The class skill of Vocation Bonus allows the character to have a bonus equal to their Class level to any one class skill – I chose Computer Use. Between the Worker Caste bonus and the Vocation Bonus, Durvoon is not just the future pilot but also the hacker of the group if they need to get into any systems!
For Influence, Mia starts with 1D4 influence in two different influences. Minbari Worker Caste Influence seems appropriate as does Earth Economic with rolls respectively of 3 and 2.
Some simple weapons like a comically large wrench with which to bludgeon offending Drazi, and modest quarters for one devoted to a life of toil and Durvoon is now present.
Advancement in the d20/OGL system is a straightforward affair where saving throws, base attack bonuses, and skills all have improvements as the character levels. Keeping the six skills listed above maxed out, I turn to adding more knowledges to remove the computer and technical penalty with Earth Alliance equipment. Workers get no new class abilities by third level, but for his general Feat I add Spaceship Dodge to keep that piloting thing going. For advancing Influence, Mia has minorly increased those original Influences to 4 and 3 respectively while adding a single rank of Influence in each Narn Economic and Centari Economic factions from his interactions in the blue collar daily bustle of Babylon 5.
For the Minbari, the Worker Caste ensures that the Federation continues apace. The Worker caste builds, memorializes, and fixes the artifacts and trappings of the Minbari. Durvoon is one such Minbari. Other interstellar governments think rarely of the Worker Caste, because it is the Warrior Caste and Religious Caste who take the spotlight. Neither fighter nor diplomat, the Workers work. Durvoon has learned the ins and outs of Minbari technology, and is even fluent in the usage of Earth Alliance technology. His personal achievements were part of why he was chosen as an exceptional member of the caste to live on Babylon 5 supporting the Diplomatic mission and any travelling Minbari who would come through.
Durvoon did harbor some secrets – he found space to be thrilling. It was in space, and when flying a spaceship that he felt most alive and most at peace with his part of constructing and tending these ships in Valen’s name. His eyes would drift upward when on planet, in wonderment often more befitting the Religious Caste, but keeping his feet firmly planted on the ground beneath him. Durvoon’s temper could certainly be something that flares up as he grows weary of being shunted aside – while he may agree with the decisions being made by the warrior caste and the religious caste, the decision to go to war should never be made without the voices of those who build the weapons of war and who inhabit the planets left to be targeted.
A study in contradictions, of a calm and dedicated worker who carries out his job without embellishment and the short tempered idealist who yearns to fly. In Nakir’s, he has found those with whom he can share that even if alcohol is not in a Minbari’s diet, especially Stephen who feels a similar pull but from the human side of things.
There is a great upheaval in Durvoon’s future. For once, it isn’t about the War that is coming, but the fallout of the War in the Minbari Society. As he diligently toils, Minbari culture is reshaped and he will be at the heart of the remaking of the Grey Council. The Council traditions are to be broken shortly, and when they are finally reforged it is with a new set of traditions where the Worker Caste is no longer the underfoot and overlooked. Durvoon may be a leader of the Worker Caste, not quite a Satai standing between shadow and light but holding more in his hands than perhaps was planned.
Durvoon Minbari Worker Sheet