The Byron is effectively a clockwork hacker, someone who makes their living getting into other people’s information systems. Doing this requires not only technical know-how, but interpersonal Skills. Everyone’s seen the IT security presentation on social engineering, right? A Byron who can weasel their way into the facility, or weasel a password out of an employee, is already halfway into the Engine. (Diplomacy, Lip Reading, Distract, Flirting, Winning Smile) Being able to maintain their cool under pressure, to act like their belong where they are, and to not crack when confronted are also critical abilities. (Acting, Safe Thought) When rumbled, being aware of it and able to make a quick getaway keeps the Byron ready to try again the next day. (Danger Sense, Escape Plan) Finally, no Byron gets to Warden without mastering the art of insult and counter-insult, just for dealing with other Byrons, never mind the general public who don’t know anything about Engines and don’t care. (Taunt, Resist Taunt) The special ability at Warden ties back to social engineering. Getting to know the firm’s Lovelace gives the Byron a chance to know what password might be significant enough to be readily remembered.

The Master Tier is effectively more of the same. The Byron also gains some physical endurance, to be able to survive when the situation goes totally pear-shaped. Undermine can be used to slag off a rival Byron, possibly costing them a business opportunity, but can also be used to create distrust of the security department among the accountants, thereby robbing them of what would otherwise be an ally against the Byron. Given the Byron’s technical focus, and their decidedly logical mindset, they become a bit more resistant to magic. Finally, their special ability lets them listen to an Engine and know what it’s up to, the way an old salt can listen to their ship or a mechanic can listen to a steam engine. This won’t give them the exact data the Engine is handling, but will tell them that it’s running the payroll.

Skills and Abilities

  • Warden
    • Core Skills
      • Danger Sense, Diplomacy, Escape Plan, Impressive Display, Lip Reading, Resist Taunt, Taunt
    • Optional Skills
      • Acting, Distract, Flirting, Knowledge (Law), Leadership, Safe Thought, Winning Smile
    • Abilities
      • The character gains +1 to their Social Defense.
      • The character gains +1 Recovery Test per day.
      • The character may use Karma for any DEX-only Test.
      • Intuitive Guess: With a previously successful Research Test against the Social Defense of an Engine operator or Lovelace, the Byron may divine their console password. The Byron spends 3 points of Strain and makes an Engine Programming Test against the Software Defense of the Mill, at +1 for each extra success in the Research Test. If successful, the Byron guesses the user’s password and gains access to the Engine from the system console.
  • Master
    • Core Skills
      • Conversation, Lasting Impression, Perfect Focus, Second Chance, Undermine
    • Optional Skills
      • Avoid Blow, Inspire Others, Resist Pain, Shake It Off, Wound Balance
    • Abilities
      • The character’s Max Karma increases by 15.
      • The character gains +2 to their Mystic Defense.
      • Reading the Machine: The Byron has become so attuned to Engine operations that they can mentally resolve the sound or visual representation of unencrypted Engine data on the fly. Upon listening to an Engine in operation, or seeing the pattern of electrical or hydraulic signals in a line, the Byron can spend 5 Strain and make an Engine Programming Test to interpret the sound or image into data in their head. Accuracy is determined by the number of successes. On a Rule Of One result, the Byron badly misinterprets the data and takes double Strain, possibly resulting in a Wound.