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Old January 24th, 2014, 01:30 AM
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Now here is my first PC for this campaign, Lt. Joseph McFinn, US Army Cavalry officer with strong interests and talents in Engineering.

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Lt. Joe McFinn, Rough-n-Tough Engineer

(actual service as US Army Cavalry officer, but retained interest in engineering after West Point)

Stats: 4-5-4-5-2-1

Strength: 4
_ Fisticuffs: 3
_ Throwing: 2
_ Close Combat: +1 +1 =2 (Edged)
_ Trimsman:

Agility: 5
_ Stealth: 4
_ Riding (American): +3 (Horse)
_ Marksman:
_ _ Rifle/Shotgun: +1 +1 =2
_ _ Pistol: +1
_ _ Bow: +1
_ Crime:
_ Mechanics:
_ _ Machinist: +2
_ _ Steam: +1
_ _ Electricity: +1

Endurance: 4
_ Wilderness Travel:
_ _ Foraging: 3 +1 =4
_ _ Mapping: +1 +1 +2 =4
_ _ Mountaineering: +2
_ Fieldcraft:
_ Swimming: 2
_ Tracking:

Intellect: 5
_ Observation: 4 +1 =5
_ Engineering:
_ _ Fortification: +3 +1 =4
_ _ Structural: +2 +1 =3
_ _ Explosives: +2 +2 =4
_ _ Naval Architecture: +2
_ Science:
_ Gunnery: +1 (Gatling)

Charisma: 2
_ Eloquence: 1
_ Theatrics:
_ Bargaining:
_ Linguistics:

Social Level: 1
_ Riding (European):
_ Piloting:
_ Leadership: +2
_ Medicine:

Default skills from Stats: Fist 3, Throw 2, Stealth 4, WT(Maps) 3, Swim 2, Obsrv 4, Eloquence 1

Career Skills: US Army Cavalry Officer: Engineer(Fort) 3, WT(Maps) 1, Leadership 2, Marksman(Rifle) 1, CloseCbt 1, Riding 3, WT(maps) 1, Obsvn 1

General Skill Points (6): CloseCbt 1 (1 pt), WT(Foraging) 1 (1 pt), Engr(Fort) 1 (0.5 pt), Engr(Explosives) 2 (1 pt), Engr(Structural) 1 (0.5 pt), Mechanics(Machinist) 2 (1 pt), Marksman(Rifle) 1 (0.5 pt), Gunnery 1 (0.5 pt)

Derived Cascade Skills: WT(Maps) 2, WT(Mtn) 2, Engr(Exp) 2, Engr(Struct) 2, Engr(Naval) 2, Marksman(Pistol) 1, Marksman(Bow) 1, Mech(Steam) 1, Mech(Elec) 1

Areas for Desired Improvement In-Game: Fieldcraft, CloseCbt, Rifle, Mechanics, Riding, Gunnery

Appearance:

Joe McFinn is of medium height, but strongly built, as someone accustomed to physical labor. He has straight, black hair and originally a rather pale complexion that led to frequent sunburn when he served out West; he has now spent enough years in the outdoors that his skin is a very light brown. Green eyes glint with hidden merriment or mischief. He will be dressed appropriately for the occasion, although he will appear slightly uncomfortable in anything dressier than work clothes or field uniform. He wears long sideburns, and occasionally grows a fashionable mustache, but usually finds comfort more important than fashion within a month or two and shaves it off. He has tried to lose his Ozarks hillbilly accent since going East to West Point, but has not been entirely successful, which sometimes leads to him being taken less seriously than his intellect warrants.

Personal History:

Joe Bob McFinn was born in 1857 in the southern part of Crawford County, Missouri, in a little river valley community that had no name, not even any local business other than farming the bits of bottomland that were level enough to take a plow (and with mule-drawn plows, that didn't have to be real level). With very little formal schooling (the nearest school was xx miles away, and his parents only sent him in the winter when farmwork was less), he showed a surprising natural intellect and talent at figuring, building, and machinery (mostly fixing springs, gears, and drive-chains on worn-out mule-drawn farm equipment). This reputation, however, came to the attention of a rich (by comparison) uncle who lived over in Rolla, a town on the Frisco Railroad that was home to the recently-founded Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy. The uncle saw prospects in young Joe Bob and decided to keep him close, and let the family owe him a favor, by getting Joe Bob a scholarship at age 17 to the new state land grant engineering school. Joe Bob was elated when he passed the entrance exams with flying colors, although he was assigned a class in remedial English due to his accent and vocabulary.

Joe Bob's fortunes were to take another change, however, as one of his professors in explosives was also a reserve US Army officer, and this Prof. Rufus Callahan (Major, US Army Reserve) decided that Joe Bob would make an excellent Army officer, and persuaded him to take the exams for West Point. He passed the exams, and left MSM after his freshman year. Joe Bob's parents were excited for him, although somewhat taken aback at the idea of their boy getting on a train and going back East to learn to be a soldier. Joe Bob took the opportunity to dignify his name as recorded in the family Bible, and when he entered West Point in the fall of 1875, he was sworn in as Cadet Joseph Robert McFinn (even for friends, he dropped the Bob and just went by Joe). He graduated in 1879 in the top 25% of his class and hoped to be allowed to continue studying science and engineering, but fate had other plans and the Army decided that Joe was needed as a Cavalry officer out West.

Lt. Joseph McFinn of the U.S. Cavalry became a reasonably skilled rider, although nowhere near as good as most of his long-term troopers. Joe learned to listen carefully to his experienced sergeants and corporals, and even to seek their advice as much as protocol would allow. He learned to keep in mind where the next water and food for his men and horses would be expected, and to plan for alternatives if plans proved unworkable. He learned to keep scouts not only ahead of his column, but also to the sides and rear. His skin burned, then tanned, then burned some more, then acquired a permanent light brown tan. He served under grizzled Civil War veteran officers and under young Captains with scarcely more experience than himself. Somehow, through all of this, he managed to keep himself alive - and more important to him, he kept most of his men alive, too.

Late in 1888, while settled in winter quarters in northwestern Nebraska, Joe wrote a paper on his experiences and his advice for some changes of regulation procedure based on his experience and his engineering training (which he had continued to study in the field and by subscribing to publications), and submitted it to both the War Office and to one of his professors at West Point. The results were not at all what he expected; rather than being ignored (most likely), reprimanded (next highest in probability) or brought back East to discuss his ideas (his dream, but not really expected), he found himself going to Mars, something he had not even dreamed of.

[I will leave it to Timerover as GM as to whether Joe is going to Mars on official assignment, or temporary detached duty, or irritated someone so badly that he was forced to resign his commission and just lucked into a job on this expedition.]

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Last edited by SpaceBadger; January 25th, 2014 at 05:23 PM.. Reason: added details; just fixing some stuff
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