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Wow. The roles of the patrons in the family are really clever. Great material for making interesting characters.

A little curious about the absence of a skills list, except I figure one could easily fill that in with player creations.

Since there were little room, I just choose to let that in the hands of the players. So far in all my 24XX games there was almost no unreasonable suggestions of skills in advancement. When tone is right, I guess is best to just go with the flow.

Yes, I like your design choice. The patrons influences are far more interesting than a list of skills that the players could probably infer / invent for themselves.