Hi yall, couple sessions into my first Burning Wheel campaign. I feel comfortable working in NPC’s from relationships or circles tests. However, I find myself a little unsure of how to go about introducing NPC’s from a PC’s circle when they are not actively trying to make a circles roll.
As an example to hopefully show this better, one of the PC’s is a member of a gang. Suppose I want to introduce the gang’s accountant so they can cause some problem for the PC related to a belief of theirs. I’m not really sure what the best intended procedure is for bringing them into the picture and fleshing out their current relationship with the PC. Do I say “PC, the accountant Joe is at your door. You obviously know Joe being a member of the gang, let’s do a circles test to see if it’s a good relationship”? The PC wasn’t looking for them, so it doesn’t feel like the proper time for a circles test.
Or do I say “Joe is at the door, he always causes you problems and it looks like he’s here with another”? I think this is part of a broader uncertainty for me right now, in that the game is so driven by the characters and their pursuit of their beliefs, that it kinda feels a bit off for me to decide things like that without a roll. It’s one thing if I introduce an NPC that had no connection to the PC’s at all, since then I feel like I have full authority over what their deal is. But when it’s me introducing NPC’s from the PC’s background/circles to challenge a belief, is it OK for me to have full authority over what their deal is since they didn’t seek them out with a circles test? Any advice for dealing with this kind of situation would be greatly appreciated!