Circles Questions

A couple simple Circles questions for ya:

  1. In Circles, it says at one point that circled NPCs are people you know; at another point, it says they are people from whom you get info and services. Which is more accurate? Is it necessary that a PC know a circled NPC from his past?

  2. I’m wondering about NPC disposition over multiple Circles rolls. After the first roll, the NPC is presumably hostile, friendly, or neutral (or close to one of these). Future Circles rolls imply a new dispo, but we’ve already established that in previous encounters. Then at the end, when a relationship is established, the same situation occurs. How do GMs handle this constant change in dispo? What is the final dispo of an NPC who becomes a relationship? E.g., I Circle up the blacksmith 6 times to make him a relationship; 50% of the time is success, 50% is enmity.

  1. I always treat it as “these are people who travel in the same circles as you do.” Maybe you know them. Maybe they are a friend of a friend. Maybe someone you know knows a guy…I don’t think it matters much as long as you fill in the fiction about how you find them and why it’s them you find.

  2. To me, Dispo doesn’t change between circles rolls. That’s what playing is for. I think the book has a section From Friends to Enemies or some such that deals with circles and changing dispo.

Also remember that failing a circles roll is the same as failing any other test. Especially if it’s someone who you have prevously established as likes you. So if you’re circling up the named blacksmith a second time and fail, it could be that he’s now working for someone who doesn’t like you (enmity clause, you have to go through the guy who doesn’t like you to get to your buddy) or he’s been run out of town, or there is some other complication going on that makes it impossible (or annoying, in the case of the enmity clause) to deal with him.

Don’t forget that Let It Ride applies to Circles. Once an NPC has been Circled up, the PCs shouldn’t have to roll again unless circumstances have changed.

…this session.

I find Circles to be more useful when there is an invented connection between the two characters. Thus, you both know them and want something from them.