Circles, Relationships, Subordinates: Who to burn up?

Ok, so we’ve got Relationships, and those are fully burned NPC’s that the GM runs, correct? According to p. 345 “Relationships are characters similar to the ones the players control. They possess their own goals and Beliefs, their own back stories, their own skills, Circles, Resources and tech.

Then we’ve got “Subordinates” like a Kerrn or Stentor, which are 2 point relationships that never leave their superior’s side, like a bodyguard. These are burned up and run by the PLAYER, right?

According to P: 119 “The burden for creating and managing such characters is on the player who brought them into the game. It is permissible for a player to take on two roles in this case, but if he doesn’t burn him, he can’t benefit from him.”

In my campaign, we have several people with enough reputations, affiliations, and circles to one-roll create relationships with most of the people they Circles up.

My Questions are:
Do we have to burn up EVERY relationship?
The Subordinate is the ONLY other fully PC controlled NPC out there, right? ALL relationships are under the purview of the GM?

You’re correct. Relationships are burned by the GM (as necessary) and Bodyguards/Stentors are burned by the player.

Relationships can be burned or not, depending on how often they’re expected to recur and how important their skills are. If you Circled up a guy for his Tactics exponent and that’s all that’s important, then there’s no need to really burn him, even if you made him a relationship in one roll. All we really care about is his Tactics exponent, and we already have that.

However, if the character starts to take on significance, and his Beliefs and a broad range of his skills become important, then it’s probably time to burn him. A good rule of thumb: If a PC or GM FoN has a Belief about a character, you should probably burn that character.

Ah ha, thank you Thor. In our game, we’d been kinda separating out who burns them and runs them by side. Unless it was a “complicated” relationship, PC’s would burn and run their own relationships. This, combined with our misuse of the helping dice rules was causing some pretty serious power imbalances.

But what about my second question: A Kerrn/Stentor “subordinate” is the ONLY other fully Player-run character right?

The main distinction I’m looking for here, is a 2nd in Command of a Gang or Crew would in fact be run by the GM, right?

There is some degree of shared authorship that goes on with subordinate (Kerrn/Stentor, relationships, 2ics, circled up folk) characters but they primarily belong to the person who spend the points or did the circling. For instance, if you have bought a 2ic as a relationship and want to have a color scene where you talk to them, one of the other players at the table or the GM is probably going to handle that half of the conversation but you don’t need to then ask that player to give you a helping die, you just say “my 2ic helps me with skill x” and pick up an extra die or two. You’ll probably need to roleplay it a bit, and that roleplay might involve another player handling the speaking part, but in the end you’re helping yourself.

in general, if the PC has a relationship character such as stentor, kern or 2iC, i let them burn and play that character unless they want me to roleplay them for an interstitial scene or something. honestly, it’s only fair because usually i’m gunning for that character, or gunning for their main PC so they’ll eventually be forced to play the 2iC anyway. :wink: