Circling Named NPCs

Tonight, one of my players tried to get +1D because the NPC he was circling up already had a name. In fact, the name was given by a different player.

How does this work? Is the +1D bonus for circling up a named contact only applicable for the player who named the NPC? Or is it broader than that? Can a party-mate make use of the bonus?

(I’m quite sure there’s no bonus for an NPC named by the GM.)

Page 382 is pretty clear that it’s only a bonus to the player who named the NPC (after exceeding the obstacle). The player also get the bonus when the GM invokes the enmity clause, although the GM names the NPC.

Yes, dunno why there was even a question.

Interesting! The intent is for the bonus to apply to a single player, but i really can’t see why it wouldn’t apply if another player Circles him up too.
So it comes down to your call!

I’d say no.

If your buddy made huge in-roads making an initial opportunity with a new contact, then you come along and start name-dropping, that would be a bit off-putting to the new contact, no?

I guess it depends on the situation, but it seems it would be a strain to start taking advantage of the relationship so soon.

Y’know… I think in most cases I’d leave it up to the player with the named contact, because that’s basically tantamount to offering helping dice. This is especially true if the two characters aren’t the best of friends. :slight_smile:

Walking up to someone, “Hey, I’m a friend of [blahdidy blah]” often works for an introduction.

Of course, that’s not really how I see Circles. Circles seems to be about finding someone you know.

Finding them is going to be the hard part in the case of named NPCs, and so, just because you know them, doesn’t mean you can find them. Although, it’s a perfect justification for Help.

What’s interesting is just how many different things the bonus can represent. It could be an OOC incentive to have players take joy in naming NPCs; it could be seen as standardized advantage die, obtained as a result of a good first impression or a particularly auspicious meeting; it could be useful but delicate good will at the beginning of a new relationship, not easily transferred.

“If you ever go down to Freeport, head on over to the Blue Stag and tell the matron I sent ya. She’ll fix you up with anything you need.”

I don’t see why not, if it’s plausible. Depends on the fiction.

“Who are you to come into my bar and start dropping my name like you’re my long-lost pal? I killed that pal, doncha know, and now I’m gonna kill you!”

Sounds like the Enmity Clause to me

Base it on the fiction. If someone keeps circling up an NPC who shows up and does things with the party, he might be on a first-name basis with the other PCs. Then the 1D bonus is perfectly appropriate. If one PC keeps going off to deal with the NPC on his own, the other PCs don’t get any bonus. I always viewed the bonus die as incentive to create a coherent world, though, so sharing the bonus is a good thing.

Don’t forget how much more fun you can have in case of failure! Since it’s a named Circle for two players now, you can hit them much harder - he’s not only pissed off for being bothered, he’s pissed off at his other contact for sending some buffoon to waste his time. This, on its own, would make me allow it I think.

Just make sure to remind the players of this before the die is handed over, so they can squirm about it first… :slight_smile:

Oh yeah, absolutely! At the end of the day, it boils down to “say yes or roll”, right? So, what would be more fun: denying the advantage die and having them circle up a brand new NPC, or granting the advantage die and bringing back the named NPC? With potential failure taken into account, the pre-named NPC is a way more interesting option. Not to mention that the story can only be strengthened by binding the NPC to two characters. Coherence and disastrous potential for the win!