Conflicted relationships for GM characters?

I understand how “conflicted” (one Circles point) relationships work for player characters: The GM controls the relationship character and plays him/her to apply maximum pressure to the player-character.

But what about conflicted relationships of the GM’s characters (especially figures of note)? As GM, how do I make sure that my character’s conflicted relationships screw them adequately? Do I just “play against myself” or do I loan these characters out to the players to run as needed? Or is it a distraction from the main point of play for GM characters to have conflicted relationships in the first place?

Aren’t the conflicting relationships already established by the players? My understanding was that each player character must have a tie to a figure of note to the other other side. That relationship goes both ways.

If the most important part of the game is the player characters, then all focus should be placed on them. The opposing FoN should focus on the player characters as much as possible all through play.

Complicated relationships for GM FoNs are big fat “fuck me” signs for the players.

Obviously, if you want to bring in one of your GM FoN’s complicated relationships, the system is going to expect you to make some rolls to coerce them into aiding you, right?

ie the Forged Lord GM FoN decides to take a complicated relationship with a genius scientist. The scientist hates the Forged Lord and everything his fascist dictatorship stands for. So you just Circles up the dude’s family and take them prisoner! Boom, done. One Circles roll in exchange for one CP in character Burning that can go towards you affiliation which gets you the free troops to arrest the family!

Then the players have a big fat red flag in front of them… “hey… if we rescue his family, he could work for us!”

And when they fall for the bait… fuxx0red!

EDIT: although, yeah, you could maybe try letting a player run the character, for whatever the scene is, see how it goes…

Best conflicted relationship I had to date was between my Valyen ubercultist with a child body and Jonathan’s Hammer Lord’s son. That relationship made the freaking phase.

In that game, I also had a cousin who was an Anvil Captain that had fled the Royalists (my side) to join up with The Revolution (Jon and Matt’s side). And a former lover who had gone to work for Matt’s Psychologist’s propaganda engine. I posted them on the wiki – Matt and Jon knew about the characters – but otherwise didn’t stress them. When they went looking for hooks into my organizations, those characters were there and ready to be picked up with some easy Circles tests.


‘keep your filthy hands off my son, you malacol-fucker.’

but yeah, the GMs conflicted character’s are key for scheming and drama. for the player’s, they are a ‘way in’. for the GMs, they can also be a ‘way-in,’ if a bit tougher to pull off. if you treat them this way, they can make for some amazing scenes. other than that, i feel you should tread carefully when thinking about making them a focus unless it’s your intent to ‘use them’ against the enemy, but please… use them against the enemy. that’s what they’re there for.