Daisy Chaining GM FON Relationships

If my GM FON has a Relationship with character A and character A has a Relationship with character B, can character B contribute dice to the FON’s Maneuver roll?


Isn’t the rule that only one NPC character can help?

The book says “and their Relationships.” Originally I had interpreted this to mean all GM FONs and ALL their Relationships combined can help each other. There was the post here that clarified that to only the Relationships of the FON making the actual roll can help.

Are you saying that if ONE FON has TWO (direct) Relationships that both can’t help?


Well darn.

Now you’ve got me thinking that I’ve been playing it wrong :slight_smile:

I’ve always read that as the GM just having to narrate one or more of his or her FONs into a scene in the Maneuver in order for each FON so narrated to qualify as helping. The Relationships - note the capital R - don’t count squat for helping dice. That would seem unfair, because players don’t qualify for helping dice from any of their Relationships.

The way we play it, we’d veto the GM if he or she pulled something like “My Archcotare FON spoke to my Forged Lord FON, so that’s 1 helping die. I also narrated the Archcotare’s ravilar - a mere Relationship, and not a GM FON - into a scene so that’s another helping die…”

Throw this colonial a bone.


But it says “or other character” in the same sentence that says “that character help”. So it’s obvious that non-FONs can contribute to the Maneuver roll. As I said my original reading was that all FON relationship characters could contribute dice to any Maneuver roll so long as they were present and active in the Maneuver. It was only in another thread that Luke clarified that it’s only the relationships of the FON making the roll that counts and even then he qualified it with a comment about how sometimes it just makes sense for other NPCs to contribute to the roll.

So now I’m curious if it’s really supposed to be just ONE relationship.


Off the top of my head I’d say that for this purpose GMFONs are treated as players. So one character per GMFON stable is allowed to help (assuming there is supporting narration involving scenes). If you squint just right, Luke’s answer says that: assuming GMFON Relation A isn’t helping the roll, Relation A’s Relation B is allowed to. I say this because non-FON PCs are allowed to help, which removes the restriction on only FONs providing help. Either way, if your GMFON has Relationzip 1 and Relationship 2, only one of them is allowed to give helping dice.

Hm. I can’t find the reference I was thinking of.

So I’ve been thinking about this. A LOT. Given the wording in the text and some other discussion around here, I’ve come to a conclusion about how I’d like to handle this stuff in future. I don’t think I’ll do this in the current game I’m running but I think I will if I ever run BE again the future.

It seems to me the idea is that (1) Maneuver rolls have to be made by FONs and (2) ANY NPC that actually contributed meaningfully to the Maneuver can contribute helping dice even if that contribution was just in a color or interstitial.

The fear, of course, is that all the GM need do is introduce 1000 NPCs give them all color scenes and then overwhelm the players. I would like to point out that there are similarly wanky things the players could do themselves.

What I like about his reading is that it allows me to put the fiction first and feel less like I have to run through my FONs like a checklist every Maneuver. I can honestly put forward what NPCs really matter right here, right now and benefit from playing those NPCs HARD. If a FON or whatever just doesn’t feel relevant to what’s going on I don’t feel like I HAVE to have them do SOMETHING because otherwise I’m hosing myself. If I want them to cool for a little bit or if the fiction ends up drifting focus onto a few Non-FON NPCs then that’s great. The Maneuver mechanics keep rolling along in a sensible manner.

That’s how I read it and that’s probably what I’ll do in the future.


Taking these two together is how I made the assumption that GM FON’s are supposed to be treated as “players” (since otherwise the GM would be severely restricted in terms of help in the infection, only getting a max of two helping dice) but that all players are limited to giving one die (since it’s legal for Alice to accept help from either Bob OR Bob’s relationship Carl, but not both at the same time) which keeps the issue of having someone circle up a few hundred nameless goons and having them give helping dice.

I also may be totally talking out of my ass but that’s how I’d play it since neither side is put at a serious disadvantage and is rules compatable with playing a PC vs. PC game where both sides of the conflict are played by players, which is unsupported but possible.


Let me give a rather extreme but I think plausible hypothetical example. Let’s say a PC tries to Circle up someone and fails. We invoke the Emnity Clause. Let’s also say that the fiction is in such a state that this NPC is now a really big deal. Not just a one time, “oh I had to Duel of Wits him to get what I want” but I mean a full bore, constantly present, probably worth burning up in full, continuous source of pain and misery for the PC.

The NPC wouldn’t be a FON and he wouldn’t be FON’s relationship. He’s a free NPC agent born of a Circles test gone awry. What I’m suggesting is that if his activities are of sufficiently high profile and are causing enough trouble in the fiction he should be allowed to contribute helping dice to the Maneuver roll. I still would never use him to MAKE the Maneuver rolll but given his importance in the fiction I would certainly think it was within the spirit of the rules for him contribute helping dice.


Jesse, you could make a FoN’s relationship by spending reserved circles points.

Sure. But I’m also imagining a situation where the FON has run out of Circles points.

Basically I’m thinking of a game where there are 4 players who members of an Imperial Senate and the games is VERY VERY Circles heavy. It seems odd that if the game generates 12 new NPCs via Circles tests and half of them Emnity Claused such that the game seriously becomes dealing with THEM with maybe just one out of the three FONs playing off them, the fact that NONE of them can contribute to the Maneuver role seems odd to me. If they’re the NPCs driving the action at the table they should be the NPCs contributing the Maneuver roll.

I mean the text in the book does say “and other characters.” Enmity Claused NPCs seem like a really good source of “other characters”. That’s just my thinking at the moment.