Getting What I Want With Circles, Resources, and Infection

First off: Any of my players, get out. You’ll find out about this soon enough.

So, I have clear vision of how I want to start of my upcoming game, and I’m just trying to wrap my head around how to do it with in the rules. The GMFoN for the first phase, the Pirate Queen, wants revenge on the PCFoN, the Kerrn head of the Forged Lord’s secret police, for killing her lover. I don’t want to go after him directly right out of the gate, so I figured I’d start by kidnapping one of his Relationships, a Kerrn Piilosopher. I’m trying to work out how to do this.

At least at this point in the game, the other GMFoNs have their own agendas, so I think the Pirate Queen is on her own. It seems like I’d want to Circle up some thugs, maybe Burn up some sort of incapacitator guns with a Resources test, and then go after him with a Firefight. But that will take me three Maneuvers to pull off, and I really want to start off with a bang. Is there any good way to make this happen faster? Even without the guns, it seems like I couldn’t do it before the second Maneuver.


If the other evil FON have NPC help, how about a quick conversation between the Queen and the FON in which she asks for help? Then you can have the thugs rush in and try to kidnap.

I think your original, slower moving plan (circle them up, burn some tech, etc.) will have your PCs on the edge of their seats, though, as long as you don’t totally tip them off to what they’re planning to do. They’ll be setting there saying, “You want some thugs to kidnap someone? Kidnap who? What’s the strange gun you just burned up for?”

You can do this in one building scene.

Anyone care to tell him what three rolls he’d need?

I think you could do this in the first maneuver in a series of scenes. Kidnapping a Relationship of a PC, without directly attacking the PC seems to be legitimate for a Flak maneuver–it’s an ‘aggressive defense’–a warning of sorts. In the actual maneuver, the Pirate Queen instructs her ‘Lieutenant’ ( I assume she has one) to take care of the Philosopher; a subsequent building scene is the Lieutenant in action. The plan is condensed into one or two rolls–observation, forgery, streetwise, falsehood; whatever makes sense based on the plan–with the ‘stakes’ in the roll being whether or not the PCs can somehow intervene in the actual kidnap attempt. [Because it probably doesn’t matter if the attempt is successful or not. It is probably enough to signal to the PCs that there is a threat to PC friends and family]. The actual kidnapping is either a Firefight, if the PCs were able to intervene; or a versus test of some kind between the Lt/goons and the Philosopher/security (if he has any).
I like the idea of starting with a bang–especially if the kidnapping leads to a Firefight.
(Cross-posted with Z-Dog & Luke)

Let me think…

Circles test to contact the Kerrn,
Seduction Test to get him somewhere private,
Persuasion (forked with seduction) to chain him to the bed?

If that doesn’t qualify for “starting with a bang”, then try the following:

Related wise test to learn about Kerrn’s travel plans.
Resource Test to burn up an attack craft.
Mini-Firefight to hijack Kerrn’s travel craft.

Oooo that’s hot!

So, what’s Luke’s answer?


Security rigging to hack the social security network (or reasonable facsimile) and get philospher’s home address.

Circles tests to hire some local thugs/cut outs.

I Corner Him and Stab Him in the Face to Overbear and therefore capture.

Color or Interstitials can then be used to describe torture and/or interrogation!

As a follow-up, what would the Ob on the Circles test be? The FoN in question has base Circles 3D, 2D Affiliation with the Pirate Fleet, and 3D Reputation as the Pirate Queen, so that seems like a straightforward eight dice to roll. Thugs seem like a common occupation (given the Criminal lifepath she’s taken), lowest station (+2 ob), predisposed (+1 Ob), and competent (+1 Ob). That’s Ob 5 for one thug. How do I get a squad of thugs?


I’d instead change it to Lower station (+1 Ob), and get a Thug leader. A Thug leader would have a gang of thugs as an asset to use against your enemies.

You don’t have to circle up one thug at a time. Just the leader of a gang.

Just to echo what Jon said, it is assumed in BE that everybody is capable of getting people who should be working for them without needing a circles role. If you need a specific ganger, you’d hit make a role to get a basic thug, if you wanted a bunch of thugs to stand at your back because you needed muscle, you’d circle up their Thug Leader ™ and he’d come with his pack of thugs. I don’t think it’s stated exactly like this in the book under circles, but it is a slight adaptation of the “I Need a Gang or Crew” rule on page 118, only instead of buying an affiliation and a reputation with the group, you’re circling up a guy who already did that.

Hammer and Anvil Lord traits (and Forged, because Forged is sexilicious like that) work similarly, giving you the ability to call on people lower down in the ranks without needing a circles role because, well, you’re the boss and you need an FCS operator right away.

I think Luke’s going to try and kill me for saying that the Forged trait is sexilicious, but I don’t care because that trait makes me happy in the pants (plus I love the fact that it’s possible to start the game as Forged Lord at the ripe old age of 20 if you want that lovely court dandy feel).