GM PC circles question

the rules for circles as written primarily apply to player characters, but as i understand it, the GM sometimes has to make circles tests, too. finding an unnammed NPC is pretty clear - use the same rules as the PCs, but what if one of my FoN, or PC relationships wants to contact one of the PCs that they don’t have a relationship with?
does that fall under my realm of ‘saying yes’ or does that fall on the player’s shoulders? ‘wanna talk to me? yes or no…’

Oops : wrong forum (BE).

Hey Jonathan,

I would play it that it’s up to the player whether to “say yes”. If a circles test is required, the enmity clause would also be up to the player (whether to invoke, and what the enmity is).

It’d be really neat to have full power over Enmity as a player (trying to find me in order to capture/hull me? well then, enmity clause is you find me with my anvil troops and we’ve got you surrounded).

But I should say that in our game we’ve never worried about it when an NPC wants to find us, just “said yes”. I’ll have to consider it in the future though!


It’s tempting to let the players “Say Yes” but that’s bullshit. It’s really up to the GM not to be a dick and embrace the chance of failure.

I failed some crucial Circles tests in our BE games and I think it always made the game more fun.

But Luke, as a player would you not ‘say yes’ to a non-relationship NPC who just wants to talk to you? Maybe it’s just for an interstitial scene. Or maybe the GM wants a conflict (DoW) or building scene (seduction or suasion or something), but you don’t feel there’s a conflict about how/when the NPC meets you.

In such situations, assuming your PC is approachable in his daily life, it seems “don’t be a dick” would imply skipping the circles roll. No?

You cannot use Circles on a player character. Players can’t do it and GMs can’t do it.

The PCs are already established in play. You can just use an interstitial to contact them. If they attempt to put roadblocks in the way, then you can use your Building scenes or Conflict scenes to attempt to force them into a situation where they have to talk to you.

Players don’t have the option to “Say Yes” to anything in BW. Roll the Dice or Say Yes is an option for the GM.

i’m confused. thor says i can’t circles up a player, but luke says i have to embrace the enmity clause. i have no problem doing either, but i need to clarify which works best and why before tommorow’s game.

if my NPC wants to contact their PC (even over a ‘comm’), do i just ask them if they’ll talk to my guy? what if they say no? i don’t remember how we worked this out before when i played. my gut says i can just create an interstitial, without a circles roll, to talk to the PC.

on the reverse side… if a PC wants to contact one of my FoN, i can say yes or make them roll the die, correct? but they’re always innimical, so i might as always say yes… right? the GM FoN are essentially my PCs…

Circles, page 345, “Circles is rolled as part of a building scene when a player wants his character to find another non-player character from whom he can get information, services or favors.” [emphasis mine]

i think i’m just gonna play it that GM FON and PCs don’t need to be circled up by anyone. (though it kind of defeats the purpose of having a relatonship with a FON i’m okay with that)

GM figures of note are non-player characters.

so then, for final clarification

  1. NPCs do not have to circle up PCs

  2. PCs have to circle up GM FoN if they don’t have a relationship with them (or use another PC with a relationship to contact them) - unless i want to say yes

You got it.