Killing FONs for fun and profit

So we had our first real-live PC death in our game last night. Despite my initial reservations about using ICHASHITF! for character-to-character combat, it seemed…right to do so.

Turns out to not be as terribly hard to kill a PC as I had thought. True enough, I had to get a lot of hard rolls exactly right and the actual kill came down to a one-in-six DOF result. Some of this is on the player’s shoulders as well: He was playing a very, very confrontational character who had a habit of making enemies everywhere he went.

Things we learned:

  • Probably the only way to really pull off an ICHASHITF! is to wait 'til the end of the Maneuver, when your target has used up all his building rolls and conflicts.

  • Stick to one conflict per maneuver. Yet again, the human side racked up both their conflict scenes early and went to great lengths to avoid my conflict scenes. This ended up putting them all the way out in the cold when the hammer finally fell. I think this event makes it clearer that the optional second conflict is really there for defensive purposes.

  • If you’re going to make enemies, and those enemies have guns and the willingness to use them, put some effort into defense. My target was so busy running around making enemies that he never took the time to arrange for his own protection. No colored or burned tech at his home. A 2iC but no Instinct to always have him around as a bodyguard. No Circled-up bodyguards. No Anvil Lord-type trait to give him perpetual staff. Not even a “if attacked, fry their brains” Instinct!

  • Always, always keep 1 Persona in reserve for the Will to Live defense. Do not use this Persona under any circumstances. Ever.

  • Always have a 2iC. This is something the player did right. In fact he has two relationships to choose from, so he’s far from out of the game.

So we’re already thinking about his next character. Now…the book sez replacement characters should not be FONs because it’ll break the game balance. I’m not following the math on this. He hasn’t been a FFON yet. It seems like it would be a devastating blow to the other side if the possible Maneuver rollers were reduced by one for the rest of the campaign. If you know a character can’t be nominated as “most important” and make the Maneuver roll, he’s gonna get delegated to the back ranks as the game goes on.

If anyone could lay out for me the math or incentive for not allowing a dead FON to be replaced in a following phase with a new FON, I’d sure appreciate it.


You don’t have to be a Figure of Note to roll for a maneuver. Any PC can roll for the maneuver, whether a Figure of Note or not.

The only special “power” that a Figure of Note has is that at the beginning of their featured phase, they get to roll their skill and add the successes to their side’s Disposition.

And that’s precisely why you can’t ever replace a Figure of Note. When you take out one of their Figures of Note, you’ve scored a major coup. There was a person destined to rise up and carry the banner for a coming phase and that person is gone.

If I take out your Invasion phase Figure of Note, there’s absolutely no way I’m cool with you rolling up a new character, saying he’s a new Invasion phase Figure of Note, and rolling your Strategy to add to the Invasion disposition.

Afterall, if you could do that, then why did I work so hard to off your character in the first place?

Interesting! Does the following passage from p430 imply that the rules for GMFONs are different?

[LEFT][SIZE=1][FONT=Tiepolo-Book]The GM tests for the figure of note whose presence or machinations
factored most heavily into these scenes. The figure of note need not
have engaged in conflict, but he must have participated in a building,
color or interstitial scene to show the players what he was up to![/LEFT]

[LEFT]Still learning,[/LEFT]


Yes. It’s spelled out for PCs in Player Characters in the Infection on page 407.

The GM should have one of his Figures of Note do the rolling, unless one of the PCs comes over to his side (whether Figure of Note or not; see Playing for the Other Side on page 407).

That’s not the only thing that’s different. GM’s don’t have to have their Figures of Note Help each other during the scenes to allow them to Help during the maneuver roll. The GM’s Figures of Note just have to appear on camera during the maneuver. See GM Helps Himself on page 431.

Yeah, I’m aware of the other differences, but the passage I quoted strongly implies that, should the PCs kill a GMFON, the GM will not be able to make Maneuver rolls with any other NPCs. They could, conceivably, eliminate all three starting GMFONs and then win the game by default because the GM could not make any rolls.



The GM could still make maneuver rolls with his surviving figures of note. But yes, you are correct. If the players eliminate all of your figures of note, you can kiss it goodbye.

Holy shit! Really? :o

This, um, may change some things in our game. I smell a blooood-baaaath…