Tenuous Relationships

In Burning Grunweld, Bauer’s character Siggar has been separated from his relationship (Bawdeweyn, a village elder) for most of the campaign. Bawdeweyn nearly died of pnemonia, got sold into slavery, was shipped halfway around the campaign map - all sight unseen from Siggar (though he’d heard rumors).

Then, months later, from high up in the Keroon citadel, Siggar spots Bawdeweyn down in the courtyard, a blind, indentured water-seller. He can’t take the time to go find him, though. Siggar leaves the city for two weeks, during which time a huge unrest begins and a mass population exodus starts up.

Next session, Bauer wants Siggar to find Bawdeweyn. I called for a circles test - thinking it’s not going to be easy to track him down in this unfamiliar place. Bauer says, “But… he’s a relationship.”

That stumped me.

I’d let him find the guy, even if its not easy.

At that point, the reunion is more interesting than the roll or the consequences of failure and he paid for the points, he should be able to run into him if its feasible.

Yeah, what Judd said. Plus I think paying points for the relationship is like paying to get around the Circles rules.


Yes, that’s what I did.

A simpler situation is if you lose your relationship-child in a crowd. But then, I suppose it’s a Perception test to find them, not Circles.

Yeah, no Circles test required. The player can bring his relationship character into play so long as it makes sense.

Yeah, an interesting way to play this out is to threaten to break this relationship right here. I mean, this guy has every reason to be pissed - where was Siggar while all this stuff happened to him? Duel of Wits in which the stakes are maintaining that relationship are hot.

Well, we’re moving onto another subject (from how do you find him to what happens when you do) but yes, it was a cool scene. There was no bad blood in them, the old man was feeling defeated by what had happened to him. Siggar had left the village with Bawdeweyn’s blessing to placate the liche (who was demanding able-bodied servants as tribute). The players had been acting to try to make things better for the villagers, but always behind the scenes. Bawdeweyn is a sort of father figure to Siggar, and one of Siggar’s beliefs was to redeem himself in the old man’s eyes.

Bauer plays Siggar consistently as a beacon of hope to everyone he meets, so it was really amazing to have him tell Bawdeweyn about all the incredible things he’s done - faced down the liche, slain cruel King Menaka, and have Bawdeweyn reply, with total honesty, “My son, I’d trade all of that to have my family back.” Bauer really pulled out the stops - I totally should have nominated him for embodiment.

I called for a Persuasion test - if he won, Bawdeweyn would spread the world to whatever other Grunwelders he could find. If he failed, the old man would lose all will to live and die of pneumonia a few weeks later.

Hmm, BW has rules on how to add new relationships. Does it have any on removing them?

Relationships certainly don’t have to have a baked in attitude towards the PC of course (other than that implied by the enemy/rival option when purchasing a relationship).


Thinking about this made me laugh - you know how your annoying ex always seems to be able to track you down? Nope, you can’t get rid of relationships, even if they turn hateful. :slight_smile:

You might kill them… but nothing says that the relationship has to be alive to begin with…

Stay cool 8)

Relationships can be removed as a failure result, as Dustin says. Doing it as an intentional thing, as a PC, doesn’t quite make sense. The thing is, a Relationship is one-sided. All that means, the whole meaning of taking someone as a relationship, is that you can find them when you want to. That’s it. It has no effect on whether they can find you. (They can, as can any other NPC at all: that’s a GM power).

It’s a little bit like asking if you can take your Devin-wise skill off your character sheet because you don’t want me to know about you. Sure, if you want, but all that would mean is that now you don’t know about me. It doesn’t change what I know about you. (A lot, in case you were wondering.)

Now, if you find that NPC just totally uninteresting and no longer relevant to who your character is or the challenges you’re interested in watching her confront? Say that. There are dozens of flags on a BW character sheet, and some are more relevant and lively than others. Usually that’s pretty clear in play, though.