Two (easy?) questions

Two items have floated to the surface:

  1. Scene pre-emption. Let’s say player FoN wants to hop in his super dune buggy and traipse across the vast wastes, headed for a nearby fortress to participate in an interstitial or a conflict or whatever. A GM FoN wants to intercept the PC FoN en route. Is there a procedure for determining who can pre-empt whom? Do you simply have to have a building/conflict scene available when the other guy starts his scene (and color establishing that you could know what the other guy is doing)?

Basically I have lots of layers of surveillance going on between both sides, and each side is waiting for the other to act. Heck, I’m not even sure how to stage the scenes so that everyone gets their turn: Can my NPC observers call in to my GM FoN with “He’s on the move!” (presumably Observation vs Infiltration) with enough time for the GM FoN to act on that information?

  1. Finding burned characters to whom you have no connection. Does there need to be a narrative connection between characters for them to find each other? I’m talking established characters, not the uncollapsed-waveform-NPCs out there in Circlesland. I’ve got, say, 10 burned characters total in our game. Not everyone knows everyone else. If, say, a player wanted to track down the same worm-infested mercator pilot that my filthy worm-loving merchant FoN uses, what would be involved? I can’t imagine Circles would apply for summoning up someone who already exists.


  1. Is each belief a separate Artha-earning opportunity at the end of the maneuver, or do you just get Artha for belief-driven play in general? IE Can you get up to 3x Fate if you follow all three Beliefs in one maneuver?


  1. As far as I can see, pre-emption doesn’t happen. If someone starts their scene, they get to play out their scene. No one can say “Well, before you meet him, this happens!”. I think that falls under the rules of not being a dick. Grin

If you take a look at page 287 - It states " Scenes are played out one at a time going around the table." Pre-empting would wreck that concept. I say that you tell the players that it shouldn’t happen.

That being said, there’s nothing wrong with someone saying “before you start this scene, can I just quickly do X?” Doing that before you actually start the scene is all right in my books. And that sort of stuff, who gets their scene next, can be negotiated. But in the middle of a scene? I say boo to that.

Now, the starter of the scene can invite or be asked to invite other players, or GM characters to be involved in said scene, but he or they can always say no.

  1. The Circles mechanic covers ANYONE the players and FONs don’t have a specific relationship with. Note on page 345, it says emphatically that Player Characters can not be relationships, as it is necessary for them to be tied to one another at the outset of the game. You don’t need to circles a fellow player.

But anyone you don’t have a relationship with, you use circles to reach them. Circles are NOT just for random unknown people. Of course, if you’ve circled them before you can use the rules on page 355, regarding building a relationship from circles (bottom of page). It’s an optional, though recommended rule.

EDIT (Answering Three)

  1. Absolutely YES. Hitting all three beliefs is solid play, and should be rewarded with 3 shiny pieces of artha. The same applies with instincts, just remember that the Belief and instinct has to drive the game forward/make the character’s life difficult.
  1. A few different ways to do this. First thing to do is ask “hey, do you think it would be cool if the bad guy jumped you?” to that player. If he says yes, use a building scene to do a versus test between the two with whatever’s appropriate. If need be, you can evolve it into a full-blown FF or DoW.

  2. Circles absolutely applies. If it’s a character previously created via Circles, see the “Detecting Movement in the Circles” heading in the Circles chapter. For a relationship character, figure out what the ob would be to Circles him up. Ignore the skill level modifiers, but slap in the attitude and knowledge ones as appropriate.

  3. Yep, earning Artha for each Belief or Instinct is quite possible.

  1. Okay, so no surprise jump-ins by other characters. So how do you act in response to someone doing something? How do I tail someone and jump their shit just as, or before, they do something?

  2. Circles: Sweet. Easy enough.

  3. Rock on.


Not being a dick doesn’t mean you can’t confront and challenge the players. In this case, imagine that builders or conflicts are going to trump or interrupt color or interstitials. So if you’ve established surveillance previously, you can absolutely jump in with a snatch and grab on the way to a meet. In fact, that’s your job as the GM!

Of course, you don’t want to be mean about it or squelch the player’s contributions. So step carefully there. However, if you do nab a player before he gets his builder, he still gets his builder in prison (or whatever)! He can make his Circles rolls, Tech Resources and a whole host of other stuff to challenge his imprisonment.