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Author Topic: Trollbabe barrage II (split)  (Read 3037 times)
Moreno R.
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Posts: 547


« on: February 06, 2011, 03:02:23 PM »

New questions!

1) A Trollbabe can be harmed only by a failed reroll. But what about a Relationship? Can the well-being (or even the liberty or the life) of a Relationship be the jeopardized in a conflict, even if the trollbabe don't use them for rerolls?

2) A NPC want to attack a trollbabe: can the trollbabe's player use only the relationship to fight? (for example, the bodyguard of the trollbabe hit the attacking character in the face, stunning him, while the trollbabe just look at the scene, bored). What if the trollbabe isn't even present at the scene? ("Go inside that building and punch that guy in the face, please"). What if the trollbabe players say that the relatonship goes into the building to hit the guy in the face, without the trollbabe knowing about it?
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Ciao,
Moreno.

(Excuse my errors, English is not my native language. I'm Italian.)
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2011, 04:02:29 PM »

Hi Moreno,

I've been preparing an answer, but the Ronnies have been taking all my time. I'll reply after I start some more feedback threads.

Best, Ron
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Moreno R.
Member

Posts: 547


« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2011, 05:08:33 PM »

OK, I will add questions to the queue when they are asked or when they come to me. I don't mind waiting, it's better to wait for a more thoughtful answer than demand a hurried one.

3) A trollbabe at Scale 2 kill the chief of a small group of cutthroats (6 in total, after she killed  half of the group), and then become their new chief (take the small group as a relationship)

But what does it means, regarding any single man?  I mean, seeing that every one of these six had a name, the relationship will always be with the group made up by these six character, or the relationship is with "the band of cutthroats that follow the trollbabe"?  If for example some of them die during a narration, at the next adventure I can add new recruits to the group, I can't add new recruits to the group, or I HAVE to add new recruits to the group?

4) It's possible, if the trollbabe player want, to "merge" a old relationship (a single person) with that group, having a single relationship with the group that include that person, now? Instead of dropping the old relationship between adventures? (assuming that the player doesn't want that relationship anymore)

5) I that gang get "killed" during a conflict, this mean that the GROUP is destroyed/killed (meaning that it could simply break up and leave the trollbabe), or that EVERY MEMBER OF THAT GROUP is killed? (this second option would turn the game very dark when the trollbabe will sacrifice cities or entire armies...)

6) If the trollbabe player doesn't say what their relationship are doing, I can make them do what I want, or I have to ask to the player?  (I am asking this because some relationship are ignored by the player, and I would like to know what are my limit in making them "more interesting"...)
Logged

Ciao,
Moreno.

(Excuse my errors, English is not my native language. I'm Italian.)
Moreno R.
Member

Posts: 547


« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2011, 01:22:38 AM »

7) The 2nd edition manual says: "When injured, the trollbabe begins all new Series differently: one box already along the path, so that upon failure of the first roll, she proceeds to the injury box right away. Therefore she is limited to a total of two re-rolls instead of three. The idea is that you “start inconvenienced” due to the pre-existing injury.[...]

If an injured trollbabe is injured again during a later conflict, then the second injury is described but has no game effect. The existing drawback remains in place, unchanged. In other words, once you’re injured, that’s your status until it’s fixed.


It seems pretty straightforward. But I remember distinctly reading recent actual plays where if you started the second series in a conflict already injured, you started that series as "inconvenienced". , but if you get injured again (an one bad roll is enough), you start the third series as INJURED, meaning  "with two boxes already filled", and you go straight to helplessness with the first failed roll in the first series.

What is the right rule? The text on the game manual is correct (and the error is in the actual play threads) or it's the other way around?
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Ciao,
Moreno.

(Excuse my errors, English is not my native language. I'm Italian.)
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2011, 06:06:07 PM »

Quote
1) A Trollbabe can be harmed only by a failed reroll. But what about a Relationship? Can the well-being (or even the liberty or the life) of a Relationship be the jeopardized in a conflict, even if the trollbabe don't use them for rerolls?

Jeopardized by a trollbabe, sure! "I kill him." Relationship NPCs are no different from any other NPC if we're talking about them being targets. That'd certainly be a conflict, too. (And could the trollbabe use the Relationship for a re-roll in such a conflict? Sure!)

A Relationship NPC can be threatened by an NPC or GM-driven physical circumstance, yes, but you have to understand the rules. Remember that the GM has no "goal" the way the player has to state for the trollbabe's goal. So the GM cannot do the typical thing of putting the Relationship NPC into a trap and expect the trollbabe to come running to help. The player could just ignore it and the GM can't kill the Relationship NPC (although that might mean the character has a bad time).

The best way to handle such a situation is for the GM to come up with a genuine risk to the trollbabe if the NPC is hurt or killed. If he can, then it's time to say "Conflict!" and make it happen.

In such a conflict, if the Relationship is not used for a re-roll, then the results to the NPC short of death are going to be dictated by the narration. The GM can rough up the NPC quite a lot but can't actually wound him or her or worse.

The take-home message is that in this game, the GM cannot hold injury or death to the NPC as a threat to the player. This may appear as a break in the rules to a traditional mind-set for these things, but it's a mis-play, not a rules break. Conflicts must pose risk to the trollbabe, period.

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2) A NPC want to attack a trollbabe: can the trollbabe's player use only the relationship to fight? (for example, the bodyguard of the trollbabe hit the attacking character in the face, stunning him, while the trollbabe just look at the scene, bored).

So here, we're starting with the assumption of conflict. By definition, the trollbabe must personally be at risk. So no, what you describe is not possible as the *total* of what is happening or could happen in the conflict.

It could, however, be perfectly all right as part of a narration. A lot of things which have to be stated prior to a roll in most RPGs end up as narrations in Trollbabe.

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What if the trollbabe isn't even present at the scene? ("Go inside that building and punch that guy in the face, please").

That's different. That's the trollbabe player saying what the Relationship NPC does, and that's ordinary use of the rules. What you're asking is whether this constitutes a conflict. It would not be a Fighting conflict because the trollbabe is not at risk. If it were a Social conflict and if risk of that kind were easily understood to be possible from this situation, then it's legal. In that case, then the punch is just part of free-and-clear and the narrations of the conflict itself will proceed much further forward in time.

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What if the trollbabe players say that the relatonship goes into the building to hit the guy in the face, without the trollbabe knowing about it?

Not a problem. That's an exact use of the rules as well, identical to the above question, and with the same primary issue, whether it's a conflict.
I'll get to the second post when I can.

Best, Ron
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2011, 08:08:01 PM »

Hi Moreno,

I appreciate your patience with me. I love answering Trollbabe questions but it has been a terrible month for anything, and the second round of Ronnies nearly disintegrated me.

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3) A trollbabe at Scale 2 kill the chief of a small group of cutthroats (6 in total, after she killed  half of the group), and then become their new chief (take the small group as a relationship)

But what does it means, regarding any single man?  I mean, seeing that every one of these six had a name, the relationship will always be with the group made up by these six character, or the relationship is with "the band of cutthroats that follow the trollbabe"?  If for example some of them die during a narration, at the next adventure I can add new recruits to the group, I can't add new recruits to the group, or I HAVE to add new recruits to the group?

I think I can resolve the issue by saying, if she has a relationship with a small band of cutthroats, then here are the possibilities for reducing or ruining that band.

i) They all get slaughtered and/or dispersed during a conflict. This is the easiest outcome.

ii) The player chooses not to continue the relationship for the next adventure. This is the other easiest outcome.

iii) Some of them may die or leave during a narration, which I interpret to mean, the relationship took a "wounded" result during a conflict. By definition, the group can recover and be restored to more-or-less the same size, probably through recruitment or any other plausible narration.

I guess it's an easy answer: your statement "the band of cutthroats that follow the trollbabe" is correct.

What makes it a little more complicated is your statement that everyone in the band is named. First, this is neither required nor likely. The band itself could be unnamed and everyone in it could be unnamed, and it's still a relationship character. And in practice, what matters is whether the band is named, say, by location or by some colorful description, or perhaps whether its leader's name is used as the band's name.

Let's say the trollbabe has encountered this group and enough has happened in the scene to warrant creating a relationship with them, and the player does so. What I'm saying is, if the leader has said "I'm Kragar the Cruel, and these are my men," then effectively, the band has a name. Or if anyone has called them the Bloody Bones cutthroats, or if people have spoken of them as the Shadow Woods gang, would be OK too. All of these mean the group has a name. But you don't have to name everyone in it for the band to have a name.

So if the GM doesn't veto the relationship, and the relationship is established, then the membership might take a few hits and "heal" through adding new members, because the relationship is with Kragar's Raiders, or the Bloody Bones cutthroats, or whatever.

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4) It's possible, if the trollbabe player want, to "merge" a old relationship (a single person) with that group, having a single relationship with the group that include that person, now? Instead of dropping the old relationship between adventures? (assuming that the player doesn't want that relationship anymore)

None of this is allowed, at least, not this simply. You have to follow the rules. I think I need a little bit more of a concrete example in order to explain what to do.

Quote
5) I that gang get "killed" during a conflict, this mean that the GROUP is destroyed/killed (meaning that it could simply break up and leave the trollbabe), or that EVERY MEMBER OF THAT GROUP is killed? (this second option would turn the game very dark when the trollbabe will sacrifice cities or entire armies...)

Either one is perfectly acceptable and depends upon on the narration during play. The second, darker interpretation is not obligatory. But it is definitely available as an option.

Quote
6) If the trollbabe player doesn't say what their relationship are doing, I can make them do what I want, or I have to ask to the player?  (I am asking this because some relationship are ignored by the player, and I would like to know what are my limit in making them "more interesting"...)

GM can't make relationship characters do anything; as the GM, you can never say what that character does in any way. If the player doesn't want to develop them through action, then that's the way it is. However, as GM, you are the sole contributor regarding the relationship character's thoughts and feelings, and you are the only one who provides dialogue for them.

I suggest never asking the players what the relationship characters do. Then if they don't do anything, role-play them in that context. I don't mean use them as proxies to nudge the player into saying more about them. I mean, it's a chance to role-play, so do it.

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7) The 2nd edition manual says: "When injured, the trollbabe begins all new Series differently: one box already along the path, so that upon failure of the first roll, she proceeds to the injury box right away. Therefore she is limited to a total of two re-rolls instead of three. The idea is that you “start inconvenienced” due to the pre-existing injury.[...]

If an injured trollbabe is injured again during a later conflict, then the second injury is described but has no game effect. The existing drawback remains in place, unchanged. In other words, once you’re injured, that’s your status until it’s fixed.

It seems pretty straightforward. But I remember distinctly reading recent actual plays where if you started the second series in a conflict already injured, you started that series as "inconvenienced". , but if you get injured again (an one bad roll is enough), you start the third series as INJURED, meaning  "with two boxes already filled", and you go straight to helplessness with the first failed roll in the first series.

What is the right rule? The text on the game manual is correct (and the error is in the actual play threads) or it's the other way around?

The text rule is correct. You may be referencing older threads using the old rules. Those rules were definitely changed for the revision.

Best, Ron
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Moreno R.
Member

Posts: 547


« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2011, 07:48:15 PM »

Hi Ron!

Other follow-up questions!.

Quote
1) A Trollbabe can be harmed only by a failed reroll. But what about a Relationship? Can the well-being (or even the liberty or the life) of a Relationship be the jeopardized in a conflict, even if the trollbabe don't use them for rerolls?

Jeopardized by a trollbabe, sure! "I kill him." Relationship NPCs are no different from any other NPC if we're talking about them being targets. That'd certainly be a conflict, too. (And could the trollbabe use the Relationship for a re-roll in such a conflict? Sure!)

A Relationship NPC can be threatened by an NPC or GM-driven physical circumstance, yes, but you have to understand the rules. Remember that the GM has no "goal" the way the player has to state for the trollbabe's goal. So the GM cannot do the typical thing of putting the Relationship NPC into a trap and expect the trollbabe to come running to help. The player could just ignore it and the GM can't kill the Relationship NPC (although that might mean the character has a bad time).

The best way to handle such a situation is for the GM to come up with a genuine risk to the trollbabe if the NPC is hurt or killed. If he can, then it's time to say "Conflict!" and make it happen.

In such a conflict, if the Relationship is not used for a re-roll, then the results to the NPC short of death are going to be dictated by the narration. The GM can rough up the NPC quite a lot but can't actually wound him or her or worse.

The take-home message is that in this game, the GM cannot hold injury or death to the NPC as a threat to the player. This may appear as a break in the rules to a traditional mind-set for these things, but it's a mis-play, not a rules break. Conflicts must pose risk to the trollbabe, period.

8): Let's say that the trollbabe player declare, as the Trollbabe's goal, "I want to save Jack" (with Jack = her relationship jeopardized by the GM in some way in the fiction). If she fails, but doesn't use Jack for a reroll, does this mean that somebody else will save Jack? (if Jack can't save himself or the NPCs have no reason to let him go)

9) What if the Trollbabe's declared objective is "I want to kill that troll before he kills Jack", she fails, and still she doesn't use Jack for a reroll? Can she succeed in her goal even if she lose the conflict, because the troll really can't kill Jack?

10)  It's true that a trollbabe player could simply avoid using goals like these, and avoid these problems, but if the stated goal has to be what the trollbabe really wants in the fiction, sometimes these are the goals he should declare, if he want to avoid "story workshopping" trying to angle the resolution mechanics to get what he (the player) wants "for the story", instead of using her real goal. What are your thoughts about this?

11) Seeing that the GM can't really jeopardize the trollbabe or her relationship, he has to come up with engaging situation and NPCs that the trollbabe is interested in (it's not sufficient that the player engage them "because this is the way the game work", there is no substitute for true interest). four set of engaging situations and NPCs every session, for four players. Four persons, groups or objects at stake, and twenty new NPCs, give or take, every week. The usual GM's "tricks" to engage the player don't work, you can't meaningfully endanger the trollbabe's relationship (only she can) and you can't really menace her. You have to make her (him) care enough for a new character to risk making too many rerolls for him. in a matter of minutes. And at the right scale for everyone.
After some months of regular play, I admit I am really scraping the barrel. The problem is not so much the initial situation (I am reusing  every little-p premise that I remembered from movies and novels... when you try to remake Moby Dick using a white troll you know you are at the rope's end), but the characters. 15-20 new characters every session and the game continue to eat them like a black hole. And I think the game is suffering because the sheer amount of NPCs and situations I have to create push me to resort to type, habits, stock-villains and recycled characters and make me (and the game) too predictable.
So... how do you avoid this? Do you have any advice or techniques? Or any comment?

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What if the trollbabe players say that the relatonship goes into the building to hit the guy in the face, without the trollbabe knowing about it?

Not a problem. That's an exact use of the rules as well, identical to the above question, and with the same primary issue, whether it's a conflict.

12) In a situation like this, when there is a conflict that doesn't include the trollbabe (so, there is a conflict in the fiction, between the Relationship and other characters, but not a conflict in the game rules sense), who decide the outcome? The GM has a complete free hand in the decision, as long he doesn't would, capture or kill the Relationship, or there are other considerations?

13:
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4) It's possible, if the trollbabe player want, to "merge" a old relationship (a single person) with that group, having a single relationship with the group that include that person, now? Instead of dropping the old relationship between adventures? (assuming that the player doesn't want that relationship anymore)

None of this is allowed, at least, not this simply. You have to follow the rules. I think I need a little bit more of a concrete example in order to explain what to do.

Let's use the same situation of the band of cutthroats (that, by the way, in the current game were scrubbed, polished, dressed and now are a band of con-men. it's allowed to change so much a Relationship between adventures?).

A previous relationship of the same trollbabe was a bouncer in a tavern.  He really could be one of the band, so that I can easily see him as a new recruit. The trollbabe is not showing him any more attention, nothing that could make him stand out from the group. At this stage she has no intention of losing that relationship, but the way the game is going I can easily see her fill up her sheet with bigger and more powerful relationships all the time, until that first one will only be a waste of space. And I was wondering (the issue didn't come up in play) if, when she will want to free that space, the only option will be to remove him from the fiction, or if he could simply be "recruited" by a larger relationship (a new cutthroat in that band, for example)

14) A different case: what if the trollbabe had made that first relationship the chief of the second, the chief of the band of cutthroats? I mean, instead of "dissolving" him into a faceless mass of characters, had made him the "new face" of a bigger relationship.

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6) If the trollbabe player doesn't say what their relationship are doing, I can make them do what I want, or I have to ask to the player?  (I am asking this because some relationship are ignored by the player, and I would like to know what are my limit in making them "more interesting"...)

GM can't make relationship characters do anything; as the GM, you can never say what that character does in any way. If the player doesn't want to develop them through action, then that's the way it is. However, as GM, you are the sole contributor regarding the relationship character's thoughts and feelings, and you are the only one who provides dialogue for them.

I suggest never asking the players what the relationship characters do. Then if they don't do anything, role-play them in that context. I don't mean use them as proxies to nudge the player into saying more about them. I mean, it's a chance to role-play, so do it.

15) So, if "he is doing nothing", I can act bored, lazy, willful or even hostile to the trollbabe?

16) But the situation I was talking about is a little different. The trollbabe is doing something with the relationship. She goes around fighting, talking with people, etc, assuming that the relationship is with her, but never acknowledging him in any way until she need a re-roll. To make the Relationship presence felt in any way I would have to make him do something different from her unstated baseline assumption, even "he stop" o "he start to talk to you"

The player in question usually interact with NPCs (and she still do), the problem is, I think, in the uneasiness of saying what the relationships do. I wanted to know what I could do to make her remember that the relationship exist and she has the responsibility to say what he do. Because if she don't remember and I can't "move" him to make her remember, that Relationship risk really becoming only a check-marked square...
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Ciao,
Moreno.

(Excuse my errors, English is not my native language. I'm Italian.)
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2011, 09:09:14 AM »

Hi Moreno,

Quote
8): Let's say that the trollbabe player declare, as the Trollbabe's goal, "I want to save Jack" (with Jack = her relationship jeopardized by the GM in some way in the fiction). If she fails, but doesn't use Jack for a reroll, does this mean that somebody else will save Jack? (if Jack can't save himself or the NPCs have no reason to let him go)

Let’s clarify this a little. As we discussed above, the GM cannot jeopardize Jack in any really fundamental way, not directly. The relationship NPCs are effectively safe from “kidnap” GMing or anything like them.

What do you mean by “jeopardized by the GM in some way?” I need to have a stronger idea of exactly what you mean by this before we proceed.

It’s possible that my next two answers will solve the problem, but if they don’t, come back to this question and give me a clearer picture.

Quote
9) What if the Trollbabe's declared objective is "I want to kill that troll before he kills Jack", she fails, and still she doesn't use Jack for a reroll? Can she succeed in her goal even if she lose the conflict, because the troll really can't kill Jack?

“Before he kills Jack” is best understood as Color. First, Jack’s life cannot be in danger, as discussed above. Granted, the trollbabe doesn’t know this, so it’s perfectly reasonable that she thinks it, but again, in game terms, this is supportive Color.

That means that the rules-version of the goal is, “I want to kill that troll,” with the understanding that narration will stay Color-consistent with “stopping him from killing Jack. The rules help you in that regard, because if she succeeds, then he cannot die by the rules.

What I’m saying is that a Relationship NPC cannot be protected by making cunning goals statements. I think that’s what I’m seeing through all these questions: how can I state goals such that my Relationship NPC won’t die by the dice. Well, the answer is never. The Relationship NPC can and will die by the dice. And without the dice, he or she will not.

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10)  It's true that a trollbabe player could simply avoid using goals like these, and avoid these problems, but if the stated goal has to be what the trollbabe really wants in the fiction, sometimes these are the goals he should declare, if he want to avoid "story workshopping" trying to angle the resolution mechanics to get what he (the player) wants "for the story", instead of using her real goal. What are your thoughts about this?

I think I accounted for this. The rules trump the in-game perceptions. She can say that all she wants, and we can narrate events so that her perceptions are quite logical, but the rules do what the rules do, and we accommodate that with our narrations.

Regarding your #11, have there been no increases in Scale? Are you following the rule that if one player states that Scale increases, it increases for all of the characters?

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What if the trollbabe players say that the relatonship goes into the building to hit the guy in the face, without the trollbabe knowing about it?

Not a problem. That's an exact use of the rules as well, identical to the above question, and with the same primary issue, whether it's a conflict.

12) In a situation like this, when there is a conflict that doesn't include the trollbabe (so, there is a conflict in the fiction, between the Relationship and other characters, but not a conflict in the game rules sense), who decide the outcome? The GM has a complete free hand in the decision, as long he doesn't would, capture or kill the Relationship, or there are other considerations?

See, your text is getting mixed up with in-fiction and rules again, even though you’re trying not to. Let’s be absolutely clear: there is no conflict in the statement “the relationship NPC goes into the building to hit the guy in the face.” If the player says this, then the GM says “OK,” and moves to whatever he or she wants from there, closing the scene or not.

I sometimes think this freedom gets missed. The GM can elect to have nothing happen which affects the trollbabe at all. The guy has a black eye, all done. Or he or she can elect to frame directly to a conflict for the trollbabe, of any kind, at any time elapsed from that scene. Really, it’s very straightforward. I think the confusion is arising from the idea that once the player says this, the GM must narrate an outcome in that exact moment of play, when that’s not a requirement at all.

I mean, if you’re GMing and this announcement excites you, then please feel free to narrate either the NPC or the Relationship NPC being bested in a fist-fight, right then and there, and see whether a bona-fide conflict (i.e. danger to the trollbabe) arises through ordinary scene play. Or even be so aggressive as to call “conflict” right there and say why, placing the trollbabe herself in jeopardy in that scene, via that action. But my point is that you are not constrained to do so.

Your #13 is full of secondary questions, which I’ll try to handle before addressing the main one.

First, the band of cutthroats has to stay a band of cutthroats … but that doesn’t mean they can’t change their style. So they are cleaner and concentrate more on swindling? That’s OK, but as the person playing their feelings and opinions, don’t forget that they are still cutthroats underneath it all. Which is fun, actually.

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4) It's possible, if the trollbabe player want, to "merge" a old relationship (a single person) with that group, having a single relationship with the group that include that person, now? Instead of dropping the old relationship between adventures? (assuming that the player doesn't want that relationship anymore)

None of this is allowed, at least, not this simply. You have to follow the rules. I think I need a little bit more of a concrete example in order to explain what to do.

A previous relationship of the same trollbabe was a bouncer in a tavern.  He really could be one of the band, so that I can easily see him as a new recruit. The trollbabe is not showing him any more attention, nothing that could make him stand out from the group. At this stage she has no intention of losing that relationship, but the way the game is going I can easily see her fill up her sheet with bigger and more powerful relationships all the time, until that first one will only be a waste of space. And I was wondering (the issue didn't come up in play) if, when she will want to free that space, the only option will be to remove him from the fiction, or if he could simply be "recruited" by a larger relationship (a new cutthroat in that band, for example)

All of this seems needlessly complicated to me. First, if the player wants to retain the individual Relationship as what you perceive as a “waste of space,” then she can. So I’m not seeing any problem that needs solving.

Second, a Relationship can be dissolved completely freely between adventures, as you say. What you’re asking, if I understand it correctly, is whether the bouncer can remain in the fiction as a character, but is subsumed into the Relationship defined as the band of cutthroats.

This would be OK by the rules, being of no particular rules-relevance at all. Note that “the bouncer” can be role-played as such, i.e., individually by the GM in the future, but only as a sub-set or nuance of how he or she role-plays the overall cutthroat/con-men band.

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14) A different case: what if the trollbabe had made that first relationship the chief of the second, the chief of the band of cutthroats? I mean, instead of "dissolving" him into a faceless mass of characters, had made him the "new face" of a bigger relationship.

Wait … this is almost impossible for me to follow. The player begins by taking an individual Relationship, with this chief guy. Fine, that is normal. During the adventure and later, he is a Relationship, and the band itself is not. And then when the Scale is increased, she takes the band itself as a Relationship? This can go two ways.

i) She has two Relationships now. That’s easy.

ii) She abandons the first, chieftain Relationship and now has only one. But the chieftain is still present, merely as a feature of the band. That is OK.

It really helps in all these cases to get rid of the idea of “absorbing” Relationships into one another, and merely think of creating and dissolving Relationships. If it bothers you, then I suggest making sure that when the new (group) Relationship is formed during play then be sure to include either the bouncer or the chieftain, very clearly, as a group member at that time.

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15) So, if "he is doing nothing", I can act bored, lazy, willful or even hostile to the trollbabe?

You can act however you want at all times as far as the character’s demonstrative communication is concerned. His or her psychology, motivations, thoughts, feelings, and speech are exclusively yours.

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16) But the situation I was talking about is a little different. The trollbabe is doing something with the relationship. She goes around fighting, talking with people, etc, assuming that the relationship is with her, but never acknowledging him in any way until she need a re-roll. To make the Relationship presence felt in any way I would have to make him do something different from her unstated baseline assumption, even "he stop" o "he start to talk to you"

The player in question usually interact with NPCs (and she still do), the problem is, I think, in the uneasiness of saying what the relationships do. I wanted to know what I could do to make her remember that the relationship exist and she has the responsibility to say what he do. Because if she don't remember and I can't "move" him to make her remember, that Relationship risk really becoming only a check-marked square...

I am going to say two things which may look contradictory if a particular misconception is in action.

1. If the player wants the Relationship NPC to be a check-marked square, then he can be. That is allowed by the rules. Not everyone wants every Relationship NPC to be fully fleshed-out.

2. The GM does not have to secure the player’s permission in order to speak for the NPC, or to determine to whom. You can do that whenever you like.

The misconception I want to avoid is that the GM is supposed to be constantly using Relationship NPCs to goose the trollbabe into action. This is entirely mistaken. If you avoid that misconception, then the only principle to follow is the same for both GM and player: “If you want to have the NPC do something, say so” (for the player), and “If you want to have the NPC say something or otherwise express an opinion, say so” (for the GM). It’s all about wanting to do it, and nothing to do with any intended or hidden effect of doing so .

Best, Ron
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