Wanted to clarify if there’s an official ruling, as I’ve recently had a GM rule differently on this than I’ve ever seen it run or run it myself:
Are all 5 friends/contacts on playbooks/crewbooks considered Friends/Contacts of the characters, or just the ones you give positive arrows to? (this is in consideration to the rule where taking a friend or contact on a downtime action gets +1 dice, but also for just, narrative purposes).
I do not know the answer to your question, but since I murdered one of my crewmate’s contacts, I wonder about that, too.
(I mean, she reappeared later to possess my character and drop a major plot hint, and we kept the thing that enables her to possess whoever’s holding it, so maybe she will continue to be a contact!)
I believe it’s mentioned that you know all of them, just are friendly with one. So I suppose you could use the others as a +1, but it would probably cost something to get a neutral party to act in the crew’s favor.
The text in question is
choose one close friend and one rival
Each playbook has a list of NPCs that your character knows. Choose one from
the list who is a close relationship (a good friend, a lover, a family relation, etc.).
Mark the upward-pointing triangle next to their name. Then choose another
NPC on the list who’s your rival or enemy. Mark the downward-pointing triangle
next to their name.
choose a favorite contact
Take a look at your list of potential contacts on the crew sheet. Choose one contact
who is a close friend, long-time ally, or partner in crime.
I’ve always played this as you have 5 friends, one of whom is close, and one of whom is a rival or enemy of some description, and similarly you have 5 crew contacts, one of whom is super close (maybe even part of the gang). And most of the APs I’ve seen follow this pattern. However, the text is vague enough that this GM reads it as “just pick one of these 5 potentials to be a friend at all, the others are people you know but arent really friends”.
I don’t have a particular problem with him ruling this way, though it definitely feels like it restricts narrative choices if i wanna get my mechanical bonuses, until i make them all my friends anyway Just wanted to know if this had been officially stated anywhere, but all g.
In my own games I’ve said that the PCs know them all if they like, they can think up new contacts and ignore the ones on the sheet if they like. But their friend contact is someone who will help them in a pinch, which maybe payment in kind at a later date, and their enemy contact is someone who will always try to mess their shit up.
The rules are quite clear from those two quotes. This said, we usually play it so the characters only know the positive and negative contact, and we fill in with other NPCs we create either on the spot or in the first few games as the narrative develops, just so there’s a bit more variety. In the end, the characters are suppoused to know quite a few people, the ones on the playbooks are more examples than anything else (in our eyes).