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Regarding Obligations


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#1 Poseur

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 07:48 PM

I haven't got my book yet, and I'm wondering if and how obligations has changed in the core rules compared to the Beta.

 

Is it any change and wich?

 

 

 

/Poseur



#2 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 03:12 PM

I haven't got my book yet, and I'm wondering if and how obligations has changed in the core rules compared to the Beta.

 

Is it any change and wich?

 

 

 

/Poseur

Not really, other than Obligation descriptions being fleshed out, which you can view in part 1 of FFG's news article with the example of character creation.

 

Addiction added a bit of crunch in in that it give suggestions on apply setback dice for the junkie under particularly circumstances, but that's about it.


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#3 Poseur

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 03:22 PM

Ok. Becouse i was curious about the starting Obligation value.

 

It all seems strage to me, but I might have missunderstood it.

 

This is how i think it works:

 

you chose 1 obligation that has a numerical value that is based on how many players there is in the group, for instance 10.

If you want you could increase this value, or add another obligation. Max dubble start value. And for this extra value you gain either xp or credits.

 

This to me is strage, why is there a starting obligation if it only punish the players? What is this starting obligation meant to be other than a narrative plot-hook? Does it symbolize the groups ship or something?

Could somone elaborate on this please? Im confused with both the mechanics and the creators vision about it.



#4 Kallabecca

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 03:32 PM

Obligation is a means to have someone's "Debts" come up in game. Basically at the beginning of a game session you total the Obligation in the party. Then roll percentile dice. If the number comes up less than or equal to the total of the party, then someone's Obligation is coming for them this session. If the total Obligation of the party rises over 100, then no one is allowed to spend XP. This is because their "Debts" start interfering with their lives more so than normal.

E.g. That bounty on your head comes a knocking with a Bounty Hunter behind it

Your sister is in trouble and needs your help

The Hutt that you "borrowed" some money from has come to collect

etc...



#5 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 04:39 PM

This to me is strage, why is there a starting obligation if it only punish the players? What is this starting obligation meant to be other than a narrative plot-hook? Does it symbolize the groups ship or something?

Could somone elaborate on this please? Im confused with both the mechanics and the creators vision about it.

Don't think of Obligations as a way to punish the players, but more a source for ways to tie your player's backstory into the current adventure.

 

Excellent example of this occurred during a Skype game I was in.  The Twi'lek Colonist/Doctor had his Obligation come up while the party was on Tatooine.  Rather than just lower everyone's Strain Threshold, the GM had the group accosted by several thugs in the employ of Jabba the Hutt, who knew about the doc's shady past, and set us up with an interesting side quest that ended in an explosive assassination at a swoop racing track.

 

Another was my own PC's Obligation came up once (he was a Clone Trooper that had deserted from the Empire) in the form of a couple of Imperial officers that strolled into the space station bar we were at, and it ended with my PC making public fools of them.  Sadly, the game ended, so nothing will come of it... though I did get a free bottle of Corellian Whiskey from the barkeep :)

 

Alternatively, Jay Little made this suggestion over at the d20 Radio Forums:

 

"One thing I like to do is plan ahead using PC Obligations. During game prep, I make a few notes on bad events that could happen based on any one of the PC Obligations being triggered at the beginning of the session.

Assign some sort of Threshold to the Obligation (perhaps its magnitude, or some arbitrary value like 10). When a Threat or Despair is rolled that doesn't immediately bring to mine a relevant element to narrate into the current scene, I'll add it to the Obligation Event's "countdown timer."

Once I've put a number of these extra Threat or Despair into the Event that it equals or exceeds the magnitude, time for the event to trigger! I'll either weave it directly into the current scene, or make sure it affects the PCs in the following scene."


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#6 azato

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 04:52 PM

As Donvan stated this isn't punishment. The intent of the game is to provide all the materials for a crazy good story to occur. Think of Han's obligation to Jabba the Hutt. How much less interesting would the movies be if this wasn't in the movie? No taking on Ob-Wan and Luke, no shooting of Greedo, no leaving dramatically before the battle to go pay his debt (only to come back later and save the day), no being frozen in carbonite, and no being rescued from Jabba the Hutt.  If the movies were an RPG ...obligations would be a means of driving that particular story line.


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#7 Lickintoad

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 05:21 PM

This is how i think it works:

 

you chose 1 obligation that has a numerical value that is based on how many players there is in the group, for instance 10.

If you want you could increase this value, or add another obligation. Max dubble start value. And for this extra value you gain either xp or credits.

 

Just to clarify:

 

If you choose/roll multiple obligations at creation, those obligations starting values are equal to half your total magnitude.  So, if you take the Addiction obligation for your 10, then later on take the +5 option and decide you also want the Debt obligation, then Addiction would have a magnitude of 8 and Debt would have a magnitude of 7 or vice versa.  You wouldn't have Addiction at 10 and Debt at 5.

 

Not by the rules as written, anyway.



#8 Poseur

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 07:28 PM

Good answers!

And I agree that Obligations is a good plot-hook-device, it's just that I feel it's poorly implemented by punishing the players.

I'll try explain how i think about this. Every player needs to buy up an obligation to a sertain level, for that it dosent give you nothing except plot-hooks ( wich you could implement by other means) and a negative drawback for you and the rest of the group, eg getting strain. I mean that it would be nicer to have obligations start at say 5, and have the players choose how much that obligation shall come into play and also be rewarded for it. Thats how i feel atleast and that seems to work better with the intentions of the creators when they first anounced this. Everone should have atleast a small obligation to something, but if they want more exp or credits they should increase it by their free will.

 

I think because of the game mechanics written as they are, it's strange that you have this quite big obligation that's only a drawback (once again, plothooks can be implemented without this system) that gives strain without compensating you for it in any way. If the "starting" obligation was bound to something for the whole group i could understand it better, if like they owed the hutts money or favors for the ship they have, but now its just a system that gives you strain and plot-hooks/side-quest.

 

Or i coulde see that you get either credits or exp for your starting obligation also, that could work in my mind.

 

Also another thing, its strange that starting obligation is set by the numbers of PC, i guess my gaming group is not the only one that sometimes has three players or somethimes five.

 

 

/Poseur



#9 Poseur

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 07:32 PM

Now I see that the groups starting ship is part of their starting obligation. I've totally missed out that part, and thought it strange. Now the starting obligation makes alot more sense to me. I thoght this was the idea and tried to find out if it was so, but couldnt find it before. Now it makes sense.


Edited by Poseur, 08 July 2013 - 07:32 PM.


#10 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 03:30 PM

Now I see that the groups starting ship is part of their starting obligation. I've totally missed out that part, and thought it strange. Now the starting obligation makes alot more sense to me. I thoght this was the idea and tried to find out if it was so, but couldnt find it before. Now it makes sense.

I don't think it's exactly spelled out that such is the case, but lemme check my book...

 

Ah, page 99, right under "Step 10: Selecting a Ship."

 

Now, that said, if your campaign is intended to be focused on a single planet and the PCs' don't get to start with a spaceship, then you might want to consider dropping that initial Obligation by at least 5 points (minimum of 5) to reflect that care of a ship is "one less thing to worry about." for the group.  Of course this would also cut down on the amount of extra Obligation a PC could take (so a group of 5 players would have a starting Obligation of 5 and could only take 5 extra Obligation since you can't ever take more than twice your starting amount).

 

If nothing else, it's a thought.


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