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Obligation Doubles Rule

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So while I was re-listening to an old Order 66 podcast regarding Obligation, the Doubles Rule came up and I remembered having an issue with this when I first read through the Core's RAW.  The detrimental affects upon a party provide an interesting narrative opportunity for GMs to include and design adventures around, but the effect of the Double Rule seems to have an unfair advantage built into it for at least one character in a party.

 

What I mean is that the Doubles Rule only applies to rolls of "doubles" on the percentile dice ( "11", "22", "33",...,"99"), which by design has the flaw of never affecting a PC with an Obligation less than or equal to 10 (while maintaining either the highest Obligation of the party, or luckily granted the first slot in situations of highest equivalent obligation).  This grants a PC an exemption not from Obligation being triggered (which can happen during any session) but from the PC having to worry that the Doubles Rule would apply to them.

 

Of course, this may occur at hight levels of the percentile, depending on the groups Obligation build, but it is possible to fall within a range that does not contain a double, and therefore would preclude a character from the affects of the Doubles Rule.  Perhaps this might only occur for a character once in a while, depending upon the fluidity of a group's Obligation gains and settlements, but might persist for a PC longer than one may deem "fair" to the group's other PCs (especially once the Doubles Rule is triggered in a session).

 

I was just wondering that were a player aware of this Rule and exactly what could cause this to occur, whether this would allow for them to exploit this facet of the system by managing their Obligation to always fall within the regions of the percentile that do not contain a double and if this proved to be the case, would action by the GM become necessary?

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You could minimise the problem by listing obligations from highest to lowest (assuming the highest is > 10).

Or move the last obligation in the list to the top each session.

Or jettison the obligation mechanic entirely (not a fan).  ;)

Edited by Col. Orange

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My way of handling this has been to simply not track obligation in an ascending sequence from 1 to 100. I have one player who runs from 11 to 20, one from 21 to 25, the next from 31 to 40, and so on. I make a special point of ensuring that everyone gets a single "double number" in their obligation range. Should anyone accumulate more than 10 obligation, they might have more than one double set. But everyone gets at least one.

Edited by Krieger22

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Our GM rolled percentile for the group's Obligation as a whole rather than broken down. Once Obligation was rolled it was then narrowed down by player using a D4. Not sure if this would work when character's have differing amounts of Obligation and whether this would be fair or not but it worked for us.

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Our GM likes the idea of Obligation but tracking it individually is a pain.  He is transitioning our Obligation from individual to group based.  Every game is about ditching individual Obligation and making it just the group's Obligation.  We haven't really spoken yet how the 'Doubles rule' will work under this but I'm sure we will whip something up.  We need another session .5 to talk character progression and some house rule stuff anyway.

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Our GM likes the idea of Obligation but tracking it individually is a pain.  He is transitioning our Obligation from individual to group based.  Every game is about ditching individual Obligation and making it just the group's Obligation.  We haven't really spoken yet how the 'Doubles rule' will work under this but I'm sure we will whip something up.  We need another session .5 to talk character progression and some house rule stuff anyway.

 

You may just find yourselves as a group all experiencing the Doubles Rule which would be fair if individual obligation had been eliminated.

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Our GM likes the idea of Obligation but tracking it individually is a pain.  He is transitioning our Obligation from individual to group based.  Every game is about ditching individual Obligation and making it just the group's Obligation.  We haven't really spoken yet how the 'Doubles rule' will work under this but I'm sure we will whip something up.  We need another session .5 to talk character progression and some house rule stuff anyway.

 

You may just find yourselves as a group all experiencing the Doubles Rule which would be fair if individual obligation had been eliminated.

 

Possibly but hitting everyone up with a 4 Strain hit is a little rough.  Like I said, we need a .5 session talk.

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What I mean is that the Doubles Rule only applies to rolls of "doubles" on the percentile dice ( "11", "22", "33",...,"99"), which by design has the flaw of never affecting a PC with an Obligation less than or equal to 10 (while maintaining either the highest Obligation of the party, or luckily granted the first slot in situations of highest equivalent obligation).  This grants a PC an exemption not from Obligation being triggered (which can happen during any session) but from the PC having to worry that the Doubles Rule would apply to them.

 

Randomize the order of your obligation table each session. Example:

 

Session 1 - Everybody has 10 Obligation except for Bob who has 15.

01-10    Alice

11-25    Bob

26-35    Carol

36-45    Mallory

Alice cannot be affected by doubles for this session but who cares? Hooray for Alice! Everyone else has a chance at hitting a double. (edit: actually, Bob has a chance at two... poor Bob.)

 

Session 2 - No change in Obligation, shuffle the table order.

01-10    Carol

11-20    Alice

21-35    Bob

36-45    Mallory

Now it's hooray for Carol! Alice and Mallory each have a chance at a single double. Bob can sweat a little since two doubles, 22 and 33, are within his range.

 

Over time, the randomness will even everything out. Simple and easy.

Edited by Deve Sunstriker

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It has never come up for us and devising a complex solution for an edge case seems like a lot of effort for not much (if any) gain. 

 

If it ever did come up and you rolled a 1-10 I'd just just roll another d10 and see if you come up with the same number. It would take all of 3 seconds and we'd be on our way.

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I'm just getting my group into the beginner's box this weekend so I have about 2-3 weeks before upgrading them to the Core Rolebook and the Obligation mechanic. That said, I like the story concept of rolling to see if a character's obligations catch up with him any given session even if it requires having some material prepared ahead of time in the event any given PC is rolled. However, I don't know if I agree with the strain reduction, especially on rolling doubles. It just seems like something out of game affecting a PC where he wouldn't necessarily know his number is up that session.

 

I'm not sure how my players are going to react to that mechanic. I do want to play the rules straight-up to start and avoid house ruling things until we've had a chance to play the game as intended. If I were to guess I think the strain reduction will be one of the few things I'd want to house rule but the jury is out until we actually play.

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I'm just getting my group into the beginner's box this weekend so I have about 2-3 weeks before upgrading them to the Core Rolebook and the Obligation mechanic. That said, I like the story concept of rolling to see if a character's obligations catch up with him any given session even if it requires having some material prepared ahead of time in the event any given PC is rolled. However, I don't know if I agree with the strain reduction, especially on rolling doubles. It just seems like something out of game affecting a PC where he wouldn't necessarily know his number is up that session.

 

I'm not sure how my players are going to react to that mechanic. I do want to play the rules straight-up to start and avoid house ruling things until we've had a chance to play the game as intended. If I were to guess I think the strain reduction will be one of the few things I'd want to house rule but the jury is out until we actually play.

 

I'm following a similar path with my campaign now.  the first adventure I made to have them all get to know each other is their gimme -- we skipped rolling obligation for it.  but once they complete this, I'm going to pull in the RAW for obligation and see how it plays out.  after listening to the devs speak about the doubles rule on Order 66, I've had a sort of change of heart from my initial reaction which was much similar to your own.  I think the stress on the character represented by strain is fair and can be something that you might be able to elaborate better upon at the table, requiring them to role-play that out a bit for the group and maybe avoid setbacks if done well.  remember you don't have to have the obligation dealt with directly in the session in which it comes up, but rather brought into the gameplay, acknowledged if you will.

 

obligation can be daunting at first, but I believe it is much more flexible than the initial read many of us have had.

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Im a player in a group of 4 and we have separate obligation that'sscaled 1_100 and it works very well but he added his own little spin to make it flow into the game well. but I can say I enjoy it it when mine bounty on my marudar comes up he uses pistols fighting Ajax snowplanis fun usually end up with couple crit injuries but that's what we have medica and doctors for right

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I haven't had any issues with the obligation system. They get put into the stack based on magnitude of each obligation (not per player, but per each obligation a player has) and each week the order is shifted.

 

So, my players started with 20 obligation each (other than 1 that only got to 15).

 

Each player had a 10 and either 1 or 2 5s, so, week 1:

 

Player 1

10

1-10

Player 2

10

11-20

Player 3

10

21-30

Player 4

10

31-40

Player 1

5

41-45

Player 2

5

46-50

Player 3

5

51-55

Player 4

5

56-60

Player 1

5

61-65

Player 2

5

66-70

Player 3

5

71-75

 

Week 2:

Player 4

10

1-10

Player 1

10

11-20

Player 2

10

21-30

Player 3

10

31-40

Player 3

5

41-45

Player 1

5

46-50

Player 2

5

51-55

Player 3

5

56-60

Player 4

5

61-65

Player 1

5

66-70

Player 2

5

71-75

 

week 3:

Player 3

10

1-10

Player 4

10

11-20

Player 1

10

21-30

Player 2

10

31-40

Player 2

5

41-45

Player 3

5

46-50

Player 1

5

51-55

Player 2

5

56-60

Player 3

5

61-65

Player 4

5

66-70

Player 1

5

71-75

 

Etc...

 

So, chances for doubles keeps moving around on the players.

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So there's two issues:

1. Being in the obligation order before 10 means that you're immune to the doubles rule, since you can't roll a 00 (because 00 belongs to 100). 

2. Having an obligation value that's under 10 means that you might not even run into doubles.

 

So if a player's obligation is 10-19, then he has a 10% chance of rolling a doubles, right? Then shouldn't a player with 1 obligation value have a 1% chance, and so on?

 

So how about... Roll for obligation, but ignore any 'doubles' results. Instead of having the double result of the dice being the trigger, roll another 1d100 against the PC's obligation value to check if the PC gets 4 strain.

Edited by hencook

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I am faced with a table where I don't usually have all of my players there at the same time. So I am going to institute a new way of making the obligation check for my game this Sunday. 

 

I will roll once for each character present.  If the d100 result is equal to or below their total obligation score it will trigger.  If they trigger they take a 5 point hit to their strain threshold.  Other characters can offer to take some of those points. 

 

I hope this will help to give some incentive to the players to do things to reduce their personal obligations.  Group Obligation would be rolled by its self and any of the party members that were there for when that obligation was incurred would take a 3 point reduction.

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Why not just have a natural 1 count as doubles for the player >10? Seems a lot simpler than a lot of these other suggestions.

Edit: After thinking about it more, if you're playing with a group with minimal obligation (as in 5 each) then you get a situation where, depending on how many players you have, only about half are going to be capable getting doubles. In that case I'd imagine the earlier suggestion of rearranging the Obligation order each session is probably the best idea.

Edited by Revanchist7

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I am faced with a table where I don't usually have all of my players there at the same time. So I am going to institute a new way of making the obligation check for my game this Sunday. 

 

I will roll once for each character present.  If the d100 result is equal to or below their total obligation score it will trigger.  If they trigger they take a 5 point hit to their strain threshold.  Other characters can offer to take some of those points. 

 

I hope this will help to give some incentive to the players to do things to reduce their personal obligations.  Group Obligation would be rolled by its self and any of the party members that were there for when that obligation was incurred would take a 3 point reduction.

This sounds pretty brutal, but I don't know the situation at your table, so it might seem necessary. But -5 is potentially a major thing.

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I am faced with a table where I don't usually have all of my players there at the same time. So I am going to institute a new way of making the obligation check for my game this Sunday. 

 

I will roll once for each character present.  If the d100 result is equal to or below their total obligation score it will trigger.  If they trigger they take a 5 point hit to their strain threshold.  Other characters can offer to take some of those points. 

 

I hope this will help to give some incentive to the players to do things to reduce their personal obligations.  Group Obligation would be rolled by its self and any of the party members that were there for when that obligation was incurred would take a 3 point reduction.

This sounds pretty brutal, but I don't know the situation at your table, so it might seem necessary. But -5 is potentially a major thing.

 

If you have a table with 4 players then any time the obligation triggers the group as a whole is down at least 5 strain.  2 for the triggering character and 1 for the other three.  The 5 points can be spread out among all the players at the table so when I have more that 4 players the total impact is actually less than it otherwise would be.

 

I am considering doing this new method for a few reasons.

 

- Most of my players are ignoring their Obligation. (despite that)

- I have given the players various methods of absolving their obligation;

- -  If the story related to their obligation they are able to sacrifice earned xp to buy off the obligation.

- - They are able to do role playing missions between games in order to lower their obligation without using xp

- I am also going to let players voluntarily take on more Obligation (at a 1:1 ratio) in order to get extra XP. (provided it makes sense for the story)

 

My ultimate goal is to make Obligation something that is not just decided on at character creation and then forgotten.

Edited by Ryoden

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I am faced with a table where I don't usually have all of my players there at the same time. So I am going to institute a new way of making the obligation check for my game this Sunday. 

 

I will roll once for each character present.  If the d100 result is equal to or below their total obligation score it will trigger.  If they trigger they take a 5 point hit to their strain threshold.  Other characters can offer to take some of those points. 

 

I hope this will help to give some incentive to the players to do things to reduce their personal obligations.  Group Obligation would be rolled by its self and any of the party members that were there for when that obligation was incurred would take a 3 point reduction.

This sounds pretty brutal, but I don't know the situation at your table, so it might seem necessary. But -5 is potentially a major thing.

 

If you have a table with 4 players then any time the obligation triggers the group as a whole is down at least 5 strain.  2 for the triggering character and 1 for the other three.  The 5 points can be spread out among all the players at the table so when I have more that 4 players the total impact is actually less than it otherwise would be.

 

I am considering doing this new method for a few reasons.

 

- Most of my players are ignoring their Obligation. (despite that)

- I have given the players various methods of absolving their obligation;

- -  If the story related to their obligation they are able to sacrifice earned xp to buy off the obligation.

- - They are able to do role playing missions between games in order to lower their obligation without using xp

- I am also going to let players voluntarily take on more Obligation (at a 1:1 ratio) in order to get extra XP. (provided it makes sense for the story)

 

My ultimate goal is to make Obligation something that is not just decided on at character creation and then forgotten.

 

Oh oh oh!  I thought each player was getting -5, not the group as a whole!  I thought you were a madman!

Edited by Revanchist7

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I like the idea of putting the 00 at the beginning. It assures that a character with very little obligation still gets the double option, even if they are in the first position.

I have the issue that my players also took multiple obligations.

My plan is to have the player with the obligation with the highest numerical amount to be in the first slot, then the second highest, and so on once I have one obligation for each character on the list, I list the next highest obligation for each character in the same order. Until I've gone through all of their obligations.

00-19 - Dasha's debt for her ship (Debt 20)

20-29 - Vixs' Obsession (Obsession 10)

30-39 - AL-X1's favor (Favor 10)

40-49 - Neshira's Bounty (Bounty 10)

50-54 - Vixs' Blackmail (Blackmail 5)

55-64 - AL-X1's Betrayal (Betrayal 10)

65-69 - Neshira's Favor (Favor 5)

70-74 - Neshira's Debt (Debt 5)

75-79 - Vixs' Debt (Debt 5)

(I realized as I was typing this that I had to swap the last 2 or Neshira would have had the potential for doubles on all three or her obligations, where Vixs would have only had the potential on one of his.)

 

Eventually as the various members pay down or eliminate their obligations the party as a whole will develop new ones.

 

I also plan to roll for obligation at the END of each gaming session. That way I will have at least a week to plan on how to incorporate it into the next gaming session instead of trying to fit something in on the fly that could, but may not really work.

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