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Lowering Obligation

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I've read thru the book and I cant find anyhting about how you handle lowering Obligation. Do I just do it out of the blue when they do something for their obligation? 5 points here 10 points there?

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Like many things, it is at the discretion of the GM.  The section that covers it is "Managing Obligation Settlement" on page 310.  As a GM, you use the Obligation mechanic to put stress on the PCs, compel them into action, or drive/inspire the plotline.  How you reduce it, the quantity, and frequency is up to you.

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Its up to you as the gm but basically....

 

Buy it down with money. 5,000 credits for -5 obligation iirc.

 

Drop it through actions. If you've got obligation:favor owed to jabba the Hutt, then pulling a job for, or diverting and adventure to be beneficial to the Hutt can lose you some points if the gm agrees.

 

 

The whole idea is to use the obligation to try and personalize the adventures a little. No always applicatible, and thats why the obligation mechanic isn't critical to actual gameplay.

 

Also you can cheat it to allow for exciting options that most games won't allow. Say you're doing a big setpeice con job like oceans eleven. The players might need some huge set of kit that nkrmally wouldn't be available ( like an ambulance, swat van, swat armor, and a replica of the casino vault). Alllowing them to gain obligation that they will regain if they succeed  can both allow that big set of kit to become available, while still upping the ante should they fail.

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Its up to you as the gm but basically....

 

Buy it down with money. 5,000 credits for -5 obligation iirc.

 

Drop it through actions. If you've got obligation:favor owed to jabba the Hutt, then pulling a job for, or diverting and adventure to be beneficial to the Hutt can lose you some points if the gm agrees.

For the most part I agree with your post but not every obligation should be allowed to be bought off. In fact, dependent on the obligation and its details, even ones like blackmail, bounty etc. should cost a lot more than 1k per point of obligation. Most obligation should be reduced by actions within the game; you manage to steal a crate of weapons and give them to the Hutt you owe money to might reduce the groups obligation by 5 or 10 points in total and the group must decide how to break it down between the group members, you spend a significant period of time without a supply of the drugs you are addicted to might reduce your action by up to 5 points etc.

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To me, Obligation represents the amount of influence that part of your life (a debt you owe, an addiction you have, family you need to support, etc.) has on the rest of your person. The only way to pay it down is to reduce its impact on your life by dealing with the root problems that cause it.

 

For example, Debt can be settled with money, but you probably owe money to someone who's not going to let it go without interest, which can take the form of favors. That Hutt might call you in as his personal bodyguard or bounty hunter, and if you want to pay down the Debt and not get saddled with additional Obligation, you have to do what he says. Addiction gets paid down by beating the habit; taking a whole mess of drugs wouldn't reduce it, even if it sates your temporary desire, and might even make it worse by escalating your addiction.

 

Your Family Obligation might require you to run to the rescue when your sibling/spouse/children are in danger, but you can only pay it down by eliminating the reasons you have to support them. Maybe start paying it off by investing serious time and energy into teaching them self-defense, or send your daughter to space college to get a space degree and earn enough space money to provide for herself, rather than sending money home.

 

For example, my character in a game is a Rodian doctor whose Obligation is an Oath to do no harm (or do the least harm possible, in a given circumstance). How does the GM put the hurt on me? I'm in a group that frequently has to kill to survive, and sometimes I'm put in a situation where it's not only advantageous to me to hurt or kill someone, but distinctively bad if I were to let them go. He makes me walk a fine line, and not only is it fun but it spurs good character development and roleplaying.

 

Will I ever be able to pay off that Obligation completely? No, probably not, but I've reduced it to its minimum 5, and the system recommends not ever letting a player get to 0 -- or if they do, replace it with another Obligation. I currently have another one, Criminal, which has led to plenty of other good stories.

 

In short, Obligation should be lowered (or raised) thematically more than mechanically. Let the intrinsic narrative take you someplace new and explore your options. I guarantee your PCs will find it more rewarding to go through a storyline and reduce their Obligation piece by piece, rather than save up the credits and buy it outright.

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Its up to you as the gm but basically....

 

Buy it down with money. 5,000 credits for -5 obligation iirc.

 

Drop it through actions. If you've got obligation:favor owed to jabba the Hutt, then pulling a job for, or diverting and adventure to be beneficial to the Hutt can lose you some points if the gm agrees.

For the most part I agree with your post but not every obligation should be allowed to be bought off. In fact, dependent on the obligation and its details, even ones like blackmail, bounty etc. should cost a lot more than 1k per point of obligation. Most obligation should be reduced by actions within the game; you manage to steal a crate of weapons and give them to the Hutt you owe money to might reduce the groups obligation by 5 or 10 points in total and the group must decide how to break it down between the group members, you spend a significant period of time without a supply of the drugs you are addicted to might reduce your action by up to 5 points etc.

 

I think that's the value the book lists.

 

The thing is how buying down works narratively can vary. Paying down something like fugative might not be you buying off the cops, it might be you buying a better fake id to travel under.

 

That's my take, obligation should be painted not as a money pot, but as a resource that fills in all those off screen deals and maneuvers that generate a needed point, but aren't something to be dwelled on.

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I recently asked my group four questions to get them thinking about Obligation. Three were about how to lower, increase, and transform their Obligations. Since there aren't any hard and fast guidelines (aside from money) on lowering them, I think it should be partially in the players hands what that might look like. It's their character after all, and they made up the backstory for the Obligations.

1) What are some ways you see your Obligation(s) decreasing? These aren't the only ways it can happen, but it does get you thinking how what you think the pacing might look like, as well as what some possible resolutions could be.

2) What would cause your Obligation(s) to increase? While this might seem counter productive, think about some examples of the situations and rewards that might tantalize you to increase your current Obligation(s).

3) How might your Obligations change over time, or what kinds of other Obligations might you pick up over time? Either as you decrease your current Obligations or simply take on new ones, what form would that take?

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 I think that's the value the book lists.

 

Actually the amount the CRB mentions is 5000 per point and even then it says that the GM may decide that is the cost. It should depend entirely on what the details of the obligation are and who else is involved in it.

Edited by eldath

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I think that's the value the book lists.

Actually the amount the CRB mentions is 5000 per point and even then it says that the GM may decide that is the cost. It should depend entirely on what the details of the obligation are and who else is involved in it.

Guess that's what I get for not looking it up....

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You get 2500 credits for 10 points of obligation but it take 1 point for 5000? Doesnt sound right to me.

5000 is a suggested cost for reducing obligation by 1 point and as a GM you can decide for yourself, but it is not the same as paying back the money you get at character gen. It should never be cheap to buy off obligation even if it is as straight forward as debt.

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You get 2500 credits for 10 points of obligation but it take 1 point for 5000? Doesnt sound right to me.

You're taking the Obligations too literally. Yes, you get 2500 credits to buy personal items for your character for 10 Obligation. What that Obligation represents is up to the player and GM. If they choose it to be debt, then it represents something from your past. A loan you took out to buy a cargo on speculation; the loan you got to buy the ship you're flying around in; Maybe you owe money to someone for being bailed out of prison; or in one case, the debt you owe for dumping your cargo (failure to deliver).

 

For some, owing a debt is a big issue, even if the debt isn't a lot of money (large Obligation value). For others, they could owe huge sums and just not care (small Obligation value). If you're half the galaxy away from where you owe money, then it probably won't come up much for you as a stressor. If you keep operating in the area and keep getting reminded of your debt, then it could be a bigger stressor, maybe even force you to take on a couple of strangers and their droids looking to go somewhere without Imperial entaglements...

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Resurrection!

I'm currently thinking about how the players might lower their Obligation: Wanted by the Empire. For crimes committed, including but not limited to, destruction of Imperial property, theft of Imperial property, and killing of Imperial forces, all 3 PCs are carrying around +15 Wanted. 

Add in a few Bounties, a little Debt, and an Addiction... That 100 Obligation cap is looming. 

While they all have small amounts of different Obligation, since they all share the Wanted one, they are thinking that they would gain the most from reducing that.

I'm just scratching my head as to how they get 'Less Wanted' by the Empire.

Any suggestions?

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Currently I'm planning a way for them to potentially break into an Imperial Outpost, maybe even an ISB building, and slice themselves out of the system, thereby removing the Wanted. 

Just wondering if there were other ideas.

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One classic is to fake thier deaths.  It'd probably involve losing a ship that they are well known for having and new ID's that could come with thier own, albiet lsser, obligation if they can't afford them.

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On 11/2/2014 at 10:32 AM, CaptainRaspberry said:

For example, my character in a game is a Rodian doctor whose Obligation is an Oath to do no harm (or do the least harm possible, in a given circumstance). How does the GM put the hurt on me? I'm in a group that frequently has to kill to survive, and sometimes I'm put in a situation where it's not only advantageous to me to hurt or kill someone, but distinctively bad if I were to let them go. He makes me walk a fine line, and not only is it fun but it spurs good character development and roleplaying.

 

Will I ever be able to pay off that Obligation completely? No, probably not, but I've reduced it to its minimum 5, and the system recommends not ever letting a player get to 0 -- or if they do, replace it with another Obligation. I currently have another one, Criminal, which has led to plenty of other good stories.

Okay, I would love to hear how you reduced your oath Obligation down to 5. That's always been one of the hardest bits for me--figuring out how to reduce an Obligation that is either self-imposed or a character trait, like Obsession or Adrenaline Junkie.

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16 hours ago, Hysteria said:

Okay, I would love to hear how you reduced your oath Obligation down to 5. That's always been one of the hardest bits for me--figuring out how to reduce an Obligation that is either self-imposed or a character trait, like Obsession or Adrenaline Junkie.

Either the oath loses its scale or it gets fulfilled. 15 points - Oath, bring my parents murder to justice. Killer is dead or in jail, Oath drops down or even gets replaced. Adrenaline Junkie... too many close calls wakes up the person to the real danger they are putting themself in and that they aren't indestructible. Obsession, something new or different pushes it from the character's exposure. For example, used to collect lots of minis... then a kid came along and now dealing with the dependent has taken precedent.

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On 4/6/2017 at 3:17 PM, R5D8 said:

Currently I'm planning a way for them to potentially break into an Imperial Outpost, maybe even an ISB building, and slice themselves out of the system, thereby removing the Wanted. 

Just wondering if there were other ideas.

An outpost would only work in the immediate area, and could be undone when an update to the "wanted list" occurs. If you know where one of the ISB's buildings are, that would be a better option, but that still only takes you out of one system. Slicing yourself out of everything would require hitting more than just one system and more than just one world, and probably be the basis of an entire adventure chain. Another problem with that is you won't slice yourself out of the memories of the people burned by the characters, and if/when your absence is noted from the system, you find yourself right back in. "I was working on the Jargo case last night, and it's gone this morning, what's up chief?"

 

My suggestion? Hire a good lawyer. Combine that with a slicer to discredit or disappear the evidence, and you might get off with lesser charges, penalties, and fines.

 

cyote6 has a good suggestion. Find someone influential and convince them to sweep it under the rug for you. Do you have any Hutts or other crime lords who owe you one and might know someone? Maybe use some good blackmail?

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18 hours ago, Spatula Of Doom said:

An outpost would only work in the immediate area, and could be undone when an update to the "wanted list" occurs. If you know where one of the ISB's buildings are, that would be a better option, but that still only takes you out of one system. Slicing yourself out of everything would require hitting more than just one system and more than just one world, and probably be the basis of an entire adventure chain. Another problem with that is you won't slice yourself out of the memories of the people burned by the characters, and if/when your absence is noted from the system, you find yourself right back in. "I was working on the Jargo case last night, and it's gone this morning, what's up chief?"

 

My suggestion? Hire a good lawyer. Combine that with a slicer to discredit or disappear the evidence, and you might get off with lesser charges, penalties, and fines.

 

cyote6 has a good suggestion. Find someone influential and convince them to sweep it under the rug for you. Do you have any Hutts or other crime lords who owe you one and might know someone? Maybe use some good blackmail?

 

It's definitely going to be the basis of an entire session, or two.... or three. However, you bring up a good point. Last session, they put themselves on the Imperial Radar big time. 

I'm currently of the mind that, perhaps I could allow them to hit an ISB outpost and let it update the system to reflect that they are all currently captured and incarcerated somewhere. Or dead? The problem with that is that as soon as they are found, if they are ever linked again to their older IDs, then all that Wanted Obligation comes back, and with a vengeance. 

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Sounds about right.

 

If I was the PC I'd work to have us listed as incarcerated in some 2 million inmate mega-jail, then months later start listing them as dead in various incidents. "X and Y was killed during a prison riot on such and such a date. Z was killed by unknown persons in the shower several months later, presumed to be gang related. And Q was just killed in a work team accident in the irridium mines." In that case, it would be the hacking of the jail that would fix your problems. A rubber stamp of Bounty collected on these wanted people would then go outwards and take care of the other systems.

 

If you have them Fly Casual and Special Modifications has some info on the spy/heist and the slicing of ID's stuff respectively.

Edited by Spatula Of Doom

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2 hours ago, Darthzader2187 said:

What about addiction?

Logically, reducing an Addiction obligation probably indicates either

  • getting a handle on your problem and becoming more of a 'Functional Addict' or
  • getting a handle on your supply so you aren't as stressed worrying about where your next 'fix' is coming from.

My Chadra-fan was addicted to 'conversation' and I was thinking of adding a droid personality to her future 'cyber brain implant' to get it under control:  She's still be an addict, but she would be a more manageable addict when she can talk to the voice in her head all day long...

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On 4/13/2017 at 5:52 PM, R5D8 said:

 

It's definitely going to be the basis of an entire session, or two.... or three. However, you bring up a good point. Last session, they put themselves on the Imperial Radar big time. 

I'm currently of the mind that, perhaps I could allow them to hit an ISB outpost and let it update the system to reflect that they are all currently captured and incarcerated somewhere. Or dead? The problem with that is that as soon as they are found, if they are ever linked again to their older IDs, then all that Wanted Obligation comes back, and with a vengeance. 

That is a good way to do it. Though they could potentially eliminate the possibility of future issues by updating the specifics of the listed IDs that they have been identified with originally.

So they could do something like this,

Bob the Twi'lek hacks into the ISB system to try and get the heat off his crew. His party members are Grollak the Wookiee and T9-8U the droid. He tells the system that they have been captured and sent to the Spice Mines of Kessel. But to ensure that they don't get identified in the future, he also updates their descriptions. He changes his description to say that he has Red skin and is missing his left Lekku, when he really has green skin and isn't missing anything. He makes Grollak's description update to show that he has black fur with a hint of grey, while Grollak actually has light brown fur with a hunt of orange. T9-8U has his description updated to show that he is a heavily modified B2 Battle Droid, when in reality he is a 3PO protocol droid.

These alterations to their physical descriptions, if successfully substituted in, will completely eliminate any chance of them being held responsible for their past actions UNLESS they are recognized by someone who had personal experience with them in the context of the criminal activity. IE: They have the bad luck of running into the very Imperial officer who knows exactly what they looked like and filed the original charges of smuggling against them originally.

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