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Sevordo

Obligation: Addicted to Killing?

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Hey all, so I just started my first GMing game of this and it went well and 3 out of 4 of my characters ended up with interesting and decently thought out Obligations to start with. However, the last player opted to play a Droid Assassin, which is fine, and then rolled the random obligation of Addiction. I actually thought this was a potentially great obligation because a Droid addicted to anything is just an out of the box, potentially funny and interesting obligation. This player decided his addiction was going to be "killing" which does fit in line with his character's career but he refuses to put any thought into it. He literally just wants to start fights constantly and kill NPCs that show the slightest hint of not being completely on their side. This was the first game and because I did the Beginner adventure with my own spin on it, it was easy enough to keep him in character and satisfied (he killed a few Gamorreans and Tie Fighters at the end) but the next part of the adventure, which I'm using "Beyond the Rim" for puts them on The Wheel space station and has a strict no violence policy.

 

Between the time the characters will spend in Hyperspace and being on The Wheel and then back in Hyperspace for a few days before landing on the next planet, it's going to be about a good week of game time. My question is, at what point should this addiction to killing and not being able to do so start to take effect and how would you guys manifest that? Obviously putting some Strain on him is the easy way and I'm good with that but I do want to make it more interesting sometimes. Also, any ideas how to coax him into not wanting to just murder everything and basically play his character like it's stepped out of Call of Duty? The other 3 players are doing great and playing their roles and I have no problem with someone playing an Assassin, it's just that this particular player wants to just kill things.

 

I know the other option is to cave a little and put some sort of encounter where he can kill something on The Wheel but I want the players to really get a sense that while the universe is full of dangerous people, there are places where people don't enjoy random blaster fire erupting and that their communication and investigation skills are almost always going to yield better results in the long run over unprovoked violence.

 

It's hard to flesh out the world and characters when one of them doesn't seem interested in that particular aspect of Star Wars but I obviously don't want to punish him for playing a perfectly legitimate character choice.

Edited by Sevordo

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Every time he kills in a dumb way add 5 Obligation in the form of a bounty being taken out on his head.  Explain that will continue and eventually the team will amass 100+ and not be able to spend xp.

 

Original Obligation isn't a forever thing.  EoE wants PCs to always have some, but that doesn't mean you keep the original Obligation forever, you're supposed to work towards 'paying it down'.  Let the rest of the group encourage him that it's time for some re-programming and to ditch that Obligation and make that into a session seeking out a droid expert to do that.

 

Incidentally I wouldn't have allowed someone to do that and play an Assassin.  Assassin's are professionals who kill when they are paid, and only those they are paid to kill. People who hire Assassins don't want a trail of bodies or sloppy work, so he'd be a crummy unemployed Assassin imo.

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Every time he kills in a dumb way add 5 Obligation in the form of a bounty being taken out on his head.  Explain that will continue and eventually the team will amass 100+ and not be able to spend xp.

 

Original Obligation isn't a forever thing.  EoE wants PCs to always have some, but that doesn't mean you keep the original Obligation forever, you're supposed to work towards 'paying it down'.  Let the rest of the group encourage him that it's time for some re-programming and to ditch that Obligation and make that into a session seeking out a droid expert to do that.

 

Incidentally I wouldn't have allowed someone to do that and play an Assassin.  Assassin's are professionals who kill when they are paid, and only those they are paid to kill. People who hire Assassins don't want a trail of bodies or sloppy work, so he'd be a crummy unemployed Assassin imo.

That is a good solution.

 

The other thing you could do is have the PCs do a memory wipe on him for their own protection (work it in somehow so they have no/little choice).  Then since he has had a fundamental change in his personality code you CHOOSE (i.e. dont roll) a new obligation/obsession with him.

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Kinda getting the feeling this may be another one of those situations where someone is mixing up Motivation and Obligation.

 

Motivation is something your character WANTS to do. So in this case the droid, through a defect or something, wants to off people.

 

Obligation is something you have to deal with whether you like it or not. Someone with an Addition obligation doesn't make it go away be feeding the addition or kicking the habit, because that's not the obligation. Obligation is all the fallout from the addition, the loanshark collecting the gambling debt, the spice dealer that'll cut you off unless you do a "favor" for him, the crooked enforcement officer that'll report your lapsed license because you were too drunk to pass your annual qualification and he needs a problem solved.

 

So in the case of the droid addicted to killing. The killing itself isn't the Obligation's manifestation. It's the fallout form the killing. The crime lord that's not happy you offed his brother, the little girl that saw you obliterate some thugs and now wants to follow in your footsteps, the intel agent that needs an "incident" to cover an op of his and thinks he can leverage the droid to be that incident.

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All good points. A sloppy Assassin isn't going to get any work. One thing I've worked in is that the group is going to be searching for a lost Captain on a planet (Beyond the Rim story) but I want to secretly give him a Bounty Contract to kill the Captain. He won't know who it's assigned by (which could be further complications in Story for them) and also the group is being tasked with bringing him back alive. I want to see if he'll just kill the guy or discuss with the group. If he does kill him, the group has major incentive to "take care" of him in their own way. I like the idea of a memory wipe a lot and creating a quest around it.

 

Ghostofman, if it is a Motivation, doesn't that make it harder to deal with as a GM then? Obligation, I can stack consequences on him but Motivation, he's playing his character, isn't he? I like the ideas brought up that negative things can happen from his killing people but I'm not sure how to seperate that from rewarding him in sense for playing the character's motivation. They are not aligned with the Empire or the Rebels or anything affiliation so there's no real "battles" or "War" take that addiction out on.

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For me, motivation is not only RPing your character, but RPing your character when there's something at stake. If playing the character just makes good sense or doesn't cost something, then at best the player would get good RP xp. Motivation xp comes in when the player gives something up or causes trouble for the group in order to stay true to thier motivation. For example, if a player has 'Imperial Support' for a motivation, I wouldn't give out motivation xp for doing jobs for the Empire. I would give out motivation if the group was in a rebel sympathetic area and the player tried to convince people there the Empire was good. By doing this action the player drew attention to himself and could earn the ire of those in the area, making problems for him and the group. By sticking to promoting the Empire in spite of the risks, the player earns motivation xp in my eyes. Another example if the droid above had killing as a motivation, would be the captain's bounty is only to be taken alive. If the droid's player sticks to his motivation and kills instead, i'd give motivation xp because it will obviously cause problems later.

I agree with Ghost's view of obligation, and would like to point out a triggered obligation lowers the strain threshold of a character. This represents the character being less able to handle things b/c they're freaking out over their obligation. If this droid is addicted to killing, he may also be freaking out that he hasn't killed in a while or that he hasn't killed enough. If this is the case, then lay on the setbacks for being distracted and antsy. If you take an approach like Ghost's, maybe he's feeling sated at the moment, but if his obligation triggers he sees "the one that got away" or something. If the character's motivation is also killing, maybe spending time hunting the wayward victim down (instead of preparing for the adventure and/or escorting Repok's droid, like they're supposed to) could be worth motivation xp.

IMO, obligation and motivation can be two sifferent sides of the same coin, or totally seperate depending on how you set them up. To me the GM pulls the strings (by inserting catalysts based on the obligation roll/story) for obligation, but the player pulls the strings (by deciding what actions thier character takes) when it comes to motivation. Hopefully your player is/has taken some time to think about this stuff instead of just trying to be murderbot. They'll have a much better time if they do.

Final thought on the other players and reprogramming. If the droid player isn't on board w/ it, don't have it happen. The player will just want to keep playing the murder droid. Better to have a talk about what the player wants out of the game and make sure it meshes w/ the rest of the group. If that convo works out, my personal suggestion would be to do the reprogramming (great in game way to keep continuity through personality change) but keep the killing obligation. You could end up with a Vash the Stampede-esque situation where the legend surrounding him as a mindless mass killer follows him everywhere, but he wants to do the exact opposite!

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Upon a quick inspection, this seems to be a disconnect between what you want from the story and what the player(s) want.  I'm not positive a situation like this can be handled in any other way than a frank discussion, GM and players.  If you all express your expectations (this is often done in a Session Zero context) out in the open, then you can hopefully reach consensus and put the shenanigans away.  The goal here is to have fun, and if expectations are known, they can be met.

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You could bring sanctions against the player. . .. or you could just talk to them. "I'm not sure what story arc you are working towards, but right now it just looks like random murder - and that's not the story the group wants to tell. I'm sorry, but you'll have to rework your concept to match with the group's goals or present a concept why your murderbot is doing what he's doing and where you are going with it."

Edited by Desslok

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If the droid pc has inbuilt weapons then make security at the wheel enforce a restraining bolt policy, make him a pacifist for the duration of the non-combat section of the adventure. This is a good way to inspire the party to keep him under control. His character will be desperate to act out his addiction once the bolt is off but at least you have some control over when it happens and who it happens to.

Try and get to the root of the addiction, maybe he is a soldier looking for a cause, killing meatbags for his own personal droid rebellion or targeting those who mistreat their droids. You need to narrow down his target list then you can better manage the player and develop a story around the addiction.

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Ahh, it just occurred to me — the addiction obligation is what happens to you when you “fall off the wagon”.

So, in this case, if the player really does want to live up to this as an Obligation, then he should be a pacifist non-violent droid most of the time, but then there are cases where sometimes he slips.

But I would encourage you both to actively work towards trying to redeem him in this matter.

Sorry if that was painfully obvious to everyone else, but that has been nagging me at the back of my head, and I only now twigged onto the real issue.

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Tell your player to stop being an a$$hat and that if all they want to do is kill stuff they should play the Old Republic MMO rather than waste your time.

I'm changing my answer.  This is my answer.

 

Me too.  Definitely how I would handle it.

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Ahh, it just occurred to me — the addiction obligation is what happens to you when you “fall off the wagon”.So, in this case, if the player really does want to live up to this as an Obligation, then he should be a pacifist non-violent droid most of the time, but then there are cases where sometimes he slips.But I would encourage you both to actively work towards trying to redeem him in this matter.Sorry if that was painfully obvious to everyone else, but that has been nagging me at the back of my head, and I only now twigged onto the real issue.

It doesn't sound like that's how it's being used in this case.

It seems like the player just wants to kill things, in this case the obligation could be used to make the player kill the people he doesn't want to. Friends, contacts, relative's of meatbag pc's.

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Ugh. No. This is a terrible Obligation.  Addiction: Killing just means he gets to gun down anyone he feels like, derailing your campaign, and then when you object, say, "Hey, I'm just playing my character!"  And of course, the other players will be annoyed, but won't feel like they should do something about it, because that starts PvP, blah blah blah.  But let's face it, any group of folks, when they realize, "Hey, this droid is a psychopath that kills at random!" is going to blast that droid to smithereens without a second thought.

Good addiction for a droid?  How about electricity, as portrayed by Bender on Futurama ("Are you jacking on in there?!")?  When it triggers, his Strain Threshold suffers because he's been over-ionizing himself.  Everyone else's Strain suffers because they're getting fed up with device batteries being drained, and the ship's circuit breakers going off every time they try to make a cup of coffee.  The upside is that when he gets hit with an ion weapon in battle, he gets a coercion bonus because he's enjoying it.  "Oh... YEAH!  Shoot me again! I've been a bad bad robot!"

One of my players is an R5 Astromech droid with an addiction to hoarding, so naturally the ship is jam-packed with old magazines, model trains and beanie babies.

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Ahh, it just occurred to me — the addiction obligation is what happens to you when you “fall off the wagon”.

 

 

Seems implied that this player will then be spending more time "falling off the wagon" rather than not.

 

 

It's hard to flesh out the world and characters when one of them doesn't seem interested in that particular aspect of Star Wars but I obviously don't want to punish him for playing a perfectly legitimate character choice.

 

There are dozens of valid choices that he could have taken that would make your life interesting and helped you create the stories that you and the 3 other people are interested in. If his decision is not in tune with that, then he should be willing to change the obligation. Don't let a random dice roll become an excuse for bad behavior, if the players are supposed to be heroic then a villain will not fit in, your player made this decisions don't excuse him or validate the choice. Tell him it isn't reasonable and he has to change it.

 

Trust me if you and all the players can make fun and interesting stories together you won't be punishing anyone.

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The upside is that when he gets hit with an ion weapon in battle, he gets a coercion bonus because he's enjoying it.  "Oh... YEAH!  Shoot me again! I've been a bad bad robot!"

One of my players is an R5 Astromech droid with an addiction to hoarding, so naturally the ship is jam-packed with old magazines, model trains and beanie babies.

 

Ok, ginger beer shooting though sinus passages at 7 am is a GREAT way to clear the cobwebs...  Thank you so very much for that.

 

I've got a guy playing an R4 series that has Freedom for his motivation and Sabotage for his duty.  He plays it great, he wants to liberate everyone... that isn't a meat bag.  Yeah, I expect him to start the Droid Liberation Army.  They will be non-violent, well, non-violent to droids.  Meat bags don't count after all.  My son plays a pilot so he naturally expected the droid to fall into the classic R2D2 role.  Not so much.  He's more like the Teller to my son's Penn.  Sometimes I wonder why I bring bad guys.  We could just stand back and let them go at it for 4 hours.  

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