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Talley Darkstar

Mechanical Duty Vs Mechanical Obligation

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I should have posted this here, rather than in General, but I'll link it here.

 

http://community.fantasyflightgames.com/index.php?/topic/91225-mechanically-speaking-why-create-a-aor-character-over-eote/

 

I used EotE versus AoR when I should have used Duty players vs Additional Obligation players.  Basically, I'm seeing that there needs to be a Mechanical reason to choose Duty.  Additional Obligation you can get money and Experience Points.

 

Additional Obligation Mechanics

+5 or +10 Experience Points

+1,000 or +2,500 credits

 

Additional Obligation Narration:

Lowering your Obligation (to be free to do what you want)

 

Duty Mechanics

(Pat on the Back)

(Pat on the Back)

Pay XP at character creation to get a higher duty.

Equipment (after months and months of gameplay and raising your Duty to 100)

 

Duty Narration:

Raising your Duty (Serving your cause)

 

While Duty may fit for a character over Obligation, with Obligation, I get a bonus at character creation for more XP and Credits.  With Duty I get a nice pat on the back as well as possibly having to spend XP to raise my Duty score.  I can do the same thing and take Obligation instead.

 

Will this be changed?  Narratively speaking, you're doing the same thing, fundamentally, you're just going in opposite directions higher the number the better for Duty, lower the number for Obligation the better.

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You may be over thinking this.

If you play EotE you use the Obligation mechanic.

If you play AoR you use the Duty mechanic.

As they are two separate games the mechanics don't need to give the same benefits.

The difference between the two is almost like the difference between the light side and dark side of the force. If you take obligation you get benefits now but there will be long term consequences, but if you slowly build up duty you will be rewarded in the long run.

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Ok, in that regard, it makes sense.  But what about a mix of characters?  Sure it makes sense if everyone plays EotE or AoR, but, I dislike being forced to play something I don't want to play, so when I GM, I don't force my players either.  My character has always been military, my groups characters have always been fringe characters, as well as the group being split particularly between Bounty Hunters and Smugglers.  Which, overall, I get a headache just thinking about.  So, I try to find someways to cater to both groups, with their permission, by saying they work for such and such organization, so they have a reason to work together.

 

 

Last time, I told them that they were going to have go after the other.  LOL (I wasn't amused by them that night.)

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For a mixed group just use the character creation rules, and linked mechanic, for the type of adventures you are playing, just import any career/specialisation you want to and don't worry too much about what book they come from.

If you are playing a game based on running guns for Hutts or tracking down bounties, use Obligation from EotE for all characters and treat AoR as a sourcebook with new Careers, Equipment, ships and adversaries etc. You don't need to use the duty mechanic at all.

If you are a rebel special ops group inciting rebellion as you infiltrate top secret Imperial installations, use Duty form AoR for all characters and treat EotE as a sourcebook with new Careers, Equipment, ships and adversaries etc. You don't need to use the obligation mechanic at all.

If you want a mixed group that works for both criminal gangs and the rebel alliance then feel free to use both mechanics for each character, at creation and during the campaign. This would effectively mean that a character could take extra Obligation for additional XP and then trade that XP for Duty, and this would create some awesome story options. :)

(Just a heads up, some of us here are also on google groups ;))

Edited by lupex

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Basically, I'm seeing that there needs to be a Mechanical reason to choose Duty.

 

There is a VERY clear mechanical  reason your to choose Duty over Obligation: and that is that you're playing in an AoR game.

 

As has been noted repeatedly here and in the original thread, Duty is a feature of AoR and Obligation is a feature of EotE.

 

If you are creating a character for an EotE campaign, Step 2 is "Determine Obligation" and Step 3 is "Choose Gear and Description." The mechanical discrepancies you reference are inherent to these steps of character creation and are tied in any way to the career you pick (in Step 4).

 

"I dislike being forced to play something I don't want to play" is a valid point but consider that the Duty vs Obligation help set the tone of the campaign. As the first official article about AoR notes, "“Whereas Edge of the Empire focused on characters on the fringes of the galaxy and immersed players into their conflicts with its Obligation mechanic, Age of Rebellion immerses you into your role as a member of the Rebellion with the Duty mechanic."

 

Therefore: What kind of game is your GM GMing? If the relationship of the PCs to the Rebellion is of primary importance, place AoR and use Duty. If it's about "the fringes of the galaxy" and personal conflict, play EotE and use Obligation.

 

Simple. Done.

 

Only not so much.

 

As has also been noted multiple times, since the systems are essentially compatible, why not use both? First thing to remember is that that's the GM's decision and NOT a choice during character creation. And a good GM should be enforcing it consistently across ALL PCs.

 

My PERSONAL opinion is that if I were going to use both, I would start with Obligation as the default and allow Duty as an option (which is basically how my Saga campaign evolved through the years: all the PCs started out with personal obligations and agendas that colored their adventures. Over time, they all became part of something larger -- although not the Rebel Alliance, and it was something unique for each PC -- that gave them a duty that also "paid back." For example, one character started his own anti-slavery organization called Freedom's Hammer. While the organization often took up his spare time when not adventuring with other PCs, he was also able to periodically call on the larger resources of Freedom's Hammer to help with non-slavery-related adventures.)

 

Of course, depending on the tone the GM is going for the reverse could also be true. Consider, for example, and AoR campaign where everyone has Duty, but two PCs have distracting obligations. Say, perhaps one ones a large debt to a crime lord and the other is obsessed with the idea of becoming a Jedi...

 

Point, is, no matter how you slice it, Duty vs Obligation is a GM campaign decision, not an individual character creation decision.

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Duty and Obligation can run in the same party or even character - they have different effects when triggered, are raised differently, and measure different things.

 

A number of characters in the Original Trilogy would have both. Han acquires Duty at Yaavin, as does Luke; Lando can be best described with Duty only by the time the movies catch up with him, but his early days (in the novels) are very much obligation driven.

 

Duty provides in-play bonuses. You WANT duty to trigger.

Obligation, however, provides in-play penalties, and you want it not to trigger, save for the story hooks.

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aramis has a pretty good point.

 

Obligation pays you up front, via extra XP or extra starting credits, but will every so often make you pay for it via a reduced Strain Threshold.  If your party racks up too much of it (one game I'm in had the party start with 90 total Obligation with 5 players), then you're going to be dealing with reduced Strain Thresholds almost constantly, and if it goes over 100, then you can't even spend XP until it gets dropped back down.  After a few sessions, that extra XP or extra credits won't make that big of a difference; it just gave you a head start, but you've still got all that extra Obligation haunting you.

 

Duty on the other hand pays you back in the long term.  As you accrue more of it, you have better odds of getting a bump to your Wound Threshold, and when the party's combined total hits 100, you get free perks with no extra strings attached.  Heck, the first time the party hits that 100 Duty mark, they can pick up a YT-1300 as a gift (of sorts) from the Alliance.  An EotE party might start with such a transport, but they're also stuck with a minimum level of Obligation that they can't get rid of.

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