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New Rules Roleplaying Star Wars

SW Rules Obligation

Star Wars – Rules Update

Edge of the Empire – Obligation Revisited

The mechanics of Obligation are in the Edge of the Empire rules, the mechanics for Duty are in the Age of Rebellion rules and the mechanics of Force Awareness are a house rule based on the other two mechanics and fluff in Force and Destiny. Morality is the mechanic that is separate to the others but unique to Force and Destiny meant for force sensitive characters only.

sw-ffg-ee-cr Core EotE
sw-ffg-ee-cr Core Edge of the Empire

Base Obligation

Obligation is a penalty mechanic for the party. Obligation is gained and lost via NPC interaction in the storyline usually related to a quest.

  • Obligation is a threshold for level of criminal infamy and social standing.
  • Obligation is a resource to obtain information, gear and favours.
  • At character creation it can gain you additional starting XP or credits.
  • A character can have more than one obligation.
  • A character can never remove an obligation completely.

Party Obligation

A percentile is rolled against party obligation to see if it affects the adventure. The obligation is stacked from the highest to the lowest. If party obligation is rolled, the character in question reduces their strain threshold by 2 and the rest of the party by 1. This is doubled if the dice rolled double digits. Exceeding 100 party obligation means that no one can spend XP, this affects even characters without obligation.

House Rule Changes

Incorporating rules from Age of Rebellion I have built levels into the obligation and not punishing the character for taking on more obligation than they expected. So as part of the house rules the following applies.

  • No limit on XP spending
  • Every 100 points of group obligation creates Reminder Squads.
  • Every 100 points of a characters personal obligation gains a Personal Bounty.

Once you reach the 100 party obligation threshold (or more) for the first time then the new rules take effect, up until then it is rules as written.

Each character with obligation gains a banked personal pool of obligation equal to the amount of obligation they currently have minus five (cannot reduce current obligation below five). This amount represents how far your have personally gone into your obligation. Once this has been done, the team gain their first rank in the Team Obligation Level and the characters who have a banked personal pool of obligation are each assigned a “Reminder Squad” to arrive with the order based on who has the highest total pool.

The next time the team reaches 100 obligation, the obligation is added to the banked personal pool amount of obligation on top of what was already there. If the banked personal pool equals or exceeds 100 points, then that character is assigned a “Personal Bounty” relating to their obligations. The team then gains another rank in the Team Obligation Level, and each character with a banked personal pool of obligation receives a “Reminder Squad”.

Team Obligation Level

This is a reminder on how much of an issue your team is causing in the underworld and with those you are doing business with. Each rank in your Team Obligation Level has the following effects.

  • Cost of Black Market dealings multiplier increased by 1 per rank
  • Reminder Squads rating equal to rank
  • Negotiations with authorities gain setback dice equal to rank due to notoriety
  • Intimidation checks can gain boost dice equal to ranks where appropriate
  • Each rank represents how far your group is recognised
Banked Personal Pool of Obligation

This represents how much your obligation is causing issues for you behind the scenes. For every 100 points this has reached you treat it as having 1 rank and have the following effects:

  • A personal bounty relating to your obligation is posted at 1,000 credits per rank (or increased by)
  • Associates relating to your obligation “remind” you of your obligation and depending on your interactions may attempt to collect
  • Rivals attempt to collect on the obligation or hinder your ability to reduce it.

When you reduce your obligation in normal game play, it comes from the Banked obligation first, giving you a reprieve from effects, such as a suspension of the bounty for a time in days equal to the reduction in the obligation.

Note: You have one Banked Personal Pool of Obligation for each obligation your character has.

Reminder Squad

Every time the group equals of exceed the threshold of 100 points of group obligation and gains a rank of Team Obligation Levels, each character with a Banked Personal Pool of Obligation has a squad sent after them with a rating equal to the rank of the Team and Personal Obligations.

They remind the character of their “obligation” and how they can help reduce it. They might try and collect on the bounty, but will require the character to spend time dealing with them and working out a resolution that will appeal to the obligation.

Defeating the reminder squad in combat will gain the character a personal bounty (or add to the existing bounty) a price equal to the rating of the squad by 100 credits.

Personal Bounty

For every 100 points a character gains in a Banked Personal Pool of Obligation generates bounty related to the obligation. The follow takes effect each time a character exceed this threshold.

  • The bounty starts at 100 credits per personal and team rank.
  • This bounty increases by 100 credits per personal and team rank each time you exceed the threshold. This counts for buying off to drop it below a threshold then exceeding it again. You can trigger the same threshold multiple times.
  • If you reduce your obligation the bounty is suspended for days equal to the reduction.
  • The bounty is cancelled if you ever clear your Banked Personal Pool of Obligation.
  • Every rank represents how far you are recognised

Reducing this obligation may not actually remove the personal bounty. This is part of the agreement a character must make with the source of the obligation.

Rank Recognition Table
  • Rank 0 – Unknown to anyone but your superiors, who you have an obligation with and those you have met along your way.
  • Rank 1 – Notoriety in your circle, enough for people to take notice of you with people looking for you in places associated with your obligation.
  • Rank 2 – Notoriety extends to competitors, and people start to look for you in places associated with your known interests.
  • Rank 3 – Notoriety extends to bureaucracy, and people start to look for you in places associated with those you have worked for.
  • Rank 4 – Notoriety extends to military, and people start to look for you in places associated with those in your team.
  • Rank 5 – Notoriety extends to the public, and everyone is looking for you to make a quick buck.

Design Decisions

The idea behind the changes here was to make the Obligation mechanic less punishing, and more of a roleplaying opportunity, as well as connect it to how I have also modified Duty and created Force Awareness for the setting.

The benefits are that those who push the obligation are the ones who suffer the most, while those who manage and maintain it hardly feel the sting of it during play.

Content Updates

  • 2021-08-15 – Update to layout and menu.
  • 2020-08-27 – Added in a Rank recognition table.
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References

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By thedarkelf007

I am a long term gamer, I run 6 RPG's a fortnight, host board game, card game and LANs each about once a quarter and have an addiction to buying more games. Games I am currently running are Pathfinder (1st and 2nd Edition) and Dungeons and Dragons (5th Edition).

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