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My regular Edge of the Empire group has managed to overcome their obligations as we started with the beginner adventure and tailored obligations based on the pre-gens provided to get us started. We then went on to Long Arm of the Hutt and completed that, essentially completing their obligations.

We've since started working on Beyond the Rim but with no real obligations. I personally think they should always have some form of obligation, otherwise, why would they continue to adventure? But I'm not sure how to introduce new obligations for the party.

I can't find any specific rules as to how to accomplish this, so how should I give them new obligations?

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Characters are never supposed to be completely free of obligation in EotE. You can reduce it to a minimum of 5, but never alleviate it completely. Some plot occurrence should arise to transfer or change an obligation when a character gets close to paying it all off. Basically you should treat is as being on par with loot and experience. Dolling it out to keep the game interesting and the players engaged..

The universe (e.g. the GM) should conspire to keep the players down on their luck. When a player kills her sworn rival, she'll likely disrupt the boss of said rival's plans. The player will most certainly inherit the rival's troubles in their stead.

You can work with the players when this happens, or not. Depends on how mean a GM you are. The published modules like Beyond the Rim and Jewel of Yavin will also have notes on how to assign new obligation to the player based on the outcome.

For instance in Jewel of Yavin:

Each player could either end up with 5 points in criminal obligation for being wanted for theft on Cloud City or 5 points in favor obligation to Lando Calrisian for getting him to help you out of a tough spot.

Also don't be shy about throwing out random new obligations to the party as the plot dictates. Whether or not they've had a chance to deal with any existing ones. In my game my players had to go several months without being able to spend XP because of a large Hutt bounty and owning a severely under-crewed Corvette.

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IMO, the real point of Obligation is to have the player identify certain areas to the GM that can be used as plot hooks to help make the story more interesting. If you're not willing to go chasing after the people who killed your little sister (or have them come chasing after you in order to get you off their back), then maybe you don't want to list that as an Obligation.

Obligation can be used as a way for the GM to "punish" players who are going off and doing heinous crimes, as Murder Hoboes are wont to do. However, I do not believe that is effective in the long run, and is overall counter-productive to be used in this manner.

The best GMs I've heard of will explain to the players "Yes, and this is how much Obligation you will earn if you do that".

If your players want to be seen as Big Bad Dudes, then maybe they actively want to accumulate some Obligation -- maybe having the "Death Penalty on Twelve Systems" will help them get more and/or better deals with major crime lords like Jabba the Hutt.

Your choice, your game, YMMV.

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Per the rules as written, you cannot remove the last 5 points of obligation. You can, however, change them to a different obligation.

Note that the ways to easily increase obligation include: debt, committing crimes (increases a wanted or criminal obligation), getting addicted to a drug, adopting a Dependent, gaining a family.

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Feel free to inflict 5 Obligation penalties, even if they are easy to solve.

As an example, a party on Bothawui engages in a destructive firefight with Imperial forces, and flee afterwards. Now, they are fugitives from justice in Bothan Space, and you can assign 5 Obligation for that. It is an unlikely penalty to come up, but it is a plot point to bring around if the party tries to cut through that sector again. Let it be easy to solve (maybe all they have to do is come in and answer questions), but always have it in the background.

One possibility to keep things fresh is to keep all those crime obligations separate. Maybe the party has 10 Obligation for betraying a Hutt, 5 in Bothan Space, 15 for Imperial Customs (for smuggling), and 5 for Imperial Navy (small-time pirating). Further, adjust Obligation based on how they deal with it, and maybe keep some things secret. If they bribe a customs official to eliminate their criminal records (10 obligation), maybe he was caught after the act. The party solved the customs obligation, but now maybe have a group of bounty hunts out for blood, paid for by the fired employee (5 obligation). This works especially well with larger amounts, it just has to be done so it the party can't be (unjustifiably) jilted. Returning to that example, if the party solved the customs obligation through a legal method, there will probably be no penalties; they are off the hook.

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