Edge of the Verse
Obligation plays a vital role in defining a PC. It represents a debt a PC owes, whether it be physical, like money or intangible, like a sense of responsibility.
From the movies, think of Blue Sun or the Alliance bounty on River and Simon. Mal’s duty to his crew or hatred of the Alliance.
Mechanically, this is how it works:
Since there are four of you. You will each start out with an Obligation of 10. You can put all 10 points into one Obligation or split it up into groups of 5. You can purchase addition Obligation at Character Creation to give yourself more starting XP or Credits.
+5 Obligation will get you either +5 XP or +1,000 credits
+10 Obligation will get you either +10 Xp or +2,500 credits.
If you pick the same Obligation as another PC, we could work it into the story as a Group Obligation. You could all owe the same debt to a Crime Lord. Some or all of you could have a price on your head from the same Planetary Official. Maybe your shared Obsession with old Earth-that-Was relics is what brought you together.
As the GM, I put all of your Obligations and their values on a table and I roll a d100 Obligation Check at the start of the session. If I roll less than or equal to the groups total Obligation, then something related to their Obligation may introduce a complication during that session.
Everyone will reduce the Strain Threshold by 1 and the PC whose Obligation is triggered will reduce their Strain Threshold by 2. If I roll doubles, the Strain Threshold reductions are doubled.
These complications can be represented by tangible problems, like a bounty hunter or law enforcement officer finding you, a debt or favor being called. It can also be something intangible, like some anxiety or worry induced by your sense of duty that is distracting you.