Author’s Diary for July 31, 2020

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Featured Image Credit: NASA

Things are popping here! We’ve finished editing 110 pages out of 294 for Covenant’s playtest rules, and today we finished the first full chapter rewrite, the Healing chapter! Read it below the fold now.

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Author’s Diary for July 24, 2020

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Featured Image Credit:  NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt (IPAC)

We’ve gotten down to editing Covenant’s playtest rules in earnest this week. Click below the fold for more.

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Author’s Diary for July 17, 2020

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Featured Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

It’s late, so we’re going to keep this short. We finally started red-penning Covenant’s playtest rules today. We had to rewrite some pretty large sections and then type out some of our edits just so we could read them, so that slowed us down. Luckily, we have all weekend after the podcast (4 p.m. EDT, 1 p.m. PDT every Saturday) to make up lost ground.

It’s just good to stop the foreplay and get down to business editing the playtest rules.

Talk to you next week.

Author’s Diary for the Week of July 10, 2020

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Featured Image Credit: NASA/ESA/STScI/Caltech-IPAC

This has been a productive week! We’re almost ready to start editing the Covenant playtest rules! Click through to find out more.

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Author’s Diary for the Week of July 3, 2020

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Well, finished the current draft of Covenant’s playtest rules that week. That means… the next step! Find out what that is, along with our writing process, below the fold.

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Rules Summary for Covenant

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Featured Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

We finished the current draft of the playtest rules yesterday! To celebrate, we’re going to post a updated summary of Covenant’s rules. You can also read and comment on the current version of the rules summary of Google Docs.

Click through for more.

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Author’s Diary for the Week of June 19, 2020

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Featured Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

We finished the armor and gear creation rules for Covenant this week! Now all we have to do is write the gear features and flaws, then list all the character abilities, and then we can start the real work: the editing.

Read the complete armor and gear creation rules below the fold.

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Author’s Diary for the Week of June 12, 2020

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Featured Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

We’ve finished most of the armor creation rules for Covenant. We’d hoped finish them today, but this week was a bit crazy. All we need to do now is add the armor flaws, and we can move on to gear!

Click through for more.

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Author’s Diary: Update for the Week of June 5, 2020

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Featured Image Credit: NASA/Ames Research Center/Daniel Rutter

We got a lot done this week! We finished the weapon creation rules for Covenant and started on the armor creation rules. Click through for the complete weapon creation rules and everything we did after that.

Continue reading “Author’s Diary: Update for the Week of June 5, 2020”

Author’s Diary: Update for the Week of May 29, 2020

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Featured image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech.

We’ve gotten a lot done this week! The bids are finally done, and we’re working on the rules for designing weapons! See what we’ve written below the fold.


HUSBANDRY BID

Ride: Ride a mount

  • To Accomplish:
    • Fixed Husbandry bid, target of 10
    • Can be made as many times as the character wishes during xir turn
    • Must be made once for each area the character moves through
    • Can only be made while riding a mounts
    • A mount can be brought into any structure that can fit it, but most people won’t allow it.
    • A mount can be ridden in any structure that can fit it. However, its master will suffer disadvantages to all Husbandry bids if xi does this.
  • Successful Bid: The mount, along with its master, riders, and gear moves from its current area to an adjacent area, assuming that it is able to travel between the two.
  • Unsuccessful Bid: The mount’s master loses control of it and must make an immediate Husbandry bid to regain control (see Regain Control below).
  • Suggested Traits: Chasing, Evasion, Husbandry, Knowledge, Medicine
  • Suggested Advantages:
    • The mount moved less than its maneuvering velocity in the previous turn.
    • The mount is designed for the terrain (EXAMPLE: a mule on difficult terrain)
    • The mount has four or more legs.
    • The master has treated xir pet or mount well.
  • Suggested Disadvantages:
    • The mount moved more than its maneuvering velocity in the previous turn.
    • The mount has been injured during the current scene, interstitial, or intermission..
    • The master is controlling a team of animals instead of a single mount.
    • The mount is overburdened.
    • The master is intoxicated.
    • The master has a different biochemistry than its mount.
    • The master has not tamed this pet or mount.
    • The mount is performing a trick that it isn’t designed to perform (EXAMPLE: a non-aggressive animal performing the Fight trick).
    • The pet or mount has been damaged by a weapon or hazard during the current scene, interstitial, or intermission.
  • Suggested Stunts:
    • Fancy Riding:
      • The mount performs a trick in addition to moving.
      • If the mount does not know the trick, then the master’s Husbandry bid to ride xir mount is also xir bid to have xir mount perform the trick (see Perform Trick, below).

Perform Trick: Have your mount perform a trick that it does not know

  • To Accomplish:
    • Fixed Husbandry bid, target based on trick
    • Can only be made:
      • When the character has a pet and has some way to communicate with
      • While riding a mount
      • If the mount’s master has some way to communicate with it
    • A mount can be brought into any structure that can fit it, but most people won’t allow it.
    • A mount can be ridden in any structure that can fit it. However, its master will suffer disadvantages to all Husbandry bids if xi does this.
    • A pet can be brought into any structure that can fit it, but may not be allowed to enter by the structure’s owner or occupants.
    • The pet or mount’s master does not have to make this bid if the pet or mount knows the trick that the master wants it to perform.
  • Successful Bid: The pet or mount performs the trick.
  • Unsuccessful Bid: The master loses control of xir mount or pet and must make an immediate Husdandry bid to regain control (see Regain Control below).
  • Suggested Traits: Chasing, Evasion, Husbandry, Knowledge, Medicine
  • Suggested Advantages: 
    • The pet or mount is designed to perform the trick (EXAMPLE: a predator being told to perform the Attack trick).
    • The master has treated xir pet or mount well.
  • Suggested Disadvantages: 
    • The pet or mount is not designed to perform the trick (EXAMPLE: a non-aggressive animal being told to perform the Attack trick).
    • The pet or mount is overburdened.
    • The master is intoxicated.
    • The master has mistreated xir mount or pet.
    • The pet or mount has been damaged by a weapon or hazard during the current scene, interstitial, or intermission.
    • The master has injured or lost the use of xir arms or legs.
    • The master has a different biochemistry than its mount.
    • The master has not tamed this pet or mount.
    • The pet or mount’s movement is restricted (EXAMPLE: by a net, shackles, rope, handcuffs, or another character).
    • The master is trying to remain hidden while controlling xir pet or mount.
  • Suggested Stunts: None at this time

Train: Train a mount or pet to perform without spending a token

  • To Accomplish:
    • Fixed Husbandry bid, target based on trick
    • Can only be made:
      • When the character has a pet and has some way to communicate with
      • While riding a mount
      • If the mount’s master has some way to communicate with it
    • A mount can be brought into any structure that can fit it, but most people won’t allow it.
    • A mount can be ridden in any structure that can fit it. However, its master will suffer disadvantages to all Husbandry bids if xi does this.
    • A pet can be brought into any structure that can fit it, but may not be allowed to enter by the structure’s owner or occupants.
    • Can only be made during intermissions
  • Successful Bid: The pet or mount performs the trick.
  • Unsuccessful Bid: The master loses control of xir mount or pet and must make an immediate Husbandry bid to regain control (see Regain Control below).
  • Successful Traits: Chasing, Evasion, Husbandry, Knowledge, Medicine
  • Suggested Advantages: 
    • The pet or mount is designed to perform the trick (EXAMPLE: a predator being told to perform the Attack trick).
    • The master has treated xir pet or mount well.
  • Suggested Disadvantages: 
    • The pet or mount is not designed to perform the trick (EXAMPLE: a non-aggressive animal being told to perform the Attack trick).
    • The pet or mount is overburdened.
    • The master has a different biochemistry than its mount.
    • The master has not tamed this pet or mount.
    • The master is intoxicated.
    • The master has mistreated xir pet or mount.
    • The pet or mount has been damaged by a weapon or hazard during the current scene, interstitial, or intermission.
  • Suggested Stunts:
    • Hurried Training: The master can teach xir pet or mount a new trick during an interstitial.
    • Push:
      • The master’s can teach xir mount or pet 1 trick before or after spending a token to teach it another trick.
      • If the master uses this stunt, then the pet or mount can only learn 2 tricks during an intermission:
        • 1 trick from spending a token
        • 1 trick from making a Husbandry bid

Regain Control: Prevent a pet or mount from turning on you

  • To Accomplish:
    • Opposed Husbandry bid vs. mount or pet’s Resistance bid
    • Must be made immediately after any failed Husbandry bid
  • Successful Bid: The master regains control of xir pet or mount.
  • Unsuccessful Bid: 
    • The mount throws its master and rider. It then acts independently of its master until someone succeeds at an opposed Husbandry bid vs. the mount’s Resistance bid.
    • The pet or mount attacks its master. It then acts independently of its master until someone succeeds at an opposed Husbandry bid vs. the pet or mount’s Resistance bid.
    • The pet or mount flees. If it is a mount, it flees with its master and riders. It then acts independently of its master until someone succeeds at an opposed Husbandry bid vs. the pet or mount’s Resistance bid.
  • Suggested Traits: Knowledge, Piloting, Repair
  • Suggested Advantages: 
    • The mount moved less than its maneuvering velocity in the previous turn.
    • The master has treated xir pet or mount well.
  • Suggested Disadvantages: 
    • The master is controlling a team of animals instead of a single mount.
    • The mount is overburdened.
    • The master is intoxicated.
    • The master has a different biochemistry than its mount.
    • The master has not tamed this pet or mount.
    • The mount is performing a trick that it isn’t designed to perform (EXAMPLE: a non-aggressive animal performing the Fight trick).
    • The pet or mount has been damaged by a weapon or hazard during the current scene, interstitial, or intermission.
  • Suggested Stunts: None at this time

WEAPONS

This section has information on weapons including:

  • How to create weapons in Covenant
  • Weapon features
  • Weapon flaws
  • Premade weapons ready for purchase

CREATING WEAPONS

To create a weapon in Covenant, players must go through 6 steps:

  1. Choose the weapon’s template.
  2. Choose the weapon’s damage severity.
  3. Choose the weapon’s tech level.
  4. Choose the weapon’s energy type.
  5. Choose the weapon’s features.
  6. Choose the weapon’s flaws (optional).

STEP 1. TEMPLATE

  • A weapon’s template is its general type – that is, whether it is one-handed, two-handed, or heavy.
  • Templates determine a weapon’s starting damage, cost, and inventory slots.
  • Cost, damage, and inventory slots can all be adjusted by adding features and flaws to the weapon (see Step 1.
  • All weapons start out as close weapons. You can add features later that can make them ranged and/or area weapons (see Step 5. Features below).
TemplateDamageCostInventory Slots
One-Handed30302
Two-Handed40403
Heavy50504

STEP 2. DAMAGE SEVERITY

A weapon’s damage severity is the damage severity it deals when it makes a successful attack on a target. Choose either scene damage or chapter damage.

STEP 3. TECH LEVEL

  • A weapon’s tech level measured how advanced the weapon’s technology is.
  • Tech levels won’t make much of a difference if a game takes place on a single world. Armor is generally designed to protect against weapons that the wearer would encounter most often. 
  • Tech levels generally become a big deal when the character travels to a world with a different tech level. Armor provides less protection against weapons from other tech levels (see Appendix C.2.1, Creating Armor for more).
  • Each tech level is labeled with a number between 1 and 5.
Tech LevelDEscription
1Muscle-powered weapons and gear
2Chemical-powered weapons and gear
3Electrically-powered weapons and gear
4Nanotech, hard light, gravitational engineering
5Technology that is indistinguishable from magic


STEP 4. ENERGY TYPE

  • A weapon’s energy type is how it damages its target.
  • Energy types are important because some characters and gear have resistances and vulnerabilities to different kinds of energy (see Appendix C.2.1, Creating Armor for more).
  • Players can choose one of the following weapon energy types: kinetic, ballistic, inertial, thermal, cold, biological, or radiant.
Energy TypeDescriptionMinimum Tech Level
KineticPhysical damage from slashing, piercing, or bludgeoning1
BallisticPhysical damage from small, high-velocity projectiles like bullets and shrapnel2
InertialPhysical damage from falling or being tossed around during high-speed maneuvers4
ThermalDamage from adding thermal energy – that is, burning1
ColdDamage from removing thermal energy – that is, freezing3
BiologicalThings that can only damage biological targets, like disease, poison, and vacuum2
ChemicalChemical damage from caustic and similar materials2
RadiantDamage from radioactive materials and items3
ElectricalDamage from high-voltage or high-amperage electricty3

STEP 5. FEATURES

  • A weapon’s features are qualities or additional gear that makes it more accurate, more powerful, more stealthy, and so on. 
  • Features can also change a weapon’s cost, damage, and inventory slots.
  • Features are what really distinguish one weapon from another. 
  • A weapon can normally have only 2 features.
  • The player can increase the number of features xir weapon has by giving it flaws (see Step 6. Flaws below).
  • Each feature can be added only once to a weapon unless otherwise noted.

Powerful

  • Requirements: None
  • Damage: Increases by 10 each time
  • Special: Can be added more than once to a weapon. Each time it is added, it increases the weapon’s damage by 10.

Low-Cost

  • Requirements: None
  • Cost: Reduced by 10 (minimum of 10)

Lightweight

  • Requirements: None
  • Inventory Slots: Reduced by 1 (minimum of 1)

Ranged

  • Requirements: None
  • Effect: 
    • The character can make ranged attacks with this weapon.
    • Base ranges vary by template.
    • Base ranges can be varied with additional features and flaws.
TemplateBase Range
One-Handed2
Two-Handed4
Heavy6

Area

  • Requirements: None
  • Effect: 
    • The character can make area attacks with this weapon.
    • Base ranges vary by template.
    • Base ranges can be varied with additional features and flaws.
TemplateBase Range
One-Handed2
Two-Handed4
Heavy6

Low-Profile

  • Requirements: One-handed weapon
  • Benefits: The wielder gains 1 advantage to Stealth and Trickery bids to hide this weapon.

Sneaky

  • Requirements: Close and ranged weapons
  • Benefits: The target suffers 1 advantage to Resistance bids against this weapon if the wielder is hidden from xir.

Versatile

  • Requirements: None
  • Benefits:
    • The wielder can switch this weapon’s damage type or one of its features between one of two options.
    • The character who buys or builds this weapon must choose its two options.
    • This weapon’s options cannot change once it is bought or built.
    • The character can switch between these options at the start of xir turn.
  • Skins:
    • A select-fire gun that can switch between ranged and area attacks
    • An energy weapon that can switch between dealing scene and chapter damage
    • Electrified knuckle guards that can deal kinetic or electrical damage

Hot Swap

  • Requirements: None
  • Benefits: The wielder can change one of the weapon’s features during interstitials and intermissions.

That’s it for this week. Talk to you next week.