tetsubo57: The d20 Profession Skill and Covenant’s Traits

tetsubo57 – RPG Pondering: Redeeming the Profession skill.

A lot of people contributed to Covenant. Not all of them know it, though.

The game’s rules, design, and even feel have been influenced by the ponderings of a lot of RPG nerds. We’re lucky for that, because nerds like to tear things apart and figure out how they work. Not that we haven’t done that, too, but it has helped us immensely to take advantage of the work of people who are far smarter and creative than us.

One of our unwitting contributors is the YouTuber tetsubo57, a long time roleplayer who has been uploading videos to YouTube almost as long as it’s been in existence. His video RPG Pondering: Redeeming the Profession skill is a proposal to broaden the d20 system’s useless Profession trait: if a task relates in any way to your Profession skill, you can use it to perform that task. It’s an old solution that stretches back at least to Dungeon’s and Dragon’s second edition, but tetsubo57’s presentation of it proved to be hugely useful in the development of Covenant’s traits.

It’s not a perfect solution. It offloads a lot of interpretation onto the FM and players that should be done by the rules and can lead to game-time arguments.

Covenant had the opposite problem, though. It originally used a skill system like the d20 system, but trying to stretch skills to apply to five or six different wildly different character species simply wasn’t working. There were too many edge cases and too many weird alien abilities.

Better to describe the character species and traits as best as possible, then leave what it all meant up to the players’ judgment. And so that’s what we did.

There are a lot more videos and articles that shaped the design of Covenant. Join us when we share them on Mondays.

Published by radiofreecovenant

A podcast about the science-fiction roleplaying game "Covenant" and the urban fantasy novel "Crossing the Line", soon to be published by Black Opal Books.

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