Covenant Game Design: Incapacitation

Covenant Game Design - Game Mechanics - Incapacitation

(Don’t forget to tune in to the latest episode of the Radio Free Covenant podcast!)

If your character can spend and lose Discipline, it stands to reason that your character can run out of it. So what happens when they do?

Before we get into that, let’s review how you can lose Discipline in Covenant:

  • Scene Damage: Recharged at the end of the scene and the start of the next interstitial. Typically lost to bids and to stun or nonlethal weapons.
  • Chapter Damage: Recharged at the end of the chapter and the start of the next intermission. Represents lethal damage from weapons, mental stress, and serious financial or social loss
  • Long-Term Damage: Restored only through roleplay or completing quests. Represents loss of limbs and body parts, mental trauma, and permanent financial or social loss

(See how Covenant handles time for more)

So, you can theoretically take a lot of chapter or long-term damage before being dropped to 0 Discipline or lower with one injury’s worth of scene damage. For example, a character could be shot several times, then get a punch to the gut to finish them off.

The opposite is possible, too. You could be weakened with a lot of scene damage, then drop to 0 or less Discipline with a single chapter or long-term damage wound. For example, a character could be weakened with exhaustion or by being kicked or punched before being dropped with a single gunshot.

In other words, when it comes to incapacitation, the only thing that matters is the injury that dropped you to 0 or less Discipline. Covenant has two kinds of incapacitation:

  • Exhaustion: Your character was dropped to 0 or less Discipline by scene damage. They fall unconscious or are otherwise too exhausted, physically and/or mentally, to continue. They’ll be back on their feet if they survive to the end of the scene, though, when they’ll regain their scene damage.
  • Elimination: Your character was dropped to 0 or less Discipline by scene damage. They fall unconscious or suffer a mental collapse. If they don’t regain some of their lost Discipline, any of it, by the end of the scene, they’re out of the game.

This leads to some interesting and nasty strategies to eliminate your opponents. It’s even possible to defeat them without entering into a single fight with them. Instead, you can cause so much damage to their finances and social standing that they suffer a nervous breakdown, lose their social ranking, or are even arrested. This allows players – and their opponents – to fight as dirty and unconventionally as they want.

That’s all on incapacitation for now. Tune in next time for when we’ll talk about a character’s ties, or from where they get their Discipline.

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.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: