Covenant Game Design: Ties

Covenant Game Design - Game Mechanics - Ties

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

So, characters in Covenant spend Discipline to make bids and accomplish things. This Discipline represents a raft of things: their money, their mental and physical health, their social standing, and more.

This begs the question, though: From where does a character’s Discipline come?

The answer is it comes from the character’s ties. Each PC gets three ties at character creation and can gain more during the game. These can be almost anything – family, a job, a belief, a goal, even a prized possession – but they all have two requirements:

  • They must be something that your character values and is a source of mental if not physical support.
  • They must be something that your character can lose.

That second requirement is important. Losing a tie means permanently losing the Discipline that it gives to your character. As a result, losing all of your character’s ties means losing all of your character’s Discipline, which will eliminate them from the game.

Ties are vulnerable, too. They can be injured, kidnapped, and even killed. That gives your character an incentive to protect them.

Remember, though, that your character’s ties aren’t just sources of Discipline. They’re people and things that need care and upkeep. If you refuse to maintain your character’s ties, they might remove themselves from your life. Family members may refuse to talk to you. You might get fired from your job. You might lose faith in a belief. A prized possession may break and fall apart.

Your ties also have ways to control your behavior. They can temporarily cut off your character, halving the amount of Discipline that you get from those ties until you pay more attention to them or do what they want.

You can also try to find other ties, too, but this might wind up losing you the ties that you already have.

Your character isn’t just a murderhobo, and their ties aren’t just NPCs or supporting cast in Covenant. They’re people. You should treat them like that.

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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