Author’s Diary for February 20, 2020

You know how to fight in Covenant, but do you know how to retreat if things go sideways? Click through to find out.

Fights in roleplaying games are an all-or-nothing affair. Once the battle is joined, both the PCs and their opponents tend to fight until one side is eliminated. There’s no real provision for hit-and-run tactics or for withdrawing if your side takes too many losses or casualties.

Mechanics for retreat are especially important in a game like Covenant, where the PCs are supposed to be outgunned and to win fights through resourcefulness instead of firepower.

Additionally, your character’s Discipline is both what you use to defend yourself and your hit points. Getting hit even once during a fight can lead to a death spiral where you have less Discipline to spend on defense bids, which means you get hit and lose even more Discipline. It’s a problem that I haven’t been able to solve yet.

Therefore, Covenant needs mechanics for retreating. They need to be codified, so that players know that they’re available, and they need to be simple. That’s what I wrote today.


  • Characters have two ways to retreat from scenes:
    • Leaving the Map: Characters on the edge of the scene map can move off the map to leave the scene.
    • Declaring Retreat:
      • A character can declare that xi is retreating on xir turn.
      • Declaring retreat ends a character’s turn immediately.
      • A retreating character can leave the scene and scene map:
        • Immediately if xir opponents have not detected xir
        • At the end of the round if xir opponents have detected xir
  • Characters who leave the map cannot re-enter it and are no longer considered a part of the scene.

That’s it for now. Talk to you tomorrow.

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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