Author’s Diary for February 25, 2020: Traits Appendix (Part 2)

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

We’re still working on the traits appendix for the Covenant playtest rules. More below the fold.

My original idea was to have at least one trait for every bid listed in the Covenant rules. That way, the players will have “named” traits that they knew will apply to the bids that they plan on using for their characters. They could round these named traits out with “general” traits that have less well-defined, more general uses.

For instance, here’s a line from the chasing and evading rules:

The pursuer makes opposed chasing bids against the quarry’s evasion bids.

A chasing bid and evasion bid means I have to add a chasing trait and an evasion trait. That way:

  • A player who expects to chase or track down other characters – say, a bounty hunter or cop – can take the chase trait for all the chasing that xi’ll be doing.
  • A player who expects to be chased a lot – say, a criminal or smuggler – can take the evasion trait for all the evading that xi’ll be doing.

These characters can take other, related traits, too.

  • A cop might take the athletics trait to increase xir running speed during chases or to wrestle a suspect to the ground.
  • A smuggler might take the piloting trait to perform fancy maneuvers to throw off xir pursuers or to help xir dodge their attacks when they do catch up to xir.

I’m already seeing how I can reduce the types of bids in the game. For instance, the restraining bid can probably be included in an athletics bid, which includes any kind of athletic activity, while the escaping bid made to oppose it can probably be folded into an agility bid. I plan to keep most of the traits in the playtest rules, though. They’ll form a good base for the rest of the game’s traits.


Here’s the traits that I wrote today:

  • Chasing: Chasing other characters on foot or in a vehicle
    • Suggested Uses:
      • Chasing other characters (see Section 3.5.2, Chasing Between Scenes)
      • Figuring out where a fleeing character may be headed
      • Putting together a posse
      • Trying to beat a character to a point on the map
      • Winning a footrace, wingrace, or a vehicle race
    • Negative Uses: None
  • Control: Persuading and exerting control over other characters
    • Suggested Uses:
      • Advising another character on how to exert xir control
      • Controlling a pet or other tamed creature
      • Persuading a sapient character or characters
      • Preventing a group of characters from retreating or panicking
    • Negative Uses: None
  • Crafting: Building, cooking, creating, or synthesizing items and substances
    • Suggested Uses:
      • Advising another character on how to craft an item
      • Building or cooking up an item
      • Knowing how to build or tear apart an item
      • Gathering raw materials
      • Supervising a factory or assembly line
    • Negative Uses: None
  • Defense: Defending against any kind of attack
    • Suggested Uses:
      • Advising others on how to defend themselves
      • Avoiding physical attacks
      • Defending a character’s reputation
      • Deflecting arguments
      • Piloting a vehicle out of harm’s way
    • Negative Uses: None

That’s all 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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