Author’s Diary for February 26, 2020: Traits Appendix (Part 3)

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

We’re still slogging through the traits appendix in the playtest rules today. More below the fold.

There’s not much to talk about today. I’m still writing the traits appendix, like I was yesterday and the day before. Expect to see more posts like this for a while.

I do want to talk about how the “negative trait” mechanics that I came up with. In short, traits aren’t always a positive thing for your character. If xi has a trait that is detrimental to xir situation, then it counts as a disadvantage instead of an advantage to your bids during that situation.

The example I use is of a soldier with the fighting trait trying to navigate a diplomatic visit. Xir fighting trait will count as a disadvantage to xir bids during this visit.

Incidentally, the same is true for a diplomat with the diplomacy trait during a fight. Xir diplomacy trait will count as a disadvantage to xir bids during the fight.

The problem is that I’m having trouble of thinking up other negative uses for these traits. This is partly because I included negative trait mechanics mostly to reflect prejudice in the game world.

Say your character is a non-calerre who goes to the calerre-dominated Old Empire. Xir species trait would give xir a disadvantage to all bids, especially social ones, while xi is in the Old Empire.

Or she’s a woman who visits the theocratic Dominion. In this case, her gender trait gives her a disadvantage to social bids while she visits the Old Empire.

However, I haven’t implemented species, gender, or other traits that would be the main bigotry triggers in Covenant. So negative traits will probably have to wait until a later iteration of the rules.


Here’s what I wrote today.

  • Escaping: Escaping capture, securing freedom
    • Suggested Uses:
      • Advising others on how to escape
      • Breaking out of a prison, jail cell, or cage
      • Escaping bonds or wrestling holds
      • Escaping a chase
      • Piloting a vehicle to evade pursuers
    • Negative Uses: None
  • Evasion:
    • Suggested Uses:
      • Advising other on how to escape a chase
      • Escaping a chase
      • Figuring out how a quarry may act
      • Hiding from pursuers
      • Piloting a vehicle to evade pursuers
    • Negative Uses: None
  • Fighting: Making any kind of attack, whether physical, mental, or social
    • Suggested Uses:
      • Advising others on how to make their attacks
      • Attacking an opponent with unarmed, close, ranged, or area attacks
      • Attacking someone’s reputation or honor
      • Knowing the capabilities of an attacks or weapons
      • Making an argument
      • Figuring out how an opponent might attack you
      • Using a vehicle’s weapons
    • Negative Uses: None
  • Influence: Influencing the actions of other characters; spending money, social capital, and other resources
    • Suggested Uses:
      • Advising others on how to use their influence
      • Bribing officials
      • Buying or renting gear, services, and vehicles
      • Convincing someone to let you have a rare or valuable item
      • Figuring out how another character will use xir influence
      • Intimidating an opponent
      • Preventing another character from using xir influence
      • Talking your way past a guard or bureaucrat
      • Upgrading a ticket, hotel room, or other service
    • Negative Uses: None

That’s all for today. 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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