Author’s Diary for March 6, 2020: Listing the Bids (Part 1)

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

We wrote the frequencies of fixed bids yesterday. Now it’s time to start listing the bids themselves and what characters can do with them. Click through for more.

Covenant currently has 22 “named traits“, or traits that can be used specifically with one kind of bid no matter what. That means it currently has 22 bids that characters can make. I just compiled that list.

Now I have to do something with it.

Like the traits appendix, the playtest rules’ bids appendix is going to be a slog. I’m going to have to go back through the rules and catalog every instance of every bid and then write down rules on how and when to use them, as well as their effects. I’m also going to have to come up with uses that I didn’t list in the rules, but that may come up during play.

In other words, the rest of the rules were teaching you the basics of playing Covenant. The bids appendix is how to play. Which means I probably shouldn’t be sticking them in the back in an appendix, except that that’s where you usually stick long lists like this.

That’s one of the reasons I’m writing these playtest rules, incidentally. I’m experimenting with different layouts as well as different rules.

It occurs to me that I should probably just gather up some playtesters and dump these rules on them as they are. But I want the rules to be in the best shape possible before I do that. Giving an incomplete game to your playtesters, especially one with bugs that you could have stamped out before playtesting, wastes their time.

That’s assuming, of course, that my playtesters will want to read a 70+ rulebook. And then do it again and again and again as I edit it.

It also occurs to me that there are other bids in the rules that don’t have named traits attached to them. For instance, the rules mention a computer hacking bid, but there’s no Computers trait or Hacking trait.

That’s a problem, because the whole point of the named traits was to make sure each bid had at least one trait that could always be used with it. The other traits I was going to introduce would be specializations. Now I’m either going to have to increase the named traits list or start consolidating the traits, which means more work.

That’s for next week, though. I’ll talk to you then.

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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