Author’s Diary for March 11, 2020: Bids Appendix (Part 3)

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

I worked some more on the bids appendix today and started thinking about ways to reduce the page count of this monster. Read more below the fold.

I may have to start making some big decisions about the rulebook.

I’ve barely started the bids appendix, and I’m already up to nearly 70 pages. I still have at least two more appendices to go for abilities and gear. At this rate, this thing may wind up over a hundred pages long.

That’s much too long for playtest rules. No one’s going to read that.

There are some things that I can do, like:

  • Alter the format and reduce the nested bullet lists so that it can be printed in two columns
  • Condense the existing sections and get rid of redundancies

That’s what I did today with the restraining rules. I moved them from the Leveling the Playing Field section and into the bids appendix as a use of the Athletics skill. I think it works, but it also means that I’m going to have to back through the rules another time and work on the text that I’ve already written. Not looking forward to that.


Here’s what I wrote today.

Restraining: Physically holding someone against xir will, wrestling

  • To Accomplish: Opposed bid vs. Athletics, Agility, or Escape. 
  • If Successful: Both characters are restrained. When this happens:
    • Both characters suffer a number of disadvantages to xir physical bids, including Defense, Fighting, and Movement bids,  equal to xir opponent’s size.
      • EXAMPLE:
        • An aco of size 3 is restraining a human of size 6. The aco imposes 3 disadvantages on the human’s physical bids, while the human imposes 5 disadvantages on the aco’s physical bids.
        • A valka Matriarch of size 6 is restraining a human of size 5. The Matriarch imposes 6 disadvantages on the human’s physical bids, while the human imposes 5 disadvantages on the Matriarch’s 
    • Both characters can do unarmed damage to each other without making a fighting bid once to xir opponent.
    • The restrained character can try to escape the restraining character by making another escape bid on xir turn against the restraining character’s restraining bid.
    • To maintain the restrained condition, the restraining character must succeed at an opposed athletics bid against the restrained opponent.
    • The restraining character can end the restraining at any time.
  • Suggested Traits: Athletics, Agility, Escaping, Fighting
  • Suggested Advantages:
    • The character is larger than xir opponent.
    • The character has claws, large teeth, or other body parts that can help xir restrain a character.
    • The character has more than two hands and feet (or four paws).
    • The character has a body designed for restraining opponents (i.e., a boa constrictor).
    • The character has help.
  • Suggested Disadvantages:
    • The character is smaller than xir opponent.
    • The character has injured or lost the use of xir arms or legs.

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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