Author’s Diary for April 2, 2020: Bids Appendix (Computer Security)

(Don’t forget to join us on the Radio Free Covenant Discord server or listen to the latest episode of the Radio Free Covenant podcast!)

We finished the Chasing bid yesterday, so it’s time to move on to the Computers bid! Find out how to defeat computer security and cryptography below the fold.

So a funny thing happened when I was going back through the list of traits in Covenant: it was missing a Computers trait. Since this is a futuristic science fiction game that isn’t Dune, we should probably include one, right?


Computers: Using computers and their peripherals, programming, defeating computer security

  • Suggested Uses:
    • Advising others on how to use computers
    • Assisting other in using computers
    • Knowing how to use computers
    • Recognizing the capabilities of a computer and the equipment and networks to which it’s connected
    • Defeating a computer’s security or a message’s cryptography
    • Reprogramming a computer or robot
  • Negative Uses: None

Now that we have a Computers trait, we can use it for working on computers – like, say, defeating a computer’s security or decrypting a message.


Defeat Security: Go into parts of a computer or a computer network where the user is unauthorized, cover your tracks in a computer or network, pick an electronic lock, decrypt a message without the proper key

  • To Accomplish: Fixed Computers bid, set by the FM or by the character who created the security or encrypted the message
  • Successful Bid:
    • The character gains access to a computer or network as if xi had proper authorization.
    • The character covers xir tracks in a computer or network or goes undetected. Other characters will need to make a Computers bid with xir bid as the target in order to uncover xir.
    • The character picks the lock.
    • The character decrypts the message.
  • Unsuccessful Bid:
    • The character does not gain access to a computer or network as if xi had proper authorization. Xi may also trigger an alarm unless xi succeeds at an additional Computers bid with the same target.
    • The character fails to cover xir tracks. Xi may also trigger an alarm unless xi succeeds at an additional Computers bid with the same target.
    • The character does not pick the lock. Xi may also trigger an alarm unless xi succeeds at an additional Computers bid with the same target.
    • The character does not decrypt the message.
  • Suggested Traits: Computers, Knowledge, Perception, Sabotage, Stealth, Trickery
  • Suggested Advantages:
    • The character is trying to defeat a computer, network, lock, or encrypted message on which xi has worked before.
  • Suggested Disadvantages:
    • The character is trying to defeat a computer, network, lock, or encrypted message in another language.
    • The character is trying to defeat a computer, network, lock, or encrypted message designed by an alien species.
    • The character is trying to defeat a computer, network, lock, or encrypted message designed by an unknown on uncontacted alien species.

NOTE: There are usually low-tech ways to defeat computer security and cryptography. EXAMPLE: A character could steal security credentials from an authorized user or convince an authorized user to give up their credentials.


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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