Author’s Diary: Update for the Week of May 22, 2020

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We’re in the home stretch with Covenant’s bids! We just finished the Tactics and Trickery this week and have just one more bid to do!

And all we have to do after that is the rest of the rules.

Gevalt.

Click below the fold for more.

NASA/JPL-Caltech

TACTICS BID

Fortify: Improve the protection of a character or piece of gear, create a temporary bunker against a certain type of damage or attack

  • To Accomplish:
  • Successful Bid
    • The target character gains 1 advantage to Defense or Resistance bids (your choice) until the end of the next scene.
    • Designate 1 area on the map. Characters in this area gain 1 advantage to Defense or Resistance bids (your choice) against 1 kind of attack or damage until the end of the next scene. Enemies can bypass this with an opposed Tactics bid against your Defense bid.
    • Designate 1 area on the map. Characters in this area gain 1 advantage to Fighting bids.
    • Designate 1 area of the map. Characters outside this area must make an opposed Athletics or Tactics bids against your Defense bid to enter this area until the end of the next scene.
  • Unsuccessful Bid
    • Nothing happens.
    • The target character gains 1 disadvantage to Defense or Resistance bids (your choice) until the end of the next scene.
    • Characters in the area that you want to fortify gain 1 disadvantage to Defense or Resistance bids (your choice) against 1 kind of attack or damage until the end of the next scene.
    • Opponents gain 1 advantage to Movement bids to enter the area that you want to fortify until the end of the next scene.
  • Suggested Traits: Crafting, Defense, Evasion, Fighting, Knowledge, Movement, Perception, Stealth, Tactics, Trickery
  • Suggested Advantages:
    • The character has the higher ground.
    • The character is on familiar ground.
    • The character is aware of an impending attack and its nature.
    • The map has available cover.
    • The map has materials that can be used to improve items or make fortifications (EXAMPLE: piles of 2X4s and plywood, a building, a crashed spaceship or vehicle).
  • Suggested Disadvantages
    • The attacker has the higher ground.
    • The character is not on familiar ground.
    • The map does not have available cover.
    • The character is not aware of an impending attack or its nature.
    • The character is outflanked or at some other tactical disadvantage.
    • The character does not have the right kind of defensive gear (EXAMPLE: gas masks for gas attacks) and must improvise them from available materials.
  • Suggested Stunts:
    • Fortress: Any area that you fortify gives characters in it 1 advantage to Defense and Resistance bids against 1 kind of attack or damage until the end of the next scene.
    • Superior Tactics: Every disadvantage that you spend on this stunt increases the advantages that it provides by 1.
NASA/Ames Research Center/Daniel Rutter

TRICKERY BID

Taunt: Demoralize, distract, confuse, or enrage a target

  • To Accomplish: 
    • Opposed Trickery Bid vs. opponent’s Influence, Resistance, or Trickery bid
    • If taunting a group, the character should make xir bid against the other group’s commander or leader. A successful bid taunts the entire group. 
    • You can only attempt to taunt other characters once per scene.
    • The character must have some way to communicate with the opponent, either verbally or visually.
    • Can only be used on organic character, not inorganic characters and items like robots, buildings, vehicles, or items
  • Successful Bid: The opponent is distracted for 1 round. This can give other characters a chance to hide.
  • Unsuccessful Bid: Nothing happens.
  • Suggested Traits: Fighting, Influence, Knowledge, Perception, Trickery
  • Suggested Advantages:
    • The character is related to or a close acquaintance of the opponent.
    • The character has higher social standing than the opponent. 
    • The character is in a friendly region.
    • The opponent’s side is outnumbered or in an inferior tactical position.
    • The opponent is intoxicated.
    • The opponent is suffering from a mental condition.
  • Suggested Disadvantages
    • The character does not know the opponent.
    • The opponent has higher social standing than the character.
    •  The character is in a hostile region.
    • The character’s side is outnumbered or in an inferior tactical position.
    • The character is intoxicated.
    • The character is suffering from a mental condition.
    • The opponent is from a different species.
    • The opponent is from a different domain.
  • Suggested Stunts: 
    • Cutting Words: The opponent also suffers 1 disadvantage to all bids until the end of the scene.
    • Goad: If the opponent is an NPC, they will also attack the character, ignoring all other enemies or considerations, for 1 round.
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics/David Aguilar

Counterfeit: Create forgeries of documents, money, or items

  • To Accomplish: 
    • Fixed Trickery bid, which is the target for the opponent’s Perception bid
    • Can only be done during interstitials or intermisions
  • Successful Bid: The counterfeit item fools the opponent.
  • Unsuccessful Bid
    • The counterfeit item does not fool the opponent.
    • The counterfeit item raises the opponent’s suspicions.
  • Suggested Traits: Crafting, Influence, Knowledge, Perception, Trickery
  • Suggested Advantages
    • The opponent is not familiar with the item.
    • The opponent is friendly with the character carrying the item.
    • The character with the item can plausibly have it.
    • The character is using a dedicated workshop, manufacturing facility, or laboratory.
    • The character has plenty of time to create the item.
    • The character has a real item to use as a reference.
    • The item is common.
  • Suggested Disadvantages
    • The opponent is very familiar with the item.
    • The character is not familiar with the item.
    • The opponent is hostile to the person carrying the item.
    • The character with the item cannot plausibly have it.
    • The character is not using appropriate tools.
    • The character does not have enough time to create the item.
    • The character does not have a real item to use as a reference.
    • The item is rare, distinctive, or hard to duplicate.
    • The character with the item is intoxicated.
    • The character with the item is suffering from a mental condition.
    • The item is from a different species.
    • The item is from a different domain.
    • The character’s tech level does not match the item’s tech level.
  • Suggested Stunts: 
    • Provenance: The counterfeit item is well-crafted and/or has a convincing history or paper trail. The opponent suffers 1 disadvantage to xir Perception bid.
NASA/JPL-Caltech

Disguise: Try to pass yourself or someone else off as another person

  • To Accomplish: 
    • Fixed Trickery bid, which is the target for the opponent’s Perception bid
    • Can only be done during interstitials or intermissions
    • Can change the character’s apparent species, as long as they have the same general body plan (EXAMPLE: make a bipedal human look like a bipedal valka or calerre)
    • Cannot change the character’s size or general body plan without a holographic disguise (EXAMPLE: make a bipedal human look like a quadrupedal thk’kok)
  • Successful Bid: The disguise fools the opponent.
  • Unsuccessful Bid:
    • The disguise does not fool the opponent.
    • The disguise raises the opponent’s suspicions.
  • Suggested Traits: Influence, Knowledge, Perception, Stealth, Trickery
  • Suggested Advantages
    • The character is not making a disguise of a specific person (EXAMPLE: trying to pass as a guard or a soldier).
    • The character’s persona can plausibly be where xi is.
    • The opponent does not know the person that the character is trying to copy.
    • The character is using a dedicated workshop.
    • The character has plenty of time to create the costume.
    • The character has photos or a subject to use as a reference.
    • The character is using a holographic disguise.
  • Suggested Disadvantages
    • The character is making a disguise of a specific person.
    • The character’s persona cannot plausibly be where xi is.
    • The opponent is acquainted with or knows the person that the character is trying to copy very well.
    • The character is not using a disguise kit.
    • The character does not have enough time to create the costume.
    • The character does not have photos or a subject to use as a reference.
    • The item is rare, distinctive, or hard to duplicate.
    • The character with the item is intoxicated.
    • The character with the item is suffering from a mental condition.
    • The character’s persona is from a different species.
    • The character’s persona is from a different domain.
    • There is a language barrier between the character and the persona xi is trying to adopt.
  • Suggested Stunts: 
    • Go Native: The character can use xir Disguise bid as xir Stealth bid until xi is discovered.
    • Quick Change Artist: The character can create a disguise during a scene, but only if xir opponents are distracted.
    • Master of Disguise: Every disadvantage that you spend on this stunt increases the opponent’s disadvantages to xir Perception bid by 1.
NASA/JPL-Caltech

Pickpocketing: Pick up or place a small item without anyone knowing; remove an item, weapon, or hole card from a holdout without anyone knowing; do magic and card tricks

  • To Accomplish: 
    • Opposed Trickery bid vs. opponent’s Perception bid
    • If the opponents are in a group, the character should make xir bid against the other group’s commander or leader. A successful bid against the leader or commander is a successful bid against the entire group. 
    • Can only be used to pick up or place an item no larger than a cell phone or holdout pistol
    • Can be used to pick another character’s pockets, as long as the other character is in the same area
    • Cannot be used to take something an opponent is holding or wearing
  • Successful Bid: You successfully pick up or place the item without anyone knowing.
  • Unsuccessful Bid:
    • You do not pick up or place the item.
    • You successfully pick up or place the item, but someone notices.
  • Suggested Traits: Agility, Influence, Knowledge, Perception, Stealth, Trickery
  • Suggested Advantages:
    • The character is smaller than xir opponents
  • Suggested Disadvantages:
    • The character is larger than xir opponent.
    • The character is intoxicated.
    • The character has injured or lost the use of xir arms or legs.
    • The character’s movement is restricted (EXAMPLE: by a net, shackles, rope, handcuffs, or another character). 
  • Suggested Stunts:
    • Abracadabra: Another character in the same area as you can use your Trickery bid as their Stealth bid for 1 round. You must still distract your opponents or make this bid when no one is looking at you.
    • Clowning: You can take an item that the opponent is holding, like a weapon (or the magazine in the weapon), without xir noticing.

That’s it for now. Talk to you next week.

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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