Author’s Diary: Update for the Week of June 5, 2020

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Featured Image Credit: NASA/Ames Research Center/Daniel Rutter

We got a lot done this week! We finished the weapon creation rules for Covenant and started on the armor creation rules. Click through for the complete weapon creation rules and everything we did after that.

WEAPONS

This section has information on weapons including:

  • How to create weapons in Covenant
  • Weapon features
  • Weapon flaws

CREATING WEAPONS

To create a weapon in Covenant, players must go through 6 steps:

  1. Choose the weapon’s template.
  2. Choose the weapon’s damage severity.
  3. Choose the weapon’s tech level.
  4. Choose the weapon’s energy type.
  5. Choose the weapon’s features.
  6. Choose the weapon’s flaws (optional).

STEP 1. TEMPLATE

  • A weapon’s template is its general type – that is, whether it is one-handed, two-handed, or heavy.
  • Templates determine a weapon’s starting damage, cost, and inventory slots.
  • Cost, damage, and inventory slots can all be adjusted by adding features and flaws to the weapon (see Step 1.
  • All weapons start out as close weapons. You can add features later that can make them ranged and/or area weapons (see Step 5. Features below).
TemplateDamageCostInventory Slots
One-Handed30302
Two-Handed40403
Heavy50504

STEP 2. DAMAGE SEVERITY

A weapon’s damage severity is the damage severity it deals when it makes a successful attack on a target. Choose either scene damage or chapter damage.

STEP 3. TECH LEVEL

  • A weapon’s tech level measured how advanced the weapon’s technology is.
  • Tech levels won’t make much of a difference if a game takes place on a single world. Armor is generally designed to protect against weapons that the wearer would encounter most often. 
  • Tech levels generally become a big deal when the character travels to a world with a different tech level. Armor provides less protection against weapons from other tech levels (see Appendix C.2.1, Creating Armor for more).
  • Each tech level is labeled with a number between 1 and 5.
Tech LevelDescription
1Muscle-powered weapons and gear
2Chemical-powered weapons and gear
3Electrically-powered weapons and gear
4Nanotech, hard light, gravitational engineering
5Technology that is indistinguishable from magic

STEP 4. ENERGY TYPE

  • A weapon’s energy type is how it damages its target.
  • Energy types are important because some characters and gear have resistances and vulnerabilities to different kinds of energy (see Appendix C.2.1, Creating Armor for more).
  • Players can choose one of the following weapon energy types: kinetic, ballistic, inertial, thermal, cold, biological, or radiant.
Energy TypeDescriptionMinimum Tech Level
KineticPhysical damage from slashing, piercing, or bludgeoning1
BallisticPhysical damage from small, high-velocity projectiles like bullets and shrapnel2
InertialPhysical damage from falling or being tossed around during high-speed maneuvers4
ThermalDamage from adding thermal energy – that is, burning1
ColdDamage from removing thermal energy – that is, freezing3
BiologicalThings that can only damage biological targets, like disease, poison, and vacuum2
ChemicalChemical damage from caustic and similar materials2
RadiantDamage from radioactive materials and items3
ElectricalDamage from high-voltage or high-amperage electricity3

STEP 5. FEATURES

  • A weapon’s features are qualities or additional gear that makes it more accurate, more powerful, more stealthy, and so on. 
  • Features can change a weapon’s cost, damage, and inventory slots.
  • Features are what really distinguish one weapon from another. 
  • A weapon can normally have only 2 features.
  • The player can increase the number of features xir weapon has by giving it flaws (see Step 6. Flaws below).
  • Each feature can be added only once to a weapon unless otherwise noted.

STEP 6. FLAWS

  • A weapon’s flaws are just that: flaws that make it less effective or hinder its wielder.
  • Flaws can change a weapon’s cost, damage, and inventory slots.
  • Like features, flaws can help distinguish one weapon from another. 
  • A weapon starts out with 0 flaws.
  • Each flaw added to a weapons allows it to have 1 more feature.
  • Weapons can have up to 2 flaws.
  • Each flaws can be added only once to a weapon unless otherwise noted.

WEAPON FEATURES

Powerful

  • Requirements: None
  • Damage: Increases weapon’s damage by 10 
  • Special: Can be added more than once to a weapon. Each time it is added, it increases the weapon’s damage by 10.

Low-Cost

  • Requirements: None
  • Cost: Reduces weapon’s cost by 10 (minimum of 10)
  • Special: Can be added more than once to a weapon. Each time it is added, it reduces the weapon’s cost by 10 (minimum of 10).

Lightweight

  • Requirements: None
  • Inventory Slots: Reduces weapon’s inventory slots by 1 (minimum of 1)
  • Special: Can be added more than once to a weapon. Each time it is added, it reduces the weapon’s inventory slots by 1 (minimum of 1).

Ranged

  • Requirements: None
  • Effect: 
    • The character can make ranged attacks with this weapon.
    • Base ranges vary by template.
    • Base ranges can be varied with additional features and flaws.
Tech LevelBase Range
One-Handed2
Two-Handed4
Heavy6
  • Effect: A weapon can have both the Ranged and Area features. This creates a select-fire weapon. The wielder can choose whether to make ranged or area attacks with this weapon during each attack.

Area

  • Requirements: None
  • Effect: 
    • The character can make area attacks with this weapon.
    • Base ranges vary by template.
    • Base ranges can be varied with additional features and flaws.
Tech LevelBase Range
One-Handed2
Two-Handed4
Heavy6
  • Effect: A weapon can have both the Area and Ranged. This creates a select-fire weapon. The wielder can choose whether to make area or ranged with this weapon during each attack. 

Sneaky

  • Requirements: One-handed weapons, close or ranged weapon
  • Benefits: 
    • The wielder gains 1 advantage to Stealth and Trickery bids to hide this weapon
    • The target suffers 1 disadvantage to Resistance bids against this weapon if the wielder is hidden from xir.

Versatile

  • Requirements: None
  • Benefits:
    • The wielder can make a Repair or Craft bid of 15 to switch this weapon’s damage type or one of its features between one of two options.
    • The character who buys or builds this weapon must choose its two options.
    • This weapon’s options cannot change once it is bought or built.
    • The character can switch between these options at the start of xir turn.
  • Skins:
    • A select-fire gun that can switch between ranged and area attacks
    • An energy weapon that can switch between dealing scene and chapter damage
    • Electrified knuckle guards that can deal kinetic or electrical damage

Hot Swap

  • Requirements: None
  • Benefits:
    • The wielder can make a Repair or Craft bid of 10 to change one of the weapon’s features.
    • The wielder can only do this during interstitials and intermissions.

Configurable

  • Requirements: None
  • Benefits:
    • The wielder can make a Repair or Craft bid of 10 to change the weapon to a one-handed weapon, two-handed weapon, or heavy weapon.
    • The wielder can only do this during interstitials and intermissions.

Tripping

  • Requirements: Close weapon
  • Benefits:
    • If this weapon hits, it knocks the target prone.
    • This weapon cannot knock targets that are larger than the wielder prone.

Entangling

  • Requirements: Two-handed weapon or area weapon
  • Benefits:
    • If this weapon hits, it entangles the targets.
    • The target’s Agility bid to escape the weapon equals the wielder’s Attack bid.

Accurate

  • Requirements: None
  • Benefits: The wielder gains 1 advantage to Fighting bids when using this weapon.
  • Special: Can be added more than once to a weapon. Each time it is added, the wielder gains 1 additional advantage to Fighting bids when using this weapon.

Reliable

  • Requirements: None
  • Benefits: The wielder gains 1 advantage to all bids that use this weapon.

Slot

  • Requirements: None
  • Benefits:
    • The weapon has a primary weapon and a secondary weapon that are connected.
    • The secondary weapon can be:
      • A weapon (EXAMPLE: a grenade launcher)
      • A piece of gear (EXAMPLE: a flashlight or a sensor)
    • The primary weapon must be larger than the secondary weapon, as follows:
      • Heavy Primary Weapon: Secondary weapon can be one-handed or two-handed.
      • Two-Handed Primary Weapon: Secondary weapon can be one-handed.
      • One-Handed Primary Weapon: Secondary weapon can be one-handed.
    • The primary and secondary weapons have their own independent features and flaws.
    • The combined weapon takes the same inventory slots as both the primary and second weapon added together.
    • The secondary weapon cannot have the Slot feature.

Snubnose

  • Requirements: Two-handed or heavy weapon
  • Benefits:
    • The wielder needs one less hand to use this weapon.
      • Heavy Weapon: This weapon becomes a two-handed weapon.
      • Two-Handed Weapon: This weapon becomes a one-handed weapon.
    • This feature does not reduce the weapon’s damage, cost, or inventory slots.

Utility

  • Requirements: None
  • Benefits:
    • The weapon can be used for 1 noncombat or combat-related use (EXAMPLE: a hard light weapon that can be used to make hard light constructs, a nanotech weapon that can be used to dispense nanomachines).
    • The wielder suffers 1 disadvantage when using the weapon for this noncombat use.

Armor Piercing

  • Requirements: None
  • Benefits: The target’s armor is not as effective against this weapon.
    • Armor Is Same Tech Level: The armor’s protection is halved (rounded up).
    • Armor Is Different Tech Level: The armor’s protection is reduced to 0.

WEAPON FLAWS

Weak

  • Requirements: None
  • Damage: Reduces weapon’s damage by 10 
  • Special: Can be added more than once to a weapon. Each time it is added, it reduces the weapon’s damage by 10.

Expensive

  • Requirements: None
  • Cost: Increases weapon’s cost by 10 (minimum of 10)
  • Special: Can be added more than once to a weapon. Each time it is added, it increases the weapon’s cost by 10 (minimum of 10).

Heavy

  • Requirements: None
  • Inventory Slots: Increases weapon’s inventory slots by 1 (minimum of 1)
  • Special: Can be added more than once to a weapon. Each time it is added, it increases the weapon’s inventory slots by 1 (minimum of 1).

Slow

  • Requirements: None
  • Effect:
    • After tapping this weapon to use it, the wielder must tap it again to reload or ready it.
    • The weapon can only be used again after it is reloaded or readied.
    • The weapon can only be used at most once every 2 rounds (1 round to reload or ready it, and another round to use it).

Inaccurate

  • Requirements: None
  • Effect: The wielder suffers 1 disadvantage to Fighting bids when using this weapon.
  • Special: Can be added more than once to a weapon. Each time it is added, it adds 1 additional disadvantage to Fighting bids when using this weapon.

Unreliable

  • Requirements: None
  • Effect:
    • Choose 1 condition or energy type that will jam or disrupt this weapon’s operation (EXAMPLE: dirt, electrical energy, heat, cold, water, etc.).
    • When this weapon is exposed to this condition or energy type, exhaust this weapon.
    • The weapon can only be recharged if someone makes a Repair bid of 20 to fix it.
    • After fixing the weapon, it will work reliably for the rest of the scene.
  • Special: Can be added more than once to a weapon. Each time it is added, choose 1 additional condition or energy type that can jam or disrupt this weapon.

Cumbersome

  • Requirements: Two-handed or heavy weapon
  • Effect: When using this weapon, the wielder suffers 1 disadvantage to:
    • Fighting bids when attacking targets in the same area
    • Defense bids against close attacks

Short-Range

  • Requirements: Ranged or area weapon
  • Range: Reduced by 2
  • Special: Can be added more than once to a weapon. Each time it is added, it reduces the weapon’s range by 2 (minimum of 2).

Disposable

  • Requirements: None
  • Effect: The wielder must destroy the weapon in order to use it (EXAMPLE: a bomb or grenade).
  • Special: Cannot be combined with the Single-Shot flaw.

Single-Shot

  • Requirements: None
  • Effect: The wielder must exhaust the weapon in order to use it (EXAMPLE: a gun that fires a rare kind of ammunition).
  • Special: Cannot be combined with the Single-Shot flaw.

ARMOR

This section has information on armor, including:

  • How to create armor in Covenant
  • Armor features
  • Armor flaws

CREATING ARMOR

To create armor in Covenant, players must go through 6 steps:

  1. Choose the armor’s template.
  2. Choose the armor’s coverage.
  3. Choose the armor’s tech level.
  4. Choose the armor’s energy types.
  5. Choose the armor’s features.
  6. Choose the armor’s flaws (optional).

STEP 1. TEMPLATE

  • A template is the general type of armor  – that is, whether it is light, medium, heavy, or a shield.
  • Templates determine:
    • How the armor protects you
    • The armor’s cost
    • The number of energy types the armor protects you against (see Step 4. Energy Types below).
    • The number of inventory slots taken up by the armor
  • Protection, cost, damage, and inventory slots can all be adjusted by adding features and flaws to the weapon (see Step 5. Features  and Step 6. Flaws below).
TemplateProtectionCostEnergy TypesInventory Slots
LightReduces target of Resistance bid by 204022
MediumReduces target of Resistance bid by 305033
HeavyReduces target of Resistance bid by 406044
ShieldProvides cover (see Step 3. Coverage below)302See below

STEP 2. COVERAGE

  • Coverage determines the parts of your body that are protected by a piece of armor.
  • Smaller armor is cheaper and lighter, but also covers less parts of your body.
  • Characters can attack specific parts of a character’s body with a called shot (see Section 2.12.4, Sizes of Body Parts for more).
  • If a called shot successfully hits any part of a character’s body that isn’t protected by xir armor, then the attack bypasses the armor and does full damage.
TypeCost ReductionInventory Slot ReductionProtectsDoes Not Protect
Suit00Chest, Arms, LegsHead
Jacket101Chest, ArmsHead, Legs
Vest202ChestHead, Legs, Arms
Helmet303HeadChest, Arms, Legs
  • Shield coverage determines how big the shield is and, therefore, how much cover it provides.
TypeCoverInventory Slots
Large Shield-2 size2
Small Shield-1 size1

STEP 3. TECH LEVEL

  • Armor’s tech level gives a general idea of the kinds of weapons that it is designed to resist.
  • Tech levels won’t make much of a difference if a game takes place on a single world. Armor is generally designed to protect against weapons that the wearer would encounter most often. 
  • Tech levels generally become a big deal when the character travels to a world with a different tech level. Armor provides less protection against weapons from other tech levels, as follows:
    • Armor: Damage reduction is halved, rounded down (EXAMPLE: Armor that normally reduces the target of the wearer’s resistance bid by 40 will instead reduce it by 20 against weapons from different tech levels)
    • Shield: Cover is halved, rounded down
      • EXAMPLE: 
        • A shield that normally reduces the wearer’s size by 2 against attacks will instead reduce it by 1 against weapons from different tech levels.
        • A shield that normally reduces the wearer’s size by 1 against attacks will instead reduce it by 0 against weapons from different tech levels.
  • Each tech level is labeled with a number between 1 and 5.
Tech LevelDescription
1Muscle-powered weapons and gear
2Chemical-powered weapons and gear
3Electrically-powered weapons and gear
4Nanotech, hard light, gravitational engineering
5Technology that is indistinguishable from magic

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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