Author’s Diary for the Week of June 12, 2020

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Featured Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

We’ve finished most of the armor creation rules for Covenant. We’d hoped finish them today, but this week was a bit crazy. All we need to do now is add the armor flaws, and we can move on to gear!

Click through for more.

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.
  • If a character is affected by environmental hazards (EXAMPLE: a building fire, cold weather, an unshielded nuclear reactor), the hazard is considered to be the same tech level as xir armor.
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

  • Armor’s energy types are the types of energy against which it protects the wearer.
  • If a character’s armor does not protect against an energy type, then xi receives no damage reduction or cover against attacks and hazards that use that energy type.
  • Heavier armor typically protects against more energy types.
  • Some energy types, like thermal and cold energy, require the wearer to cover xir entire body with armor resistant to that energy type in order to gain protection from it. Other energy types require only partial coverage, but can still be bypassed with called shots.
  • Characters can add or subtract energy types from their armor by features and flaws to the weapon (see Step 5. Features  and Step 6. Flaws below).
  • Players can choose from the following armor energy types: kinetic, ballistic, inertial, heat, cold, biological, or radiant.
Energy TypeCoverageMinimum Tech Level
KineticPartial1
BallisticPartial1
InertialFull4
HeatFull2
ColdFull2
BiologicalFull2
ChemicalFull2
RadiantFull2
ElectricalFull2

STEP 5. FEATURES

  • Armor’s features are qualities or additional gear that makes increase its protection, reduce its weight, give it additional functions, and so on. 
  • Features can change armor’s cost, protection or cover, energy types and inventory slots.
  • Features are what really distinguish one piece of armor from another. 
  • Any piece of armor can normally have only 2 features.
  • The player can increase the number of features that a piece of armor has by giving it flaws (see Step 6. Flaws below).
  • Each feature can be added only once to a weapon unless otherwise noted.
NASA/JPL-Caltech

STEP 6. FLAWS

  • Armor’s flaws are just that: flaws that make it less effective or hinder its wearer.
  • Features can change armor’s cost, protection or cover, energy types and inventory slots.
  • Like features, flaws can help distinguish one piece of armor from another. 
  • Any piece of armor starts out with 0 flaws.
  • Each flaw added to a piece of armor allows it to have 1 more feature.
  • Each piece of armor can have up to 2 flaws.
  • Each flaw can be added only once to each piece of armor unless otherwise noted.
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

ARMOR FEATURES

Strong

  • Requirements: Armor only
  • Cost: Increases a piece of armor’s damage reduction by 10
  • Special: Can be added more than once to a piece of armor. Each time it is added, it increases the armor’s damage reduction by 10 (minimum of 10).

Extra-Large

  • Requirements: Shield only
  • Cover: Reduces the wielder’s size by 1 additional size category

Low-Cost

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

Superior

  • Requirements: None
  • Effect: Gives the wearer protection from attacks from 1 lower tech level (EXAMPLE: If the armor’s tech level is 3, then Superior gives protection from tech level 1 or 2 weapons, but not tech level 4 weapons)
  • Special: Can be added more than once to a piece of armor. Each time it is added, it gives protection from an additional lower tech level)

Lightweight

  • Requirements: Armor only
  • Inventory Slots: Reduces a piece of armor’s inventory slots by 1 (minimum of 1)
  • Special: Can be added more than once to a piece or armor. Each time it is added, it reduces the armor’s inventory slots by 1 (minimum of 1).

Thin

  • Requirements: Armor only
  • Effect: 
    • This armor can be worn over another piece of armor that covers the same or more body parts.
    • If an attack or other effect hits a body part protected by 2 or more pieces of armor, then the outer pieces affect the incoming damage before the inner pieces.
  • NOTE: Adding this feature to a piece of armor does not change the number of inventory slots that it takes up.

Slot

  • Requirements: None
  • Effect:
    • The armor has an accessory slot that can hold 1 weapon or piece of gear.
    • The weapon or piece of gear is considered wielded or equipped whenever the armor is worn.
    • The weapon or piece of gear cannot take up more than 1 inventory slot.
    • The weapon or piece of gear cannot be changed once the armor is crafted or bought.
    • The armor’s total inventory slots equal its original inventory slots plus 1 for each weapon or piece of gear slotted into it.
  • Special: Can be added more than once to a piece or armor. Each time it is added, the armor can hold 1 more weapon or piece of gear.

Integrated

  • Requirements: None
  • Effect:
    • The armor has a 1 weapon or piece of gear integrated into it.
    • The weapon or piece of gear is considered wielded or equipped whenever the armor is worn.
    • The weapon or piece of gear cannot take up more than 1 inventory slot.
    • The weapon or piece of gear cannot be changed once the armor is crafted or bought.

Sealed

  • Requirements: Armor only, suit only, tech level 2 or above
  • Effect: The armor gives its wearer immunity to biological damage from vacuum and poisonous atmospheres.

Optimized

  • Requirements: None
  • Effect: The armor gives the wearer 1 advantage to 1 type of bid when worn.
  • Special: Can be added more than once to a piece or armor. Each time it is added, the armor either:
    • Gives 1 advantage to another type of bid
    • Adds 1 advantage to an existing type of bid.

Utility

  • Requirements: None
  • Effect: 
    • The armor can be used for 1 noncombat or combat-related use (EXAMPLE: hard light force field that can be used to make hard light constructs).
    • The wielder suffers 1 disadvantage when using the weapon for this noncombat use.

Low-Profile

  • Requirements: Armor only
  • Effect: The wearer gains 1 advantage to Stealth and Trickery bids to hide this armor

That’s it for now. Talk to you later.

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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