Author’s Diary for the Week of June 19, 2020

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Featured Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

We finished the armor and gear creation rules for Covenant this week! Now all we have to do is write the gear features and flaws, then list all the character abilities, and then we can start the real work: the editing.

Read the complete armor and gear creation rules below the fold.

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.
  • 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.

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.

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

ARMOR FLAWS

Weak

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

Expensive

  • Requirements: None
  • Cost: Increases a piece of armor’s cost by 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.

Heavy

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

Cumbersome

  • Requirements: None
  • Effect: Adds 1 disadvantage to all bids requiring agility when worn, including Agility and Defense bids.
  • Special: Can be added more than once to a piece or armor. Each time it is added, it adds 1 disadvantage to all bids requiring agility when worn.

Unreliable

  • Requirements: None
  • Effect:
    • Choose 1 condition or energy type that will jam or disrupt this armor’s operation (EXAMPLE: dirt, electrical energy, heat, cold, water, etc.).
    • When this armor is exposed to this condition or energy type, either:
      • Its damage protection or cover is halved (rounding down).
      • It locks up, adding 1 disadvantage to all physical bids when worn.
    • The armor can only be restored to normal if someone makes a Repair bid of 20 to fix it.
    • After fixing the armor, it will work reliably for the rest of the scene.
  • Special: Can be added more than once to a piece of armor. Each time it is added, choose 1 additional condition or energy type that can jam or disrupt this weapon.

Ablative

  • Requirements: Armor only
  • Effect:
    • Every time a character is hit while wearing this armor, the armor’s damage reduction is reduced by 5 (minimum damage reduction of 0) after the attack is resolved.
    • The armor’s damage reduction can be restored by making a Repair bid of 30 to fix it.

GEAR

This section has information on gear, including:

  • How to create gear in Covenant
  • Gear features
  • Gear flaws

CREATING GEAR

To create armor in Covenant, players must go through 4 steps:

  1. Choose the armor’s.template.
  2. Choose the armor’s tech level.
  3. Choose the armor’s features.
  4. Choose the armor’s flaws (optional).

STEP 1. TEMPLATE

A piece of gear’s template determines how big and cumbersome it is. It also determines how many features it starts out with (see Step 3. Features below).

TemplateUseInventory SlotsFeaturesCost
One-HandedCan be used with one hand1130
Two-HandedCan be used with two hands2240
HeavyMust be set down or mounted3350

STEP 2. TECH LEVEL

A piece of gear’s tech level determines how advanced it is. It also determines what you can do with it. 

  • EXAMPLE: Here are some pieces of gear with their minimum tech levels.
    • Computer: Tech level 2
    • Holographic Display: Tech level 3
    • Hard Light Emitter: Tech level 4
Tech LevelEras
1Stone Age to Late Iron Age
2Industrial Age to Present
3Near Future
4Far Future
5Indistinguishable from Magic

STEP 3. FEATURES

  • A piece of gear’s features are qualities or additional equipment that increase its usefulness, reduce its weight, give it additional functions, and so on. 
  • Features can change a piece of gear’s cost, inventory slots, and uses.
  • Features are what really distinguish one piece of gear from another. 
  • The number of starting features on a piece of gear is determined by its template (see Step 1. Template).
  • The player can increase the number of features that a piece of gear has by giving it flaws (see Step 6. Flaws below).
  • Each feature can be added only once to a piece of gear unless otherwise noted.

STEP 4. FLAWS

  • A piece of gear’s flaws are just that: flaws that make it less effective or hinder its user.
  • Features can change armor’s cost, inventory slots, and uses.
  • Like features, flaws can help distinguish one piece of gear from another. 
  • Any piece of gear starts out with 0 flaws.
  • Each flaw added to a piece of gear allows it to have 1 more feature.
  • Each piece of gear can have up to 2 flaws.
  • Each flaw can be added only once to each piece of gear unless otherwise noted.

That’s it for this week. Talk to you next Friday.

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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