Author’s Diary for August 14, 2020

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Featured Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

We’ve finished the Movement chapter in Covenant’s playtest rules! So now your character can move! Read the full chapter below the fold.

6.0.0.0: MOVEMENT

  • This section has information on how characters move during scenes, including:
    • How characters move between areas
    • Factors that can affect your character’s movement, Including
      • How your character’s stance affects xir movement
      • How the terrain affects your character’s movement
    • How to use specialized forms of movement, including:
      • How characters can jump for height and distance
      • How character can climb
      • How characters can swim
      • How characters can balance on narrow surfaces or surfaces with uncertain footing

6.1.0.0: MOVING DURING SCENES

  • Description:
    • Your character must make fixed bids every time you want to move xir to a new, adjacent area during scenes.
    • Your character’s bid is determined by how xi is moving.
      • On Foot: Movement bid
      • Flying Without a Vehicle: Flying bid
      • Piloting a Vehicle: Operation bid
      • Riding a Mount: Husbandry Bid
    • The difficulty of your character’s bid is 10.
    • Maneuvering Velocity: Most vehicles and mounts have a maneuvering velocity. If it moves more than this number of area during this or the previous turn, then it imposes 1 disadvantage on your bid to move.
    • Restricted Types of Movement: Certain types of movement may not be available on some maps (EXAMPLE: moving on foot or flying without a vehicle during a space scene due to distance).
  • Effect: 
    • Success: Your character can move to an adjacent area that can be accessed from your character’s current area.
    • Failure: Your character:
      • Cannot move from xir current area
      • Can move within xir current area unless restrained or otherwise prevented from moving
  • Restrictions: 
    • Your character cannot move through walls. However, xi can walk through doors or climb through open windows
    • Your character cannot move through areas occupied by any number of opponents. If your character moves into an occupied area, then:
      • Xi cannot move again this round.
      • Xi must wait until xir next turn to move out of that area.
  • Suggested Traits: 
    • Movement: Athletics, Agility, Knowledge, Movement
    • Flying: Athletics, Agility, Flying, Knowledge, Movement
    • Operation: Operation, Knowledge
    • Husbandry: Husbandry, Influence, Knowledge
  • Suggested Advantages:
    • Your character or xir mount or vehicle is larger than size 5.
    • Your character or xir mount has more than two hands and feet (or four paws).
    • Your character’s body or xir mount or vehicle is designed for moving through the terrain (EXAMPLE: a monkey swinging through a jungle, a snake slithering through a narrow tunnel, a mule in mountainous terrain, a four-wheel drive vehicle in a swamp).
    • The gravity is lower than what your character is used to.
    • Your character has treated xir mount well.
    • Your character’s mount or vehicle is designed for maneuvering (EXAMPLE: a racehorse, a motorcycle).
  • Suggested Disadvantages:
    • Your character or xir mount or vehicle is smaller than size 5.
    • Your character is intoxicated.
    • Your character has injured or lost the use of xir arms or legs.
    • Your character or xir mount or vehicle has had its movement restricted (EXAMPLE: by a net, shackles, rope, handcuffs, or another character).
    • Your character or xir mount or vehicle is on a surface with uncertain footing (EXAMPLE: a narrow ledge, an icy sidewalk, etc.).
    • Your character is fat, heavyset, or dense.
    • Your character’s mount or vehicle is ponderous or difficult to maneuver (EXAMPLE: an ox, a freighter).
    • Your gravity is higher than what your character is used to.
    • Your character is moving in zero gravity or freefall and is not trained for it.
    • Your character is trying to climb a greasy, icy, or slippery surface.
    • Your character has treated xir mount poorly.
    • Your character is controlling a team of animals instead of a single mount.
    • Your character’s mount or vehicle has been injured or damaged during the current scene, interstitial, or intermission.
    • Your character’s mount or vehicle has moved more than its maneuvering velocity during the current or previous round.
  • Suggested Stunts:
    • Kip Up:
      • Your character or xir mount can stand up from a kneeling or prone position while moving.
      • Xi does not need to make an agility bid to stand up (see Section 6.2.1.0, Stances for more).
    • Run Silent: If your character makes a stealth bid to hide (see Section 13.1.0.0, Hiding), then xi will remain hidden during xir move.
    • Dash: 
      • Your character moves 1 extra area with this move.
      • Your character can only use this stunt on clear terrain, not rugged or broken terrain (see Section 6.2.2.0, Terrain for more).
      • Your character can only use this stunt once.
    • Stunt:
      • Your character can perform a stunt with xir mount or vehicle or while flying – like making a bootlegger turn, jumping over an obstacle, or diving on an opponent – while moving.
      • This stunt can give you 1 advantage on your next bid.
    • Powerslide:
      • Your character or xir mount or vehicle can skid or slide into the next area.
      • Powersliding gives or xir mount or vehicle the benefits and drawbacks of being prone.
      • If your character uses this stunt, then:
        • Xi cannot move again this round.
        • Xi must wait until xir next turn to move out of that area.
    • Carry:
      • Your character can carry another character or a heavy item.
      • Spend 1 stunt to carry a character or heavy item up to your character’s size.
      • Spend 1 additional stunt to carry a character or heavy item that is 1 size larger than your character.
      • Each character assisting you increases the character or heavy item’s maximum size by 1.
    • Drag:
      • Your character can drag another character or a heavy item.
      • Spend 1 stunt to carry a character or heavy item that is 1 size larger than your character.
      • Each character assisting you increases the character or heavy item’s maximum size by 1.

6.2.0.0: FACTORS AFFECTING MOVEMENT

  • This section has information on factors that can affect your character’s movement, including:
    • How your character’s stance affects xir movement
    • How the terrain affects your character’s movement

6.2.1.0: CHARACTER STANCE

  • Your character can effectively change xir size (see Section 2.4.0.0, Sizes) by going into one of several stances.
  • A stance provides your character with advantages to some bids, like defense, but also impose disadvantages to other bids, including movement.
  • A character can take 1 of 3 stances:
    • Standing Stance:
      • Add 0 advantages to:
        • Ranged attack bids
        • Defense bids vs. ranged and area attacks
        • Stealth bids
      • Add 0 disadvantages to:
        • Defense bids vs. close attacks
        • Movement bids
      • Agility bid to stand up: N/A
    • Kneeling Stance:
      • Add 1 advantage to:
        • Ranged attack bids
        • Defense bids vs. ranged and area attacks
        • Stealth bids
      • Add 1 disadvantage to:
        • Defense bids vs. close attacks
        • Movement bids
      • Agility bid to stand up: 5
    • Prone Stance:
      • Add 2 advantages to:
        • Ranged attack bids
        • Defense bids vs. ranged and area attacks
        • Stealth bids
      • Add 2 disadvantages to:
        • Defense bids vs. close attacks
        • Movement bids
      • Agility bid to stand up: 10

6.2.2.0: TERRAIN

  • Areas can have 1 of 3 kinds of terrain: clear, rugged, and broken.
    • Clear:
      • Add 0 advantages to stealth bids.
      • Add 0 disadvantages to movement bids.
      • EXAMPLE: Paved or unpaved road, garden, lawn, flat or gently rolling ground, building or spaceship interior
    • Rugged:
      • Add 1 advantage to stealth bids.
      • Add 1 disadvantage to movement bids.
      • EXAMPLE: Hill, rocky terrain, forest, swamp, mud, barricade, barbed wire, ruined building, derelict spaceship
    • Broken:
      • Add 2 advantages to stealth bids.
      • Add 2 disadvantages to movement bids.
      • EXAMPLE: Mountain, cliff, hedgerow, river or lake, volcanic terrain, rubble, wrecked or crashed starship

6.3.0.0: SPECIALIZED MOVEMENT

  • This section has information on specialized kinds of character movement, including:
    • How characters can jump for height and distance
    • How character can climb
    • How characters can swim
    • How characters can balance on narrow surfaces or surfaces with uncertain footing
    • How characters can lift and push objects out of their way

6.3.1.0: JUMPING

  • Description:
    • There are two kinds of jumping in Covenant:
      • Jumping for distance
      • Jumping for height
    • Your character must make a fixed bid to determine if xi succeeds at clearing a jump.
    • Distances are abstracted in Covenant. Because of this, the FM can usually use the tables in Section 2.3.2.1, Fixed Bids to determine the difficulty of your character’s jump.
    • Use the height of your character or xir mount or vehicle if you need to be more precise about how far or high your character can jump. This usually equals the longest dimension of your character, mount, or vehicle’s size.
    • Jumping for Distance:
      • The base distance that your character can jump is:
        • Most Characters: Character’s height
        • Flying Characters: 2 x character’s height
      • The difficulty to clear this base distance is 10.
      • Add 10 to the difficulty of your jumping bid for every additional base distance that you add to your jumping distance.
    • Jumping for Height:
      • The base distance that your character can jump is:
        • Most Characters: ½ character height
        • Flying Characters: Character height
      • Add 10 to the difficulty of your jumping bid for every additional base distance that you add to your jumping distance.
      • Most characters are able to reach up to ½ their height and pull themselves up.
  • Effect: 
    • Success: Your character either:
      • Lands on xir feet on the target
      • Pulls xirself up onto the target
    • Failure: Your character:
      • Misses or falls short of the target
      • May take falling damage (see Section 7.1.0.0, Falling for more)
  • Restrictions:
    • Your character must be in a standing stance to jump.
    • Your character’s maximum jumping distance is:
      • Jumping for Distance: Maximum of 5 x base distance
      • Jumping for Height: Base distance
    • NOTE: The FM may modify or waive distance restrictions under certain circumstances.
      • EXAMPLES:
      • A pole vaulting character can jump the length of xir pole and no more.
      • A character operating a motorized vehicle has no restrictions on how far xi can jump xir vehicle.
  • Suggested Traits: Athletics, Agility, Jumping, Knowledge, Movement
  • Suggested Advantages:
    • Your character or xir mount or vehicle is smaller than size 5.
    • Your character or xir mount has more than two hands and feet (or four paws).
    • Your character’s body or xir mount or vehicle is designed for jumping or pouncing (EXAMPLE: a cat, a horse, a stunt car).
    • The gravity is lower than what your character is used to.
    • Your character has treated xir mount well.
    • Your character’s mount or vehicle is designed for maneuvering (EXAMPLE: a racehorse, a motorcycle).
    • Your character or xir mount or vehicle can get a running start or build up some speed before jumping.
  • Suggested Disadvantages:
    • Your character or xir mount or vehicle is larger than size 5.
    • Your character is intoxicated.
    • Your character has injured or lost the use of xir arms or legs.
    • Your character or xir mount or vehicle has had its movement restricted (EXAMPLE: by a net, shackles, rope, handcuffs, or another character).
    • Your character or xir mount or vehicle is on a surface with uncertain footing (EXAMPLE: a narrow ledge, an icy sidewalk, etc.).
    • Your character is fat, heavyset, or dense.
    • Your character’s mount or vehicle is ponderous or difficult to maneuver (EXAMPLE: an ox, a freighter).
    • Your gravity is higher than what your character is used to.
    • Your character has treated xir mount poorly.
    • Your character is controlling a team of animals instead of a single mount.
    • Your character’s mount or vehicle has been injured or damaged during the current scene, interstitial, or intermission.
  • Suggested Stunts:
    • Greater Distance:
      • Each time you add this stunt to your character’s bid, you can increase your maximum jumping distance by your base height.
      • You can’t add this stunt if your jumping bid is already double-cost.
    • Elusive Target: You can use this jumping bid as your defense bid against the next attack that targets you.

6.3.2.0: CLIMBING

  • Description:
    • Your character must make a fixed bid to determine if xi can successfully climb a vertical surface.
    • Your character may need to make more than 1 climbing bid to complete an especially long climb, with 1 bid for each stage of the climb.
  • Difficulty: The difficulty of your character’s climbing bid is not based on its length, but on how hard it is to climb the surface:
    • Easy: This surface is steeply angled, but not too much. Your character is as much walking up it as climbing it.
    • Medium: This surface has plenty of large handholds and footholds.
    • Hard: This surface has few handholds and footholds. There’s probably a small overhang in your character’s path, too.
    • Heroic: This surface has very small or hard-to-see handholds or footholds. It also has overhangs with very small handholds.
    • Legendary: This surface is mirror-smooth to the inexperienced climber and has large overhangs. Only a highly experienced and trained climber could find or make handholds in it.
  • Effect:
    • Success: Your character either:
      • Successfully climbs the surface
      • Completes this stage of xir climb
    • Failure: Your character:
      • Makes no progress in her clim
      • May take falling damage (see Section 7.1.0.0, Falling for more)
  • Restrictions:
    • Your character must be in a standing stance to climb.
    • Your character cannot climb in a vehicle or on a mount.
    • The FM may rule that you need climbing tools to climb certain surfaces (EXAMPLE: glass windows, unbroken walls, force fields).
Kepler Beyond Planets: Finding Exploding Stars (Type Felt Supernova) (Artist's Concept) (JPL Image Library, Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)
  • Suggested Traits: Athletics, Agility, Climbing, Knowledge, Movement
  • Suggested Advantages:
    • Your character is smaller than size 5.
    • Your character has more than two hands and feet (or four paws).
    • Your character’s body or xir mount or vehicle is designed for climbing (EXAMPLE: a monkey, a gecko, a snake).
    • Your character has wings or some other way to fly under xir own power.
    • The gravity is lower than what your character is used to.
    • Your character has the right climbing equipment for this surface (EXAMPLE: hammer and pitons for rock, ice pick and crampons for ice).
  • Suggested Disadvantages:
    • Your character or xir mount or vehicle is larger than size 5.
    • Your character is intoxicated.
    • Your character has injured or lost the use of xir arms or legs.
    • Your character has had xir movement restricted (EXAMPLE: by a net, shackles, rope, handcuffs, or another character).
    • Your character is trying to climb a greasy, icy, or slippery surface.
    • Your character is trying to climb a moving or shaking surface (EXAMPLE: a vehicle, a wall in an earthquake).
    • Your character is fat, heavyset, or dense.
    • Your gravity is higher than what your character is used to.

6.3.3.0: SWIMMING

  • Description:
    • Your character must make a fixed bid to determine if xi can successfully swim through a liquid.
    • Like climbing, your character may need to make more than 1 swimming bid to complete an especially long swim, with 1 bid for each stage of the swim.
  • Difficulty: The difficulty of your character’s swimming bid is not based on its length, but on the liquid’s current and turbulence:
    • Easy: This liquid has a smooth surface (more or less) and no current. There may be a wind blowing, but it’s not much more than a breeze.
    • Medium: This liquid has small waves or a slow current. The wind might be freshening into a storm and have some stiff gusts.
    • Hard: This liquid has some small whitecaps or a fast current. There’s a strong wind and some spray.
    • Heroic: This liquid has large whitecaps and a fast current or riptide. The weather is stormy, and it may be hard to see through all the spray.
    • Legendary: This liquid has waves that are larger than a man, and there’s a very strong current against which your character will have trouble making progress. The wind is hurricane-strength and, if there’s rain, it’s blinding and almost horizontal.
  • Effect:
    • Success: Your character either:
      • Successfully swims through the liquid
      • Completes this stage of xir swim
    • Failure: Your character:
      • Does not make any progress in xir swim
      • Starts to drown (see Section 7.2.0.0, Drowning and Strangulation for more)
      • Will continue to drown until xi makes a swimming bid or is rescued.
  • Restrictions: Your character must be in a standing stance to swim.
  • Suggested Traits: Athletics, Agility, Knowledge, Movement, Swimming
  • Suggested Advantages:
    • Your character has more than two hands and feet (or four paws).
    • Your character’s body is designed for swimming (EXAMPLE: a dolphin, a boat).
    • Your character has wings.
    • Your character has equipment to aid xir swimming or keep xir head above water (EXAMPLE: swim fins, SCUBA gear, a life vest).
    • The liquid is unusually buoyant (EXAMPLE: salt or sea water).
  • Suggested Disadvantages:
    • Your character is intoxicated.
    • Your character has injured or lost the use of xir arms or legs.
    • Your character has had xir movement restricted (EXAMPLE: by a net, shackles, rope, handcuffs, or another character).
    • Your character is fat, heavyset, or dense.
    • The liquid is hot, cold, or toxic.
  • Stunts:
    • Elusive Target:
      • This stunt lets you use this swimming bid as your defense bid against the next attack that targets you.
      • You can either:
        • Dive to dodge attacks from above the surface

6.3.4.0: BALANCING

  • Description:
    • Your character must make a fixed bid to determine if xi can successfully keep xir footing on a narrow or moving surface.
    • Your character may need to make a balance bid every round (or more) if xi can’t get to steady or safer ground.
  • Difficulty: The difficulty of your character’s balance bid is based on how narrow and unsteady the surface that xi is:
    • Easy: The surface is wider than your character’s feet, but not too much wider, or it’s gently rolling.
    • Medium: The surface is wide enough for your character to walk with one foot in front of the other, or it’s moving in a predictable way.
    • Hard: The surface is narrower than your character’s feet, or it’s moving in a violent and unpredictable way.
    • Heroic: The surface is narrower than your character’s feet and is moving. 
    • Legendary: The surface is narrower than your character’s feet and is violently moving.
  • Effect:
    • Success: Your character xi successfully climbs the surface or completes this stage of xir climb.
    • Failure: Your character:
      • Falls prone
      • May take falling damage (see Section 7.1.0.0, Falling for more)
  • Restrictions: None
  • Suggested Traits: Athletics, Agility, Balance, Knowledge, Movement
  • Suggested Advantages:
    • Your character has more than two hands and feet (or four paws).
    • Your character is naturally agile (EXAMPLE: a cat).
    • Your character has wings.
    • Your character is kneeling or prone.
    • Your character has a balancing pole or some way to steady xirself.
  • Suggested Disadvantages: 
    • Your character is intoxicated.
    • Your character has injured or lost the use of xir arms or legs.
    • Your character has had xir movement restricted (EXAMPLE: by a net, shackles, rope, handcuffs, or another character).
    • Your character is fat, heavyset, or ponderous.
    • Your character is running or moving quickly.
    • our character is trying to keep xir balance on a greasy, icy, or slippery surface.

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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