Author’s Diary for October 23, 2020

(Don’t forget to contribute to our Patreon campaign or join us on the Radio Free Covenant Discord server! Don’t forget to tune in to the Radio Free Covenant podcast every Saturday at 4 p.m. Eastern (1 p.m. Pacific) on our Twitch page and get a summary of the game rules!)

Featured Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

It’s been a busy week here! We’ve gotten two whole appendices done! There’s just one more to do! Find out more below.

We’d like to talk about the following four subjects today:

  • The Traits appendix
  • The Conditions appendix
  • The purposes of these two appendices
  • The progress on Covenant’s playtest rules
Young Star and Its Infant Planet (Artist's animation) (Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)


We completed the Traits appendix on Thursday. This appendix has 69 character traits that you can either give to your character or on which you can use to base new traits.

Each trait gives your character 1 advantage on xir bids. If xir bid has more advantages than disadvantages, then it costs half as much Discipline to make that bid. Conversely, if it has more disadvantages, then its Discipline cost is doubled.

(To get a sneak peek of the Traits appendix, subscribe to our Patreon!)


We completed the Conditions appendix tonight. It has 18 conditions that can impose conditions on your character during play. Most of the playtest rules’ conditions impose negative conditions, like 1 or more disadvantages on certain bids.

(To get a sneak peek of the Conditions appendix, subscribe to our Patreon!)

Hot, Carbon-Rich Planet (Artist Concept) (Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)


Both the Traits and Conditions appendices are meant to be quick references. This will reduce flipping through the rulebook during play or, for the Traits appendix, during character creation. We hope this will reduce everyone’s frustration with Covenant to the absolute minimum.

NASA Astronauts on Mars With Helicopter (Illustration) (Image Credit: NASA)


We have completed four out of five appendices for Covenant’s playtest rules:

  • Items: Rules for designing items
  • Predesigned Items: Off-the-shelf weapons, armor, and gear for beginning characters
  • Traits: Character traits that your character can use to reduce the costs of bids
  • Conditions: Conditions that impose effects on your character

We have just one more to do: the Abilities chapter. This will have abilities that your character can use to perform stunts on bids.

We wanted to finish up the playtest rules by the end of October, and we saved the Abilities chapter for last because we thought it would take more time to do. Once it is done, though, we’ll have four months until the playtest rules’ Feb. 28, 2021 deadline to rewrite everything and get it ready for distribution to our playtesters. We think we’re going to make that deadline.

By the way, if you want be a playtester for Covenant, email us at

That’s it for now. Remember to subscribe to our Patreon, and we’ll 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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