Author’s Diary for October 30, 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

We have some big news about the Covenant playtest rules! Read on to find out more.

Protoplanetary Disk (Artist's Concept) (Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Here’s what we want to talk about this week:

The completion of the Abilities appendix

The purpose of the Abilities appendix and the playtest rules’ other appendices

Our progress on Covenant’s playtest rules

Little Black Spot on the Star Today (Artist's Concept) (Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)


We finished the Abilities appendix yesterday, which means that we are done with this phase of the playtest rules! We still have more work to do, though; see below for that.

The Abilities appendix has 41 character abilities that your character can take to break the game’s rules in specific ways or to give xir additional capabilities. We hope to both pare these down and add more useful abilities from our playtesters’ input.

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

Dusty 'Sunrise' at Core of Galaxy (Artist's Concept) (Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)


The playtest rules have five appendices:

  • Items: Rules for designing your own weapons, armor, and gear
  • Predesigned Items: Off-the-shelf items for starting players and for players who don’t want to design their own items
  • Traits: A list of traits that players can use for their characters and as a base for their own custom-made traits
  • Abilities: A list of abilities that you can give your character or use as a base to create new abilities
  • Conditions: A list of conditions that can affect your character during play

We included these appendices to group material that we think will be frequently referenced in one place. We hope that this will make the final rulebook easier to use and will reduce page flipping.

We aren’t married to this layout, though. If the playtesters say that this makes the rulebook harder to use, we’ll change it.

(To get updates about Covenant every weekday, subscribe to our Patreon!)

First Humans on Mars (Artist's Concept) (Image Credit: NASA)


The playtest rules require one final step: rewriting. This will allow us to layout the rules into a document that we can distribute to our playtesters. It will also give us one last chance to edit the rules and spot errors.

We have set a deadline of Feb. 28, 2021 for the finalized playtest rules. That means we have four months to rewrite and lay out everything. We think we’ll be able to accomplish that.

If you want to become a playtester, send us a message at, and we’ll put you on the list.

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.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: