Author’s Diary for the Week of January 8, 2021

(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’ve started editing Covenant’s playtest rules! Click through for more.

Giant Exoplanet and Debris Disk (Artist's Concept) (Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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

  • The work that we did this week
  • Why we’re editing the playtest rules
  • Our progress on Covenant’s playtest rules
  • How to become a playtester
Quasar Drenched in Water Vapor (Image Credit: NASA/ESA)


At long last, we’ve started editing Covenant’s playtest rules. Here’s what we edited this week:

  • Chapter 1: Foreword: An introduction to the game, including the inevitable “What Is a Roleplaying Game?” section
  • Chapter 2, Backstory in Brief: A brief history of the game world, including the major factions and the Covenant, the game’s “good guys”
  • Chapter 3, Basics of Play: The basic rules, including discipline, bids, advantages, and disadvantages
  • Chapter 4, Character Creation: The rules for creating characters
  • Chapter 5, Running Scenes: The rules for running encounters or “scenes” during games, including initiative and the rules Sean’s most excited about: victory conditions, loss conditions, and retreating!
  • Chapter 6, Chases: How to conduct any kind of chase, whether across the scene map or across the galaxy. Also has rules for tracking down bounties, fugitives, missing people, and more.
  • Chapter 7, Character Movement: How to move between areas in a scene, including rules for climbing, jumping, and swimming, as well as the effects of terrain and different stances.
Kepler K2-138 System (Artist's Concept) (Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)


We did. We finished writing them. Now we have to go back through the document and edit it. This entails printing out a manuscript and marking it up with a red pen. This “red-penning” gives us a last chance to catch errors and rewrite the copy to make it clearer.

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


The manuscript is double-spaced, which doubled its size to 503 pages. We have completed editing a total of 157 pages as of today. This puts us just under a third of the way through the manuscript.

At this rate, we expect to finish editing in two to three months – certainly by the end of the month. That will give us another month to lay everything out and add a new Player Consent and Trauma chapter.

No matter what, though, we will finish Covenant’s playtest rules and release them to our playtesters by Feb. 28, 2021. The only question is how pretty they’ll be. We want them to be very pretty.

The Loneliest Young Star (Artist's Concept) (Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)


Do you want to become a playtester? Just drop us a line at, and we’ll put you on the list when the rules are finished at the end of February.

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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