Author’s Diary for January 29, 2021

Author's Diary - Update for the Week of January 29, 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 finished editing Covenant’s playtest rules! Now we’re going back and rewriting them to add our edits. Find out more below the fold.

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

  • The work that we did this week
  • Our progress on Covenant’s playtest rules
  • How to become a playtester


Here’s what we rewrote this week:

  • Chapter 1, Foreword: Information about the game itself
  • Chapter 2, Backstory in Brief: A summary of the game’s backstory, which will be necessary to play the final game
  • Chapter 3, Player Consent and Trauma: Rules for handling player consent and avoid triggering phobias and trauma, which we’re setting aside while we wait on material from other writers
  • Chapter 4, Basics of Play: The game’s basic rules, which are necessary for understanding other parts of the game
  • Chapter 5, Character Creation: The abbreviated character creation process for the playtest rules
  • Chapter 6, Running Scenes: Rules for taking turns, initiative, and how to end scenes with victory conditions, loss conditions, and retreating
  • Chapter 7, Chases: Rules for chasing other characters and evading being chased by other characters
  • Chapter 8, Character Movement: Rules for movement; for specialized kinds of movement like climbing, jumping, and swimming; and for the effects of different stances and terrain on your character’s movement
  • escaping restraints, starvation, thirst, exhaustion, and keeping your balance on uncertain surfaces
  • Chapter 10, Fighting: Rules for fighting, including rules for using tactics, restricting other characters’ movement, and restraining other characters
  • Chapter 11, Finding information: Rules for finding hidden characters and items, investigating characters and items, and “reading” the behavior of other characters
  • Chapter 12, Socializing: Rules for buying or requisitioning items and for interacting with other characters
  • Chapter 13, Dirty Tricks: Rules for all the underhanded tactics available to characters, including deceiving (hiding, disguising, and fast-talking characters), undermining (intimidating and taunting characters), and damaging items (sabotaging items, hacking computers, setting and disarming bombs, traps, and alarms, and picking locks)
  • Chapter 14, Building and Fixing Items: Rules for crafting new items, repairing items, and removing conditions and flaws from them
  • Chapter 15, Using Medicine: Rules for healing characters and removing conditions from them 


We have finished a total rewriting a total of of 163 out of 257 pages (NOTE: the total page count went down because of we changed the document from double-space to single-space). We are currently working on the weapon design rules in Appendix A, Designing Items.

We have been rewriting an average of 30 pages a day. If we can keep this rate up over the weekend, we should be done with the rewrite by Monday – definitely by sometime next week.

This will give us almost a month until the playtest rules’ Feb. 28, 2021 deadline. That will give us time to do everything else that we need to do, including:

  • Lay out everything
  • Write a new Player Consent and Trauma chapter
Double the Rubble (Artist 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.

That’s about it for now. 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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