Update for the Week of September 10, 2021

Author's Diary - Update for the Week of September 10, 2021

(Covenant’s playtest rules are out! Download a copy now and tell us what you think! If you like what you see, think about becoming a patron!)

Featured Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

We’ve started transcribing our notes on the Archimedean Confederation! Find out more below the fold.

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

  • The Archimedean Confederation
  • The game mechanic of the week, advantages and disadvantages
  • How to become a playtester


There’s not much to report this week. We started transcribing our notes on the Archimedean Confederation from our notebooks to index cards. We’ll use these index cards to make an index card file, then use that to write up the Archimedean Confederation’s domain summary. We’ll update you further on our progess next

Band of Rubble (Artist Concept) (Image Credit: NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech)


Your character has options if xi fails a bid or doesn’t have enough discipline to succeed at it. Xi can always succeed, but with consequences. We call that failing forward.

Here’s all the ways that you can fail forward in Covenant:

  • Setback: Your character’s actions cause a related problem.
      • Your character sneaks into an office and finds secret documents. However, xi trips an alarm or alerts the guards.
      • Your character is piloting a spaceship and evades a missile. However, xi strains its systems in doing so and burns out an important system.
  • Silver Lining: Your character fails xir action, but xi gains something unexpected or succeeds at a related task.
      • Your character is captured while sneaking into an enemy camp. However, xi overhears the guards talking about an upcoming attack.
      • Your character fails to find a cure for a disease. However, xi discovers a technique that gives xir 1 or more advantages to xir next crafting bid.
  • Improvement: Your character fails this time, but xi gains 1 advantage to xir next bid against the same target.
      • Your character misses xir target with a machine gun or mortar. However, xi adjusts xir fire and “walks” xir subsequent shots into it.
      • Your character fails to crack a safe. However, xi figures out part of the combination that xi needs.
  • Set Up: If your character wins an opposed bid, then xi can choose to lose it voluntarily in exchange for a tactical advantage (selected by the FM). This can include either:
    • Putting the Off-Balance condition on the bid’s loser
    • Giving your character or an ally 1 or more advantages on xir next bid against the bid’s loser
    • Immediately recharging a trait or ability
  • Condition: Your character succeeds, but imposes a condition on xirself.
      • Your character sneaks past some guards. However, xi makes too much noise and imposes the Heat condition on xirself.
      • Your character climbs over a fence. However, xi rips xir arm open on a piece of exposed metal and imposes a bleeding condition on xirself.
  • Ablative Gear: Your character succeeds at xir bid, but xi loses a piece of gear (selected by the FM) in doing so.
    • EXAMPLE:
      • Your character jumps over a chasm. However, xi drops xir backpack (and everything in it) as xi grabs the edge and scrambles up on the other side.
      • Your character is piloting a spaceship and fails to dodge a missile. However, xi ejects a module from xir ship that takes the hit instead.


Have you downloaded Covenant’s playtest rules yet? Did we mention that they’re free? If not, do it now! They’re free! All we ask is that you tell us what you think about them. You can send your feedback in two ways:

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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