Update for the Week of October 1, 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 got a lot of Covenant news for you this week! Find out more below the fold.

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

  • The results of our first playtesting session!
  • The Archimedean Confederation
  • Our two Twitch interviews
  • The game mechanic of the week, banking advantages
  • How to become a playtester

PLAYTESTING

We had our first playtesting session last Saturday and (hopefully) will have another one tomorrow.

We were short one player, which left us with two. Luckily, this was the first session, and everyone was getting to know each other, so we didn’t make any bids or give the rules a workout. Instead, the FM let the players take the reins and roleplay with each other. Player engagement was high, though this may be because they had some hand in creating the game world.

We are using the custom campaign Welcome to Bitter Springs. Normally, this starts with the PCs being captured by slavers and taken to their camp. However, since the two players valued their freedom so highly, the FM decided to let them fight for it. If they manage to fight off the slavers tomorrow, then we’ll have to figure out something else.

  • Even though we didn’t use any rules, we learned a lot, like:
  • You can increase player engagement by letting them help design the game world and then just roleplay with each other.
  • The FM should have an NPC to give xir something to do during roleplay-heave games.
  • People who don’t know a lot about the setting may feel left out. The FM may need to feed them prompts or focus on their character instead of the game universe.
  • If it doesn’t affect the story, like one character blowing up a government official’s car after xi leaves the planet, let it happen.

The big test will come tomorrow, when we actually start making bids for real. We’ll let you know how that goes next week.

ARCHIMEDEAN CONFEDERATION

Still transcribing our notes. The Archimedean Confederation’s index card file is now almost three inches high.

Hey, at least we’ll have plenty of notes to refer to.

Here’s the notes that we transcribed this week:

  • Religion in the company-states (atheistic because religion is “irrational”) and indigenous states (fundamentalist and nationalist)
  • Education in the company-states (indoctrination that makes the students reliant on the company-states)
  • The foreign policy of the company-states and indigenous states
  • The Old Empire and Terran Federation sending agents into the Archimedean Confederation to disrupt leftist groups that might ally with the Covenant, which is inadvertently turning the Confederation more right-wing

We’ll release Covenant’s domain summaries to the public when we finish all of them. However, if you become a patron, then we’ll send each one to you as we finish it!

INTERVIEWS

We had two interviews about Covenant this week! You can watch them on Twitch now:

GAME MECHANIC OF THE WEEK: SHARING DISCIPLINE AND TRAITS

The PCs will need to share resources in order to survive. Covenant lets them do this by sharing their discipline and traits.

If another character makes a bid, then you can spend your character’s discipline to add it to xir bid and/or tap your character’s traits to give xir advantages to xir bid. There’s really not much more to say about this mechanic, because we wanted to make it as simple and painless to use as possible. Cooperation is a key feature of this game.

BECOMING A PLAYTESTER

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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