Update for the Week of October 15, 2021

Author's Diary -Update for the Week of October 15, 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

Sorry for missing last week’s post. Sean wasn’t feeling so hot. But he’s back now, so we have news on Covenant  Find out more below the fold.

Black Hole Grabs Starry Snack (Artist Concept) (Image Credit: )

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

  • The results of our second and third playtesting session!
  • The Archimedean Confederation
  • The game mechanic of the week, burning traits
  • How to become a playtester
At the Heart of Blobs (Artist Concept) (Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)


We held our second and third playtesting sessions since we last talked to you, and we have another session scheduled on Sunday – and with a fourth player, to boot!

The players were supposed to be captured by slavers. However, since two of the PCs valued their freedom so much, the FM decided to throw that scene out the window and let them try to escape. Which they did.

We hadn’t intended to do vehicular combat during the playtest, so we made up some quick rules: the pilot of the PCs’ ship would try to outfly four drones sent by the slavers to corner them. (That’s one of the nice things about this system in particular and roleplaying games in particular: their flexibility) The pilot did indeed outfly them, and our risu character uploaded a virus to the drones that infected the slavers’ ship, leaving them sitting ducks for capture.

The game was very slow. Part of this was because we held it over Discord chat instead of by voice or face-to-face. But part of it was because it was so roleplay-heavy. All told, the players only made about five or so bids. The rest was three roleplaying sessions – close to twelve hours of play – of roleplaying.

Despite the slow pace, the players seemed highly engaged and enthusiastic. We think it’s because they were allowed to tell the story along with the FM, instead of just sitting around and reacting to what the FM did.

The fourth player will join us on Sunday. We generated their character tonight, and they were ready to go within half an hour, which is what we want. Of course, this may also be because they’re experienced with other roleplaying games, but it was encouraging.

We’ll let you know how Sunday’s session goes next Friday.

UX Tau A (Artist Concept) (Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)


We finished transcribing our notes since the last time we talked to you, and we’re in the process of organizing our index card file on the Archimedean Confederation. It started off as a pile almost three and a half inches high, but we managed to cut almost an inch off that.

Hopefully, we’ll finish organizing our notes this weekend and start writing up the Archimedean Confederation’s summary on Monday.

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!

Dust in the Quasar Wind (Artist Concept) (Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)


This one’s pretty simple. Normally, you can tap a trait – that is, use it up until your next turn – to add an advantage to a relevant bid. But what if you don’t have any traits that are relevant to your current bid?

The answer is that you can burn an unrelated trait. In other words, you expend the trait until the end of the scene to give your current bid an advantage. This might reflect beginner’s luck or simple desperation. It’s a way to give your character a short-term benefit at the expense of consuming xir resources faster.

First Humans on Mars (Image Credit: NASA)


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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