Covenant Game Design: Traits

Traits in Covenant are anything that your character is, knows, or knows how to do. Their species and gender are traits. So are where they come from. So are their jobs, careers, hobbies, and any random skills that they’ve picked up along the way. Whenever you spend a trait on bid, you add one to …

Covenant Game Design: Bids

Yesterday, I told you about Discipline. I told you how everyone has it in Covenant, whether you’re a PC or an NPC. Now I’m going to tell you how to use it. If you want your character to do something, you spend some of your Discipline to make a bid. You always make a bid …

Covenant Game Design: Discipline

Well, I told you yesterday that Covenant has some strange rules – so strange, in fact, that new players would need transcripts from a full play session to get their head around them. I should elaborate, huh? Covenant is a tabletop roleplaying game, similar to Dungeons and Dragons or Pathfinder. The players control characters (known …

Andy Kitkowski: Teaching Rules with Replays

They do things differently in Japan. For instance: replays. You know those corny one-page sample games that most western RPGs stick at the start of their rulebooks? Japan goes way beyond that, selling recordings and transcripts of entire game sessions in book or audio format. I never understood the idea of reading or listening someone …

Covenant Game Design: The Gutenberg Zine Option

Tabletop roleplaying games have a potential unmatched by any other art form (and yes, I said that TRPGs are art). First, they’re cheap entertainment. All you need are pencils, paper, dice, friends, and some rules. Furthermore, since everyone can afford them, everyone can play them. And finally, since they’re little more than guided improv theatre, …

Covenant Game Design: We Live in a Society

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System was released in North America in 1991. When one of us (Sazzy) bought theirs, it came with two controllers and Super Mario World, a game that two people could play. You could take it out of the box, plug it in, and be playing a game with your friend without …

Covenant Game Design: Checking My Privilege

Before we go any further, I think that there’s something that you need to know about one of us (Sean): I live at home with my parents I have a full time job that provides me with a health insurance, a regular paycheck, and a way to pay my bills. I’m telling you this because …

Game Design on the Cheap with Anna Anthropy

This is a video by game designer Anna Anthropy that influenced the design of Covenant a great deal. It’s less than 10 minutes, so it won’t take up much of your time. Give it a look. The idea of cheap or even free game equipment isn’t new to me. I was first exposed to it …