Character Creation and Basic Rules

What do you need to play?

Recommended play is one deck of normal playing cards per player (No jokers). One sheet of paper per player and one pencil per player.

Minimum requirements is 1 deck of cards per 3 players guide included. (Shuffled together). Get creative with how to keep your character’s inventory and points. We recommend using a smart phone app, website, or game to reach the minimum requirements.

The goal is to get new players up to speed on the rules they will need in order to play Abide Asteria, along with creating their first character. Please read it from the top down and just glance at the links in each section so you know what you’re spending your points on. If you’ve read these rules before skip straight to the character creator. If you’re hosting a game you’ll want to open and reference The Guide To Asteria.

Quick Links


Player Hand Sizes

Player’s hand sizes are dependent on their level. The starting hand size is four for a normal difficulty game or subtract one from all hand sizes for a much harder experience. Players will gain one card to their max hand size at levels 3, 6, 10 and 15.


Playing Actions and Taking Damage

A player may declare an action during their turn (or at any time if it is a free action). The Guide may ask you to play this action. You may play any card out of your hand and use the card value, then if your card is on suit to the skill type apply any Techniques using your Skills after playing. Techniques are a core mechanic to Abide Asteria, reference it often when creating your character later.

Player characters may move up to 10 meters during their turn for free or play acrobatics to increase their movement for a given turn. Play EVA instead if no gravity. In some cases you may need to play EVA and Acrobatics.

When attacking or defending you will play your cards directly against the armor of your target. If the armor is greater, no damage is done. If the armor is lower than the damage the target will take the remainder of the damage after subtracting the armor. If the target has no armor they will take the full value of the play. Targets cannot be declared if they are not within line of sight. This does not apply to area of effect attacks.

In the event your character is hurt, you must discard the amount of damage done or more from your hand. Your hand will no longer refresh to its max size until you are healed or rested. Example: Your character takes 8 damage. You are holding a 3, 5 and 10. You may choose to discard the 3 and 5 to lose two of your hand size or the ten and lose only one of your hand size.


Rounds and Hand Refresh

At the start of each round the Guide will flip one card face up from the top of the deck. If this matches the suit of your “sign” and is at or under your level, regain 1 card of damage taken as a second wind. This round’s card may also have other effects.

Players will always refresh to their current hand size at the end of their turn. This will be your max hand size if you’ve taken no damage unless specified otherwise by a skill, background special ability, equipment or exploit.


Card Values

All number cards share the value they show. Face cards are valued as follows:
Jack – 11
Queen – 12
King – 13
Ace – 1 or 15*
*The player using the Ace makes this choice. It will usually be 15 but in rare cases playing a 1 might be the smart move.


Exploits

You gain one Exploit at level 1, another at level 2, another at 5, at 8 and at 14. Read the list of Exploits here.
Through luck or unknown cosmic powers you’ve gained abilities that set you apart from others. Everyone is a little different. Exploits will allow you to bend the rules of Asteria. Using an Exploit may be beneficial or even necessary at times but the request to change something may come with a price. You should play Exploits as they read, frequently they will break the rules of the game.


Initiative

When in combat or other situations where turn order matters, you may choose to play a card from your hand at or below your level. Then play the top card from the deck. Add the flipped card and your played card together to get your total initiative. If there is a tie, continue flipping until the tie is broken.

The player with the highest initiative goes first and may choose if the turns continue clockwise or counter clockwise. Before the start of the first round, refresh hand.

Guide: for NPC initiative flip one card for each group or boss. Generic mobs should not get bonuses to initiative. Bosses can play out of their hand up to their level like a player. See this in The Guide to Asteria for npc and mob info.


New Character Creation

Feel free to use our character sheets (New character sheets are in development. Coming soon!) or use your own method of writing everything out.

Step 1:

Pick a sign for your character. This can be any of the four suits. ♠♡♣♢ None of these suits should statistically affect your chances of helping your character in Asteria.

Pick a race. This is the least important step of your character and is mostly used for flavor. Your Guide will let you know if that race has any major advantages or disadvantages. Some guides only care about the size of your race. Smaller races fit in small places easier and larger races typically are stronger. If you’re unsure and this is your first time playing, you might be most comfortable picking human.

Step 2:

Pick a background. This is more about who you are in Asteria and can add even more flavor to your character and role play. Ultimately it is up to your Guide, but this should give you a guideline as to what you will start with at level 1.

Step 3:

Pick your skills. Your skills are very important, you should spend more time on this step than any other. Your background will determine how many skill points you start with as well as the number you receive on gaining a level. The exchange rate is very easy to understand, it is one point to one point, even if you buy at a later level.

You may not purchase skilled or elite techniques until later. Skilled unlocks at level 3 where as Elite unlocks the ability to purchase one at 6, 10 and 15. You may save skill points now to spend later or at any level. It is never required for you to spend all skill points.

Now is also the time to assign any Natural Blocks. Assigning a natural block will cripple your character’s ability to play that skill well, however it will unlock 3 additional skill points you can assign to improve other skills. You may not repurchase a natural block later in the game. Note: The suit shown next to a skill just shows which suit that skill uses Technique with. It may be wise to diversify into different suits.

Step 4:

Pick your exploits. Exploits will help strengthen your character and help fill in any gaps or concerns you have.

Step 5:

Pick your equipment. This will be ongoing and you should have somewhat frequent chances to make purchases in Asteria. If you’re a Captain or are expected to pick a ship for the party, see the Ships section also.