Abide Asteria is played with cards instead of dice to increase some of the strategy involved with it – dice rolls are random, whereas choosing which cards to play can be a strategic choice. Of course, both systems still rely on some level of randomness, and this can be rather frustrating for players and Guides alike. Exploits, therefore, exist to mitigate this randomness.
Exploits are special abilities tied to your character that represent some cosmic fluke or luck or skill which allow you to alter gameplay in some way. While linked to them, it doesn’t have to be explained by them, and can remain purely a game mechanic if you wish; however, it could just as easily be part of their character to praise some Nu-Religion deity for a stroke of good fortune or some special ability that rivals magic that lets reality fall just a little bit in their favor. Either way, exploits change how your play your hand, how you draw from your deck or how to treat it, how the universe acts towards your character, or even how your character can interact with the cards.
Note that not all exploits are created equal. Some can be used exactly as explained regardless of the situation, while some may only affect situations where your character is on foot. This especially might come up during Ship Combat. While your Guide has the final say, we’ve listed those that can be used on [S]hips only, [C]haracter only, and when they can use [B]oth.
Exploits are available at levels 1, 2, 5, 8, and 14. Unless you are playing a Null character, this means you will only ever have five exploits to choose from, so choose wisely!
Been Dealt a Bad Hand [B]
A little bit of luck lets you try and change your perspective of the problem. Once per day at the start of your turn. You may discard your entire hand and redraw up to your current hand size. You may do this before initiative but this will count as your “Been dealt a bad hand” for the day.
Thought Cleanse [B]
Maybe you just woke up on the wrong side of the bed today but sometimes it feels like you should just trade it in and try again. Once per encounter you may discard one card from your hand and redraw one card. You may do this at any time except during a technique chain or while taking damage.
Tired of Trash [B]
Upon taking this exploit, pick one suit to be your ‘trash’ suit and write it next to this exploit. Once per day, if your ‘trash’ suit is greater than or equal to 50% of your current hand size, then you may discard those cards. Draw as many cards as you discarded or a number of cards equal to your level, whichever is higher. Keep any cards that are not the ‘trash’ suit but note that you cannot exceed your current hand size; just pick the best from what is available if you go over and discard the rest.
Burn Out [C]
Once per week, you may draw cards equal to your character level. You may exceed your hand size, but you may not refresh your hand until you play your last card or the encounter ends, at which point you refresh to your current hand size. If you take damage before refreshing to your current hand size, your current hand size will be reduced to one card once the burnout ends, indicating the exhaustion and damage from going beyond your limit.
Not So Terrible Twos [B]
You may add any suit of two from your hand to a play. If you are trained or higher in the skill being played, do not count the two towards your max cards in current play. If this is a character-only play, instantly redraw your hand equal to the amount of twos you have played and continue the technique as normal.
I’m Better Than This [B]
Once per encounter at the start of your turn. You may discard one card for every two character levels. (Level 1 characters may still discard 1) Redraw to your current hand size before playing the rest of your turn.
Grave Robber [B]
Once per day, on any turn other than your own you may search through your discard pile and switch one card from your hand with the discard pile.
Once per encounter, at any time except during a technique chain, you may draw the top card of your deck and view it. You may then replace that card with one in your hand, putting that card on the top of the deck, place the viewed card back on the top of the deck, or discard the viewed card entirely.
Reset Button [B]
Once per day, on any turn other than your own, place all discarded cards back into your deck and shuffle it.
For up to 3 times per day and (25,000 SC per level OR 10% of your total SC (HSC included). Whichever is higher.) you may pay off the Guide to play one card off the top of the deck instead. Including if the Guide flips a narration or random generation card, they must flip another. Not what you wanted and still have “Gambler” uses left? You can have the Guide instantly flip another card for an additional fee and repeat a third time if possible. Now if only you could figure out where tens of thousands of SC are going.
Get Over Here [C]
Once per round, during your turn, play acrobatics skill (or EVA in 0G) for free to close the distance to a target of your choice. Do not refresh hand until the end of your turn like normal. Note: Every point played is one “step” or ~1 meter. You may apply your skills and technique to this feat.
Split Action [C]
On your turn, you may choose to split your action. You may only play one technique per round, even with split action, but it can be used on the first or second action. This may cut back or remove your movement depending on actions; the Guide has final say, but use your best judgment. For example, attacking someone with Melee Weapons and closing the ship’s door using the panel and Every Day Tech is one example of a split action. You would probably play technique on the attack to ensure the mook goes down, and then play Every Day Tech without technique, since it doesn’t take that much to push the right button, even in combat.
Magical Grounding [C]
Once per day you may use magic near technology without disrupting its normal function.
Called It [C]
Once per day, as a free action, you may pick a suit and flip the top card on the deck. If the card flipped is the suit you picked, you may instantly reset any background specific ability and/or exploits timer, except for timers greater than or equal to seven days.