Discover a free 52-page Quick Start booklet with 140+ cards! Make a character with a CYOA backstory and learn all basic rules you’ll need to play!
As our Patreon supporters will probably tell you, we’ve been working on this little thing for a while now – and if we can trust their opinions (and we can), they wait may have been worth it.
Let me introduce: Aphelion Toolkit Quick Start
This Quick Start booklet is a completely free introduction to Aphelion Toolkit, our biggest project yet. You can get it on our Patreon and in the FREE RPG Bundle organized by our friends at Exalted Funeral!
Inside, you’ll find everything you need to get started with Aphelion: a simplified version of the system, allowing you to create characters in a fantasy setting, equipping them with cards and gear, generate friends and opposition, and start the adventure.
But First: What is Aphelion?
The full Aphelion Toolkit: Core (ATC), coming out later this year, is a robust tabletop RPG ruleset creating a smooth gaming experience adjustable to your table’s needs.
ATC provides all rules needed for play and procedurally generating your game on the fly. Combined with an easy-to-use algorithm, the rules facilitate your game and desired setting, and minimize the preparations needed before the game—you can even eliminate the role of a game master entirely.
ATC includes all the basic information on which the game’s engine is constructed, as well as detailed guidelines and how-tos. With it, you’ll be able to make any kind of settings, characters, items, and games imaginable in a quick and easy way.
Aphelion blends the boundaries between a strategy board game and a tabletop roleplaying game, bringing you an intuitive, but deeply tactical gaming experience whether you play with a group of friends or solo.
We built the mechanics on sets of cards and step-by-step creation guides to free the narrative from preparation constraints and allow for easy and balanced improv. We give the players more agency by putting tools to create the abilities, gear and the narrative itself in their hands.
Running the game on ATC lets you create, adjust, and improvise encounters and entire rulesets on the fly without needing to pause the action for long.
The cards and guides create a low entry threshold, so you can start playing right off the bat. Just follow the tips and add a narration fitting to your game. At the same time, the rules leave lots of room for complexity and crunch; implement it into your games as you see fit.
A Quick Start Delve
The Quick Start booklet covers mostly character creation written in a series of easy-to-follow steps. It takes your hand and guides you through the game’s basic concepts and rules as you fill in your character sheet. It’s pretty, look at it:
At every step, we’re filling the character sheet with you, so following along is as easy as we knew how to make it. It’s also a party activity! The whole character generation process can be run solo or as a party, as you have opportunities to create connections between PCs, help and hinder each other along the way.
With a convenient system of focuses and archetypes, you’ll free to make your character unique – yet no matter what you do, they will be a viable starting character. No dying in char-gen and no broken builds! Of course, in Quick Start you’re getting a small selection; theme packs and settings we’ll publish will offer more choices, and the Core Toolkit contains all rules you need to craft your custom archetypes (and cards, expertises, kinships, gear, magic effects… You get it. It’s a toolkit.)
The Story of Your Life
Afterwards, in the step we called The Story of Your Life, you’ll craft your characters backstory, taking them from childhood to adulthood, picking up skills, gear, friends, enemies, aspirations, and goals. We love this part: it’s a mix of a minigame, in which you roll dice to score marks and see how your PC did in life’s trials, and of a choose-your-own-adventure book, as different results provide you with alternative paths for your character.
I once started with a military nurse, ended up with a spymaster running fake smuggling operations. She’s still a good medic, but the story wrote itself. (Yes, you can pick instead of letting the fate decide, if you prefer having complete control over your character. But you’d be amazed what can happen if you relinquish some of the control.)
All Cards on Deck!
In the Quick Start, you’ll find over 140 cards. You’re not going to need all of them, don’t worry. However, as your character picks up skills and grows in power, they unlock new special abilities, letting them do more cool stuff. We don’t want to force you to dig through the rulebook every time you want to use them – so, we put them all on cards. This includes basic actions, improvisation tools, and item cards.
You can use the cards as a handy reminder of the rules – or literally play them in your turn, to build combos and keep track of amazing things your PC is doing. Also, look through your options while it’s other players’ turn and make some decisions.
Where to Get It?
For the next couple of days, you can get it in the FREE RPG Bundle over at Exalted Funeral. Afterwards, we’ll make it available on our websites and webstores. It is, of course, also available on our Patreon – but then, everything always is 🙂