Players Guide

Table of Contents


Things to Remember

As of the last update to this guide the following functions do not work with Astral

  • Cross-Account Vault Character Imports

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To Do

This is the section that shows things on this guide yet to be done!

  • Drawing
    • Dev Status: Not enabled yet, coming soon
  • Cross-Account Character Sharing
    • Dev Status: Not enabled yet, coming soon
  • Character Vault
    • Because cross account sharing is not possible yet it is not worthwhile to write this up yet.

Confirmation of Dev Statuses are from the dev @Redmega

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Joining a Game

After you have registered yourself on Astral, inform your GM of your username, and they will be able to invite you to a new game session they have created.
Upon this invite you will get an e-mail, and a notification on the bullhorn icon at the bottom left of your Astral Overview Screen (Upon entering Astral this usually is your Vault)

image
The e-mail looks like this.

You can then click on this notification, or the invite link from your E-mail and you will be automatically added to the game you have been invited to.

When you click on the notice or link, it will bring you to a screen that looks like this.

Click “Join the Party” to join in on the game you have been invited to, or, if you didn’t actually want to play with whomever invited you, click on “Decline Invite”.

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Joining a Session

After you have accepted your invite your Astral screen may take you straight to the game overview screen, which looks like this:


If you do not see this page, on the left side bar you should see an icon with the first letter of the game name, you may click here in order to get to this screen.
image
From here, you can click on the “Join the Game” button, this will start up your Astral session, your GM does not need to be present to load this.
image
You will then see this screen, press the “Click to start session” button.

You are now in your session!

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The Chat Box & Dice Roller

Astral comes with a pretty versatile chat box, and it’s super easy to use too! You can get to it by clicking on the “Open Chat” menu option when clicking on your character token at the bottom left of your screen.

openchat

When you do a panel will show up on the right side of your screen that might look something like this.
chatopenanim
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Sending a Message

Like most chat systems, sending a message in the chat is extremely easy.

Simply type your message and press Return/Enter or click on the Paper Airplane icon and the message will send.

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Choosing Who to Act As

At the left of the chat box area there is an icon, this can allow you to act or chat as your account, or any of your characters, be aware that this is not the same as switching characters which is described below.

switchingcharacters

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Making Rolls

Making rolls in Astral’s chat system comes in a couple of flavors, one option is to simply click the die represented and click send, or you can define a custom roll yourself.

Doing the former can look like this.

makingrolls

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Viewing your Rolls

Perhaps you are using a system that requires you to see the value of each individual dice rolled, such as in Green Ronin Game’s AGE systems like Fantasy AGE, Modern AGE, Dragon Age RPG, Blue Rose, or Titansgrave. These systems rely on 3d6, but one of the 3 is a “stunt die”. You can see the details of your roll by placing your mouse over the result!

It looks like this.
viewingroll

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Delayed Rolls

If you want to run delayed rolls all you need to do is precede your roll with two exclamation points, this will thins allow you to click-to-roll your die.

Here’s an example of 1d20 delayed roll syntax.
!!(1d20)

The output will look like this.
image

Here is what the act of clicking your roll will look like
delayedroll

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Advanced Dice Rolls

Astral’s Dice Roller includes more complex dice roll availability, including “keeping” die when meeting or beating a threshold, or having minimums or maximums. You can also re-roll dice in the event of matching certain conditions or comparisons.

The Astral team themselves put together the following table, I am providing it here as well.

Flag Description Syntax
e Exploding dice. Re-roll and add dice >= to a threshold. !(dice)rr(threshold)
Example !(2d20e15)
gt Keep die > than a threshold. !([dice]gt[threshold])
Example !(3d8gt3)
gte Keep die >= to a threshold. !([dice]gte[threshold])
Example !(3d8gte6)
lt Keep die < a threshold. !([dice]lt[threshold])
Example !(2d8lt5)
lte Keep die <= to a threshold. !([dice]lte[threshold])
Example !(2d8lte4)
kl Keep the lowest # of dice. !([dice]kl[number])
Example !(2d20kl1)
kh Keep the highest # of dice. !([dice]kh[number])
Example !(4d8kh2)
max Set the die maximum. !([dice])max[threshold])
Example !(1d20max16)
min Set the die minimum. !([dice]min[threshold])
Example !(1d8min3)
ro Re-roll dice once above or below a threshold. !(dice)ro[comparative](threshold)(e.g. 1d8ro2)
rr Re-roll dice forever above or below a threshold. !([dice]rr[comparative][threshold]
Example !(1d8rr<2)
> Only keep, total, and count successes of die greater than this value !([dice]>[threshold])
Example !(1d20>15)
>= Only keep, total, and count successes of die greater than or equal to this value !([dice]>=[threshold])
Example !(2d8>=4)
< Only keep, total, and count successes of die less than this value !([dice]<[threshold])
Example !(3d10<8)
<= Only keep, total, and count successes of die less than or equal to this value !([dice]<=[threshold])
Example !(4d10<=10)

Use Case Example (Also from Astral dev team)
You can write a die string against a known DC and have it be obvious if you passed or failed a contested roll.

You could use this roll
1d20gte15
for a DC 15, and the roll is below 15, the results will display “0” since it failed. This is an easy way to discern successes or fails.

Note:
Almost all of the above examples can have their values replaced with attributes. So you could write out an entire roll like this
!({Number_Of_Dice}d{Sides_Of_Dice}>={Has_To_Be_Greater_Than_Or_Equal_To_This_And_Count_Successes})
Or
!({Number_Of_Dice}d{Sides_Of_Dice}gte{Has_To_Be_Greater_Than_Or_Equal_To_This_And_Do_Not_Count_Successes})

Defining attributes is explained in the Building & Editing your Character section.

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Math(s) and Dice Rolls

Astral has the ability to utilize many forms of math(s) in your dice rolls as well. Including the ability to round up or round down based on dividing. The following table outlines the functions applicable.

Function Symbol Example
Addition + !(1d20 + 2)
Subtraction - !(1d20 - 2)
Multiplication * !(1d20 * 2)
Division / !(1d20 / 2)
Modulus (Remainder) % !(1d20 + (5%2))
Parenthesis () !(1d20 + (8/2)
Floor floor() !(1d20 + floor(5/2)
Ceiling ceil() !(1d20 + ceil(5/2)

@LaMorte has kindly provided an example of utilizing just about all of these functions (except ceiling) in a Pathvinder V1 full attack action in combination with attributes. Here is his example.

| | |
| --- | --- |
| Threat Range | {Melee_1_Crit_Range}
| Attack | !(1d20 - 5 + {BAB} + {Melee_1_Attack_Mod} + {floor((Str - Str_Penalty) / 2)} ) |
| Damage | !({Melee_1_Damage_Dice_Count}d{Melee_1_Damage_Die} + {floor((Str - Str_Penalty) / 2) - 5} + {Melee_1_Damage_Mod}) |
| Confirm Crit | !(1d20 - 5 + {BAB} + {Melee_1_Attack_Mod} + {floor((Str - Str_Penalty) / 2)} ) |
| Crit Add | !( {((Melee_1_Crit_Mult - 1) * Melee_1_Damage_Dice_Count)}d{Melee_1_Damage_Die}  + ({Melee_1_Damage_Mod} * ({Melee_1_Crit_Mult - 1}) ) ) |
|2nd Attack | !(1d20 - 5 + {BAB} - 5 + {Melee_1_Attack_Mod} + {floor((Str - Str_Penalty) / 2)} ) |
| Damage | !({Melee_1_Damage_Dice_Count}d{Melee_1_Damage_Die} + {floor((Str - Str_Penalty) / 2) - 5} + {Melee_1_Damage_Mod}) |
| Confirm Crit | !(1d20 - 5 + {BAB} - 5 + {Melee_1_Attack_Mod} + {floor((Str - Str_Penalty) / 2)} ) |
| Crit Add | !( {((Melee_1_Crit_Mult - 1) * Melee_1_Damage_Dice_Count)}d{Melee_1_Damage_Die}  + ({Melee_1_Damage_Mod} * ({Melee_1_Crit_Mult - 1}) ) ) |

As you can see in the above, you can combine your attributes with all of the mathematical operations, particularly useful in a number of systems, for example some spells in Pathfinder may require caster level / 2 rounded down. You can use Floor for this, and have your caster level as an attribute.

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Ternary Operators

Who doesn’t want conditions to define whether a certain action will run, or dice will roll!? That’s what ternary operators are! If you don’t know what they are, they are a shorthand for if/then/else in many programming languages.

Remember that any ternary operators MUST be in curly braces {}

Also, ternary operators at the moment only work against static values (including attributes). The idea here is that when you build out a character sheet you can effectively build out actions that either will, or will not work based on your character’s capabilities. Such as building out the # of dice you need.

In all of the following examples you can place a “d20” [or other dice value] immediately after the closing curly brace } and it will try to roll either a 1d20 or a 0d20

Operator Definition Example
> Greater Than {Knowledge_Arcana>0 ? 1 : 0}
< Less Than {Knowledge_Arcana<1 ? 0 : 1}
== Equal To {Knowledge_Arcana==1 ? 1 : 0}
>= Greater Than or Equal To {Knowledge_Arcana>=1 ? 1 : 0}
<= Less Than or Equal To {1d20<=2 ? 1 : 0}
!== Not Equal To {Knowledge_Arcana!=0 ? 1 : 0}
and And {Knowledge_Arcana==1 and Knowledge_Magic_History==1 ? 1 : 0}
or Or {Knowledge_Arcana==1 or Knowledge_Magic_History==1 ? 1 : 0}
not Not
xor One or the other but not both {Knowledge_Arcana==1 xor Knowledge_Magic_History==1 ? 1 : 0}

You can also nest these operators, as is displayed in this example from @LaMorte
!({Knowledge_Arcana > 0 ? ( (Knowledge_Arcana + Int) < 20 ? 1 : 20) : 0}d20)

As you can see here this checks to see if the token has a Knowledge Arcana greater than 0, if it does it then adds the Arcana to Int, and if that toal is less than 20 it defines a 1d20 roll, else it’s a 0d20 (no roll).

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Defining your Dice

Astral has a feature that will let you uniquely define each side of your die! This is useful for things like card-draws!

If you were to put this into an action it would look like this.

| | |
|---|---|
| Card | !(1d[Ace,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,Jack,Queen,King]) |
| Suit | !(1d[♠,♣,♥,♦]) |

This could end up with a result that looks like this.
image

If you ONLY need the dice roll, it’s as follows
!(1d[Bob,Jack,Jane,Bri])


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Building & Editing your Character

Preface about Vault Characters:
Be aware, that while you can create and edit Vault characters in your account it is currently not possible to share Vault characters or Vault Character templates across accounts, so for the time being it is still best to do these things in session.

By default you may already have a generic character created and assigned to you, before you continue on from this point, check with your GM to see if they have a character template they need to assign to you. Many GMs have taken the time to do this for you and it will save you a lot of time in the long run.

Note:
Before you are able to do this your user needs to be associated with a Character, the GM must do this in their control panel of the session. After your GM does this you should see an indicator of your character at the bottom left of your session, it may look something like this.
image

To make modifications to your character sheet you will need to click on this icon and select “Edit Character (Spacebar)” or you can use, as is indicated, your space bar as a keyboard shortcut.
editcharactermenu

Note:
Before continuing on let me mention that, much like making edits to say, a paper you’re working on for school, save often!

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The Info Tab

As may be obvious from here you can set your character’s status through indicators, the color of their token outline, if you have an aura (useful for vision indicator or if you have a spell in effect centered on you), you can view your vision close distance, and “fade out” distance, your character health, name, and even a link to an external file for your character sheet if you wish.

Be aware that Vision can only be set by your GM (don’t want you seeing what you’re not suppose to see yet!)

Remember to save!

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The Attributes Tab

The attributes tab allows you to set your attributes, as Astral’s latest iterations are attempting to be “system agnostic” as of right now there are no predefined attributes (other than those in the “Info” tab).
attributestab

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Adding an Attribute

You can actually add as many attributes as you wish! This is super useful in order to do things like keep track of your ability scores, mod scores, attributes (of course), you can even use it to just store things like the number of arrows in your quiver if you’d like!

Lets add my character’s Acrobatics attribute, click on the “Create Attribute” button and 2 boxes will appear, one for the “Attribute Name” and another for the “Value”. The value only accepts numbers at this time. The Attribute name can technically accept any character (including unicode I believe) but it is highly advised to name it something simple and easy to remember (you’ll see why with the Actions section.) Here is an example of me adding my Acrobatics to my character here.
addattribute

Remember to save!

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The Actions Tab

If the “Attributes” tab were the butter, the “Actions” tab would be the bread in Astral, pretty much everything you do in the chat can be run through “Actions”. If you are not using a template your actions tab will look like this.

You can define your spells, your attacks, ability and skill checks, saves, etc. all through the Actions tab.

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Adding an Action Category

Adding a category is the first step in starting to create your actions. Lets start by building an attack category.

First you click on the “+ Add Category” button, then define your category.

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Adding an Action

Now time to get to the real meat of creating an action, this may seem like a lot, but it’s much simpler than it seems.

In order to “Add” an action we will want to click the “+” icon to the right of our Action Category, and define the name of our action.

We will also want to fill out what happens in our action. This is what gets sent into the chat, and it supports limited Markdown and Dice Roll formats, as well as the ability to call upon our attributes.

For ease of use, I’m going to place a common format for D20 style games here.

| | |
|---|---|
| To Hit | !(1d20 + {Dexterity}) |
| Damage | !(2d8 + {Strength}) |

Allow me to explain the above format, in Markdown formatting, this is a table. Markdown requires a “header” | | |, and a “divider” |---|---| between the header and cell contents, no matter what, but if there’s no content in the header it does not display. Just to show you me putting this into an action here’s what it will look like.

Because I know that animation is quick, here is just a screenshot of the end result.

Also, as you saw, you can color code and give an icon to the actions you want. I chose the crossed arrows and red because this is an attack.

definedattack

And here is how our Actions Tab looks after we save this.

image

When adding an action, if you place a lower case i in front of your exclamation point (!) it will automatically add your roll to the combat tracker as initiative.

Remember, if you change tabs you will lose any edits you have on your actions. Always save!

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Using an Action

Using an action is pretty straight forward, you just click on it, really.

Here’s a clearer screenshot of what the roll looks like.
image

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Copying an Action

You can copy actions too, this is a super useful feature if you have a lot of actions you need to create, such as a number of skills!

As you can see in this animation I have copied a Strength check, that I copied then changed to a Dexterity check.

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The Notes Tab

The notes tab is pretty self explanatory, you use it for keeping notes, this can be things like your inventory, or just something related to the story you’re experiencing. Or just you talking to yourself.

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Viewing your Character Sheet

If you have entered a “Character Sheet URL (Optional)” into the Info Tab, you have the option to “Open Character Sheet”

This will open up a new window with your character sheet in it, or to whatever URL you set that link to.
viewcharactersheet

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Controlling your Character

Controlling your character in Astral is actually quite simple and there are a number of control functions you can take advantage of when doing so.

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Finding your Character

Sometimes we (or our GM) move(s) our map view(s) and we lose track of where our character is, Astral has a super-useful utility called “Center on Character”. You can access this by clicking on your Character Token Indicator (bottom left) and clicking on the “Center on Character” selection.

This will automatically move your view so that your character token becomes the center of your view.

This is the selection.
centeroncharacter

This is the result.
centeringoncharacter

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Moving your Character

There are two main ways in which you can move your character.

  1. Click, Drag, and Drop with your Mouse
  2. Using your Arrow Keys

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Moving with your Mouse

In order to move with your mouse, all you need to do is click and hold, then drag your character to the desired location, and let go of your hold. You can see this method being used in this animation.
mousemovecharacter

The default behavior is for the character to always sit into the grid, this can be turned off by your GM.
In some cases you may do a 50% move (where your character straddles 2 sections of the grid.)

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Moving with your Keyboard

In order to move with your keyboard, you need to make sure you have your token selected (click once on your token in the map.)
Then you can use your arrow keys on your keyboard to move your token in the applicable direction, this will always move your character one (1) grid-space in the direction you select.

You can see the result in this animation.
keyboardmovecharacter

The default behavior is for the character to always sit into the grid, this can be turned off by your GM.

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Rotating your Character

Astral also includes the ability to rotate your character, this can be useful for systems that force you to indicate what direction you are looking/aiming/etc.

In order to use this function, all you need to do is make sure your mouse cursor is currently over your token, and scroll your mousewheel up, or down (or of course on some touch pads swipe up or down with 2 fingers, or along the right edge of the touch pad. This depends on your laptop manufacturer.)

The result looks like this.
rotatecharacter

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Opening & Closing Doors

Assuming your GM Has set up Doors in your map, your character may (if enabled by the GM) have access to open or close doors.

Closed doors will be indicated to you as a transparent red hue.
image

Open doors will be indicated to you as a transparent green hue.
image

If dynamic lighting is worked into a map, a closed door will block your view, and lighting from passing through the door, while an open door will allow lighting and views to pass through.

In order to open, or close a door, all you need to do is place your mouse cursor over the door and click once. Closing and opening a door can look like this.
closeopendoor

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Switching Characters

In the event that you have control over more than one character, your GM will be able to grant your user access to the additional character(s).

In order to swap between the characters all you need to do is select the character token, select “Switch Characters” and select which character you would like to change, manipulate, control, or edit.

Using this menu looks like this.
switchingcharacters

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Manipulating your View

Astral’s view system is really easy to use, if you’re familiar with any image editing or modeling programs it works very similarly.

There are two primary methods of changing your view

  1. Zooming
  2. Panning

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Panning your View

The ability to see other sections of the map you are viewing is extremely important, because of this you will need to know how to Pan your view.

In order to pan, place your cursor anywhere on your map view, right click, hold, and move your mouse, your view will then begin to pan.

This is what it will look like when you do so.
panningview

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Zooming your View

Sometimes your battle view is just a little too close, or a little too far away, and Astral allows you to zoom in or out quite easily.

In this case, you just need to place your mouse somewhere other than where your character token is, and either use your mousewheel, or on touch pads two-finger or edge-swipe up or down. Zooming may look something like this.
zooming

Those of you with a keen eye may notice that the zoom, much like photo manipulation programs, will always center on the location of your cursor.

You also have the option of using your + or - keys on your keyboard in order to zoom in or out, this will look like this.

Note:
Many keyboards require you to hold Shift and press = to get +, you will need to do this if your keyboard does not have numpad + or - keys to be used as alternate.

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Dynamic Lighting Vision

Assuming your GM has taken advantage of Dynamic Lighting (a very powerful and very cool function of Astral) you, or they, may have enabled functionality of vision, with a near and far method, the character I have here has their vision set to 30 / 60, this allows for 30 “measurement units” clear sight, and fading sight up to 60.

Thanks to the awesome dynamic lighting function, this vision function is also dynamic, in this animation you can see that as I move my character, certain sections of the map will reveal themselves, while others will hide as I move “southward” along this corridor.

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Viewing Handouts

Sometimes our GMs will want us to see a document, a drawing, or just have some instruction in the form of a handout, luckily there’s a function for that! All you have to do is click on your character token, click “View Handouts” and click on the handout you wish to see! Like this.

viewhandouts

Once done, a new window inside of Astral will appear which you can then pop-out of the astral panel if you need to.

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Pinging

Often a player will wish to indicate where they are shooting, what they are looking at, or where to look for other players or the GM, this is where Pinging comes in, pinging in Astral is nothing more than a simple double-click, all you have to do is place your cursor in the location you wish to indicate and double click! A ping will always show an outward animated and fading circle based on your current character’s color.
Pinging looks like this.
pinging

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Ruler

Sometimes you’ll want to see if an enemy is in range of your shot, or if you movement distance allows you to make it from point A to point B. Astral provides a function for this, the Ruler!

While in the game session, place your cursor over a grid location and hold CTRL, this will be your “Point A”, then drag your Cursor to your “Point B”. It will display a distance from Point A to Point B.

At the time of writing this information is only displayed increments of 5 Feet, however you can easily just tell your GM or your players that you are using a different measuring system altogether and ignore the “feet”.

Also note that at this time the ruler defaults to snapping to the grid and the center of each grid square.

The ruler will be the same color as has been selected for your token, here is how it looks in the game.

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Live Video Chat

Like to stream or at least look your other party member in the eye as you accidentally fire an arrow into their knee through a cloud of smoke? Live video chat provides a neat interface that lets you do that!

If you have a web cam, the Live Video Chat function allows you to use said web cam, and microphone to be able to talk to your party compatriots and GM! It’s also a great screen to stream for viewers!

To access this all you need to do is click on your character token on the bottom left and click on “Live Video Chat” and an new window will pop up.
openlivevideo

The screen that appears will look something like this, I have disabled my webcam in this screenshot so you don’t have to look at my ugly mug.

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Credits, Thanks, & Links

Official documentation on the Chat, Actions, and Attributes can be found at the following links:
Tabletop Chat and Actions & Attributes.

Thanks to the following people for assistance

  • @Scudpuppy
    • My GM
  • @Tacomnivore
    • My brother
    • Not registered here on the forums but is in game and figured a bunch of this out with me.
  • @Namnodorel
    • For providing me with an invite so I can give you guys a screenshot of what invites look like.
  • Gifcam
  • Gimp
  • The entire Astral Staff
    • For being awesome and making an amazing product!

If you need additional assistance go ahead and post on #help-and-support in the Discord, also, you may wish to view the official FAQ & Knowledgebase as it may be more frequently updated than this forum thread.
https://unicornheartclub.freshdesk.com/support/home

Be aware that bug reports are always best reported using the “Bug” icon at the bottom of the game!

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This concludes the player’s guide for V2 from me, feel free to provide any updates, or changes, or responses if anyone feels there’s anything wrong with it please let me know, I’d be happy to fix it!

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Added a math(s) section to the first post.