D&D 5E DARK SOULS' New 5E Mechanics

Steamforged Games released their first look at the 5E mechanics which will be powering their upcoming Dark Souls tabletop RPG, based on the video game. The game will be available for preorder next week with a release date in March. Steamforge say they "cut 5E to ribbons before reanimating it", which implies some fairly extensive changes to the system. Here's what they highlighted...

Steamforged Games released their first look at the 5E mechanics which will be powering their upcoming Dark Souls tabletop RPG, based on the video game. The game will be available for preorder next week with a release date in March.

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Steamforge say they "cut 5E to ribbons before reanimating it", which implies some fairly extensive changes to the system. Here's what they highlighted:
  • Position. Position combines 'health' and 'stamina' (two things in the video game). It measure health, but it's also a resource you can spend to boost die rolls or use special abilities. Presumably, this means that hit points have gone by the wayside.
  • Bloodied. A mechanic from D&D 4E, a creature is bloodied when it hits half Position. This can trigger bonuses and new abilities.
  • Magic. Vancian magic is gone entirely. Instead is a flexible system drawn from the video game. You have attunement slots, and spells take up a number of slots. Some require Position to cast or boost.
  • Death. At 0 Position you die. No saves. However you then respawn. But each time you die you lose part of yourself; it's not specified what that means exactly.
https://steamforged.com/blogs/brands/first-look-at-new-mechanics-in-dark-souls™-the-roleplaying-game
 

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Getting more and more excited for this. I've played every Soulsborne game save for Demon's Souls (and assuming the PS5 ever becomes easily acquired, will fix that some day), and beaten all of the ones I've played but Sekiro.

It sounds like when you die you're going to lose all your Souls, without the chance to get back to where you died and reclaim them. And that if half the party dies in a fight, the whole party gets a You Died screen. Which answers one of my big questions - how will dying work as a group? It makes sense not to have everything respawn and you have to fight your way back to where you died all over again. Though that's an integral part of Dark Souls, I could see players getting really tired of that feedback loop. Keeping it, plus tracking death entirely separately, would make splitting the party an inevitability and a headache.
 

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Yaarel

🇮🇱He-Mage
I just noticed one thing I fear with this product: I hope there's no tracking stamina vs hp for monsters. Two pools of resources for a single player is okay, if I must track 2 pools + magic + action economy for all creatures in a fight, it will slow the game to a crawl!
As long as it is impossible to damage to the "meat" pool unless first reducing the "stamina" pool to zero, it works out ok.
 

Weiley31

Legend
to use HP as a currency for powering up abilities,
I think the idea is, since Position is an abstract representation of your HP/Stamina, that your "exherting" Stamina to pull off stronger moves/avoiding harder/tilting luck in your favor and that by using more of your "Stamina", you're exhausting yourself/chances of succeeding by weakening yourself. Sure, cleaving through a bunch of monsters with Gut's Dragonslayer is a feat he can do easily. For your no name schmucks/non iconic characters, such as the PCs, that is something that will require more effort in doing. Which can make you winded in a way.

Basically, you're pushing yourself to achieve greater results, but there's a price to pay for it. And the same thing can possibly be happening for "Bosses" as well. And that's not even counting how deadly they get once Bloodied.
 
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Weiley31

Legend
It's a little clunky, admittedly, and not entirely fair. Then again, that's Dark Souls for you. It's cruel and obeys certain rules until it doesn't.
Then again, if you have a "party" with you in Dark Souls, once your character goes down, the entire thing does too. So, in a way, I guess it does reflect that aspect of the Soulsborne series.
 

The last time I got a summons in Dark Souls, the summoner ended up firing a ballista at a bunch of the people they had summoned! I'm 99% sure it was on purpose, since they summoned about five people, which is way too many for an early game boss fight.

Then again, if you have a "party" with you in Dark Souls, once your character goes down, the entire thing does too. So, in a way, I guess it does reflect that aspect of the Soulsborne series.
 

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