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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Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
The spellcasting system intrigues me. I never saw many longplay of DS using spellcasters for the playthrough, so I dont really know how that would work.

I guess its closer to attuning to a X numbers of magic disciplines, such as pyromancy or miracles, and each ones gives you some spells you can cast with a Position cost. Perfect for thematic spellcasters, if you as me, and much better than the usual ''spell schools'' of D&D.
 


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.
Problem is that's exactly what they did in the board game which made it stretch out to 5+ hours and why many people hated it
 

Has anyone else read the original Japanese Dark Souls RPG? Its a pretty nifty system that uses stamina dice that you generate each round and spend on various actions or keep in reserve as reactions, and is designed mainly for 1 on 1 play. If you have a party, you are summoning phantoms, very much like in the game, and when you die you lose memories which drives you closer to becoming Hollow. If the "host" of the world dies (since Dark Souls, narratively, is a multiverse), the whole run comes to an end.

It is half-board game half-RPG more so then D&D, but I think if they do a similar format, the 5E RPG could be pretty good. Spend Position each round, generate your Position in each combat, navigate around the boss enemy (which likely runs on a partial-AI), etc etc. Use the Roleplay bits to create mechanics around going Hollow and you're pretty set. It actually wouldn't be that hard to make a 5E RPG at all following this model, and it seems indeed this is the kind of model they are following.
 

Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
I'd like a D&D system where you have a Stamina pool at the start of your turn (say, Level + Con + Prof or whatever) and on your turn get to spend points to do many actions, something like the 3-actions economy of PF2.

Attack/ Cantrip: 5 Stamina (3 for light weapon)
Aimed Shot: 8 stamina
Power Attack: 8 stamina
Cast a Spell: 10+spell level stamina
Dash: 10 stamina
Disengage: Stamina

Out-of-Turn Reaction:
Dodge: 5 Stamina
AOO: 5 Stamina
Follow through: 3 Stamina
 

MarkB

Legend
  • 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.
I wonder how punitive that will turn out to be, and if there's a way to recover what you lost, as there is in the videogame. When there are multiple protagonists, it might be worth one of them sacrificing their remaining Position in order to get a spell off, and dying as a result, if that will win them the battle.
 

Can't say I've ever played it. I'm not a big boardgame player.

Problem is that's exactly what they did in the board game which made it stretch out to 5+ hours and why many people hated it

I certainly could be wrong, but since the section on Death just says "You’ll have lost all your collected souls — yep, sorry, levelling up might take a bit longer" with no reference to the recovery mechanic in the game, I'm inclined to think that gone will be gone.

I wonder how punitive that will turn out to be, and if there's a way to recover what you lost, as there is in the videogame. When there are multiple protagonists, it might be worth one of them sacrificing their remaining Position in order to get a spell off, and dying as a result, if that will win them the battle.
 

Weiley31

Legend
So, it seems like, according to this interview, that this Dark Souls TTRPG will focus mostly on Dark Souls III. Yhorn the Giant was mentioned as being in the book as well.
Also: All Short and Long Rests are done only at, of course, the Bonfire. The DM has sole control over how many Bonfires are in play.

 

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