D&D General Solasta: Crown of the Magister Offers A Hidden Fifth Edition Computer Gem

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Seven years in, one would think there would be an official Fifth Edition video game by now.

There are plenty of ways to play D&D electronically, such as the upcoming Dark Alliance action brawler or mobile versions of classics like Baldur’s Gate. Computer versions have yet to completely scratch the itch of playing a game with a Dungeon Master who can react to unexpected plans and adjust storylines on the fly. But they can still tell great stories and help out the dry periods when you can’t get a group together for whatever logistical reason.

Solasta: Crown of the Magister seeks out the audience looking for a computer RPG that uses the 5e rules set to tell its story. Kickstarted in 2019, it recently came out of Early Steam access looking to hook people who love D&D 5e and either can’t get enough or can’t get any. They sent me a code to try out the game after I covered it for a previous article. And while there’s some rough stuff going on, the underlying experience was engaging.

The game uses the 5e OGL as the basis for its game engine. Anyone familiar with 5e will know how combat works and those who don’t will learn soon after an amusing tutorial level where members of your party are telling tales of their adventures about how they got to the tavern. Unfortunately, this also means the game is restricted to the content available in the OGL, which means six base classes and humans, elves, dwarves and halflings as character options. There are some unique choices like snow dwarves or marsh halflings, but the options are far more limited than the standard Player’s Handbook.

The game also is rough technically. The character models are not great up close, load times can be a bit long and there are occasional sound glitches. The voice acting ranges from bad to decent with everyone speaking in an accent best described as a solid Ren Faire English. An official D&D game would have a lot more polish in these areas and it can be a little distracting sometimes during cutscenes or other non-combat moments.

The combat, however, is great. Not only does it run on a smooth version of the 5e engine but the set piece battles offer great variety. There’s a vertical aspect to the dungeons that’s really stunning and it opens up encounters in a way that rarely happens in tabletop grid combats. The game encourages exploration and tactical thinking in a way that makes fights more dramatic than they would be with a more grind-focused setup. The game wants you to fly and rain down spells or find that rock that you can push down on some zombies. Dungeon Masters looking to make their home game battles more dynamic should take note.

Another dynamic element is the party construction. Rather than a main character and sidekicks, the dialogue choices come from the entire party. Their personality traits affect the choices but it’s fun talking with quest giving NPCs as a group rather than a main character. It made me feel a little like a film director choosing when my sarcastic fighter would say something or my noble paladin would step in to smooth over negotiations.

The game is also expanding. It plans on adding some classes as well as setting up a Dungeon Master mode where players can create and upload new campaigns beyond the first. As a nice touch the game offers notes on skill choices that won’t turn up often in the main campaign but might still be useful in future content.

Fans of 5e looking for battle action and a decent high fantasy storyline on their PC should check out Solasta: Crown of the Magister.
 

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Rob Wieland

Rob Wieland


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Delazar

Adventurer
I cannot praise this game enough! It scratches my 5e itch when I don't feel like DMing, and it has become my go to game every time I have a free hour or so. And I recently realized there are MODs for it... ohgawds, let the doors of hell open!
 

This game does a lot mechanically I wish Baldur's Gate 3 would do. BG3 may be a better overall production (as it'd better be), but Solasta is most definitely a better adaptation of 5e with much stronger combat and exploration mechanics ...

... at least at the moment. Incidentally, BG3's next Early Access patch is supposedly coming this week, and it's apparently supposed to take a lot of player feedback into account. Frequenting the Larian forums and the BG3 subreddit a lot, I can note that a lot of the feedback stems directly from players experiencing how successfully Solasta implemented 5e mechanics.
 

... at least at the moment. Incidentally, BG3's next Early Access patch is supposedly coming this week, and it's apparently supposed to take a lot of player feedback into account. Frequenting the Larian forums and the BG3 subreddit a lot, I can note that a lot of the feedback stems directly from players experiencing how successfully Solasta implemented 5e mechanics.
Yes! Solasta has rough edges that everyone can see, but the developers did some things really well. I love how smooth adventuring is, automatically climbing under, crawling over, knocking down, igniting, snuffing out, etc. This obviously works best in a mostly linear game like Solasta, vs the N+2 model of BG3, but I'm sure Larian could make the game mechanics smoother.

Stealth is extremely OP, though. The game makes you roll to be revealed instead of automatically revealing you after attacking/casting a spell. And that can be abused immensely given the necessary AI limitations.
 

Delazar

Adventurer
maybe someone here can help, I have encountered a weird situation

!!! SPOILERS !!!

!!! SPOILERS !!!

My party is level 9 (well 10, but I cannot level-up), and I started this adventure with several clans of orcs. I did a whole storyline with them, depleted most of my resources, then eventually ended up in some sort of magical labyrinth, I couldn't get out of it.

Ok no problem, there's a campsite just inside the labyrinth. I go to use the campsite, but I cannot long rest, because I have no food! And my cleric has no more slots to create it! So I go through the whole labyrinth (including some arena challenge) only with cantrips, healing potions, and revivify scrolls!

Labyrinth is done, great, maybe now I'll be able to travel, but no, I just get teleported to some extra-planar space. I also go through that, and now I'm at a mansion. Still no food from mobs, no long rest for me. I'm surviving by spamming Life cleric channel divinity to get all the party to half hit points during multiple short rests, and fighter 's second wind.

So the question is, when am I going to be able to get to a town, or a shop? It looks like this is the endgame, so I wanted to make sure...

thanks in advance
 

maybe someone here can help, I have encountered a weird situation

!!! SPOILERS !!!

!!! SPOILERS !!!

My party is level 9 (well 10, but I cannot level-up), and I started this adventure with several clans of orcs. I did a whole storyline with them, depleted most of my resources, then eventually ended up in some sort of magical labyrinth, I couldn't get out of it.

Ok no problem, there's a campsite just inside the labyrinth. I go to use the campsite, but I cannot long rest, because I have no food! And my cleric has no more slots to create it! So I go through the whole labyrinth (including some arena challenge) only with cantrips, healing potions, and revivify scrolls!

Labyrinth is done, great, maybe now I'll be able to travel, but no, I just get teleported to some extra-planar space. I also go through that, and now I'm at a mansion. Still no food from mobs, no long rest for me. I'm surviving by spamming Life cleric channel divinity to get all the party to half hit points during multiple short rests, and fighter 's second wind.

So the question is, when am I going to be able to get to a town, or a shop? It looks like this is the endgame, so I wanted to make sure...

thanks in advance
You're not at the endgame yet, but there is one tough fight ahead before you get back to the world map
 



smiteworks

Explorer
I really enjoy the game and I would love to see more by the same developers. I haven’t had many serious bugs other than a funny one where my dwarf PC’s beard hung about 2 inches off his face and my female human rogue had a guy’s voice. I found it more amusing than annoying.

I did eventually turn off the strict enforcement of somatic components requiring a free hand. I always appreciate when games allow that level of customization.

I think factions could have been expanded a bit more, but deciding which kind of items you wanted access to first was still a good reason to favor one faction over another. I did find that there are a lot of items I don’t use because they require attuning them first and you can only attune 3 per character. The same goes for concentration spells. I guess that’s more of a D&D issue, but I’m generally not a fan of adding content to games that never ends up being used due to limitations in the rules. I tend to home brew that sort of thing when I DM.
 


Rabulias

the Incomparably Shrewd and Clever
A major patch for the game is live now. It includes adding the sorcerer class to the game, as well as fixing a number of bugs and adding a few improvements to audio/video.
 


Some comments on the sorcerer subclasses.

General change: ALL sorcerers get free spells known based on subclass.

Draconic: Lose claws (no big loss), +CHA damage applies to all targets (buff). Scales are on character models! Free spells are excellent, mostly things you take automatically anyway, like shield and counterspell. Whilst fire, acid cold, and poison are available, fire is really the only good option because of the limited spell selection. The lack of Chromatic Orb (one of the spells they where not allowed to include) really hurts.

Mana Painter: This attempt to make a defiler-type sorcerer is a major failure. It gets a rubbish selection of spells, and has to be in melee range to drain sorcery points. Recovery of sorcery points on a short rest at level 6 is fine, but to little too late.

Child of the Rift: The big plus here is Guiding Bolt on the spell list, which makes up for the lack of chromatic orbs. A 5% chance to cast spells for free is meh, but the level 6 ability is okay.
 

Delazar

Adventurer
did my first run with the classic 4 (cleric, fighter, rogue, wizard), I'm going to do my next run with Paladin, Ranger, Sorcerer, and Cleric
 




Rabulias

the Incomparably Shrewd and Clever
Thing to consider: Sorcs don't get Identify. If you don't have a wizard you probably need an Insight cleric or Shadowcaster rogue.
And if you don't have identify at level 1, you will need to acquire a 100gp pearl from somewhere before you can use it.
 

And if you don't have identify at level 1, you will need to acquire a 100gp pearl from somewhere before you can use it.
The high street shops sell them. And that's only if you have the strict material components option turned on.

I assume an Insight cleric gets one in their starting gear, but it's not an option I would be keen on - seems a fairly dull choice for a combat heavy game.
 

Rabulias

the Incomparably Shrewd and Clever
The high street shops sell them. And that's only if you have the strict material components option turned on.
Yes, but if you play a Dungeon Maker mod you don't get an opportunity to go to shops, which is how I discovered this. I have a number of magic items but I can't get full usage of them.

But thanks for reminding me about adjusting the difficulty! I will go in and reset it, cast identify, and then swap it back!
 

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