Roll for initiative, take attacks of opportunity, manage player location and the verticality of the battle field in this upcoming Tactical RPG by Tactical Adventures. In Solasta, you make the choices, dice decide your destiny.
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July 12

Dev Diary #1 - 5e Reaction System



Hey there folks! Today we'll have our Gameplay Director Zaz give you a bit of insight on the Game Design side of things. If you want to know how we at Tactical Adventures are adapting D&D OGL 5e into video game rules, you're at the right place!

Hello fellow adventurers,

Here’s the first of a series of game design articles where we will be sharing some of our ideas, decisions, questions and philosophy with you. As you may already know, it's not always easy to adapt a Pen & Paper rules to PC. Sometimes though, it can be surprising how the rules of the 5th edition naturally fit into a video game system.

Today we'll take a look at the reaction system, introduced in the 5th edition. It is a great feature and helps to add variety in combat, to provide cool moments and finally let you fully exploit specific spells like Shield or Feather Fall. Would you know, these were actually one of the first features we showcased in our early prototype! Now, we can’t wait to play with Counterspell - that's going to be quite something.



But reactions are not only used for spells - and if you're a fighter or a rogue, you'll be wanting to dish out opportunity attacks. Say you build an AI that only focuses on efficiency, you may never get one since the enemy might never walk out of attack range. That... would be a bit sad, wouldn't it? We want the AI in Solasta to not always do the most optimal action. They might simply get too scared to stay and try to escape, or decide on a whim that they have a more important enemy to attack than the one facing them, thus taking the risk of receiving an opportunity attack. Which is fine, as long as is doesn’t look stupid. But if we start talking about AI we won't ever be done, so we'll save it for another article - there’s plenty to say about it.

We also have reactions that naturally work very well with a cell-based tactical game, like the Protection Fighting Style which allows you to impose disadvantage on an attack roll targeting an ally next to you. We liked the system so much that we added new reactions in our custom Solastan archetypes, and we’re still working on cool ways to use the reaction feature extensively so that smart players can optimize their efficiency by putting their characters in situations where reactions will be triggered.


The system also works for decisions you take after certain conditions are met, such as Divine Smite

Please note that while we like to give the player some time to think about whether to use their reaction or not, they still have a limited time window to make their decision. For something like an opportunity attack, you might think there’s no way you’re not going to take the reaction, so why are we not making automatic? Well... For instances where the reaction consumes a spell slot, you might want to think about it…for a few seconds. That’s why we have a countdown so you can take your time to decide, but not too much. Once the sandglass is empty, the reaction is cancelled, pure and simple. 

This is it for today, we hope you enjoy reading our train of thoughts! Don’t hesitate to toss in some comments and ideas.

Best,

Zaz
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July 11

Director's Log #1 : Announcing at last!



Hey there folks, today's something a little different for you! How does an idea comes to life? What comes before a fully manned studio? I'll be leaving the stage to our Creative Director (and CEO), who will be answering all these questions and more, writing about the genesis of the Solasta project.

Hi everyone,

First of all, we are very happy and excited about our official announcement. It always feels great to come clean and tell everyone about what you have been working on for so long. Thanks a lot for all your kind words and genuine interest in the project. It means a lot to us. We have been eagerly reading all your comments on our various community channels. We love getting involved in those topics, but we see a lot of questions asked already; some of which we will try to answer in the coming weeks / months.

On a personal note, I am delighted about revealing our game. This project has been an old dream for me. I have developed and released 11 games in the past 20 years with many different genres and platforms, and making a tactical RPG brings me back to the early 90s and the Gold Box series of games. 


Gold Box is a series of CRPGs based on AD&D (image from Luzur, RPG Codex)

I worked on Solasta (before it was even called that!) in my “garage” for quite some time before starting this new company. I started by building a database of rules, character races, classes and powers. Then, I built a character generator. After that I made a first dungeon, a combat system, a magic system... all that leading to a first minimum viable prototype. We are still building on top of this prototype (the architecture was thankfully pretty sound), and it has been playable for about a year now. 

With a prototype in hand, more people started to be interested and believe in the project: future potential partners, employees, investors... It may be hard to believe, but when you start a new company - even with a good track record - you still have to prove what you are claiming. Bouncing this creative vision and prototype on the new team members, early testers, etc, also helped us clarify and finalize the vision of the game we are making.


Brave Baern taking on 4 skeletons in this very early "minimum viable" prototype

I have been very lucky with the team members who joined Tactical Adventures. Both talented and experienced people, many of them playing tabletop RPG on a regular basis. We are a small studio of 15 people, and it sometimes feels weird to claim we are making a CPRG of such a size. But a team of talented and motivated people can do wonders, and we also have the support of excellent partners who greatly complement us.


Even our carpet design is based a Battle Grid, we just need to roll initiative and we're ready to go

After the team was hired and got settled in our new office in downtown Paris, we have started building on my initial prototype, adding real art, features, and game content. We have already performed first playtest this winter, and learned a lot from our first players. Obviously, I can’t wait to get such feedback from you, and as explained in our Dev Diary Video we are working on a demo for you to get your hands on. As you imagine, our final game will offer a full storyline and campaign, which will introduce the original universe of Solasta. In order not to spoil all that, the demo is built specifically to put our Key Pillars to the test, and will feature a hand-crafted level that will not be part of the campaign.

As you may have guessed, we will have a busy summer working on that demo. We will also be touring on several Conventions, starting with Gen Con in Indianapolis. Obviously we will not go there just to show our good looks, we will have some cool stuff to boot: an early glimpse of the demo which we'll release later on.


We've polished the entrance of the Demo Level, time to play Spot the Differences!

Thanks for your attention. Stay tuned for more updates this summer!

Cheers,
Archimath
6 comments Read more

About This Game



Created and written by lifelong fans of pen-and-paper games and utilizing the 5th edition ruleset, comes Solasta: Crown of the Magister.

Bring the authentic Tabletop gaming experience to your PC!

Roll for initiative, take attacks of opportunity, manage player location and the verticality of the battle field. Set yourself up for the finishing strike and possibly roll a natural 20 at that key moment of battle.​


In Solasta, you take control of four heroes, each with unique skills that complement one another. Every hero expresses themselves in the adventure, making each action and dialog choice a dynamic part to the story. Players will create their heroes just as they would in a pen-and-paper game choosing their race, class, personality and rolling for their stats.​

You make the choices, dice decide your destiny.

Key Features:

  • An Epic Team Adventure.
    Discover the shattered world of Solasta: explore ruins and dungeons for legendary treasures, learn the truth of an age-old cataclysm - and stop it from happening again.

    Create your very own party of adventurers with our Character Creation Tool in the classic tabletop RPG tradition. Breathe life into your heroes, and see their personalities reflected in their dialogue. Tailor your squad to your preferred strategy and maximizes your party's abilities. The choice is yours.

  • Discover a Mysterious & Dynamic World.
    Delve into long forgotten dungeons to unearth ancient artifacts, but stay watchful of light and darkness: many dangers hide in the dark, but a light can attract monsters. Some enemies have darkvision, some may flee from your torch... Successful adventurers will learn to use it to their advantage.

    Fight monsters in squad-level, turn-based, tactical combat. Solasta's dynamic environment offers some interesting tactical options. Bridges can collapse, leaving enemies stranded and vulnerable. Walls and columns can be pushed over - on top of your foes, if you do it right. The world is your playground.

  • Prepare to Think in Three Dimensions.
    The dungeons in Solasta are more than flat game-boards. Climb, jump, or fly around obstacles. Evade or surprise foes from above or below. Push them into chasms or drop things on their heads. Position yourself on high grounds to start the fight with an advantage.

    Size also matters. Escape through narrow passages where bigger enemies won't fit and crawl through tunnels to find secret areas. Take advantage of the environment to find cover suited to your own size. Watch out, though - the monsters are also thinking vertically.

  • True to the Tabletop.
    Based on the 5e ruleset of the world's most popular tabletop RPG, Solasta: Crown of the Magister brings back the thrill, tactics, and deep storytelling of tabletop games.

    As you play, you'll feel yourself reaching for your dice and miniatures. It's time to dive into the world of Solasta. Roll for initiative!

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: TBD
    • Processor: TBD
    • Memory: TBD GB RAM
    • Graphics: TBD
    • Storage: TBD GB available space
    • Sound Card: TBD
    • Additional Notes: TBD

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