Solasta: Crown of the Magister Previews

Tactical Adventures is getting ready to launch a Kickstarter campaign for their D&D 5E-inspired RPG Solasta: Crown of the Magister. Once the campaign goes live, you'll be able to play through a short demo and see for yourself what the game is all about. But for now, we can check out a couple of previews based an a build presented at this year's Gamescom.

Here's what IGN has to say:

It’s easily the closest I’ve seen a digital property come to properly emulating the experience of playing a tabletop game. The active-pause systems of Baldur’s Gate I & II (and newer titles like Pillars of Eternity) is an old standard, but is far more hectic to manage than the actual turn-based rounds of combat around a table, and other turn-based RPGs like Divinity still don't quite nail the contextual actions Solasta offers, like shoving someone off a ledge or utilizing the Rogue's bonus actions in combat. It's as close as I've come to rolling dice in person - the only thing missing is other people.

And here's an excerpt from a detailed RPG Watch preview:

The combat in Solasta is turn-based and starts with a dice being rolled for initiative. There is a lot of of dice rolling in Solasta. Allof which is automated and takes place in the background, but for the hardcore fans there is a window that shows the results of the dice rolling and in what way you have succeeded or not.

Each of the characters can equip two weapons to switch between during combat, like a melee and a ranged weapon, or two daggers for a rogue. This first combat showed some of the verticality where a few spiders were at higher positions, but it didn't look too difficult. A bit more complicated fight later in the demo, involved some orcs. For this the sneaking option the game has, was used. When sneaking a detection circle is shown for each of the characters. This detection circle will become smaller when your character enters stealth mode. Going into stealth allowed the party to position themselves strategically above the orcs and attack them with ranged weapons and spells first, but also to shove a crate over the edge upon one of the orcs. This allowed to use the height to get some damage to the orcs, before they were able to reach any of our party members. Following the rules a reaction system has been implemented that allows for performaing a reaction whenever you are provoked into making one by your opponent. Characters will have more reaction options when they increase in level. Some of these reactions are performing an attack of opportunity or reducing your damage when you fall. A search in the SRD shows that there are over 90 occurrences of the word 'reaction', so there will be quite some reactions to choose from. Each character has one reaction per round.

The tactical fights are a big part of the game, but the developers do want to provide plenty of opportunities for exploring the world and learn more about it by investigating objects and reading books and inscriptions. Matthieu told me that it is a story driven game, with a campaign and an epic quest, but battles are a substantial part of the game. Although in some situations it is possible to avoid entering a battle, by sneaking or even talking you out of combat. There is however no reward for that at this point in time, but it is being discussed how the player should be rewarded for not fighting.