Solasta: Crown of the Magister is a new CRPG title from Tactical Adventures. While it's set in the completely new homebrewed world of Solasta, it's been built on top of the framework for Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition. Solasta is currently available via Steam Early Access where players can experience about 10+ hours of the campaign, depending on how quickly you play. Before you dive into the world of Solasta though, here are a few tips to get you started on the right foot!
Solasta Character Creation
While there are plenty of pre-made characters that have been wonderfully balanced to take out on adventures, one of the great aspects of a CRPG is the ability to create your own characters. If you're familiar with TTRPGs, then you already know what to expect, but it's still good to check out some of these Solasta Beginner Guide tips when rolling your character.
Reroll character stats... if you want
When you get to picking your characters stats in Solasta, there are two different ways that you can go about it. The first is through the traditional Standard Array. Here, you start with the stat values 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, and 8. This will mean most of your abilities will have positive modifiers, one will be a negative, and then you can allocate them as you'd like. This will let you make sure that your Paladin has high Strength, and your Rogue is charming. The other way that you can pick your stats is by rolling for them.
In traditional D&D, the way this would be done would be rolling four d6 and adding together the top three values. Once you've repeated this process six times (for Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma), you would then take those six values and apply them to the stats in whatever order you want.
The way that you're MEANT to do this would be to do it once and work with what you've got; however, you can reroll these values as much as you want. Sure it's all random luck, but if you hit that "Reroll Dice" button enough, you're going to land on something powerful. You've even got a very very slim chance of coming out of it with perfect stats across the board (though you'll probably win the lottery twice before that happens).
Your character won't be perfect, but compared to the Standard Array, as long as you can roll something higher than that, then you'll be coming into combat that bit more powerful.
See how your character develops as they level
While your character's race decides how tall they are and their starting bonus stats, it's their class that will decide what they'll grow up to become. Will they become a powerful wizard hurling the elements around the room? or a Rogue that will have everything out of your pockets before you're aware he's there?
The Class screen in Solasta is filled with all kinds of information. Again on the left, you'll have what info you've got so far about your race stats, but on the right, you'll see all of the different features. The features are what make your class unique from another. It's where you learn about what weapons and armor you're proficient at along with any special abilities, but there are some other fields that you'll want to check out before you progress from this screen.
Directly under the name of the class in the center will be a button to view the subclasses available. As well as flavor text you'll also learn when you get the chance to specialize (and what bonuses you get for specializing). When putting together your team, being aware of these subclasses will allow you to hone down class roles further. If your Paladin is going to be your DPS class, then you'll want to follow the Oath of the Motherland and get all kinds of fire-affinity attack spells, whereas the Oath of Devotion turns your paladin into a great Tank/Healer.
In the upper right of this screen is the "At Higher Levels" button. This will let you plan for the future and know what your character is going to grow into. Did you know a Paladin can attack once more per attack action or shove when they reach Level 5? Knowledge of where your character might be by the end of the campaign will help you understand the role of your character further. Extra attacks obviously lend themselves again to getting into the middle of a battle and doing some big damage.
The last level of customization you can do for your class is picking what equipment they have available at the beginning of the game. While important to a lesser effect, if you picture your Paladin wielding a Battle Axe instead of a Sword and Shield, then why not let them have it. It's your character, so do what you want to create them to your liking.
Create a diverse team
There's nothing in Solasta to tell you that you can't play through the game with a group of Wizards who call themselves Dumbledore's Army, living out all of your high-fantasy Hogwarts dreams, but certain situations call for different kinds of characters. While encounters can be completed any way you want, you're going to have a better chance if you spread out your characters.
Chances are most games you've played that involve a party of characters will narrow those characters down to roles. DPS, Support, Healer, Tank, etc. It's good to get a variety of characters going so you're not at the mercy of close combat only, or no one is able to do large AoE damage or even heal.
Take your time reading through the different class descriptions and sub-classes so that you can understand what each class has going for it—and where it lags behind. With another character, you might be able to cover that weakness.
A Fighter is great up close and personal but can only attack one enemy at a time; if swarmed by a number of enemies they might be in trouble. Your Wizard will have lower health and poor physical strength but can hang back and try to deal damage to a large number of enemies at once. It's through creating and exploring that group synergy that you'll be able to create a strong and diverse team.
My Solasta team is comprised of a Human Paladin, for flat bonuses in stats and high damage; a Halfling Ranger, with the Spy background for different interaction triggers and the ability to fight at close and far ranges; a Snow Dwarf Cleric (Life Domain), to deal consistent damage while also being able to support all of my characters; and a High Elf Wizard, dealing magical damage from afar. Whatever type of party fits your playstyle though is all up to your own discretion.
In Solasta, Light is Your Friend
Many of the encounters that you face in Solasta will take place at night or in dark caves. Always be on the lookout for anything like a brazier that you can set alight. While you might not be used to it in regular D&D—because let's face it, who wants to keep track of it—when a creature is in dim or low light, your attack rolls will immediately be put at disadvantage. While this also can put your opponents at disadvantage, unless you have some kind of darkvision, it's going to draw out battles and give you more chance to be hurt or even killed.
It's always smart to have a few torches on your characters. Equip them to the third slot of weapons. This will do a lot to help your melee fighters get in close and retain full damage. The added benefit of your melee fighters holding their torches as they storm into battle is that it will give your ranged and spellcaster characters a target to hit too.
This will be most useful when you get ambushed while traveling at night. You can hold down the ALT key at any time to highlight the items in the world that are interactable, you can use this in a battle to give yourself an easier chance to spot something you can set alight.
In Solasta, Use the Verticality to Explore Every Angle
The set pieces in Solasta do their best to maximize the ability to climb, drop down, and even push enemies and objects off high ledges. This, like lighting, is something that you just wouldn't experience as much in traditional D&D due to the resources available. You can use the ability to shove enemies to your advantage early by pushing wolves off bridges or Soraks into cavernous pits. Be warned though, strong enemies will also use this against you at times, so make sure you don't accidentally set yourself up for failure next to a cliff face.
This verticality is also an important part of exploring as you'll find interesting treasures, as well as the solutions to puzzles, by rotating your view and finding places you previously weren't able to. Much like finding something to set on fire, using the ALT key will also light up interactable items such as boulders or chests. Once you find a glowing item, then you can begin to plan how to get to it, or how best it might be used in battle.
Have a Few Attempts at Thieves Tools
Trying to unlock doors and locked chests as you explore the various ruins and crypts in Solasta can be frustrating when a character fails their thieves tools check. If you have anyone else in your party with the ability to use thieves tools and you find you only have one set on you, then you can pass it between your characters so they can all have a try opening that door.
Use Travel Time Wisely in Solasta
There's a lot of time your characters will spend traveling from one destination to another as they spread out from the capital of Caer Cyflen. For the most part, you'll learn about the food the characters find, mercenaries they encounter, and when they get ambushed at night. While this time goes by fast for you, it's a normal time for your party. This means any Healing Potions, or other craftable items, that say they'll take eight hours to craft can be done in bulk.
As you set out on your journey, you can even instruct the game if you want to pause when crafting has been completed, or when you successfully complete a long rest. Instead of spending 50 gold per Healing Potion in the city, you can use a five-day journey to create a large number of potions.
Save Scumming is a Possibility... Again, If You Want
Another benefit of playing the video game other than the tabletop experience is save states. Did a battle not go how you planned? Did you accidentally waste all of your money on the wrong set of armor? Do you want to try out a different dialogue path for a better result? At most points in the game, you can easily Quick Save using F5 and then Quick Load from that point with F9.
In the Game Settings, there are also options for how many Autosaves the game records at a time. With the Autosave occurring whenever you enter or exit combat, or arrive in a new area, you can increase this number to be able to backtrack as much as you want. Nothing is worse than getting to the end of an area and realizing you missed something early on.
Don't Fear Death...
Die without a way to revive a party member and you'll get a game over and the option to reload a previous save state (see above). This fail state will happen as soon as even one of your party members is dead, and depending on the encounter, that can be very hard to do.
First, your character needs to be knocked out by an enemy, and then roll three Death Saves that land under a 10. That already means you have at least three turns for your party to get over to them and stabilize them. If you do have the means to revive them, then the game will continue but will force you to use your revival item to bring them back.
There's no way that your Sorcerer Fion Fiong will be able to die, only for you to quickly roll up a character sheet for their brother Bion Fiong, so don't even think about it!
The game itself does a great job of showing players the ropes and giving them an understanding of the rules. Of course, any prior knowledge you come into Solasta with is just an added bonus.
Did you find any of the above tips helpful? Is there any tip you'd want to give someone playing Solasta for the first time?