Ruleset differences with D&D 5e

Tactical Myzzrym
Level 14
Tactical Adventures Dev
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1 month ago (edited)

Hello there folks,

We've noticed that we haven't put up a list of what is different between our game rules and the D&D 5e Ruleset, which have confused a fair amount of experienced players into thinking that some design decisions where bugs. Note that most often than not, when there are variations between the tabletop Ruleset and Solasta, it's not on purpose (it is a bug), but on a few occasions it's by design.

Let me share with you the differences:

Darkvision & Dim Light

This is the biggest change we've done to the game, due to lighting playing a huge part in both gameplay and visuals in Solasta.

On tabletop:

  • Dim Light does not give disadvantage on Attack Rolls
  • Darkvision treats Darkness as Dim Light (up to 60' most of the time)

In Solasta:

  • Dim Light gives disadvantage on Attack Rolls unless you have Darkvision
  • Darkvision has no effect on Darkness
  • Some monsters have Superior Darkvision which allow them to roll normally in Darkness

Why the change? We wrote a long article about this more than a year ago here: https://www.solasta-game.com/news/10-dev-diary-3-let-there-be-light


Dancing Light

On Tabletop, Dancing Light produces 4 different lights that you can move around certain conditions (no light can be further than 20' from another light, etc etc). On Solasta, Dancing Light produces a single ball containing the 4 different lights merged together. Also, on Solasta Dancing Light produces 10' of Bright Light + 10' of Dim Light instead of just 10' of Dim Light.

Why the change? First, micromanaging 4 additional units (light source) and adding all the rules and restrictions made the spell very tedious to use, which is why we switched it to a single (bigger) light. As a result, we increased the brightness of that light - which also make it useful to non-Darkvision characters (since having only 10' of Dim Light would do nothing for them otherwise as they need Bright Light).


Proficiency & equipment

On Tabletop, you can technically use any equipment you want even if you're not proficient with it - you just don't get any bonuses and proficiency modifier. On Solasta, we've currently disabled equipment you're not proficient with, preventing you from equipping the item.

This one is more to help the less knowledgeable players to avoid frustration when they don't understand why their character doesn't have the bonuses they should - it might change in the future, but for the moment we think it's for the best.


Weapon swapping

On Tabletop, depending on your DM you may or may not be able to swap weapons on the fly - for instance, according to the rules donning on / off a shield takes quite some time! In Solasta we allow to swap weapons once per round (free action).

Considering how often you may need to swap between melee / ranged weapons and/or get a torch out, we felt like it would slow down the pace of the fight a bit too much if we went with the actual Tabletop Rules there.


Homebrew Archetypes

We often have people asking "why aren't you adding Battlemaster / Forge Domain / Bladesinger instead of your Homebrew archetypes?"

Keep in mind that we're using the SRD 5.1 license, not the full D&D 5e license - meaning we simply can't. We're not allowed to, that's how copyright goes. We are allowed a single SRD archetype for each class (such as champion, or life domain).


Additional Spells

Similarly, some people are asking about Green Flame Blade, Toll the Dead or Word of Radiance - those spells are not SRD.

Long story short, spells that are not in the Player Handbook are not SRD (and even some that are in the PHB aren't SRD, such as Hex) - so we can't use them. As for spells like Friend or Zone of Truth, they simply aren't there because we haven't implemented anything to use them on. As you know the entire game is voiced, and creating special lines of dialogue for every "social" spell isn't possible for our budget :(


Proxy Spells and Line of Sight

Alright this one is a lot less clear, since not everyone agrees on Tabletop either. Proxy Spells are what we call spells like Spiritual Weapon, or Flaming Sphere - spells that create a new unit that you can move around as the caster (so different from summoning a wolf for instance).

In Solasta, you can't attack with your Proxy Spell if your caster doesn't have line of sight on the target - meaning you can't move your Spiritual Weapon around the corner to attack an enemy you can't see.


Some Spells have minor adjustments

You may have noticed Spiritual Weapon takes an action to cast instead of a Bonus action. This is currently due to a technical limitation, we may be able to circumvent that in the future.


If you find anything that deviates from Tabletop Rules that is not mentioned above, please make sure to post here so I can either add it to the list - or add it to the Bug List :p


Ragnarok
Level 6
1 month ago

Thanks for clarifying the rules on Dancing Lights there Myzz, I had just about worked out what it was doing through playing but it's nice to have it written plainly. Are you planning on adding the Dancing Lights rules to it's tooltip, as currently it just states "Summons Dancing Lights"? Also, are there any plans to make Dancing Lights truly hover? As of the current build they can only be moved to solid ground and can't even "jump" over pits to other areas of solid ground.

Tactical Myzzrym
Level 14
Tactical Adventures Dev
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1 month ago

@Ragnarok Dancing Light not being able to hover is a bug - they are actually able to... just not above the "void" (basically if there is a ground below they can move, if there is nothing they are stuck). This should be fixed at some point!

dunehunter
Level 5
1 month ago (edited)

Putting my two cents here:

1) In RAW 20 disadvantage will be canceled out by 1 advantage, while in Solasta, it's 1:1 relationship.

2) Offhand attack can be used before mainhand. This results in that you can attack with offhand, swap to a greatsword and attack. Next turn, attack with greatsword and swap back to dual wielding and so on. 

3) Rogue has to use his sneak attack on first hit because SA is not work as smite(popup). But there're cases that we want to kill a 1 hp mob without using SA, and walk to sneak attack another mob. It will be welcomed if sth like smite/sneak attack popup can be toggle on/off.

1 month ago (edited)

1) D&D 5e Basic Rules state that by default everything is rounded down. Basic rules aren't a part of SRD 5.1, so not sure if you (are allowed to) care for them or this particular rule, afaik SRD leaves this question open. Could you please clarify if there is a default rule for rounding in Solasta?

1.1) I'm asking the above question because both PHB and SRD (p. 87, Long Rest) directly state the following regarding hit dice recovery:

The character also regains spent Hit Dice, up to a number of dice equal to half of the character’s total number of them (minimum of one die).

So in "usual" D&D a character of level 3 would regain 1 hit die per long rest. Hovewer, in Solasta a characters of level 3 regains 2 hit dice per long rest.

1.2) I can also potentially see a controversy of dealing 0 damage by an attack (1 damage, halved by a resistance with rounding down) - would that be the case in Solasta? I think in general it rounds down the damage for attacks against enemies resistant to that type of damage, but not sure if 1 damage halved would be rounded down, or up to prevent confusion for newer players unfamiliar with this aspect.

2) afaik by default a +1 weapon/ammunition is considered a magical weapon/ammunition and bypasses resistances to non-magical damage, such as of Wight or other monsters. But I saw threads mentioning that +1 weapons in Solasta don't bypass resistances. Are +1 (and above) weapons/ammunitions not considered to deal magical damage by default, or do monsters here have other types of resistances?

Nezix
Level 3
1 month ago

Sneak Attack's ruling says "once per turn" which is NOT "once per round." This usually manifests itself when you do a sneak attack on your turn, and then when you get an opportunity attack later in that round. This is currently not working this way in Solasta.


Tactical Myzzrym
Level 14
Tactical Adventures Dev
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1 month ago

After discussing with the Creative Director, we've decided to keep rounding up Long Rest Hit Dice Recovery. Fun fact, it was specified in the DM guideline PDF in 2013 to round up Hit Dice - but apparently such ruling did not make it to the actual PHB / DMG. Our logic on that is that 2 long rest should always fully recover your Hit Dice

the_glimpse
Level 10
1 month ago

Yeah, one of the first things the PHB tells you is always Round Down, so that has changed. But good to know.


-Glimpse

picklesgrr
Level 8
1 month ago

1.2) I can also potentially see a controversy of dealing 0 damage by an attack (1 damage, halved by a resistance with rounding down) - would that be the case in Solasta? I think in general it rounds down the damage for attacks against enemies resistant to that type of damage, but not sure if 1 damage halved would be rounded down, or up to prevent confusion for newer players unfamiliar with this aspect.

One damage halved is 0 - I have done 0 damage with an off hand dagger. It is confusing as it disappears from the log.

Similar issue with Colossus slayer and Hunter's mark - it is not clear if these are added and halved once or halved separately.  (or whether they should be) 

picklesgrr
Level 8
1 month ago

Another difference Rogues get sneak attack on melee attacks when an ally is adjacent to the target but do not seem to do so on ranged attacks. They get it in both situations per the SRD.

Player333676
Level 10
1 month ago

I like most of those changes! Especially those on Proficiency, Weapon Swapping (would have played terribly otherwise) and line of sight.

WumpusRat
Level 3
1 month ago

Just to nitpick, but why call it "Darkvision" if it has no effect on darkness? Might make it less confusing on players to call it "Low-Light Vision" instead. 

goumindong
Level 8
1 month ago


Weapon swapping

On Tabletop, depending on your DM you may or may not be able to swap weapons on the fly - for instance, according to the rules donning on / off a shield takes quite some time! In Solasta we allow to swap weapons once per round (free action).

Considering how often you may need to swap between melee / ranged weapons and/or get a torch out, we felt like it would slow down the pace of the fight a bit too much if we went with the actual Tabletop Rules there.


I can see that you chose this but... you should change it back. Weapon swapping taking time and having restrictions is super important in intra and inter class balance. The fact that this is one of the things that can be tracked is also one of the primary reasons to use a computer in order to handle these interactions (because tracking otherwise requires each player to be very precise and players never are)

Without this there is no purpose to thrown weapons(they also do not work right now, which hurts additionally*). There is no purpose to versatile weapons. There is no cost to having a shield(there are also a lot of other things you cannot do with a shield and sword equipped that the game lets you do, like climb and cast spells). There is no cost to swapping from ranged to melee or vice versa.

The necessity to have a free hand in order to do things, and the ability to have a free hand and do things and still attack is super valuable. And it needs to be properly accounted for.

If i properly account for this myself how does the game compensate for the fact that i am 20% easier to hit and/or do 20% less damage than i would be doing otherwise? I don't think it reasonably can. And as a result the game is going to be punishing me for playing in a manner that i would like to be able to play.


*Specifically as an example if i have a longsword, at level 5 with extra attack i should be able to attack once with my longsword two handed, take out a handaxe as my inventory action, and throw that handaxe as the second attack. This will leave me at the end with my longsword held in two hands ready for AoO/next round. But right now this is not possible. And as a result i might as well use a greatsword then swap to a heavy crossbow. Something that should be impossible without dropping the greatsword thus making it much harder to make melee attacks in the future. And with a longsword i can inventory action for a torch, and then use my action to light it. And still have a weapon out i could swing. This should not be possible with a sword and shield or a greatsword. It would take two inventory actions (sheath the sword, draw the torch), and leave the character without a weapon. The fact that you can go right from a greatsword(or sword and shield) to a longsword and torch negates both the value of the light spell and the value of the longsword.

Johannes
Level 7
1 month ago

The Darkvision article you linked mentions that "micromanaging light must not become a burden". But that's exactly what it is now. Every party member must carry a light source or become less effective, if not outright useless in dark spaces. That means characters with two-handed weapons, dual wielders and shield bearers are screwed. This forces players to use Dancing Lights instead of Light or to drop torches on the ground, which is not feasible in high mobility encounters such as Caer Lem. 

You're saying that light sources should be an important tactical consideration and I agree. But you could at least increase the light radius, because right now, it is far too easy for enemies to back away 2 spaces or slink behind a corner and impose disadvantage on my attacks. Meanwhile, my own party is lit up like Christmas trees and makes it easy for opponents to hit them from afar.


A hoopy frood who really knows where his towel is.

1 month ago (edited)

Other ruleset changes:

AOOs (attack of opp) require sight of your target, which you do not have when blinded (darkness, fog cloud, blind, etc). specifically stated in rules. you are able to target in this game at disadvantage.

Your pregen Rogue has 21 dex, which is actually impossible.

You cannot use two weapon fighting to attack with your offhand light weapon unless you've taken the attack action and used a light weapon in your main hand. Currently, you can cast spells and still attack with your offhand.

Where is the custom background option allowed by rules? When a person creates a character, even without a custom background option, the proficiencies are supposed to swap to something you can choose if you already have it (this is especially important for things like a sellsword fighter who gains medium armor prof when already having that).

Spiritual Weapon is not a concentration spell. It is summoned for it's duration, or until destroyed. Your game makes it disappear when the caster drops.

Not expecting you to use this rule as intended, but ability checks are not set, meaning the DM, as the actual rule states, decides if the athletics check, for instance, is str or dex or wis, etc based. I would say, however, you should use the optional rule of defaulting intimidation to strength over charisma if the player chooses this (make it a gameplay option).

Major bugs:

When inventory is full and you are beyond the initial page of slots, the last item will disappear.

Items beyond initial page of slots are clickable through the loot window, unless you scroll down past them before using loot window.

Arrows especially, but sometimes other things, can continually spawn in loot containers (arrows will keep going for 3-6 or so pickups).

Unidentified and Identified items will stack, causing the whole stack to become one or other (usually unidentified). Also when splitting.

Prepared spells constantly reset when going in to prepare them (instead of remembering your choices).

Requests:

Please remove spacebar from ending turn! It's not even in the keybindings. Idk if this is a bug or a choice, but those of us who play other games, like League of Legends, are always clicking spacebar to recenter camera to PC.

Starting a campaign should create a new folder of saves, not share them with other campaigns.

Please add Loot All, Caution, Screen Center on PC keybinds.

Please add numbers to discussion choices (press 1-4 to pick option 1-4).

Please split Right click move from Left Click interact (I always right click for movement and left click for interact).

Arcane Focus should have their own slot (not in potion/scroll slot).

Full isometric (top/down) camera option.

Let mouse drag work on town maps, not just world map.

Add a Point Buy calculator for those of us who use higher max point buy (I use a hard 32 pt buy, but currently look online for calculators to figure out stats). Fun fact: Rolled stats are generally 34+ points worth of buy, and many land around 45-50.

Please let players decide if Darkvision is normal or homebrew rules. Your argument is only sound if most players are not heavily encumbered by it. Guess what? They are, because every single race has darkvision except human and island halfling. Since variant human does not exist and we are allowed to literally pick any stats we want to start with, human has actually no reason to exist as a playable race. They actually provide no things. Island halfling has a small possibility of use, but even that is not great, considering half elf does what they do generally better. Consider that every single person is now forced to use the Light cantrip. You may be thinking, well, use a torch, we have a light slot. No one will want to drop their AC by 2 points (swapping out shield) or be forced to use a one-handed weapon instead of a greatsword just because a Darkvision person cannot see perfectly within 5 feet of themselves. If I can shake the hand of a person directly in front of me, I should absolutely be able to swing a weapon at them without disadvantage. D&D is already a game of 50-60% chances. Forcing disadvantage on players and even enemies during situations like this (or forcing no shields, no two-handed weapon, 100% uptime on the Light cantrip) only serves to artificially elongate combat and frustration. My absolute honest opinion: leave Darkvision as normal 5e, remove it entirely, or give a 5 foot radius for no disadvantage (forcing the above for when ranged users need to see). The last option is a very solid compromise.


mg666
Visitor
1 month ago

Maybe we could get some data for Solasta devs regarding darkvision?
I've created a quick poll here: https://www.strawpoll.me/21174483/