Hades
D&D / TTRPGs, Opinion, Video Games

How to Build a Homebrew Hades Dungeon in Dungeons & Dragons

We create a homebrew version of Hades in Dungeons & Dragons

Hades is a roguelike action dungeon crawler video game. You play Zagreus; son of Hades, who seeks to run away from Hell. It’s a game where you will die several times but each death allows you to learn grow and get better and faster. Along the way, Zag will gain the favor of his cousins on Mount Olympus to help him escape.

It honestly could be its own Dungeons & Dragons campaign guide. Theros is the closest official content available to craft your own Hades-style world. We’re going to take a look at that concept and build our own homebrew version of Hades you can play with friends or solo just like the game.

Plot

We need to start at the beginning; how does the game begin? What sets you on your quest? You could play it one of a million different ways but we’re going to present the main storyline to set the focus.

Instead of playing as Zag, you can play as a prisoner trapped in the Nine Hells. But how did you get there?

  1. You were killed on a quest and devils dragged your soul down to the Hells.
  2. You were sent here to retrieve an artifact or soul but ended up getting trapped yourself.
  3. You are a devil yourself; either a tiefling or some other fiend who seeks to explore the Material Plane.
  4. You’re a celestial who ended up there on a mission from your god but things didn’t end well.
  5. You are a traveler who slipped through a portal to the Nine Hells and are presented with a trial to get home.
  6. You heard about the escape room in the Nine Hells and just had to try it out.

No matter what it may be, you’re here now and the only way to escape is to make it through the gauntlet. The god of the Nine Hells, Asmodeus or Erebos sets up the challenge to prevent anyone from escaping so easily.

Generic Hero

If you want to play as Zagreus we recommend choosing a Gladiator from the official D&D ruleset.

Dungeons

As you escape from the Hells, you must pass through small dungeons or rooms. Each room contains several enemies, items, or NPCs to help you on your path. Exiting to the next room rewards the character with a blessing they can use to help them combat future encounters.

Enemies

There are several enemies in the game that you can pull right from D&D. Creatures such as the Erinyes are the first boss you come across. You can pull their stat block right from the Monster Manual and call it good.

Of course, some creatures may be too powerful for lower-level characters but there are some things you can do to balance out encounters. Taking the Erinyes for example, you can reduce the number of attacks they make if you’re character is low level.

It’s all about balance and knowing what creatures to throw at your characters. Though Hades is challenging there are difficulty settings you can mess with to make it less frustrating.

Other bosses include the Minotaur and Champion. As for the final boss, we recommend using the stats for a pit fiend. As for standard enemies we recommend using the following: Lemure, Manes, Dretch, imps, nightmare, shadow demons, succubus, and barbed devils. Basically, any creature that is considered a fiend.

Upgrades / Blessings

Blessings are a major mechanic of the video game and can be added into the D&D version in a couple of ways. Characters can gain access to blessings by completing one dungeon and moving on to the next.

Items. By glancing through the guidebook or online you can find a number of items to benefit your playstyle. They can be put into a random roll table and you’re good to go.

Spells/Abilities. Spells and abilities are another simple blessing system you can add to the game. Each room offers a chance to learn a different spell or skill that you can use to combat enemies.


That’s the groundwork for building a Hades-like encounter in D&D. We’re working on building a more detailed one for our homebrew game and will talk about it in greater detail when it’s complete.

Blog header "5 Most Immersive Video Game Fast Travels" with a pokeball and the Skyrim symbol and a sword on a parchment background.
Video Games, World Building & Lore

5 Immersive Video Game Fast Travels

When it comes to traveling, we’re still learning a few tricks to enhance our overall experience. Driving for hours on end is quite a challenge but a welcome one. However, we can’t help but think about all of the video game travels we’ve played that make it much more simple. Games like Zelda or the Elder Scrolls series where hopping from one side of the world map to the other is done without running across plains, over mountains, and through forests. It’s these times we wish fast travel could be used in the real world.

Open world games provide the player with endless amounts of exploration. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt presents one of the largest and broadest maps to explore. Its main story is quite good and we’re always up for playing it again but it found its beauty in its quests and exploration. It’s the same with the real world, minus the side quests, although life does tend to through a few if you’re looking and even when you’re not.

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Hitting the open road cues up plenty of opportunities to see new sites and experience new places. It’s what makes exploring worthwhile. But there can be times when becomes tedious and you just want to skip ahead to the next destination (we’re looking at your Kansas plains). Being able to fast forward through uncomfortable roads or dull views would make adventuring a bit less boring. That’s why we’ve listed a few games we believe have the best fast travel options.

Five Games with the Most Immersive Fast Travel

Elder Scrolls Morrowind – Silt Striders

The Elder Scrolls series is one great big adventure across multiple provinces. Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim all feature epic landscapes to explore but reaching them can be a bit of a chore. No matter if you’ve played through multiple times or it’s your first, walking from one end of the map to the other just to complete a side quest can be tedious, but Morrowind makes fast travel fun.

We’re always a fan of games that provide a unique way to get from point A to point B that makes sense. Simply clicking on a point on the map you’ve been to before and instantly teleporting there isn’t really all that immersive, and oftentimes it can even break immersion. Instead, Morrowind features creatures called silt striders – giant beasts of burden that float just off of the ground. They are effectively ferry boats but instead of water, they ride over land. If characters have enough coin they can take a ride on a silt strider and reach a new town within seconds.

While there isn’t a cutscene involved, it does make reaching new places much more simple. The game even puts a silt strider in the starting town of Seyda Neen allowing players access to larger cities that can take time to reach on foot.

Pokémon – Flying

Flying is one of the quickest ways to get around in the real world and Pokémon utilizes it as well. The mechanic was introduced during the first generation – Red, Blue, Yellow – and allowed trainers to teach it to some Pokémon able to fly. However, the catch was the player had to have visited a location beforehand. This means there was still exploration involved in the games.

Once a Pokémon learned to fly, the trainer hopped on them like a horse and flew to their destination. Early games didn’t have the technical capacity to make a full cutscene, but later games let players control their mount and let them see the world below.

Skyrim – Carriages

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim does include one Silt Strider but it isn’t available to hire. Instead, the fifth game in the series uses one of the most unique forms of travel of any game on our list: carriages or wagons. It’s a form of transport any player of Skyrim will be familiar with as the game begins with the protagonist riding in one.

Each major city has a carriage and rider the player can hire to take them across the province. It’s like renting a car or taking a bus but instead of dealing with people, you get to smell horses throughout the journey. If only carriages provided some way to see the scenery as you went along. While the opening cinematic is gorgeous, especially on PC, the entire world of Skyrim is stunningly epic to look at.

The best part is the carriages can be taken to other cities you haven’t visited yet.

Legend of Zelda – Music

The Legend of Zelda series uses music as a way to quickly traverse the world. While Breath of the Wild may be one exception to the franchise; utilizing Shrines to get from point to point, the others include music of some sort.

Ocarina of Time features the ocarina and lets Link traverse Hyrule through songs. Each song is connected to a different location on the world map and allows the Hero of Time to instantly teleport there. Whereas Wind Waker gives Link a magical baton to compose songs. No matter which game in the series you play, there is a link to music somewhere in it. Even Breath of the Wild’s shrines are powered by music. Activating them cues a single track that ends with the final note turning on the device.

A Link to the Past even allows Link to summon a flying rooster to reach new areas. When put into perspective in the real world, music can make travel seem quicker. Lengthy car rides can appear shorter or faster even if you listen to a great travel-themed playlist.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Signposts

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is another beautiful game to experience. From its striking overlooks to its bustling towns cawing seagulls and ringing ship bells the world is alive. The game is a fountain of locations with new ones spewing up every few seconds it seems. Reaching all of the new landmarks of the Witcher could take hours, if not hundreds of them, but thankfully there’s a fast travel system in place to help.

To travel between various points on the map, Geralt needs only to stand near a signpost and select another on the map. It is certainly a time-saving way to get around and immersively speaking, it is a world full of magic and sorcery so simply teleporting between signposts doesn’t seem too farfetched. The Continent is vast and there is so much to see and do that completing the game and every side quest could take upwards of 100 hours.

However, if zapping between places in an instant isn’t your thing, you could always saddle up your horse Roach and hit the open road. There is a handy mechanic that lets horses follow paths on their own. All you have to do is hold a button and sit back and enjoy the sights and sounds.


While fast travel may be good for speeding up the plot or reducing game time, it does defeat the purpose of exploring a vast world. After all, that is what traveling is, experiencing boundless opportunities and views not otherwise seen.


D&D / TTRPGs, News, Video Games, World Building & Lore

Five Reasons the Solasta Dungeon Maker is Brilliant for Dungeons & Dragons

Solasta is still in Early Access but it’s turning out to be one of the best RPGs of the year. The development team is constantly releasing new updates and dev diaries and their latest is about adding a dungeon builder to the full release. The concept will give players the freedom to design their own dungeons in the game and it’s quite a unique feature to the Fifth Edition based CRPG.

What to expert from the Dungeon Maker. Solasta’s builder will let designers create a 2D map first before seeing it as as fully developed 3D world. It will include everything from adding crypts, walls, lighting effects, monsters, and interactable items. The map can be named, given a description, and setup so text automatically appears when characters trigger it. And several maps can be combined together to create a massive dungeon.

Solasta

In a short video posted by the dev team, the upcoming Dungeon Maker will launch when Solasta: Crown of the Magister releases fully sometime this year. While there is no official announcement date yet, simply knowing what is coming to the game is exciting not only for players but also dungeon masters for the tabletop game. Neverwinter Nights did something similar. We’ve listed five reasons why the Dungeon Maker matters more than you think.

Five Reasons Why Solasta’s Dungeon Maker is Brilliant

  1. Art of the Dungeon. One facet about being a dungeon master for the physical Dungeons & Dragons game is building a dungeon for the characters to explore. This can be daunting especially to newer DMs behind the screen or even storytellers who have been creating campaigns for years. Not everyone is going to be an expert artist. Outlining a dungeon sounds great in theory but putting the idea to paper can be another tale.

    There are many map making programs available but they aren’t as detailed as the builder for Solasta looks like it is going to be. Inkarnate may be great for 2D mapmaking but you’re still going to have to rely on theater of the mind when it comes to the finer details. The Dungeon Maker for Solasta will transition from a 2D builder to a fully explorable 3D map to test before letting the players have a go at it.

  2. Real-Time Exploration. With the tabletop game dungeon masters aren’t able to explore their creation in real-time. Through Solasta, builders will be able to design an area and then explore it as characters with weapons and items. This will allow the DM to get a better feel for how it flows before throwing the real characters into the fire at the table.
  3. Collaborations. If you’re feeling stuck on how to design a specific build for you campaign, you will be able to work with friends. An idea as big as this will build a community of dungeon designers that can bounce ideas off of one another. Having access to other maps creates a sort of sandbox puzzle that creators can pull from and mix and match ideas.

  4. No more Random Rolls. The Dungeon Master’s Guide has simple rules for building a dungeon on the fly but it can be awkward and time-consuming (believe me I have tried). While it isn’t all that difficult to do, it can leave tabletop dungeons looking odd or incomplete. Having the Dungeon Maker will definitely smooth out and speed up the design process for dungeon building. (This by no means makes random rolling tables a negative).

  5. Multiplayer. Hear us out on this one. While multiplayer is not in Solasta at the moment – and may not be coming to it – the Dungeon Maker makes it somewhat possible. Solasta is a fully single player game but if you have a party of four at your table, it can be used to playout the dungeon digitally if everyone is up for it. By taking turns around the keyboard, each player can build their character – or get as close as possible – with Solasta’s character builder. From there, you start up the dungeon and get exploring.

    While adventuring, players can say they move their specific character to a certain spot and investigate. Initiative works a bit easier by assigning characters their turn. When it’s their go, just move around the keyboard and away they go.
Solasta

Solasta is shaping up to be a fantastic CRPG and we’re excited for the future of it. Between it and Baldur’s Gate 3, there is a lot to expect this year for tabletop games turned video game.


Reviews, Video Games

Shattered: Tale of the Forgotten King Review – Souls Adjacent but Better

Shattered: Tale of the Forgotten King isn’t the sort of video game we thought we would find ourselves playing. It’s a Souls-like (Dark Souls) RPG full of dynamic combat, unexplained lore, and an item system that is rather confusing to understand. However, it’s all of these concepts combined that lead to us actually really enjoying it. Shattered – as it will be called for the remainder of the review – is rewarding, engaging, and just a blast to play.

Published and Developed by Redlock Studio, Shattered spent one year and some change in Early Access. It’s full release still carries over some of the feel of “early.” It isn’t so much that it ruins the experience in any way, just that there were a couple bugs and crashes we had to work around. Small things aside, the team behind it can certainly stand proud knowing thei ndie game could dance with the big AAA releases. It’s also largely based on tabletop games like Dungeons & Dragons.

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While it may not have the huge backing of a full Dark Souls game, Shattered is epic and feels just as good, if not better, than FromSoftware. Sekiro was among our favorite games of 2019 but this feels grander, larger, more fluid. We loved running Japan and its non-fictional setting blended with the supernatural, but Shattered feels set in firmly in a fantasy space. There are doses of sci-fi thrown in but at it’s roots, it’s a tale of adventure surrounding a lone wanderer searching for identity.

It’s by no means a new idea when it comes to storytelling but it’s no less powerful a tale. The entire story is wrapped in mystery and both the protagonist and the player figure out the backstory together. The king of the world known as Hypnos is missing. As the Wanderer, you find yourself trying to find out who you are and what happened to the land.

This idea is the driving force behind Shattered. There is no text explaining outright what you do or what became of the king. Everything is learned in real-time, either from NPCs, items discovered, or locations and none of it is in order. Piecing together the story is sort of like building a complex LEGO set except there are no instructions. There is a basic picture to work with but no outline of how to build it. You don’t have to understand the story in order to enjoy Shattered, however, there’s still plenty to do and see.

Story aside, Shattered’s combat is compelling and engaging. The Wanderer has access to an array of weapons and magic attacks. Swords are used in one of three ways: light attacks for quick and repeated hits, heavy attacks for massive damage and shield bashing, and blocking to protect from enemy swings. Standard enemies aren’t difficult to dispatch on their own but groups can make for a frustrating experience. Close quarters fights are fast and aggressive and attacks will reduce stamina, which is a vital mechanic to keep track of.

Along with a stamina bar are magic and vitality. Magic is drained through the use of magical abilities such as ranged spells or shields. While vitality translates to health or hit points. Managing these three stats is a challenge while in the midst of combat but finding a rhythm between the trio is part of what makes Shattered so thrilling.

Keeping track of them during boss fights is an entirely different story. Bosses are imposing and require patience and thought to get through. It’s like Gandalf said in the Fellowship of the Ring ‘this foe is beyond any of you.’ While bosses are certainly assertive and powerful, they can be taken down with time and strategy.

Defeating enemies rewards the Wanderer with essence. This acts as the currency for the game and allows you to buy weapon upgrades and gear to restore vitality, magic, and stamina. Upgrading to new levels is also done through collecting essence. You keep all of the essence you gain throughout the game expect upon when you die. When you this happens, the enemy who killed you holds onto it all until they are slain again. Dying is something that will happen quite a lot but you are able to respawn and it’s something you’ll be doing time and time again.

Along your journey you will come across Limbo Wells. These act as campfires and allow you to start over again with essential gear. There are a few items that will reset once you respawn such as vitality restoration equipment and anything you didn’t use in your previous life. Limbo Wells are found throughout the open world and are a lifesaver if you’ve traveled far and defeated many enemies. However, resting at one will restore all slain creatures as well, so it’s all about managing and planning your routes well.

Exploration is another great feature of Shattered. The world is huge and includes several unique landscapes from snowy tundras, urban streets, and crumbling ruins. There are several ways to get around each area and part of the fun is searching for hidden doorways or finding new ways to get around difficult encounters. There isn’t a set path to follow and new surprises wait around each corner it seems. We often found ourselves standing on a rooftop overlooking a massive citadel or open expanse just to take in all of the stunning imagery.

One of the most interesting aspect of Shattered is how you go about exploring the world. There are times when the camera will shift from third person to a 2D side-scroller view. There is no way to control just when this will happen so it can be jarring at first. The mechanic allows you to experience the game as a platformer while still having access to all of your weapons and gear.

Item management is simple if not a bit clunky. Many things such as healing items can be equipped to the hotbar for quick and easy access. While others don’t offer much more than a short explanation of what they are but that may not necessarily explain what they do. Others are complete mysteries and may be revealed through conversation with certain characters. Even still, others will allow you to upgrade weapons, stats, and gear to become more powerful and capable when fighting enemies. It all feels so epic and just plain good.

Still, Shattered doesn’t feel completely polished but it is still excellent. Combat can be sluggish and can grow tiring after a while. It’s repetitive and there aren’t a lot of ways to go about killing things. Oftentimes attacks didn’t connect either and this left you open to take multiple hits. There were also issues with teleporting between locations. After using a system built to send you from one part of the map to another, there is a slight waiting period. In this time, enemies are able to freely attack as you wait to appear on screen. There were also numerous times the game crashed and we had to relaunch.

Nevertheless, none of Shattered’s downfalls make it any less fun to play. It’s a grand adventure full of mystery, breathtaking locations, and captivating encounters. You don’t have to dive into all of its lore to enjoy it, and while the combat can be repetitive, it is smooth, fast, and exciting. It’s definitely Souls adjacent but is much more friendly when it comes to dealing with enemies and puzzles.

Overall Score: 4/5

D&D / TTRPGs, Opinion, Video Games

Five Neverwinter Campaigns We Want to See

Neverwinter is one of Dungeons & Dragons multiplayer online role-playing game. Along with Dungeons & Dragons Online, it’s a great way to explore Faerun with friends if you can’t get together around a physical or digital table. The game launched in 2013 for PC and later in 2016 on consoles. We’ve devoted several hundred hours to the game and don’t plan on stopping anytime soon and neither does Perfect World or Cryptic Studios.

The latest release of Sharandar shows the game isn’t slowing down when it comes to content. The new module revitalizes an older area of Neverwinter adding enemies and an entirely new questline. That goes us thinking on what additional future content should developers adapt next. D&D has been around for decades and Neverwinter has always been good at creating modules of campaign guides and 5E books in the past. But there is so much more to see.

We’ve put together five future campaign settings we’d like to see next in Neverwinter.

Future Neverwinter Expansions

1. Critical Role: Wildemount

Critical Role has done so much for Dungeons & Dragons in the past five or six years. The lovable cast of nerdy ass voice actors are among the many reasons the tabletop game is growing in popularity. Since streaming their first game on Twitch in 2015, Critical Role has gone on to publish official content for Wizards of the Coast.

The recent release of Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount would be a great addition to Neverwinter. It focuses on the war between the Dwendalian Empire – a society of arcane scholars and nobles – and the Kryn Dynasty – drow who now live on the surface. The book changed how drow are depicted in D&D and shows them in a new light after leaving the cult of Lolth.

The module could introduce a new school of magic as well. Matt Mercer created a ninth school of magic called Dunamancy that deals in manipulating time. Or as the book states,

“primal magical energy of potentiality and actuality, an anticipatory arcane force that helps shape the multiverse and might very well be what holds its elements together, like an infinite web of unseen tethers.”

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Campaign

The overarching campaign could revolve around locating arcane artifacts such as Luxon Beacons and more. The beacons are religious devices of the Kryn that harness and transfer souls from one being to another. Characters would work for the Dynasty or Empire searching tombs or dungeons while fighting creatures or enemies from the opposing side.

It’s difficult to give a more concrete description of the outcome as the second campaign of Critical Role is still ongoing. But taking cues from the guidebook, it would be insanely fun to travel throughout Wildemount.

2. Critical Role: Tal’dorei

Critical Role is the gift that keeps on giving. While the Mighty Nein run around Wildemount, Vox Machina bumbled their way across Tal’dorei. A campaign set during the time of any one of the arcs of the first series would be great but which one exactly?

The fight with Vecna was absolutely amazing but it is heavily driven by Percival Fredrickstein von Musel Klossowski de Rolo III’s backstory. We believe focusing on The Chroma Conclave would make for one of the most impactful module’s in Neverwinter.

Yes, Vox Machina may have defeated the dragons who destroyed Emon but the story can be embellished for the MMO.

Campaign

Characters could get a message from arcanist Allura Vysoren to visit her outside of Emon. She wishes to speak to them about Vox Machina and magical disturbances throughout Tal’dorei. With the adventuring group dealing with the aftermath of the Chroma Conclave, she requires assistance with closing rifts. The portals opened after the green dragon, Raishan, released Thordak from his prison in the plane of fire.

Players could interact with Vox Machina as well, all voiced by the cast. When it comes to magical items, there could be vestiges of divergence and even weapons owned by the famous party. Spoilers ahead for campaign one.

When Thordak was killed by Vox Machina, there were strange magical eggs left in his lair. It was hinted that there could be more in the world. A side quest in the Neverwinter version could be to find and destroy them so spawn of the Cinder King won’t spread.

3. Honorable Mention: Duergar

This one may not be based on any official lore but it’s something that is missing from Neverwinter. There has yet to be any update which focuses on the dark dwarves of the Underdark. They aren’t playable as a race and it’s about time that’s fixed. While the game is missing an alarming number of classes and races, duergar should be up there alongside drow.

Campaign

Yes, Neverwinter features a huge questline where characters fight duergar but not once is there ever a moment with a kind dark dwarf. The campaign could involve a clan of duergar wishing to return to the surface. They are unfairly mistreated and falsely represented in the lore of D&D and Neverwinter could remedy that.

The history of duergar labels them as heretics who abandoned their mountain homes. Once they reached the Underdark, they were captured by mind flayers and forced into slavery. After gaining their freedom, they returned home and were seen as outcasts by their original god Moradin and all surface dwarfs.

“When Laduguer and his people returned to the dwarves of the upper world, they were shocked by the hostility they faced. As Laduguer quickly learned, the priests of Moradin had long ago labeled the lost clan as heretics, spoken of now only as an object lesson concerning the fate of dwarves who stray from Moradin’s teachings.”

“Laduguer, in response, tried to explain that his people had been lured into a trap by the mind flayers, but his assertions fell on deaf ears. Thus, with no other apparent choice, the lost clan fled back to the Underdark. Laduguer focused his fury on Moradin.”

The campaign could focus on this aspect and have characters free the duergar and join in fighting against the illithids. It’s a great way to also introduce the race to Neverwinter.

4. Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden

Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden is one of the newest campaign books for Fifth Edition. It is set in a landscape of frost and ice. The main area for characters to explore is Ten-Towns and it and the surrounding area finds itself in a permanent winter. The cause of the torrential storm is a lesser god named Auril who seeks to cover everything in ice for her amusement.

Campaign

The campaign would be a three part plan that aligns with the book. The town and surrounding mines are being ransacked of a priceless material called chardalyn. A duergar named Xardorok Sunblight is using shards of the stone to craft a gargantuan dragon to destroy the town and rule over the region.

Meanwhile, four wizards are searching the frigid wasteland for a lost Netherese city. The wizards seek knowledge left behind after the city fell and will stop the characters if they get in their way.

While a third questline could focus on the lesser god herself. They will search for a magical item that opens the way to the Netherese city the wizards are looking for. The final confrontation would be with Auril.

The region is already familiar to Neverwinter players as it was heavily featured in a previous module. Quests could be a follow up to the skirmish Kessell’s Retreat which saw players fight Akar Kessell, a powerful wizard with the artifact Crenshinibon.

5. Mythic Odysseys of Theros

Mythic Odysseys of Theros is based on Greek mythology and isn expansion for Magic: the Gathering. So, technically this would be an expansion of an expansion. And seeing as both are published by Perfect World, it shouldn’t be an issue. Choosing an overarching campaign from this setting can be difficult. But by focusing on the gods, we can get a better idea of what a module might entail.

Campaign

Gods are the forefront of Theros and characters could be called upon one or multiple to stop an oncoming threat. Nylea, god of the hunt, could summon the characters to the Feywild and have them stop corruption of nature. Or the souls of the dead aren’t going to the afterlife so Erebos, god of death, seeks the aid of the characters. Better yet, Purphoros, god of the forge, is unable to create new life and believes Erebos is the reason.

Both call on the characters to discover the truth and along the way they uncover Ephara is behind it all. As the god of polis or civilization, she believes she should govern all matters including life and death. The characters could fight minions from all three sides and in the end fight an avatar of either one god.


Those are the top five module’s we’d like to see in the future of Neverwinter. Will they happen? There is no way to know but they would certainly be cool to run around in.


D&D / TTRPGs, Video Games

Solasta: Crown of the Magister’s Future Looks Good

Solasta: Crown of the Magister is one of two modern Dungeons and Dragons games out now and it’s only going to get better. While the ruleset is based on Fifth Edition mechanics, there is only so much developers Tactical Adventures can do when translating it to a video game. But now the team is working on adding even more ways to make Solasta just a bit more like the tabletop version.

A game as epic and large as Solasta has some big shoes to wear considering it’s pulling from one of the bestselling TTRPGs ever. Solasta is still in Early Access and it’s always evolving. The January patch is the second update since its launch in October 2020 and is full of plenty of interesting information to discuss. For instance, being silenced by a spell now makes a character unable to cast spells that require their voice. Or a character that is restrained can’t cast spells with a somatic component. These two instances are often and easily overlooked in a fast-moving game of D&D, but not in Solasta.

Other details simply change cutscenes, so they flow better. A few items got on overhaul as well, so they aren’t over or underpowered. The list is lengthy but worth a look to see what changed. Tactical even made sure to include some humor so reading the list didn’t feel like a chore.

However, the most interesting details are featured in the final paragraph of the patch notes. The development team’s next project will fundamentally change the flow of the game but at the player’s choice. Tactical is working on adding difficulty settings to Solasta so players can choose to dial down the game if it’s too hard or increase the scale making everything hit harder. It’s like adding a dungeon master to the mix but without having to do all of the prep work for the next session.

The new difficult settings will also allow players to change how an ability modifier works. Instead of sticking with the dice roll and adding or subtracting from the roll, the settings would allow players to forgo the modifier altogether. The settings will also change how enemies function as well. Instead of using their weakest attack and not adding a modifier, they may instead use a more powerful one repeatedly. They’ll even go after unconscious characters in an attempt to fully kill them.

Continuing to follow the ruleset of 5E, characters will notice new rules to encumbrance. Which in a video game is easier to control than in at the table. Another feature is the addition of weighted dice such as metal ones. They would completely change how RNG works.

Tactical Adventures did not say when the difficulty settings would be added. The full patch notes can be read on Steam or on Solasta’s website.