If you've played fifth edition Dungeons and Dragons, or if you can't spell your own name, (or more likely: both) you probably think you know how to make a character in Solasta.
You're wrong. That's why I'm here. Using only my galactic intellect and pictures I [mostly] already had saved on my computer, I'm going to quickly teach you what you need to know.
If you disagree with parts of this guide or if you find elements of it "vaguely insulting" or "purposefully untrue," then you are already far too smart for the people this guide is intended for and we don't want to hang out with you. You use big words that make our heads hurt.
Difficulty and Ability Scores
This guide assumes you're playing on authentic difficulty. without any custom difficulty options, but the Deadlier and Merciless AI options in the Game section of Settings are heavily recommended.
For your Ability Scores, I'm assuming you're using Point Buy, the non-unlimited version. Solasta does let you give yourself max scores in every field and just roflstomp the game. I can't stop you from doing that and frankly I think you lack the moral fiber to resist the temptation, but I am going to pretend you are limited to crafting a balanced character.
Solasta always tells you which Ability Scores are good for your class. I recommend just pumping those scores to the max and leaving the other ones alone.
Solasta very strictly enforces D&D's rules on light and visibility. Any race without darkvision is basically running around in the dark like an idiot, which maybe you relate a little too much to.
For this reason, the races without darkvision, Humans and Island Halflings, are useless. You're going to be spending way too much time setting up light spells or torches to accommodate them. You can get items that grant darkvision, but that forces you to use an attunement slot on something other races get for free. What's an attunement slot, you ask? It's something you only get 3 of, which coincidentally is probably the highest number you can count to.
Marsh Halflings have darkvision and their ability score spread is +2 Dexterity/+1 Constitution. Also they can reroll 1s. Good for rogues. Sounds good for rangers too, right? Wrong. They're entirely outclassed by the Sylvan Elf.
The Sylvan Elf gets more movement per turn than any other race, making them extremely mobile Rangers. They have proficiency in most of the few D&D skills that you actually use in Solasta and their +2 Dexterity/+1 Wisdom racial bonuses make them ideal Rangers. They make the Marsh Halflings look like absolute clowns. You're a clown.
High Elves are the only darkvision race that gets a +1 to Intelligence, the stat wizards need. Wizards are the only class that uses Intelligence.
But what about the Shadowcaster Rogue?
High Elves also get a +2 to Dexterity, another stat wizards need. They get a free cantrip, which wizards need. They get proficiency in actual weapons, which most wizards don't usually get.
If you're playing a wizard, you should play a High Elf. If you play a High Elf, you're playing a wizard.
That's it. Go read a book.
Half-Elves are the only race with a + 2 to Charisma. There is only one class that uses Charisma, the paladin. Paladins should be Half-Elves and Half-Elves should be Paladins.
Another Charisma-based class, the Sorcerer, is coming soon. Makes sense to make your sorcerer a Half-Elf, right? Wrong. There's nothing a sorcerer can do that would be more better than what a wizard can do in Solasta's main campaign, as of today. The best way to play a sorcerer will be to play a High Elf Wizard. But if you ALREADY have a wizard, THEN you can add a sorcerer by adding a High Elf Wizard.
Try to wrap your minuscule cranium around that bombshell.
With their + 2 Constitution and + 1 Wisdom, Hill Dwarves are your ideal Clerics. They're resistant to poison and they gain extra health per level up, so they're less likely than other healers to go down and leave the party vulnerable. They're slow but it doesn't matter, they can sit and cast nonsense and wait for the trouble to come to them.
Snow Dwarves are essentially worse Hill Dwarves and Marsh Hafllings. Their +1 bonus goes to Dexterity, which is useless for characters that use Strength weapons and heavy armor.
Their low speed doesn't make them too attractive either. Hill Dwarves and Marsh Haflings are also slow but their other racial feats make them better-suited at compensating for it.
The Snow Dwarf +2 to Constitution spell checks makes them slightly better at holding Concentration on spells (I would try to explain what focusing like an adult means to you but that's probably a waste of time) but it's wasted as missing out on an Intelligence or Wisdom bonus makes them an inferior choice for a caster. Again, Hill Dwarf supremacy. There really isn't a class that this race would excel at more than the other races.
But what about the Shadowcaster-
Snow Dwarves aren't entirely useless but you can probably do better for whatever you're trying to achieve, much like in your real life.
If you looked through the races section, you may noticed there's no mention of any racial synergy with the Fighter class. It's not worth mentioning. They simply don't do enough to warrant being in your party.
Party members in Solasta sometimes shout "You suck!" when another character misses a hit, and I like to imagine they're actually talking to anyone who picks fighter in the character creation screen.
I beat my first playthrough with a Human Spellsword fighter and that dude was a liability like a fat dude in a 2 man canoe.
Paladins are great. They're heavy-armor wearing front-line fighters, they can use their spell slots to do more damage, they have emergency healing with their Lay On Hands ability, and all of their subclasses are good. Seriously, they're all good. The Oath of the Motherland subclass grants fire resistance and +1 AC at Level 7. Plus it gives you fireball. That's what's up.
You're most likely going to be trying to direct all the enemies toward this dude, so take the defense fighting style. I'll explain when you're older.
Rangers are versatile users of melee and ranged weapons. They can be set up as viable dual wielders or archers. (Ambidextrous feat highly recommended for the former.) Plus they can learn cure wounds for more healing.
But that's a bunch of uninteresting garbage. The real point of a ranger, besides being another potential melee combatant to help your paladin and replace the trash-tier fighter, is to cast goodberry.
In Solasta, you need to take long rests to restore health and spell slots and to fix other situations and conditions. To take a long rest, you need rations or food. To remove this headache, you can simply cast goodberry. As long as your Ranger has one spell slot left, you'll never be screwed, because you can cast goodberry. And because long resting restores all your spell slots, you can literally just run back to a resting spot and cast goodberry after every fight in a dungeon and restore everything.
The only other character that can cast goodberry is the Greenmage Wizard subclass. But unlike the ranger, your wizard is going to be burning through all their spell slots regularly, as that's the only way they can contribute. Your ranger doesn't NEED to use their spells to be effective. Instead, you can hoard two spell slots, one for an emergency cure wounds, and one for popping that good good berry berry at designated long rest spots.
The spell Create Food & Water is also a thing, but it's again only available to wizards (and clerics), who need ALL of their spell slots to be used on accomplishing the mission, not making muffins. Even if it is available to someone else and I'm just missing something, no one else can afford to hoard a spell like the Ranger can.
The two Ranger subclasses that matter are the Hunter and the Marksman.
If you're going to focus on dual-wielding and use archery as a back up, take the Hunter subclass and the Colossus Slayer option, which will allow you to do extra damage to wounded enemies once per turn. With your eventual three possible hits per turn at level 5, you'll have an excellent chance of using this almost every round.
If you be shooting arrows, then it's the Marksmen for ye. You get reaction attacks against ranged foes and you eventually get the ability to move away from melee combatants without wasting your action and generate infinite arrows.
Rogues do more damage to enemies next to your allies. Pick Darkweaver for late game poisoning and high ground damage. Thief Rogues can apparently bonus action cast haste on themselves with scrolls or something. I don't know.
But what about-
Do damage. Is that too complicated for you?
Clerics are your healers and your utility casters. They can cast healing word and mass healing word as bonus actions, basically allowing them to emergency heal someone without wasting a turn where they could have attacked. They get revivify, which allows you to actually keep playing the game if someone dies. Most players agree being allowed to keep playing is important to playing the game.
There are like a million cleric subclasses in this game. Luckily the choice can be narrowed down pretty quickly.
Battle Clerics are the only subclass in the game that can actually cast spells while they're wielding a sword and a shield. And they learn fireball. And magic missile. And insect plague. And they can use Channel Divinity to stun enemies on attack. And they have the insane Herald of Battle buff. And they get an extra attack at level 8. Literally go look at their stuff it's crazy.
Other considerations are the Life Cleric for omega healing and heavy armor, the Law Cleric for trolling with counterspell or the Sun Cleric for bringing the sun's blinding himbo energy to your foes and a more reliable use of sacred flame.
Note that the Sun Cleric has more access to fire spells than the actual Elemental Fire Cleric, but neither of them get fireball. Battle Clerics all the way baybeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
Wizards cast a limited amount of big daddy spells and suck major at all other times. Luckily, your High Elf Wizard can use shortswords, so you can at least keep that equipped if you're out of spell slots and the enemy is right next to you. Although you should probably just Disengage and cast fire bolt next turn. Whatever.
There are three wizard subclasses and there's one clear choice: the Shock Arcanist. There's a huge list of spells that SAs just get to do more damage with than other wizards. You'll probably be tempted to bring 2. or 4. or 178.
Loremasters get more spells to learn overall, but they can still only bring the same amount of spells to each battle, and you really don't need more versatility than what the Shock Arcanist can give you.
The Greenmage gets Druid spells, proficiency in light armor, and the archery fighting style, which is not terrible, but it's still a downgrade from getting more out of every burning hands, magic missile, thunderwave, acid arrow, scorching ray, flaming sphere, fireball, lightning bolt, ice storm, and cone of cold like the Shock Arcanist does. It's just no contest. It would just be easier to take a SA wizard and a ranger, both of which are better at the Greenmage at being wizardly and forest archery magicky, respectively.
Each Background provides conversation tags and activates a personal quest in the main game, so don't double up.
Rather than a long list of in-game dialogue choices, the personality tags you choose here will be the main way your character determines how to express their "personality". You should get one some time.
You combine two personality tags from your background with two additional tags. The four tags that will affect the way your character acts will be in a box the lower left hand corner of the screen. Some backgrounds will also add a "Formal" or "Slang" tag that will heavily affect your personal expression.
The Academic background grants a starting relationship with one of the factions. Your relationship with factions affects your ability to access the items they have for sale. It also gives proficiency in the tool needed to craft cool stuff, which only a Wizard will have without taking this background. If you're not using a Wizard, you're dumb, and you will need someone to take this background if you want to craft magical weapons without them.
The Lawkeeper background will grant martial weapon proficiency to classes that do not already have it. Dual wielding longsword Strength rogue? I guess.
The Lowlife background gives the Thieves Tools proficiency, good for lockpicking if you don't have a Rogue in the party.
The Sellsword background gives you proficiency in medium armor. Might be nice for a wizard who would otherwise be walking around in a old shirt and stained khakis.
Skills and Languages
Some of the Dungeons and Dragons skills and languages available in the character creator aren't even used in the game. They're clearly marked in the character creator, which has not stopped me from seeing endless Twitch streams of mouthbreathers excited to use their Animal Handling skills despite the clear warning that there is not a single check for that in the entire game. Literally just read all the information, Jesus Christ. Do you know why I made this guide? I saw a dude pick the busted halfling over the darkvision halfling because he couldn't be bothered enough to notice the scroll bar that would have allowed him to see that the darkvision halfling did indeed have darkvision, I mean, Jesus H Billy Deershanking Crystally Christ just actively process the information in front of you. Like make a legitimate attempt at being an actual person. Now I have to watch you stumble through the game with 4 skills that ARE NOT USED and a giddiness about what you'll do at level 12 in a game capped at 10.
There is no one more patently unlovable than somebody with a mindless lack of basic inquisitiveness about things that are clearly important to them. Imagine blaming anyone else but yourself for your own inability to do the most common sense thing imaginable and examine a situation clearly before making a decision.
You should have seen Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire streams back when there were a few dozen people streaming it. People BLAZING through clear, brief, and helpful instructions on character building and later throwing a fit because their baseless assumptions about how they thought things were going to work (if they bothered to think at all) led them terribly astray. I'm no expert in complex systems, but even I could still read the thing in Pillars that said you don't need a weapon proficiency to use a weapon. Dear God.
AND ANOTHER THING-
Skills and Languages (but for real this time)
Skills hardly matter.
Your wizard can use Arcana to identify what spell an enemy is using and determine if it's worth burning a slot to cast counterspell on it. But obviously you're going to put Arcana on your wizard even if you didn't know this.
You can use Survival to find more food while traveling but that's redundant with the hype fantastic that is goodberry. Stealth is useful for taking enemies by surprise and Perception is good for seeing hidden things.
Insight is only used to tell you which Charisma skill you should use during a skill check, but because each option will be split among the party, you're always going to choose your paladin to do the skill check anyway because they'll be the only ones with any points in Charisma. And honestly passing or failing speech checks doesn't affect much besides skipping fights.
Languages don't matter at all. Most of them are not used once in the game and the ones that are rarely make an appearance, or a difference. Maybe have someone know orcish. Even then it doesn't really matter.
Basically don't let most of this affect your character building. You already don't shower regularly so not taking into account skill or social etiquette should be second nature for you.
Level 1 Wizard Spell Choices
As a level 1 Wizard you get access to 3 cantrips and 6 spells. (But you have an extra cantrip because you picked High Elf, right?)
Cantrips: Basically if you've used all your spell slots or you're trying to conserve them, you're most likely spamming fire bolt, or ray of frost if your target is immune/resistant to fire, or shocking grasp if they're in melee range, or shadow dagger if their AC is annoyingly high.
Level 1 Spells: Detect magic is useful for seeing which of the items that you picked up might have a magical ability. identify will allow you to see what that ability is. Both of these spells can be cast for free outside of combat, so yeah, take them dumbfu-. Magic missile will be your main source of damage. Shield will save your life. Sleep could be clutch early game but it falls off fast. Pick whatever else seems cool. Between magic missile and shield you'll probably be burning all your slots anyway.
Level 1 Cleric Spell Choices
Cantrips: Sacred flame, light, shine. The former is for damage on out of reach targets with high AC. You can cast the latter two to mess with enemies that suffer in the light and/or thrive in the dark.
Level 1 spells: healing word, cure wounds, inflict wounds, guiding bolt. You'll end up using most of your slots on healing word to pull dying allies off the ground because you suck and everything you try to care for turns to ash. If you're sick like me and you're rolling out your Hill Dwarf Battle Cleric, you also get magic missile.
Level 2 Paladin/Ranger Spell Choices
Paladin: Cure wounds. You'll probably use this rarely as most of the time you'll be smiting, but it's another good source of emergency healing.
Ranger: Cure wounds and goodberry. If you know, you know.
But what about hunter's mark?
You can take it at level 3 if you're going the archery route. Otherwise I'd just keep using the bonus action to attack more.
Recommended Party Comp
There are many ways to build a party. Many people can make ones just as good or better than this. But you can't lmao.
This is one I find both equally powerful and also braindead easy to use:
Half Elf Oath of the Motherland Paladin - 1st weapon set: weapon and shield. 2nd weapon set: empty hand and shield ( to allow for spellcasting)
Sylvan Elf Hunter (Colossus Slayer) Ranger - 1st weapon set: dual wielding. 2nd weapon set: longbow
Hill Dwarf Battle Cleric - 1st weapon set: weapon and shield. 2nd weapon set: crossbow. (rarely used)
High Elf Shock Arcanist Wizard - 1st weapon set: whatever.
Three out of the four of these can eventually cast fireball and the fourth can use goodberry. Please contain your excitement. Welcome to the promised land.
Keep in mind I beat the game the first time with a Human Fighter so do whatever lol.
Let me know if you have questions or if you want to fist fight me in the comments.
More SOLASTA Crown of the Magister guilds
- Dungeon Maker (DM) tips and links
- Traduzione Italiana Solasta
- Using Gameplay Mods
- How to Download and Play Your First Custom Adventure in 2 Minutes
- Beginner Guide to your Settings in Solasta
- Solasta Faction Shop Guide
- Solasta Complete Guide
- Quick "Cheeze" party for beginners
- Full Crafting Guide - Recipes, Ingredients, and More
- Crafting: Magic Armors and Weapons Recipes