Baldur's Gate 3 Character Creation Guide

Published: Tuesday, October 6, 2020 - 22:05 | By: Jackson Wery
Developer
Larian Studios
Publisher
Larian Studios
Release Date
October 6, 2020
Genre
RPG
Multiplayer modes
Online, Online Features
Platforms
PC
Monetization
One Time Purchase
Purchase (Some links may be affiliated)
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A Quick Primer on Making Your Adventurer

Each class brings something different to the table in Larian Studios's Baldur's Gate 3. The idea of making a character can seem daunting at first, even with the content in Early Access. To help streamline the process, TechRaptor has some advice for you regarding basic character creation guidelines. The crunched math compared to older editions of Dungeons & Dragons means that your choices and modifiers count for much more.

Rebuilding your character has not been implemented yet, and there are no premade origin characters at the time of writing, either, so it's best to get the build down right the first time. As this is a guide for Baldur's Gate 3 Early Access, be aware that mechanics, classes, and races are all subject to change.

 
 

Baldur's Gate 3 - Ability Scores

Each stat has its own purpose in Baldur's Gate 3. Knowing which stats benefit your class most is key to a successful character. There are six main stats: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. Each class in Early Access makes use of one or more of these Ability Scores as a primary stat, and each has secondary stats to keep an eye on as well.

Sometimes, you may want to keep a stat low to make room for more important stats (a "dump stat"). This dump stat varies depending on your class and what you want to do with the character, but major candidates include Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, and Charisma. Your key stat is always indicated with a small star above the number in character creation. Your choice of race has a notable impact on your stats, and as a consequence many races naturally gravitate towards certain classes.

Baldur's Gate 3

Strength (Str) is a measure of raw muscular power. Strong characters possess better Athletics skills and hit harder with larger melee weapons. Strength-based builds will likely opt for Medium or Heavy Armor, so as to maximize their AC while minimizing their investment in Dex. If you're Dexterity-based or otherwise don't use Strength, go ahead and dump it.

Dexterity (Dex) is Strength's more graceful cousin. Dex-based characters are quick and agile, making precise strikes with their weapons. Dexterity governs ranged attacks as well as Finesse weapons such as daggers and rapiers. it also affects AC, initiative, your typical "rogue things," and its own common Saving Throw. Most Dex builds will dump Strength, and vice-versa, as increasing both provides little benefit.

Constitution (Con) is the cousin that is very important for the party to be a success but also doesn't say much once it's underway. It governs Hit Points, Concentration Checks for spellcasters, and very important Constitution Saving Throws. While no class uses it as its primary stat, it is without a doubt an important one. Nobody was ever upset to have more Constitution. Don't dump this, ever.

Intelligence (Int) is that relative who loves to talk at length about boring things. Wizards are the only class that relies on a massive Intelligence, as it fuels their spells and pretty much everything they need to do. Other classes may want a little bit to improve their knowledge checks, but most characters won't make much use of it. A viable dump stat.

Wisdom (Wis) is your doddering, well-meaning grandmother. She's wise and thoughtful and can be quite sharp when the situation calls for it. It affects the all-important Wisdom Saving Throw and some very useful skills (such as Perception and Insight). Clerics benefit a lot from a high Wisdom, as it is their main casting stat, but nobody wants to fail a Wisdom Saving Throw.

 

Charisma (Cha) is the flashy wine-aunt of the stats. It schmoozes, it smooths things over, and it's quite the force of nature. Any party face wants a decent base Charisma. Social rogues will love the bonus to their conversational skills, and warlocks will use it for spellcasting and class features. If your class doesn't use Charisma for anything, however, it's usually pretty safe to dump it.

Baldur's Gate 3 Half Elf Drow Wizard stats
The star will indicate your most important stat for your class.

Baldur's Gate 3 - What Are the Skills For?

In addition to class features, every character has several different skills. All have their own uses depending on the situation. These are listed here as a quick reference for the most common reasons to use that skill.

  • Acrobatics (Dex): Balancing and acrobatic stunts.
  • Athletic (Str): Running, jumping, and climbing.
  • Arcana (Int): Knowledge of magical traditions and planes.
  • Animal Handling (Wis): Control, intuit, and soothe animals.
  • Deception (Cha): Misdirection and lies.
  • History (Int): Historical events, people, and places.
  • Insight (Wis): Sense another's intentions.
  • Intimidation (Cha): Bullying, threatening, and interrogating.
  • Investigation (Int): Finding and putting together clues.
  • Medicine (Wis): Mundane healing and diagnosing diseases.
  • Nature (Int): Plants, animals, terrain, the weather, and so on.
  • Perception (Wis): Seeing, hearing, and otherwise detecting things.
  • Performance (Cha): Entertain an audience with acting, music, dancing, or oration.
  • Persuasion (Cha): Influence others with charm and kindness.
  • Religion (Int): Faiths, religious rites, holy symbols, and cults.
  • Sleight of Hand (Dex): Concealing items, planting evidence, and relieving others of their valuables.
  • Stealth (Dex): Hiding from and sneaking past said others after relieving them of said valuables.
  • Survival (Wis): Follow tracks, hunt and forage, and avoid natural hazards.

Baldur's Gate 3 - What Are the Backgrounds and Classes?

Backgrounds offer insight into your character's upbringing. They carry with them various benefits, and they provide proficiencies for different skills related to the background. For the most part, this can be used as flavor, though you may wish to pick one that meshes well with the character in both concept and mechanics. For example, Acolyte dovetails nicely into Cleric, though you could just as easily be an ex-priest for any number of reasons.

To give you an overview of the classes, we've included the six classics that are part of the Baldur's Gate 3 Early Access launch. Since D&D has more classes than this, you can expect more to show up as Larian gets closer to the full release.

 

As a primer, each class has a hit die. The higher the hit die, the more max health that class will get (generally speaking). We'll also list the ability scores you'll want to focus on to maximize each class, along with the types of weapons and armor they can use.

Baldur's Gate 3 - Cleric Overview

  • Hit Die: d8
  • Primary Stat: Wisdom
  • Secondary Stats: Strength OR Dexterity, Constitution
  • Good Saves: Wisdom, Charisma
  • Weapons: Simple
  • Armor: Light, Medium, Shields

Clerics possess a number of helpful support spells, but they may also be willing to jump into the thick of things as well. Wisdom should be your best stat. Your secondary stats depend on your proficiencies.

Your Domain determines the sorts of spells your Cleric can focus on. You can choose between Life (healing), Trickery (rogue stuff), and Light (spellcasting), as well as a deity. If the Domain grants you proficiency with Heavy Armor, stick with Strength. Otherwise, go with Dexterity. Don't neglect your Constitution, either, since you're the best at keeping people on their feet.

You are able to change your spells known each day, but you will need to pick some Cantrips. Sacred Flame is a good offensive choice for your casting clerics. Guidance is a classic. Thaumaturgy can also get you an advantage if using Intimidation or Performance.

Good skills for clerics include Insight, Religion, and Perception. Another social skill is also a solid pick if you have the Charisma to spare.

Baldur's Gate 3 - Fighter Overview

  • Hit Die: d10
  • Primary Stat: Strength OR Dexterity
  • Secondary Stats: Constitution, Wisdom
  • Good Saves: Strength, Constitution
  • Weapons: Simple, Martial
  • Armor: Light, Medium, Heavy, Shields

As a fighter, you'll want to pick Strength or Dexterity and effectively ignore the other. It's also very important you boost Constitution, as you will take a few licks. If Strength is your stat, aim for Heavy Armor. If you're Dex-based, keep your armor light.

Select a Fighting Style that complements your ability scores, and go to town. If you have any points left over, trickle them into Wisdom. Various weapons will do different things, so try to have a variety on hand at all times.

Your skills depend on your Ability Scores. If you aren't sure what to take, snag Athletics (Strength) or Acrobatics (Dexterity), and Perception. Fighters are people of action, not pretty words. If you gain either of those skills already, Insight makes a good secondary choice. Or, baffle others with your incredible knowledge of History.

Baldur's Gate 3 - Ranger Overview

  • Hit Die: d10
  • Primary Stat: Strength OR Dexterity
  • Secondary Stats: Wisdom, Constitution
  • Good Saves: Strength, Dexterity
  • Weapons: Simple, Martial
  • Armor: Light, Medium, Shields

Rangers specialize in taking out specific types of enemies. They name a category of enemy (spellcasters, extraplanar creatures, and so on) and gain various bonuses and proficiencies derived from their choices. The Natural Explorer also provides various benefits, making rangers a rather versatile class.

Hunter's Mark will be your bread-and-butter spell, so be sure to grab it as a spell known. Skills you'll want to cover include Animal Handling, Perception, Survival, and an appropriate knowledge skill.

Baldur's Gate 3 Halfling Rogue
"Let me see what you have!" "A knife!" "NO!"

Baldur's Gate 3 - Rogue Overview

  • Hit Die: d8
  • Primary Stat: Dexterity
  • Secondary Stats: Constitution, any mental
  • Good Saves: Dexterity, Intelligence
  • Weapons: Simple, Hand Crossbow, Longsword, Rapier, Shortsword
  • Armor: Light

Thanks to their many skills, your rogue will fit a variety of roles in the party. Dexterity is their most important stat, followed by Constitution. Whether your rogue is a spotter, investigator, or a party face depends on your allotment of points in your mental stats. If you can't decide, Wisdom is a good default. It boosts an important save and affects your Perception, a very useful skill for any rogue.

You are effectively locked into using Dexterity as your main stat in order to activate Sneak Attack. Sneak Attack activates when the rogue has an advantage of one sort or another in combat, whether it be through flanking or stealth. Depending on your subclass, you may have other ways to activate it or make it more potent.

Your most important skills will likely be Stealth, Investigation, and Perception. You may also want Insight, Acrobatics, and/or Sleight of Hand, depending on your concept and background.

Baldur's Gate 3 - Warlock Overview

  • Hit Die: d8
  • Primary Stat: Charisma
  • Secondary Stats: Constitution, Strength OR Dexterity
  • Good Saves: Wisdom, Charisma
  • Weapons: Simple
  • Armor: Light

Depending on your Patron and setup, your warlock can act as a melee fighter or a ranged spellcaster. Since Cantrips scale quite generously, you will likely find your Charisma being used most often. This also means that you can make an excellent party face with your natural social grace.

Eldritch Blast is the definitive warlock Cantrip. Hex is a flavorful and fun way to add more damage on top. Your spells are at a bit more of a premium than most, so make them count. With your high Charisma, deception is a good pick, and Arcana is a nice choice, too. Getting other social skills will make your silver tongue even better.

Baldur's Gate 3 Tiefling
Tieflings make acceptable wizards, too.

Baldur's Gate 3 - Wizard Overview

  • Hit Die: d6
  • Primary Stat: Intelligence
  • Secondary Stats: Constitution, Dexterity
  • Good Saves: Intelligence, Wisdom
  • Weapons: Dagger, Dart, Sling, Quarterstaff, Light Crossbow
  • Armor: None

As the squishiest of characters, wizards make up for it in magical might. They can specialize in various types of magic, each with their own pros and cons. Unlike prior editions of Dungeons & Dragons, wizards in Baldur's Gate 3 don't need to forsake one or more schools of magic to specialize.

Maximize your Intelligence, putting your remaining points into Dexterity, Constitution, and Wisdom as needed. Dexterity affects your AC and Initiative, and wizards like to go first, but Constitution and Wisdom bolster your defenses.

Since you'll be the brains of the group, your best bet is to load up on Intelligence-based skills. Whatever you can get your hands on will be fine. Arcana is a must-pick, but you may want to snag Religion, History, or Nature depending on your concept and the rest of your party.

Spells include a mix of utility, offense, and defense. You can add new spells to your spellbook with scrolls you find laying around, so you won't usually have to worry too much about getting stuck with a bad spell choice. Mage Armor is always a solid pick, as is Magic Missile. Ray of Frost provides some nice control and cold-based damage in a Cantrip.


That's it for the Baldur's Gate 3 Early Access classes, for now. Be sure to check back frequently for all the latest guides, news, and info about Baldur's Gate 3 from here, and be sure to ask us questions and share your thoughts on our social media pages or in the comments below!


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Head, shoulder, stinky toe I'm the diviner your GM warned you about.