Baldur's Gate 3 was a secret for a long while, and we were super excited to finally show it to you at PAX East. I'm sure you have loads of questions, and since we're about to embark on an epic adventure together into Early Access, what better time than now to sit down and talk.

Here today we have:

/u/Larian_Swen (Founder & Creative Director) /u/Larian_David (Producer) /u/Larian_NickP (Lead Systems Designer) /u/Larian_Adam (Senior Writer) /u/Larian_Jan (Writing Director)

For verification here is me tweeting about the AMA:

We will start answering your questions at 11am PT/2pm ET/6pm GMT and we'll be around for about 2 hours.

Check out our website at and follow us on socials at,,,, and

EDIT: We're signing off. Thank you Reddit for all the questions and thank you for all of the organization on your side, it really helped us to answer these questions concisely. We're looking forward to talking to you during Early Access!

Comments: 1532 • Responses: 6  • Date: 

ThorThunderfist449 karma

On behalf of /r/baldursgate and many longtime fans of the Baldur's Gate series, I have collected some of the most popular and frequently asked questions from the community (especially to support those unable to ask their questions in person). Hopefully this is not too overwhelming, but we greatly appreciate this opportunity to sate our curiosity and look forward to being involved with the development of the game through community feedback.

  1. Reactions are a really important part of D&D 5e. A lot of classes have features that revolve around them, there are a ton of really important spells that are reactions (shield, counterspell, absorb elements, etc.). Are you making changes to the 5e reaction rules, and if so, how are you implementing these crucial features/spells?

  2. Along those same lines, you have touted emulating the degree of player freedom offered in table top D&D, but there are a few core battle mechanics that have not been shown off. Will grappling be a battle mechanic? Can you ready an action such as an attack or spell? Will Extra Attack work the same way it does in 5e? Can you set spells (especially cantrips) to auto-cast every turn? Will ammunition and spell component mechanics be present?

  3. In the demonstrated gameplay, many non-magical skills (dash, jump, etc.) had flashy visual effects attached to their use. Has there been consideration given to making mundane skills appear mundane and reserving fancier effects for spells and truly magical/supernatural abilities?

  4. There have been hints of other 5e sources being implemented into the game. Are you going to include material from Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes, Xanathar's Guide to Everything, and/or other player materials outside of the core material of the 5e Player's Handbook? Additionally, at full release, will all content of the PHB be represented (notably, (sub)classes and (sub)races)?

  5. What is your plan for magic items? Are you using the classic magic items from existing D&D source material and/or creating your own? Will we be able to design/craft our own magic items in-game?

  6. You have mentioned that the scope of Baldur's Gate 3 is huge, but we do not have much to go off of. How many places will we be able to visit and explore? Will it only be a small part of the Sword Coast or can/could we venture off to places like Neverwinter or to the South to see Amn? Is it closer to an open world or will it be closer to D:OS 1/2 in that it is a large map that is sectioned into smaller areas?

  7. There has been a back and forth over the inclusion of Origin characters in Baldur's Gate 3. Namely how origin characters had much more interesting story/plot beats than player-made characters in Divinity: Original Sin 2. Do you have any plans in place to combat this and give player made characters more agency/story beats in Baldur's Gate 3?

  8. Will all possible companions be available as Origin character options or will there be companions available only as NPCs?

  9. There have been concerns that some aspects of the game, from what has been seen, feel too clean and or feels too much like D:OS 1/2 (i.e. characters not having a certain air of grit or grime about them despite the circumstances) and does not fit the darker themes that have been a part of the Baldur's Gate series. Do you plan on addressing this as you continue to work the overall aesthetics throughout early access and into release?

  10. Writing and storytelling is a major point of contention in discussions surrounding Baldur's Gate 3. While there has been speculation about the plot, the player responses when interacting with other NPCs have been specifically noticed. Many agree that the first person, past tense style of the writing is jarring and breaks immersion. Is this the style you wish to continue forward with or is this still being worked on?

  11. The demo gameplay demonstrated a very strong buff to bonus actions compared to the 5e rules. This seems to break or make other aspects of the game less desirable, especially when concerning the balance of classes. The Cunning Action from the Rogue class becomes largely invalidated when all classes can dash, disengage, or hide with a bonus actions. Is this an issue you are aware of or has there been something lost in translation and this is not an issue?

  12. When you mentioned that loot will be static, is that only for magical items or is that for all items? Following this, will all magical items be know upon finding them or will a player have to use the Identify spell or something similar to discover the magical qualities an item holds?

  13. There has been concern about the team initiative showcased in the demo. Specifically with how this greatly favors whoever goes first and is able to Alpha Strike their enemy, which worries people that this will cause combat to be too one-sided. Is the plan to continue with Group initiative alone or do you plan on adding individual initiative as an option, at least for single player?

  14. How will Camp work in Multiplayer? Will we still be able to interact with each other?

  15. The original Baldur's Gate games were somewhat of a departure from classic D&D in that they focused on a specific protagonist, while party members were more or less just tagging along. Will the story of Baldur's Gate 3 eventually grant special significance to the player character or is it purely a tale of a gang of adventurers who have been uniquely effected by the Illithid "tadpoles"?

  16. It has been previously stated that Larian has been working with Wizards of the Coast to make Baldur's Gate 3 a close approximation of 5e. Will any of the new material created by Larian eventually he adopted by Wizards of the Coast in future source books (e.g races that are playable in Baldur's Gate 3 but are not official in 5e)? Did Wizards of the Coast encourage Larian to use materials not yet available to the public?

  17. And finally, less specifically about what has been seen so far: What makes Baldur's Gate for you, personally? What are its qualities that resonate with you?

Thank you again for the time you are taking for this AMA!

Larian_Swen510 karma


While it’s not going to be in EA immediately, the features and mechanics that allow a character to perform an action as a reaction will trigger automatically. The players will be able to control which reactions they want to enable in anticipation of enemy actions. E.g. a wizard would disable their Attack of Opportunity but enable their Shield spell, which will be cast automatically whenever the wizard is targeted by an attack or Magic Missile spell.


We don’t have grappling, but we have shoving. Extra attack will work like in 5e (though a bit less limiting). You currently can’t actively ready an action, but you can select which one of your reactions can trigger during the enemy turn. We’re not doing auto-casting. Ammunition is there for things that are special ammo. Spell components are only present on spells that require expensive materials as a balancing tool.


Yes – we actually started with a more mundane version that but it didn’t work that well and made it harder to read which is why to give it some extra flash.


HB/MM/DMG are the base we are starting from but we are taking material from other books too.


We’re planning a mixture of magic items from published DnD materials and some homebrew items of similar complexity and power level.


The small portion of the adventure we’ve shown takes place many miles East of Baldur’s Gate, and the initial journey will take players along the banks of the river Chionthar, and surrounding wilderness and settlements, toward BG and the coast. You won’t be walking the whole way to BG in real-time, so there will be several large, open regions. Later, you’ll visit the city of Baldur’s Gate itself, of course. Other places I’m not going to spoil for you because discovery and exploration are part of the joy.


This is our campaign, but it's absolutely your adventure. The small amount of gameplay we've shown so far, focused on one of our origin characters, but whether you roll a custom or origin character, the choices you make and the actions you take carry the same weight. In Baldur’s Gate 3, ‘origin characters’ are basically fully-fledged companions, that you can optionally play. BG 1 & 2 had companions with intricate, unique backstories and quests, and our origin system allows us to give you the choice of getting even closer to those stories by roleplaying as characters that also act as companions. Even if you’re not playing as an origin, you can explore their backstories and personal quests by having them in your party. Just as with a custom character, you’re still deciding how those characters behave, how their story unfolds, and how they interact with the world and the party.

Custom characters will see the world react to them based on their chosen race, class and background..Creating a character gives a sense of who you are, but the heart of the game’s reactivity is based on what you do after character creation.

A very practical example of how custom characters are tied to the story is the fact that the game identifies and recognises them as Baldurians. Given the importance of the city in the game (in its own way BG is very much one of the game’s protagonists -or antagonists depending on your perspective and how events unfold), making it the players’ home makes the place and the stakes you’re fighting for feel very personal. (It should be noted though that player characters from the Underdark or other places - githyanki and drow for example - have their own unique experiences and backstory in the world, as you’d expect).


We are trying to make all characters with backstory available as origin characters. Other than that, you will be able to recruit generic mercenaries and customize these. We’re also planning to allow you to build a custom party from the character creation screen though that most likely won’t be present in early access from the get go.


Yes. We actually have an entire system in development for grit and grime that adapts to circumstance. But it’s not ready yet. When it comes to world and story we aim for a broad spectrum. It can get very very dark but there are also moments of brightness.


There’s several reasons we’re doing it this way. Of course there are story reasons but it also allows you to get closer to your character; their thoughts, their feelings and moments of introspection allowing you to truly understand their motivations. We’ve experimented with several styles when starting development but this was the one that at the end of the day stood out and we’re actually quite excited by what we can do with it. It turned out to be an excellent way of allowing players to tell their own story and role-play their character on a deeper level. I think it’s a wonderful tool for role-playing and story telling and when you’re playing it’s like you’re narrating your own adventure.


We’d like to allow the players to combo small common-sense bonus actions with full actions. From the mentioned Dash and Hide still require a full action while Disengage is merged with Jump as a bonus action. We are aware of the effect this has on Rogues and are looking into ways of keeping them appealing and viable.


Identify is going to be in. And I did indeed mean magical items.


One of the big themes of BG3 is the focus on party over individuals. As we were trying to encourage more cooperation between party members in combat, we had the idea to let them share their turn for total tactical coherence. Additionally, it provides a more comfortable co-op experience.

The introduction of the common party turns naturally leads to the changes for the initiative system - we need to compare the initiative of groups of characters instead of individuals. We have considered several ways to do that, some more complex than others, and for EA we’re going with taking the highest initiative roll outcome in the party or NPC group.

We chose this way because we want to explore the mechanical subtheme of allowing the entire party to benefit from each member’s personal excellence in some area. The same way an eloquent Bard can lead their entire party through a tough dialogue check, a swift Rogue should be able to give their party the best shot at going first in combat. On top of that, this way of resolving team initiative opens the way for the player to scout out the enemy with the top initiative and neutralize them before entering the combat

However, all of that said, it is something we are still working on and experimenting with. If we find it doesn’t work as well as we hope, we’ll tinker with it. It’s one of the things we’ll figure out during Early Access.


We’ll demo multiplayer at a later stage, but the camp is certainly an important part of BG3.


Each avatar will be granted special significance and that significance will be based on player agency. There are many possible fates waiting for you.


That’s really a question for WOTC.


I replayed BG1 & 2 when we started on this and the same things that stood out back then still stand out today: The sense of being on an epic quest with a party of interesting companions which I need to keep happy, the promise that there’s something to be discovered everywhere I go, the sense that I’m someone special in this world and make a difference and a lot of “oh that’s cool”. I think I appreciated it even more now than I did back in the days.

Curufean123 karma

Will there be any connection between the story of Baldurs gate 1/2/tob and Baldurs gate 3?

Larian_Swen364 karma

We really don’t want to spoil anything but we wouldn’t call it Baldur’s Gate 3 if there wouldn’t be a link. Let me just say that we touch upon the story of BG 1 & 2 in meaningful ways, there are returning characters and what happened in BG 1/2/tob leads to what happens into BG3. You won’t necessarily see that at the start of the adventure but you will quickly understand once you get further into the game.

InnerConsequence396 karma

Is there a date set for early access?

Disfraz_146 karma

Pretty sure the response is gonna be "When it's ready"

InnerConsequence327 karma

Never know. The Larian Gazette said “you have questions, we have answers” and that my friend, is a good question lol

Larian_Swen138 karma

I always thought when it's ready is a pretty good answer.

racinghedgehogs51 karma

Is the 3rd person narration of dialogue going to be how the player character expresses themselves the entire game, or is it going to sunset at some plot point? If it is throughout the game what made you decide on that style rather than having the character just state their lines?

JamieA93o36 karma

For those unfamilar with the Baulders Gate series, what would you say is the defining difference between the upcoming Baulders Gate 3 and the Divinity series?

Larian_Swen58 karma

The level of immersion. From the narrative to the depth of the systems and mechanics, we’ve never made a game before that brings you closer to its characters, and offers more tools to the players to define the story they way you can in BG3. This is really core and the new version of our engine has allowed us to make huge leaps in every area of development. Not to mention it’s also using an entirely different rule-set, in an entirely different setting, of course. And it's lot darker. You can do some really terrible things.

louxdobbs9 karma

My question doesn't come from a place of criticism just curiousity. What was the reason in having the combat be more akin to D:OS (taking turns) as opposed to Baldur's Gate 1&2 (having a combat wide pause, plan accordingly, then unpausing to let shit hit the fan and adjusting)?

Larian_Swen29 karma

From the start we wanted to stay as close to Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition as we could. Making combat turn based felt only natural given that Dungeons and Dragons is turn based by nature. It allows us to replicate the same high stakes combat experience as the tabletop game while still giving players exact control over what happens on the battlefield

The type of world and game we are building, allows for so much that you really need the control. Think of the environment, all the interaction, the systemics you can use against themselves, all of this combined with the actions and spells of DND, you need careful planning, setting up and executing. That works really well in turn based.

Knowing that it’s turn based also allows us to make every combat moment feel unique and very different from the previous fights. You get lot of diversity and we can make each encounter a real challenge.

Combined with all of this, turn based gives each person playing a greater sense of control, strategy, and agency.

And on top of that, turn based works very well in multiplayer.