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Default Baldur's Gate 3 - Continues the Story from Baldur's Gate

March 13th, 2020, 22:20
Rock Paper Shotgun reports that Baldur's Gate 3 will build up on earlier titles of the series:

Yes, Baldur's Gate 3 will build on the series' existing story, say Larian

Baldur's Gate 3 is well out of the bag now and despite the lengthy gameplay reveal that Larian hosted at PAX East last month I have oh so many questions. So do you lot, it seems. Larian hosted an AMA yesterday to answer them all and though there were a few things they declined to answer, we've mostly rolled well on our Persuasion checks and come out with new details. Most importantly, yes, Baldur's Gate 3 will continue the story from Baldur's Gate and its sequel. It isn't a direct sequel, but Larian say "we wouldn't call it Baldur's Gate 3 if there wouldn't be a link."

That's been a big question from the start. A lot of time has passed since the original Baldur's Gate games developed by BioWare and plenty of time has passed in the Forgotten Realms as well. Larian have hinted previously that we may spot familiar characters but the ways that Baldur's Gate 3's actual plot ties back to the earlier games isn't yet being shared. That hasn't changed much with this new Q&A, but Larian CEO Swen Vincke did at least assure players that they are connected.

"Let me just say that we touch upon the story of BG 1 & 2 in meaningful ways," Vincke says. "There are returning characters and what happened in BG 1/2/[Throne of Bhaal] leads to what happens in 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."

[…]
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March 13th, 2020, 23:33
Of course there are going to be ties to the old games because it would be harder to justify using the name if there weren't.

I still would have preferred they did an original game in the same setting rather than use Baldur's Gate as a title to sell more copies.
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March 14th, 2020, 00:19
I'm known to be a little naive sometimes, but it is hard to believe that they use the name for selling more copies. Just look at them! Maybe as an afterthought sure, but not the primary reason.

I think they are just excited and enthusiastic about gaming and the ability to work on the sequel of their favourite game. They are probably not aware (or don't care) how it is perceived. That is not to say that a separate story might not have been a better choice.
Last edited by ilm; March 14th, 2020 at 11:26.
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March 14th, 2020, 01:11
Some of the cool stuff I found in the AMA

MarcAbaddon
25 points ·
1 day ago

Hi there, and thanks for the AMA. I wanted to focus my questions on gameplay:


Can you say anything about the level cap?

Specific reactions are part of class balancing in 5th editions, are you planning to implement reactions like Counterspell and Uncanny Dodge? If not, what you planning to do with those?

In D:OS every character was able to take more than one action per turn. How generous do you plan to be with additional actions compared to PnP?

Can you tell us anything about itemization? Will magical items be scarce, or will there be a lot to find?

How are you balancing encounters with group initiative? It seems that in many cases the combat would be decided by the initiative roll, how does one side come back into the combat if they get fireballed twice or more times before being able to act?

level 2
Larian_NickP
Larian
50 points ·
1 day ago

We’re planning to cover levels 1 through 10 in full release.

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.

In BG3 we’re going with the same action economy that 5e uses: a character generally can take one Action like attacking an enemy or casting a spell during their turn and move up to their Movement Speed for free. Additionally if they have a Bonus Action, they can do that too. Some classes get access to free additional attacks per turn.

Not like in Original Sin. BG is a different type of game when it comes to loot and item fever. We still want to make treasure exciting, though, and that means a lot of manual work.Treasure has to make sense in the context, and that means hand-placing and hand-creating it. There will be equipment with magical bonuses, but not many - they’ll feel special, and they'll be tailor made.

Verticality and larger scale of combat arenas help us make sure that covering the entire enemy team with AoE is extremely rare. Rushing into the fray is a risky play because if your plan doesn’t work out, you’ll be exposed to enemy retaliation. Additionally we are still experimenting with tweaks to the initiative system. BG3 combat is much higher stakes than in DOS2.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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!
level 2
Larian_Swen
Larian
437 points ·
1 day ago
· edited 1 day ago
Gold2

1

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.

2

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.

3

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.

4

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

5

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

6

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.

7

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).

8

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.

9

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.

10

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.

11

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.

12

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

13

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.

14

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

15

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

16

That’s really a question for WOTC.

17

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.
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March 14th, 2020, 01:46
Originally Posted by ilm View Post
I'm known to be a little naive sometimes, but it is hard to believe that they use the name for selling more copies. Just a look at them! Maybe as an afterthought sure, but not the primary reason.

I think they are just excited and enthusiastic about gaming and the ability to work on the sequel of their favourite game. They are probably not aware (or don't care) how it is perceived. That is not to say that a separate story might not have been a better choice.
I highly doubt Baldur's Gate is their favorite game, though it might be true for some of them. I don't see any BG influence in their prior work.

This is also a high-profile partnership with WotC, so there's zero doubt that money is a major factor here.
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March 14th, 2020, 02:01
Originally Posted by ilm View Post
I think they are just excited and enthusiastic about gaming and the ability to work on the sequel of their favourite game.
I agree.

They are probably not aware (or don't care) how it is perceived. That is not to say that a separate story might not have been a better choice.
I'm sure they're aware of the implications of using the name.
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March 14th, 2020, 04:06
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I highly doubt Baldur's Gate is their favorite game, though it might be true for some of them. I don't see any BG influence in their prior work.
Swen has said that his favorite games of all time are Ultima VII and Ultima Underworld. But who knows for the rest of the employees.
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March 14th, 2020, 05:26
I’m pretty sure that money is a major factor to all dev’s. I’m don’t know how big of fans they are of BG but they have proved to me their fans of isometric party based RPG’s and that’s enough for me.

Are we even sure that in todays gaming landscape that the BG name would be a bigger money maker than the D:OS name.
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March 14th, 2020, 05:28
Originally Posted by Stingray View Post
Swen has said that his favorite games of all time are Ultima VII and Ultima Underworld. But who knows for the rest of the employees.
That makes sense. I can definitely see the U7 influence in Divine Divinity and D:OS.
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March 14th, 2020, 05:37
Originally Posted by sakichop View Post
Are we even sure that in todays gaming landscape that the BG name would be a bigger money maker than the D:OS name.
No, but I'm pretty sure it grabs a lot more attention than an unknown D&D title would.
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March 14th, 2020, 12:11
If they wanted to stay more current and up to date, they should have based it on the live streams of the voice actors who's Kickstarter made over 11 million. I'm happy they went with Forgotten Realms.
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March 14th, 2020, 14:06
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
Even if unneeded, this part re affirms what was already known: it is a deep running core layer design feature.
Now the product is crowdfunded, if people cry, scream enough, if they ask for a knife to slit their throat, it might be changed. It will take a lot.

By design, players are expected to benefit from a strong first round.
Once again, in terms of strategy, usually, this kind of bonuses in UgoIgo, a sort of permanent ambush situation is the result of players strategizing for it.

The most telling part, despite being given this extraordinary advantage by UgoIgo metrics, BG3 will be reported as a difficulty product, players are going to struggle through it.

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.
Or the art of speculating against what is unlikely to happen. An impressively growing in strength trend for now a couple of centuries.

Encounters are not going to be one sided, enemies (part of a group)are going to be designed to survive a first strong round. Players who do not take advantage of the strong first round are going to have a rough day.
There will even be encounters a player starts as if ambushed. Super, uber difficult ones as reported by players.

One consequence is that players will lose the ability to strategize while not having the initiative, what to do. Up to now, in UgoIgo, the issue is rather neutral: a player may get the initiative, she may not.

It will reduce what can be delivered in UgoIgo products.
BG3 is designed around players having the initiative.
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March 14th, 2020, 16:28
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post

BG3 is designed around players having the initiative.
This is what I'm worried about. Attacking first will be paramount and the game will have to be designed around that fact.

Hmm… We'll just have to wait and see. The worst thing that can happen is that it doesn't turn out very good.
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March 14th, 2020, 19:30
I dislike the whole idea with group initiative, I prefer it when the party is based on individuals with different strengths. Don't get me wrong, I'll be buying this game on day 1, but I agree with Chien on what this does to the balancing.
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March 14th, 2020, 23:33
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
This is also a high-profile partnership with WotC, so there's zero doubt that money is a major factor here.
That's a good point. I tend to forget that WotC is closely involved and is looking over their shoulders. I'd assume they would be quite strict but mostly in protecting the ip and enforcing correct use of the rules?
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March 15th, 2020, 01:44
There is a video from RPS as well on youtube that says the level cap of BG3 is going to be 10! That is very disappointing. Even though the rest of the game seems really good.
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March 15th, 2020, 15:36
Originally Posted by gabrielarantest View Post
There is a video from RPS as well on youtube that says the level cap of BG3 is going to be 10! That is very disappointing. Even though the rest of the game seems really good.
The level cap in the original BG was only 7-8 depending on what class you were and 8-10 with the expansion installed.
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March 15th, 2020, 17:20
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
The level cap in the original BG was only 7-8 depending on what class you were and 8-10 with the expansion installed.
Hmmm. Yes, you are correct. However, in more recent games you usually complete the story at least close to lvl 20 (e.g. NWN, NWN 2, PF:K). And since they are "modernizing" BG so much, why not modernize the lvl cap as well? I fear that the story arc may be too short too. And that means we are going to have to wait for BG 4 to complete our character story and development?
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March 15th, 2020, 17:26
I also wish it was a new story and new characters in a similar setting.

When they first announced "Dragon Age" I was optimistic because they were referring to an entire world, a vast place full of characters, factions, environments. Continents, oceans. So I hoped they could do a huge variety of different stories held together under this Age.

But no, it's the same characters, the same Mages vs. the Chantry… basically all the same conflicts in all three games. It makes the world seem super tiny.
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March 16th, 2020, 14:09
Originally Posted by SveNitoR View Post
This is what I'm worried about. Attacking first will be paramount and the game will have to be designed around that fact.

Hmm… We'll just have to wait and see. The worst thing that can happen is that it doesn't turn out very good.
No worries to have, this vid product is GOTY (except a very strong opposition)
System will be deemed so good players are going to be addicted and promote the idea that anything UgoIgo should follow the same model.

Originally Posted by TomRon View Post
I dislike the whole idea with group initiative, I prefer it when the party is based on individuals with different strengths. Don't get me wrong, I'll be buying this game on day 1, .
And in case the streaming gods are generous, this will be watched being streamed before day 1 as streamers receive early keys.
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