What defines you? Is it who you are, or the journey you’re on? In Baldur’s Gate 3, it’s both. Creating a character in Baldur’s Gate 3 isn’t the moment the world decides how to treat you, but it’s the very beginning of the shaping of your story. BG3 is a world with great player agency, and the most important character in that world is you. We’ve created not only a character customization system that allows that player agency to shine, but also a world that constantly reacts to how your character develops.
In BG3 you can start your journey by choosing your race, subrace, background and class. In certain cases you also get to choose a subclass, as perhaps a deity. These choices will ripple out across the story, affecting how you roleplay throughout the game.
You’ll assign points to your 6 abilities(Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma). Then you’ll decide which of the various skills in the game you're proficient with (eg. Acrobatics, Deception, Stealth). Last but not least, you customise your appearance and how your character presents to the world.
Will you be a beast taming mage-breaking charlatan halfling ranger with a toxic frog as a familiar, or a noble githyanki eldritch knight who let herself be seduced by the Absolute, with the ability to psionically drag her enemies towards her. Or, will you go for a more traditional tiefling warlock who made a pact with the devil? The choices are endless!
Our character creation features photorealistic fantasy races, based on 3D scans of actors and models (blemishes and all), selected because their features roughly resembled the direction for each race in the game, as well of course for diversity and variety in the human-like races. Our team spent much of pre-production carefully selecting, scanning, and moulding these scans, to become the base heads for character creation. Launched into Early Access is a total of 150 heads to pick from, across the 16 races & subcraces.
Alena Dubrovina, our Lead Character Artist wanted to shine a light on this. “When cinematic dialogues were introduced for BG3, we realized we needed to make a huge quality leap in our character art. We wanted to make characters look their best and put the bar very high. We had to be very innovative to make such a large range of heads and hit the quality level we wanted.”
“We decided to use scanned faces in our production to create characters that were as realistic as possible. We scanned 40 people of different ages and ethnicity. While scouting for models we focused on features that would fit our fantasy races and we looked for faces that either had something unique about them or were very versatile to fit different characters.
Eventually, we transformed the scanned heads into approximately 150 unique heads of various races that you can see in-game now, and that number will keep growing. Some of the scanned heads kept their features, but others became a starting point for creating new faces. We also used scanned data as a learning resource because there is no better sculptor than nature.”
In Early Access, you’ll choose from 8 races, each with their own selection of subraces. More will be added later, but for now they are as follows:
The most common face to see in Faerûn, humans are known for their tenacity, creativity, and endless capacity for growth. They live fully in the present - making them well suited to the adventuring life - but also plan for the future, striving to leave a lasting legacy.
Githyanki are peerless warriors from the Astral Plane, known for their legendary silver blades and red dragon mounts. They seek the total destruction of mind flayers, whose ancient empire enslaved the githyanki for millennia.
Heirs of the mystical Feywild, high elves value magic in all its forms, and even those who do not study spellcraft can manipulate the Weave.
Wood elves spend their reclusive lives in Faerûn’s forests. Decades of training in archery and camouflage are enhanced by an otherworldly swiftness.
Drow are the result of an ancient schism between the elven deities Corellon Larethian and Lolth. The latters’ treachery drove the drow into the Underdark, where they splintered into warring factions. Seldarine drow can be found seeking allies from all over Faerûn, aiming to settle their conflict with Lolth - and each other - by any means necessary.
Raised by Lolth’s cult in the city of Menzoberranzan, these drow extol the virtues of their corrupt and merciless goddess. Lolth marks her followers with bright red eyes so the Underdark will learn to fear drow on sight.
A touch of the Feywild remains in half-elves with this bloodline, and even those untrained in magic possess a hint of wild power.
Like their wood elf parent, these half-elves have a quickened stride and eye for stealth. Yet many break away from isolation in Faerûn’s forests to explore the rest of the Realms.
Most half-drow result from liaisons between Seldarine drow and surfacers. While half-drow inherit a few magical gifts, they aren’t usually raised in the Underdark.
Gold dwarves are known for their confidence and keen intuition. The culture of their Deep Kingdom values family, ritual, and fine craftsmanship.
Shield dwarves survived a long fall from grace, surrendering many of their ancient kingdoms in wars with goblins and orcs. These losses have lead to a cynical mindset, yet shield dwarves will endure anything to restore their ancestral homelands.
Lightfoot halflings are stealthy but social, travelling all over Faeûn to make names for themselves.
Legends say dwarven blood gave stronghearts their hardiness. Resistant to poison and wellsprings of endurance, these halflings easily hold their own.
Bound to Nessus, the deepest layer of the Hells, these tieflings inherit the ability to wield fire and darkness from the archdevil Asmodeus’ infernal bloodline.
Descended from the archdevil Mephistopheles, these tieflings are gifted with a particular affinity for arcane magic.
Tieflings from Zariel’s bloodline are empowered with martial strength, and can channel searing flame to punish their enemies.
Baldur’s Gate is a vast cultural hub on the Sword Coast, attracting adventurers of extremely varied races and cultures, all of whom are looking to make a name for themselves in the city. In BG3, the NPCs of this world will react to who and what you are - giving you unique opportunities for roleplay based on your selected options in character creation.
For example, prior to the events in BG3, the city of Elturel has just descended into the Nine Hells. So many innocent people, cast without warning into the fire, never to return. The common folk speak of this hideous event with bitterness, with grievance, and with ill-tempered suspicion. So you can imagine that as a Tiefling (a being with an infernal bloodline and fiendish devil-like features) thanks to these world events you may find yourself the subject of mistrust and fear - at least more than the normal amount of suspicion your bloodline instills.
Races more alien to the Sword coast - like the Drow and Githyanki - are so rare to the average NPC that you’ll find their interactions to be unique as well. Of the nearly 600 NPC’s you’ll meet in Act 1 alone, each one draws from their own experiences. Oft defining how they approach a discussion, or situation.
Each of these races represent a staggering amount of narrative and mechanical complexity. In one playthrough as a human, you might be treated with respect and honor. In the next, as a Githyanki, you might have to struggle for those same courtesies with the sharpness of your tongue, or the ferocity of your fists. What race you pick will be foundation for your appearance, but will also give you a bunch of cool racial features including stat increases, skill proficiencies and potential other bonuses.
In EA you’ll have 6 Classes to choose from - Cleric, Fighter, Ranger, Rogue, Warlock and Wizard - each with at least two subclasses to choose from. If you’re unfamiliar with D&D, some classes unlock their subclass early at Level 1 - like the Cleric - while others gain their subclass choice by Level 3.
If you choose a class with access to magic, you’ll be able to select from a number of Cantrips - simple arcane skills you can use to dazzle and destroy your opponents again and again - and Spells - more powerful abilities that you’ll have limited uses of between rests.
Just like your background and race, your class will also give you options in the world with roleplay. NPC’s might recognise the skillset you live your life by, and in turn you’ll gain options in dialogue and unique opportunities your other companions will not have.
Classes evolve as you level up and each class presents plenty of opportunities for customisation. Once you hit level 4 for instance, you’ll get to select from a wide range of feats. Feats represent talents or an area of expertise that give characters special capabilities. They embody training, experience, and abilities beyond what your base class provides.
Within the Appearance tab, you’ll customise the finer details of your character. You can choose from different voice options, alter facial features, hairstyles, colours, and beards. Hair and Eye colour will have multiple “canon” options, but these options can also be ignored and you can just pick whatever you want from all colours available. Finally you can add the finishing touches with a variety of Tattoo and Makeup options. You’ll notice that many subraces have different appearances to each other, which add another layer of variety to the roleplay in your party.
EARLY ACCESS AND BEYOND
Oh boy, do we have SURPRISES for you when you finally start the game. But we’re not going to spoil those. We’ll be expanding Early Access content throughout the campaign and have quite a few extra things up our sleeves, but since this update is about Early Access, we’ll cover those later.
That’s enough about Character Creation for now. We really want you to discover it. We know many of you are very curious about future races that may be added but with 16 races + subraces to pick from we feel like there’s enough content to get you started.
Our early access date is approaching rapidly so you’ll be able to check all of this out yourself very soon!
Q & A
Will Stadia have m&k support and will PC have controller support?
Stadia features a ‘beta’ version of Controller Support, but we suggest playing with a mouse & keyboard if you can for now, while we fine tune the controller for the future. Controller support
will also be coming to PC.
Will the respec option be a one time thing or will it follow us through the game? Can we respec classes and races?
We’re still trying out different ways of introducing respec so you’ll need to have a bit of patience before we’ll answer that question.
Will it be possible to play without romance whatsoever (like companions trying to romance you or each other)?
Who you romance is up to you. It’s completely your choice. You don’t even need to be friends with anyone, and you can reject any advances from characters in the game.
Will the Origin characters have fixed class, or we'll be able to choose one like in DOS2?
Same answer as for the respeccing. We want to make some form of respec available but are still working out what the best way will be.
Will crafting be in the game? If so, to what extent? Will my bag get full of crafting supplies or can I drop them off at camp?
There will be some form of crafting but it will be limited.
When we equip new armor, boots, amulets, rings, capes, do they show on our characters?
Yes as you equip items they will show on characters and appear in game and during dialogues. Rings and Amulets do not appear.
Can I pet the dog (and owlbear)?
Yes you can pet the dog! We highly advise AGAINST petting the owlbear though. As for the owlbear cub? We’ll leave that one a mystery for you to find out...
Will we be able to create a character in Baldur's Gate 3?
Yeah, like this.