Those who have read an article or two of mine may have realized that I try many multiplayer games. My main philosophy when gaming is that it is an experience that should be shared with those you love. Recently, my spouse was out of town for work, and we played hours of Gloomhaven on PC. However, we immediately began playing Baldur’s Gate 3 (BG3) once he returned. Today, I will explain this title, the difference between BG3 and D&D 5E, and the multiplayer experience.
What is Baldur’s Gate 3?
BG3 takes place 100 years after the second game and after the events of Descent into Avernus. For some background, the holy city Elturel disappeared from the Forgotten realms. It descended into Avernus, the first layer of the Nine Hells. Players take on the role of an adventurer abducted by Illithids and are given unique powers. It is up to the player to overcome corruption or succumb to temptation. Your party will have four characters, and players can play however they want. There is something for everyone between adventuring, looting, combat, and romance. So, gather up your party because it is time to explore the Forgotten Realms.
Baldur’s Gate 3 VS D&D 5E
Larian Studios worked closely with Wizards of the Coast to bring this D&D adventure to the masses. However, BG3 is not an exact copy of D&D 5E. There are many differences between the two, but to keep this from becoming a dissertation, I will keep it brief. Below are the homebrew rules Larian Studios utilized.
Larian Studios Homebrew
- The max level is 12 as opposed to 20.
- HP gained during leveling up is based on the average hit die.
- +2 bonus for high ground and -2 penalty for low ground with ranged attacks.
- Short rests restore half a player’s health, rather than rolling dice.
- Players can short rest twice before a long rest is needed.
- Players cannot ready an action.
- Shoving, jumping, and drinking a potion is a bonus action.
- There is no grappling.
- Weapons have maneuvers that can be used once per short rest.
- No levels of exhaustion.
- There is no attuning to magical items.
- Any player can use a scroll regardless of class.
- There is no dodge action.
I play as a male Half-Orc Gloomstalker ranger, while my spouse is a female Tiefling College of Swords bard. We have teamed up with Karlach and Shadowheart for the most part and have stayed alive reasonably well. We have both appreciated that when one player interacts with an NPC, the choices made are not for both PCs. For example, I have progressed more with Astarion and learned more about his background. In contrast, my spouse and Astarion have more of a surface-level relationship. There is also room for chaos in multiplayer mode. One PC can be talking to an NPC and get a bad vibe from them. So the other PC can get ready to attack if the conversation goes sideways. Inventory management is also seamless; we can swap out items quickly and efficiently in and out of combat. Overall, multiplayer is fun and was well thought out in BG3.
In conclusion, I adore Baldur’s Gate 3. Sometimes I feel like I am playing D&D. There was a portion of the map we wanted to get to, but we could not find a way to traverse it. So what did we do? Cast Feather Fall on the party and use the barbarian to push the other players off a ledge. We eventually made it to our destination. If that does not scream D&D to you, you are missing out. I would recommend BG3 to anyone looking to have some fun from the comfort of their screen.
Odds & Ends
If you want to play BG3, it is now out of early access on PC. Players can find this game on Steam or GOG. PlayStation 5 owners can preorder the game with a September 2nd, 2023 release date. Looking for another fun title with great multiplayer? Check out my article on Gloomhaven.