Baldur's Gate III

From Before I Play
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  • Pay attention to the tooltips for spells to see if they have a "ritual" tag on them--if they do, you can cast them outside of combat for free, meaning there's little to no downside to using certain spells like Detect Thoughts or Talk with Animals, which makes interactions with NPCs a lot more fun. Just be wary of Concentration spells since you can only have one on at a time.
  • There is a lot you can do mechanically that is both useful and not immediately apparent. Furniture can be moved and stacked to climb up on stuff. Pushing and jumping are actions available to everyone and used constantly. Spells or items that spread something on the floor can often be comboed with other spells. Make sure you look over what you have in your bag and around you before just charging into a fight.
  • You can go to and from your camp without resting at any non-combat time, so don't horde junk in your inventory, just send your 50 daggers to your camp til it's time to sell them.
  • As you pick up magic items, keep some decent spare items in the stash for new party members. Doesn't need to be a lot.
  • Don't underestimate the power of bonus actions. Shove and any spell or ability that can be used as a bonus action is well worth using.
  • You can jump as a bonus action if you have moved 3 feet or less - move farther and it costs a normal action
  • By default, each character gets to move and perform one standard action and one bonus action each turn.
  • Throwing a potion applies the affect to everyone in the area, whether it's positive or negative. This applies to healing potions too.
  • You can talk to someone with one character and then switch to another to do other things that the NPC isn't supposed to see you doing.
  • Spoiler for time limits:
    Despite what the game tells you, there isn't an actual time limit except for occasions where someone says something will happen the next day. Long Rest at will.
  • To do non-lethal damage, select the "passives" button at the bottom of the toolbar. Your passives should appear (and likely the only one is non-lethal) which you can then toggle on and off. It is not necessary to unequip weapons.
  • There are animals everywhere and you miss some funny/good interactions and plot by not having speak with animals, so think seriously about having some way of doing it. Some ways are a L2 warlock invocation, druid, bard, ranger, paladin oath, nature cleric. There are potions in a pinch but probably not enough for all the animals you run into.
  • You can increase hotbar size by hitting the + in the lower right; you'll likely end up with a 4 row bar by the end because you'll eventually get a lot of abilities. You can't drag icons from item descriptions but you can hit K and drag the icons from the various ability tabs to your hotbar to populate it. Auto-population options are in the settings if you don't want, say, every potion you pick up to show up on the thing.
  • Use pouches/backpacks to organize your stuff, you can put potions in pouches and drag the bags to your hotbar and open them, just like divinity.
  • Wizards can swap out spells in their spellbook without needing to take a long rest, unlike in the tabletop game.
  • "Speak with Dead" lets you try to talk to any corpse, but only certain ones will actually talk. After you cast it once (succeed or fail), corpses that will talk to you will be highlighted in green, and then you can use the action "Recast Speak with Dead" to use the spell again for free.
  • If you're going to talk to someone that you've just killed via combat, make sure to change your appearance first (via something like Disguise Self), otherwise the corpse will refuse to talk to you and you won't get another chance.
  • If everyone misses the check for a buried chest you can still select the shovel in your inventory, dig blindly, and find it that way. It's usually a few steps ahead but it's pretty forgiving.
  • Camp supplies (food) can be used from the traveler's chest, so send all of that to camp instead of holding on to it.
  • Projectiles including cantrips can be used to activate levers, buttons, etc from a distance.
  • Inspiration points let you redo failed rolls, but you can only have 4 stored at a time. If a character gains inspiration and you're full, then they'll get some bonus xp, but just them. This is what can cause characters to level up at different times.

Levels and classes

  • Proficiency bonus is tied to character level, (+2 for levels 1-4, +3 for levels 5-8, +4 for levels 9-12).
  • Feats are gained at levels 4, 8, and 12 in a class (Fighters also get a bonus feat at 6, and Rogues get one at 10). So, a character going for the Jack of All Trades achievement (one level in each class without respecs) gains no feats.
  • Counterintuitively, damaging Cantrips scale based on character level and not class level. They get a boost at character levels 5 and 11.
  • Single class builds in general are good. You especially want to stick to a single class with the major spell-casters (Cleric/Druid/Sorcerer/Wizard) unless you really know what you're doing.
  • If you're going to multi-class, you need to weigh what each level of an additional class will gain you vs what it will cost you. Like, if your main class gains a big ability at level 9 that you really want, you can take at most 3 levels in additional classes. But some classes or sub-classes are front-loaded with great abilities that absolutely can be worth sacrificing a feat for if they have good synergy with your main class's strengths. As an example, a 3-level dip in Rogue to get the Thief subclass gets you cunning actions, an extra bonus action each turn, and +2-12 damage sneak attacks with finesse and ranged weapons. The extra bonus action is a game-changer for dual-wielders and classes that get a lot out of their bonus actions, and pairs well with the cunning actions (dash, disengage, and hide as bonus actions instead of standard actions), which are good for basically everyone.
  • What order you take the multi-classes in also matters if you care about heavy armor. Because while you get proficiency with all armor types if you start from level 1 as a Fighter or Paladin, if you grab your first Fighter or Paladin level later on it won't give you heavy armor proficiency, only light, medium, and shield proficiencies. Clerics with domains that grant the use of heavy armor do still gain the proficiency if they first take the class later on.
  • Second attacks are based on class level (for the classes that get them) and don't stack, so it's usually best to wait until after you get a second attack to start multi-classing, and tweak the order of your levels later on if it matters for optimization.
  • You can re-spec every character at any time for 100g once you get a character very early at camp so expect to experiment. The only thing you can’t change currently is your appearance and race. Stats, classes, feats are all changeable and mechanically you do character creation again and then level back up to where you were.