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Baldur’s Gate III AMA Discusses Connection to Original Games, Character Customization

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Larian Studios today hosted a Reddit AMA, sharing heaps of information about Baldur’s Gate III. Larian founder Swen Vincke, producer David Walgrave, and senior writer Adam Smith were among those participating in the AMA, discussing the game’s story, customization, and gameplay elements.

One of the most interesting tidbits from the AMA was clarification regarding how Baldur’s Gate III connects to the previous two games in the series. Vincke chimed in:

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 (Baldur’s Gate) 1 & 2 in meaningful ways, there are returning characters, and what happened in (Baldur’s Gate 1, 2, and Throne of Bhaal) leads to what happens into (Baldur’s Gate III). You won’t necessarily see that at the start of the adventure, but you will quickly understand once you get further into the game.

Character customization was also touched on at various points during the AMA. Though the team has no plans to implement sliders for specific appearance changes and Baldur’s Gate III is still very much a work in progress, Walgrave said, “Character creation can be as in-depth as you want it to be,” adding later that this game will “have more diversity in creation than in any other game” Larian has created in the past.

The decision to veer off from the real-time combat of past Baldur’s Gate titles with Baldur’s Gate III has left some fans concerned, but Vincke explained the decision had more to do with a desire to strive for more Dungeons & Dragons-like combat. This decision also enabled more control to craft each combat encounter and make it uniquely challenging:

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 (Dungeons & Dragons), you need careful planning, setting up, and executing. That works really well in turn-based.

On the topic of Baldur’s Gate III potentially receiving a Divinity: Original Sin 2-like Game Master / Dungeon Master mode, Smith said that Larian is currently “focusing on developing the game first” but didn’t rule out such a mode entirely.

Larian discussed more details, so make sure to check out the entire AMA.

For more on Baldur’s Gate III, be sure to watch the hour of gameplay from PAX East last month.

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Michael Cripe
Michael joined The Escapist team in 2019 but has been covering games, movies, TV, and music since 2015. When he’s not writing, Michael is probably playing Super Mario Sunshine, Dead Space, The Binding of Isaac, or Doom Eternal. You can follow his news coverage and reviews at The Escapist, but his work has appeared on other sites like OnlySP, Gameranx, and Kansas City’s The Pitch, too. If you’d like to connect and talk about the latest pop-culture news, you can follow Michael on Twitter (@MikeCripe), Instagram (mike_cripe), or LinkedIn if that’s your thing.