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the cast of baldurs gate 3
Image via Larian

10 Baldur’s Gate 3 Rules and Mechanics That Dungeons & Dragons 5e Needs

Here are some great Baldur's Gate 3 rules and mechanics that would make the average DnD 5e game more fun.

While a lot of D&D 5e rules are there for a reason, some of them could use a little improvement, and Larian did exactly that with the Baldur’s Gate 3 ruleset. There are a lot of neat little mechanics that can improve the TTRPG experience.

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Here are my top 10 Baldur’s Gate 3 rules and mechanics that Dungeons & Dragons 5e Needs.

Top 10 Baldur’s Gate 3 Rules We Need in Dungeons & Dragons 5e

Unique Weapon Skills

One of the mechanics I like the most about Baldur’s Gate 3 is that almost every mundane weapon feels special to use with the weapon skill system. This is a problem D&D 5e has had for a while, where weapons all feel the same.

In BG3, Daggers can lacerate, causing you to take damage over time, Greataxes can hit multiple enemies at the same time, Polearms allow you to charge, etc. Introducing unique special abilities for each weapon category can go a long way to making martial classes like Fighters and Barbarians feel more fun and comparable to caster classes.

sarevok the massive armored humanoid warrior in baldurs gate 3
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Casting Misty Step and Other Spells on the Same Turn

Doesn’t it just suck when you’re in a sticky situation with your Wizard or Sorcerer, and you have to choose between dropping a powerful spell or Misty Stepping away? In D&D 5e, you cannot cast a leveled spell as a Bonus Action if you’ve cast a leveled spell as your Action.

When it comes to Misty Step, this doesn’t make that much of a difference balance-wise. Therefore, it would feel much better if Misty Step ignored this rule, and you could escape with your Wizard after Fireball. You’re still spending two slots but the gameplay and movement become much more dynamic.

Bonus Action for Potions and Oils

I don’t know about your table and the players you DM for, but my players are always walking around with tons of potions and weapon oils without using them. This is because the whole Action requirement to use them slows the game and makes them feel like they wasted a turn.

In turn, no matter how many interesting potions and consumables I put in the game for them to find, they never use them. Making actions like drinking a potion and applying magical oils to weapons a Bonus Action like in BG3 would elevate D&D 5e combat and promote creativity. Sure, chugging HP every turn makes the players more powerful, but then you can lower the amount of potions you give them and beef up your monsters and encounters. It’s more fun for both sides.

Monk Rebalancing

I find that the Monk is one of the most interesting and fun classes to play in D&D 5e. The problem is that all of their cool abilities cost a lot of Ki points, which you quickly run out of. Larian’s decision to beef up the Monk ki pool and various ways to regenerate it without Short Rests is something the D&D 5e Monks badly need. The class is already great, and we just need to give them more resources to use their fun abilities.

githyanki monk crossing her arms in baldurs gate 3
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Using Abilities After You See the Result

This is a minor tweak but I really like how Reckless Attack and Bardic inspiration work in BG3. Essentially, you get to see what you rolled first and then decide whether you want to use features like this. In D&D 5e, you have to announce them beforehand where you might not have even needed them. This exposes your Barbarian or wastes a Bardic Inspiration charge for nothing. The video game versions are much more player-friendly.

Shortening Short Rests

While we all understand why Short Rests are instantaneous in BG3 due to video game mechanics, this obviously doesn’t port well to the TTRPG. But there is still this apprehension about Short Rest in the tabletop version as it takes one hour and effectively stops the pacing and drama of, for example, dungeon crawling.

This is actually harmful to classes like Warlocks and Monks since their main resources are tied to Short Rests. Reducing short rests to half an hour or even 15 minutes would do wonders for pacing in the TTRPG and even encourage it. The system still remains balanced due to Hit Dice, and players can still get ambushed. It’s just a small quality-of-life improvement in BG3.

Making Roleplay Spells Last Longer

Another thing that kills pacing in the TTRPG is having to stop all the time to cast ritual roleplay spells like Speak With Animals and Water Walk. We already don’t want to use spell slots on these that much and the 10-minute or 1-hour duration along with the +10 minute ritual casting time can bog down the game in dungeon crawls. It wouldn’t hinder the balance that much to just make the TTRPG versions of these roleplay spells last until the Long Rest like in the video game.

Elemental Interactions and Status Effects

a baldurs gate 3 wizard using a projectile fire spell
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Baldur’s Gate 3 is filled with status effects corresponding to specific elements like Burning, Shocked, Chilled, etc. Each of them is applied either through spells, terrain, or other elemental effects and they all interact with one another. This would be a neat mechanic to port over to the D&D 5e ruleset since there’s a lack of official rules on elemental interactions.

For example, when enemies are Wet in the video game, they take more Lightning damage. Small elemental rule interactions like this would make the spell system much more dynamic and encourage creative play. One player could perhaps run up to the BBEG to douse them in the water while the Sorcerer readies Lightning Bolt.

Guidance and Bardic Inspiration as a Reaction

The Guidance Cantrip in D&D 5e is quite awkward to use. You need to announce casting it a minute or less before some other players use it to enhance their skill check. In most campaigns, this means that players will either forget to use it or it’ll be too late to use it for a mid-skill check.

The forgetting part even applies to Bard’s Bardic Inspiration feature, which must also be cast beforehand. An easy fix is to make it work, as in Baldur’s Gate 3, where it’s a reaction. That way, at least, the player can remember to ask for it if they fail a roll.

More Rules for Trading and Magic Item Prices

While the Dungeon Master’s Guide contains a lot of awesome and exciting magic items, we don’t have a price system for any of them. Dungeon Masters are left to create their own homebrew systems and make up prices on the fly when they want to create a magic shop. On the other hand, Baldur’s Gate 3 has a decent simplified trading and price system for all magic items, scrolls, potions, and even trading discounts.

It would be incredibly easy to just port that over to the TTRPG. This would do wonders to increase the value and perception of gold for D&D players. Granted, we shouldn’t oversaturate our players with magic items like in the video game because this power balance doesn’t transfer well in the TTRPG. But just giving DMs and players a general idea of how much magical gear costs instead of just a rarity system would elevate trade and loot.

That concludes my article on the top 10 Baldur’s Gate 3 rules and mechanics that Dungeons & Dragons 5e badly needs. For more BG3 content, check out the top 10 D&D subclasses we need in the BG3 DLC, as well as more underrated games inspired by Dungeons and Dragons.

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Gordan Perisic
From playing RPGs and dungeon mastering for his D&D group to reading novels and scribbling about his fantasy setting, Gordan is a full-time nerd and devoted writer for GameSkinny. He loves to overshare and discuss literature, music, animation, and trees with fellow geeks. Also, he may or may not cook too much food for his friends. Cholesterol is one hell of a drug.