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How DnD Made Baldur’s Gate 3 So Hard

Here's why Baldur's Gate 3 is so hard — and DnD is to blame.

It’s one thing to create a rules system for a tactical turn-based game you’re making, but it’s a whole other ordeal to emulate an already existing TTRPG system. Therefore, a lot of challenging aspects of Baldur’s Gate 3 come from its Dungeons & Dragons roots. Here’s how DnD made Baldur’s Gate 3 so hard.

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Why BG3 Is So Hard

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What makes Baldur’s Gate 3 so hard are the TTRPG and, more specifically, the DnD concept of action economy, rules, and specific mechanics you need to learn. When I first started playing DnD, I was awestruck by character creation possibilities and the interactive narrative. Baldur’s Gate 3 emulates that magic quite well, but it also fully ports in the TTRPG rules that are daunting for beginner players.

In Baldur’s Gate 3, you’re getting rules thrown at you from the DnD5e Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide, and the Monster Manual all at once. Yes, it’s all automated, but you’re essentially learning how the entire TTRPG system works while getting shot at and stabbed by goblins. From Advantage/Disadvantage to the different actions you can take and what ability scales with what stat, it’s a whirlwind of rules and mechanics.

But most of all, the nature of DnD combat balancing is based on action economy. The more actions one side can take over the other, the stronger that side usually is. So until you get a lot of different actions you can take from magic items or class abilities, an encounter where you’re outnumbered by goblins can be suddenly devastating. Each goblin can potentially inflict a critical hit. They don’t have 8 HP like in the Monster Manual, and they usually have various abilities or extra bonuses if you’re on Tactician.

How Beginners Can Overcome BG3’s Difficulty

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Besides learning the basic rules, how dice rolling plays out, and how your actions work by reading them in the character menu, here’s what you can also do:

  • Click on enemies and examine their abilities to learn useful mechanics. Perhaps they take more or less damage from a certain damage type.
  • Focus fire enemies because it’s better to kill one enemy as fast as possible to reduce how many turns the opposition can take.
  • Use the Turn-based Tactical Pause to enter Stealth and set up ambushes for a surprise round where only you can act.
  • Learn what gives you Advantage, like knocking enemies Prone or inflicting Fear on them, to increase your chances of success.
  • Long Rest more often because the game has no penalty outside of a limited few scenarios where you will be warned.

These are just some strategies you can try, but what I really like about Baldur’s Gate 3 is that you’ll simply get better by passively learning the rules. You’ll level up, get better abilities, and find plenty of new magic items. The respec option with Withers is free, so you can always experiment with different BG3 builds online.

The important part is to hang in there. Baldur’s Gate 3 might be hard in the beginning when everyone has low HP, but you’ll become a monster as you progress and grasp how everything works. For more Baldur’s Gate 3 content, check out the best early spells.

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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.