Despite only being in early access, Baldur’s Gate 3 is everything fans were hoping for – and more. While everything that you know and expect from a role-playing game that follows the Dungeons & Dragons formula is there, the game offers new mechanics that sets it apart. It follows a modified version of the D&D 5th edition (D&D 5e) tabletop role-playing ruleset, so that naturally explains why things are a bit different this time around.
Whether you’re new to the series or are a recurring player unaware of the new Magic (spell-casting) system, you’ve come to the right place. You can’t go on an adventure in Baldur’s Gate 3 without understanding the basic fundamentals – so we’ve created an easy-to-follow guide for you!
The most important things you need to know about Baldur Gate 3 Spell-Casting
The first thing that you need to know about the Baldur’s Gate 3 magic system is the fact it is extremely essential to the gameplay. While the game does offer you multiple classes, you can’t rely solely on a specific type of gameplay such as being a brute or tank in classes that aren’t meant for it (like fighter for example).
- The classes available at the moment are Cleric, Fighter, Ranger, Rogue, Warlock, and Wizard – but D&D 5e has many other classes so they will most likely be added later on in the development cycle.
- The spell-casting works in this way: There are ‘known’ spells which you can learn and keep in your inventory. But knowing a spell in the game does not mean you can actually use it. That’s where the ‘Prepared Spells’ tab comes in which is limited in comparison to how many spells you can ‘know’ in general.
- Prepared Spells are the ones that you can actually use, so you have to be careful about what spells you move from ‘known’ to ‘prepared’. You cannot change them on the fly, and have to wait for your character to ‘rest’ and in be in the state that you can change major things in your inventory. In which case, you will be able to switch the currently equipped spells.
- The spells are not only just basic attacks to use against your enemies, there’s several variations to the abilities such as those that would enhance your healing, or those that would buff your attacks further, or those that add a different value to your overall character class.
- Character classes such as Fighter that do not have magic abilities still have a system similar to the spell-casting one, in which you have several different types of buffs you can assign to your character called an ‘Action’.
- Both ‘Action’ and ‘Prepared Spells’ can change based on a sub class you choose, such as assassin for Rogue and Archer for Ranger. Some spells suit certain sub classes more than the others. You can also unlock bonus Action slots by picking certain sub classes such as thief.
Now that we have the basics out of the way, you have a decent idea of how the magic system works in the game, and you’ll want to spend a good amount of time researching the different classes and spells, their capabilities and figuring out what combined load-outs will be the best suited for your use. Some are better for ranged attacks, some are better for melee, some have a bit of both – the list goes on. What matter is that you adjust it all to your liking and keep the game’s limitations in mind while you do it.
Besides the magic, the game also has several other differences that sub classes can cause, so don’t make your decisions solely based on your spell and action preferences. Keep in mind that some sub classes will provide you extra abilities such as lockpicking to name a few. So, in case your favorite ability is not available in the lockpick sub-class, it might be worth still selecting it anyway and just adjusting to the magic it does offer you on the side. The learning cycle can take its time but it’s very rewarding in the endgame.
If you’ve read the guide all the way to here, congratulations! Now you have a proper idea of how to play the game and are prepared to embark on your own Baldur’s Gate 3 role-playing adventure.
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