Baldur's Gate 3 Catch-All

Well, yes, obviously. RNGesus is a lot like ancient Greek Gods, in that even when they're helping humanity, they're actively antagonizing them.

For instance, the aforementioned Paladin? When my metamagic'd "70% to work" Hold Person spell finally DID work on the 11th try, Karlach immediately got a Critical Miss on her attack against the dude and then their mage hit her with Hold Person.

Taking out mages and hybrid casters in round 1 is a good idea. The longer they're in play the more likely you'll get hit with Fear/Hold or some other cc spell. Or a nasty fireball. Astarion as Rogue is pretty good for this - whether as Thief or Assassin build, use his cunning action Dash to get into their backline and focus them down.

That Paladin was a tough fight. I remember he incapacitated a party member because he survived 2 rounds of combat and smited the daylights out of whoever that was. I feel other than incapacitating a Paladin with cc, you need to use temporary hit points to buffer enough survivability to survive their first round smites, then focus them down.

Bfgp wrote:

Taking out mages and hybrid casters in round 1 is a good idea.

Oh dude, I'm a Shadowrun fan. "Geek the Mage First" is religion.

I'm still figuring out my various party compositions. I'm someone who likes to regularly swap in/out party members so I get to run through the game with all of em', but as I'm a Sorceror, I find myself heavily leaning towards a Me/Shadowheart/Astarion and either Karlach/Lae'zel party composition, thus leaving out Gale and Wyll.

Without delving too far into Pathfinder-style build nonsense, can anyone recommend some good multi-classing guides though? We're all already Level 4 or 5 now, and I feel like I should start considering it now if I want to.

EDIT: nvm, cRPG Bro's got me covered, at least for ideas and ways to go.

Prederick wrote:

Well, yes, obviously. RNGesus is a lot like ancient Greek Gods, in that even when they're helping humanity, they're actively antagonizing them.

There are those of us who know his real name. You still hear it whispered in the darkest corners of the internet.

Nuffle

It's totally inefficient but I love starting fights with twinned Crown of Madness.

A thought on the music (link to instagram)

You can easily finish BG3 with zero multiclassing as the class kits are pretty good in and of themselves. Some specialisations are better with no multiclass or have such substantial tradeoffs you have to seriously think about it.

For example, my Ranger Tav. I was playing as a Beastmaster for a bit. Your pet scales with your Beastmaster levels so multiclassing weakens your pet's scaling. A similar issue happens with casters and the loss of access to level 6 spells.

That said, a lot of people dip 1-2 warlock for the superior cantrip (Eldritch Blast which scales with caster level, not warlock level) and the devil sight (can see through magical darkness so you can impose disadvantage and gain advantage with the Darkness spell).

Other common multiclass dips:

- 2 Fighter for medium armour proficiency but more importantly Action Surge (I'm sure you've seen how useful it is with La'ziel)

- 3 Rogue for Thief (Fast Hands = extra bonus action can be used as an extra offhand attack for dual wielders) or Assassin (Gloomstalker, Shadow monk or any other stealth build for auto crit on Round 1 of surprised combat)

- 6 College of Swords Bard for its flourishes (extra attacks per round)

There are also spore Druid dips etc. The multiclassing rabbit hole is deep in BG3!

Reached the creche, and Githyanki with facial hair look weird.

Finally reached Act 3 and the city of Baldur's Gate this weekend.

I think it might be favourite area in the game. Like other areas of the game (like the Underdark), it's actually quite small... but it does a really good job of disguising this fact. It also feels like a real city; it feels organic and a bit messy.

Getting in to the city proper was tough. So tough, in fact, that I looked up a solution involving a particular party member that allowed me to walk in. However, I rolled back a save to see if I could fight my way in. I could, but it required many attempts and a lot of shameless save-scumming.

My eventual strategy involved...

Spoiler:

(1) 'Hunger of Hadar' on the Steel Watcher and three of the guards. (2) 'Hold Monster' on the Steel Watcher. He was a right bastard. (3) 'Grease' on three guards whilst they were in 'Hunger of Hadar'. Then a war of attrition to burn down each of the enemies in turn.

But it still took me two hours!

Now that I'm in Baldur's Gate, and with about 55 hours invested, I feel I have to voice a heresy. I wonder... just wonder, whether there might be too much story in this game.

All of my party seems to have backstories and goals that go on for ever. I kind of long for a party member who - when I engage them in conversation simply says, "No, don't worry about me. I don't need anything; I'm good now." In real life, most peoples lives aren't this damned complicated!

The stories continue to be really good. And the writing - the dialogue - continues to be excellent. But I'm starting to feel a bit fatigued by it all. And I really want to see my list of outstanding quests getting shorter now!

One of my complaints about Divinity: Original Sin 2 was that Larian packed so many, massive world ending plot finales into the final area it all got a little overwhelming and then a bit numbing.

BG3 isn’t nearly as bad, but it’s not far off. It’s also quite glaring there are several areas where Larian were clearly intending to have more content (the steel watcher foundry, the Upper City area) but ran out of time to implement properly. The whole lack of access to the Upper city there is glaringly obvious. I think the unevenness of the companion quests also draws this out. Gale / Karlach’s endings just sort of happen, there are multiple stages you have to actively seek out for Asterion, Shadowheart and Lae’Zel (assuming you’re following that choice)

It sometimes feel like too much. The two ‘optional’ unique scenarios on top

Spoiler:

The House of Hope and the Iron Throne

don’t help. Although they are both some of the best parts of the game!

Sorbicol wrote:

One of my complaints about Divinity: Original Sin 2 was that Larian packed so many, massive world ending plot finales into the final area it all got a little overwhelming and then a bit numbing.

My biggest Larian complaint is the number of containers that I need to check out they put in every game.

It's obviously intended for more than one playthrough. Completionist is not the way to go on your first run. Seriously. Leave some stuff for later.

Robear wrote:

It's obviously intended for more than one playthrough. Completionist is not the way to go on your first run. Seriously. Leave some stuff for later. :-)

And yet, we know that most people don't finish the games that they start playing... let alone start a second playthrough.

The statistics tend to be old and the survey methodologies that provide them aren't the most robust, but they are consistent. Only 10-20% of all games ever get played to completion. An old Engadget article quoted a Bioware developer as saying that the figure was around 40% for RPGs.

What I think will put off BG3 players is the amount of combat grind required on a second playthrough in order to get to the bits where the player discovers something new or makes a meaningful different choice. Unless one can skip battles, then one is still at the mercy of (karmic) RNG.

And there are some sections that are very combat heavy. Moonrise Towers is one that springs to mind.

Spoiler:

You have to fight your way in, fight your way up... then fight your way down and through.. in order to get to the final fight... which has two phases. I'd argue that there are three significant conversations in that area.

I don't know what - if anything - could be done to reduce the time commitment required. I'm assuming that players undertaking second and third playthroughs are doing things to bring their playtimes down. I'd love to know what those are.

Right now, I'm assuming that players are choosing different starting classes and/or building characters in different ways or doing Evil/Renegade routes.

I have two playthroughs (one coop and one single player) and as someone who almost never replays, I'm pretty impressed with how easy this game is to replay. I might even do a third run as a dark urge lol.

detroit20 wrote:

And yet, we know that most people don't finish the games that they start playing... let alone start a second playthrough.

DonT' J uDGE mEe!!1!111

It is unlikely that I finish my first playthrough. I got to the start of Act 3 then had back-to-back-to-back business travel and have no idea what I was doing. It is possible I can pick this back up but I know myself, it is very unlikely.

So, thinking about a second playthrough and (this gets to @detroit20's point) the sheer amount of time getting through the start of the game (which I've already seen 5-6 times due to restartitis) is daunting. Maybe I just wait a bit and come back next year.

detroit20 wrote:

What I think will put off BG3 players is the amount of combat grind required on a second playthrough in order to get to the bits where the player discovers something new or makes a meaningful different choice. Unless one can skip battles, then one is still at the mercy of (karmic) RNG.

This is why my replays are generally filled with a ton of blatant, unrepentant cheating.

Annoying, grind-y fight to get through? Not after I gave my tav 26 in every stat!

Mmm I'm struggling to pick up my playthrough in Act 3.

Too many games competing for attention on Games Pass I need to get to this year...Starfield, Dune, Lamplighters, and most recently Wartales. Most lately City Skylines 2 has me working on reiterating city layouts. It's relaxing enough, I don't have to worry about whether I closed a quest line or more by not doing X etc.

Act 2 kinda burned me out? I felt it drag on a little. It got to the point any new item was good but ultimately more numbers on a spreadsheet. There's a similar impression in WOTR when you start seeing +4 and +5 items on the regular; but here it's the +3 items.

Mmm.

So, I'm fully enjoying the game, I want to make that clear. However, as I just reached the Underdark this weekend, there's a little burr in my head right now considering a restart and doing my first playthrough as Dark Urge.

I know most things I've seen written about it online say to save it for the second go-round, but the thing is, everything I've read also indicates that it's so, so much richer, more interesting and deeper than an ordinary Tav playthrough. And if I have any criticism of the game thus far, it's that, as opposed to Pathfinder, my Tav and their story doesn't feel anywhere near as interesting as the companions.

And since I'm not even through the Underdark, this would probably be a decent time to restart, as I wouldn't feel like I have a TON of stuff to churn through to catch back up to where I was.

Plus, I did the same thing in my Pathfinder playthrough, after roughly the same amount of play time (in that case, I ended up restarting after Kenabres, albeit that was because there was too much class overlap between me and Woljif).

EDIT: ....reading this, I've already made the decision and am just looking for someone to co-sign it, aren't I?

Bfgp wrote:

Mmm I'm struggling to pick up my playthrough in Act 3.

Too many games competing for attention on Games Pass I need to get to this year...Starfield, Dune, Lamplighters, and most recently Wartales. Most lately City Skylines 2 has me working on reiterating city layouts. It's relaxing enough, I don't have to worry about whether I closed a quest line or more by not doing X etc.

Act 2 kinda burned me out? I felt it drag on a little. It got to the point any new item was good but ultimately more numbers on a spreadsheet. There's a similar impression in WOTR when you start seeing +4 and +5 items on the regular; but here it's the +3 items.

You made if farther than I before I succumbed to the urge to play a new game. Thing is my playtime on Steam is 41 hours so I actually got a really great deal in "dollars for hours of entertainment" so I am not unhappy.

Prederick wrote:

Mmm.

So, I'm fully enjoying the game, I want to make that clear. However, as I just reached the Underdark this weekend, there's a little burr in my head right now considering a restart and doing my first playthrough as Dark Urge.

I know most things I've seen written about it online say to save it for the second go-round, but the thing is, everything I've read also indicates that it's so, so much richer, more interesting and deeper than an ordinary Tav playthrough. And if I have any criticism of the game thus far, it's that, as opposed to Pathfinder, my Tav and their story doesn't feel anywhere near as interesting as the companions.

And since I'm not even through the Underdark, this would probably be a decent time to restart, as I wouldn't feel like I have a TON of stuff to churn through to catch back up to where I was.

Plus, I did the same thing in my Pathfinder playthrough, after roughly the same amount of play time (in that case, I ended up restarting after Kenabres, albeit that was because there was too much class overlap between me and Woljif).

EDIT: ....reading this, I've already made the decision and am just looking for someone to co-sign it, aren't I?

Don't do this. You'll get far more out of a Dark Urge playthrough having witnessed everything first than you will if you restart.

I did Dark Urge the first time through and thought it added some needed drama to my characters story personally. Just save before resting...

farley3k wrote:
Bfgp wrote:

Mmm I'm struggling to pick up my playthrough in Act 3.

Too many games competing for attention on Games Pass I need to get to this year...Starfield, Dune, Lamplighters, and most recently Wartales. Most lately City Skylines 2 has me working on reiterating city layouts. It's relaxing enough, I don't have to worry about whether I closed a quest line or more by not doing X etc.

Act 2 kinda burned me out? I felt it drag on a little. It got to the point any new item was good but ultimately more numbers on a spreadsheet. There's a similar impression in WOTR when you start seeing +4 and +5 items on the regular; but here it's the +3 items.

You made if farther than I before I succumbed to the urge to play a new game. Thing is my playtime on Steam is 41 hours so I actually got a really great deal in "dollars for hours of entertainment" so I am not unhappy.

Lol I barely made it into Act 2 since I have so little time to play in long chunks.

I think it really speaks to how bombastic 2023 has been for gamers!

I mean, if our real complaint is that BG3 is a shoe-in for GOTY but takes you away from playing other great releases...talk about first world problems

Truly though, I can't think of a recent year in gaming that has delivered hit after hit.

jdzappa wrote:

Lol I barely made it into Act 2 since I have so little time to play in long chunks.

This is why I'm blown away by anyone saying their on their third playthrough already. Like, I pretty much only have time to play this on weekends, so I have no idea where everyone else is finding the time.

But, then again, if I'm going to play a game like this, I want at least 4 hours to plow into it each session, thus necessitating weekend-only play.

Spoiler:

EDIT: Also, going back a bit, love that they're like "Don't backtalk Vlaakith" when you meet her, knowing that players will anyway.

I was genuinely surprised when we got Game Over'd. :lol:

Silly question: I know I can send party members back to camp from anywhere, but can I summon party members to my active group from anywhere?

I have a very tanky group and I am having a problem clearing a combat encounter with them*. I want to bring in Will or Gale to provide some AoE DPS. But I don't want to get to a place where I can go back to camp.

*I was also playing way too late last night.

UpToIsomorphism wrote:

Silly question: I know I can send party members back to camp from anywhere, but can I summon party members to my active group from anywhere?

I don't believe you can do that. Which isn't really a problem, apart from when you're in am area where you can't camp (indicated by the red outline on the mini-map). There are a few of these in Act 2, and it always feels like a faff to have to leave those areas in order to camp and swap party members.

Just out of interest, what's the composition of your party, and roughly where are you in the game? My experience has been that a specialist caster is always essential for precisely the reasons you identify. Also, as the game goes on, one finds oneself facing every larger groups of enemies that themselves contain users of hefty AoE spells.

As a result, my party is almost contains Tav (Bard who is heavy user of spells), Gale and Shadowheart, plus one other. And that 'other' is more often Wyll the Warlock, rather than a Fighter. I struggle to think of many encounters in Act 2, for example, where I'd have been better of with two tanks. Of course, part of that is the fact that I'm not respeccing and optimising my characters; I simply don't have the play-time available to experiment in this way.

I am in Act 2

Spoiler:

In the Temple of Shar. It is the fight after the initial undead Paladins of Shar, with a bunch of stuff that is fire-resistant. Which made me realize how fire-dependent my characters are right now.

Right now, I have my PC (a fighter still using the Zhalk sword from Act 1), Shadowhart (because obv), Asterion (for the traps), and Karlach (because I don't take her around much).

I have tried killing the two big ones first (mostly with arrows from a distance), but I get overwhelmed by the minions (and the thing that makes copies of itself). I thought if I got a spell-caster, I could do some AOE damage to the minions and then try to kill the big guys.

Edit: I don't think the fight is bugged or unfair, I just think I have the wrong crew for it right now.

To be honest, I can't remember that specific fight. They all smoosh together for me after a while. However, from your description, this is the kind of fight that needs crowd control or AoE damage spells.

'Hypnotic Pattern' is pretty good. But I tend to lean heavily on 'Shatter'. Also, I found myself returning to 'Grease' really often.

One other observation I'd make is that - by that point in Act 2 - it really pays to focus your fire, taking out the most powerful enemies completely before moving on to the others. That may be the big ones, but it may not. Sadly, that's where party wipes are useful for learning who to hit first.

That's also where spells like 'Hold Person' and, later, 'Hold Monster' are so valuable. Even if your caster can't keep their Concentration for the full 10 turns, even a few turns it can be enough to wipe out other enemies and the held person takes Critical Hits from any attack from close range.

At the end of the day, with the right rolls any fight is winnable with any party in theory. In practice, few of us have the time to wait for the RNG to allow the infinite monkeys to deliver the complete works of Shakespeare. Hence, swapping party members in-and-out as required. I pretty much only use Astarion for detecting and disarming traps, and for opening locks.

I beat it.

Turns out it was actually

Spoiler:

Balthazar, you know… from Raphael

. So I don’t feel so bad it took me several tries.

If I actually ever approached the fight instead of sneaking and sniping, I could have make my life easier by succeeding at some conversation checks.

But no.

So what I did:

Spoiler:

I ran a party of my PC (a fighter), Shadowhart (healing) La’zel (fighters are op), and Gale (for damage and aoe). Because the big bad casts invisible and would get me in a cycle of hitting and disappearing (and I had no good counter) I dumped every powerful arrow into him with the three non mages and all the best spells with Gale. By the time he was no longer surprised he was dead.

Next was the dog. I had La’zel and Gale work him over while Shadowhart (with Guardian protectors) and PC (with arrows) picked off minions. L and G killed the dog before he could spawn three of himself and I was able to use thunder arrows to keep people from activating the mines. At that point it was just health and damage management until everyone was dead.

Time to long rest and loot tonight!