Larian Studios

Good morning/evening/whatever time of the day it is to you fine folks.

The reason I am making this topic directly is to address one of my main “problems” with Early Access. Again, I’m going to preface this with I enjoyed the hell out of EA. Honestly I am glad for the EA release, it shows Larian is confident of their work, but also their confidence & respect in the player base. Truly appreciated.

Before we start, I know that this game is still in development. Not everything may be implemented yet. There could be several things that are being held back, to which we are not privy to yet. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the case. But since it isn’t currently present, I feel it is a fair subject to broach.

I don’t want this to seem like a complaint. I enjoyed the hell out of the available content. But it is a concern that I think several people have.

This subject should have it's own topic. It's a big one.

I also know that this game is being made 20 years after the fact from a different developer. But if we’re getting a true sequel to these beloved games, it should FEEL like it’s taking place in the same universe even if it’s 100 years later. So there will be some comparisons. But I will do my best to be fair.

And that problem is my created PC. The one that we must create at the start of EA.

What is the point of this character? For what purpose does it exist?

Immediately at the start of BG1, your PC has a purpose. He’s Gorion’s Ward. There’s some greater purpose that you find out about over the course of the 2 games/expansion. Every action you did felt like you were making for your character. And furthered your story. Whether you embraced your heritage and treated people terribly or rejected it and were the savior of The Sword Coast.

Even though you have “simple” origins, you still have an origin. There is something for you to latch on to and explore their history over the course of these games. At the end of your journey in BG:ToB, your story was finished, you felt like you earned that ending.

I could go on about the created PC in BG1/2 but I don’t think it’s necessary. Most everyone knows the history.

In BGIII, since we cannot select an Origin character, we are forced to create a PC. Don’t get me wrong. I like the character creator. I am looking forward to the full version with all the options available. I also very much enjoy the companion NPC’s. But I can’t help but shake this feeling a big chunk of something is missing. In the original BG2, we are given a brief history of the PC in an opening cinematic, catching us up. You pick up shortly after in a new setting, continuing your story.

The issue in BGIII is the complete opposite. Your PC has almost no identity. Aside from a few spoken lines, you are a complete blank slate. Milquetoast. There is no explanation to show where your character hails from. There's not even a back story to show the events that led up to this game. If you read into the lore, you see the game takes place after Decent Into Avernus. But if I'm a casual BG fan, where are my connecting dots? I feel like another opening cinematic should be added if we create a custom PC giving some kind of back story.

It seems clear from the storytelling thus far that the Illithid are after individuals with special conditions. The companions anyway. It seems like every Tom, Dick and Harry you run into was abducted or touched in some way. Nobody seems “normal”.

The only normal person in this game is my PC. They’re vanilla as it gets. Nothing about my PC feels “special”, or there being a tale worth telling. Quite the contrary. There is no tale. Why were they abducted? What did they do pre-abduction? What are their aspirations? If they have any, they certainly aren’t revealed through the course of EA. Sure, selections can be made to mold the PC a certain way, but a giant piece seems missing. Every one of our companions has a unbelievably crazy back story. That’s fine, I like them all. But where’s my crazy back story?

So my options are select a blank slate or one of these pre-made origin characters. Again, nothing wrong with any of these characters. But they aren’t MINE. The decisions being made by me feel like nothing but choices to move the story along. When you’re using an origin character, that’s fine. But if we’re making a custom character who barely has any dialog, where is the intrigue to keep me going?

We need to feel like our creation is important. Like they have a place in this world. Currently they feel like they did in DoS. A blank slate that makes decisions. A merc for hire, with all the events happening to more interesting characters around us.

Again, maybe this hasn’t been added yet. The game is still a ways out. There’s tons to be added.

Either way, thank you for your time. Happy playing!


Funny you should ask. I just listened to a podcast with an interview with Swen, and that came up.

https://www.usgamer.net/articles/ax...-on-baldurs-gate-3s-early-access-release

Skip to 26:15 for the start of Swen's interview, but the pertinent question is at 33:30. Swen claims that the backstory for the custom character has as much depth as that of any Origin character. At 36:00 he says that the "Who do you dream of" character is a pretty important character, key to the custom character.

That's . . . Intriguing if the dream character is an actual npc and not just a mirage.

Especially since I plan on making the dream character look identical to my PC.

Clonemance is a go.
Originally Posted by odesseiron81

Good morning/evening/whatever time of the day it is to you fine folks.

Immediately at the start of BG1, your PC has a purpose. He’s Gorion’s Ward.

Either way, thank you for your time. Happy playing!



Hi, and I wanted to include your courteous salutations, as I do appreciate them.

I snipped most of your post to concentrate on the most relevant part, and perhaps this is an essential disagreement or difference of style between us.

I intensely dislike pre-rolled characters and/or motivations required by the DM (person or computer). I play the game because I the player want to and hence it is both my responsibility and my privilege to explore/create my character's motivations.

I rather disliked the "chosen by the diety" motivation in past Larian games, purely for that reason.

In BG3, I really like having "holy crap I've been captured and I have to figure it out/escape" as a starting motivation to explore the world. And of course the generic "if I am playing the hero role, then defeating the opponent/bag guy comes with that"

All that being said, I can see clear differences between the PC's and generic townfolk; we run "to danger" they run away (they are not idiots after all, which can be another synonym for hero).

I can confirm that I ran into my "who do you dream of" character while tonight.
Not sure how important they'll wind up being... but it did appear in the game (briefly).
One the one hand, I totally agree with you. Why are these NPC's that you run into willing to say "lead on, I'll just follow you"?
Shadowheart's case, okay, maybe, she does say "it'll be nice to have company for our final hours".
Lae'zel though? Makes no sense for her to follow anyone. Much less some vanilla, level 1 PC. She's an Alpha. A big, bad-a$$ fighter.

It would be nice if there was something... even the NPC's asking "And why should I follow/team-up with you?". Then, have a custom answer based on the background you selected. e.g. Folk Hero - "Because I'm a hero of some reknown and I know this land". Or Criminal - "Because once we get to Baldur's Gate, I've got associates with connections that should make getting rid of this tadpole easy". Outlander: "While I may be a stranger in these lands, I know how to survive. I'll see us safely to a city where we can get help." Etc. Something like that would probably help address your concerns a bit. At least make the character slightly more 3 dimensional.

Then... on the other hand / playing "Devil's advocate".
It's an RPG. The RP being "role playing". So... fill the backstory in yourself! You don't need Larian to hold your hand and spoon-feed you everything, do you?
Let's say you rolled a Wood Elf Cleric. You can imagine that you've been living in the forests for most of your life but you set out to find other Wood elves that had left for the "big city" to take their chances there. You wanted to remind them of the role of the Elven gods, in case they'd strayed. Maybe even bring then back to the woodlands. But, while travelling to the city (BG, Waterdeep, take your pick), you got scooped up in a Nautiloid raid. You've been held in storage on the ship for days when the game opens. Point is... define the backstory for yourself. Figure out a role and then play it! smile

Personally, I don't worry about backstory when I'm playing a Good Hero.

But trying to play an "evil" character... I just can't. :P
Old habits die hard and I just can't bring myself to pick the "evil" option. So I'm going to have to invent a backstory with motivations just to keep me "in character" if I ever want to do an evil playthrough.
This game has major problems, its worse then the divinity games yet gives no nostalgia for BG-BG2 players so it does very little right, I think it will be a year before they get the mechnics to work better and get act 1 done, this game is likely years away from being released fully... this is basically an alpha we'
re playing and its pretty terriable and broken in every key aspect. I'd love to see it go more the rout of
Originally Posted by Crikk
One the one hand, I totally agree with you. Why are these NPC's that you run into willing to say "lead on, I'll just follow you"?
Shadowheart's case, okay, maybe, she does say "it'll be nice to have company for our final hours".
Lae'zel though? Makes no sense for her to follow anyone. Much less some vanilla, level 1 PC. She's an Alpha. A big, bad-a$$ fighter.

<snip>

Personally, I don't worry about backstory when I'm playing a Good Hero.

But trying to play an "evil" character... I just can't. :P
.


To answer your last comment first, I too have trouble wrapping my mind around a truly unkind character. So I don't play them.

As for why does La'zel hang with me? I figured she would like to get herself healed, and make sure the "tadpole" in my head doesn't live...and she doesn't seem to care too much about how that happens. After all... following me she'd be "behind" me.. if ya know what I mean.
1. Keissa the Mouse - born into a poor family Keissa was far smaller then the children her own age and indeed younger then her, yet it didn't stop her from trying to prove she was bigger then others. At a young age she heard a strange voice calling to her in her dreams, as she grew older she activelly sought places away from others. By the time she was 15 she ran away from home chosing to live as a hermit away from all the noise of society. It was during this time that the faceless voice spoke again to her. This Voice was the mad whispers of the Old One, for 3 years Keissa learned to draw upon the Old Ones power, through meditation and a bit of luck. it was shortly after her 18th birthday she was abducted by Mind Flayers, and so her journey to rid herself of that disgusting parasite in her head begins. Well she succomb to ceremorphsis, will she find a cure? Will she fall in battle? What awaits her as she desperately searches for a cure? Only Larian and the Great Old One knows. Will she keep those that she currently travels with close? Or grow tired of them, and their ways? Will she find love? Again only Larian and the Great Old One knows. (oops forgot cleric Keissa was deleted so edited to what Keissa is in BG3.)

2. Brulk Bloodspray - Born to a smith father, and cleric mother. Brulk grew up on, or around Balders Gate ever drawn like many other dwarves to battle. Driven to reclaim the lost Clanholds of his fellow shield dwarves. Brulk was a single minded force hell bent on reclaiming at least one of his Clans former holds from the black blooded runts that reside within it. All this changed when he was captured by Mindflayers and impregnated in the worst possible way. Yet revenge was his after he was freed during an attack by at first unknown forces, fighting his way through the massive ship. Slaughtering any that dared stand in the way of his revenge. With Us beside him, and that annoying bat nose doing what ever the bloody hell she does, Brulk heroically and in true dwarven fashion wrecked that floating tentacle faced fools toy. Later Brulk upon finding squid breath, vanquished his enemy with a size 15 leather boot, spreading what passed as it's brains (fool didn't have one if it thought it could stop a dwarf with a silly tadpole in his eye.) across the ground.

Screw origin stories I just make mine up on the fly! Typed and thought and those are just 2 of my many characters backstory.
Originally Posted by clavis
Screw origin stories I just make mine up on the fly! Typed and thought and those are just 2 of my many characters backstory.


I agree. We already get to choose a background, and the backstory has to be connected to that somehow. So invent your own backstory.


I agree with both sides of this argument to some extent or another. I have no problem headcanoning a backstory for my characters; my Seladrine Drow ranger Yvonnel for instance is a bounty hunter specializing in hunting and killing Lolth-sworn drow who try and make it to the surface for whatever reason. But I also think that the game should do more to help you anchor your character in the world. Even something as simple as what Pillars of Eternity did and giving you the choice to have a conversation with someone about your past would be a satisfying way to do that. And the absence of anything like that honestly just feels worse to me because of the depth and availabilty of multiple origin characters with deep backstories of their own.
Originally Posted by odesseiron81

The issue in BGIII is the complete opposite. Your PC has almost no identity. Aside from a few spoken lines, you are a complete blank slate. Milquetoast. There is no explanation to show where your character hails from. There's not even a back story to show the events that led up to this game. If you read into the lore, you see the game takes place after Decent Into Avernus. But if I'm a casual BG fan, where are my connecting dots? I feel like another opening cinematic should be added if we create a custom PC giving some kind of back story.

It seems clear from the storytelling thus far that the Illithid are after individuals with special conditions. The companions anyway. It seems like every Tom, Dick and Harry you run into was abducted or touched in some way. Nobody seems “normal”.

The only normal person in this game is my PC. They’re vanilla as it gets. Nothing about my PC feels “special”, or there being a tale worth telling. Quite the contrary. There is no tale. Why were they abducted? What did they do pre-abduction? What are their aspirations? If they have any, they certainly aren’t revealed through the course of EA. Sure, selections can be made to mold the PC a certain way, but a giant piece seems missing. Every one of our companions has a unbelievably crazy back story. That’s fine, I like them all. But where’s my crazy back story?

So my options are select a blank slate or one of these pre-made origin characters. Again, nothing wrong with any of these characters. But they aren’t MINE. The decisions being made by me feel like nothing but choices to move the story along. When you’re using an origin character, that’s fine. But if we’re making a custom character who barely has any dialog, where is the intrigue to keep me going?

We need to feel like our creation is important. Like they have a place in this world. Currently they feel like they did in DoS. A blank slate that makes decisions. A merc for hire, with all the events happening to more interesting characters around us.



I believe your feeling of "I'm too much of a blank slate" stems from the fact that this game doesn't start from humble beginnings that you can relate to. It doesn't ground you and relate you to a family, a home, or an organization. It's done partly to accommodate for you to be able to be any kind of character, race, class, etc. (and frankly, the adopted child has been done too many times). You don't need a particularly exciting backstory if you start out in your backstory, and then set out on an adventure. This one you're almost literally just dropped into. Larian did this in both previous games, and I think it's a mistake to start "in medias res".

It is then further amplified by the fact that your dialogue options are intensely devoid of character. The NPC's and companions show great personality, but your dialogue options are entirely toothless. There's a whole slew of fun dialogue options in BG1 and 2 that can give you a sense of character, but the ones we have in this game are so bare bones that it portrays a person with only a semblance of a character, as if the tadpole has already started wiping out any sense of humor and genuine personality. I'm sort of preparing a bigger post on this topic.

I do have to say that I dislike how uniquely weird my companions are. Lae'Zel and Shadowheart are excellent, but Astarion would be better of just being a snob and not a weird sunbathing vampire who wants to either exsanguinate or fuck everything he comes across. Gale's story and accompanied mechanic I absolutely cannot stand. Wyll I never found on my first playthrough. If there is a story reason for why these weirdoes are kidnapped by the mindflayers I guess it's somewhat better, but not by much. I would still prefer party members that have a semblance of normality so I don't have to strain my suspension of disbelief too far and could actually relate to them.


On full release I suspect I will be playing an origin character IF there is one that it's slightly possible to relate to. I suspect and hope that the dialogue options for the origin characters have a bit more meat on the bones than those of a generic character. It'll give me more of a feeling of playing a character than just being an empty shell observing interesting characters and stories going on outside my vacuous mind.
I think after character creation shoud be short cinematisc where you see your past choices or something similar that show who is your character.


I don't have a problem with the companions origins. But I have no connection to the PC, he is a mercenary. Right now you could play the game without your self made main character (3 person party) and would miss nothing at all. Every encounter and every story bit would be the same. Why should the rest even team up with him? What are his goals? ( ... yes yes get right of the brainbug ... this feels like lazy writing).

The companions are trying to overshadow the main character at every interaction (as it is no difference if you or them do the encounter). In divinity it was fine, because every companion was in fact trying to overshadow you or at leased the divinity, who touched them was.

I would like to see a short playable origin story in the beginning to connect with the main character: Start with an origin story like in DA:O (not even as long) for each companion and one for self made characters (something more generic like BG I: for example a orphanage. Candlekeep in the beginning was CHARNAME's origin story)
Give a self made main character a unique quest line. Let the characters in the world react stronger to his reputation, race, class (and unique origion story).

Furthermore give the main character (no matter if it is a origin character or self mad) something special... being a spawn of a god had a nice touch in BG laugh .. and involve him in a special way in the main plot eg give him something which no of the companion can do.

Add non origin companion for a more natural party development in later parts of the story. It's enough to give them some banter and a quest line. You could even make them temporary.
Spoilers, obviously.

Quote
What is the point of this character? For what purpose does it exist?


I think, story-wise, you're very much intended to be a blank slate. You were abducted by mind flayers and implanted with a parasite. *This* is what makes you special. I mean, think about it: one of the first encounters that you can have is with a group of fishermen that have been mind-controlled. If you try this encounter without companions you'll *probably* get your ass handed to you. You're basically a barely-competent adventurer. For that matter: the opening cinematic features the mind flayer ship just snagging every Tom, Dick, and Harry it can off of the street of Baldur's Gate. As far as we know thus far: there's *nothing* special about you, you were just thrust into this situation and have to make the best of it.

That being said: your character doesn't lack distinguishing features and they're not completely "blank." What I've noticed in my multiple playthroughs is that the selections you make at the start of the game are actually fairly impactful RP-wise, much more than I expected them to be. If you're playing as a Githyanki you'll find several skill checks that you simply bypass because your whole species has dedicated themselves to hunting mind flayers, so naturally you know quite a bit about them. If you're a rogue you'll immediately comprehend what's happening when you encounter someone trying to swindle you and be able to call them out on it. Your background, class, and selected skills *do* have an impact to an extent that I certainly didn't anticipate coming into the game.

I will concede that I have the added benefit that as an adult I *have* played a significant amount of D&D now; when I was making my initial character I was able to fully comprehend what I was doing. I *did* play Descent into Avernus, so I immediately recognized the context when places like Elturel and Avernus were mentioned (although the game's canon and our campaign's canon don't appear to have played out the same way). I'll also admit that I absolutely have a habit of creating my own head-canon for characters I make in *any* RPG I play. That means the very same thing that you're complaining about is actually kind of nice for me - I'm not shoe-horned into some backstory that conflicts with the narrative I've got going in my brain. As someone who, during character creation, envisioned my BG3 character as a D&D character that I would want to play I felt *extremely* rewarded when I realized over several runs just how many dialogue options that stuff opens up and I appreciated not being stuffed into some generic backstory that might conflict with the decisions I want to make.

I also want to point out that when I played Divinity 2 I felt like I was missing out by not playing one of the origin characters. You would approach an NPC, they'd have a discussion, you'd move on to the next NPC. As a custom character I had no particularly special storyline and I was basically just opting out of having my own character-specific questline. While I think that the origin characters in BG3 are cool and all, I don't feel put off when it comes to creating a custom character. They're verbose enough with what they're going through and what they need (assuming you take the time to talk to them) that I don't feel as if I *have* to play one to experience their story. Obviously we'll have to see how this plays out with the rest of the game, but as of right now I'm planning to make a custom character for my first playthrough on the full launch which was absolutely *not* the case with Divinity 2 for me.

So I guess the TL;DR is agree to disagree. Obviously I would *very* much like to see the voice lines put in for custom characters because right now I feel like a weirdo that just stares and smiles at people instead of actually *speaking*, but as far as character origins for the custom character go I'm perfectly cool with it.
Originally Posted by KingWilhelm


I don't have a problem with the companions origins. But I have no connection to the PC, he is a mercenary. Right now you could play the game without your self made main character (3 person party) and would miss nothing at all. Every encounter and every story bit would be the same. Why should the rest even team up with him? What are his goals? ( ... yes yes get right of the brainbug ... this feels like lazy writing).

The companions are trying to overshadow the main character at every interaction (as it is no difference if you or them do the encounter). In divinity it was fine, because every companion was in fact trying to overshadow you or at leased the divinity, who touched them was.

I would like to see a short playable origin story in the beginning to connect with the main character: Start with an origin story like in DA:O (not even as long) for each companion and one for self made characters (something more generic like BG I: for example a orphanage. Candlekeep in the beginning was CHARNAME's origin story)
Give a self made main character a unique quest line. Let the characters in the world react stronger to his reputation, race, class (and unique origion story).

Furthermore give the main character (no matter if it is a origin character or self mad) something special... being a spawn of a god had a nice touch in BG laugh .. and involve him in a special way in the main plot eg give him something which no of the companion can do.

Add non origin companion for a more natural party development in later parts of the story. It's enough to give them some banter and a quest line. You could even make them temporary.


nearly every other game has done the whole he's someone special!! routine, thats lazy writing. as for the rest I've already spoke my mind about much of it in another topic it's 3 am. here and my tadpole is snoozing finally.
I fully understand the point, especially in light of the companions who are as edgy and diverse as it gets and the limited amount of notable NPCs you meet and general lack of background and Forgotten Realms fluff. The world building in EA seems very generic and the PC rather bland.

Other RPGs have done the same, like the Elder Scrolls and Fallout series, for example. Your chars don't even have a name. They are the Vault Dweller, the Courier, the Prisoner. And you create the legend around them yourself, while the world itself plays the main part on the stage act until you reach that fame. I recall meeting these possessed bakers, fishermen etc. on the mindflayer ship and thinking that these have more story and background than the PC.

However, as others said, obviously that dream voice, the inside voice and the larva itself foreshadows some larger complications. But yeah, the first act, when compared to BG 1 and especially BG II is extremely lackluster. Just thinking of Irenicus prison and the story bits that unfold around him are menacing and intriguing. And being Gorion's ward gives you a purpose that has little to do, in the first act, with your pedigree.
Originally Posted by Slapstick

It is then further amplified by the fact that your dialogue options are intensely devoid of character. The NPC's and companions show great personality, but your dialogue options are entirely toothless. There's a whole slew of fun dialogue options in BG1 and 2 that can give you a sense of character, but the ones we have in this game are so bare bones that it portrays a person with only a semblance of a character, as if the tadpole has already started wiping out any sense of humor and genuine personality. I'm sort of preparing a bigger post on this topic.


This is a good point. More dialog option to give your character character would be great. It's not only imported what you so but also how you say it.
Originally Posted by Jahnooska
Spoilers, obviously.

Quote
What is the point of this character? For what purpose does it exist?


I think, story-wise, you're very much intended to be a blank slate. You were abducted by mind flayers and implanted with a parasite. *This* is what makes you special. I mean, think about it: one of the first encounters that you can have is with a group of fishermen that have been mind-controlled. If you try this encounter without companions you'll *probably* get your ass handed to you. You're basically a barely-competent adventurer. For that matter: the opening cinematic features the mind flayer ship just snagging every Tom, Dick, and Harry it can off of the street of Baldur's Gate. As far as we know thus far: there's *nothing* special about you, you were just thrust into this situation and have to make the best of it.

That being said: your character doesn't lack distinguishing features and they're not completely "blank." What I've noticed in my multiple playthroughs is that the selections you make at the start of the game are actually fairly impactful RP-wise, much more than I expected them to be. If you're playing as a Githyanki you'll find several skill checks that you simply bypass because your whole species has dedicated themselves to hunting mind flayers, so naturally you know quite a bit about them. If you're a rogue you'll immediately comprehend what's happening when you encounter someone trying to swindle you and be able to call them out on it. Your background, class, and selected skills *do* have an impact to an extent that I certainly didn't anticipate coming into the game.


I feel as though even if they wanted to get across that you're no one special, they could still have done that in a way that helps ground you in the world and who they are more. Like give them a chance to stop and talk about their life before, so that you can get a sense that your character has some kind of history or background you can connect with. The dragon age games all do a better job with that concept; in all those games you play as someone who basically just happened to be at the right place in the right time but they were chock full of opportunities to feel the impact of your character's past while also giving you chances to define details of it and what you actually thought of your past.
Originally Posted by Jahnooska
Spoilers, obviously.

your character doesn't lack distinguishing features and they're not completely "blank." What I've noticed in my multiple playthroughs is that the selections you make at the start of the game are actually fairly impactful RP-wise, much more than I expected them to be. If you're playing as a Githyanki you'll find several skill checks that you simply bypass because your whole species has dedicated themselves to hunting mind flayers, so naturally you know quite a bit about them. If you're a rogue you'll immediately comprehend what's happening when you encounter someone trying to swindle you and be able to call them out on it. Your background, class, and selected skills *do* have an impact to an extent that I certainly didn't anticipate coming into the game..


I'm playing with my spouse, and we tend to try for different skills so as to compliment each other; and this certainly does mean that one of us or the other will have dialogue or action options that the other does not. So yes, I agree that the choices one makes certainly do flesh out later.

I would like to see MORE of them having an effect. Ideally I would like to see... oh let's say at least 3 skill/race/proficiency potential options in every encounter. Also at least good/evil and maybe chaos/law type options. Also humor/dour options. Yeah.. then I suppose there would be complaints that there are too many choices.

Can't please everyone I guess.
Originally Posted by Gray Ghost


I feel as though even if they wanted to get across that you're no one special, they could still have done that in a way that helps ground you in the world and who they are more. Like give them a chance to stop and talk about their life before, so that you can get a sense that your character has some kind of history or background you can connect with. The dragon age games all do a better job with that concept; in all those games you play as someone who basically just happened to be at the right place in the right time but they were chock full of opportunities to feel the impact of your character's past while also giving you chances to define details of it and what you actually thought of your past.



I felt like this when playing yesterday, spoke to Astarion and asked about his history, he went 'Whyyy are you always bringing up the past!!!'. I had hoped this kind of question would lead to the companions having a follow-up question about MY character's past, would have been an opportunity to put some of the story I've made up for them into the game.

I understand it isn't possible to accommodate every single option in the game. However it felt clunky at the Tiefling party when suddenly all the companions want to sleep with you and none of them know basic and vital information about you e.g. favourite colour.
Originally Posted by Newtinmpls
Originally Posted by Jahnooska
Spoilers, obviously.

your character doesn't lack distinguishing features and they're not completely "blank." What I've noticed in my multiple playthroughs is that the selections you make at the start of the game are actually fairly impactful RP-wise, much more than I expected them to be. If you're playing as a Githyanki you'll find several skill checks that you simply bypass because your whole species has dedicated themselves to hunting mind flayers, so naturally you know quite a bit about them. If you're a rogue you'll immediately comprehend what's happening when you encounter someone trying to swindle you and be able to call them out on it. Your background, class, and selected skills *do* have an impact to an extent that I certainly didn't anticipate coming into the game..


I'm playing with my spouse, and we tend to try for different skills so as to compliment each other; and this certainly does mean that one of us or the other will have dialogue or action options that the other does not. So yes, I agree that the choices one makes certainly do flesh out later.

I would like to see MORE of them having an effect. Ideally I would like to see... oh let's say at least 3 skill/race/proficiency potential options in every encounter. Also at least good/evil and maybe chaos/law type options. Also humor/dour options. Yeah.. then I suppose there would be complaints that there are too many choices.

Can't please everyone I guess.


I agree that they've been pretty good at including options for races, classes, what-have-you. But WHAT you say is still dreadfully unoriginal.
Iv'e been thinking about it for a while now, and from all the rpgs I played the only game that ever gave me a complete blunk slate as a main character was Vampire: Bloodlines. in every other game there was some background to my character (in bg you were a child of god, in Kotor you were a blank slate but spoilers, in new vegas you were a curier, in jade empire you were a promising student, etc...). It worked in Bloodlines because playing a new Vampire is like playing a fish out of water and the real world is your origin. But I'm not sure it will work in Baldur's Gate 3. I'm trying to remember what was the character's deal in NWN1 but I didn't play much in that game so I don't remember. I do know that in NWN2 you had a solid origin... anyway it seems to me they need to think hard about how to make it happen. If it were up to me, I would give up the option to play as a companion and dedicate more time to writing some origins for the main instead.
You know, I created this thread right before I went to sleep for the evening. My initial post was very "knee-jerk" reaction after playing the EA.

If you had told me when I woke up and I read the responses that I could agree with several of the counter points made here, I'd have said "You're crazy!" But here I am 7 hours later. There are several good opinions in this thread coming from both sides.

I am still very much in favor of having a fleshed out back story. I feel it is important in any narrative driven game. Especially one such as Baldur's Gate where the core of the story is driven by your characters and their aspirations.

One of the biggest concerns from what I'm seeing here is:

What you say as your PC is incredibly boring/unoriginal/lack of depth.

I will be listening to that podcast Stabbey posted earlier in a bit.

Can anyone else who played more comment on the following? (I've done one play through and then about 1/3 of another but don't want to do much more and get burnt out)

The character you dream of (your guardian angel let's say). I've ONLY noticed this storyline advance when you use your Illithid powers. I have not encountered it normally while just resting. Is this the case? Maybe I wasn't resting enough? But I definitely noticed it more the second time around where I was using my powers on everyone. Seemingly every time I went back to camp that evening, there was a scene regarding how I was feeling the tadpole take over and then had a dream about this mystery character. Is it designed to be this way? What if we don't use our camp/Illithid powers much? Will there still be a way to see this story/character? Some people genuinely conserve magic/abilities more than others and don't want to use camp after every other encounter.

Thanks for your very valid points, and keep the discussion going, I genuinely enjoy reading them.
To be mind flayer food ofc.
I think the minimum Larian should implement is the Pillars of Eternity Model. I've said this before on this thread, but during character creation, during the "Who are You?" There needs to be like a convo with the tadpole. Asking questions about your backstory. The dream would be origins a la Dragon Age Origins, but that is unlikely to happen, so even just a conversation with the tadpole could really anchor you in the world.

So far, the only thing I've seen that really has these options are Clerics and Drow. Drow have some solid options. But the convo with the tadpole should be things like "how did you get captured?" and for things like if you're a lolth Male drow "What is your opinion on the matriarchal society of the drow?" etc.

I understand entirely creating your own backstory and writing it up yourself...but what if the world later on contradicts the backstory I've written?

Ultimately, more story work needs to be done for the custom character.
Originally Posted by Arthellion
I think the minimum Larian should implement is the Pillars of Eternity Model. I've said this before on this thread, but during character creation, during the "Who are You?" There needs to be like a convo with the tadpole. Asking questions about your backstory.


I agree with this. Just giving a couple of options like:

- "Where were you born?": 1.Baldur's Gate 2.Waterdeep 3.Icewind Dale 4.etc.
- "How old are you?"
- "What's your favorite activity?": 1. Flailing innocents 2. Being one with Nature 3. Rescuing people, etc.

Just a couple of questions and answers for flavor. There's no need to go deeper than this because you're creating your character's personality as you adventure and you already have your Background from the character creator. Perhaps adding some small questlines to your selected Background would also help give your character some opportunity to develop.


"The character you dream of (your guardian angel let's say). I've ONLY noticed this storyline advance when you use your Illithid powers. I have not encountered it normally while just resting. Is this the case? Maybe I wasn't resting enough? But I definitely noticed it more the second time around where I was using my powers on everyone. Seemingly every time I went back to camp that evening, there was a scene regarding how I was feeling the tadpole take over and then had a dream about this mystery character. Is it designed to be this way? What if we don't use our camp/Illithid powers much? Will there still be a way to see this story/character? Some people genuinely conserve magic/abilities more than others and don't want to use camp after every other encounter. "

Yes, it is 100% tied to the use of your tadpole. In my first run, I didn't use the Illithid power ever and I did not encounter the person I dream of AT ALL. Since now I'm on a "tadpole run", it is amazing to see how different the camp scenes are depending on your use of the tadpole (and that I get to know the use of creating a second character, lol). Very happy to see the developers work here.
I disagree that the character does not have a "purpose"... The Character have to run to remove an ilithid pasasite in their heads... what they lack, i agree, is a "depth" and a personality...

I believe that a good solution for that, should make the Backgrounds you choose in the Character Creation more than just "2 aditional skills". Make the Background give you a backstory and other dialogue options, even if generic ones...

Sorry for bad english.
Originally Posted by LizNuzz
"The character you dream of (your guardian angel let's say). I've ONLY noticed this storyline advance when you use your Illithid powers. I have not encountered it normally while just resting. Is this the case? Maybe I wasn't resting enough? But I definitely noticed it more the second time around where I was using my powers on everyone. Seemingly every time I went back to camp that evening, there was a scene regarding how I was feeling the tadpole take over and then had a dream about this mystery character. Is it designed to be this way? What if we don't use our camp/Illithid powers much? Will there still be a way to see this story/character? Some people genuinely conserve magic/abilities more than others and don't want to use camp after every other encounter. "

Yes, it is 100% tied to the use of your tadpole. In my first run, I didn't use the Illithid power ever and I did not encounter the person I dream of AT ALL. Since now I'm on a "tadpole run", it is amazing to see how different the camp scenes are depending on your use of the tadpole (and that I get to know the use of creating a second character, lol). Very happy to see the developers work here.


Problem with this approach is that anyone with half a mind would never use the powers of the tadpole. Everyone and their dog tells you there's a risk that that will turn you into a mind flayer which is basically a game over thing in this setting.
Originally Posted by Moirnelithe

Problem with this approach is that anyone with half a mind would never use the powers of the tadpole. Everyone and their dog tells you there's a risk that that will turn you into a mind flayer which is basically a game over thing in this setting.


Exactly, if they are giving so much content and cool interactions to using the tadpole, plus the powers, its feels a shame not to use it. They should give us content exclusive to resisting it too.
I wouldn't like a complete, full background, but something a little more specific, just a single element of your background that could be spun off into a story thread / quest line / sub plot. I don't want a full Origin-style backstory (nor do I want to play those characters), I want to create my own character; but having something that anchors them a little, that gives them a past reflected in the game, would be nice.

Honeslty, I think part of the problem, as I've written elsewhere, is that your companion characters are actually protagonists who all have their own stories going on. This makes your character seem like more of a cypher by comparison.
I'm taking a stab on it again, be ready for a rough ride.

Who your character is, why is he a blank slate. Your character is noone special or at least wasn't, just another Mind Flayer thrall. In fact they were the janitor cleaning up after all the messy experiments, and bad tasting brains. You were noone special, your life, your thoughts, your hopes and dreams null and void by the power of the Elder Brain. Yet brief sparks of cognition awakened things in you, when your masters psionic grasp slipped for just fractions of seconds. Then it happened 'Thrall 10562h please report to the impregnation room' yes you were called to serve the Elder Brain in a higher capacity, you were no a buffet, a mother. Your destiny was to become a brief meat suit for a hungry, hungry tadpole. A tadpole that desired a touch of divine, or a sprinkle of fiend, a dash of penaze, a pinch of Old One, a hint of rough and tumble, so you were callled. Then things got harry, when Sally and her dragon came storming out of a portal, the ship that you had kept cleaned for so long was now a battlefield. And you the newly appointed meatsuit, caretaker of an innocent hungry baby tadpole were finally free of your psionic prison.

Long story short even though you seem to be without a past, or with out ambition, D&D is about theatre of the mind at times. They can be who you want them to be, until Devs decide otherwise, their past, their present, and future is up to you to decide. They seem bland or blank slated go with this, or change it maybe they had an over bearing parent that forced them to act a certain way, or controlled them and now their free they don't know how to act, how to be themselves. Maybe they were simple, and that tadpole changed them, and now they are forced to deal with everything in a new light. Maybe their just simply unemotional, uncaring about the world. That they simply thing this is minorly annoying, and all these people whine to much, and all the want is to sit back read a book, and simply exist.

This is why I think a proper intro with some lore and background narrated over artworks or such would be far better than the generic (albeit good looking) CGI action scene we've got. Okay sure, I got kidnapped by mind flayers and they're fighting cool dudes on dragons, but... who am I ? What is the context of the story ? Where is this story taking place ? What about showing me a map of the world ? What about feeding me with something, anything, more than just "bad guys destroyed city bad" ?

Replay those old intros from BG / IWD... in a few minutes you get all you need to understand the story and your place in it.

Here, hours later in the story, I still don't know anything else about my surroundings and the context.
Originally Posted by Temperance
This is why I think a proper intro with some lore and background narrated over artworks or such would be far better than the generic (albeit good looking) CGI action scene we've got. Okay sure, I got kidnapped by mind flayers and they're fighting cool dudes on dragons, but... who am I ? What is the context of the story ? Where is this story taking place ? What about showing me a map of the world ? What about feeding me with something, anything, more than just "bad guys destroyed city bad" ?

Replay those old intros from BG / IWD... in a few minutes you get all you need to understand the story and your place in it.

Here, hours later in the story, I still don't know anything else about my surroundings and the context.


Yeah sadly thats whats bad about the intro for those that have never played D&D or do so only casually. Which is why I'm not opposed so strongly for or against having a preship scenero. Though that is alot of information to share. The area is vast and rich in history, with alot of naunces, and even contradictions. If you tried to cram in all the important details you'd have a book just from Balders Gates past it being one of the 'epicenters' of bad things happening, and Elteriel (the history here I'm not very familair with myself). Then I can see why Larian doesn't really want to share peeks into the story they are writing, for instance the dream person, they are seeking a cliff hanger, something for you to look forward to. If you knew dream woman/man was your brother, or sister, hated enemy, it would impact your reaction to them when you meet them. Maybe good, maybe bad. On the other hand (theres a golden band) it could also make you look even more forward to meeting that person.

Then theres Swen stating they are writing your story, which may mean they intentionally left your past open for you to decide how it best fits your character. Though this is disproved by every bloody one of your nongithyanki's being from Balders Gate!!! Then again this tidbit may impact the story as well. Stuff makes me think to much hurts my old noggin, j/k.
Originally Posted by clavis
Long story short even though you seem to be without a past, or with out ambition, D&D is about theatre of the mind at times. They can be who you want them to be


Sure, that's true, but there's an issue of narrative framing.

Other RPGs don't tell you a lot about your past. Pillars of Eternity, for instance. The original Fallout tells you where you're from, but nothing more than that, and New Vegas tells you what you did for a living at the start of the game and the particular assignment you were on, but that's it. The Outer Worlds gives you tongue-in-cheek options for your background that may not even be meant as cannonical, and otherwise tells you nothing. Arcanum lets you pick from a list of backgrounds (and you can opt to have none), but otherwise tells you only that you were using a particular transportation at a particular time.

The thing is, all these games, the story is presented in such a way that clearly situates you in it, and makes you (at least from your perspective) the center of that story. It's your story.

In another thread, people were pointing out how all the companions were special, and your PC is just an empty slate. The thing is, I think, that in those other games, companions have their own stories, sure, and you have yours, which just so happens to be the main story of the game. That's your story, not theirs. In BG3, however, you share that with all your companions, plus a bunch of other people.
Originally Posted by clavis
I'm taking a stab on it again, be ready for a rough ride.

Who your character is, why is he a blank slate. Your character is noone special or at least wasn't, just another Mind Flayer thrall. In fact they were the janitor cleaning up after all the messy experiments, and bad tasting brains. You were noone special, your life, your thoughts, your hopes and dreams null and void by the power of the Elder Brain. Yet brief sparks of cognition awakened things in you, when your masters psionic grasp slipped for just fractions of seconds. Then it happened 'Thrall 10562h please report to the impregnation room' yes you were called to serve the Elder Brain in a higher capacity, you were no a buffet, a mother. Your destiny was to become a brief meat suit for a hungry, hungry tadpole. A tadpole that desired a touch of divine, or a sprinkle of fiend, a dash of penaze, a pinch of Old One, a hint of rough and tumble, so you were callled. Then things got harry, when Sally and her dragon came storming out of a portal, the ship that you had kept cleaned for so long was now a battlefield. And you the newly appointed meatsuit, caretaker of an innocent hungry baby tadpole were finally free of your psionic prison.

Long story short even though you seem to be without a past, or with out ambition, D&D is about theatre of the mind at times. They can be who you want them to be, until Devs decide otherwise, their past, their present, and future is up to you to decide. They seem bland or blank slated go with this, or change it maybe they had an over bearing parent that forced them to act a certain way, or controlled them and now their free they don't know how to act, how to be themselves. Maybe they were simple, and that tadpole changed them, and now they are forced to deal with everything in a new light. Maybe their just simply unemotional, uncaring about the world. That they simply thing this is minorly annoying, and all these people whine to much, and all the want is to sit back read a book, and simply exist.



All those suggestions are valid ways to play and imagine your character, but I also feel as though what you're suggesting is letting Larian off for not handling the custom PC well. Your suggestions all are about making due with the mediocre approach Larian has taken. Lots of games give you blank slate characters. I keep referencing Pillars of Eternity, but really that's because they did the best job accomodating a blank slate protagonist while also giving players the chance to define their characters in game. At the very start of the game your character is a blank slate, with nothing defining them but a background and a nation of origin and the fact that they're travelling to a place where there is an offer for settlers to acquire cheap land. That automatically gives your character a grounding in the world, and then you have a chance to talk to someone and expand upon that in a conversation if you wish. That simple conversation enriched my roleplaying of that game by a truly massive degree.

And again, then you compare your custom PC to the vibrant, fully fleshed out origin characters, all with depth and history of their own. And in the context of them, it starts to feel like Larian just neglected the custom PC.
Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
Originally Posted by clavis
I'm taking a stab on it again, be ready for a rough ride.

Who your character is, why is he a blank slate. Your character is noone special or at least wasn't, just another Mind Flayer thrall. In fact they were the janitor cleaning up after all the messy experiments, and bad tasting brains. You were noone special, your life, your thoughts, your hopes and dreams null and void by the power of the Elder Brain. Yet brief sparks of cognition awakened things in you, when your masters psionic grasp slipped for just fractions of seconds. Then it happened 'Thrall 10562h please report to the impregnation room' yes you were called to serve the Elder Brain in a higher capacity, you were no a buffet, a mother. Your destiny was to become a brief meat suit for a hungry, hungry tadpole. A tadpole that desired a touch of divine, or a sprinkle of fiend, a dash of penaze, a pinch of Old One, a hint of rough and tumble, so you were callled. Then things got harry, when Sally and her dragon came storming out of a portal, the ship that you had kept cleaned for so long was now a battlefield. And you the newly appointed meatsuit, caretaker of an innocent hungry baby tadpole were finally free of your psionic prison.

Long story short even though you seem to be without a past, or with out ambition, D&D is about theatre of the mind at times. They can be who you want them to be, until Devs decide otherwise, their past, their present, and future is up to you to decide. They seem bland or blank slated go with this, or change it maybe they had an over bearing parent that forced them to act a certain way, or controlled them and now their free they don't know how to act, how to be themselves. Maybe they were simple, and that tadpole changed them, and now they are forced to deal with everything in a new light. Maybe their just simply unemotional, uncaring about the world. That they simply thing this is minorly annoying, and all these people whine to much, and all the want is to sit back read a book, and simply exist.



All those suggestions are valid ways to play and imagine your character, but I also feel as though what you're suggesting is letting Larian off for not handling the custom PC well. Your suggestions all are about making due with the mediocre approach Larian has taken. Lots of games give you blank slate characters. I keep referencing Pillars of Eternity, but really that's because they did the best job accomodating a blank slate protagonist while also giving players the chance to define their characters in game. At the very start of the game your character is a blank slate, with nothing defining them but a background and a nation of origin and the fact that they're travelling to a place where there is an offer for settlers to acquire cheap land. That automatically gives your character a grounding in the world, and then you have a chance to talk to someone and expand upon that in a conversation if you wish. That simple conversation enriched my roleplaying of that game by a truly massive degree.

And again, then you compare your custom PC to the vibrant, fully fleshed out origin characters, all with depth and history of their own. And in the context of them, it starts to feel like Larian just neglected the custom PC.


Cool, though in truth I'm just trying to look at it from all angles, and offer some insight as to why they might on some levels. On here I'm sorta playing devils advocate, and looking at it from perspective of someone that really enjoys creating unique backstories for every character. Also from past experiences I know some people that just don't care about backstory, yet still play rpg's. Then I wait for others to post things like you did. So theres more then one view point, and last but not least I just like discussing details and seeing others views.
Lets look at Skyrim you have no backstory.. (besides being dragon born). But you are not in a party in Skyrim, the main story is your story. But here the main story is the story of all the companions - nobody is special in this regard- but the companion get a story and their own quests on top. The main character only shares the main story and gets nothing interesting from it. He is not even more important than the companions to the main story.

edit:
you get the brainbug story line ... if you use it to often (which I did not)... so maybe here is more that I didn't explore yet
Originally Posted by KingWilhelm
Lets look at Skyrim you have no backstory.. (besides being dragon born). But you are not in a party in Skyrim, the main story is your story. But here the main story is the story of all the companions - nobody is special in this regard- but the companion get a story and their own quests on top. The main character only shares the main story and gets nothing interesting from it. He is not even more important than the companions to the main story.

edit:
you get the brainbug story line ... if you use it to often (which I did not)... so maybe here is more that I didn't explore yet


Do you feel that anyone of the companions stories stand out more then the other? I can see that you feel the lack of backstory makes custom PC seem overshadowed by the companions maybe??
I agree with most of the posts here. Basically the main character is being outdone by the companions on every level. This isn't good writing in an rpg in my opinion. The main story should revolve around YOUR character. It should be a personal journey and a way to make YOUR character grow. Instead we get four characters envisioned by a dev that are taking the spotlight, they can play theirs in their own single player game smile

That said I could kinda be okay with playing Astarion if I were given the option of making him female. Some customizing of the pre-made characters would go a long way to make it less their char and more ours.


ps. okay five characters, I keep forgetting about Wyll since he never talked and just showed up in camp one day. Wrong alignment so I didn't bother taking him along.
maybe I'm just to much in my own headspace, when I play. Though will agree being able to turn Fang boy into Fang Girl would be nice. This just because I tend to play mostly female characters roughly 99%. just don't like male booty being in front of me all the time.
Yes, sadly the supposed way of playing seems to be that you pick one of the NPCs to play as like in D:OS2.
A self made character will only get the bare minimum of background.

Larian should scrap the idea of playable NPCs and use the time spend on adapting their quests for a player perspective to create new quests centred around your own character. Maybe with a choice of background at the start like in Dragon Age Origins.
Originally Posted by clavis
Do you feel that anyone of the companions stories stand out more then the other? I can see that you feel the lack of backstory makes custom PC seem overshadowed by the companions maybe??



I think what KingWilhelm meant, and what I meant in my own post, is that normally, you don't even need a backstory for your PC because the main story is your own story. So you're playing through your story in playing through the game. In BG3, however, your story is also the story of those 5 boring people, plus a bunch of other people you come across.
One of my larger concerns is narratively how it will all play out. I think anyone who has played DoS2 to a great extent can relate to this. I originally played DoS2 towards the start of 2018. At that point, it was officially released. Why I enjoyed it greatly, something about the narrative seemed a bit off when you hit the 3rd act (Arx) it went from structured (depending on how you got there) to kind of a mess. I didn't finish the game. I had a helluva lot of fun, but didn't feel a reason to keep going.

When Definitive Edition was released towards the console release, I gave it another go from the start. And found I had a lot more fun with the story. Structurally it was in much better shape because Larian didn't stop working on it. At that point, I started again from the beginning (but with an Origin character) and enjoyed a 125+ hour play through and saw the game to its completion.

And I'm seeing a lot of the former in BGIII right now. Between character interactions, and story beats at camp and so on. Structure seems to be very loose. And that could be because much of the game is still missing. The last thing I want to see is every desire from the player come true. Because at the end of the day, we're trusting (and I do) Larian to make this game. We're not making it. But I think all of us share one common thing. We all want it to be the best version of the game possible. I don't think anyone would want to wait an additional year after it's fully released to play a massively patched and restructured game again. And not everything we want CAN be added. Just due to time. Like Sven said, there's no please everybody.

We don't even have a scene of the PC (and/or possible companions at the time) of setting up a camp. We crash land head first (literally) to Fae'run and within 5 minutes (if you know where to look) meet 3 separate party members. And you go to camp and it's just magically there, waiting for you. Nobody comments on setting a camp up, or finding shelter, or so on. I get part of DnD is having a base camp, but usually the DM would set that up pretty descriptively, no?

For being a named sequel, there doesn't seem like a lot of reason for it. Again, right now. We're missing 75% (I know it's 3 acts, but I doubt the first act is wholly complete). Even though we're 100 years removed, we should feel like this is more or less the same world we were a part of.

There's a lot of jank right now. Some of it I think is intentional. Most of it will probably be polished to perfection by the time of release. I'm not overly concerned, but I think everyone has some reservations on such a big game.

TL:DR> I have a lot of faith in Larian. There's a lot to be ironed out, but I'm sure it'll get there.
Eh, I played DOS2 with some friends that hated the origin character mechanic, and hated backstories. They wanted custom characters to be entirely blank slates, and didn't want anything dictated to them. I feel like the origin character mechanic gives something to both kinds of people really nicely. If you want a blank slate to imagine yourself into, you can create a custom character. If you want a character with their own unique story and personality, you choose a origin character.

I guess you want something in-between? Like a blank slate character that still has their own unique backstory? Or do you mean you want the main story to be more about your character and less about anyone else, e.g. like a "chosen one" scenario?
I feel I woul
Originally Posted by clavis
Originally Posted by KingWilhelm
Lets look at Skyrim you have no backstory.. (besides being dragon born). But you are not in a party in Skyrim, the main story is your story. But here the main story is the story of all the companions - nobody is special in this regard- but the companion get a story and their own quests on top. The main character only shares the main story and gets nothing interesting from it. He is not even more important than the companions to the main story.

edit:
you get the brainbug story line ... if you use it to often (which I did not)... so maybe here is more that I didn't explore yet


Do you feel that anyone of the companions stories stand out more then the other? I can see that you feel the lack of backstory makes custom PC seem overshadowed by the companions maybe??


I feel I would be expiring more if I would have picked a origin character for a main. Right now I get 3 characters and a mercenary. Where I would get 4 characters if I choose an origin as main character.
Right now I am the boring one.

Originally Posted by Moirnelithe
I agree with most of the posts here. Basically the main character is being outdone by the companions on every level. This isn't good writing in an rpg in my opinion. The main story should revolve around YOUR character. It should be a personal journey and a way to make YOUR character grow. Instead we get four characters envisioned by a dev that are taking the spotlight, they can play theirs in their own single player game smile

That said I could kinda be okay with playing Astarion if I were given the option of making him female. Some customizing of the pre-made characters would go a long way to make it less their char and more ours.


ps. okay five characters, I keep forgetting about Wyll since he never talked and just showed up in camp one day. Wrong alignment so I didn't bother taking him along.


Yup, the player character just feels lacklustre in comparison. I actually like the idea of them not being 'special' like they were in BG1 & 2. Sharing the same problem with the companions is also good motivation to work together.


I agree with odesseiron81 regarding the camp, it should be shabbier to start with and maybe have opportunities to upgrade it. I especially want to know who put the bunting up.
Originally Posted by Booface
I guess you want something in-between? Like a blank slate character that still has their own unique backstory? Or do you mean you want the main story to be more about your character and less about anyone else, e.g. like a "chosen one" scenario?


For my part, I'd like either for there to be a story thread that's specific to your created PC, or for the main story to be centered in such a way that it's your story. This doesn't have to mean anything like a "chosen one" scenario, though.
Having some dialogues exclusive to our background choices would help a lot in making our custom characters feel more meaningful.
You are (regardless of what background you chose) an Italian plumber. You purpose is to eat mushrooms, kill turtles and kick their dead bodies around, and also to look for castles where you might pick up some hot chicks in pink dresses.
I'm going to do something I personally dislike, somewhere in my ramblings it will be there.

Alot of this seems to be that your the boring one, that you don't stand out from the companions because they have a backstory, they have goals, and aspirations, dreams or what not. The custom character doesn't, he's a blank slate. To me that blank slate means that I can write what I want, be who I want to be, I don't need to focus on backstory, I can and do. Yet it's not my backstory that is driving my character forward, so what is it? Is it this thing in my head going to erase me from existance? Is it something less pressing just a wander lust, a drive to adventure? The calling of my goddess? The whispers of the Great Old One within my head? The desire to seek out stronger and more powerful magic, a lust for battle?

How these questions impact the blank slate. I'll use 2 of my characters Keissa and Brulk

Skill checks Keissa always goes for persuasion, never intimidation. Brulk never tries to persuade unless it's hostile negotations. If it fails Keissa tries to knock out those that attack her, and heal them afterwards. Brulk gives no shits and just hammers them they were dumb enough to attack him, he warned them. From this we can see some of their values as a person Keissa would much prefer to talk non threateningly to people, and if she says the wrong thing (failed check) she still tries to refrain from killing people. Brulk is forceful he's right your wrong, and he'll not hesitate to settle it with his axe if need be. In this sense Keissa is unique to her companions, La'eazel is forceful quick to anger, and attack. Shadowheart is to me fickle. Ast is blood thirsty and hates talking any less it gets him something to me. Gale is all about knowledge he is relatively good but he cares more about knowing stuff. So Keissa is different then them. Brulk is for the most part more like La'ezeal then the others in his party.

Keissa won't hesitate to kill goblins, or other 'evil' people or Kahga for that matter she protects innocents and tries to better the world. Brulk doesn't care who he kills, they were in his way, little girl dies thats on her, she's not important. Whats important is getting tadpole out of his head, earning money, and smashing goblins, among other things.

So you see your blank slate isn't so blank anymore your pc begins to take shape, and form. Sure the others have great quests to undertake, for your pc every step is part of a new quest, a new discovery. Even owlbears are new to them, should he kill it? Try to help it, run away? Your pc isn't pregenerated, it's who ever what ever you want them to be. So your pc is taking shape as you play, sure their not pregenerated with set voice styles, or distinct patterns of speech. So that leaves them open, (which seems to be some of the problem) they can be who you want them to be, have quirks that you want them to be. maybe Brulk drinks every night at camp, hates vampires, but gets randy around githyanki. It's up for you to decide, for you to chose. Sure you got baggage with you but their only there to tell your story, serve as meat shields, mobile health potions, a verbal spar. They add to your story by how you chose to interact with them. Perhaps your original way of thinking about them changes, as you learn more about them? maybe that half-ear talking about torture makes you enjoy her more? Again up to you to decide.
you
RPG characters when not predesigned or preset can turn into the greatest of characters if you let them, and in the choices that are offered to you by Larian there is a good deal of flexibility for you to turn that blank slate into an adventure worthy of D&D. A story to tell your friends, to share with loved ones. Your fights no matter how they make you want to rage quit, may in time be something you laugh at, or if you shared it something you joke about or are teased about.

Everyone will find out the stories of Ast, La'eazel, Shadowheart, Gale, Wyll, but not everyone will know the travels of Keissa the Mouse, or Brulk Bloodspray, Dinglehemer, Slayer, Frost Wyvernfoot, Thruik Axefeast, George Paul Rameriz Vedictus III. Why is that because noone else will do every thing the same as you, so your blank slate is just a starting point to creating something unique, that you can claim as your own, make your own. Make it not about whoever designed the preset characters, but make it about you.

NO Backstory = there are many games that do it, some do it to often, to blandly. Skyrim comes to mind with limited dailogue, far to much combat, and limited interactions between NPCs. Sure it's a great hack and slash rpg (I use the term rpg loosely in this case. Look at the story though, look at the choices it offers to you. Can you choose to side with Alduin? Can you Choose no side in the fight for Skyrim, and still complete the main quest? Can you choose to kill Jarl Ulfric when you want to, or any of the Jarls for that matter? How about joining the bandits? Most of these are no's, some you might be able to. Yet in the long wrong your given the false sense of freedom of choice. Because the game itself by design limits what you can do to the world around you.

Here larian is offering you choices, upon choices. Do you simply attack the druids, with no conversation, do you try intimidation, or persusion? Do you try to sneak past the druidic guards, and assassinate Kagha? Do you ignore what happens to the child, or take your revenge, or do you do something in the middle? Do you free Us and cripple it? Do you free Us and travel with him (take him to the helm, unsure if he shows back up. He'd better.) Do you free him, and simply leave? These are the choices that begin your story, that begin to shape your PC. That turns it into your PC, each of these actions have consequences. Does your PC care about the consequences good or bad? Do they stop and reflect try to see every possible consequence? Do they side with someone just because of their race, or class. Do they hate their own kind, so are more then likely to go against the wishes of someone of their own race?

I know this isn't what some want, that this may be to much thought into your blank slate. That all these questions are just to much, are maybe not enough. That in some way even if you answer all these questions, that you still feel overshadowed by your companions. I get it, is it me trying to play devils advocate which I do alot, No. It's me as a writer, as a creative person one that loaths being forced into a pregen'd character, that despises the false sense of freedom of choice that many games force upon you. I personally feel that Larian is offering a wide variety of choices, sometimes more then others. That they are seeking to offer Us the players enough choices that we develop characters that we love, and cherish. That we want to tell our friends about, that will make us rage at the game for hurtin, that will make us cry because we had to reload, that will make us foam at the mouth because we had to go against what we want by the actions of an NPC.

You see a blank slate, and think it will be a blank slate forever. I see a blank slate and want to fill it up. Thats the heart of any true RPG, you start with a blank slate (your character) you begin to fill that slate up by giving it a sex, assigning attribute points, skills, abilities, hair color, eye color, a voice (really need more options and different ones for dwarf, halflings, and githyankis. (Atm IMO the voices only work for the other races, albiet some are a stretch. Yet they don't work for dwarves who's voices IMO are far deeper, halflings more childlike with some depth. and githyanki's rougher more volatile.) a class, a race. Your slate to me fills up more on how you deal with the companions upon meeting them, and continues to fill up with each thing you do, or fail at. Did you nearly get a tentacle hug from the Mind Flayer, did you kill the enthralled fisherman with no regard, and no conversation?
I guess in my case I have a very hard timing filling that blank slate since I usually play a lawful evil persuasion character. I still don't see a reason why I should care about the thieflings but I don't see a motivation to wipe them out either. What's in it for me? A basket with food? Seriously? The goblin part idem, I need motivation to slaughter them all but since I'm evil there isn't one. And killing just for killing is 'stupid evil' in my book. So after playing EA I still have a blank slate. This was with a high elf rogue. The lolth drow cleric is getting a little more feedback from conversations and doesn't start as a Baldurian so that's good. Still I haven't reached the grove yet but I suspect I will hit the same problem there with her.

Edit: also the tadpole part. I didn't use it, doesn't seem very safe to me. I can't trust it, it might even turn me into a mindflayer. So that's even less blank slate content filled. The companions also get the tadpole convo's so once again companions are outdoing me.
Originally Posted by Moirnelithe
I guess in my case I have a very hard timing filling that blank slate since I usually play a lawful evil persuasion character. I still don't see a reason why I should care about the thieflings but I don't see a motivation to wipe them out either. What's in it for me? A basket with food? Seriously? The goblin part idem, I need motivation to slaughter them all but since I'm evil there isn't one. And killing just for killing is 'stupid evil' in my book. So after playing EA I still have a blank slate. This was with a high elf rogue. The lolth drow cleric is getting a little more feedback from conversations and doesn't start as a Baldurian so that's good. Still I haven't reached the grove yet but I suspect I will hit the same problem there with her.

Edit: also the tadpole part. I didn't use it, doesn't seem very safe to me. I can't trust it, it might even turn me into a mindflayer. So that's even less blank slate content filled. The companions also get the tadpole convo's so once again companions are outdoing me.


you've filled out that blank slate more then you evidently realize. Your character is motivated by personal gain, what he can get for doing what an npc wants. (hence he's greedy, or selfish), he is more of a friend to evil characters cause he is one. (hence he's more neutral, so far because he doesn't really care about good evil, or right or wrong. It's about him. Lawful neutral is looking more likely) He also has a firm belief that killing just for killing is stupid evil. (again more neutral then evil, since theres nothing in it for him, and it's just stupid for killing randomly, and indiscriminately) He is in part a rebel probably kicked out of a High Elf community do to his 'Evil' ways, vs his peoples 'good' ways. If he was part of one to begin with. He goes against the grain of High Elves being magic users, in the fact he is a rogue quick of tongue, who wants others to see his point of view with words, other then a knife in the back. So he's probably charming (or thinks he is), yet oddly enough those around him may very well find him charming (alot of persusion checks passed) or find him annoying (alot of checks failed.) or some where in the middle.

So simply by doing what you did, you filled out the slate, and never realized it.

as a writer (or wannabe) I can tell you truthfully, that even the characters we right get away from us, the take on a life of their own without us even realizing it. Some try desperately to keep a character true to the idea we formed them from, yet still escape. Indeed many characters are not who they were when we first thought them up, or become more important then we ever thought they'd be. An example is Drizzt (who some hate, some love, and some don't care about) he was meant to be a secondary character, yet as Salvator wrote he took on a life of his own, and become the (star) of the series.

edit (quick note) Everything you stated is what the creators of those companions did to create the companion. It's not that your pc is outdone, it's the fact that the companions had more time to be fully fleshed out.
Yes and no. Like you said, the character is looking to be more lawful neutral. This however is not due to any choice of mine. It is due to a lack of truly evil and rewarding alternatives. My character is power hungry, she doesn't care for monetary rewards (even less for a basket of food). She doesn't mind killing to get where she wants to be but randomly killing paints a target on her back. After all this is Faerun and there's those pesky paladins of Tyr all over the place (well they are supposed to be anyway) and combat comes with risks. Even goblins in sufficient quantities can prove to be a threat. My question is, why am I the main character? I could just as easily be a camp follower following the five companions around while THEY figure out how to remove the tadpole and I'll just tag along and get mine done while they're at it.

I think the main problem here is lack of feedback or options to being the main character. The main story line lacks a personal goal aside from getting that thing out of your head. You already have the tadpole in common with your companions but they have visible side stories and are getting feedback for it. You are not.
Originally Posted by clavis

...

Everything you said is right. But I could do the same as a companion main and get some story on top.
I mean I did the same in divinity. I could play a mercenary or depending on the class I want to play, pick a corresponding origin. I can skill the character to my liking and can behave as I like (good/evil) ect. But I will get more story, more quests, more dialog and personal stuff on top.

So I quit my only non origin run before the town. No point in playing. It felt as if I am missing out on something. (Without origin characters I maybe wouldn't have this issue as there is nothing to miss then.. confused )

With strict classes races, subraces and so on I doubt that here will be a companion for each subrace / class ... so back to the mercenary.
+1 to the OP

I felt zero connection to my custom character. I wish it was more like tabletop 5e where it gives you all these brilliant writing prompts to flesh out your character's background. At the end of 5e character creation, most people have a paragraph or two that explains who their character is and what their motivation is. In BG3, I may as well be playing a random townie.
The custom character needs to have at least as much content as any one of the origin characters, that's, I think, the main point for people.

Even if that content ties to your chosen background, species, class etc.

i.e. Imagine my preferred character, lets assume they're an Elf, with the Background of Noble and they're a Wizard (Bladesinger - which I really hope will be added).

I might get some specific dialogue, and also some specific quests related to the fact I'm a Noble, perhaps the NPCs in the quest if they're related to my house will change species depending on mine but keep the same voices to avoid too much additional work, i could live with that.

Similarly, the fact I'm an Elf might give me some more additional unique dialogues and reactions from NPCs

Finally, my class of Wizard might have some linked quests, whilst my subclass of bladesinger might have a sidequest involving defending some elves or perhaps recovering an elven artefact, again the class may have some unique dialogue.


An important note: Origin characters should get none of the above, they should have unique stuff as origin characters, but not use the generic "elf", "wizard", "noble" stuff (which is part of where D:OS2 goes slightly wrong I suppose)


basically though, either I want something like above. Or yeah a special thing that differentiates the custom character as special in their own way like the companions each seem to get (e.g. Gales funky eating magic items stuff or Asterions daywalker vampire stuff etc)
To quote the post I made about what I'd want from a Baldur's Gate 3:

"The first two Baldur's Gate games centre around “Charname”, the games protagonist character. Charname is kind of a big deal. And because of this, as a player you always felt this was your adventure, your story.
Whilst I don't think it's possible, or even wise to try and continue the story of the Bhaalspawn. I'm still wanting Larian to provide a story with the same weight, the same personal feel that the first two games had. (Good luck with that!)"

I really think they need to let the player character and who they are be one of, if not the main driving force behind the story. I don't just want to be along for the ride, I want to -be- part the ride!

Sadly, the new companions make the player character seem insanely boring and bland. As much as I loved say Minsc or Edwin, I never felt that they were overshadowing my Charname, they complimented and enhanced.
Exactly! Cause when Edwin was busy turning into a woman, or Nalia was busy fighting Orcs for her home and Jaheira uncovering a Harper plot, or whatever other plot for the companions was, I was there for all of it making decisions. All the while, somebody stole my Charname's soul essence and I was slowly transforming into a monster while trying to discover what Irenicus' ultimate goal was. It was all very riveting.
Tav McBlanderson feels overshadowed by the extreme uniqueness of those around her. Mind, I mostly love the companions. But who made Tav the football coach of first-string when my character still seems confused about the rules? (Maybe this metaphor doesn't work. I know nothing of football.)

It's not like my Tav is charismatic, or more powerful then the companions are. It's not even like they owe Tav for bringing down the ship or saving them--the first time I played, the cutscene of bringing down the Nautalin triggered with Lae'zel instead of my PC. Which was fine but . . . well, I guess my character really doesn't matter, does she?

In other games--there's a reason companions follow you, even if that reason is simply "I'm indecisive and power makes me squeamish" (see: DAO Alistair). Or, like in the original Baldur's Gate, the reason was that Charname was Gorion's ward. But I have no idea WHY all these characters with interesting backstories and special glowy hands and magical ex-girlfriends are willing to blindly follow and trust my custom character. It's not like Tav did anything special (outside my personal backstory for her, which she can't talk about). So why is the "Blade of the Frontiers" willing to be benched in the camp of an absolute nobody?

Letting Tav show some personality--backbone, wisdom, drive, whatever--would probably go a long way to making me feel more like she belongs in the world.

In another thread, I suggested letting us choose a few prewritten "memories" in character creation--small sidestories to give some depth to our character, and that could be brought up in dialogue. (What are some of your most vivid memories? Optional answer for warlocks: "Selling my soul by mistake after too many beers"). These could be mixed and matched to at least make Tav feel real? Or ignored, if you don't mind playing a "blank slate".

Because right now, the tadpole has more personality than my character.
Originally Posted by Stabbey
Funny you should ask. I just listened to a podcast with an interview with Swen, and that came up.

https://www.usgamer.net/articles/ax...-on-baldurs-gate-3s-early-access-release

Skip to 26:15 for the start of Swen's interview, but the pertinent question is at 33:30. Swen claims that the backstory for the custom character has as much depth as that of any Origin character. At 36:00 he says that the "Who do you dream of" character is a pretty important character, key to the custom character.



Man... This got me a bit worried. I'm gonna discover my own characters story while playing and I don't know it although it supposedly happened to me? They need to be pretty damn careful how they go about this or it could really f up a lot of peoples characters...

As to what the OP says... I dunno man. I generally prefer to have a fairly clean slate character. Baldur's Gate 1 is one of my all time favorite RPG's and that is mostly due to the great structure and freedom of play it gives. The ONLY thing I don't like is the very set up of us being a kid, LITERALLY a kid regardless of how we make our characters in the creator that let's you pick portraits for old men etc... I mean obviously we are a bhaalspawn and that could have been perfectly well conveyed without making us kids barely of age. Really limiting. BG2 start is a hundred times worse with setting up a whole GOOD friggin canonical party for the first game... And even though there is relative freedom in the city it never felt like a wonderful open world like the first game did. Probably why I never finished the second game... I think BG3 sets up a pretty good starting point with pretty much any type of character being viable... Although the dialogue options available in early access still aren't quite varied enough for my taste...
Let's just compare what you know about the context and your character in comparison to what other highly rated games did :

Baldurs Gate 2 : you get all the context to understand your character story (not personality, as you can be whoever you want and feel as free as ever) within 3 minutes of perfectly described context and lore exposure. Plus, it sets the tone perfectly (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnC_EjbE2ks)

Icewind Dale (1 and 2) : you get exposure, lore, and purpose. Everything in a few minutes. You already know you're going to have an epic adventure, and you're going to change the world around you (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHsrMkanL_o / https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvP-oYzPJP4&t=87s)

Mass effect : you can choose some backstory and get some context as soon as you start. You're already feeling as Shepard and more importantly as YOUR Shepard just seconds after starting the game (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyC5lbzZcG4)

Could say the same about Dragon Age or such games too. We must get more context about what's going on in the world around us and how we fit in it.

Why does any character custom or another follow another.

Why would Shadowheart follow La'eazel?

Astorian follow Blade of frontiers?

Gale follow Shadowheart? (okay it's cause of her eyes.)

As far as any of them know they are all a bunch of nobodies with delusions of grander, as far as they know the other is just a cranky as Gith that may or may not really have a tadpole in their mind (after all gith have psionics), or maybe they are working with the Illithid for when they (the others) turn, they have someone they can trust right next to them. or take them to the Elder Brain.

It's not back stories, it's not quirks of voice, or having quests specific to you that makes people follow you. More often then not it's the fact that your there, your making decisions they don't want to, or you have more of a plan then they do, one they can agree to. Not everyone wants to go to the Creche, not everyone wants to use the druids, some want to use the cambion. Yet they are following Taz McBladerson (sorry stole the name) because Taz is doing something, he's trying, he's making decisions that the others aren't sure of so hell let him take the blame, and if it works out all the better. If not they can bitch about it, and they do.
Originally Posted by Stabbey
Funny you should ask. I just listened to a podcast with an interview with Swen, and that came up.

https://www.usgamer.net/articles/ax...-on-baldurs-gate-3s-early-access-release

Skip to 26:15 for the start of Swen's interview, but the pertinent question is at 33:30. Swen claims that the backstory for the custom character has as much depth as that of any Origin character. At 36:00 he says that the "Who do you dream of" character is a pretty important character, key to the custom character.

I've been trying to find any interviews since the EA release but have not found any yet. So this was immediately interesting to me. Unfortunately, it's a podcast, and as such does not come with CC and my hearing disability doesn't allow me to follow what's being said. Is there anything more you (or someone from Larian) could add on what Swen says?
I personally love that my character has a blank slate past, with nothing more than an origin to select in character creation. This leaves me open to come up with whatever backstory I want, enhancing my role-playing experience. I don't care how good The Witcher is, I'm not interested because I don't want to be forced to play a pre-made character like Geralt. Let me make my own character and decide my own story.
Originally Posted by kanisatha
Originally Posted by Stabbey
Funny you should ask. I just listened to a podcast with an interview with Swen, and that came up.

https://www.usgamer.net/articles/ax...-on-baldurs-gate-3s-early-access-release

Skip to 26:15 for the start of Swen's interview, but the pertinent question is at 33:30. Swen claims that the backstory for the custom character has as much depth as that of any Origin character. At 36:00 he says that the "Who do you dream of" character is a pretty important character, key to the custom character.

I've been trying to find any interviews since the EA release but have not found any yet. So this was immediately interesting to me. Unfortunately, it's a podcast, and as such does not come with CC and my hearing disability doesn't allow me to follow what's being said. Is there anything more you (or someone from Larian) could add on what Swen says?


There's not much said and what was said pretty unsatisfying. 1) the "who do you dream about" character will play a big role 2) you will understand why your character is so unique when you play one of the origin characters.

Frankly, I didn't understand what he was saying with point #2.
Originally Posted by clavis
Yet they are following Taz McBladerson (sorry stole the name) because Taz is doing something, he's trying, he's making decisions that the others aren't sure of so hell let him take the blame, and if it works out all the better. If not they can bitch about it, and they do.


You're the second person to steal Tav McBlanderson's name, which I bestow freely. If that becomes a thing, and it's the only thing I ever accomplish in life, I would still die feeling fulfilled. (Full name: Blanky Tav McBlanderson).

I see what you're saying, although I suspect that if you play as Shadowheart or Lae'zel, you may lose out on the other as a companion, much like the pushback already faced with Shadowheart and a custom gith.

But I still can't get over the feeling that custom characters are just . . . there. It's fine if they're actually a bartender at the blushing mermaid who got swooped up by Mind Flayers. I adore underdog stories. But why is Tav McBlanderson the only, well, normal person? Every other companion's backstory is grandiose and unique (to comedic levels, despite my adoration of BG3's cast), that it feels highly unlikely that my character, no matter how cool she may be in my head with her backstory, is the one that these interesting people will point to and declare "leader!"

Potentially unique traits are hidden under generic one-size-fits all dialogues which I do, to some extent, understand given voice acting. But as an elder one warlock, I also seriously wanted to tell Wyll, "Oh, so you made a deal with a cambion? Let me introduce you to my patron, Cousin of Cthulu." Which is nothing more than class flavor, but would still give the illusion that Tav is in same way qualified to lead. If for no reason than her ife decisions are by far the worst.

Because you don't have to play as a decisive leader in BG3 (which I appreciate). You can play as a clueless chaos child who constantly changes her mind about things at the last minute, and yet Lae'zel will still wait patiently at your camp for you to decide whether or not to ever find the creche. I would just like to see the game mechanic justified by some spark of personality or backstory or anything in my character.

As it stands now, I can only assume that Tav's tadpole is actually Lord of All Tadpoles, and that the companions are being brainwashed into following her.

Originally Posted by Sechrima
I personally love that my character has a blank slate past, with nothing more than an origin to select in character creation. This leaves me open to come up with whatever backstory I want, enhancing my role-playing experience. I don't care how good The Witcher is, I'm not interested because I don't want to be forced to play a pre-made character like Geralt. Let me make my own character and decide my own story.


I agree, I think the way to go its just to add a lot of dialogue options with our background's tag to reflect our choice.

Play The witcher tough, its great laugh
Originally Posted by wildelight
Originally Posted by clavis
Yet they are following Taz McBladerson (sorry stole the name) because Taz is doing something, he's trying, he's making decisions that the others aren't sure of so hell let him take the blame, and if it works out all the better. If not they can bitch about it, and they do.


You're the second person to steal Tav McBlanderson's name, which I bestow freely. If that becomes a thing, and it's the only thing I ever accomplish in life, I would still die feeling fulfilled. (Full name: Blanky Tav McBlanderson).

I see what you're saying, although I suspect that if you play as Shadowheart or Lae'zel, you may lose out on the other as a companion, much like the pushback already faced with Shadowheart and a custom gith.

But I still can't get over the feeling that custom characters are just . . . there. It's fine if they're actually a bartender at the blushing mermaid who got swooped up by Mind Flayers. I adore underdog stories. But why is Tav McBlanderson the only, well, normal person? Every other companion's backstory is grandiose and unique (to comedic levels, despite my adoration of BG3's cast), that it feels highly unlikely that my character, no matter how cool she may be in my head with her backstory, is the one that these interesting people will point to and declare "leader!"

Potentially unique traits are hidden under generic one-size-fits all dialogues which I do, to some extent, understand given voice acting. But as an elder one warlock, I also seriously wanted to tell Wyll, "Oh, so you made a deal with a cambion? Let me introduce you to my patron, Cousin of Cthulu." Which is nothing more than class flavor, but would still give the illusion that Tav is in same way qualified to lead. If for no reason than her ife decisions are by far the worst.

Because you don't have to play as a decisive leader in BG3 (which I appreciate). You can play as a clueless chaos child who constantly changes her mind about things at the last minute, and yet Lae'zel will still wait patiently at your camp for you to decide whether or not to ever find the creche. I would just like to see the game mechanic justified by some spark of personality or backstory or anything in my character.

As it stands now, I can only assume that Tav's tadpole is actually Lord of All Tadpoles, and that the companions are being brainwashed into following her.



Your just the parties fall girl, simple as that. Their hoping you fail so they can take command, yet a small part of them is hoping you succeed. I mean look at Drizzt's crew why was Regis even in the first series about the companions?? he did pretty much nothing his one claim to fame was a magic ruby he snagged from someone. and yet people loved him, mind you they are currently locked up in a mental rehabilition center but still. (j/k) and at times he did step up to take the lead... very far and few, but he still did it and they followed...
Originally Posted by Sechrima
I personally love that my character has a blank slate past, with nothing more than an origin to select in character creation. This leaves me open to come up with whatever backstory I want, enhancing my role-playing experience. I don't care how good The Witcher is, I'm not interested because I don't want to be forced to play a pre-made character like Geralt. Let me make my own character and decide my own story.


Oddly enough you totally nailed why I don't play it either. And never was tempted by Mass Effect or any similar "play THIS character" type of game.

Lots of the fun is creating/exploring my new character (or depending, my reincarnation of an older one).
Originally Posted by KillerRabbit
Originally Posted by kanisatha
Originally Posted by Stabbey
Funny you should ask. I just listened to a podcast with an interview with Swen, and that came up.

https://www.usgamer.net/articles/ax...-on-baldurs-gate-3s-early-access-release

Skip to 26:15 for the start of Swen's interview, but the pertinent question is at 33:30. Swen claims that the backstory for the custom character has as much depth as that of any Origin character. At 36:00 he says that the "Who do you dream of" character is a pretty important character, key to the custom character.

I've been trying to find any interviews since the EA release but have not found any yet. So this was immediately interesting to me. Unfortunately, it's a podcast, and as such does not come with CC and my hearing disability doesn't allow me to follow what's being said. Is there anything more you (or someone from Larian) could add on what Swen says?


There's not much said and what was said pretty unsatisfying. 1) the "who do you dream about" character will play a big role 2) you will understand why your character is so unique when you play one of the origin characters.

Frankly, I didn't understand what he was saying with point #2.

Thanks. And you're right, that is very unsatisfying, especially since #2 directly flies in the face of the point of the question - which is why are custom PCs not as satisfying to play as origin PCs?
I think there's a big difference between a blank slate character that you can influence to act the way that you envision and a blank slate character that acts like an animatronic sex doll without a soul... Having a fully voiced character that is incapable of being role played how you want (like in Fallout 4) is also bad in an RPG. IMO.
..An issue i have is that the main char ..fails at even being a blank slate, lol.
If i roleplay as an intimidating criminal warlock drow, the way my character emotes and reacts in cutscenes (the constant surprise and squeamishness at seeing even the tinniest/most pg acts of violence) doesn't exacly reflect the character i created.
There's even a conversation you can have with Wyll if you ask him why he's not afraid of you, a drow, to which he says 'i bet there's a smile under that scowl'.. and it would maybe make sense if my character wasn't constantly smiling when talking to him, or any other companion for that matter.

But more to the point, i don't quite understand why 'the person who you dream of' is considered such a unique trait of our Custom char. If you talk to Shadowheart you learn that she.. basically has the same dream as you..so?
Unless of course 'dream person' is a legit NPC we get to interact with outside of dreamworld... and only exists if we play as Custom char.

Obviously it's only act 1 of EA ..but still..
Originally Posted by Renaire
..An issue i have is that the main char ..fails at even being a blank slate, lol.
If i roleplay as an intimidating criminal warlock drow, the way my character emotes and reacts in cutscenes (the constant surprise and squeamishness at seeing even the tinniest/most pg acts of violence) doesn't exacly reflect the character i created.
There's even a conversation you can have with Wyll if you ask him why he's not afraid of you, a drow, to which he says 'i bet there's a smile under that scowl'.. and it would maybe make sense if my character wasn't constantly smiling when talking to him, or any other companion for that matter.

But more to the point, i don't quite understand why 'the person who you dream of' is considered such a unique trait of our Custom char. If you talk to Shadowheart you learn that she.. basically has the same dream as you..so?
Unless of course 'dream person' is a legit NPC we get to interact with outside of dreamworld... and only exists if we play as Custom char.

Obviously it's only act 1 of EA ..but still..


yeah sadly not much you can do with the cutscenes to reflect every persons character.

Faced with turning into a mindflayer Wyl smiles, and laughs.

Has personal issues, secrets, dark and dreary Wyl smiles.

sees a horde of goblins rushing to slaughter everyone will smiles and calls out 'I'm the Blade of the Frontier!'

Talks about trip through hell smiles, and talks of enjoying it

him believing there is a smile under a drow's scowl. One that seems legit for him. 2. there is a smile under the drows scowl and he'll see it when she grows tired of him talking. Would he smile when she rips out his tongue. probably because thats his defense mechanism light heartedness, playfulness, seeing the sunshine and rainbows. So for Wyl to say it no matter the truth behind it is perfectly natural to his character.
Originally Posted by Sirick
To quote the post I made about what I'd want from a Baldur's Gate 3:

"The first two Baldur's Gate games centre around “Charname”, the games protagonist character. Charname is kind of a big deal. And because of this, as a player you always felt this was your adventure, your story.
Whilst I don't think it's possible, or even wise to try and continue the story of the Bhaalspawn. I'm still wanting Larian to provide a story with the same weight, the same personal feel that the first two games had. (Good luck with that!)"

I really think they need to let the player character and who they are be one of, if not the main driving force behind the story. I don't just want to be along for the ride, I want to -be- part the ride!

Sadly, the new companions make the player character seem insanely boring and bland. As much as I loved say Minsc or Edwin, I never felt that they were overshadowing my Charname, they complimented and enhanced.


The game gives you the choice of 5 different "charnames". In live, you can play the story characters or play as El-Generico.
Originally Posted by Renaire
But more to the point, i don't quite understand why 'the person who you dream of' is considered such a unique trait of our Custom char. If you talk to Shadowheart you learn that she.. basically has the same dream as you..so?
Unless of course 'dream person' is a legit NPC we get to interact with outside of dreamworld... and only exists if we play as Custom char.

But isn't even this something that happens only if you choose to use your tadpole? As such, does anyone know how this works (if at all) if you choose never to use your tadpole?
Originally Posted by kanisatha
Originally Posted by Renaire
But more to the point, i don't quite understand why 'the person who you dream of' is considered such a unique trait of our Custom char. If you talk to Shadowheart you learn that she.. basically has the same dream as you..so?
Unless of course 'dream person' is a legit NPC we get to interact with outside of dreamworld... and only exists if we play as Custom char.

But isn't even this something that happens only if you choose to use your tadpole? As such, does anyone know how this works (if at all) if you choose never to use your tadpole?


You get no 'dream person' cutscenes if you don't use tadpole powers.
Originally Posted by Renaire
Originally Posted by kanisatha
Originally Posted by Renaire
But more to the point, i don't quite understand why 'the person who you dream of' is considered such a unique trait of our Custom char. If you talk to Shadowheart you learn that she.. basically has the same dream as you..so?
Unless of course 'dream person' is a legit NPC we get to interact with outside of dreamworld... and only exists if we play as Custom char.

But isn't even this something that happens only if you choose to use your tadpole? As such, does anyone know how this works (if at all) if you choose never to use your tadpole?


You get no 'dream person' cutscenes if you don't use tadpole powers.

That's what I thought. Thanks for confirming.

So then for a person like me who, from a role-playing stand-point will never ever even consider using the tadpole (because I play very strictly only good-aligned), the whole point of a custom PC being lame stands.
I agree with the people who says that playing a custom character should offer as much content as an origin character. So custom character should have and story arc, quests and custom dialogs like the origins.

right now, it seems, they are working hard on the origin stories, while not doing the same on the custom ones. After all, the dream person an scenes would probably happen anyway if you play an origin character. So it is not an special story arc for custom characters, just the main plot.

And neither can we imagine a PC story and play as that PC because the choices and dialog options we are offered are bland and more limited than the ones open to origin characters. For exaple, if you play a wizard with the dame intelligence (or more) than Gale, you can't even tell him to stop explaining things you already know and being so condescending. You can't compete with him to be the clever one. You are shoehorned into playing dumb so Gale seems "clever". Similar things happen with the other origin NPC's. The way they are writen, your MC can't really answer back. You are never allowed to have the last word. And sometimes, you can't even have a word. So the solution to "just imagine a background and personality" begs the question, why play then? why not just write a fanfic or an original story?

While resources are limited, they promised that playing a custom character would be as rewarding as playing an origin character. So if they won't offer a personal story arc and oportunities to, basicaly, get the uper hand on the companions, they are failing.

Example: with the goblins you can throw the shit to the face. Or you can force them to kiss your feet. It is writen that way, because you are agains an NPC. And, basically, the writer can imagine that dialog with you playing one of their origin charaters. since they want origin characters to shine, they allow to have the uper hand. Now compare with conversations with the origin characters. Why can't you answer back to Shadow heart? All of them can be snarky with you, and at no point would you have a chance to tell them "I am benching you because you keep insulting me". Or because you are unable to work with the team, etc. In a real pen and paper game, you could say that. So no, the "blank slate" remain blank in game because custom characters aren't really considered as an equaly valid choice. Otherwise, we would already have that.

And yes, conversations with the companions, could be used to talk about your own past and personality so you can define your custom character better. If not by choosing a backstory, by offering broader choices and having reactions about them in the short and long term. Choices only offered to the custom characters, because those are the ones that need to be defined by said choices.
Just a small note, I didn't use the tadpole's power even once and thus I didn't get the dream squence. It was nice to create his dream girl, but chances are I will not even meet her or have her as obvious tadpole interaction and thus just an enemy to my character. So yeah, if this is all background they are offering for the custom character, I'm sorry, but I'm not playing their 'evil murderhobbo path' and not seeing any of it.
Originally Posted by EMC_V
right now, it seems, they are working hard on the origin stories, while not doing the same on the custom ones.

Not being cute in any way, but I seriously think they aren't working on the custom characters AT ALL. The origins aren't ready (we can't play them yet without a mod) and the customs have no content of any kind.

I just don't think there are any plans to give content to custom characters. That needs to change.
I feel strongly disconnected to the main story or DOS2 when I picked custom character. Same here in BG3, I don’t know why I’m here, doing what, huge disconnected to the plot.
I agree the story is about all of our companions i'm just along for the ride.. Hateful, weird disassociated ride so far..
Its like everyone hates everyone for no real reasons at all and i'm in the middle going WTF!!!

Please just dump the origin characters and focus on the actual game.. Origin stuff is such wasted assets and dev time.
Originally Posted by biomag
Just a small note, I didn't use the tadpole's power even once and thus I didn't get the dream squence. It was nice to create his dream girl, but chances are I will not even meet her or have her as obvious tadpole interaction and thus just an enemy to my character. So yeah, if this is all background they are offering for the custom character, I'm sorry, but I'm not playing their 'evil murderhobbo path' and not seeing any of it.


Same, i didn't even know they existed until i read it on reddit.. I have not once used the worm after the first time "i lost something" on my first playthrough.
"ONLY YOU KNOW THE ANSWER" DOS2 abysmal ending still give me PTSD.
Originally Posted by dunehunter
I feel strongly disconnected to the main story or DOS2 when I picked custom character. Same here in BG3, I don’t know why I’m here, doing what, huge disconnected to the plot.


Like DOS2's ending is so bad that if you play anyone not fane it'd automatically go to default ending regardless what character you chose.
I'm going to be positive. This is an alfa. There is time to add and change things. I imagine that they would add the classes and subclasses from the main 5th edition ruleset. I would like to see diviner for wizards, for example.

And same way they are probably working on that, they might be proving the data to see which features do we want more. Maybe they thought that offering a "blank and bland" custom character would be enough to appease people who like custom characters and for some of them it is. Others like me want a full story arc exclusive for custom character, not origin characters (otherwise, origin characters would have more content always). That is the way to balance choices. You shouldn't be penalized with less content for choosing custom character (no personal story arc and quest). Neither you should penalized with less content if you choose not to use/abuse tadpole powers (with no scenes at all). Diferent scenes and outcomes should be offered. I mean, id your dream person is the way your tadpole manifest and can't when you don't use it, maybe if you don't, you can have an scene where it is a companion the one with dreams. Or where you notice your tadpole getting nervous/weaker.

And what if you equip the ring that block it? Then you get nothing? From metagaming perspective, that is penalizing players who are weary of becoming a mindflayer (which includes all alignments). So my feedback is, scenes are cool, they need to fix triggers and add options/choices for the people who make different choices.
Lols, I thought the DOS2 story was a train wreck also. These type of RPG's are all about custom "you". I do quite like the origins as that is Larians thing BUT not a BG thing. They could have used the resources for "origins" to build a world so detailed and immersive it would be legendary in 20 years time just like the original. I don't know how BG3 will pan out closer to release but the more I discover the less confident I am this game is directed at fans of BG and D&D and more towards gen z.
DOS2 was retconned and it made no sense from DOS1. The story was the weakest part of the game, and the things you had to do on Nameless Isle and Arx were just silly.
Yeah the animations are a tricky one...

We could (potentially) ask for them to give us a form of behavior option during character creation which defines the set of animations you have per standard like smiling vs scowling, being squeamish vs taking pleasure in someone else’s discomfort/pain. It would help but there will always be moments where you wouldn’t want that particular animation...

So do you tie it to dialogue/action choice?

1. [plea] insert dialogue choice
2. [Threaten] insert dialogue choice
3. [Laugh maniacally] etc etc...

It still doesn’t help when something happens and your character reacts if their own accord and thus we get instances of characters acting squeemish or obnoxiously folding their arms and grinning when you’re like “that doesn’t fit who I am!!”.

As for the story, well the more options you want the more generic custom characters will come across. I know people are very divisive on voice vs unvoiced, but that in itself is already a marked difference between the origin characters, who will be fully voiced and us. It’s jarring. The issue is, with so many race and class options, can you please enough with voice options?

Obviously you need as minimum 1 Male and 1 Female full voice option, then with what? Modifications to pitch? Not sure that works. Ahhh waiting for the day they give us a toolkit to record the voice lines ourself for our character lol 😆 (I have all the equipment!!)

But where was I, ah story... it is important that custom characters have a sense of purpose other than tadpole and as others have mentioned that could be tied to Race/Class or both. So if I play a Ranger, I received a summons to a meeting regarding plot McMuffin XYZ, I start with that and then I’m abducted (either en route or at said meeting). You wouldn’t even need to animate it (given character creation starts when it does), it could be partially narrated as you wake up, partially you spout it yourself in dialogue options near beginning or at camp when people are talking. Details can be in a letter or quest item description.

That gives me initial purpose and now I have problem ABC. I need rid of this tadpole so I can get back to (or ignore) my initial quest. Obviously I then get caught up in the actual main plot, but as long as I don’t miss certain milestones, that backstory option is still there and how I complete it depends on who I’ve become over the course of my journey. Maybe that sounds minor and unnecessary, but it gives me a link to the game world, on top of where I’m from etc...
Exactly, while we can't expect infinite options, we whould expect at least one male/female voice and the option to turn it on/off. That would be fair, considering that each origin character have their own. And then, while I don't expect a complete full story for each race+class combination, I do expect at least one unique story and quest for custom characters that is not available for their precious origin characters.

By the way, Baldurs did allow you to record your own voices in the same way that you could upload your own custom portraits.
You know what's really funny to me?

IF they pitched this game WITHOUT custom characters, and just started you in the game with a "pick your character' screen, where you choose one of their however many preset well defined, well fleshed characters.... it wouldn't seem so bad. Lots of games, historically, have done that... if that's what it is, and you know what you're getting into, that's okay.

It would also make the game a hard pass for me, and many players like me, who want to play their own character, or to at least design the visuals and somewhat the personality of the role their character then slips into. Even if the 'role' your character is dropping into is preset, being able to define your character and then having that driving element anchor them into the world is important. My concern is that Larian actually don't really grasp how what they are doing currently does not achieve that.

I saw somewhere that there was an official comment to the extent that we'd learn just how important the player character really is, when we're able to play as origin characters... and it kind of puzzled me. It was almost like they were suggesting that, when you play as an origin character, you'll play through feeling like something big and important is missing, that you didn't realise you were getting with your custom character.. and that doesn't sound likely. Even if it were, it would NOT be something you'd want to advertise. I suspect what they actually meant was that, when playing as a custom character, you're missing out on all the stuff that will make you realise how important whichever-of-larian's-characters-you're-playing is... which, again, is not something anyone should be saying to advertise their game. But then, "Every play through will leave you feeling like you're missing huge chunks of the story that you're being prevented from seeing because we forced a choice on you that locked you out of it" is the Larian golden rule, in previous games. We can only hope it changes here, fingers crossed.
Originally Posted by Niara
You know what's really funny to me?

IF they pitched this game WITHOUT custom characters, and just started you in the game with a "pick your character' screen, where you choose one of their however many preset well defined, well fleshed characters.... it wouldn't seem so bad. Lots of games, historically, have done that... if that's what it is, and you know what you're getting into, that's okay.


No, that would be very bad because D&D offers so much more customization than what origin characters can provide and its also not in the spirit of BG. There would be even more complains than now.
I think Niara’s point still stands, it’s the difference between the two “as things stand”, that make custom characters look like a bit of an afterthought.

Even more of a shame if it stays this way given that actually the customizable options are a pretty decent baseline to work from. I enjoy character creation and I only hope for more going forward, but to take my cool looking character into a game and act like a mute puppet is a little grating in comparison to the more finely crafted origin characters who are not customizable.
[Linked Image]
I think I solved it
I don't mind the main character being a blank page I can fill out with my imagination. I did it in so many other games. The issue for me is soley that they put so much time and effort into their characters instead of giving us options to create our own. Like so many say, everybody around the player character has more importance to the story because they feel more experienced, they have a rich backstory and each one of them is something extremely special AND additionally they have everything the main character has - a tadpole storyline - why? Because they can even replace the main character. Even playing the main character I still get their stories to see since they are also companions.


All in all it feels like their story and we are just tagalongs. Like something your DM had to throw in because you didn't want to play his pregenarated stuff and now he has to drag you along while he is telling you his story for his characters. It gets to the point I just don't want to experience their stories at all, just to get some room to breath and experience the story itself without them being snarly towards me as well as pissed off that I don't do what they want and feed them magical items while they are having their adventure.
I agree with Niara's point. For people who have played pen and paper D&D, the idea if premade characters is contrary to D&D game where you create and play with your own character and the story is about your own custom character.

The origin characters aren't as appealing for people who like not just D&D setting but pen and paper version. It is not just about implementing 5ed rule set, is about that playing freedom that comes from having your own character and that the story is about your character. To me, origin characters are NPC (non player characters) which should made them, by default, secondary. The story is about the PCs (player characters) who should be at the center of the action. The way they are going about the origin characters reminds me about those master with favourite NPCs that must be better at everything and always be at the center of the story to the detriment of the PCs. I didn't like it in pen and paper and didn't like it at a video game.

On the other hand, maybe Larian is going at this like an agile project and they would be adding things and making changes acording to people's feedback (I hope). This is an alfa and they might be trying to decide how to go about this part of the custom characters. And some people have offered good ideas, like the actitude that characters have in Pillars 2 or using combinations of backgrounds, races and classes to offer "stories"/Backgrounds.

I mean, the same way that Astarion label translated to "the pale elf" questline, arcstory and dialog lines, they could create 3-6 stories only selectables by custom characters that went:

"The netheresse relic"
"Betrayed by best friend"
"Criminal lord heir"
"Sole survivor"
"Amnesia"

And that were related to an story arc, some quest and a few dialog lines as appropiate. That would be a middle ground. And sure, it would be more generic than what you can have on pen and paper, but basically would allow you to have some backstory. Add the option to have "none" for those who are happy with "blank/bland" slate and there you go. I mean, it is not that different from DA1, where you were each origin could be translated as a one liner and can be sumarized the same way than the origins. You can even have requisites like "only races with human ancestors, so only humans, halfelves, tieflins and similar". But you need to have at least one available for any combination of races, class and background.

Right now, I find that the origin characters are fine as NPCs, but I don't like any of the to play. And Shadow Heart reminds me too much of Lohe with all the puppet thing. In a way, I see a pattern in the origin characters offered. Like 3 males vs 2 females, one of the females posesed and one male is really undead. And the other female is somehow bloodthirsty. Funily enough, githyanky were former slaves that would do whatever it takes to not be slaves again. And that is similar to the female elf in DOS2. I mean, it is like a pattern on the origins. Not sure if intentional so they can reuse dialogs/ideas or just happened. Anyway, I rather have custom characters more developed and better integrated in the game. Also, almost everything they do to improve certain labels, like "elf" or "wizard" apply also to their precious origin characters.

The other thing that seems not quite working is to not offer something to the people who choose to not use the tadpole powers because roleplay. The people who use the power get good outcomes out of conversations and scenes. Scenes are cool, so they reward players who use the powers. Meanwhile, players who chose to not use the powers have more difficulties in conversations and get no scenes. So you penalize out of game those players. They should add different scenes for the players who chose to not use the powers to balace out the two ways of playing. At least that is my take from a dungeon master point of view. It is like that (fair) complain by people who like to play intelligent evil characters, that all the options offered to evil characters are "dumb". I mean, it is true that an evil character won't help the goblins because they get nothing from doing so. Not only they lost the help of the druid (which at that point seems like the less costly of all to get rid of the brainworm), but it is quite obvious that the absolute thing is about letting the tadpole on your brain and controlling you. Why an intelligent evil character would like to be controled and become a puppet? There is no reason. So they are "forced" to side with the neutral guys.

Balance this kind of things is difficult and takes effort. Which is why I think they are looking at the stats. Except the stats are biased, since players chose between what they are offered, and that might not show their real preffered option. Right now, they might be chosing to romance Gale, because the other options are more difficult/buggy. Anyway, I hope we would see another big patch soon and that they improve on the custom characters.
If they were only going to pick ONE of these to key your custom character's story off of, would you prefer:


1. Your class.

2. Your race.

3. Your background.


Which one of those would you want the most to be the main determinant of what kind of storyline/origin they make for your character?


For me, it would be background. As I think you could do a lot more interesting things with like Charlatan, Urchin, Criminal, Acolyte, etc. than with the others.
Originally Posted by Firesnakearies
If they were only going to pick ONE of these to key your custom character's story off of, would you prefer:


1. Your class.

2. Your race.

3. Your background.


Which one of those would you want the most to be the main determinant of what kind of storyline/origin they make for your character?


For me, it would be background. As I think you could do a lot more interesting things with like Charlatan, Urchin, Criminal, Acolyte, etc. than with the others.


I would say none of the above. Make the PC Origin more general, allowing the player to pick through dialogue what applies to their PC. No need for a dizzying array of options that would take tons of time to code all the permutations. 1-3 solid PC choices for a custom origin would be great (with quests, story, etc...)
Originally Posted by Firesnakearies
If they were only going to pick ONE of these to key your custom character's story off of, would you prefer:


1. Your class.

2. Your race.

3. Your background.


Which one of those would you want the most to be the main determinant of what kind of storyline/origin they make for your character?


For me, it would be background. As I think you could do a lot more interesting things with like Charlatan, Urchin, Criminal, Acolyte, etc. than with the others.

I would keep it as it is right now or if I really had to pick one it would be race. Too many ways to go wrong with backgrounds, although if they could cover each of the billions of things players would come up with then I would agree with you.
Race would probably be good actually, since they already have to do "special" ones for Gith and Drow.
I would settle for a single good story that was only available to custom characters.

The variables you are offering are shared with the origins. But to answer your question, I would create a decision tree like this:

*if chacter origin --> don't add new story
*else
*if race = gith --> gith background
*if race = drow --> drow
*if race = tieflin --> tieflin
*else
*if class = arcane spellcaster --> arcane
*if class = divine spellcaster --> divine
*else
*if background = noble --> noble
*else --> commoner

Or just create 3-6 stories and let people choose another tag so custom character can have as many tags and quest as orignins. That would make it even and fair. But I suspect that having less content for custom characters is the way they have to pressure players into chosing one of their NPCs. And that was one of the reasons I never quite got engaged with the divinity story. Custom characters were like sidequicks to their origins characters and origin characters didn't feel mine. So I hope that doesn't happen. It would be disappointing.

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