Larian Studios has revealed how party dynamics work in Baldur’s Gate 3 in a new video as the game approaches its early access launch date of October 6.
In Baldur’s Gate 3, the world reacts to your choices – the decisions you make in dialogue, combat and exploration have both long-term and short-term consequences, shaping your unique story.
The same is true for your party. Each of your companions has their own personality, goals and motivations. Bound by the shared problem of an Illithid tadpole buried in their head, they will join your party, but you’ll need to put your differences aside if you want to survive. The exact relationship you have with your companions, already marred by differences, will be shaped by who you are, what you do, who you side with and what you say in conversation with them.
Larian has created reactive relationship systems that work throughout your journey . From meeting a companion to potentially romancing them, there are hundreds of permutations that define where a relationship heads, if anywhere at all. These systems have been designed to create the most intimate and authentic relationships ever seen in a Larian RPG.
In Baldur’s Gate 3, a 5e D&D game, creating a custom character or choosing one of the Origin Characters will immerse you in the story just as much.
For example, playing as a Drow wizard will give you different dialogue options than playing as a Githyanki warlock. These differences will also be present in your relationship dialogues. As you play the game and begin to make choices in combat, exploration and conversation, you’ll be presented with situations and scenarios that are unique to your playthrough. Not too long into early access, you’ll be having an adventure so specific to your character that no other player is going to see the exact same content.
The sum of a character is determined by many factors, and continues to be shaped by your actions and reactions to the world, as well as the party you journey with. Frictions may test the party’s resolve and romances might test the party dynamic. Not only will characters have opinions about you, but also about each other and other factions in the game. As with life, many decisions will have to be made, not all of them easy, and not every outcome will have an obvious conclusion.
After a long day’s journey, players end the day at their camp. Although you can interact with your companions at any time in the world, the camp is where a lot of the most intimate thoughts and feelings come into play. At camp, the party lays down their weapons and talks at their most vulnerable, all through cinematic dialogues. Through a mix of systems design, narrative writing, and cinematics, Larian is aiming to create three-dimensional relationships that feel as authentic as possible.
“At the end of the day, this remains a D&D game, and the most important character in a game of D&D is you,” said Sarah Baylus, lead writer at Larian Studios.
Each companion has been created to feel authentic, with clear motivations, differences and views on the world around them. For example, Lae’zel, a Githyanki warrior who trained her entire life to fight Mind Flayers, will approach intimacy very differently than Asterion, a vampire spawn who lured and seduced victims for his master.
“It really comes down to each individual character,” said Baylus. “There is no overarching design about how a character should react. It’s really organic and about what makes sense for them. We are trying to make these relationships feel real and feel like the relationships you have in the real world. You will meet some people who you have nothing in common with, some will be useful to work together, but that is going to be the extent of it. But there could be situations where you get on really well, you share similar goals and you love travelling together.”