Dungeons & Dragons is widely known for being popular amongst fans of fantasy and role-playing games, but for the average consumer, it might be a little bit intimidating to try to get into for the first time. There are a lot of mechanics that players need to pay attention to, and everyone plays the game so differently that it can be hard to offer a road map for those who don’t fully know how to play.
For those D&D noobs out there, you’ve no need to fear. If you’ve been looking to get into the game but felt that there were too many reasons keeping you out, then Baldur’s Gate 3 might just be the perfect stepping stone for you to begin your journey. From the game doing a lot of the work for you to being able to properly visualize the playing field, here’s 6 reasons D&D noobs should check out BG3.
You Don’t Need to Buy Your Own Dice
Right, so here’s the thing. I’ve got a lot of dice sets for D&D. Is it the best way to have spent my money? Debatable. However, from shopping for so many dice, its easy to see why they can be an overwhelming part of the game. Having your friends brag about all their crystal and metal dice while you’re borrowing your buddy’s spare set of resin dice just to make your character can leave you feeling left out before the game even starts. That’s not an issue for Baldur’s Gate 3.
In BG3, you only even see your dice when you’re making a roll, and you only see the D20 anyway, so its not like you’re swooning over some fancy full dice set. The game only lets you choose a couple of skins for your dice, so you don’t have to feel left out for not having something fancy to clatter on your table. Not to mention, some dice sets can be pretty pricey, and for some people, the higher cost of a game’s materials can lower interest in the game itself.
That being said, if you’re someone who is into collectibles — both in-game and out — there are so many varieties of dice that you don’t need to go crazy spending money on to appreciate, so it is worth taking a look! Plus if you can do resin casting yourself, you could learn how to make your own dice. Use that feeling to really immerse yourself in the game!
Don’t Worry About Confusing Homebrew Rules
Picture this: You’ve just spent a few hours building your Druid, really taking your time with it making sure your class and everything fits in the world of Faerûn. Suddenly your friend whips out this homebrew Blood Hunter that you’ve never heard of, and your Dungeon Master isn’t even following the monster stats in the rule books that you made your character from. Homebrew rules can be a lot of fun for players who know how to play the game, but can be immensely confusing for someone who’s just trying to figure out what’s going on.
Luckily, Baldur’s Gate 3 uses the vanilla, 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons rules that players have known since 2014. This makes it not only easier to focus on playing the game and understanding how it works, but you can also go online or into a physical rule book and refer to the source material. You won’t have to worry about seeing a monster that you know has 15 base hit points suddenly being twice as strong because your DM wanted to switch it up on you.
Of course, if you ever did feel like diving a little bit deeper into what you can do with BG3 or D&D as a whole, maybe try out some mods. There are plenty of mods to choose from that can alter your game in either significant ways or just add a little bit of spice to your campaign. Then, maybe after playing a little with some changes to the game, you can let your real DM know that they can make a few changes.
All Bonuses & Modifiers Are Added For You
When you’re playing D&D, and especially when you’re just getting into it, it can get inundating trying to remember what bonuses to add to your rolls. Whether it be someone in your party granting you a bonus that you didn’t remember, or you forgot that you had proficiency in dexterity but fell down a hole because you didn’t add it, it can get pretty tiring trying to remember how to modify your rolls. Luckily, BG3 makes it easy to understand what’s getting applied when, and why.
I don’t think I would have ever remembered to have Shadowheart cast Guidance on me a single time if not for BG3 giving me the option to do so just before I roll. If you’ve got a really focused DM or other players in your party, odds are, they’ll remind you to add your modifiers, but sometimes everyone just gets caught up in the moment and it’s not the first thing on your mind. Plus if you’ve got on a certain kind of armor that adds an extra proficiency, it’s nice to know that Baldur’s Gate 3 keeps track and adds that on by default.
You Don’t Have to Imagine What Things Look Like
This definitely varies from player to player because a lot of the point of playing a tabletop RPG is the fact that you have to imagine things happening, but some people’s brains don’t generate visual images the way that others’ do. It can be a bit difficult to really immerse yourself in something just because the DM is saying “you’re in a tavern,” but playing BG3 is a great way to get that visual element while also playing the game for yourself.
When everyone in the party sees the same thing the same way, it allows everyone to be on the same page as to how significant something might’ve been or how much damage was caused. If the DM says that a character cast Fire Bolt and scorched the wall of the tavern, one person might assume it was a small scorch mark while another might assume the entire wall is charred. Being able to see everything together at once gives a more common sense of presence than by just using a description.
Even though the majority of Baldur’s Gate 3’s visuals are shown to you, there are still nice touches of audio-only description in the game, keeping to its roots. The use of the narrator gives the feeling of having a DM explaining things as they happen, and it makes the moments of “seeing” another character’s thoughts with the mind-flayer parasite feel true to D&D.
You Can See Your Own Character
Going hand-in-hand with visualizing the world around you, being able to see your own character and what they look like is incredibly valuable to some people when they’re playing a game. There can be a sort of disconnect that forms when you don’t really have any visual understanding of what your own character is able to do and what they look like, so BG3 having such an in-depth character creator makes for a more immersive experience.
While you can design your own minis for playing D&D in person, it still doesn’t have that same dynamic feeling that you get from looking at your character perform the actions that you’re having them perform. Plus, in BG3 your clothing and armor change according to what you’re wearing, so you don’t have to imagine the difference between light and heavy armor.
It’s Easier to Stay on Task
I’ve had my fair share of D&D sessions end in the exact same place that they started in, only 4 hours later. There are some times where a party can get sidetracked (and still be having tons of genuine fun) to the point where they accomplish nothing more than a conversation and a drawn-out combat encounter. Not to say that it’s a a bad thing, but if you’re trying to really get into D&D, it can make it a little bit harder to do so when the group is doing more improv comedy than role-playing.
Baldur’s Gate 3 tones down the chaos just enough to focus you and your party on the game at hand rather than humoring a lot of the things that couldn’t reasonably be programmed into the game. Luckily, there is still a ton of flexibility and room for absurdity in BG3, like being able to physically throw other characters into a combat encounter, but it stays a bit more grounded in its own reality.
Also, you’ve got a map! Being able to actually see where you are, where your quests are and where you can fast travel to are all indicative of gaming as far as being on a PC or console, but they aren’t really something you have available to you when you’re playing at a tabletop. Your DM probably has a map, but players don’t usually get to see that. Being able to keep an eye on where you are at all times can also help you focus on where you are and where you need to be.
Those are my 6 reasons why D&D noobs should check out Baldur’s Gate 3! There’s plenty of reasons to get into the game from playing with the character creator to throwing yourself down a lore-fueled rabbit hole with no clear way out, so be sure to check it out on Steam and PS5, and check back here for guides if you need help on your journey.
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