Larian Studios today announced the races, variations and classes that will be a part of Baldur’s Gate 3’s early access phase of development. Players will be able to select from 16 races/subraces, as well as six classes, from day one of early access, which starts Oct. 6, 2020, on Stadia, Steam and GOG.com.
At launch, players will be able to create humans, githyanki, elves, drow, half-elf, dwarves, halflings, and tieflings, including subraces of each race. The early access release of Baldur’s Gate 3 provides around 25 hours of content, designed for multiple playthroughs. Players can create their own characters in single-player, or as a party of up to four players in multiplayer, each with their own character.
Races more alien to the Sword coast — like the Drow and Githyanki — are so rare to the average NPC that you’ll find their interactions to be unique, as well. The world of Baldur’s Gate 3 is a highly reactive one, so this single choice will have huge ramifications across your play experience.
Baldur’s Gate 3’s character creation features photorealistic fantasy races based on 3D scans of actors and models (blemishes and all), selected because their features roughly resembled the direction for each race in the game, as well as, of course, for diversity and variety in the human-like races. Our team spent much of pre-production carefully selecting, scanning, and moulding these scans to become the base heads for character creation. Launching into early access is a total of 150 heads to pick from, across 16 races and subraces.
Alena Dubrovina, Lead Character Artist at Larian Studios, said, “When the cinematic dialogues were introduced for BG3, we realized that we needed to make a huge quality leap for the character art. We wanted to make characters look their best and put the bar very high. We had to be innovative to make such a large range of heads at the quality we wanted.
“We decided to use scanned faces in our production to create characters as realistic as possible. We scanned 40 people of different ages and ethnicity. While scouting for models we focused on features that would fit one of the fantasy races. We looked for faces that either had something unique about them or were very versatile to fit different characters. Eventually, we transformed that into approximately 150 unique heads of various races that you can see in-game now, and that number will keep growing. Some of the scanned heads kept their features, but others became a starting point for creating new faces. We also used scanned data as a learning resource because there is no better sculptor than nature.”
Here’s what you’ll have access to at the start of early access:
- The most common face to see in Faerûn, humans are known for their tenacity, creativity and endless capacity for growth. They live fully in the present — making them well-suited to the adventuring life — but also plan for the future, striving to leave a lasting legacy.
- Githyanki are peerless warriors from the Astral Plane, known for their legendary silver blades and red dragon mounts. They seek the total destruction of mind flayers, whose ancient empire enslaved the githyanki for millennia.
- High Elf: Heirs of the mystical Feywild, high elves value magic in all its forms. Even those who do not study spellcraft can manipulate the Weave.
- Wood Elf: Wood elves spend their reclusive lives in Faerûn’s forests. Decades of training in archery and camouflage are enhanced by an otherworldly swiftness.
- Seldarine Drow: Drow are the result of an ancient schism between the elven deities Corellon Larethian and Lolth. The latter’s treachery drove the drow into the Underdark, where they splintered into warring factions. Seldarine drow can be found seeking allies from all over Faerûn, aiming to settle their conflict with Lolth — and each other — by any means necessary.
- Lolth-Sworn Drow: Raised by Lolth’s cult in the city of Menzoberranzan, these drow extol the virtues of their corrupt and merciless goddess. Lolth marks her followers with bright red eyes so the Underdark will learn to fear drow on sight.
- High Half-Elf: A touch of the Feywild remains in half-elves with this bloodline. Even those untrained in magic possess a hint of wild power.
- Wood Half-Elf: Like their wood elf parents, these half-elves have a quickened stride and eye for stealth. Yet many break away from isolation in Faerûn’s forests to explore the rest of the Realms.
- Drow Half-Elf: Most half-drow result from liaisons between Seldarine drow and surfacers. While half-drow inherit a few magical gifts, they aren’t usually raised in the Underdark.
- Gold: Gold dwarves are known for their confidence and keen intuition. The culture of their Deep Kingdom values family, ritual and fine craftsmanship.
- Shield: Shield dwarves survived a long fall from grace, surrendering many of their ancient kingdoms in wars with goblins and orcs. These losses have led to a cynical mindset, yet shield dwarves will endure anything to restore their ancestral homelands.
- Lightfoot Halfling: Lightfoot halflings are stealthy but social, travelling all over Faeûn to make names for themselves.
- Strongheart Halfling: Legends say dwarven blood gave stronghearts their hardiness. Resistant to poison and wellsprings of endurance, these halflings easily hold their own.
- Asmodeus Tiefling: Bound to Nessus, the deepest layer of the Hells, these tieflings inherit the ability to wield fire and darkness from the archdevil Asmodeus’ infernal bloodline.
- Mephistopheles Tiefling: Descended from the archdevil Mephistopheles, these tieflings are gifted with a particular affinity for arcane magic.
- Zariel Tiefling: Tieflings from Zariel’s bloodline are empowered with martial strength and can channel searing flame to punish their enemies.
The Sword Coast attracts adventurers from across all of Faerûn. The nearly 600 NPCs you can meet in Act 1 are drawn from across the Forgotten Realms. Character creation includes hundreds of options to ensure that each character is unique, and the world reacts to you in ways that help ensure you and your choices are unique, too.
In early access, you’ll have six classes to choose from — Cleric, Fighter, Ranger, Rogue, Warlock and Wizard — each with at least two subclasses available. Will you be a beast-taming, mage-breaking, charlatan halfling ranger with a toxic frog as a familiar, or a noble githyanki eldritch knight who let herself be seduced by the Absolute, with the ability to psionically drag her enemies towards her? Or will you go for a more traditional tiefling warlock who made a pact with the devil? The choices are endless!