Just like classes, races play a large role in forging your character's identity in Baldur's Gate 3 and most RPGs, for that matter. They let you decide whether you go on adventures as humans, demon-like tieflings and anything in between while also determining how others view you.
Aside from looks, Baldur's Gate 3 races can also grant various bonuses that can provide an edge in combat or when talking to other characters.
As the cRPG nears its Early Access release date, developer Larian Studios has revealed the races and sub-races that players will have access to at launch.
Baldur's Gate 3 Races and Subraces
Building on the information initially shared during Baldur's Gate 3 gameplay reveal at PAX East, the developer has confirmed, in an emailed press release, that Baldur's Gate 3 will launch in Early Access with the following races and subraces:
- 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.
- Heirs of the mystical Feywild, high elves value magic in all its forms, and even those who do not study spellcraft can manipulate the Weave.
- Wood elves spend their reclusive lives in Faerûn’s forests. Decades of training in archery and camouflage are enhanced by an otherworldly swiftness.
- Drow are the result of an ancient schism between the elven deities Corellon Larethian and Lolth. The latters’ 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.
- 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.
- A touch of the Feywild remains in half-elves with this bloodline, and even those untrained in magic possess a hint of wild power.
- Like their wood elf parent, 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.
- 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 dwarves are known for their confidence and keen intuition. The culture of their Deep Kingdom values family, ritual, and fine craftsmanship.
- Shield dwarves survived a long fall from grace, surrendering many of their ancient kingdoms in wars with goblins and orcs. These losses have lead to a cynical mindset, yet shield dwarves will endure anything to restore their ancestral homelands.
- Lightfoot halflings are stealthy but social, travelling all over Faeûn to make names for themselves.
- Legends say dwarven blood gave stronghearts their hardiness. Resistant to poison and wellsprings of endurance, these halflings easily hold their own.
- 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.
- Descended from the archdevil Mephistopheles, these tieflings are gifted with a particular affinity for arcane magic.
- Tieflings from Zariel’s bloodline are empowered with martial strength, and can channel searing flame to punish their enemies.
Like with classes, developer Larian Studios intends to add more races as Baldurs Gate 3's time in Early Access progresses. Each race also comes with its own set of features that further distinguish them from each other.
We're listing them below but it's worth keeping in mind that they're pulled straight from the pre-alpha build shown during PAX East and are subject to change:
- Tiefling - Intelligence +1, Charisma +2, Hellish Resistance
- Drow - Charisma +1, a special Cantrip, Darkvision, Drow Weapon Training
- Human - Strength +1, Dexterity +1, Constitution +1, Intelligence +1, Wisdom +1, Charisma +1
- Githyanki - Intelligence +1, Strength +2, Decadent Mastery, Martial Prodigy
- Dwarf - Wisdom +1, Dwarven Weapon Training, Dwarven Resistance, Dwarven Toughness
- Elf - Dexterity +2, Intelligence +1, Keen Senses, Fey Ancestry, Elven Weapon Training, Darkvision
- Half-Elf - Charisma +2, Ability Improvements +2, Fey Ancestry, Darkvision
- Half-Drow - Ability Improvements +2, a special Cantrip, Darkvision
- Halfling - Charisma +1, Lucky, Brave, Mercurial Step, Naturally Stealthy
We'll likely learn more about available subraces and features closer to Baldur's Gate 3's Early Access release later this year, at which point we'll update this article.
For more info on Larian's upcoming RPG, check out everything we know about Baldur's Gate 3.
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