Baldur’s Gate 3: A Short Story

  • Developer:  Larian Studios
  • Publisher:  Same mate

I’ll tell you a quick Baldur’s Gate 3 story.

Boxes hide a door. How sneaky. These boxes are quickly moved out the way and the game warns me someone is behind the door.

This is a warning of potential shenanigans because there’s always something behind a bloody door. Intriguing.

Quick little heal before we tackle this door.
Quick little heal before we tackle this door.

I brazenly walked in and a young guard is upset and violent.

“HALT dialogue plays”.

I’m sure we can talk this out.

A skill check ensues and I try to calm the boy down. I roll a 7 and fail this check. The angry young man throws a fireball into a red barrel and the whole area explodes and several of my party are dead.

That was a pretty definitive fuck you.

No really… wait… listen!

I’m sure this won’t be a problem.

I try again.


Leave it son, walk away.

And we try again, but this time with a more charming character.

Fuck. What tremendous failure. I’m unlucky and bloody minded.

I could leave it, but I’m really invested into getting past this door now.

Sidenote – I check the options. Karmic dice are enabled to explicitly avoid this kind of repeated failure. Bloody hell, I am unlucky.

I somewhat cheat. I sneak open the door, peek into the room and snipe the explodey barrel. The angry lad who wants to insta-kill me decides to leave his post and walk outside. The default script for criminal damage plays and a voiceover asks me whether to fess up to the arson. I decide not to admit to destroying the barrel. The game hums, thinks about it, then decides to play the next script where I need to directly lie to the angry boy. Damn you narrator.

Do I admit that I did it (again), lie (just as you should) or pay for criminal damage to make this angry lad “leave it”.

I pass the charming skill check and lie expertly. He believes my character, the guy who moved the barricade, the bloke clutching a crossbow, the only person in the area, the same area he’s paranoid protecting, he walks around in a circle, like you do, before walking back through his doorway.

That was a bit weird.

I walk back in the doorway and we are back to the same initial angry dialogue.

“HALT dialogue plays”.

I should fucking kill you.

Aw fuck.

I fail the same skill check and everyone explodes and dies.

Fuck me.

I try again because now I’m interested. I want, no need to see the guts of this game play out. I’m no longer playing the game, I’m testing the limits of what it can do. You could say this has taken me out of the story a touch.

I again trick the guard into leaving his post to tell me off about the heinous criminal damage to his barrel. This time I fail the dialogue check to say “I didn’t do it” and it all gets a bit fighty.

I beat the shit out of him.

I ransack the body and steal a key. It feels really unsatisfying.

Sidenote – Why didn’t I steal the key and play on? Because I wanted to see how this nonsense played out like the fool that I am. I can’t abide janky key theft. I just can’t.

Sod it. Re-load and back to plan A!

I’d been playing the same 5 minutes for 20 minutes. This is a me problem.

I try again and success. The angry young lad didn’t instantly murder me! Another skill check to persuade him into letting me into the super-secret base. It’s at this point I’m acutely aware I don’t know why I’m even trying to get into this place. I just stumbled across it.

There’s another skill check immeidately after the first. I need to persuade him to let me through. I roll a 1 and everyone explodes again.

Or is it? or is it? Or is it?!

It’s at this point, I’d like to tell you I’ve apathetically walked away from the game a few times. The writing, the world, the characters, the infrastructure is 10 out of 10. The game puts so much effort into blocking off the fun. It’s all so stop-start.  You could roll with the punches and not get past the angry lad or erm… die, but it’s so fucking arbitrary.

I kept thinking why are we even rolling dice here? Surely this isn’t a moment for random chance. If there has to be random chance, why is it so fucking harsh? We can roll with some punches, right?

It might be the greatest shite game I’ve ever played in my life.

The angry lad is now not angry and I do not feel rewarded nor clever for reloading. I walk around the super-secret base.

Let us have a nice little chat and diceroll.

Thankfully I pass the next dice roll and I’m not insta-murdered by the watery-eyed lass.

All the traps in the base are disarmed and it’s a nice big area. Finally, a little luck!

That was a freebie.
Can you please stop standing on boxes?

I utterly waste my time by ransacking the thousand crates for nothing. Fuck me. What is wrong with me? You spend 5 minutes opening all the crates for a fucking carrot. I’m on the other side of the base and there’s no-one else here is worth talking to, so it’s time to leave.

My interest is waning, I click towards the exit and…

Oh no.

The entire fucking area explodes killing nearly everyone including the quest-giver. The explosion was so big, my computer nearly had a fit. Was it the traps? Oh… Bloody oil and fire.  

I sit back.

I could reload again.

Fuck me that was funny.

Oh no, I forgot to autosave. Hey ho.

Technically, I don’t think I failed this quest.

Sidenote – Brilliantly the losing streak did continue which allowed me to go back and snap some pictures. I’m sure I’m going to break the F8 key.

Sure, I could create a new character with more charisma or get the most charming fucker in my party to placate the dice rolls but I wanted to play as the dickhead I already made. I’m not sure why the game wants to give you a gameover screen so readily. Surely that should be the domain of the fights and some natural consequences of the story. Ya know, making your bed an’ all. Not a random doorway.

Sidenote – It’s a little annoying you can’t pick the guy to do the diceroll test after the event has been initiated. I mean, I walk into the room with my hard-nut headkicker and I’m forced to have them do the smoothtalking?

Dice are in charge of my story. The dice need to take a fucking rest. We already have ready-made fire based fun.

The game delights in exploding the room on a whim.

I really want to love this game.

The Narrator – And he did return one week later and he did love this game. Bless him and bless every last one of you. Now on your way you cheeky scamp.

*chuckles until death*
Let us leave this place. GOOD DAY TO YOU!