Baldur’s Gate 3 – Useful Tips: Skills and Conversations

Skills and Conversations

For those of you new to DnD or those veterans of DnD that want to understand how things differ in BG3 regarding skills, I wanted to put together a little primer that may help you decide on how to build your MC and your Companions.

Here is the most important rule: Your Main Character should always be the one talking. 95% of companion relationship building come from conversations. If you use a companion to lead conversations, then you lose out on any approval changes and possible bonding moments your MC would otherwise have with your companions. Additionally you will almost always get more interesting conversations by picking a class, race, or background conversation choice, but do what makes sense for your character.

There are three main classifications of skills I am going to talk about (and they probably aren’t the ones you are thinking about):

  • Combat
  • Environmental
  • Communication

There is some overlap, but I’ll go through each fully.

Combat: These are the skills that keep you alive when you are fighting, or are about to fight. From my experience there are only 4 of these, though please point out if I missed any. They are:

  • Acrobatics
  • Athletics
  • Perception
  • Stealth

Acrobatics and Athletics provide a couple defenses (against shoving, grappling, and environmental hazards) and Athletics gives you the offensive abilities to match.
Perception and Stealth let you spot ambushes and set up ambushes of your own.

Needless to say, every character you’ve got can benefit from acrobatics or athletics plus stealth and perception.

Environmental: These are the skills that affect or trigger when you are traversing and exploring.

  • Acrobatics
  • Athletics
  • Perception
  • Sleight of Hand
  • Survival
  • All Intelligence skills

Again, Athletics and Acrobatics are protecting you from the environmental hazards. Additionally, Athletics affects your jumping distance and Acrobatics your fall damage.

Perception, Investigation, and Survival are constantly rolling in the background to determine if you find ingredients, traps, and hidden objects.

Sleight of hand obviously helps you open things and disarm traps. It helps to have at least one person with this skills, but isn’t critical because every trap (so far in EA) has an alternate solution to dealing with traps, and you can reroll lockpicking until you run out of picks.

Intelligence skills are used when interacting with environmental items like plaques, deciphering runes, and noticing things in their specific realms of knowledge.

Again, you can see that Athletics/Acrobatics and Perception are key skills to keep around for all characters. Having some representation in the other skills is helpful, and are good places to put extra skills for your companions once you have the combat skills covered

Communication: These are the checks that occur during dialog choices you will make. Every skill in the game can come into play during conversations, though some more often than others. I’m only going to point out the most critical ones:

  • Insight
  • Perception
  • Investigation
  • All Charisma skills

Insight is probably the singularly most useful skill in conversations (probably in the game if you are a chatterbox). It lets you intuit character motivations, reactions, possible actions (like when they are about to punch you), and other information which can lead to whole sub-trees of conversations. Everyone’s MC should have this skill, unless they are purposefully RPing an oblivious character. Fortunately there is a great background that has Insight and Persuasion (which will will talk about it a second), which is Guild Artisan. (As an added perk it is pretty easy to get inspiration for guild artisan in conversations, but that is a separate topic)

Perception is important here to catch NPC’s trying to pull one over on you in a physical manner, things like picking your pockets or using a hidden item. In a similar vein, Investigation lets you probe deeper into what you are seeing.

Finally Charisma skills. Each has a unique purpose and affect NPCs differently based on their individual characteristics (insight can help you determine which would work best). Having at least one of these can come in clutch, though they aren’t strictly needed, and it can be fun to play an inarticulate character.

  • Of the four, Persuasion is the safest bet when trying to convince normal people to accept you and do what you want.
  • Deception is great for getting out of things quickly or in situations where your lies can’t be found out. Be careful though because getting caught in a lie can lead to a reputation hit with NPCs, or worse.
  • Intimidation is more situational and works best on weak or aggressive NPCs, making the weaker cower and the aggressive characters respect you (that may backfire though).
  • Performance seems the least used, but that may change as we get into the city where there are a lot more opportunities to entertain and distract NPCs.

In summation for the Party:

  • Do your best to have athletics or acrobatics on all of your characters, especially frontliners.
  • Get Perception on everyone.
  • Have one character with Sleight of Hand
  • Have a decent spread of the other environmental skills across the party

In summation for the MC:

  • Get Insight and Perception, those two skills are the closest to a mandatory decision as anything can get in the game.
  • Grab Athletics or Acrobatics, especially if you are a frontliner.
  • Have a Charisma skill as a backup for when your other Skills/Class/Race/Background don’t show up as conversation options.

Final Note: If you don’t already have a Background in mind for your MC, Guild Artisan is probably the best one by default if you are concerned at all about conversations.

Volodymyr Azimoff
About Volodymyr Azimoff 926 Articles
I turned my love for games from a hobby into a job back in 2005, since then working on various gaming / entertainment websites. But in 2016 I finally created my first website about video games – Gameplay Tips. And exactly 4 years later, Game Cheat Codes was created – my second website dedicated to legal game cheats. My experience with games started back in 1994 with the Metal Mutant game on ZX Spectrum computer. And since then, I’ve been playing on anything from consoles, to mobile devices.

1 Comment

  1. There is one exception to the above if you don’t mind save scumming (no judgement, I think we’ve all been there). If you have a conversation in the daylight that really pisses off a companion you care about, you can reload the game and lead the conversation with a different party member. This will keep your MC from taking the relationship hit, but it is hardcore cheese.

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