Baldur’s Gate 3 is strictly a Dungeons and Dragons game with 5e rules implemented. As with all DnD games the rules are simple in BG3, you roll dice and pray to the eldritch gods for your success. However, not everything in the game depends solely on luck. BG3 offers you a lot of mechanisms (involving at least high school maths) to gain an upper hand against your enemies. One such mechanism (and the most important one) is the roll modifiers in BG3.
There are three types of Dice Rolls in Baldur’s Gate 3; combat, dialogue and exploration. These are broad categories with each having its own sub-categories. In this guide, we will mostly deal with attack rolls and modifiers in general.
How Ability Scores and Ability Score modifiers work in Baldur’s Gate 3
Ability scores (skill levels) define the number of modifiers bonuses you will get from each roll in BG3. These bonuses can be both positive and negative in terms of their outcomes. If you have low proficiency in a said skill and you decide to use it as a modifier on your roll, be prepared for a negative bonus (minus).
However, not all is so black in the world of DnD. BG3 does an excellent job of saving the newcomers by teaching them the advantage of using specific modifiers on their rolls, for a specific class. Once you get a hang of things and understand how each class can benefit from certain skills, invest in those skills and use their modifiers to turn the battle in your favor.
Ability score modifiers are not limited to combat only. They play a major role in the whole game including dialogue scenarios and solving puzzles. If you have proficiency in Sleight of Hand skill (dexterity modifier), you will get a bonus when trying to pickpocket someone (in terms of decreased difficulty class by the same number as your bonus). If you want to investigate someone which requires a roll of 13 (DC) and you have +3 bonus for it (intelligence modifier), you only need to roll 10 or above.
Types of combat dice rolls and modifiers in BG3
We will be covering the types of attack rolls and their modifiers in this section, and their importance during a combat sequence in BG3. Combat dice roll is basically divided into 4 major categories depending on the type of roll the game decides for the situation.
As soon as the battle commences and all the party members are in place on the board (or in this case the terrain), BG3 does an Initiative Roll. This roll is of extreme importance in any DnD as it determines which party member will attack first and which will go last. However, as BG3 implies DnD 5e rules, Initiative Roll now only depends on dexterity. It can be explained as.
- The party member with the highest dexterity will start the attack
- The party member with the least dexterity will go last
- The order of party members is decided on the descending orders of their dexterity in the game
As soon as you or any of your party members decides to attack an enemy, BG3 does an attack roll. As the name implies, this roll determines your chance of hitting an enemy. You will cast a 1d20 (not shown in the game) and if the number you get is higher than the enemy’s Armor Class, it is a confirmed hit. In case of a perfect 20 roll, you will do a critical hit upon your enemies. BG3 simplifies it with a graphical representation.
- Green (roll above enemy’s AC); A confirm hit on the enemy
- Yellow (roll near or same as enemy’s AC); Good chance of landing a hit but can be missed
- Red (roll below enemy’s AC); A confirm miss
Attack roll chances can be increased with modifiers and by choosing matching weapons for the character’s class.
This one is the most important roll in the game and perhaps the most complex one too. Damage Roll only initiates in BG3 once the Attack roll is successful (meaning you can only do damage if you can hit an enemy). Damage roll depends on the following things in BG3.
- Proficiency bonus; You always get +2 to your roll if you are using the correct weapon type for your character’s class (up to +4).
- Ability bonus; You get +1 for every 2 digits you are above 10 for a given ability. Like if you have 18 intelligence and using it as the main modifier, you will automatically get +4 on each roll.
- Enemy’s Armor Class; If your roll and stacked up bonuses fall short of enemy’s AC, you won’t deal full damage to them.
Saving Throw is both an offensive and defensive roll. It determines whether an enemy will save itself from your throw or not and vice versa. Once you cast a spell and a saving throw is initiated by BG3, a difficulty challenge number is generated for your enemy (by the game). If the enemy manages to roll above the DC of your saving Throw (attack), it won’t take any damage.
The same goes for the players (save). When a Saving Throw initiates against you, all you must do is to roll above the difficulty challenge number. In case of a successful roll, you will come out of the attack unscathed. However, you can only avoid Saving Throw if you counter it with an ability that allows it.
- Strength; Barbarian, Fighter, Monk, Ranger
- Constitution; Barbarian, Fighter, Sorcerer
- Dexterity; bard, Monk, Ranger, Rogue
- Charisma; Bard, Cleric, Paladin, Sorcerer, Warlock
- Wisdom; Cleric, Druid, Paladin, Warlock, Wizard
- Intelligence; Druid, Rogue, Wizard
Roll Modifiers in BG3 explained
Roll modifiers as their name explains, modify the rolls in your favor by giving them additional bonuses. It is a bit complex to understand but let’s break it down into simple words. There are two kinds of modifiers in BG3, and both only activate once you pass Attack Roll and do a Damage Roll.
They are ability and proficiency modifiers. The ability modifier deals directly with the weapons and their class.
- Melee weapons carry modifiers known as strength modifiers which grant additional bonus to the roll. This will end up doing more damage to the enemies.
- Ranged weapons like bows and crossbows use dexterity modifiers to grant additional roll bonuses.
Proficiency modifiers deal with weapon proficiency. This can only be calculated by using a certain weapon for a certain class. Like if you use Swords or Greatswords for Barbarian class character, you will get +2 proficiency bonus for your weapon with each roll (with a maximum of up to +4).
Proficiency modifiers also work with Saving Throws (having proficiency in the skill with a specific class) and Skill Check. While performing a Skill Check like a Perception check, you will get a proficiency modifier bonus depending on how proficient you are with the skill.
Using certain spells or items can also apply modifiers to rolls in and out of combat. The Guidance cantrip applies a flat 1d4 bonus to all ability checks.