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D&D rules make any Baldur's Gate 3 expansion "difficult", developer says

"Honestly, we haven't started."

Official artwork showing origin characters on a cloudy blue background with a small section of a mind flayer ship visible in the left.
Image credit: Larian Studios

Baldur's Gate 3 developer Larian has explained why the rules of Dungeons and Dragons make any potential expansion to its hit PC role-player "very hard" to make.

Indeed, Larian currently has no Baldur's Gate 3 expansion in the works.

Speaking to PC Gamer, Larian boss Swen Vincke said the rules of D&D - which Baldur's Gate 3 follows closely - mean any continuation of the game would enter potentially tricky territory, with characters at higher levels able to wield game-breaking godlike powers.

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"[Level 12-20] adventures require a different way of doing things, in terms of antagonists you're going to have to deal with, which require a lot of development to do them properly," Vincke said. "Which would make this much more than an expansion in terms of development effort.

"A lot of D&D adventures are sub-level 12 for precisely that reason. So it sounds like neat, easy expansion material until you start thinking about it and it's not as easy as one would imagine."

I've played D&D each week for a number of years, and have seen how characters can become incredibly powerful once their levels reach double figures.

Descent into Avernus, a campaign I've completed which begins in the city of Baldur's Gate, is designed to end with characters at a max of level 13 - and that takes you down into the aforementioned hellish realm where you end up doing battle with literal demigods.

At Level 20, Clerics gain the ability to call upon their god to do anything they please. Rogues, meanwhile, can simply turn failed rolls into successes.

Designing all of this into a game that's still balanced and fun to play seems a tough ask - and that's without the need to pick up from Baldur's Gate 3's many different endings. ("You'd have to wait for a long time," if Larian was going to do that, Vincke said.)

Our Bertie chatted with Vincke in the run up to the launch of Baldur's Gate 3, and heard from him then on the difficulty of designing any game with such a broad range of powers, while respecting player freedom.

"That's god-like levels and it's like, how do you make an RPG with these things? It's insane," he said.

"You don't want to put them on a railroad because we're not that type of game. So I don't know, actually. I would have to think very hard, together with the team, on how to do that."

Still getting started with Baldur's Gate 3 and the 12 player levels it offers? We have a full Baldur's Gate 3 tips guide to help you on your way.

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