What is Baldur's Gate?
BG is a 1998 cRPG made by BioWare and released by Black Isle (which automatically makes it one of the best in the genre) set in the Forgotten Realms setting - a high fantasy one, which is also known for the ridiculously cliched character Drizzt Do'Urden
The game was made to use the standard Forgotten Realms ruleset, meaning it has rules from Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 2nd Edition, meaning that the rules are already over twenty years old. The game doesn't show the dice rolls, however, so it isn't really important. I guess if one would want to optimize the character, it is possible to use the book for it.
BG was made on Bioware's Infinity Engine. The same engine was used in a few other games, like Planescape: Torment, Icewind Dale 1 and 2, and, of course, the sequel to Baldur's Gate.
BG got an expansion, Tales of the Sword Coast, which adds about 20-30 hours of gameplay. I have no idea how long the base game is, but seeing as the expansion is longer than a full game today, this LP might take a while.
Please note that I'm going to play using EasyTutu, which is in fact a total conversion for Baldur's Gate 2 allowing you to play BG1 on the sequel's (lightly) enhanced engine, adding some spells and (as far as I know) classes. Additionally, I have a widescreen mod, allowing me to play in glorious 1440x900. Also, this is my first time playing the game, so there might be some guesswork and usage of guides.
Alright, this one looks okay. She has a nice evil smirk, and looks suitably backstabby.
Human – since they're actually pretty good. I think they get some neat bonuses each level, and are a jack of all trades, while not necessarily being a master of none.
I'll pick a thief, since I bet there'll be a bunch of locked chests and such stuff, and there probably won't be another thief anytime soon, while I can probably count on getting the other classes. After picking the thief option, we get another choice, of the kit.
The thief is the basic thief – robbing people blind, that sort of thing.
The assassin is a stabby person, who doesn't get a lot of points to add to lockpicking etc, but can coat her dagger with poison (dealing damage over time), has a better chance of hitting stuff, and does more damage from backstabs.
The bounty hunter lays traps. I'd say that this isn't a very good incentive for me to get less sneaky-stealy stuff.
The swashbuckler is a funny class, specializing in acrobatic combat and getting suitable bonuses for it, but losing the ability to do backstabs completely.
I'll pick the vanilla thief, because I want to steal stuff and be able to do more damage from sneak attacks.
Chaotic Neutral, of course, since I want to do whatever I want to! The alignment chosen in the beginning doesn't really matter, though, it just changes your beginning reputation (or so I read).
I'll use an old trick I've done playing other games based on the d20 mechanic – rerolling until I get lots of free ability points.
It took some time, but I have 60 points. Yay.
Since I don't remember what skills the abilities affected in ADnD, and lack a manual, I'm just going to assign them as I think they would fit.
I think this'll work.
There's quite a bit of them, and a few additional thief skills. Vanilla thieves get 40 skill points, which is, like, twice the bounty hunter's points and many more than the assassin has.
I picked proficiency in daggers ( 1 point, thieves can't have more. Fighters can go up to 4! ), and in the single weapon style. Since I want to stab peoples in the back. Without a shield.
I can't see how this can go wrong.
I put the skill points into pickpocketing, bumping it up to 30, open locks – 35, find traps – 20, move silently – 25, and hide in shadows – 25 as well. This makes my character pretty good at opening locks, but not so good at everything else.
As much as I find the idea of a pink-clothed thief amusing, I'll go with the standard ninja color scheme! (It's not like it's gonna be visible when I put on some armor anyway-- or is it?)
I like blueberries. Especially in pie.
And there we go, character done.
Did I do something while I was drunk or something, that I have to run away?
Annnd, that's me. Or, rather, Blueberry. The green person in the top right is one of the tutorial monks, which I will now proceed to talk to.
Time to save.
After trying to pickpocket the tutor, I discovered that he has absolutely nothing. I guess that makes sense, him being a monk.
Okay... Tell me what you know, tutor.
Space bar pauses. Okay, I knew that.
I'll skip the rest of the tutors, because the things they say are pretty obvious...
Imperative: Talk to everyone.
Phlydia- Oh, hello! Hey, have you seen my copy of „The History of Halruaa” anywhere? You know how I can't stand the constant shuffling of arthritic feet up in the library... So I thought I'd get a bit of fresh air just east of here and... Oh, I hate being so absent-minded! Please, if you find it, I really do need it back.
Blueberry- Might as well get the free experience points. Not that I can refuse.
I tried pickpocketing Phlydia, but she apparently doesn't have anything.
The journal was updated with the info about the quest. Since it says that she lost the last books in the hay, she must have dropped the new books there too, right?
Unfortunately, the cows have nothing to say on that matter.
A few steps east, a tutor told me how to enter buildings. So I did. Say hi to Shank. With a name like that, he couldn't possibly be an assassin, right?
A few hits with Blue's staff later, she got her first dagger! Also, one of the boxes had a warhammer. It has it no longer.
Parda- Blueberry, you cut yourself above the brow, there. What is wrong, child? Something in your eyes tells me that something is very wrong indeed.
Blueberry- It's... it's nothing Parda. One of the cats didn't like me petting it. I'm alright, really... Disregard the dead body lying by the door... It's just an illusion...
Parda- Mm, yes, well... Get what you need from the Inn, then, for Gorion is desperate for you to be off.
Parda then enters the building, but when I checked, he wasn't inside.
Blueberry- Ninjas. It's always ninjas.
Dreppin- Oh hey, if you finish that fetch quest, I can give you another fetch quest, isn't that great.
Blue- Experience pointsssss...
Phlydia gave me a gem for getting her the book, and said that I might want to sell it. Duh, as if I could do anything else with a gem.
Back to Dreppin, because I need my fetch quest fix.
Dreppin- Hey, my cow's sick. I heard Hull has an antidote, but my legs are made of wood and I cannot get it from him myself. Help?
Blue- Sure. Yeah. I like experience.
But first, I'll pay a visit to the inn. And talk to Firebead Elvenhair, the poor man with the silliest name in Faerun. He wants a scroll back from Tethoril, who is in the inner grounds. Another fetch quest? Great.
The innkeeper is quite the joker.
Winthrop- Well hello there, young one! Come to visit your old pal Winthrop, have ye? Well, don't forget the 5,000 gold piece book entrance fee, as per Candlekeep custom, doncha know.
Blue- You always were the big kidder, Winthrop. That gets funnier very nearly every time I hear it. Well, perhaps not so often. Actually, it never does. Your jokes suck.
Winthrop- Haw! Just having a bit o' fun with ye, my friend. Them monks may be walking about with poles in their nethers, but you know you are always welcome here in my sight. Gorion did well by you, he did. So, is there anything I can do for ya. Some drinks, a room to sleep, or anything to buy?
Let's sell the stuff we gathered, which is a... war hammer and a gem. 8gp. Not a lot of cash, but I don't think I'll be needing a lot of it anyway.
There's also a steal window, in case you want to rob a shop, but I'm not skilled enough to succeed yet.
In the other room, there's a pair of nobles, which 'would like some time alone'. After looting the bookshelf, I granted their wish. Arn't I great.
Upstairs, there's more containers to loot. One, two, three, noble...
Nobleman- Yes? Might I help you?
Blue- I was just wondering who else was sharing the inn with me tonight. Who might you be. Totally wasn't going to rob you.
Nobleman- I MIGHT very well be anyone, but I AM Christian of Waterdeep. Likely you would not know my family name or history, and this suits me well and good. These trips to Candlekeep are a bit of extravagance on my part, and while I use no illicit substances or neither consort with „hired” company, I spend quite enough here that I should not like it common knowledge. To this end, I should appreciate it if you would forgo your odd little attempt at introductions and leave me to my thoughts.
Blue- Oh. Okay. Sure. Bye.
The next room has another noble, but he isn't very interesting.
Well, let's get rid of the loot. A dagger, a necklace, and a... potion of clarity? Oooh. I have no idea what it does, but oooh.
I'll get some studded leather armor, so that Blue doesn't die from a random stab.
Blue- You're the fighting teacher?
Blue- ...fine. But do I have to have your buddy shoot arrows at my back as well?
One beating later.
Jondalar- You did good kid, especially after Erik started firing those arrows at ya. I'm sure your father would be proud. You should go talk to the Gatewarden if you want some experience in fighting with a group of people. You can find him just south of here. Out there it can be pretty important to know how to fight with allies at your side.
Oh hey, a dwarf, let's talk to him.
Reevor- I thought I asked you to clean the rats out of this building yesterday, already. Hop to it! Get in there!
Blue- SIR, YES SIR!
Stabbing rats. It's terrible how often Blue misses the rats. Fortunately, they don't do too well themselves, either.
Reevor- Ah yes, kill them like the rats they are! A glorious battle unlike any this world has ever seen... Here's 5 gp, don't spend it all in one place.
Further south, I met Hull, who told me to bring his sword from the barracks, and also that the antidote for the cow is there too.
I checked what's in the gate here, and this person started chasing me!
Oh, it's Imoen. Whoever that is.
Imoen- I'm surprised that stuffy ol' Gorion let you away from your studies and chores. That ol' fiddle faddle. I snuck off too. Old Puffguts Winthrop was looking for me, but I've got all day to do his chores. You have time for a story today? No, I can tell you don't. What have ya been up to?
Blueberry- I'm afraid I cannot chat today, little one. My foster father wishes me to prepare for a journey, but will not say to where.
Imoen- Little one? I'm not much younger than you, though you sure got tall fast. Relatively, anyway. A journey, eh? I never get to travel. Wish I could go with ya. Yep, I really wish I could. Yessir. Really do. Seriously. Come on. Take me.
Blue- All right, all right. I get the message. I'll ask if you can go with us. It's obvious you'll join me anyway, since you have a portrait. Just stop talking.
Imoen- Oh don't be silly, Gorion would never even let you finish the sentence. Especially after what that letter of his said... er... did I say that? No, of course I didn't. Never saw no letter. Nope. I'll just get back to work now. You had better go. Gorion is waiting.
Blue- Sure. Note to self: ask about letter.
A few steps further, I met the Gatewarden, who offered to let me train group combat with a bunch of other losers.
A few gibberlings and a few steps west later.
Bunkhouse? Bunkhouse = building = loot!
Blue- Oh hey, another person! I'm sure he doesn't want to kill me!
A few stabs and a picked up dagger later. (The building didn't actually have any loot, though. I feel cheated.)
Karan- I heard shouting, Blueberry! Are you alright?
Blueberry- He's... He's dead, whoever he was. He lunged at me with a knife. Oh Karan, what is happening to this place? I mean, isn't there a horde of guards around at all times? How do you let shady guys with daggers in?
Karan- It's not this place, child... It's you they'reafter. Gorion is waiting on the steps to the central library and wants you to go to him as soon as you have bought what you need at the inn. Oh, Blueberry, I have been your tutor for so many years and only in this moment have I come to doubt that my teachings have not been enough. Go to Gorion, child. It is safe for you here no longer... As in, go before another random passerby tries to stab you.
Blue- Sure, after I finish looting the keep.
The barracks are a bit to the north, and Fuller is inside. I guess he's the captain of the guard.
Blue- Hey, you got any fetch quests for me?
Fuller- Sure, here ya go.
He wants me to get him a bunch of crossbow bolts. I tried stealing from the chests in there, but they're all locked and lockpicking is dangerous when you aren't able to hide ( I tried ). So I take the antidote and sword from the only unlocked chest and walk over to the inn to get the bolts. Before that, though, I got the scroll for Firebead from Tethtoril. Elvenhair cast Protection From Evil on me for giving him the scroll. I wonder if it'll be of any use.
Got the bolt, gave them to Fuller, got called a money-grubber. Walked over to Dreppin, gave him the antidote. Walked over to Hull, gave him his sword.
Hull- Took your sweet time, didn't you? Gorion's a fool for trying to bring you up right and you can tell him I said so, too. If I didn't know any better, I'd say this whole iron crisis is the result of twerps like you wandering off with people's swords. Here's 10 gp. Now get out of here, I'm on duty.
Yes, Hull is an a-hole.
Time for the inner keep, where there's a bunch of chanters, each singing something different. It's pretty terrible to listen to.
Blue- AUGH MAKE THE NOISE STOP.
And there's Gorion, on the steps.
Gorion- This is very unnerving, I know, but you must trust me. It is very important that you pack your posessions so that we may leave Candlekeep immediately. Hurry, for there is no time to tarry! The keep is well protected, but not invulnerable.
Blue- Please, father, tell me where we will be going. I hope there's at least some pockets to pick there.
Gorion- Alas, I cannot, for I have not truly decided yet. All that is certain is that we will be far safer on the move. Perhaps the woods might offer some secluded security, or perhaps the city of Baldur's Gate(tm) would offer cover amidst its teaming throngs of people. I do not know where we shall end up, but I have a few friends here and there. Hmm... I will think on this...
Blue- What could possibly harm us here? This place is a fortress, and guarded beyond measure. Actually, nevermind, the guards are either stupid or bastards. Let's just go.
Gorion- I agree. If we ever get separated, go to the Friendly Arm Inn. There you will meet Khaled and Jaheira. They are my friends. Wait, ambush!
Armored Figure- Oh, you're perceptive. Give me your kid and nobody gets hurt.
Gorion- You're a fool if you believe I would trust your benevolence. Step aside and you and your lackeys will be unhurt.
Armored Dude- I'm sorry that you feel that way, old man.
Gorion- Get out of here! BLARG *dead*
And Imoen shows up from nowhere.
Imoen- Sorry I followed ya, but I never get out of Candlekeep and those monks are such a bore. Never any decent coin in their pockets either. I... I saw Gorion, and I am SO sorry! Kinda figured something bad might happen to you out here.
Blue- How could you have known? Gorion did not even tell me. Oh wait, letter.
Imoen- I... accidentally... read a letter on his desk the other day. Can't remember exactly what it said, but he might still have... it might be on his... his body. Anyway, i'm not gonna let you wander around out here all alone. Never let a friend down, no sir! Stick with you until you say otherwise, I will! And I won't even pick your pockets!
Blue- Sigh. Fantastic.
Imoen is a thief, what I did not expect. Oh well, at least she uses a bow and I stab people. Also, the Protection From Evil turned out to be useless. Whaddya know.
To Be Continued...?!
(probably after Christmas)