Franchise / Baldur's Gate

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Baldur's Gate is a Role-Playing Game series set in the High Fantasy setting Forgotten Realms, using an adaptation of the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition ruleset. The focus is on quests, characterization and dialogue, combined with a solid combat system and a continuous plotline. It was developed by BioWare and published by Black Isle Studios. Considerably later, updated editions and new content have been produced by a different developer, Beamdog, which was founded by BioWare alumni.


The Baldur's Gate universe includes:

Main series games:

Spin-off games:

Print:

The plot of the main games center around a hero (you) who is regularly pursued due to power granted by a Mysterious Parent: Some want those abilities for themselves, others are simply fearful of what the hero may become because they know that With Great Power Comes Great Insanity. The first game centers around the hero learning about the powers and their source; the second deals with the consequences and choices that come with that power and knowledge.

The series is best known for its memorable selection of sidekicks, which your hero can have up to five of at any time. All have distinct, if sometimes simple, personalities and backstories, and most will drag you into at least one side quest unique to them if they stay on your team long enough. Especially in the sequel, they become fully fleshed-out characters and have a tendency to make comments or suggestions about the current situation, and interact with each other extensively.

Prior to creating Baldur's Gate, Bioware had only developed the Humongous Mecha Simulation Game, Shattered Steel, and ended up switching its company focus from action games entirely and solidified their position as perhaps the most popular modern developer of the Western RPG. Baldur's Gate was the first game to use the Infinity Engine, which was later used for the Icewind Dale series and Planescape: Torment. Since Interplay Entertainment's license from WotC for AD&D ran out except for the Baldur's Gate franchise, Interplay made two unrelated AD&D-based games with the "Baldur's Gate" moniker: The console exclusive Gauntlet-alike Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance series, and The Black Hound (codenamed "Project Jefferson"), a canceled game that was actually going to be sold as Baldur's Gate III. Allegedly, the game was about 80% done according to a developer on the project before being canceled. Josh Sawyer planned adapting the plot as a module for Neverwinter Nights 2, but the project was ultimately canned due to lack of time.

A novelization (if it existed) was written by Phillip Athans. A comic spin-off called "Legends of Baldur's Gate" was announced in July 2014, prominently featuring Minsc and his pet hamster, Boo.

The fandom has an active modding community, and many elaborate fan-made characters and quests exist. BioWare writer David Gaider, who provided much of the game's dialogue, also created his own unofficial version of Throne of Bhaal with plenty of added difficulty for hardcore gamers. Additionally, Gaider used to hang out at the modding community's forums, helped out with dialogue for fan-made characters, and wrote silly Fan Fiction.

An enhanced version was announced on March 15th 2012 and released for PC on November 28th, 2012, also available in Mac and tablet versions. The enhanced edition includes all essential bugfixes and tweaks, a gorgeously streamlined look, and three new characters with their own quests who will make casual conversation/argue/flirt with you. The Enhanced Edition of Baldur's Gate II was announced on August 30th 2013 (delayed by legal issues with Atari that had temporarily suspended sales and work on the games) for PC and Mac for November 15th 2013. It carried over the enhancements from the first game, and added another new character with her own quest (in addition to the three introduced in the first game). This version has also been ported to iOS and Android.

The setting also crosses over with Icewind Dale, and Planescape: Torment is considered a sister game to the series.

There's a character sheet, which is where you should put tropes associated with individual characters.


The Baldur's Gate main series as a whole contains the following tropes:

  • 100% Heroism Rating: Actually, having a high reputation doesn't have as much of an effect as it could. Besides lower shop prices and the occasional dialogue that uses reputation as a script condition, the games are very inconsistent on whether townspeople actually recognize a high-reputation hero, or if they do, whether they care. Most of what it's good for is keeping Flaming Fist Mercenaries from jumping you all the time.
    • Further confusing the matter, the game's reputation system is also its Karma Meter. So the game can't track fame and notoriety separately.
  • 24-Hour Armor: They also hold onto their weapons at all times too.
  • Absurdly High Level Cap: Throne of Bhaal's experience cap of 8,000,000 is higher than a player character with a full party can reasonably achieve. There's not even much point to reaching it anyway, as most classes will "plateau" and stop gaining meaningful bonuses from their level ups before then. The large number of mods available (if you install everything that looks interesting, the game will double in disc space taken) makes the cap a bit less ridiculous.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: In both games, as well as the expansion packs — they seem to be an architectural staple of major cities in this game world.
  • Abusive Parents: Bhaal, who's basically an Archnemesis Dad to all the Bhaalspawn, heroes and villains alike. He originally ordered his cultists to sacrifice them to release the portions of his essence hidden inside them so he could come Back from the Dead; when that didn't work and some Bhaalspawn survived to become children and later adults, he tried different tactics. These include tempting his children down the path of darkness, driving them to kill each other and commanding his high priestess to mop up the stragglers.
    • As it turns out, at least some of the Bhaalspawn had abusive mothers as well. While Gorion claims the Bhaalspawn were conceived by Bhaal raping innocent women and there's no reason not to believe that he did, others were born to priestesses of Bhaal who were in fact delighted to get a bellyful of Bhaal's babies. These same priestesses were often the ones attempting to sacrifice their own babies for Bhaal's benefit. The player's mother was one of them, and she would have succeeded if Gorion hadn't killed her first.
    • Sarevok's diary reveals that his foster father was pretty bad too. He strangled his wife, Sarevok's foster mother, to death with a garrote for infidelity and threatened his foster son with the same fate, which is just the part we know about.
  • Action Girl: All the female joinable characters are professional adventurers who fight.
  • An Adventurer Is You: Most aspects of the game's mechanics are about as standard as they come.
  • Affably Evil: The Games; the sequel is especially full of this.
    • The Sahuagin, especially the priestesses are very polite for a people who raid coastal settlements, sinks ships and sacrifices captives and themselves to their dark god.
    • Some drow are polite as well, like the Pit Manager and especially Jarlaxe.
    • Some Evil companions, like:
      • Despite mostly being a jerk, Viconia can still be very polite to people she approves.
      • Dorn Il-Khan is an evil Black Knight, mass murderer and the willing servant of a demon lord — and yet from the second game onwards he's polite, well-spoken and charming, and readily forms Villainous Friendships with those who share his interests.
      • Xzar from the first game is very friendly, despite being batshit insane.
    • The githyanki you encounter after escaping the Underdark who wants the Silver Sword shard at least tries to be this. Most githyanki would just kill you and take the shard from your corpse, if you hand it over he'll just let you go.
    • Drush, the ogre mage from the infamous gong quest is quite friendly. Hell, you'd probably not guess that he's evil unless you use Detect Evil or Know Alignment.
      • This behaviour seem to be very common among ogre mages. While they generally rule over servants with an iron fist, they prefer to keep to themselves, avoid trouble with other civilized people when possible and are stern, but polite toward people intruding their home.
    • The cambion trapped in the maze in Watcher's Keep comes across as this. He's extremely jovial, politely invites you to a un-rigged game, and gives you his part of the key, regardless if you win the last round or not after he's assured that he and his group can escape instead of just leaving you trapped. Noble Demon indeed.
    • The Black Pits are chock full of them; While Baeloth himself is an over-the-top case of Faux Affably Evil, his Duergar slaves will become rather friendly to you once you progress a bit (although they start out pretty unfriendly). You can also find a band of evil adventurers who are rather cordial with you and each other, and whose leader asks you in a friendly manner to bring a friend of his a Birthday greeting, a Red Wizard who will congratulate you on your battle prowess and leadership skills, and even Hogarl the Fire Giant is remarkably civil for a member of his race. Taking the cake though, is Ghlouralk the Beholder who will happily chat with you and secretly give you advice on every challenge that Baeloth will present you with (although mostly out of boredom), which is extremely helpful. Then, when you're hitting the final challenge and are about to confront Baeloth himself, he tells you that this time around he has no advice for you beyond preparing any Death rituals that your culture has, and that You Have Outlived Your Usefulness, because next he will come into the arena to fight against you for his own freedom.
  • A God Am I: All the main antagonists have plans that hinge on this.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Subverted repeatedly.
    • Many of the games' antagonists feel that this is In the Blood for the Bhaalspawn, but the main character can act any way the player likes, to the point of becoming one of the world's most renowned heroes.
    • Lots of other canonically Always Chaotic Evil beings (vampires, demons, ogres, dark elves, etc.) show up in the games, and for almost every one there's at least one individual for whom My Species Doth Protest Too Much. Examples: Drizzt and Solaufein for drow, the duergar merchants, the Spectator Beholder, the liches guarding Kangaxx's parts, Dace and potentially your love interest for vamps and Madulf and his group of ogres, gnolls and a minotaur.
      • Shown Their Work: Spectator Beholders were a sub-species of Beholder that, at the time of Baldur's Gate II, were actually not evil. They were Lawful Neutral as opposed to the Lawful Evil that was normal for their species. Makes sense for a species that has "summon us to guard your stuff" as their whole schtick.
    • Viconia is a peculiar subversion. She's evil, but nowhere as evil as stereotypical drow. In fact, this is the reason why she's on the surface.
    • Ditto for the aforementioned demon in Affably Evil. He's far too honorable for a demon. Lampshaded because he doesn't involve himself with the Blood War.
    • Subverted with the Priests of Umberlee. While they serve a Chaotic Evil goddess nicknamed the Bitch Queen, they are surprisingly reasonable people. If you deal straight with them, they don't betray you, though begging for something on moral grounds will cause them to try murdering you out of pure contempt after giving it to you.
    • Most ghouls and lesser undead are malefic by nature, but a few are shown to possess enough sentience to develop a personality and emotions. Korax, a friendly ghoul in the first game, will even fight alongside your party, which is helpful since he's immune to the local basilisks' stone gaze. After a certain amount of time has passed, however, he'll be overcome by his hunger for flesh, apologize, and attack you.
  • And I Must Scream: The "Imprisonment" spell, which traps its victims in a small sphere deep beneath the earth's surface for all eternity. Mercifully averted in that the victim is reduced to a state of suspended animation and doesn't actually feel anything.
  • Anyone Can Die: Well, anybody aside from you and a small number of plot-essential NPCs.
    • If a plot-essential NPC dies in the first game, Biff the Understudy will take their place.
  • Anything That Moves: Bhaal takes this trope to its logical extreme and for all the implications that follow. Let it be known that the Lord of Murder does not discriminate in this regard. See Shapeshifting Squick. Well, at least they were all alive and capable of sexual reproduction, but that's about all the discretion he showed. He must have slept with every sentient creature this side of mustard jellies. Also, he must have been at this for a while, considering that he would have had to have sired Abazigal several hundred years ago for him to be the size he is (and for that matter, for his son Draconis to be the size he is. And to a lesser extent, in order for dwarf and gnome bhaalspawn to be adults as well, although Humans, Halflings, Half-Elves, and Elves all reach physical maturity at 25 or earlier. And ever since the first edition, it looks like he was going around banging Orcs as a human and Half-Orcs too now.
    • May be a subversion, in that all the clues say is The lord of murder shall perish, but in his doom he shall spawn a score of mortal progeny. - He may not actually have literally slept with the mothers of all of the bhaalspawn, and instead his immortal essence traveled into the past by varying degrees (so that the bhaalspawn all 'came of age' at the same time) and caused a type of semi-mystical parthenogenesis.
      • Considering what we know of both the main character and Sarevok's parents it seems to be that Bhaal went around knocking up his own cultists by and large. As well it seems likely that he used his position to get multi-cultural with the various non-humans he knocked up (giants and dragons notably).
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Despite the fact that there are more than 30 playable characters among the various games, you can only have five in your party at any one time in addition to the PC. Particularly egregious since the game doesn't even make an attempt to Hand Wave it when you try to add a seventh member to the party, and it's perfectly possible to control more than six characters with charm spells, summonings, and the like. Some have suggested that there were plans at some point to increase the limit for the sequel, as indicated by the room in the interface for such, but that never happened.
    • In addition, the stated reason for there being so many recruitables in the first game is that 2nd Edition D&D is Nintendo Hard (though not to the extent of 1st edition), and although resurrection spells exist, low-level characters have nowhere near the resources for them. Players were expected to get some of their party members killed off, so the developers made sure plenty of replacements would be available.
  • Arrows on Fire: Arrows with a fire enchantment burn after being launched.
  • Bag of Sharing: Averted in that every character gets their own inventory, but as long as they're not too far apart items can be exchanged between them at any point. If you've run a single character off on their own, get into trouble and have no healing potions on them though... You can have actual bags that work like this if you use a cheat to get multiple copies of the same Bag of Holding.
  • Baleful Polymorph: It happens to a few characters throughout the series, and if you've got a mage in your party you can do it to enemies.
  • Barbarian Hero: A few characters fit the archetype, though no party members actually use the game's barbarian class (although it is available to Charname).
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: The monk class starts out with rubbish AC and low-damage, non-magical fists. By the time they hits high levels the AC problem's cured, their fists outdamage dual Katanas (which in this game are Just Better), and they gain scads of bonuses including 80%+ magic resistance.
  • Battle Cry: Every party member has a few. Go for the eyes, Boo, go for the eyes!
  • Bear Trap: Traps laid by thieves look like this. They're much more lethal than your standard bear trap, though.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: If you cast the spell Limited Wish and ask for "A quest unlike anything before" (paraphrased), you can embark on one that requires you to go all over an area completing a lengthy chain of deals to get everyone the things they want so you can finally get the thing you're looking for. The only thing that makes it unlike previous Fetch Quests is the sheer level of its tediousness.
    • Other unexpected results may occur. "I wish to summon a horde to overrun my enemies." will summon a horde of bunnies. "I wish to be more experienced." summons a number of insanely difficult golems, who do grant XP on death. There are others.
  • BFS: And there are quite a lot of NPCs who like to use them, too. Minsc, Keldorn, Sarevok and the Enhanced Edition's Dorn are some examples.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: The Bhaalspawn Family. Your character is a Bhaalspawn. Good, Neutral or Evil, you will leave the Sword Coast awash in blood before they are through. Five of your most powerful siblings are out to get you, all due to vaguely defined dreams of godhood which involve killing you because There Can Be Only One; a sixth one also wants you dead because he wants to expunge Bhaal's bloodline for the greater good, and a seventh is so paranoid that he attacks you on sight. Your other siblings are either hapless civilians or secretive murderers. All of you have only one common trait: your biological father is Bhaal, an evil god who hates you all and wants you all to die for his benefit, preferably in as bloody a manner as possible. At least one of your mothers was one of his priestesses, and was perfectly willing and ready to kill her own child in order to bring her master Back from the Dead. The only member of your family who isn't thoroughly screwed up is Imoen, and even she can't help but get a little dark.
  • Bizarre and Improbable Ballistics: Darts and throwing knives move very slowly and will change direction in midair if their target moves. Arrows will also change direction if the target moves, though they don't move as slow as throwing knives.
  • Blade on a Stick: Spears are one of the less popular weapons in the game, no doubt thanks to the fact that there are not too many NPCs who are trained in them. Halberds, however, are considered more effective, and the weapon known as the Ravager +6 is considered one of the best weapons in the second game (although there still aren't too many NPCs who can wield it).
  • Blob Monster: Jellies, slimes, and ooze.
  • Body Horror: The main character's transformation into the Slayer.
  • Boring, but Practical
    • The first-level Mage spell Magic Missile and the 1st level Cleric spell Command are spells that are reliable and effective at higher levels. Command knocks an opponent out for a round which, when in melee range, will lead to high amounts of damage. Magic Missile has perhaps the fastest casting time in the game and is useful for interrupting enemy spellcasting, not to mention the spell gets stronger as you level up (although it caps at character level 9) and only enemies with high magic resistance can avoid getting damaged by it and have their spellcasting interrupted. The Mulahey fight in the first game becomes laughably simple when he cannot bring in reinforcements or cast any of his spells, either by being constantly hit by Command or Magic Missile. Magic Missile is also the only spell that will always get around Sarevoks magic resistance.
    • Also, in the first game, the 1st level Mage Spell Chromatic Orb will, at the maximum level achievable in the game, slightly damage and fairly reliably paralyze (for a good thirty seconds or more) most enemies without specific protections or magic resistance, which includes some boss-type enemies. The second game breaks Chromatic Orb right in half, giving it the extra ability to cause petrification or instant death at level 10 and 12, right around where each character starts out.
      • Don't count on it working, unless you're just a VERY lucky person. Chromatic Orb has the largest save bonus of any spell in the game (Bonus = BAD, for you) at a whopping +6, making it extremely unlikely to work on even low level enemies without every save penalty debuff in the game stacked on top of it, higher level enemies are completely immune, without penalties, and even fully debuffed are more likely then not to make their save, rendering the spell worthless compared to Magic missile, Blind, or Spook, which all either give more consistent damage or are much more likely to actually work. (Spook has the largest save penalty in the game at -6 (Penalty = Good, for you), and doesn't even need debuffs to work on high level enemies, and Blind at least doesn't have a bonus, and a blind mage/archer is as good as Dead).
    • Another Level 1 spell would be Sleep, but only in the first game. It can knock out several weaker enemies for many rounds. It's especially useful in the first game that is swarming with enemies that proves to be a credible threat in large numbers. It even has a good chance in knocking out the bounty hunters that you meet in the wilderness, making the fights much easier.
    • Cleric spells in general. They are infinitely less flashy than their arcane and even druidic counterparts, but, especially in the second game, where their Status buffs become essential for your survival, it is almost impossible to work without them.
    • And, of course, weapon damage, especially against Mages. There are dozens of methods of eliminating monsters, but none of them generally works better than the Hack and Slash style.
      • In the second game, mages will use spells that prevent fighters from hurting them with weapons, so this method may not work until those protections are removed.
  • Bottomless Bladder: Partly averted in that characters get tired without sleep. Otherwise played straight and lampshaded in a loading screen tip in BG2. The manual states that the characters take care of such things when the player isn't looking. A banter between Minsc and Aerie suggests that a bit of carelessness resulted in a... ah, rash in an embarrassing place.
  • Brains: Evil; Brawn: Good: Played straight with Minsc and Edwin. Inverted with Korgan and Aerie (albeit Korgan is remarkably smart by Warrior standards while Aerie isn't particularly intelligent for a mage).
  • Burn the Witch!: And more than once.
  • Bystander Syndrome: Ilmater almighty, but the civilians of this world are a bunch of lazy gits. One mod lampshades this by having Imoen muse that it must have been ages since anyone asked the PC how they were feeling, instead of:
    "O, mighty hero, do you have a minute? Of course you do."
  • The Cameo: A few canonical Forgotten Realms characters show up, some just to say "Hi" and others to play slightly larger roles in the plot.
  • Canon Discontinuity: It looks like this has happened to the novels. In 2014 a WotC-endorsed comic was released, set years after Throne of Bhaal, which starred Minsc as the main character. Seeing as Minsc dies in the novels, and the one in the comic is clearly the one from the game...
  • Carry a Big Stick: Clubs are one category of weapons in the game, though it's so obviously limited that investing proficiency points in it is not a very good idea. In the second game if you don't feel like wasting spells on melting the bodies of downed trolls, one particular acid-damage club makes the proficiency come in very handy.
  • Character Portrait: Critical characters get them.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Those Big Bads love their scenery-chewing evil speeches, indeed they do.
  • Chunky Salsa Rule: Delivering a hard enough fatal blow (that is hitting an opponent so hard that their HP goes past 0 and far into the negatives) causes enemies to explode into a bloody chunks. The same thing can happen to your allies on higher difficulty levels, preventing them from being resurrected. Specifically, the "chunk limit" is -10HP. Drop below that and you're chunks rather than just dead. Also, "chunked" characters can only be brought back via Wish, if you're lucky.
  • Church Militant: Clerics and Paladins.
  • Class Change Level Reset: When a human character chooses to dual class they start all the way back at level one for their new class and don't receive any of the abilities of their old class until they achieve one level higher than they were before switching classes.
  • Clown-Car Grave: Due to game mechanics, zombies, mummies, and other undead can endlessly spawn at times.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience
    • All spells within the same school will have the same primary color in their visual effect.
    • Spells in your spellbook are also broadly color-coded by effect as a quick visual shorthand. Red spells are aggressive (direct damage, summons), blue spells are beneficial (healing, buffs) and white spells are neutral or utility effects (dispel, identify). The only exception is Nahal's Reckless Dweomer, which is colored with a blend of red, white and blue.
    • Also, the circles around a character's feet tell you if they're a recruited or charmed NPC (green), a neutral NPC (cyan), Fleeing/Berserk (yellow) or hostile (red).
    • In the enhanced edition, the circles of your party members are whatever color you've made their clothing, which helps when sending specific characters on tasks. Neutral, hostile, and fleeing characters retain their colors from the original.
  • Color Coded Timestop
  • Compilation Re-release: For BG1 with TotSC as The Original Saga, BG2 with ToB as The Collection, and now all four in one.
    • The Enhanced Editions of both games also include their respective expansion packs.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard
    • The All-Seeing A.I.: The computer always knows where all your characters are, at all times. Invisibility just prevents their scripts from kicking in and targeting you. Unless the enemy has True Sight, in which case they'll cast it if you get close enough. Even if they shouldn't know you're there.
    • My Rules Are Not Your Rules: Some enemy mages are subject to this, as they not only have multiple contingencies or spell triggers ready at once but their contingencies aren't subject to the same restrictions as the player's. They also do the aforementioned trick of casting True Seeing when they shouldn't know you are there. Some can cast a spell that is never available to the protagonist, Dimension Door. This does benefit you, though, in that your spells are refreshed every time you sleep, while enemies will never sleep and therefore will never refresh their spells.
    • Enemy thieves can also backstab from any position, as long as they've been hidden. You can only backstab if your character stands behind the enemy.
  • Critical Encumbrance Failure: A character carrying more weight than their strength allows will be unable to move.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Until they die, the only penalty characters will suffer for taking damage is to their morale checks. However, some spells only work on creatures whose remaining Hit Points are below a certain number.
  • Critical Hit: On an attack roll of 20, and possibly 19 with style proficiencies.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Edwin's epilogue indicates that he was involved with one with Elminster of all people. Edwin being on the losing end, naturally.
  • Cursed with Awesome: The Girdle of Masculinity / Femininity if you're a transvestite.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: There was an official Forgotten Realms canon which solidified, among other things, Jaheira as the canon Love Interest, Abdel being a True Neutral fighter with black hair who wore a chainmail tunic, and other details. And Minsc has a bushy red afro and works as a bar-keep and DOES NOT adventure with the party at any point in time. Yeah, after years of protest, WotC did eventually declare the novels non-canon due to contradicting damn near every canon element of the series' story. They're now officially just an alternate continuity, while certain key events from the game's storyline are vaguely alluded to in the official timeline, but are easy to overlook if you don't know the events of the games well.
  • Deadly Disc: The Energy Blade high-level ability.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Most of the cast, though some more than others. The PC can be plenty snarky as well.
  • Debut Queue: How most party members are encountered.
  • Defend Command: The Blade's defensive spin ability.
  • Dem Bones: A common enemy, as an encounter in the first game and mages' summon in the second.
  • Developers' Foresight: Has its own page.
  • Disadvantageous Disintegration: Disintegration is a One-Hit Kill spell that destroys the enemy... as well as any equipment they were carrying. Since any enemy powerful enough to be worth killing instantly is also going to be carrying loot worth taking, this spell is impractical.
  • Discard and Draw: Charname losing Bhaalspawn powers and much of his/her soul is replaced by being able to transform into the Slayer.
  • Doom Magnet
    • The protagonist, which is a major and recurring plot point.
    • Xan seems to think everyone and everything is a Doom Magnet. (After all, Life *is* so hollow.)
    • Haer'Dalis thinks of you as this... and likes it, since he worships Entropy.
  • Drop the Hammer: The Hammer of Thunderbolts +3 qualifies on its own, but becomes an Infinity+1 Hammer when forged with a few other things into Crom Fayr — which, aside from being insanely powerful and slaying some golems and giants instantly, increases the wielder's strength to the highest it's possible to attain.
  • Dual Wielding: The style that generally gives the best damage output. If the character has the right setup, dual wielding can be better than a two-handed weapon, but it has its share of penalties such as to-hit penalties and needing one more point for full proficiency than the other styles.
  • Dump Stat: Charisma, unsurprisingly (since this is Dungeons & Dragons that we're talking about here, after all). Most roleplayers (and in particular those who have a bit of pride and self-esteem will refuse to set it too low, but Munchkins in particular have a tendency to dump it as low as possible (unless it is a class that requires high Charisma, such as a Paladin, a Bard or a Druid). The reason for that is the fact that the only charisma stat that is ever measured by the game engine is that of the party leader. The first NPC recruited in both games, Imoen, also happens to have very good charisma. Go figure.
    • It's because, in the first game at least, you could make Imoen party leader and have her do the talking, and the game would calculate based on her charisma instead of yours — the game actually calculated based on which NPC was doing the talking, not just Charname's. As of the Enhanced Edition versions, having an NPC be your "spokesperson" no longer works— Charname's charisma is the only value calculated.
    • There is a good reason to have charisma as high as you can get it in the first game, though. In the beginning at Candlekeep, if your charisma is 17, Fuller won't give you the +1 Dagger as a reward and talking to Firebead multiple times won't yield the 300 gold you'd get if your charisma was 18. The dagger can be identified and sold, and the player can buy better armor and even a spare weapon with the 450 gold from the dagger and Firebead. A bit of a helpful cheat for new players and those that wear armor, not so much for mages. NPCs met early in the game when reputation is still low may not join if charisma is also low because every significant NPC is programmed with an NPC Reaction value. The NPC Reaction section linked does a good job of explaining how the reaction is calculated. The walkthrough on that same site will give the reaction value needed for each quest and the rewards that can be given for them. This page gives the Charisma reaction values.
    • Charisma is also the leadership stat, and doesn't really have anything to do with your character's appearance (although it's easy to assume that good-looking people have an easier time persuading people to do what they want). As a result, having a high charisma can delay Mutually Exclusive Party Members from fighting with each other to some extent, although it won't delay their fighting permanently.
    • Wisdom also has a tendency to end up as this for anybody who isn't a priest (and even then, in the case of Clerics, Strength is usually considered more important, so as to be able to carry full plate and large shields), because literally all that high Wisdom provides non-priests with is lore. One single party member with good lore is usually considered sufficient for a party. Never mind that you would be literally Too Dumb to Live.
      • In practice, though, it's actually INT that provides significantly higher lore gains on level up than wisdom. This is why bards, wizards, and characters with high INT like Imoen are good for identifying items. Wisdom may give a bit of a bonus to lore, but it's not really noticeable with an INT of 10. Stating WIS gives the better lore scores is a mistake in the game.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: All the romances, in the epilogues, except Viconia end this way. Also applies to some, but not all of the NP Cs' ultimate fates, with Aerie again ending up happy whatever happens.
  • An Economy Is You: While there are a few shops that sell household goods (which you can't enter), most merchants in the games sell only weapons, armor, scrolls, potions, and other equipment that would be more useful to adventurers than normal people. Furthermore, if you buy a merchant out of a particular good, s/he remains out of it for the rest of the game, and if you sell something you have to them, they'll never re-sell it or otherwise get rid of it.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Beholders among other, less describable things.
  • Escaped from Hell: To quote Sarevok, "I swore I would scratch and crawl my way back into the world of the living, and I. HAVE. DONE IT!! HAHAHAHA!!!". Not mention getting killed TWICE before doing this.
  • Everything's Better with Cows: Summon Cow, a Dummied Out spell in both games, causes a cow to fall on its target.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Yep. If something doesn't try to kill you at some point, chances are it's either a civilian, one of the rare allied NPCs, or a squirrel.
  • Evil Is Petty: Ye gods, has this series got a lot of this.
  • Evil Pays Better: It really depends. Good characters get more XP, more rare artifacts, lower shop prices, less bounty hunter chases, and a larger selection of party members. About the only advantage evil gets is that the evil NPCs you can add to your party are better specialists — Korgan (later Sarevok) is the best fighter, Viconia is the best cleric, and Edwin is the best mage. Even that's a mixed bag, however, as unlike, say, Minsc, Anomen, and Nalia, all three are one-trick ponies. Besides, you don't have to be evil to keep an evil party and two of the above characters can be convinced to do a Heel–Face Turn. Especially since the most Lawful Good NPC in the game Keldorn is the only one who can wield Carsomyr. On the other hand, the first plays it straight — stealing things, picking fights instead of selecting peaceful dialogue options and occasionally outright murdering people is a great way to obtain wealth and some of the best artifacts in the game. Further, the most statistically optimised characters are all evil, including Kagain, Edwin, Dorn and Viconia.
    • The higher the NPC Reaction, generally the higher the rewards. NPC Reaction is based on Charisma plus Reputation. There are some quests that may penalize the player for having too high a reputation—for instance, you can't get the third set of Boots of Stealth from the "Nadarin and the Basilisk" quest, but you won't be getting that quest at all if your reputation or charisma (or both) are too low.
    • You can play as a good-aligned character and still have a evil-aligned companions with you, if you're careful. You can play as a paladin and get along well with Viconia - just don't let your reputation surpass 18 before you escape the Underdark. This is undercut in the first game, since some good-aligned characters (especially Ajantis) will fight evil companions for one reason or another.
    • Note that the Enhanced Edition of BG2 makes an evil party perfectly viable, with Dorn and Korgan as front-line fighters, Viconia as healer, Edwin as arcane caster and Hexxat as thief, with Charname serving a role of his/her own. Dorn is a fitting replacement for Keldorn — the Evil Weapons he picks up are fitting substitutes for Carsomyr, and he can do everything a regular paladin can do — and Hexxat is a single-class thief with superhuman stats once you remove her anti-sunlight cloak. You may still want a fairly high reputation (11 - 8 approx.) but it's a small price for a team of specialists who all excel at their niches, without the burdens of multi-classing or dual-classing.
  • Evil Sorcerer: One of the more common villain types.
  • Evil Versus Evil: An evil player party pitted against the Big Bad or Arc Villain of that chapter definitely counts — Charname being evil and associating with evil people doesn't cut into the villain creds of Sarevok, Irenicus or the Five.
  • Expansion Pack: Both games got one.
  • Exponential Potential: The selection of spells available can become overwhelming.
  • Familiar: Can be summoned if Charname has access to arcane spells (and only then). They come in various forms entirely dependent on the player character's alignment (and, unlike their masters, they will actually behave entirely according to it):
  • Fan Remake: Using the modding toolset from Neverwinter Nights 2, available here. Team BGR also announce Shadows of Amn Reloaded currently being made!
  • Fantastic Racism
    • Having the Dark Elf Viconia on your team will lower your reputation. Kivan may attack Viconia because he despises the Drow, although getting this to actually happen is apparently rather tricky. Keldorn, who's usually quite fair and level-headed, hates her just because of her race, and will eventually try to kill her if they both remain in the team for too long.
      • Note that Viconia is a bit of a racist herself. She treats Aerie and Kivan badly for being surface elves, has some disparaging things to say about Jaheira and Neera being half-elves and openly insults Jan and Korgan for being a gnome and a dwarf, as in the Underdark such races are often slaves to the drow. Korgan responds in kind.
    • Dorn claims he's suffered this from both sides of his heritage, being an outcast among his father's orc tribe and his mother's human community. This is reflected in how just recruiting him constitutes a similar loss in reputation, and in party banter, where even good characters address him by his race instead of his class kit, which would be a more legitimate reason to dislike him.
      • Beyond banter, one of Dorn's traitorous former adventuring party, Senjak, is flamingly racist towards Dorn, but it seems like they all have some shade of this, Senjak simply being the most vocal about it.
  • Fantasy Character Classes: As a Dungeons & Dragons game, it has the standard selection. BGII and consequently the Enhanced Editions are a bit weird, in that while they have the standard selection in the trope sense, they don't actually have the standard selection for 2E D&D, adding a couple of 2E-ized 3E classes.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: Happens to lots of characters, major and minor.
  • Fetch Quest: Most of them optional, thankfully.
  • Fictional Document: Plenty of them, ranging to plot-relevant info to Continuity Porn for D&D fans.
  • Final Death: Except on low difficulties, party members who are gibbed or killed in certain magical ways cannot be resurrected.
  • Fire Keeps It Dead: Trolls will get up again after being taken down with non-fiery means, unless hit with one (or an acid arrow) while they are down.
  • Fishing for Mooks: "Pulling" single enemies away from larger groups is an essential tactic.
  • Five-Man Band/Five-Bad Band
    • It's not immediately obvious, but the people with whom you end up escaping from Irenicus' dungeon count.
      • The Hero: Charname, who is the player character after all.
      • The Lancer: Jaheira. She's your most vocal companion, and her experienced, lightly cynical attitude can cause friendly snark and sometimes Belligerent Sexual Tension with Charname (for males, of course).
      • The Big Guy: Minsc. He's the hammiest, most physical member of your party; there is no competition for this role.
      • The Smart Guy: Yoshimo. For all intents and purposes Yoshimo is the most experienced in the criminal underworld the party finds themselves drawn into, and spends the most time advising the player on the course they should take, rather than simply throwing in his two cents as most do.
      • The Chick: Imoen. She has shades of The Lancer, but is grabbed by Irenicus as soon as you leave, and throughout the initial dungeon she is the most emotional among the party.
      • The Team Pet: Boo, naturally.
    • You could make a similar case for the "default good party" the second game assumes you had in the first, although there is obvious overlap since there are six of them.
    • A good aligned party in Shadows of Amn may qualify:
    • In the Enhanced Edition, an evil party can become the opposite trope.
  • Flaming Sword
    • The second level druid spell Flame Blade creates a scimitar made of fire.
    • Some Battle Horrors and Doom Guards also wield flaming swords.
  • Fog of War
  • Follow the Leader: Baldur's Gate is often credited as singlehandedly saving the Western RPG genre from drying up entirely as well as setting the standards that RPGs follow today.
  • Footnote Fever: The manuals, which seem to be at least partly in-universe documents, have the comments of Elminster and Volo scribbled in them. Hilariously, most of Elminster's notes are written to correct Volo's, and even break down into arguments between the pair!
  • Forest Ranger: The Ranger class is this, both canonically and because the Stealth skill can only be used outdoors.
    • There is also Minsc, who is of the Ranger class and does do some Ranger-ly things, such as talking to animals (particularly Boo). Interestingly, he may not have been a Ranger originally, as his homeland of Rashemon is known for producing Berserkers, not Rangers, and Minsc can certainly go Berserk (he has it as a special ability.) He was also not know to talk to animals before suffering the head wound that lead to him purchasing Boo.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: Every party member, including , will have something to say to the person-behind-the-mouse when selected.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Weirdly, averted with some AoE spells (e.g. Fireball, Lightning Bolt), but played straight with others (Comet, Horrid Wilting).
  • Game-Breaking Bug: Mainly occurs in heavily modded games, but can occur in the vanilla game also.
  • Game Mod: Lots, ranging from simple rule tweaks to entirely new joinable characters, quests, and major changes to the storyline. Notable is how many romance mods or new joinable/romanceable NPCs (mostly for the second game) are out there, especially for those playing female PCs.
  • Give Me Your Inventory Item: Several quests.
  • A God Am I: Given that the plot of the series involves claiming the power of a dead dark god, it's a pretty common sentiment among the major villains. It's also possible for the player character to play it this way.
    "The day comes when Tiax will point and click!"
  • God Needs Prayer Badly: Or rather, God Needs To Be Worshipped Badly. Talos is an evil god of storms, violence and rebellion. His priests revel in chaos and encourage their intimidated congregation to embrace the randomness of life, use murder as a solution to problems and kill anyone who tries to leave the church. They insist, however, that their worship of such a Jerkass God is a necessary evil, and their questionable deeds are carried out as appeasement, claiming that without worship and subservience Talos will unleash his unrestrained fury upon the realms, spreading indiscriminate distruction. The obliteration of an entire city because one of his priests was murdered there gives the impression they know what they're talking about.
  • Golem: A type of enemy that can end up a bit of a problem, should you not have the means of fighting them, at your disposal.
  • Good Pays Better: The Reputation mechanic (which increases by doing good quest solutions and falls by killing innocents and certain rare quest solutions) is tied into shop prices. 'Good' options may give you less gold, but also lowers the prices on practically everything you'd use said gold on. In addition, good solutions usually offer rare artifacts or party members you can't get otherwise, several quests require a certain reputation to get (and most of the actuallly good quests are for high Reputation players) and in most cases the 'evil' quests simply boil down to doing good deeds anyway but being rude about it in dialogue afterwards.
  • Grid Inventory: Inverted; the sizes of the objects do not matter, but their weights do.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: The Wyvern's Tail +2 is a morningstar with a wyvern's stinger attached to it, and the Bone Club +2 is made from its creator's femur.
  • Guide Dang It: If you want to achieve 100% Completion, you'd better believe it. Entire areas of the game world can be Permanently Missable if you don't go about things the right way. It doesn't help that the official strategy guides for all the entries in the series are not very useful. One look at their respective Amazon.com ratings will tell you that.
    • You can get some pretty great items through pick-pocketing, but good luck finding the right marks on your own. You'll probably just end up with a handful of petty cash or, more likely, everyone just hating your guts.
    • There are some odd things that a player may never find out unless they read a guide. For instance, there's a squirrel in the Cloud Peak area that has a magic Ioun stone (luckily it's just a joke item). There is a house in Beregost you can enter where the owner will react if you have a bloodstone amulet in your inventory. And some bandits show up in an area in a later chapter that you may not think to check again, especially if you cleared the map when you got it back in chapter 1!
  • Half-Breed Discrimination: Alluded to by Dorn in his backstory, this is pretty standard for half-orcs in any D&D setting. Charname may allude to getting this as well if a half-orc.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Half-elves and half-orcs, among others.
  • Halfling: As with all D&D-based role-playing games. Montaron and Mazzy manage to subvert the typical stereotype of a race of cheery, mischievous, good-hearted burglars by being a grumpy, thuggish Psycho for Hire and an honorable, butt-kicking female knight respectively. Alora from the first game manages to play the stereotype straight, though.
  • Happily Adopted: Some serious zigzags. Being that their father Bhaal is a god who never wanted them and their birthmothers were likely all cultists of Bhaal who were willing to kill their children, Charname, Imoen and Sarevok were all adopted in some capacity. Imoen came to love Gorion and Charname, but whether Charname felt the same or saw Gorion as a killjoy and Imoen as a burden is down to player dialogue choices. Sarevok, for his part, genuinely loved his adoptive mother, but after his adoptive father killed her in front of him with a garrote over infidelity, Sarevok grew to despise him.
  • Healing Hands
    • Paladins' Lay on Hands ability heals the target with HP equal to twice the the paladin's level. Which means that no matter what level you use it at, it usually won't be useful because either the effect is too little or the damage enemies are dishing out will be too high.
    • Player characters of all classes receive healing spells after the first two nightmares in game 1, based on your reputation at the time of the dream (not your alignment: 10+ is good, 9- is evil).
  • Health/Damage Asymmetry: Averted.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: Charname, as s/he is affectionately called by the community. Even so, hardly anyone calls you by name, preferring substitutes like "my child" and "scum".
  • Hitchhiker Heroes: Several potential party members are met this way, particularly in the first game.
  • Hollywood Torches: All over the place, including in many areas that have supposedly been abandoned for hundreds of years. They're probably magical.
  • Homing Boulders: Projectiles will change their flight path if the target moves.
  • Hot Skitty-on-Wailord Action: As stated above, Bhaal seems to have bred with just about anything. His children seem to inherit the ability.
  • HP to 1: The "Harm" spell, which enemies rarely use but which can be extremely powerful when employed by a Combat Medic in the party.
  • Hulk Speak
    • Ogres, half-ogres, trolls, and other brutish monsters tend to talk like this.
    Ogre: Me will crush you! Crush you to goo!
    • Oddly enough, Ogrillons don't, even though they're said to be half-ogre.
    Ogrillon: Time for some carnage!
  • Humans Are Average: They receive no penalties or bonuses to their attributes, and their only special ability is dual-classing, which replaces multiclassing for them. Dual-classing, however, can be used to make some ridiculously imbalanced combinations, which may actually make this an indirect example of Humanity Is Superior. There are a handful of human-only classes and kits, such as Paladins. They get a class specific Infinity+1 Sword, as well as being generally badass melee fighters, and they can help out with healing once they've levelled up a bit.
  • Humans Are White: Averted. There are lots of non-white humans in addition to all the dwarves, elves, and gnomes.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Innkeepers will sometimes deny that they ever have had rats in their inn, but the Indoor Rest cinematic reveals a rat under one of the beds.
  • If You Die, I Call Your Stuff: Right and left, everywhere.
  • Inept Mage: The Wild Mage class.
  • Infant Immortality
  • Infinity–1 Sword: Since Carsomyr is only usable by paladins or rogues who have the Use Any Item ability, Lilarcor is often used by the party's best warriors instead.
  • Infinity+1 Sword
    • Carsomyr, to the point where, when wielded by the already magic-resistant Inquisitor subclass, it's almost a Game Breaker.
    • Crom Faeyr is an Infinity-Plus-One Warhammer.
    • In Throne of Bhaal almost every weapon class gets its own Infinity Plus One variant, but the Ravager +6 halberd takes the cake.
    • Then there's the Staff of the Magi, which despite being for mages only is just as good if not better than Carsomyr. Makes it very good for use by a fighter-mage variant.
    • In the Enhanced Edition a Blackguard-themed evil twin for Carsomyr was created — Ir'revrykal +5, which can only be equipped by a blackguard. It tends to find its way into the hands of Dorn.
  • Informed Attribute: The player character's alignment. Since there's no real penalty for acting against alignment (unless the player chooses a divine class), even players who intend to be evil will usually pick a Good alignment for the reputation bonus.
  • Informal Eulogy: Every joinable NPC has one for when one of the other NPCs in your group die.
    Imoen: Poor sod. Taking the dirt nap so soon...
    • Those that are part of an Adventure Duo will have one if their counterpart dies:
    Montaron: And the mad wizard falls!... Saves me the trouble.
  • In Harmony with Nature: Rangers and druids.
  • Insane Equals Violent: Yup. Doesn't mean though that they're all evil (or even human), but they sure all are violent.
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: A few instances, though usually not literal fences.
  • Interspecies Romance
    • All the female romanceable NPCs for a male PC are elves or half-elves, while the sole male romanceable NPC is human. Of course the player can choose what race their character will be...
    • Averted if your character isn't of the appropriate race. Viconia won't romance elves. Jaheira and Anomen won't romance gnomes. And no-one will romance the poor, unloved dwarves. Or half-orcs. Or halflings for that matter.
      • Not entirely true, though. Apparently Viconia will romance a halfling and Aerie will romance a halfling or a gnome (which makes sense).
      • Unfortunately, many fan-made romanceable NPCs follow the game's tradition. While some romance mods are being made or were made for characters that already existed in one of the games (Valen (in progress); Haer'Dalis; Solaufein; Xan), mods that have created brand new romanceable NPCs stick to making their NPCs human, half-elf, or elf.
    • Seeming to pick up on the players' dissatisfaction with this, the four Enhanced Edition NPCs will take partners from any race as long as they are the appropriate gender. Yep, even half-orcs. (Dorn's romance even gets a moment that picks up on this, allowing Charname to comment on how they both have "fantastic tusks".) Neera and Rasaad are straight, Hexxat is a lesbian and Dorn is bisexual.
  • In the Blood: Played with at length (it's one of the major themes of the series), but ultimately subverted.
    • Evil Bhaalspawn are happy to believe it about themselves, but as Imoen and potentially Charname prove, in this universe people ultimately choose their own moral nature.
    • Sarevok is an even stronger subversion — at first he himself believes it, as does his lover Tamoko, but his backstory and potential Heel–Face Turn (in Throne of Bhaal) prove him wrong; if he and Charname are at different ends of the ethical spectrum, it's not because of their shared parentage, but because of their different experiences growing up.
    • Portalbendarwinden will tell the PC that their "coin is on edge", which in this universe means that the goddesses of luck and misfortune have no hold on you and you are free to forge your own path, regardless of what your divine lineage may try to dictate. Whether Elminster or Gorion knew this is never revealed, though.
  • In the Hood: Most thief avatars.
  • Inventory Management Puzzle: Characters have both carry weight limits and limited item slots.
  • Invulnerable Civilians: Averted, enemies will end up killing civilians quite often. And if you do it, you'll wind up in trouble.
  • Irrelevant Sidequest: The majority of content in both games.
  • Jackass Genie: The Wish and Limited Wish spells will screw you over if you don't have a high enough Wisdom stat to carefully word your wish. And even then, some will just screw you over anyway (i.e. asking to be more experienced will summon a hoarde of hostile golems).
  • Joke Item: Several. Some, such as the Golden Pantaloons, turn out to be much more if you hold on to them long enough.
  • Just a Stupid Accent: Major characters in these games come from all over the Forgotten Realms and are of different races. All speak grammatically perfect English (except those who tend towards Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe), but to give them each their own personal flair they do so with a wide variety of accents. There are Fake Brits, Lzherusskies, Violent Glaswegians, Fake Americans, and others. It keeps things entertaining, but definitely contributes to the games' distinctive flavor of ham.
  • Karma Houdini: The player runs across a few wrongdoers who may or may not escape justice, depending on his or her actions.
  • Karma Meter: The reputation level. Unfortunately, you receive a significant bonus for a high reputation and serious penalties for a very low one, so it ends up being in the best interests of even the most psychotically evil of player characters to end up being a Villain with Good Publicity. You can commit any atrocity you like as long as you donate money to the church occasionally, which is cheap enough to keep the guards off you. So it's not a very accurate karma meter.
    • Another backwards element is the way your party members react to it. Good characters don't like a low Reputation, which is obvious, but in the first game, Neutral characters like Jaheira, Xan and Branwen will alternate between praising and complaining about both low and high Reputation, which can be incredibly annoying. Also, Evil characters complain if your Reputation gets too high, and will eventually leave, which makes little in the way of sense when you think about it. Perhaps this was acknowledged; in the EE you get Chaotic Neutral Neera who is generally chirpy as long as you don't get too evil, and Neutral Evil Dorn, who is consistently sullen and bitter even when you're slaughtering your way through small orphanages.
  • Kick the Dog: Plenty of quests give you the option of doing this by way of an evil solution (and if they don't, it's frequently possible to do so anyway by randomly murdering the quest-giver and/or their family/associates).
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Killing evil-aligned people unprovoked can be done for no penalty.
    • Chances are good if you meet someone in an inn or the wilderness that acts like a Jerkass and threatens you in some way, you can fight them with no penalty and gain some experience and good armor or weapons. There are some exceptions; Borda the wandering merchant in the first game is one because he's polite, but he IS misadvertising his wares.
  • Kill It with Fire: The only way to deal with trolls besides acid.
  • Kill It with Ice: The rare fire trolls, obviously being immune to fire, require ice to kill instead (though acid still works).
  • King Incognito: Elminster is initially encountered as this. Charname apparently forgets what he looks like quick enough to do this again in the sequel.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Although unlike in most RPGs, there can be consequences if you're seen rifling through somebody's underwear drawer. Take note - you only get in trouble if it's a drawer you had to pick open, and you're actually SEEN. Drawers, barrels and shelves that were already unlocked are fair game. And even then sleeping NP Cs won't notice a thing and even then some people just don't care.
    • You can still indulge your kleptomaniac side with liberal use of the Charm or Dire Charm spell, which prevents NPCs from calling the authorities. There are two cloaks in the first game with an unlimited capacity for casting Charm (this was a coding error that was corrected with the EE version; it was meant to only be cast once a day). There's a ring in the second that also has this as a special ability, though it can only be used once a day. Even a mageless party can steal to their heart's content!
  • Lava Pit: There's a few. They do very low damage though, and even then only if you're actually standing in them.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Any party member's default scripted behavior is basically to attack any creature registered as an enemy with the weapon they currently hold until said enemy is dead. Can be rather annoying for anybody who wants to retain control over all of their six party members, if their Squishy Wizard suddenly decides to chase a panicked enemy into as of yet unexplored territory (which frequently contains lots of traps and more enemies) with nothing but a dagger in their hand.
  • Left-Justified Fantasy Map
  • Level Grinding: An option, though completing quests, optional quests, pursuing plot points and exploiting certain quests will net the party almost all the experience it needs.
  • Like Brother and Sister: The main character (if male) and Imoen. It's revealed that they are actually half-siblings.
  • Level Scaling: Some monster spawns are level scaled. Many aren't, though, so the ultimate effect of this on the game's difficulty isn't as much as it could be.
  • Lineage Comes from the Father: Even if the player's alignment doesn't match Bhaal's, their Bhaal essence nonetheless gives them non-standard powers as innate abilities. For the more powerful Bhaalspawn this also means using Bhaal-related artifacts (such as Sarevok's sword and armour) which boost their already considerable power to even greater heights. Little wonder everyone's so afraid of them.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards
    • And how. At the beginning of the first game, it's much easier to survive if your main character is a warrior of some sort. Melee class characters are still quite effective in Baldur's Gate II and Throne of Bhaal, but by the end of the latter in particular magic-oriented characters can acquire truly godlike offensive abilities.
    • Similarly with enemies; taking out plain old melee mooks becomes decidedly easier in the late game than taking out liches, beholders and other highly-skilled magic-users. On the flip side, a melee PC with the Inquisitor class wielding Carsomyr is particularly adept at putting the squish into Squishy Wizard.
      • Although, with the sheer power that some spells convey, even they generally take the back seat to the party mages come Throne of Bhaal.
  • Live Item: The mage's familiar, who can be let out of the backpack but probably shouldn't be.
  • Living Legend: Most of the Bhaalspawn toil in anonymity, but Sarevok and the PC stand out. By the end of the series, though, everyone is moving on a plane that is beyond most mere mortals. At that experience level, everyone who represents a challenge to the PC is very nearly a god. In fact, the PC can become a god.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: And plenty of them can join your party. Each one has a different, interesting personality — the number of possible banters which can take place between your various buddies in Baldur's Gate II is astounding (though, to achieve this, there are significantly fewer PCs to choose from).
  • Loads and Loads of Sidequests: The game has so many that they will consume the bulk of the time for any player willing to do them as compared to the mainline quests. Might well be a BioWare staple on reflection.
  • Locked Door: Most locked containers can be picked.
  • Lord British Postulate: Elminster isn't supposed to be killable in either game. He never stands still, is immune to most forms of attack and walks offscreen before you can harm him enough. It is technically possible to do it, however. The method to do so is absurdly convoluted, requires a specific character class, and can net you a hefty 26,000 experience points about an hour into the first game (Half of that hour is spent flailing at Elminster).
  • Loyal Phlebotinum: Some equipment can only be used by specific NPCs or people of specific alignments. Or a thief with Use Any Item.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: There's a gore setting in the PC version of the game that allows you to toggle this on and off. For some reason, it doesn't work in the Mac version. Turning it off can make things confusing with the Great Gazib at Nashkel's Carnival, though, as gibbed bodies will simply disappear instead of explode. You may want to turn it off for the original BG2, as gibbed bodies don't drop all of the loot they would if they were un-gibbed.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father
  • Magic Knight: The fighter/mage multiclass, and numerous dual-classes based on similar themes (the Kensai/Mage, for example). The bard, while supposed to be a little of everything, can also be considered this.
  • Magic Music: A feature of bards. Several players actively discourage using it. As always Bards are the Jack-of-All-Trades and a Master of None.
    • The regular Bard's song can actually come in handy as a free "remove fear" effect, and makes some battles against pesky mages that use fear spells in the first game easier.
    • The Jester kit, introduced in BGII, confuses enemies when playing the song. It's a good effect.
    • The Enhanced Bard Song, a High Level Special Ability exclusive to Bards, on the other hand, is usually considered one of the best High Level Abilities there are. To elaborate, it gives all party members +4 to THAC 0, damage, AC and +5% magic resistance. The best part? It stacks! Not to imply that you have more than one Bard in your party, but clones created by the ''Mislead'' spell can actually also sing...
  • Magikarp Power: Mages in general are this, and Sorcerers even more so. The Monk class also falls squarely into this. Among specific party members, Aerie and Rasaad are considered excellent examples.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Oh, so many.
  • Manual Leader, AI Party: The game gives the player the option of letting their party be controlled by A.I., although micromanaging them is a better option during boss fights.
  • Medium Awareness: Edwin and Tiax are aware of being led by a mouse, Khalid tells it to "c-click on someone your own size", Dynaheir tells the player to watch where they place the "pointer", and Jaheira acknowledges the "omnipresent authority figure". At least one non-recruitable NPC acknowledges this as well.
    Dunkin: Hey, don't click me! I don't want any trouble!
  • Money for Nothing: In both games it's not too difficult to quickly amass more money than you'll ever need, as the player's income rate will increase dramatically with a little progress. Plus, as is standard for this kind of RPG, much of the best stuff is found rather than bought. It's a good thing gold is weightless and shared because if not by the end of the game your thief would be dragging around a sack the size of a small house.
  • Morale Mechanic: The series, based on D&D, had morale rolls for human and nonhuman mooks.
  • Most Gamers Are Male: This series largely avoids outright Fanservice, for example depicting female characters wearing armor that appears to have been designed with protective ability rather than sex appeal as the primary consideration, and including plenty of female sidekicks who aren't particularly attractive or romantically interested in the hero. The series actually does have a relatively large female fanbase, and several independently created mods, mostly made by women, have expanded the romance subplot options for female characters. However:
    • A minor example of less options for females is in the portrait selection. There are two sets of portraits per gender: ones that match NPCs used in the games, and generic ones that aren't used by any NPCs and are the choice of people who don't want to wonder why there's someone else in the world who looks exactly like them. There are six generic portraits for male characters, which is barely a satisfying selection as it is. Female characters only get two, which means players who aren't creating either a warrior human or mystic elf and want their portrait to match the character type will have to either select an NPC portrait or import a fanmade one. Eventually a set of ten bonus portraits - 5-a-side - were created for the Enhanced Edition.
      • If you pick a portrait that belongs to one of the recruitable NPCs, their portrait will switch to one of the two generic ones. So you won't actually look like one of your NPC buddies unless you then go to your character profile and change your portrait to the one your fellow NPC is using.
    • Viconia. While some gamers have actual gameplay reasons why Viconia makes the best cleric, there are others that will comment on her attractiveness or how her DEX of 19 must be good for ...other things as the reasons why she's the best. Apparently, this is based on the fact that a model was used to create her portrait and the fact that she is more willing to bed in her romance more than it's based on any actual Fanservice, since Viconia's sprites are the same as all the others. Evil Is Sexy, indeed.
    • In the death screen of both games, the hand that's raised up that disintegrates into the Bhaal symbol is obviously modeled on a man's hand. Even if you're playing a female, this won't change.
  • Mutually Exclusive Party Members: Considering the diversity of party members available, it is somewhat inevitable that some of them don't like each other very much. Generally, it is an evil companion who provokes a good-aligned one into leaving your party or attacking them.
  • Mysterious Parent: Bhaal. The player's mother, as well.
  • Nerf: Several examples from the original to the sequel and from the sequel to expansion and thereon to the enhanced edition. Charm spells and summon spells got the axe in the first transition, the expansion nerfed the cloak of magic reflection, and the enhanced edition nerfed the HLA traps and the Animate Dead skeleton warriors.
  • Never Got to Say Goodbye: The protagonist.
  • New Game+: Character importation. Advantages includes higher starting level, attributes and mage spells.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Sarevok ends up saving Faerun from all of the diabolical plans of Irenicus and The Five, among thousands of other threats, just by killing Gorien and putting Charname on a quest for vengeance. As if that wasn't enough, he pitches in to help in ToB...
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Definitely possible with some of the more Munchkinesque character builds, such as a samurai archmage Dual Wielding war hammers and katanas, and a night-stalking, back-stabbing nature-controlling warrior-priest. The developers felt some of these possibilities were so implausible that they were Nerfed or removed outright in the Expansion Pack.
  • No Fourth Wall: At times. Particularly self-aware characters often make suggestions to the player right out of the basic RPG strategy book, and in-jokes and Shout-Outs are sprinkled throughout the story. Some characters even acknowledge the presence of the player, like Edwin and Jaheira.
  • No Hero Discount: Averted. Having a high reputation gets you hefty discounts.
  • Non-Combat EXP: In the series, particularly the second installment, the most XP was gained from completing major quests rather than combat encounters.
  • Non-Entity General: When your party members acknowledges your instructions, who exactly are they talking to? Probably the same person everyone else in your party is talking to, judging by the occasional reference to the player's mouse cursor and Jaheira calling you "O Omnipresent Authority Figure" in the first game.
  • No Points for Neutrality: Most quests can only be done in a good or an evil fashion. The most neutral way would be to not do them, which of course means no rewards.
  • Now, Where Was I Going Again?: Check your journal and find out, duh.
  • Numerical Hard: The game's difficulty settings increase or decrease the damage dealt by enemies but affect nothing else, except for the two easiest which max out hit point rolls, prevent permanent deaths and make spell-memorisation 100% successful in addition to reducing enemy strength. Mods have been created to improve enemy AI, with Sword Coast Strategems (versions of which are available for both games), and Ascension (for the sequel, created by former team member David Gaider) being among the more prominent.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: The player character can also engage in this behavior at times.
  • One Size Fits All: The same armor piece can even look different when being used by different characters.
  • One Steve Limit
    • A PC named Drizzt is just asking for trouble.
    • Naming a female PC Lanfear can lead to an easter egg in Chapter Six of BG2.
  • Only Mostly Dead: Party members who die but aren't reduced to -10 hit points can be resurrected. Otherwise they explode in a shower of Ludicrous Gibs.
  • Optional Party Member: All of them, with the exception of the main character. It's possible to play the game with a player-created party, or even solo with the right character build, though you miss out on many of the best Sidequests if you do.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Obviously they're a scaled down version of the Dungeons & Dragons version. Most of those you see are evil, but Adalon is a notable exception, as are the green dragons in Hell (Shadows of Amn) and Abazigal's Lair (Throne of Bhaal). They're instant spellcasters (with some of the best/most annoying spells in the game), very intelligent, universally arrogant (including the good ones), and garish sycophancy is a minimum requirement for not being obliterated on sight. On the plus side, most will not attack you on sight, and none can fit through their enormous lair doors so you can always flee. Even the "easiest" dragons also give tens of thousands of experience, so it's worth the effort. Other kinds are alluded to, but very rare - two half dragons, and the fairy dragon that Chaotic Good mages get as a familiar. It's also implied, as always in D&D, that sorcerers are descended from Dragons by way of explanation for their instant spellcasting.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: The three recruitable dwarves in the game, Kagain, Korgan and Yeslick, come from varying ends of the alignment spectrum - Lawful Evil, Chaotic Evil and Lawful Good, respectively - but all have Constitution-heavy stats, Kagain and Korgan are fighters with proficiencies that favour axes and while Korgan fulfils the image of the drunkard who loves beer, Yeslick is found in his ancestral mine and all three wear viking-style helmets. All NPC dwarves are similarly true to the tenets of this trope.
  • Our Genies Are Different: Djinn have their own clans and political systems said to be incomprehensible to human minds, are not interested in anything to do with granting wishes unless they were magically summoned for that purpose, and are rarely bound to objects.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: They are of varying size and have compounds to various elemental sources, but they're (obviously) all bigger than normal humans. They're also almost all hostile.
    • Most relevant to the plot are the Fire Giants who appear in Throne of Bhaal besieging Saradush and their leader, Yaga-Shura, who is a Bhaalspawn and one of the Five.
  • Our Gnomes Are Weirder: Among the recruitable gnomes - Jan, Quayle and Tiax - there are three binding traits: their Chaotic alignment, their status as comic relief and curious personality traits. Jan is also an inventor. So really, par for the course.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: As in, really bloodthirsty, without a bit of fondness for the living or brooding sex appeal about them. They eschew seduction and mind games in favour of simply mentally dominating any mortals they have use of and draining everyone else of blood. Party member Hexxat is the only exception.
  • Our Trolls Are Different: They are actually relatively easy to kill, since they have no resistances whatsoever. The trick is have them ''stay'' dead. Be prepared to stack up on equipment which does fire or acid damage.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: The Shapeshifter druid class is able to control their lycanthropy. Most visibly, party member Cernd uses this class but is a pretty peaceable guy.
  • Pause Scumming: When fighting a mage or wizard near a doorway to another screen, pausing right as they start their spell and clicking the door causes your character to run out the door leaving the area just before getting hit by the spell. By repeatedly abusing this trick, you can make spellcasters run out of spells and thus force them to attack you hand to hand, which turning even the most powerful wizard into a pathetically easy fight.
  • Padded Sumo Gameplay: Especially early in the game, it's common for opponents to stand around missing each other for round after round, the victor ultimately defeating their opponent after landing two or three hits.
  • Palette Swap: The only noticeable difference between characters that don't have names. A few creatures are also differentiated by this.
  • Pet the Dog: Some quests give you the option of going out of your way to do a bit extra to help someone out — such as giving Farmer Brun 100 gold to help him keep his farm in the first game, or giving freed slave children money for food. If the player character is evil but does such things anyway, they are enacting this trope.
  • Poke in the Third Eye
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Loads of them.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Averted. The world will respond correspondingly if you don't behave yourself at least a little. Evil party members also don't become good simply by virtue of helping you.
  • Protagonist Power-Up Privileges: It's the Bhaalspawn who gets all the nifty Bhaal-induced powers, whereas NPC party members (including other children of Bhaal) are stuck with the standard abilities. Though the NPC party member Bhaalspawn that still has the essence of Bhaal in her at the time actually was intended to get Bhaalspawn powers in Throne of Bhaal. Blame coding errors for that not happening.
  • Psycho for Hire: Quite a few Punch Clock Villains, as well as certain recruitable allies, notably Korgan and Montaron.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Quite common in the games' voiced dialogue, especially where Minsc is involved.
    Minsc: Evil, meet my sword! Sword! MEET! EVIL!!
  • Rainbow Pimp Gear: Many of the heavier armor pieces suffer from this, the abundance of pink suggesting the developers couldn't figure out how to do shades of red.
  • Random Encounters: Some random encounters provide you with very respectable quantities of gold and valuable Vendor Trash, and others occur randomly but tie directly into plotline events or subquests and as such aren't pointless.
  • Real Time with Pause: One of the first western role-playing games to cross over from classic turn-based combat into this. Although it may look like real-time, the combat is actually simultaneous turn-based. The game options give you quite an extensive array of options as to when exactly the game pauses - ranging from never to making the combat almost 100% turn-based.
  • Rebellious Princess: Skie.
  • Religion Is Magic: The cleric class, of course. A mix between melee combat and healing/offensive/supportive spellcasting, the cleric selects a patron deity to whom they pray in order to receive their spells, and in the case of class kits certain unique abilities. The class kits allow the player one of three patron deities: Talos, the Stormlord, Helm, the Vigilant, and Lathander, the Morninglord. Originally restricted by moral alignment (Talos was Evil, Helm Neutral and Lathander Good), this was changed in Patch 1.3 of the Enhanced Edition to the standard same-alignment-or-one-step-away system — Talos (Chaotic Neutral, Neutral Evil, Chaotic Evil), Helm (Lawful Neutral, True Neutral, Lawful Good, Lawful Evil) and Lathander (Neutral Good, Lawful Good, Chaotic Good, True Neutral) — after Beamdog realised certain class kit-alignment combinations made no sense (Priests of Helm could be Chaotic Neutral when Helm's church is a stickler for following the rules, while priests of Talos could be Lawful Evil when the Talassan faith is violently opposed to law and order). NPC clerics have patron deities of their own. Druids are similar in function but the 2e ruleset enforces a True Neutralinvoked alignment on them and their spell selection is lower and more nature-oriented; lorewise, they serve nature themed deities of any stripe. Paladins, still restricted to Lawful Goodinvoked, function like this as a clerical version of the Magic Knight, and rangers choose a druid god as the source of their divine spells in lore, making them druidic Magic Knights. NPC divine magic users who can join the player's party include:
    • Branwen is a cleric of Tempus, the Lord of Battles, who later got his own cleric kit in Icewind Dale.
    • Viconia was originally a cleric of Lolth, the Queen of Spiders, leader of the drow pantheon, but stopped worshipping her after her Even Evil Has Standards incident. These days she worships Shar, the Mistress of the Night, who is a few rungs below Lolth on the ladder of evil.
    • Yeslick is a cleric of the dwarven god Clangeddin Silverbeard, the Father of Battle.
    • Quayle is a cleric of the gnomish god Baravar Cloakshadow, the Sly One.
    • Tiax is a cleric of Cyric, the Prince of Lies.
    • Aerie is a cleric of Aerdrie Faenya, Queen of the Avariel, and Baervan Wildwanderer, the Forest Gnome.
    • Jaheira and Cernd are druids who worship Chauntea, the Earth Mother.
    • Faldorn is a druid who worships Silvanus, the Oak Father.
    • Ajantis is a paladin in the service of Helm.
    • Anomen is a cleric of Helm, as well.
    • Keldorn is a paladin in the service of Torm, the Loyal Fury.
    • Kivan and Valygar are rangers, and the rules of the setting make it clear they have to have picked a patron druid deity, even accounting for the latter's status as a Nay-Theist, but it remains unclear whom them worship.
  • The Reveal: Several.
  • Rodents of Unusual Size: Miniature Giant Space Hamster, allegedly.
  • Rousseau Was Right: At the least, the series believes that contrary to what the Harpers and others claim about them, all Bhaalspawn have the capacity to be heroes as well as villains (notably, the good-hearted Imoen and the well-intentioned Balthazar), as voiced by Cernd in one of his more meaningful metaphors. A big factor in becoming a benevolent character is also believing this, or at least acknowledging that your heroism is partially the result of how you grew up. See Upbringing Makes the Hero below for more.
  • RPGs Equal Combat: No matter what kind of character you want to play, the majority of both games is spent fighting or looking for enemies to fight. Most problems can only be solved by crushing them to bits and dungeon crawling is one of the main aspects of the game.
  • Save Scumming: Ohoho, you will be saving a lot of times in Baldur's Gate unless you have an intricate knowledge of every confrontation, how the game works along with the encounters coupled with planning in advance. Plus you still need to hope you're blessed by the Random Number God to survive whatever gets thrown at you. Stepped on a petrification trap with your main character accidentally and turned to stone? You've no choice but to reload or quit. Your precious party members brutally exploded in a blossom of gore due to a dragon barfing on him/her? Unless you're playing easy mode, you have to reload to bring them back. This makes it difficult to play without reloading if your main character gets gibbed (or you become attached to the other characters) so you have to be Hard Core to consider this mode.
    • Back in the day of Planet Baldur's Gate (a Gamespy subsite), the forums had a running gag "cult" amongst the forum-goers, worshipping the Great God, Beginagain.
  • Selective Condemnation: Even if you play these games in the most pacifistic, Lawful Good manner possible, you will still end up killing, at minimum, hundreds of people. Despite that, you only succumb to The Dark Side if you behave evilly towards a few arbitrarily important characters.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: Plenty involving equipment or party restrictions, with many of the more popular ones having mods to facilitate them - such as altering the location/reducing the number of magical items, or greatly increasing the difficulty of the game. Considering the game lends itself well to Save Scumming, "No reload, solo, Insane difficulty" is a common challenge. Anyone who can pull this off using the Sword Coast Strategems mod set is a real master of the game.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Edwin and, with a high enough INT score, potentially the PC.
  • Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: Charm, Confusion, and a number of other effects that do basically the same thing.
  • Shapeshifting: Dopplegangers of any type do this.
  • Shout-Out: Has its own page.
  • The Six Stats
  • Slap-on-the-Wrist Nuke: There are spells which do things like crash a comet into the battlefield and blast everything in sight with flaming dragon breath, damaging enemies heavily but not so much as flattening a blade of grass otherwise.
  • Slice-and-Dice Swordsmanship: Spears and daggers are often used with a slashing animation.
  • Smash Mook: The majority of non-human enemies are one manner or another of this, having high HP and a vicious melee strike but no special weapons or attacks. Of especial note are Ogres in the first game and Fire Giants in the second game's expansion, both of whom are lethal to your party at that level despite their complete lack of subtlety, tactics or exotic attacks.
  • Smug Snake: Lots and lots of villains (and a few party members as well).
  • Sociopathic Hero: Several of the evil party members qualify. As might the Player Character, depending on how one plays.
  • So Long, and Thanks for All the Gear: If a character leaves your party for reasons other than being kicked out, they'll take all that expensive gear you bought them on their way out. Even if you kicked them out, if you wait too long to get them to join again they may not have the gear you gave them. At some point after their departure, the game will reset their equipment to the NPC's default.
  • Spoony Bard: Player-created bards can actually be quite powerful, if built correctly. NPC bards who may join the player, however...
  • Squishy Wizard: Mostly played straight in the first game. Averted in the sequel where the available range of defensive spells makes the mage into a Glacier Waif, standing calmly in the middle of a furious swordfight as the enemies prove unable to disrupt their lethal incantations.
  • Sssssnake Talk: Assorted demons and reptilian monsters.
  • Standard Fantasy Setting: It's Forgotten Realms, after all.
  • Stereotype Flip: Happens on occasion with certain companions, such as Jaheira the druid being a brash fighter-type with an immensely hammy voiceset, Mazzy being the closest thing to a halfling paladin pre-3E despite halflings being thieves by preference, Dorn the half-orc being a Genius Bruiser instead of Dumb Muscle, Keldorn not being a Knight Templar type of paladin etc.
  • Stop Poking Me!: Several characters say something along these lines if repeatedly selected. Xzar quite literally squeals... "STOP TOUCHING MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEH!"
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: Random bandits will gleefully attack you in the wilderness or sometimes even in the middle of a city. At the beginning of the first game, when you're a staff-wielding weakling in leather, this is understandable. By the second game, when you're carrying a sword that glows like the sun, wearing the skin of a dragon that you killed yourself, and are surrounded by five other, similarly outfitted people...
  • Summon Magic: One of the more popular spell types, since summons can indeed be very powerful and are usually quite easy to control. The animals summoned by low-level spells are practically worthless, but the (fallen) Solars called forth by the Summon Deva and Summon Planetar spells will yield you entities likely more powerful than some of your party members.
  • Surplus Damage Bonus: Inflicting considerably more damage to an enemy than they have hit points left results in them exploding into Ludicrous Gibs. This also applies to party members, and the ones who are killed in this fashion cannot be resurrected.
  • Talking About Important Plot Points Is a Free Action: Time Stands Still when dialogues happen.
    • Tweak pack mods for both games can be installed that make sure time will always stand still whenever conversation happens. Previously, battles could still take place while characters were talking.
  • Talk to Everyone: Will actually waste your time. Most people who have something important to say will either have names or look out of place. They also might approach the party and initiate conversation themselves without prompting, depending on how they're programmed.
    • Not everyone that has a name has something important to say, though—a named noble in Feldpost's Inn just talks about how much she likes to drink; Carp in Nashkel will complain about being a farmer. And not everyone that is nameless is unimportant—the town crier in Beregost has no name, but he's the first NPC you'll run into that informs you of the Bassilus quest and who you need to speak to about it. And especially in the first game, the nobles that approach you only do so to insult you, insult the Sword Coast, or advertise another game.
    • It gets worse in the second game. There are lots of named NPCs that have absolutely nothing helpful to say. They were probably named to keep their dialogue from getting confused with those of the more generic NPCs, since there are so many more of them in the second game, but their unique dialogue may just consist of snubbing . Characters that appear in cutscenes may have names, too, but these cutscenes (such as the woman trying to trick a cleric into supporting a child that's not his) can have no significance to the game's plot.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Can easily occur with certain party combinations. Minsc and Edwin, or Viconia and Keldorn, for instance.
  • Time Keeps On Slipping: Not that it matters much.
  • Time Stands Still: The "Time Stop" spell. Also happens during most dialogs. (Tweak pack mods will make it so it always happens during dialogues.)
  • Took a Level in Badass: Several characters throughout the series.
  • Total Party Kill: Very frequent, unless you're very experienced and/or careful. Get used to it.
  • Trespassing Hero: One of three things happen if you enter someone else's house in the big cities like Beregost and Baldur's Gate. The inhabitants may state clearly that they frown upon you barging in (but don't do anything; some may even leave after telling you to get out); some call the guards on you; and some will even outright attack you.
  • True Companions: Canonically, the PC, Minsc, Jaheira, and Imoen.
  • Tyop on the Cover: The Baldur's Gate 4 in 1 Boxset published by Atari shows its cheapness in both its contents and cover production. The back calls the expansion to BG "Sword of the Coast" and the blurbs were very clearly written by someone who has never actually played the games.
  • Unknown Item Identification: Both games. Any found item that has a magic enchantment on it needs to be identified; thankfully magic scrolls and potions do not (the only exception are the green protection scrolls, but they are enchanted or cursed so that anyone can use them). Item identification can get tedious, so Tweak Pack mods for both games can be installed to remove the need for identification. Gluttons for punishment can install the tweaks that require even gems and potions to be identified instead.
  • Unwinnable by Mistake: There are a few scripting errors that can cause this, though they are fixed by unofficial patches.
  • Upbringing Makes the Hero: Charname and Imoen were raised by Gorion, a loving foster father who encouraged them to follow their own path; as such, Imoen is Neutral Good and Charname can choose to be Good (although they can still be Evil or just Neutral). They certainly fared better than Sarevok — although he loved his caring foster mother, his foster father Rieltar Anchev strangled her to death in front of him when he was only a child and threatened to do the same to him as an adult if he ever turned against him, and his Evil Mentor Winksi Perorate advised and, it is hinted, influenced him towards exploiting his Bhaalspawn heritage to indulge his divine abition. Tamoko even mentions that Sarevok is envious and resentful of Charname for having a loving parental figure and cutesy childhood friend/surrogate little sister that he never did. Throne of Bhaal even implies that if they switched places, Charname could have been the one who planned to murder their way to godhood and Sarevok could have been the one who stepped up to stop them.
    • Nyalee states upfront that she groomed Yaga-Shura to become Bhaal's successor, just as Winski Perorate did with Sarevok; unlike Winski and Rieltar, however, she genuinely loved her adoptive son as well. Tragically, Yaga-Shura doesn't love her back — although he may have when he was child (we don't know and no effort has ever been made to enlighten us).
      • In fact, Throne of Bhaal clearly believes that any of the Bhaalspawn opposing the player could have been a hero if they'd had someone like Gorion in their lives.
    • It's implied that Shar-Teel's raging misandry and dislike of authority, including Flaming Fist mercenaries, stems from her bad relationship with her father.
    • Korgan lost both of his parents to inter-clan warfare, was born via Traumatic C-Section as his mother was dying and built his father's funeral pyre himself as a child after the latter's death. No wonder he's so messed up.
    • Anomen's mom has been dead for years, and his dad is an abusive alcoholic who thoroughly disapproves of his son's career choice. Anomen's jerkassery might be a front for deep insecurity as a result.
    • Viconia was disowned by her family after she refused to kill a baby as a Rite of Passage and fled to the surface from a world where Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad, so it's understandable that she suffers such extreme culture shock.
      • Similarly, Phaere was originally a good person despite her surroundings and upbringing, but her mother was so disturbed by her behaviour (and her love for her boyfriend) that she had her tortured for weeks until she became bitter, scheming and cruel.
    • Both Jaheira and Faldorn were given away at birth to druid groves, spent their childhoods living there and took the values of their respective druid circles to heart when they grew up. It was pure chance that Jaheira grew up in a regular druid grove and Faldorn grew in a grove run by the Shadow Druids, which is ultimately what separates and divides them.
  • Updated Re-release
    • The first game, originally released on five CD-ROMS, with the Tales of the Sword Coast on a sixth disk, was later rereleased as a three-disk version.
    • Both games have 'Enhanced Edition' releases, including their respective expansion packs.
  • Useless Useful Spell: A good chunk of those kill-everything-instantly spells at higher levels usually aren't going to kill anything of much worth, wasting the spell slot for by the time you get them. However, thrown into the right combination, even the relatively weak instant death spells can be useful. Doom + Greater Malison + Chromatic Orb = dead dragon. Given the annoyance of summoned creatures it's still worth having at least a back-up mage having spells like Death Spell as well.
    • Most players consider using the Infravision spell a waste of a spell slot. Considering that every species other than humans and half-orcs have it as a passive trait and there's a group infravision setting, players just need one non-human character in order to use it whenever they feel like it. There's also a Helm of Infravision and a Ring of Infravision, both available fairly early on in the first game. It probably doesn't help that things aren't really hard to see in the games' nighttime settings and underground areas, where Infravision would be the most useful. There also aren't any game-induced penalties for not having it when wandering around at night.
  • Useless Useful Stealth
    • High-level backstabbing, especially the Assassin's x7 backstab. Dealing the damage cap (1048 damage) with a single hit? Awesome. Knowing that everything in the game at the point you get it is either immune to backstab or can be killed twice as fast by your mage or fighter without placing your rogue in the middle of a fight they probably can't handle? Makes it considerably less so.
    • The Assassin has a second issue in that the kit's main feature isn't gained until level 21, and even then its slow thieving skill progression means that the Assassin might not have gotten enough skill points to thoroughly fill the niche of the rogue until levels after that. This means Assassins can't be dual-classed at a reasonable level without impairing the aspects that make a thief worthwhile in the first place, and a thief who isn't dual-classed or multi-classed is at a disadvantage in combat because they can only become 'proficient' with any given weapon, whereas certain other classes can gain up to Grand Mastery. The Assassin isn't completely irredeemable though, as it starts with poison abilities, which are extremely useful.
    • Fortunately, high-level rogues get their revenge with the traps. The blatantly imbalanced spike trap deals 20d10 damage and its damage cannot be dodged, saved against or blocked in any way. Six of them will kill the game's toughest Bonus Boss in one shot, and a high-level rogue can get another use per day for every level he or she gains. However, a timely dual-classed and equipped swashbuckler/fighter can distribute 300+ damage per round after their FIRST levelup in the expansion, or 200+ damage per round in the vanilla game, and far south of the XP cap. Ultimately, the best thief is still an ex-thief, unless it's the imbalanced Kensai/Thief dual-class, which has several of the Kensai's bonuses, can wear armor at high levels, can cast magic from scrolls, has a low enough THAC0 to hit pretty much anything consistently and has all the assorted thief abilities.
      • Single class swashbucklers are actually the 2nd highest physical damage dealing class in the game, behind a pure Kensai. Their only disadvantage is their lack of natural attacks, which dual-wielding speed weapons allows them to match warriors (And once they get to those rare +4 and above enemies they can use Whirlwind attack for 10 attacks, with a staff of the ram+6 or whatever other weapons you want them to use), and then surpass them in terms of damage per hit. Which combined with epic traps, the ability to wear any items they please, and use mage spells, they're effectively fighter/mage/thieves in a single VERY high level class.
    • Pickpocketing also falls under this. While it isn't inherently broken, there are so few items in either game worth stealing this way that it's more efficient to buff up the skill with potions when it's needed rather than investing in it with skill points that could be better spent on things that will be used more often.
  • Utility Party Member: While thieves can make powerful combatants, they are primarily used for sneaking around, picking locks and detecting/disarming traps. While a couple of other classes have these abilities, it is to a much lesser degree and never all three together. When one isn't playing solo, a thief is almost a mandatory party member.
  • Vancian Magic: The spellcasting system used by every wizard class except the sorcerer.
  • Vendor Trash: TONS of it. Though some things that seem to be vendor trash will actually be useful later. In addition to the obvious junk like gems and common jewelry, pretty much any item that was in the first game will be underpowered enough to be glorified vendor trash in the second.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: This is the game that partially inspired Dragon Age and Mass Effect, after all. You can go around randomly slaughtering Civilians, if you want. You can also listen to their concerns, and help them out of their trouble, and earn their trust and thanks in the process. Goes especially for Imoen, Minsc, the Player character's Love Interest and, if you're a mage, your Familiar.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Cloudkill is a Area of Effect Damage over Time spell. Cast this and Web and/or Entangle on a group of enemies and watch them suffocate, unless they're "lucky" and fail the Fortitude Save.
  • Video Games and Fate: The series has this as an over-arching theme: since the Player Character is the son/daughter of a dead murder god, s/he is fated to bring death to everyone in his or her wake, directly or indirectly, no matter how peaceful s/he may try to be. In Throne of Bhaal, a prophecy is more directly used as a plot device to justify But Thou Must!.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Overcoming the villains' good publicity is part of the plot of the first game. The PC can also be this if he/she is evil-aligned and has a high enough reputation score.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: All human male warrior and cleric sprites, whenever they don't wear armor. Male human wizard, on the other hand have a Badass Beard to make up for this.
  • Wallet of Holding: Gold is plentiful and weightless. You can end the game with over 100,000 gold easily.
  • We Cannot Go on Without You: One of the classic examples, and at first it seems a bit odd; your allies can literally fall like leaves around you and the game won't care (in fact, the reason BG1 has so many recruitables who have somewhat thin characterization is that the developers assumed low-level D&D play would go through characters rather quickly), but the instant the protagonist hits 0 HP, BAM, game over. Of course, this does get justified very well in the games: since the protag is a Bhaalspawn, when s/he dies, Bhaal's divine essence within them is returned to 'the pool'. Even IF the protag is resurrected, you just lost the abilities that let you beat the overarching plot. At the same time, this justification creates a minor plothole. Despite also being a Bhaalspawn, Imoen can be resurrected just fine. No justification is offered for that, although it's suggested that her innate cheeriness kept the taint at bay.
    • Even more plothole-y are all kinds of spells that incapacitate Charname without killing them. The above justification doesn't explain why your group wouldn't be able to lug your petrified form to the nearest temple or dispel it themselves.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Good or Neutral-aligned party members will call you out on it if you do something truly dastardly, and eventually leave the party if you become too evil.
    • In the first game this becomes more readily apparent when at least two Harpers will come up to you and declare you a wicked, wicked person who deserves only death should you take the evil path.
  • Wide Open Sandbox: You can do almost anything you want. At least, anything that was programmed into the game engine.
  • World of Badass: Barring the civilians, naturally.
  • World of Ham: Minsc and Korgan are just the very tip of the iceberg.
  • Your Size May Vary: Thanks to the sprite animation all people of the same race are of the same height (unless they're a child). As a result, your little sister Imoen will actually be taller than you, unless you play as a human or a half-orc.

Alternative Title(s): Baldurs Gate

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Franchise/BaldursGate?from=Main.BaldursGate