Baldur's Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast (expansion pack)
Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn
Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal (expansion pack)
The setting also crosses over with Icewind Dale, and Planescape: Torment is considered a sister game to the series.The plot centers around a hero 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 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 MechaSimulation 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 (one of the original creators apparently intends to complete it in the form of a module for Neverwinter Nights 2, which he also worked on).A novelization exists, but we prefer not to speak of it.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. 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 will carry over the enhancements from the first game, and adds another new character with her own quest (in addition to the three introduced in the first game).A comic spin-off called "Legends of Baldur's Gate" was announced in July 2014, prominently featuring everyone's favourite ranger/hamster duo on the front pages.There's a character sheet, which is where you should put tropes associated with individual characters.
The Baldur's Gate games provide examples of 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.
24-Hour Armor: They also hold onto their weapons at all times too.
Aborted Arc: Several, from additional romanceoptions for female PCs, to extra sidequests, to fairly major changes in the overall story. Some were cut due to time constraints, others because of fan response. The Unfinished Business mods for the first and second games put a lot of this cut content back in.
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: Canonically, CHARNAME's parents. Daddy was the God of Murder who only sired you in hopes you'd either be slaughtered and resurrect him, or else become a monster just like him and slaughter your weaker siblings before you died. Mommy was the cultist who gave birth to you and would have made you a Human Sacrifice if Gorion hadn't interrupted the ritual. In fact, Daddy was the exact same with your sister Imoen, your brother Sarevok and all your other half-siblings.
Action Girl: All the female joinable characters are professional adventurers who fight.
Adventure Duo: In the first game, several sets of NPCs come in pairs, and you can't keep one in the party without the other unless you use an exploit. Of course, an available "exploit" is entirely natural — let one of them die. It's easier than keeping them alive, really. Their companion will get over it easily enough.
Affably Evil: The Games, especially the sequel is full of these.
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.
Despite her Jerkass behaviour, Viconia is considerably more polite than most other evil teammates.
Dorn Il-Khan. He's an evil Black Knight, mass murderer and the willing servant of a demon lord. That said, his charisma score is pretty high, and he sometimes tries the more personable approach from Shadows of Amn onwards.
The githyanki demanding the blade shard after escaping the Underdark at least tries to be this.
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.
Somewhat justified as he is a Cambion, a half-fiend, rather than a full demon.
Affectionate Pickpocket: Played with in Baldur's Gate II: Imoen suddenly starts acting all love-struck and swooning around Keldorn, much to his horror (since he is Lawful Good, married, and old enough to be her father). After making him squirm for a bit, Imoen chuckles and gives him his ring back.
A God Is You: Edwin and Tiax are aware of being led by a mouse, Khalid tells it to "c-click on someone your own size", Dynathir 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!
Alignment-Based Endings: Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal has three endings: Good God, Evil God, and Mortal. Though in one sense the trope is avoided: it is not entirely based on your alignment, or a Last-Second Ending Choice (the choice between God and Mortal is, but not the alignment), but rather by having answered correctly to a series of questions you are asked by a Solar over the course of the expansion. Gave the right answers, you can become a Good God. Didn't give enough right answers, and even if you are a Lawful Good Reputation 20 Paladin, becoming a god makes you an Evil God. On the other hand, even if you're a Chaotic Evil Blackguard with a Reputation of 1, giving all the right answers makes you a Good God should you choose that path.
When attacking Bodhi for the last time, Drizzt and the Shadow Thieves are encountered halfway through the crypt that had its traps and enemies intact.
This also occurs in BG:ToSC's Durlag's Tower area. Even though adventurers (a few still living, but mostly dead) have gone before you and have gotten to a certain point themselves, all of the tests, traps, and enemies are intact when your party travels through it. Even Durlag's ghost states that you are the first to have ever gotten that far, even though two other adventurers (Clair and Dalton) can be found in the last two dungeon areas. The ghost is standing close to the only staircase leading up or down from this area, so how did he miss seeing them?
One of them handwaves it by saying they took another route which has now collapsed, although you see no sign of any other passages, collapsed or otherwise, anywhere.
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 particular subversion. She's evil, but nowhere as evil as stereotypical drow. In fact, this is the reason why she's on the surface. See Even Evil Has Standards below.
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 named 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.
Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Theodon and Jessup, though adoptive parents rather than biological ones, still manage to be this in their one scene. Regale your friends with embarrassing facts about you as a baby? Check. Talk about one of your more ridiculous childhood antics (in this case, stealing the cape of Khelban Blackstaff for yourself and running around wearing it and nothing else)? That's a double check. Mention they have embarrassing baby photos of you, including one of you naked on a bearskin, and offer to show it to any of your party members who're interested? Check again!
Amazon Brigade: In the first game, a female PC can recruit any combination of Shar-Teel, Viconia, Alora, Jaheira, Dynaheir, Safana, Imoen, Branwen, Faldorn and Skie. Four Thieves, an Invoker, two Clerics and two Fighters may not seem like much, but you can always slap a Girdle of Femininity/Masculinity on a male character like Edwin or Kagain to balance things out. The second game brings back Jaheira, Viconia and Imoen, and adds Aerie, Mazzy and Nalia. The Enhanced Edition adds Neera and Hexxat.
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.
Played straight with the Soul Prison in the Underdark, though.
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 living 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.
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.
Not the case in game, but the philosophy of the kensai kit, that a true master of their weapon need not enter battle with encumbrance.
Actually true in the ToB expansion. Both you and your enemies have so much Thac0 that almost all attacks automatically hit anyway, doesn't matter if you are naked or wearing full-plate armor made of dragon scale, carrying tower shield and being protected by several spells increasing your AC.
What's worse is this: remember that "Immunity to all weapons of +1 enchantment and less" innate bonus that you get from using the Tears of Bhaal on the Helldoor? Guess what enchantment nearly EVERY ENEMY'S WEAPON has in ToB? Yup, +2 at least, and usually +3. Now, considering that +3 weapons are supposed to be quite powerful, rare, and hard to make, why does nearly every shop sell them?
Arrows on Fire: Arrows with a fire enchantment burn after being launched.
Artifact Title: Baldur's Gate isn't visited at all in the second game. (Discounting the tutorial section, of course.)
Author Vocabulary Calendar: Whoever wrote the love tracks for Jaheira and Viconia seemed to have a particular fondness for the word "maudlin".
An Axe to Grind: Unfortunately, it's one of the less useful weapon categories in the first game. In the second it's one of the best, as there's an anti-undead axe, two fairly powerful axes that deal extra elemental damage, throwing axes that return to the thrower's hand, and in Throne of Bhaal there's even a vorpal axe.
Player's party may become one if you have Imoen and Sarevok in your party. Add one of the four possible love interests, who are all badass in their own right, and it becomes an extended family, with kids if you chose Aerie. By the end of Throne of Bhaal your party is ungodly powerful and takes on an Almost-Goddess Amelyssan, how much more badass can one get?
The Turnabout mod takes this a step further, as it allows you to add either Gorion or the PC's mother Alianna (who was a priestess of Bhaal and a Deathbringer) to your party for the final battle. Not to mention that Ascension, which is a base component for Turnabout anyway, also lets a good-aligned player recruit Balthazar, adding yet another sibling to the mix.
Bag of Holding: Oh, quite literally. You get it sometime after you meet up with Irenicus.
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.
Baldur's Gate II; justified by getting captured between games. You get to keep all your skills, though, and a few special items are kept in a locker. Though indirectly it actually can be of the variant that your character is inexplicably no longer capable of what they were before. Since BG1 had no kits and a different proficiency system, importing a BG1 character into BG2 allows you to change from your base class to a kit and makes you reassign your proficiency points. So it's possible that your thief that backstabbed their way through BG1 will turn into a swashbuckler that can't backstab at all and will lose their proficiency in short swords because they are now specialized in daggers.
Averted between Shadows of Amn and Throne of Bhaal. If you start from Throne of Bhaal instead of importing, you start with a lot of good stuff (though not all of the best stuff). Also, if you make a character in Throne of Bhaal and then import him into Shadows of Amn, then pause the game while the screen is black right after the loading screen, you can empty your character's Throne of Bhaal inventory onto the ground before it is cleared, therefore letting you start with a Flail of Ages and awesome loot such as that. The same goes for importing a character from BG1 into Shadows of Amn.
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.
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 Couple: The player character and their love interest. From the first game, Khalid and Jaheira are a notable example.
Battle Cry: Every party member has a few. Go for the eyes, Boo, go for the eyes!
Bears Are Bad News: Actually, bears are one of the least fearsome enemies that can be encountered regularly, though for low level parties in the first game this only applies to Black and Brown bears. If you went to get Dynaheir for Misc early on and accidentally wandered into one of the Mountain or Cave Bears in the South West of the Sword Coast then you're in for a nasty surprise, especially if you charge them head on assuming they'll fall as easily as the other kinds.
Then there's Wilson the Bear, a secret party member you can get in the Enhanced Edition by progressing in Neera and Rasaad's questlines. He's a bit of an odd choice, but his regeneration, massive constitution and high strengh make him a viable enough party member.
Bear Trap: Traps laid by thieves look like this. They're much more lethal than your standard bear trap, though.
The Beastmaster: A ranger kit that specialises in summoning animals to help out and has a familiar function. Is not very popular as it has the same armor restrictions as druids.
Beat Still, My Heart: Baldur's Gate II has one part of a quest where you need to get one of these from a demon to be able to leave a particular dungeon. The expansion, Throne Of Bhaal, requires you to destroy one (in fact, two) in order to make an enemy vulnerable, allowing you to kill him.
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.
A good portion of Baldur's Gate II takes place here, like the entire Chapter 5.
Significant portions of the plot occur in mines in BG1.
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.
Particularly in the second game, in which the PC is forced to take sides in a gang war between a ruthless criminal organization which tortures and executes its own members and a coterie of bloodthirsty vampires who have slaughtered hundreds of people. It's difficult to roleplay realistically if your character is a Paladin, Ranger, or other do-gooder.
A popular Game Mod allows the player to instead take the side of the Athkatla City Watch, which strikes blows against both the Shadow Thieves and Bodhi's organization and lets you feel good doing it.
Body Horror: Many examples, from the "Tortured Ones" in Irenicus' dungeon, to the Skin Dancers, to the main character's transformation into the Slayer.
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. The Mulahey fight in the first game becomes laughably simple when he cannot bring in reinforcements while Magic Missile is 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).
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.
Bowdlerise: In the original release of the first game, the opening cutscene shows the blood of Sarevok's first victim filling the depressions in the game's emblem, after which the eyes of the skull light up. In the three-disc rerelease this is removed.
Breakable Weapons: Non-Magical weapons will break without warning. The reason given is the iron plague upon the ore coming from the mines. It's annoying, but at least there's an in-game reason, rather than just some kind of poorly contrived added difficulty, and it applies to enemies as well as the player's party. Also, as soon as the iron plague issue is resolved, weapons stop being breakable.
Break the Cutie: Imoen gets put through ridiculous amounts of this, but is shown to recover in the end. Viconia's backstory also has a lot of this. Also, that wraith who impersonates Gorion will break down your lover, especially Aerie.
Brick Joke: In the prologue of the first game, you can encounter two would-be bounty hunters, after the price on your head. Five chapters later, in the city of Baldur's Gate, you can meet a woman named Sanadal Gwist, at an inn in the southeast section of the city, who says she's worried about her missing brother and cousin and asks if you can look for them. She mentions their names, and they're the same as the two guys who tried to kill you. No reason to feel too bad about it though, since she finally admits that she's really looking for them because they both owe her money and then asks you to smack them for her if you see them. (Way ahead of you, Sanadal.)
Broken Bridge: The city of Baldur's Gate is closed off until you solve the ore problem — it's even an actual bridge, the Serpent's Causeway.
But He Sounds Handsome: Edwin pulls this in Shadows of Amn when confronted by another wizard who is hunting him.
Edwin: Er...I am no Edwin, as you claim. I know him not. He sounds like a worthy mage of distinction, and I am probably weaker having not made his acquaintance.
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."
Cain and Abel: Played straight in BG1, then played with for all it's worth in Throne of Bhaal, which is more like "Cain and Cain and Cain and Cain and Cain and Abel"... only with Abel murdering all the Cains. And going on to become God.... Maybe.
Call Back: Quite a few. One notable example is the Temple of Umberlee in the first game; if you'd completed an (entirely optional) earlier quest for Priestess Tenya, then you can ask to summon her within the temple. She'll give you what you're searching for for nothing, while if you didn't meet her prior, then you have to pay the temple's high priestess 2,000 gold for it.
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.
Can't Argue with Elves: Averted; you can. And if you don't, Valygar will. And if he doesn't... well, let's just say the elves deserve to be argued with this time around.
In fairness to the elves in question most of them agree that yes, they screwed up mightly.
Can't Catch Up: Particularly in the first game, several characters can't be recruited until well into the game. Although they'll be leveled approximately equally to the PC if they're added to the party, their skills, weapon proficiencies, spellbooks, and/or HP will have been determined by the computer in a sub-optimal fashion. As a result, they're likely to be underpowered compared to characters who have been in the party for the entire game, and since due to the experience cap you can't level them further, there's no way for them to catch up. A human character who dual-classes can do this to themselves, dual-classing too late to ever level past their original class, and thus locking the abilities of that class permanently.
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.
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.
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.
Climbing Climax: Inverted in the intro to BG1, which has Sarevok chasing an apparently heroic person up a tower.
Clown-Car Grave: Due to game mechanics, zombies, mummies, and other undead can endlessly spawn at times.
All spells within the same school will have the same primary color in their visual effect.
Also, the circles around a character's feet tell you if they're a recruitable 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.
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.
Convection Schmonvection: The Temple Ruins dungeon in Baldur's Gate II features pits of red-hot magma. Characters can walk within six inches of them without being affected; they'll only take damage if they actually step on the lava.
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.
Cutting Off The Branches: Done to an extreme in the sequel. The game dialogue and set-up tells you exactly who you traveled with — Khalid, Jaheira, Minsc, Dynaheir and Imoen — and tells you exactly how you behaved — heroically. Needless to say, rationalizing what you are shown and told in the intro level was very difficult if you were invokedChaotic Evil. Unless, of course, you're Dangerously Genre Savvy, and your character wants to be a Villain with Good Publicity. Alas, given the way the game world works, the difference between a Villain with Good Publicity and a Hero is non-existent.
Officially it goes even further, as the Baldur's Gate novels are Forgotten Realms canon which solidifies, 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.
Dem Bones: A common enemy, as an encounter in the first game and mages' summon in the second.
Demoted to Extra: Happens to a number of playable characters from Baldur's Gate who don't have bridges dropped on them between games. Looking at the realm map, the second game is placed over 200 miles away, which means that someone around level 7 (your starting place in the second game) would take several in-game months to get to there without high-level magical help, which would break their bank as a single NPC. of course, you get teleport-kidnapped, saving a lot of time.
Disproportionate Retribution: In Athkatla, any mages caught casting any form of magic are imprisoned and horrifically tortured for the rest of their lives. Or simply murdered, as in the case with the player character (unless you manage to just keep on killing Cowled Wizards until they give up).
And Haer'Dalis thinks of you as this... and likes it, since he worships Entropy.
Door To Before: The exit from the Underdark conveniently drops the party off back at the mainland.
The Dragon: Bodhi for Irenicus in Shadows of Amn. Draconis for Abazigal in Throne of Bhaal. Unmodded, Draconis can often be more difficult than Abazigal.
Dropped a Bridge on Him: Several party members from the first game turn up dead in rather anti-climactic fashion. Inverted when, due to the open nature of the games, several characters who should (If you got them killed) be dead after the first game can still show up for a cameo in the second. Lampshaded when the PC can actually ask them 'Didn't you die?' This is in fact perfectly reasonable in a D&D world.
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.
Dude, Where's My Respect?: Justified in the first game, as the party's feats are ostensibly being hidden by the Iron Throne. Also justified at the beginning of the sequel, as the citizens of Amn have no reason to care about what happens in the north. Played straight after that. Averted in Throne of Bhaal, in which the party will be showed respect. If you talk to the right citizens in Nashkel, Beregost, and Baldur's Gate in BG1, they will thank you for what you have done (sometimes you have to leave town and come back later for it to work).
The Underwater City can be skipped entirely by choosing to leave Brynnlaw via a portal instead of a ship. Doing this will cause the player to miss out on one of the best cloaks in the game, though.
Most of the Underdark's quests can be skipped simply by... heading out the exit. Adalon even mentions this if the questline is completed. But this is not the recommended course, since the next set of challenges can be overwhelming without the levels and gear the Underdark would provide to you.
Earn Your Happy Ending: All the romances, in the epilogues, except Viconia end this way. Also applies to some, but not all of the NPC's 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.
Empty Room Psych: Some wilderness areas in the first game are like this. If you explore them thoroughly, you'll find you got nothing out of it besides some fights with a smattering of randomly generated enemies. Small Teeth Pass in the sequel is also particularly non-notable.
Enemy Chatter: Several scripted encounters which may or may not end in a fight.
Epic Flail: The Flail of Ages on its own makes having a character with proficiency in flails worthwhile.
More like "Even Chaotic Neutral Has Standards" due to the implications of the alignment system, but the Shadow Thieves are this to the Assassins Guild in the second game.
This is the reason why Viconia became a outcast. She refused to sacrifice an infant for a rite of passage.
Every Man Has His Price: In Shadows of Amn, the mercenary mages an old enemy, a former slaver, of Jaheira's hires to curse her can be convinced to abandon their employer if you offer to pay them more money when you track them down. Pay extra and they will even backstab him the moment he tries to summon them to his aid. You even ask their leader how much you would have to pay to get them to betray their contract. This adds an extra layer of defeat for the slaver since he spent his last savings on this revenge scheme while the few thousand gold you pay to turn his own mercs against him might be chicken feed to you at this point.
Evil Pays Better: Not by a long shot. 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.
For the second game, anyway. The first tends to play 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. The most statistically optimized cleric, mage and fighter companions are also all evil-aligned.
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.
Evil Sounds Deep: Played straight with Sarevok, who was voiced by deep-voiced villain specialist Kevin Michael Richardson. Averted with Irenicus, who speaks in a normal register, as well as major female villains Bodhi and Amelissan.
In the first game, you can get caught in the middle of a feud between invokedUmberlee and Talos.
In the sequel, the group trying to kill Viconia are fanatical worshippers of Beshaba, the invokedChaotic Evil goddess of bad luck. And you have to pick sides in a bloody feud between the local mob (Shadow Thieves) and a hidden vampire cult.
Hell, an evil party pitted against the Big Bad or Arc Villain of that chapter counts as well.
Evil Weapon: You can acquire several weapons that are described this way, though only a few have this reflected in any way in their mechanics.
The first time is while escaping from Irenicus' dungeon. You run across an imprisoned man in a rather luxurious cell, with a large number of booby-trapped treasure chests to boot. If you let him out, he shortly afterward reveals he's a doppelganger and attacks, with rather predictable results.
The second time is about halfway through the game, when Yoshimo, who had (potentially) joined you near the start, reveals himself as a Sixth Ranger Traitor for Irenicus, due to a geas placed on him. The next time you meet him after that, there is no way around killing him off for real, which he desperately wants anyway..
Having the Dark Elf Viconia on your team will lower your reputation. 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.
This can happen in the first game as well. Kivan may attack Viconia because he despises the Drow, although getting this to actually happen is apparently rather tricky.
Half-orc Blackguard 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.
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.
Final Boss Preview: In the second game Jon Irenicus manages to effortlessly capture the party twice, killing some of them in the process, before you even get the chance to fight him. And in the first game, Sarevok shows up in the introduction to kill your mentor, though he's only identified as "Armored Figure" at the time.
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.
First Town: In BG2, the starting town of Athkala is also one of the most active areas for quests and encounters.
Fishing For Mooks: "Pulling" single enemies away from larger groups is an essential tactic.
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.
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. In Baldur's Gate II, the Ranger can accept a position as an actual forest ranger for a town in a wooded area.
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.
Friendly Fireproof: Weirdly, averted with some AoE spells (e.g. Fireball, Lightning Bolt), but played straight with others (Comet, Horrid Wilting).
The Fun in Funeral: You can run into a funeral gone horribly wrong in the Athkatla Graveyard District in BGII. Nevin gave his Uncle Lester such a cheap funeral(sold Lesters clothes, closed casket, flowers picked from the swamp that morning, paid a drunken priest to give a eulogy) that Lester rose from his casket as a zombie out of the sheer indignity of it. Unless you intervene(and you don't have to) Lester will kill Nevin and then shamble off to find a Calimshite whore he knew because there's "always time for one last quickie."
There are also several light-hearted moments at the funeral for Nalia's Father, such as a dwarf named Bonchy talking about his plans to overthrow the nobility in a too-loud voice. (Mind you,he's doing it on purpose to make the nobles nervous. He isn't being serious.) This makes Nalia smile, to which Bonchy replies that his work is done for a ten-day.
Game-Breaking Bug: Mainly occurs in heavily modded games, but can occur in the vanilla game also.
Because of the way the game tracks and monitors global event counters, game performance begins to break down near the end of Baldur's Gate II or near the beginning of Throne of Bhaal. So many resources are devoted to constantly keeping track of event counters, even ones that have no further use, that the game suffers from crippling lag, with character movement stuttering and combat becoming nearly unplayable even on modern systems. What's worse, the original games have no multi-core CPU support and are resource intensive, meaning that in most cases a single core is nearly maxed out on performance while the others are unaffected. The only known fix is to modify the save game file itself with a few hundred "placeholder" event counters. For whatever reason, the lag is an issue of the save file reaching a certain percentage of event counters out of a particular number; by inserting placeholder counters, the file can be made to reach that number, causing it to "roll over" to a new larger number, improving performance. The problem is also fixed with the popular Throne of Bhaal Extender (TobEx) mod, a kind of standalone pre-loading program that modifies the game engine as the game is being played in order to correct this and numerous other mechanical issues.
Game Mod: Lots, ranging from simple rule tweaks to entirely new joinable characters, quests, and major changes to the storyline.
A notable one is the Ascension mod (developed by one of the series' designers), which fixes and adds many things to Throne of Bhaal, one of which is turning the final battle into a fight of truly epic proportions.
Another popular mod is Unfinished Business which restores a lot of cut content to Baldur's Gate II.
There's also an Unfinished Business for Baldur's Gate I, which does the same.
Imoen always manages to get herself arrested by casting spells illegally upon exiting Irenicus' dungeon, even if she's got none left memorized when you escape. Conversely, enemies using spells are exempt, such as the Gith trying to retrieve the Silver Blade when you return to Athkatla.
Similarly, Yoshimo can't be resurrected despite the fact that in D&D it is possible to bring a dead character back from almost ANYTHING, up to and including the total destruction of their physical body (however, it's implied that the character in question won't want to - which prevents all resurrection - as he specifically asks you to take his heart instead of resurrecting him).
His questline was cut short due to time constraints which were compounded by fan pressure to add Imeon back as a playable character after her Cameo. He actually has dialogue for scenes it's impossible for him to legitimately be present at, and even has 2 conversations with an NPC who isn't available until To B, concerning a mutual acquaintance, if he's cheated into the party and certain actions are taken.
In Baldur's Gate II, a cleric of invokedChaotic Neutral alignment can take the cleric kit "Priest of Helm". According to the rules a chaotic priest of Helm wouldn't be allowed since the god Helm is firmly opposed to chaos.
Similarly, in Throne of Bhaal, a 25th level cleric also receives a holy symbol. These symbols are of Lathander, Helm or Talos, depending on alignment. In the player's case, it can be seen as a Pragmatic Adaptation, as you never specify your patron deity during character creation and since the Forgotten Realms have literally hundreds of deities, implementing each and every one in the game mechanics just wouldn't be feasible. But it becomes quite jarring when it happens to your party member clerics, who each have established patron deities. Aerie (a wizard/cleric of Baervan Wildwanderer) will receive a symbol of Lathander. Anomen (a fighter/cleric of Helm) will, if he has become Lawful Good, receive a symbol of Lathander instead (especially bad since he will receive a proper holy symbol of Helm if he remains Lawful Neutral). Viconia (a cleric of Shar) will receive either a symbol of Talos or Helm (the latter if her alignment has changed to Neutral) instead (the incredibly uptight and judgemental Helm is probably the last god Viconia would worship, but Talos might have a fighting chance due to his emphasis on chaos and evil).
This can be averted by choosing a cleric class kit. Known as "Priest of [insert god here]", they specify that your character worships Talos, Helm or Lathander and are alignment-restricted accordingly.
Yoshimo in Baldur's Gate II is under a geas to betray you at a certain point of the plot.
Lothander, a thief in Baldur's Gate I, is under a geas that forces him to do the Iron Throne's bidding. It results in a Sidequest for CHARNAME's party after Lothander reveals that your rations were poisoned by his associate.
There's a certain enchanted girdle in the first game that does this.
And a sidequest for Edwin which doubles as a couple of funny moments.
A Wild Mage surge can cause this to happen to either party members or enemies in BG2.
Gender Neutral Writing: The first game is written in an almost completely gender neutral fashion; only a small handful of conversations make reference to your character's gender. It usually works since many conversations are directed to your party as a whole rather than to a specific person. Sometimes it's rather jarring though, like your character getting mistaken for a local male human bounty hunter, even if you are playing as a female dwarf.
Cyric, the God of Madness, bizarrely enough. He has a private chat with the main character in a relatively human form for an avatar. In a But Thou Must moment, you call him out on this, where he responds with something along the lines of "What, I have to have some grisly form like the Slayer (Bhaal's avatar which the protagonist can turn into), some booming voice from the clouds or a puff of smoke?"
The Bonus Boss battle against the Enclave of the Twisted Rune, which was part of a subquest that was only partially implemented in the game's initial release, leaving players wondering what a group of ultra-powerful spellcasters were doing hanging out in the basement of a shipping warehouse in the Bridge District. Fan-made mods filled in the blanks, making this battle a bit less of a Big Lipped Alligator Moment.
There's also Semaj, who unlike Sarevok's other "elite" minions (Tazok, Angelo and Tamoka) received no prior characterization or buildup and seemed to be at the final battle just so the bad guys had a wizard on their side.
The Demi-Lich hanging out in Watcher's Keep. No build-up or opening dialogue or anything; you just walk into a room, and there's an already-hostile Demi-Lich, who will then probably proceed to immediately Imprison your main character.
Also a mage class in the first game. Small HP (mage can be easily one-shotted by critical hit), not many spells and very few means to protect themself. But in second game, when they gain higher level spells, mages become walking fortresses capable of both dealing great amounts of damage and withstanding huge amounts of punishment because of their protection spells.
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.
Gondor Calls for Aid: Attacking Bodhi's guild in Baldur's Gate II calls for some assistance. You can convince the Shadow Thieves, the Order of the Radiant Heart and even Drizzt himself to join you in the battle.
Good Scars, Evil Scars: In Baldur's Gate, the only characters with visible scars are Ajantis, Montaron, and Shar-Teel. Ajantis has a single scar running neatly along his cheek, which almost adds to his dignity if anything. Montaron's face is heavily scarred, which goes along with him being intended to be an ugly character, and Shar-Teel has single scar on her chin which is barely visible. Scarring is very common in the BG2 portraits regardless of alignment.
Gossip Evolution: After clearing Nashkel Mines, this can be noticed among the commoners.
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 Lost Forever 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.
In the first game, you can find hidden items, such as rare armour or rings. You can find these items later on in the game, but since the items are hidden very early on (an extremely rare ring can be found as early as chapter one), they'll give you a major advantage. Shame said items are in the most obscure, out of the way places, where you would never think to look, and are small you'd have a hard time finding them even if you knew where to look. This is less of a problem with the game running on the latest engine; holding TAB highlights searchable areas - very handy for locating that said ring.
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.
Guilt-Based Gaming: Trying to quit BG2 with Alt-F4 will remind you that "Boo will miss you".
There are also half-ogres in BG1, as well as the Ogrillon, which is a half-orc/half-ogre hybrid.
The second game introduced the Orog, another type of orc/ogre hybrid (much like mules and hinnies are two different types of horse/donkey hybrid, although they look a lot more similar to each other than orogs and ogrillons).
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.
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).
Hero Antagonist: Balthazar from Throne of Bhaal, who, unlike most of the Bhaalspawn who are trying to seize the former God of Murder's power, is actually trying to rid the world of Bhaal's taint by destroying all other Bhaalspawn and then committing ritual suicide. If you're playing an evil character, he's got a good point. Sadly, if you're good, you can't persuade him that you can handle Bhaal's power without turning evil and he attacks you anyway. Averted with the semi-official Ascension mod though, which lets you do precisely that.
Hello, Insert Name Here: CHARNAME, as s/he is affectionately called by the community. Despite this, hardly anybody calls you by that name, preferring lines like "my child" and "scum".
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.
Hypocrite: In Throne of Bhaal, you'll be intercepted by a band of mercenaries after the destruction of Saradush. Some of them are Lathander priests that summons skeletons. Anyone with moderate knowledge of Forgotten Realms deities will know that Lathander, the sun god, is diametrically opposed to undeath. This shouldn't even be possible, because D&D-clerics get their powers from their patron gods, unless they're dual/multiclassing with Mage, but they are wearing armor.
Hypocritical Cleric of Lathander:You're an affront to everything I believe in!
There are also the people trying to burn Viconia at the stake in BG2. They're burning her because she's drow, and drow are evil... but the ringleaders worship Beshaba, a chaotic evil goddess (of misfortune). In Faerun, evil is not one big happy family.
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.
I Fought the Law and the Law Won: If the Flaming Fist guards of the first game confront you about a crime, fighting them almost always ends badly. Just run for it, okay?
If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten: The player has to do this at points in the Shadow Thieves quest line, particularly while rooting out Mae'Var. However, since the Shadow Thieves are the gray half of Athkala's Black and Gray Morality, it's not too bad. It's played a little more straight in some other quests, though.
I Have Your Wife: Bodhi pulls this by abducting your lover and turning him/her into a vampire when you enter the graveyard district to assault her guild in Baldur's Gate II.
The Extended Edition characters, who can all be romanced in some capacity, are having none of her shit. Neera tries to pull a He Is Not My Boyfriend before Wild Surging away temporarily, Dorn shrugs off the attack with his class immunities or is protected by his patron, Rasaad unleashes his undead-destroying powers and Hexxat demonstrates she already is a vampire.
Though in fairness he wasn't eating his own species.
Improbable Power Discrepancy: The Amnish guards in Baldur's Gate II are amazingly even more powerful than the Baldur's Gate guards in Baldur's Gate, so much so that if the power discrepancy were "real" instead of merely game mechanics (to compensate for higher-level player characters), the Amnish could simply march their supermen up to Baldur's Gate and conquer the area within days. And then there's the Tethyrian and Calishite legions and mercenaries in Throne of Bhaal, whose rank-and-file footmen carry + 2 magical weapons.
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.
Informed Attribute: The player character's alignment. Since there's no real penalty for acting against alignment, even players who intend to be evil will usually pick a Good alignment for the reputation bonus.
Insane Troll Logic: We get some of this logic coming from an actual insanetroll. Here's the conversation if you try to keep a dialogue going as long as possible instead of attacking him right after he says:
Troll Cook: Hello there foodthing. You are just in time. Please just jump onto the grill over there. Protagonist: Pardon me? Troll Cook: The grill. That big metal thing. Jump on. Be careful, it's hot! Protagonist:You speak well for a troll. Troll Cook:My mother tried hard togive me good learning. She sent me to live with these hobgoblins here. They smart. Trained me how to cook real good. Protagonist: Do you like these orcs? Troll Cook: They smell bad, but they're okay. They can be mean sometimes. Chief DigDag sometimes cuts my fingers off and throws them onto the grill. Says they taste like sausages. Protagonist: Doesn't that hurt? Troll Cook: Yep. But I'm a troll. Fingers cut off. Fingers grow back. Now quit talking and start broiling! Chief DigDag doesn't like me talking to the food. Protagonist: I'm not letting you cook me, you crazy troll! Troll Cook: Uncle Cajum, he was crazy. Me, I'm not crazy. I'm a cook. Now get on the grill! Protagonist: Why would I want to be on the grill? Troll Cook: Geez. It's impossible to get good help nowadays. If you're not on the grill, how am I going to cook you? Protagonist: I don't want to be cooked. Troll Cook: If you didn't want to be cooked, then why did you apply for the job? I think you'll all make a tasty snack! Boys! Get 'em!
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 halflings for that matter.
Seeming to pick up on the players' dissatisfaction with this, the four Enhanced Edition NP Cs 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, the protagonist 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 later Heel-Face Turn prove him wrong; if he and the PC are at different ends of the ethical spectrum, it's not because of their shared parentage, but because of different experiences growing up. Though Sarevok only performs the Heel-Face Turn once he is no longer Bhaalspawn.
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. In BG1, all thief and bard avatars have hoods, but this is because the thief and bard classes use the same models.
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 Character: A few borderline examples, particularly in the first game. Tiax and Quayle in particular are severely underpowered and seem to be around primarily for comic relief.
Bodhi likes to do this, although she has some difficulty pulling it off in practice against the Player Character.
Firkraag in the Windspear Hills sideplot (likewise in the second game) also messes with the player character and is completely unconcerned about their possible retribution, even after they've destroyed all his minions, which he doesn't particularly mind either.
Kangaroo Court: In Baldurs Gate2 your character is subjected to one of these by an ambitious Harper. Granted, he may be right about you if you are playing an evil character, but that isn't why he is accusing you. No matter how you answer his questions, he will find a way to twist them and make you seem like a dangerous monster not unlike an illithid or beholder that needs to be sealed away forever. Jaheira calls him out on this and declares that he cares more about his own advancement than about actually protecting the balance. At least you have the option of being a Deadpan Snarker throughout the whole interrogation.
Karma Houdini: The player runs across a few wrongdoers who may or may not escape justice, depending on his or her actions.
Neb in the first game. Thankfully, he can get what's coming to him in the second.
Saemon Havarian: Every time you meet him, prepare to be screwed over. Don't try to avoid it, because you can't. Don't try to get revenge, because you won't. He gets away every time. Even if you kill him in SoA, he shows back up in ToB. You can kill him there too, if you're quick enough. (Finger of death works decently there.)
Jarlaxle in the second game too, who fools the player into stealing a Matron Mother's gems for him and then gracefully bows out after admitting as much. He even lampshades your inability to exact retribution upon him.
In order to have Anomen pass his Knighthood test if you're romancing him, you have to convince him that he should let his sister's death go unavenged even though that means letting the killer get away with it. No matter how you play it, Anomen's quest becomes a Shaggy Dog Story. If he refuses to kill Saerk the first time, Saerk turns out to be the guy who kills his sister, and the PC must convince Anomen to let that killer go free in order to keep him in the party. The whole event is treated like a classic If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him plot, but this is a game where even good characters will have to slaughter dozens of people every time you play in order to advance the story, making it a huge Broken Aesop. To cap it off, if Anomen does kill Saerk the first time, it's later revealed that two random mooks killed his sister, and that Anomen murdered an apparently innocent man and failed his lifelong dreams for no apparent reason at all. Although, given that Saerk was said to have hired the men who killed her rather than doing the deed himself it's likely that he was still guilty, Anomen's just too unlucky to find out that he killed the right man.
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. As mentioned above, 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! 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.
Katanas Are Just Better: Their base stats are significantly better than those of other one-handed weapons in the game, even competing with two-handed weapons in terms of damage output - a Kensai dual wielding katanas is the game's single best melee damage dealer. In an unmodded game, this is balanced somewhat by the fact there is a far better selection of magical weapons for most other one-handed weapon types (although the magical katana known as the Celestial Fury is one of the best weapons prior to Throne of Bhaal), but the underlying assumption is still present.
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).
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 you're CAUGHT. Plus, not all NPCs will react to you rifling through their belongings. It's trial-and-error to figure out which ones these are, but the game programming wasn't as thorough in this respect as one would believe. They WILL most certainly react to you trying to pickpocket them, though. Except for SoA's Sewage Golem.
Narlen: Swiped the Duchess' knickers once... if you know what I mean!
Landmark Sale: A thief in Athkatla's slums tries this with the Planar Sphere. Needless to say, Valygar is not happy if he is in the party to hear it.
Laughing Mad: Will happen if you choose to take Brage to the Temple of Helm instead of killing him for the bounty on his head; once the cutscene conversation is over, click on Brage to hear a sound clip of this mixed with him crying for all the people he slaughtered.
Leitmotif: Party members with a Romance Sidequest have their own songs that play during romance talks. Although there are there are four potential love interests, there are actually only three of these songs as Aerie's and Jaheira's are two halves of the same song.
Less Embarrassing Term: The Player is lucky enough to meet up with Drizz't (again), Wulfgar and their heroic friends. When you encounter them, they are searching the undergrowth for a misplaced magical hammer that is absolutely not "pink" — it's "light red"!
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.
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.
Literal Genie: In Baldur's Gate II; "Limited Wish" spell, and indeed the "Wish" spell.
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.
Drizzt in BG1 was probably intended to be unkillable. A variable tracking whether you killed him carries into the sequel anyway. Technically, the second game just tracks whether or not you started the game with a piece of his equipment... which means that you can still get the same response even if you just pickpocketed his Cool Sword instead.
Several plot-critical characters (such as Elthan and Aran in the Shadow Thief path) are unkillable, and furthermore spawn (equally unkillable) assassins that One-Hit-Kill youif you make them hostile. It's possible to kill some of them with a combination of Time Stop and Shapeshift: Illithid Form, as they have a weakness towards ability drain.
Elminster, however, cannot be killed 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 kill Elminster. 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).
Unless you're playing as a Fighter class (and have access to the De'arnise Keep for the rest of Amn), if you miss finding the heads for the Flail of Ages, you will not be able to go back in and retrieve them after you liberate the Keep for Nalia. This in turns locks you out of the upgraded Flail in Bhaal.
Every unique item in every other area which you can't reenter past a certain point, as well as some other items. This is especially annoying in case of the pieces of certain artifacts. Didn't pay quite full attention in the very first dungeon, and missed a specific jewel? No Equalizer for you. Missed an item in a hidden area in the spellhold dungeon? Forget about ever completing the Gesen Bow. Made the mistake of actually giving a snobby artist the alloy he asked for, instead of taking it to the smith to upgrade that Mace of Disruption? You'll never get the upgrade.
It gets even worse with the Bhaal expansion. If you choose to play Watcher's Keep in Amn, collect enough rare components or weapons, stash them at your stronghold and fail to have them with you when the team is sucked down to Hell, you're never going to get them back, robbing you of potentially great weapons/armor like the Flail of Ages +5, White Dragon Scale, Wonderous Gloves or the Helm of the Rock.
If you've got a male PC of the right race and two or more of Aerie, Jaheira, and Viconia in the party. With all three, plus Haer'Dalis, it turns into a full-fledged Love Dodecahedron.
Skie, Garrick, and Eldoth can have this in the first game if they're all in your party. In the second game, a love triangle between Haer'Dalis, Aerie, and a female PC was planned for, but not fully programmed in time for the game's release (there is still enough of it that he may fight you for her if both are in your party for long enough, however).
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.
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).
Mayfly-December Romance: In addition to possibly applying to the player's romance in Shadows of Amnnote If you're a human male, all three of your romance options come from races longer-lived than yours. Same problem in reverse if you're an elven female and decide you want to hook up with Anomen., it's also the plot of the play you oversee in the Bard questline. The play is about an immortal sorcerer who meets a woman, and the two of them fall in love despite the sorcerer trying not to become attached to her. Once that happens, the sorcerer thinks of how he will eventually lose her and dreads the day when that will happen. The ending? When the sorcerer's apprentice asks where the woman, Karenina, has gone, the sorcerer tells him that she wished to join him in eternal life, but that he knew how painful eternal life was and didn't want to inflict that kind of pain on her, even if it was her wish. Still, he couldn't bear to part with her, and so...he turned her to stone. "Now go, my pupil...leave me with my bride. I shall touch her cold and unrelenting cheek once more...tonight a part of me has died inside."
Jan Jansen is a stock character in Dutch jokes. (The name simply means something akin to "John Johnson", by the way.)
Basillus' likes to hang out with... No. You know what, never mind, if you can't guess.
Noober, who acts like a total, well...
Mind Rape: A few examples throughout the series, though the greater doppelgangers specialize in this. In chapter six of the first game, a trio wearing the faces of Gorion, Elminster and Tethoril actually put together a half convincing case for your battles thus far in the crypts having been illusions, imploring you to stop this madness and to cease butchering your innocent friends as the monsters you only "perceived" them to be. They do this in such a manner that a player could easily be taken in, also dropping just enough information to let you think they're the real thing (the Gorion doppelganger even reveals Sarevok for you, and tries to justify evading his apparent death that night by putting together a story about Sarevok's blade being laced with poison). It takes a lot of skepticism and wordplay for CHARNAME to see through their tricks.
A similar incident happens in Throne of Bhaal, this time with a wraith that impersonates either an important person in your lover's life or Gorion, the latter of whom will instead address you, Imoen and Sarevok. It can and will break your lover; whether it has any effect on you depends on dialogue choices, while Sarevok warns the not-Gorion not to tempt him to repeat history and Imoen begs him to stop.
The Minion Master: The beastmaster and Totemic Druid kits, and to some extent all mages, druids, and clerics. Summoned minions are quite powerful in Baldur's Gate 1 and 2, especially if you pick the right ones. Summoned Fire Elementals are particularly powerful, but even a group of properly buffed skeletons can take out a huge number of encounters.
The first fight with Irenicus is also an example, though a particularly odd one, as he'll begin battle by casting 'Clone' a spell that creates clones of the player's party. Only, they won't have any equipment at all, so they don't tend to last very long.
Another occurs in Chapter 6 of the second game, being a random battle that takes place whilst travelling between areas of Athkatla. No information is given on who they are or why they're doing it, and since they lack the abilities of the party, it's not a long battle.
Mistaken For Exhibit: In the quest to gain the services of Sir Sarles for a church, you have the option of trying to placate him with a lump of impure alloy of the Unobtanium he demands to work with. Sarles will discard the lump, but if you bring it back to the temple the chief priest will think the lump is modern art made by some other artist and accept it.
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.
Monty Haul: In BG2, powerful magical items are fairly common and there's enough full plate armor and elven chain mail to outfit your entire party with it.
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. Nevertheless, the fact that there were three potential romances included for male PCs in Shadows of Amn and only one for female PCs (and that with a partner who many players found less than endearing) indicates that the developers felt they knew which gender their players were more likely to be). In BG1, human female fighter types look to be wearing a revealing bathing suit; most female mages wear low-cut robes with a slit up the side that goes to the hip, and female clerics and druids also have low cut necklines. Female fighter types in plate armor may look covered, but the party avatar shows that the chest and breasts are not covered. Female elves and half-elves wearing plate mail or splint mail also have low-cut necklines, back and front. And there isn't even a paper doll inventory model of a female gnome or dwarf, though they may not have made it in due to deadlines. In contrast, the men of all classes and races are mostly clothed, and all have paper-doll inventories. Maybe not as much Fanservice as other games, but it's there.
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.
You can make it through BG1 with no problems if you want to have an all-male party. But what if you want an all-female one? Then you won't be able to recruit Shar-Teel or finish the "Arkion, Nemphre and Ordulinian" quest, as Nemphre will only speak to a male party member.
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.
A male PC will have NPC women that aren't in the party flirting with him in BG2. Female PCs don't get the same treatment. Well, except by Salvanas.
Then again, in BG2, female PCs can hire male prostitutes, there's an NPC innkeeper who is rude and abrupt with male PCs but likes female ones, and other such details. There's still discrepancies, but hey, it's something.
How could Safana be left out of this? The comments she makes when you select her or command her are all flirtatious statements directed towards the game player themselves, even if CHARNAME is a female of any species. Since Safana only verbally flirts with Coran and her biography states that she attemted to seduce the male captain of the ship, it's obvious she was written with a male game player in mind. In fact, some game guides note that this is the only reason to recruit Safana, since she's obtainable quite a bit later in the game, is one of many thieves you can recruit, and most of her stats are not that impressive - especially her constitution, which is the fourth-lowest in the game.
The Munchausen: Jan Jansen. He will often come up with completely ludicrous stories that are only slightly relevant to the topic or danger at hand, not to mention surreal. The only thing to render him speechless is when your party descends to hell.
Murder the Hypotenuse: Haer'Dalis will try and do this to you if you romance Aerie with him in your party and your relationship with Aerie isn't yet solid when you get him. If you have solidified your romance with Aerie, he gracefully backs down.
Murder, Inc.: The Shadow Thieves seem to be bigger on assassination than actual theft. Also implied to be the case with other thieves' guilds, such as the Night Knives (the ones Maevar is courting as part of his plan to assassinate Renal Bloodscalp).
My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Umar Hills contains a group of peaceful ogres, gnolls and a minotaur who just want to trade with the town, but keep getting chased away because of the peoples' belief that their respective species are Always Chaotic Evil. Some of the townspeople also blame them for the village's problems, even though the creatures were also affected by the problem and were even trying to help. Their leader also mentions that they are Defectors From Decadence fleeing from an empire that forcibly conscripted them.
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.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Kangaxx congratulates you for yours after you release him. There's also the Bonus Boss battle against Demogorgon, in which defeating him results in sending him back to his home plane of existence rather than re-sealing him in his prison. Whoops. Hey, at least he's not terrorizing the Material Plane, which is what would've happened if you didn't stop him.
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 Genre Savvy 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.
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 "Mr. 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.
No Sell: At one point in Baldur's Gate II, Bodhi kidnaps your love interest to turn them into a vampire... Unless the love interest is an Enhanced Edition NPC, in which case they get away by using their class skills or already being a vampire in Hexxat's case, two of which also fits perfectly here by simply being the character shrugging the attempt off. This has received some criticism, since while it is indeed in-character and reasonable for all of them, it marks them out as different from the original characters and highlights the way the kidnapping went down was out of character for some of the originals.
No Social Skills: Taugosz Khosann, the leader of the Black Talons. By his own admission.
"Taugosz Tenhammer has no need of people skills!"
Not-So-Harmless Villain: In the Athkatla catacombs there's a senile lich that goes by the name of Nevaziah, who has been hiding there for ages. He seems mostly harmless and in fact inspires quite a bit of pity. That is, until Jerkass Edwin manages to press his Berserk Button and it proceeds to barrage your party with high level spells..
Numerical Hard: The game's difficulty settings increase the damage dealt by enemies but 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.
Jan comes across most of the time as a turnip-obsessed, Chaotic StupidCloudcuckoolander with a penchant for telling meandering, pointless stories, but if the player undertakes the sidequest to save his former lover, he's revealed to be quite lucid and clever.
The player character can also engage in this behavior at times.
An Offer You Can't Refuse: Don't approach the thieves guild in the first game unless you intend to join them or are prepared for a fight.
A Tales of the Sword Coast player can import a higher-level hero than normal into Baldur's Gate II.
BG1 and SoA both give benefits for actually playing through the game that can't be acquired by someone just starting fresh in To B. This includes higher stats from BG1, and several other stat changes or passive bonuses gained in late So A.
The first game has an item called the Gold Pantaloons that are given to players by a confused noble that thinks the PC is the laundry service. You can't do anything with them, and they look like a total Joke Item. But it turns out that they're one of the few items that are saved when importing a character from the first game. The second game and its expansion each have a pair, the silver and bronze pantaloons respectively. If you collect all three, then the expansion to the second game has an NPC that will forge them into a very strong set of Power Armor, as well as a weapon to go with it.
The original game also has seven items that will permanently raise a particular attribute by one point, and the expansion has one more, so a character imported into the sequel could start with some attributes higher than normally possible for their race without any cheats or exploits.
Only the Pure of Heart: In Watcher's Keep in Baldur's Gate 2, there is a pillar on the third floor that gives, when touched, a warning that only the pure may uncover the secret. Any Lawful Good characters then touching the pillar get a powerful sword, put there by a righteous hero who infused his essence into it. Anyone else gets an Abi Dhalzim's Horrid Wilting thrown at them, this being a powerful spell that can decimate entire parties, especially those of a low level.
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.
"Are you gonna throw rocks at me?" "What about now?" "What about now?" "What about now?" Repeat about 20 times. Appropriately enough, the person saying this is named Noober. At least you get XP for putting up with him. And if you get sick of his antics and kill him, you won't even lose reputation for it.
Slightly shorter example with Neeber in the sequel.
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.
Peninsula of Power Leveling: In the Throne of Bhaal expansion, the town surrounded by giants has a spot on the ramparts where unseen giants cannot harm you but can be auto-attacked by a character set with a ranged offensive action script. Equip all the infinite ranged ammo items you have, set those characters to auto-attack and go watch a movie. When you come back, you will have max experience on all characters.
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 become this trope.
Pixel Hunt: Baldur's Gate I plays this straight: some of the best equipment or a ton of money could be had early on if you knew what pixel to click on. Throne of Bhaal softens this: hold the "tab" key, and every item and hiding place on the screen will be highlighted. Then came the mod that allowed the first game to use the second game's engine...
Pre-Order Bonus: Pre-orders of Baldur's Gate 2 came with a bonus disc containing an extra merchant who sold exclusive, powerful items. In the UK, some pre-orders of the first game came with a copy of Fallout 1.
In BG1, the player can run into a passing "Lord Foreshadow" NPC who tells the player about how he once went to Neverwinter and still keeps in contact with it, recalling that the "nights" there were memorable, and how he hopes to go back someday...
In a more overt way in BG2, where a loading screen tooltip tells the player that Neverwinter Nights will allow them to import their Baldur's Gate character. This planned feature never actually happened though, as the rules changes between D&D second and third editions were too broad to easily allow it.
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.
It does happen sometimes. It's just... inconsistent.
Though, to be fair, a few of your potential party members get non-standard abilities of their own, ranging from Mazzy's 'Fighter+Some Paladin Powers' to (with EE) Dorn's 'Has the standard abilities for his race and class, but has a race and class combo you can't have'.
Purely Aesthetic Gender: Save for the romances, dialogue and certain people hitting on you harmlessly. And playing through the Drow city is quite different for player characters of differing genders, as would be in keeping with the Drow's Fantastic Sexism.
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.
Religion is Magic: The cleric class, of course. The class kits allow the player one of three patron deities: Talos the Stormlord (evil), Helm the Watcher (neutral) and Lathander the Dawnbringer (good). NPC clerics have patron deities of their own.
Rescue Introduction: Branwen, Dynaheir, Viconia, Yeslick and Xan in the first game; Aerie, Cernd, Haer'Dalis, Viconia (again!), Mazzy, and (technically) Minsc and Jaheira in the sequel.
Retcon: Quite a few, mostly between the first game and Shadows of Amn. Some of them worked better than others.
Romance Sidequest: Tales of the Sword Coast featured a brief romance sidequest, but Baldur's Gate II was the first to implement it as a major feature and thus solidifying the trope that Bioware is now most known for. It even set the archetypes for the love interests in Bioware games; there's plenty of comparisons of Aerie to Tali or Viconia to Morrigan and Jack.
Romancing the Widow: The essence of Jaheira's romance subplot. If you pursue the relationship, Khalid will show up in dreams and fantasy sequences to torment her about it.
Rousing Speech: A bit of an inversion. Before the fight with Irenicus in Suldanesselar, the PC gives their party members the opportunity to walk away instead of fighting the (supposedly) most powerful enemy the party has ever gone against. The party members then respond with their own reasons why they'd rather fight him alongside CHARNAME.
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.
A spoof reload sequence was included in Throne of Bhaal when an NPC party charges at the player only for a fake reload to occur when the protagonist party butchers all of them, by which then they leave peacefully. Comically it's as if the creators acknowledged this element of the game of continual reloading.
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.
The Scottish Trope: If you play as a bard, you can acquire the deed to the playhouse in the Five Flagons Inn and supervise the production of a play called "The Sorcerer's Bane". But there's a rumor saying that the sorcerer it's supposed to be about really existed and he cursed the play for mocking him, resulting in ill fortune befalling anybody who says the name of the play out loud. The actor who plays the sorcerer insists that it be referred to only as "The Turmish Play".
Screw Destiny: If you're very, very polite to Portalbendarwinden when you first meet him (he's the naked guy north of Beregost), he will tell you that he can't see your future because "your coin is on edge". If you read The History of the Fateful Coin (a book required for a quest), it states that individuals whose coins landed on edge when they were born are free of the influences of both of the goddesses of luck and misfortune and can forge their own fates. Although you probably won't be very polite to him — he is the one to whom speaking the Trope Quote is an option.
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.
The first game features a huge example. Despite slaughtering your way across the Sword Coast, leaving large piles of butchered enemies behind you... and, if you so feel like it, being allowed to kill just about anyone else you meet with only a drop in reputation that can be fixed with a temple donation... you are charged with murder and labelled a horrible criminal only after the deaths of the Iron Throne leaders at Candlekeep. This, of course, even if you barged into their tower earlier in the game in broad daylight and massacred everyone in sight.
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.
Sequel Hook: Retroactively. The standard BG series storyline is a perfect example of how to wrap up a plot so completely that there is practically no way to continue it without feeling forced. But David Gaider's Ascension mod, in addition to its gameplay changes, restores epilogue text that was written but not implemented in game. The romance endings all indicate that CHARNAME's offspring with their chosen love interest (including Jaheira, who doesn't have children in the vanilla ending) grow up to become adventurers as prolific as their parents are. This was probably scrapped when Bioware realized how corny that would be as a basis for a sequel.
Played straight with the ending to Baldur's Gate: Shadows of Amn, which ended with a group of hooded individuals discussing the fate of CHARNAME and the fact he's a Spanner in the Works. Despite the fact all of these five are the same size, they're meant to be the Bhaalspawn from Throne of Bhaal.
Sidekicks: Lots to choose from, most of them very memorable.
Side Quests: You can spend more time on these than the actual plot, easily.
Shapeshifting Squick: The sheer range of creatures which show up claiming to be Bhaalspawn in Throne of Bhaal is... well, it raises some interesting questions about what the God of murder was doing while "walking the earth". Everything from humans to dragons to werechinchillas. Considering that he foresaw his death while walking the earth and decided the best thing to do is sire as many kids as possible, to use their essence as a springboard back to life, it makes perfect sense.
Short Cuts Make Long Delays: When investigating the Cult of the Unseeing Eye, you are told that the easiest way to kill the Unseeing Eye is to reassemble a specific artifact. This involves going to an underground city to get half of it, then through a town of undead, then through a lair of beholders, before you finally get the other half. Alternatively, a well prepared party can complete the quest much more quickly by simply entering the lair and hacking away.
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.
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. Many players find the first game's recruitable NPC bards, on the other hand, somewhat lacking — Garrick from in particular might be the spooniest bard since the original himself. Garrick lampshades this in Baldur's Gate II (where he makes a cameo appearance), admitting that he isn't a very good bard. Haer'Dalis averts this entirely, being one of the best tanks in the game thanks to his defensive spells and kit abilities.
In Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition a suit of Elven Chain Mail (allows spell casting and has an AC of 5) can be acquired, which means a bard doesn't really have to choose between spell casting and melee bashing anymore. A player created bard with good reputation can now fight up close, at range, cast spells, and be almost as good as a more specialized class at any one of these. While Garrick and Eldoth still aren't that great, a player created bard is one of the best classes to play, and quite good for solo work.
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.
Stop Poking Me: Several characters say something along these lines if repeatedly selected. Xzar quite literally squeals... "STOP TOUCHING MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEH!"
Stuck Items: Boo; Imoen's Belt at the beginning of BG2, and Edwin's necklace. The reasons for these are plot-related; Imoen's belt makes her unkillable (to avoid the plot going Off the Rails in Château Irenicus) and Edwin's necklace grants him two spells per level to represent his superior Red Wizard training.
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...
Parodied in Throne of Bhaal'' with the three rookie adventurers you can run into, who convince themselves they're good enough to slaughter you for your awesome treasure. One (cut scene) Slayer change and about five seconds later, they're dead (only to then "reload" and try just talking to you).
Superpowered Evil Side: The "Slayer" form. Although it's a little lacking on the "superpowered" thing, especially if you're not a melee class. Until Throne of Bhaal, at least, where the Slayer form becomes much more powerful. Of course, by that point, you're essentially superpowered no matter what form you're in.
Slayer form replaces your normal stats, number of attacks, and thac0 and is the same no matter if you're a fighter or a mage. The only difference is that you keep any passive bonuses and some equipment bonuses, so for example a Kensai-slayer will hit like a express train and be incapable of missing, except on a roll of 1, and a mage will merely rip the enemies apart like a plain fighter. It's also immune to all non-damaging spell effects making it surprisingly useful vs mages/liches/Demi-liches/mind-flayers.
Take That: In Throne of Bhaal, Cespenar makes an off-hand comment about running out of recipes and needing to find "Martha", who's somewhere around in Hell.
Take Your Time: Mostly played straight. Your sister may be getting mind-raped by the Cowled Wizards and then Irenicus while you're out doing random side quests for a few months, but rest assured no matter when you set out to save her she'll be in the same condition when you arrive. Gets even worse after Spellhold, when you ostensibly have no soul, are slowly dying, and Irenicus is in the midst of laying waste to an Elven city. You can still run around doing inane random quests for as long as you like. However, some character-specific quests are required to be done within a certain time limit. Otherwise, the character will leave the party to complete the job themselves — taking all that expensive gear with them.
If you want to recruit Jaheira and Khalid in your party at the Friendly Arm Inn in BG1 and don't go to Nashkel post-haste, every day (or two or three) you'll get one of them whining about not having made it to Nashkel yet. There may not be any time limit on the mines quest, but going to Nashkel just to shut the two of them up may become a priority depending on how annoyed you become with it.
Just don't try waiting too much with Xzar and Montaron, They will leave the party if you take too long.
Not saving Dynaheir as quickly as possible will upset Minsc and Boo. And when Minsc and Boo get upset, buttkicking ensues. You have ten game days to save her, but if you haven't made any progress after a few days, Minsc will remind you. After ten days is when the buttkicking happens.
Safana will remind you if you haven't gone to the treasure caves she told you about after a few game-days. She doesn't seem to leave, though.
Coran will state that he has wyverns to kill if you delay that quest for too long - he's supposed to leave the party, but a game bug may prevent that from happening.
The Enhanced Edition version eventually fixed Kivan's broken script, meaning the player must reach the Bandit Camp within 5 days or he will leave. He's one of the first NPCs who can be reached, but the bandit camp requires more than 5 days travelling time from where he is unless you have already unlocked it (by completing the storyline quests as far as Peldvale or Larswood). This means that you cannot take and keep him in the party from the beginning of the game anymore without cheating.
They later fixed it so that it is possible to keep him without cheating - the earlier the chapter you recruit him in, the more days you have, and if you recruit him in Chapter 3 (the chapter in which you get to the Bandit Camp) you have 7 days, which is enough to get to the Bandit Camp.
Taken for Granite: There are a number of NPCs that have been changed to stone by basilisks in BG1. Unfortunately, not all of them can be freed. Although Vail is the only one you are required to free in order to finish a sidequest, others can be freed to gain experience. The Unfinished Business mod adds in another NPC statue that is also optional to free, but gives experience if you do.
Talk to Everyone: Will actually waste your time. Most people who have something in particular 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. It's fairly rare, but a soldier in Nashkel and Malek in Baldur's Gate are two of a few that will do this.
Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Can easily occur with certain party combinations. Minsc and Edwin, or Viconia and Keldorn, for instance.
Teleport Interdiction: In Throne of Bhaal, the siege of Saradush is complemented by a magic field that blocks teleportation out of the city. Certain special means bypass this, including the Player Character's ability to shift to another plane. But even the player's party is limited by this, because they can only shift back to the Material Plane inside Saradush or at a considerable distance from it; the time it takes for them to approach it from the outside becomes a plot point.
Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Subverted and Lampshaded in Baldur's Gate II when a man, claiming to have broken out of prison, throws his "mighty scimitar at your head!" When this does minimal damage, he says "Oh, that normally works..." and leaves.
Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: In the Temple District in the second game, the player can encounter a gnome who is in love with a human female Paladin but is too self-conscious to declare himself to her and, in a shout-out to Cyrano de Bergerac, tries to help Garrick the Bard woo her instead. Subesequent visits to the district reveal that the Paladin has figured out who really penned Garrick's love declarations and that she and the gnome have gotten married.
Tragic Monster: Your love interest, if you have one, will be turned into a vampire by Bodhi. Fortunately they get better.
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 call the guards on you; and some will even outright attack you.
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.
Unexplained Recovery: Characters who return in the sequel are quick to brush off a question about why they're not dead. Probably justified, it's D&D after all.
Universal Poison: There are actually different variations (One assumes attacking different areas of the body is what increases the damage you take or the rate it takes effect). Wyvern poison being some of the most fast-acting, powerful poison you will ever encounter in the BG saga, capable of killing even a max level (for BG1) ccharacter in a few rounds if not cured or potions chugged continually. There's also a variation used by Drugar that can render a target unconscious if you fail a save as well as fairy dragons, while the Imp familiar's on-hit attacks have a save or die poison (but the save bonus is very high, so the target is more likely to die by the damage rather then the instant death).
Unwinnable by Mistake: There are a few scripting errors that can cause this, though they are fixed by unofficial patches.
The first game, originally released on five CD-ROMS plus the Tales of the Sword Coast disk, was later rereleased as a three-disk version.
Both games (including their respective expansion packs) have 'Enhanced Edition' releases, starting with the the first game in Summer 2012. As of March 2012, exactly what will be updated remains to be seen, but it is known that they will have entirely new content, and that the engine used is still Infinity, just a modified version based on TOB's version.
Useless Useful Spell: A good chunk of those kill-everything-instantly spells at higher levels usually aren't going to kill much of anything worth, wasting the spell slot for by the time you get them. Though 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.
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 there's no real need for a thief that isn't dual- or multiclassed. 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 items 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.
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 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 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.
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.
Vocal Evolution: Some characters don't sound quite the same in Throne of Bhaal.
Korgan: Hmph, Imoen, yer an o'er-lame excuse fer a member o' this party and I be tired of exertin' meself to protect ye! Next time I let ye perish, screaming like a ninny as ye does! Imoen: The last time I saw you exert yourself over anything was the last slab of pork in an inn. If you could keep up with me with that beer gut of yours I'd be amazed. Korgan: Beer gut?! Why, ye stinkin' wench, how dare ye! Keep up with my keen axe as it flies towards yer head, more like! Though it'd be like splittin' a hair, skinny as ye are! Imoen: I'd be startled if a drunk dwarven oaf like yourself could hit the broad side of a barn with your axe. And while we're talking about stench, let's talk about the last time you passed out in your own vomit. Korgan: An outrage! Yer a canker on me backside and the world would be best rid of ye! Loathsome mongrel she-dog! Imoen: Brutish pig! You're nothing but a boil needing lancing! Korgan: I've seen harlots with less open sores than ye, ye pimple-faced, whining gutter-snipe! Imoen: You cantankerous, foul-mouthed excuse for a gully dwarf! Korgan: Gully dwarf? Har har! Ye knows how to hit low, ye does! Har har! Yer a fine, fine lass, ye are, Imoen. That Gorion of yers would be proud. Imoen: Aw, gee. Thanks, Korgan!
Voluntary Shapeshifting: A special ability of druids. Interplay touted it a fair bit prior to the release of Baldur's Gate II, though in the final game it's essentially useless.
You have just defeated the first game's Big Bad, and the final cutscene shows his essence descending into the underworld and into a statue of his likeness, which promptly crumbles to dust. Then the camera pans out to show that the statue was standing in an alcove inside an enormous room filled with hundreds of other statues. Sarevok was just one Bhaalspawn, there are still hundreds of them out there.
And again in the second game. You just defeated Irenicus, banished him to the deepest pits of Hell and taken your soul back, and the next scene shows a Omniscient Council of Vagueness (probably the Five,) plotting to take you out.
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 end up like Bhaal.
Inverted in the second game — when Irenicus captures you in Spellhold, he wants the party disposed of instantly, but Bodhi overrules him (without his knowledge and consent) and tries to have you executed in a way that will amuse her. Needless to say, it backfires and Irenicus is none too pleased.
Also in BG2, when you fight Irenicus in Spellhold without adequate support, he simply casts Wish, and it is Total Party Kill time for you.
Xzar:(upon Montaron's death) Montarton!? I... I never loved you!
Wooden Stake: Vampires need to be staked in their coffins after being defeated. Consequently, wooden stakes are an item you need to find/carry in the second game.
Words Can Break My Bones: There are eight schools of magic used by both arcane and divine casters, and each comes with a set of three Latin words. Showcasing the quality of this game, each set of Latin makes up a believable, legible, valid phrase in Latin, and all eight phrases clearly connect to the school being used. Admittedly, that last part might be debatable.
Abjuration: "Manus, Potentis, Paro" = "A hand, powerful, I prepare"
Alteration: "Praeses, Alia, Fero" = "Protecting, another, I bring this forth"
Conjuration: "Facio, Voco, Ferre" = "This I do, I call, to bring you forth"
Divination: "Scio, Didici, Pecto" = "I know, for I have studied, with my mind"
Enchantment: "Cupio, Virtus, Licet" = "I want, excellence, allowed to me"
Evocation: "Incertus, Pulcher, Imperio" = "Uncertain, beautiful things, I command"
Illusion: "Veritas, Credo, Oculos" = "The truth, I believe, with my eyes"
Necromancy: "Vita, Mortis, Careo" = "Life, and death, I am without"
World of Ham: Minsc and Korgan mentioned earlier are just the very tip of the iceberg.
Wrecked Weapon: In BG1, the Iron Crisis meant that most of your non-magical weapons would eventually break.
The closest you get to going anywhere near it in the sequel is in your dreams, which draw on your memories.
You Can't Thwart Stage One: You can't stop Irenicus from stealing your's and Imoen's souls in SoA, and in ToB you can't stop Yaga Shura from razing Saradush, nor can you stop Melissan's plan to kill all the Bhaalspawn until it's only you and (possibly) Imoen left.)
Your Cheating Heart: Two instances in the second game: a man you find in the Copper Coronet has been fooling around with one of the girls in the backrooms (and you can get the wife to confront the husband), and Keldorn's wife cheating on him with a lord in Athkatla. In the latter case, you can tell Keldorn to leave his wife behind and commit to helping you full-time, let him stay at home permanently to try and repair his marriage, or give him a day to patch things up before he accompanies you again.
The Baldur's Gate novels provide examples of:
Broad Strokes/Canon Discontinuity: With the release of D&D NEXT, novel protagonist Abdel Adrian makes an appearance during the module Murder in Baldur's Gate that introduces the Forgotten Realms to the new edition. Perhaps as a bone to the game's fandom, he dies either as victim of the titular murder, or morphs into the slayer and is immediately killed by the PCs. Meanwhile the Legends of Baldur's Gate comics, as well as an off-hand description of a statue in the city of Baldur's Gate, seem to have utterly discarded the novels, portraying Minsc (at least physically) as he is in the game. All in all the conclusion seem to be that Abdel Adrian was the canonical protagonist, but of something closer to the games than the novels.
Informed Ability: Jaheira is a tough warrior. And a druid. And Abdel Adrian is smart. *snrk*
New Powers as the Plot Demands: Adrian's thuggish fighting skills don't improve from the first novel to the second like they would in the games, so when he has to fight a giant monster, he just becomes super-powerful all of a sudden. Of course, he is carrying around the essence of a dead god inside him all the time, but still, way to make it a Deus Ex Idiot.
Suddenly Sexuality: It turns out Imoen is into chicks. Imoen "realizes her sexuality" when Phaere orders her to sleep with her. In order to keep up their drow disguises and continue with their mission, Imoen couldn't refuse, so it makes it seem like Imoen turned a lesbian due to rape and quid-pro-quo. She had no romantic or sexual inclinations in either direction in the game except swooning momentarily over Haer'Dalis' poetic skill.
In the game there are implications that Irenicus' destructive sexuality and sensuality are his failed attempts to relive a love he's no longer capable of understanding and, by his own admission, can't even remember. In the novel, he's just a gross pervert.
And Bodhi, who never showed signs of sexuality in the game, becomes a Vamp.
Thud and Blunder: Even the mysterious very positive reviews at Amazon.com tend to recognise this genre shift.