You’re one of the many, many people that have been playing Baldur’s Gate 3. Perhaps you spent countless hours sprinting to the ending so you weren’t spoiled by social media. Or maybe you still haven’t left Act One because you created seven characters (you know who you are). Either way, it’s very likely that being in the world of Faerun for so long has given you the dark urge to play some Dungeons & Dragons. Whether you’re new to the game or a seasoned justiciar, here’s how to start playing D&D after Baldur’s Gate 3.

How To Find A Baldur’s Gate Campaign

via: Larian Studios

Those familiar with D&D might be looking for a game specifically set in the city of Baldur’s Gate. Small spoilers for the video game, but you could be left wanting more since you only get to explore the Lower City. That leaves a lot of doors left unopened, making for great places to start a new campaign. 

Here at StartPlaying, we have offerings for campaigns and one-shots for various time zones and experience levels. For Baldur’s Gate specifically, you can find an up-to-date listing of all themed adventures here. Many of these use the Descent Into Avernus storyline, which includes the hellish war that Karlach was trapped in before Baldur’s Gate 3 begins.

Mind Flayers as a villainous group are another big part of Baldur’s Gate 3, and also popularized by their mention in Stranger Things. There are a few campaigns featuring these guys as the big bads if you’re still looking for revenge over the whole slug thing. Another recommendation is the Spelljammer setting, which is basically D&D in space. It’s a great companion to all the Githyanki and Mind Flayer content in Baldur’s Gate 3.

How To Find A Beginner D&D Game

via: Larian Studios

If Baldur’s Gate 3 was your introduction to D&D, then good news! You’ve already learned a lot about how to play. The core mechanics such as character progression, combat, and using a 20-sided die to determine outcomes are exactly the same in tabletop D&D. All you need to get started is a character sheet, dice, and a group to play with. 

Finding a group has never been easier thanks to sites like StartPlaying. Our Dungeon Masters are professionals and players themselves, so they know the rules from both sides of the table. Many run beginner-oriented experiences. Others will hone in on your favorite part of the game, be it dungeon crawls, social intrigue, or tactical battles. Just create an account, find the game that appeals to you, and our DMs will take care of the rest!

Character sheets come in two forms: digital and physical. The most robust digital version is D&D Beyond, which also happens to be the official platform. D&D Beyond has options to guide you through character creation, pointing you towards the key choices you’ll make as you level up. It’s probably the closest experience to the Baldur’s Gate 3 character sheet. 

Physical character sheets can be found as PDFs online and then printed at your convenience. Those who prefer paper sheets will want to keep a copy of the Player’s Handbook nearby. This book contains all the basic rules you need as well as information on what abilities and spells your chosen class can have. You should have a Player’s Handbook no matter which path you take–even though Baldur’s Gate 3 is a wonderful recreation, there are some rules differences between the video game and tabletop play. 

A Word Of Warning About D&D Rules In Baldur’s Gate 3

via: Larian Studios

When you go from a video game to tabletop, there is one big difference you’ll need to get used to: a human is deciding the rules. When playing Baldur’s Gate 3, you’re told exactly what actions you can take on your turn, how far someone will fly if you shove them, and if Speak With Dead is usable on a certain corpse. When it comes to in-person gaming, however, the DM is the rules referee. 

Everyone has their own interpretation of vague rule wordings or how awesome it would be to throw the rules out in favor of a cool idea. That’s part of what makes D&D fun, since anything can happen. It can also lead to frustration, however, as your definition of anything might not match the DM’s. Be prepared to negotiate what you think should be allowed but also to ultimately let the DM’s ruling stand as they are the final word. 

Another big variation is the way Baldur’s Gate 3 changes D&D rules to better suit tactical video game combat. Shoving and jumping work way differently in tabletop D&D. They are not bonus actions, and they generally don’t let you cover as much distance as in the video game. Also, most battlefields aren’t going to feature deep gaping chasms so don’t count on the push strategy. Potions and revival scrolls are not nearly as abundant in tabletop, which means you’ll end up rethinking your healing and resource management game. 

Baldur’s Gate 3 is a fantastic introduction to the world of Faerun and the deep lore of D&D. There’s so much more adventure to find once the credits roll, but many of the best stories can only be found by playing with other people. You’ll also find a wealth of new character options that aren’t available in the video game. So head to your local game store, grab some dice, and check out StartPlaying for some tabletop Baldur’s Gate! 

Aug 31, 2023
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