So, Baldur's Gate. It is, indeed, one of the most important and widely recognized RPGs out there. It managed to ressurect the interest in the genre, in the wake of Dune, C&C and overall dominance of the new and ambitious RTS genre. It was one of the first "Bioware RPGs" and it pretty much codified this subgenre and cemented the formula which Bioware is using to this day. Neverwinter Nights, KOTOR, Mass Effect and Dragon Age, they all pretty much started here.
I have never played Baldur's Gate before. This game was before my time. I played Neverwinter Nights, KOTOR, Mass Effect and Dragon Age, but I never got around to seeing their famous ancestor. Until now, that is. It will be interesting to see where it all started, and how this old game will measure up to modern standards.
I have already reached Act 5, but I'm going to write up my actions in previous acts first, instead of making a retrospective, though I'll be adding small notes about things, which changed their nature or my attitude towards them as the game went on.
It is also worth noting that I installed a modpack that glues together the first Baldur's Gate, the Shadows of Amn epansion pack and BG2, allowing to import characters from one to the next. This should help me later on, assuming I ever get that far.
Without any further ado let's press "New Game" and get to the character creation.
The character creation screen let's you choose your class, race, gender and a number of cosmetic features, like your character portrait and skin color. They don't influence anything and there are no racial restrictions, so, if you are feeling particularly creative you can make a dwarven barbarian with a dorky elven face, girly voice, blue hair and green skin.
The game is based on Second Edition D&D rules, a fact which has caused me much confusion, since I was used to NWN and its Third Edition. You get to pick your class, class kit, stats and weapon proficiencies.
You can create some pretty exotic characters using weird weapons and class kits, which is why I decided to roll a Male Human Lawful Neutral Fighter, with Long Sword and Shield proficiencies, who looks a bit like Doctor Cox. Yes, I'm that crazy.
Notice that my strength is only 14. That's because. in my infinite wisdom, I took some points off Strength and added them to Charisma and Intelligence, the most important stats for any aspiring warrior. The heaviest armor and shield require 15 strength, a decision which will haunt me almost as much as picking the "cockney-accented" voice. Still, the character is relatively functional, although ill suited for the Player Character: since every other group member can be resurrected for a small fee but the death of the player character instantly ends the game, making it the main tank and a damage sponge was...unwise.
And off we go, to save some kingdom or other!