Baldur's Gate: Races and Stats

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General Guidelines[edit | edit source]

Baldur's Gate allows you unlimited rerolls. Because of that, you can always aim for a good character if you wish it. You can ALWAYS reroll until you get something better, if you're willing to put the time into it.

Note the bare minimum roll is a 75 which still allows you all 18s in Strength, Dexterity and Constitution although your guy will only have 12 points to up the bare minimum 3 in every other stat. Rolling single-class warriors and thieves is therefore the easiest.

For those who are planning to import into Baldur's Gate 2 (which this guide assumes), I would just like to make a quick note about two armors you can equip only if you have the right stats. Those would be the personal armors of Valygar and Keldorn. The first is more important, as it is one of the very, very few viable armors for a dual-classed fighter/mage. To use it, you must have at least 6 strength, 18 dexterity, and 11 Wisdom. You can cast spells while wearing that armor, making it rather effective early on. It has 2 AC (better than any Bracers of AC that you'll find in Shadows of Amn at the very least) as well as conferring some nice resistances. Keldorn's Firecam Family Plate is wearable if you have 15 strength, 17 constitution, 12 intelligence, and 18 Charisma. It is just a Full Plate +1 that also confers +1 to all saving throws and Free Action, so it isn't that noteworthy. Artificially raising your stats via gear and potions will not allow you to equip this gear but the tomes to raise stats and stats from the Machine of Lum the Mad will. In BG2EE 1.2.2030 and later, it is not possible to wear the personal items of any NPC (even with UAI) without a mod.

Something else worth noting is the 3 prime contributors to this Baldur's Gate Saga guide use a mod called BGTutu. Essentially, it runs Baldur's Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast through the vastly improved Baldur's Gate 2 game engine. This also allows you to take kits at the very beginning of the saga rather than once you import into Shadows of Amn. This is fine in gameplay terms; Baldur's Gate 1 is not easily overbalanced and the game remains dangerous and challenging even with the use of kits. The use of BGTutu comes highly recommended for this and other reasons; it is simply a more seamless and less painful experience overall. Plus, Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition runs the BG2 engine and is more akin to an experience of BGtutu than vanilla BG:TotSC.

Races[edit | edit source]

There are 6 races to choose from in Baldur's Gate 1 proper, and Baldur's Gate 2 introduced Half-orcs, bringing the number up to 7. (All 7 are available throughout if using the Enhanced Editions, or if using a mod such as Tutu with the original editions.) Each has their ups and downsides which will be discussed here.

Special note: Gnomes, Halflings, and Dwarves get bonuses to their saving throws based on their Constitution. These bonuses are recalculated on level up. This, if you increase your Constitution score, you will not see an improvement in saving throws until the next level! A table with a more in-depth analysis of this is HERE.

Human[edit | edit source]

Racial Bonuses: Ability to Dual-Class
Stat Modifiers: None
Stat Minimum/Maximum: All 3/18
Class Accessibility: All
Recommended classes: Any Dual-Class build, Monk or Paladin.
Discouraged classes: Anything single-class anything playable by another race.

Humans are the "standard race." They don't have any bonuses, but don't have any downsides. However, they do have a powerful tool: Dual-Classing. This allows you to give up what you were currently leveling up in, in order to go full-time down another class. It's effectively Multi-Classing with all the benefits and none of the downsides (except in rare cases). It's also the only way to "multi-class" with kits. For more detailed information, go to the Dual-Classing Guideline listed above. Humans are also the only race that can become a paladin, and one of the two races that can go Bard. Stalkers and Archers cannot dual-class to cleric, meaning an elf would be ideal for those roles.

Dual-classing is its own science and can result in a lot of crazy builds with unique abilities not available to other races, such as a Stalker->Cleric having Cleric spells, stealth, and backstab, or a Priest of Lathander->Fighter being able to reach 10 APR with two-handed weapons without the Whirlwind Attack HLAs. Just be aware than the dual-classing rule is that your first class is inactive until your second class reaches one level higher than the first. For Mage this is really easy to skip since the player can gather a bunch of scrolls from shops, remove all their companions, and scribe spells and erase them and re-scribe them gaining thousands of XP safely until they can play as their dual-class combo. For other classes, this can be a lot more dangerous since you will incur all of the equipment restrictions of your first class and your second class combined. A Berserker->Mage is one of the most powerful combos in the game with access to all Mage spells and all weapons and most armor and equipment. On the other hand, a Wizard Slayer->Cleric keeps his ban on wearing rings, amulets, belts, bracers, and cloaks while incurring the Cleric ethos weapon restriction of only using blunt weapons. Plan your dual-classing ahead of time and you can end up more powerful than most other single or multi-class characters.

Humans are objectively weaker than any other race in the game, they have no stat bonuses, no saving throw bonuses, and no special resistances. You play a human to either play a Paladin, Monk, or a dual-class build.

Since this is a BioWare game, it's worth mentioning that humans can romance any of the available NPC companions.

Elf[edit | edit source]

Racial Bonuses: +1 to hit with bows and swords. Infravision. 90% resistance to Charm and Sleep effects (but only with G3 BG2 Fixpack or the Enhanced Editions).
Stat Modifiers: +1 Dex, -1 Con
Stat Minimum/Maximum: Str: 3/18 Dex: 7/19 Con: 6/17 Int: 8/18 Wis: 3/18 Cha: 8/18
Class Accessibility: Barbarian, Cleric, Fighter, Mage (Diviner, Enchanter, Wild Mage specializations), Ranger, Sorcerer, Thief
Multi-Class Accessibility: Fighter/Thief, Fighter/Mage, Mage/Thief, Fighter/Mage/Thief
Recommended classes: Fighter/Mage, Mage, Mage/Thief, Ranger (especially Archer and Stalker kits), Sorcerer, Thief.
Discouraged classes: Barbarian, Diviner, Enchanter, Fighter.

Elves are very popular with ranged characters. Their ability to get 19 Dex allows them to get an extra +1 ranged THAC0 at character creation, which stacks with their Bow bonus. THAC0 bonuses eventually get extremely low, and enemy THAC0 does the same so the DEX bonus becomes obsolete very early into BG2. As Fighters (Barbarian included) and Rangers they're somewhat sub-par since AC-stacking stops being viable past BG1. Even the venerated Elven Archer suffers from the fact that archery is so heavily nerfed in BG2 and there are only two truly viable ranged weapons, Shortbows and Crossbows. Cleric suffers the same issue to a lesser extent, though single-classed Clerics are better as support than frontline so DEX bonuses will be slightly more useful. As Thieves they can get a lot of free skill points from their bonus DEX, which in turn lets them do more Thief things earlier. As Mages they have access to one really good specialization and one terrible one. Diviners lose out on Conjuration, but Conjuration isn't that useful; the three main spells they lose out on are Find Familiar, Limited Wish, and Stun Symbol. Losing out on the familiar means they're even squishier than most Mages and lose out on seeing familiar dialogue, and Limited Wish has a lot of uses, but summoning monsters isn't terribly useful until higher levels and even then the most powerful summons are spells like Project Image and Simulacrum. It's hard to mourn the loss of summoning spells when almost every caster mid-to-late BG2 carries Death Spell to kill them, including Beholders that have a special eye that auto-kills summoned creatures. Keep in mind Diviners can still summon Planetars with the HLA spell, and Planetars are the best summons in the game. Enchanter, however, is terrible. They gain Saving Throw Penalties applied to some good spells, but none are above level 5. In exchange they lose any and all Sequencers and Contingencies and those are the spells that make Mages the gods of the game. As Sorcerers, Wild Mages, and unkitted Mages they're a straight upgrade.

Elves and Half-elves are the only ones with access to the triple multi-class Fighter/Mage/Thief. Elf is the better option for this, since they can make up the CON loss with the bonuses given across the games and the DEX bonus gives them some much needed thieving skill bonuses.

The only companion Elves can't romance is Viconia. She just hates you, that's all.

Half-Elf[edit | edit source]

Racial Bonuses: Infravision. 30% Resistance to Charm and Sleep effects (but only with G3 BG2 Fixpack Installed or the Enhanced Editions).
Stat Modifiers: None
Stat Minimum/Maximum: Str: 3/18 Dex: 6/18 Con: 6/18 Int: 4/18 Wis: 3/18 Cha: 3/18
Class Accessibility: All EXCEPT Monks, Paladins, and the following Specialist Mage kits: Abjurer, Illusionist, Invoker and Necromancer.
Multi-Class Accessibility: All EXCEPT Cleric/Thief
Recommended classes: Cleric/Ranger (only race capable of the multiclass), Bard, Sorcerer, Druid.
Discouraged classes: Anything playable by other non-human races.

Half-Elves are what you roll when you aren't planning on dual-classing and the other races can't be that class. They have bonuses to resist Enchantment spells if you have AD&D Fixpacks installed and have slightly better minimum stats so rolling is easier than it is on humans. Because they actually gain some bonuses simply for being half-elf, there are no situations in which you should not be one over a human unless it's a dual-class. Even then, it's probably better to be a full elf or gnome if possible as they simply have more beneficial racial bonuses. If you want to play a multi-class Fighter/Druid then you're forced to be a Half-Elf. Half-Elves are also the only race with access to the triple multi-class Fighter/Mage/Cleric.

Like Humans, Half-Elves have access to all romances.

Gnome[edit | edit source]

Racial Bonuses: Infravision. -2 bonus to Wand and Spell saving throws with additional Constitution-based bonuses (-5 bonus at 18 Con, see '"Shorty" Saving Throws' below).
Stat Modifiers: +1 Int, -1 Wis.
Stat Minimum/Maximum: Str: 6/18 Dex: 3/18 Con: 8/18 Int: 7/19 Wis: 2/17 Cha: 3/18
Class Accessibility: Barbarian, Cleric, Fighter, Illusionist (Cannot be any other mage!), Thief
Multi-Class Accessibility: Fighter/Thief, Fighter/Cleric, Illusionist/Thief, Fighter/Illusionist, Cleric/Illusionist, Cleric/Thief
Recommended classes: Barbarian, Fighter, Fighter/Illusionist, Illusionist, Illusionist/Thief, Cleric/Illusionist, Thief.
Discouraged classes: Any single class Cleric.

Gnomes are a surprisingly powerful race. Despite their size, they have no penalties to physical ability scores, so they have no issues playing as a martial class. Their Shorty Saving Throw Bonus does not apply to Save vs. Death/Poison like Halflings or Dwarves, but since Antidotes are cheap and plentiful and there are also a plethora of poison-immunity items in the game this means they get a massive bonus to Save vs. Spell, the most common and most important save in the game. They also get a bonus to Save vs. Wand/Rod but while this is calculated this never actually affects anything since enemies don't use those. Saving throw bonuses get a lot more mileage in Baldur's Gate than ability score bonuses. Their max INT of 19 isn't that useful, since the only class that cares is Mage and only for scribing scrolls, in a game where Potions of Genius exist. Their Wisdom penalty only matters if they're playing a Cleric, since Cleric gets bonus spells based off Wisdom. They arguably make better Thieves than any other race other than Halfling. As Mages they are locked to Illusionist, which is more damning than most would believe. On the one hand, they're the only race in the game capable of multi-classing with a class kit. On the other hand, they lose out on Skull Traps which are like Fireballs that can be stacked like traps but infinitely, they lose out on Death Spell which auto-kills a lot of enemies including any and all enemy summoned monsters, and they lose out on Abi-Dalhim's Horrid Wilting which is the best damage spell in the game. In exchange they get 1 more spell per day and a ST penalty on Blindness, Deafness, and Spook. Admittedly Spook is underrated and extremely powerful late-game since its ST penalty scales, but you lose out on some extremely powerful spells.

While the Enhanced Edition companions in BG1 and Siege of Dragonspear don't care about race, Gnomes in the base game can only romance Aerie and only if male.

Halfling[edit | edit source]

Racial Bonuses: Infravision. +1 THAC0 with slings. -2 bonus to Death, Wand, and Spell saving throws with additional Constitution-based bonuses (-5 bonus at 18 Con, see '"Shorty" Saving Throws' below).
Stat Modifiers: +1 Dex, -1 Str, -1 Wis.
Stat Minimum/Maximim: Str: 6/17 Dex: 8/19 Con: 10/18 Int: 6/18 Wis: 3/17 (2/17 in BG1EE) Cha: 3/18
Class Accessibility: Barbarian, Cleric, Fighter, Thief
Multi-Class Accessibility: Fighter/Thief
Recommended classes: Fighter/Thief, Thief.
Discouraged classes: None.

Halflings are another incredible race that get sadly overlooked, their main failing being the incredibly shallow pool of playable classes that's available to them. They make the best thieves in the game in terms of raw thieving abilities because of their 19 dex, best thieving bonuses out of the demihuman races, and the big bonus to saving throws. In spite of the slight penalty for a max wisdom score, they make good single-class Clerics because of the saving throw bonuses, dexterity bonus, and THAC0 bonus to slings. Losing out on some extra spell slots is unfortunate but clerics have bad saves vs. spell so being a shorty alleviates this. A Strength penalty means they make absolutely horrendous melee Fighters, losing out to all other races in the game in every way. Even as Thieves, with such a terrible Strength penalty they will never be able to apply an extra +7 damage to their backstabs from 19 STR until deep into BG2.

At least like small Humans they can romance any romance-able companion.

Dwarf[edit | edit source]

Racial Bonuses: Infravision. -2 bonus to Death, Wand, and Spell saving throws with additional Constitution-based bonuses (-5 bonus at 18+ Con, see '"Shorty" Saving Throws' below).
Stat Modifiers: +1 Con, -1 Dex, -2 Cha.
Stat Minimum/Maximum: Str: 8/18 Dex: 3/17 (2/17 in BG1EE) Con: 12/19 Int: 3/18 Wis: 3/18 Cha: 2/16 (1/16 in BG1EE)
Class Accessibility: Barbarian, Cleric, Fighter, Thief
Multi-Class Accessibility: Fighter/Thief, Fighter/Cleric
Recommended classes: Barbarian, Fighter, Fighter/Cleric, Fighter/Thief.
Discouraged classes: None.

Dwarves make excellent warriors because of their extremely high constitution. The very small selection of playable classes available for dwarves, second only to halflings, may discourage anyone wanting to play a dwarf that isn't the fighting type. They don't have as much strength at half-orcs, but their ungodly high saving throws more than makes up for it in the long run. While the 17 maximum in dexterity at character creation hurts their armor class, it's not the worst thing in the world because boosting it to 18 will put your AC on par with any other race outside of halflings and elves. This deficit is also short-lived once AC stops mattering. Their dexterity penalty is actually balanced out by naturally high racial adjustments to thieving skills (particularly disarm traps, open locks and set traps), and the steep charisma penalty doesn't make them ideal as party leaders or getting discounts at a shop. The high constitution HP bonus ONLY applies to warrior classes, as well. They also have access in the Enhanced Edition to their own unique class kit, Dwarven Defender.


If you aren't playing on the Enhanced Editions, dwarves cannot romance anyone and die alone and unloved.

Half-Orc[edit | edit source]

Stat Modifiers: +1 Str, +1 Con, -2 Int. Infravision (restored with the Enhanced Editions and the Spellhold Studios aTweaks mod)
Stat Minimum/Maximum: Str: 4/19 Dex: 3/18 Con: 4/19 Int: 1/16 Wis: 3/18 Cha: 3/18
Class Accessibility: Barbarian, Cleric, Fighter, Thief
Multi-Class Accessibility: Fighter/Thief, Fighter/Cleric, Cleric/Thief
Recommended classes: Any EXCEPT thief (single-class).
Discouraged classes: Thief.

Half-Orcs are the early-game powerhouses with the huge +1 bonus to strength and constitution. They don't suffer the penalty to dexterity dwarves have, as well, putting them up a net +2 physical points over dwarves. They do not have the giant saving throw bonuses dwarves enjoy, however, making them more vulnerable to hazards such as fireballs, charms, and poisons. Half-Orcs get no thieving skill bonuses, but being able to start with 19 STR means they'll have early access to some extreme backstab damage. Every character can get 19 STR before the end of BG1 though, so this advantage is short-lived and the 18-to-19 leap in STR is the largest in the entire game. That said, a single-classed Half-Orc Fighter can use every STR-boost in the games to reach a natural resting Strength score of 24, equal to a Potion of Storm Giant Strength. Half-Orcs aren't bad, but they're definitely the living breathing example of how D&D combat isn't about numbers since they lack the good numbers like saving throw bonuses and have bonuses to numbers that just don't matter as much since THAC0 eventually gets low enough to always hit, AC stops being a viable strategy to maximize, and as the old adage goes, "Damage Happens."

A half-orc fighter/thief is much better, as they'll benefit from the CON bonus for fighters and have more HP, though of course this comes with a slower level progression. Swashbuckler synergizes well with Half-Orcs; the attack and damage bonuses of a 19 strength score stack nicely with the swashbuckler's combat and defense bonuses, and the lack of a backstab option frees up points from the stealth skills to be spent elsewhere.

In vanilla BG2 Half-Orcs can only romance Viconia. As said before, the EE companions don't check for race.

"Shorty" Saving Throws[edit | edit source]

Huge props to e.t. faber for providing the data for this section

As noted above, Gnomes, Dwarves, and Halflings get bonuses to saving throws based on their constitution. Collectively known as the "shorty bonuses", these bonuses are re-calcuated on level-up. So, while you may qualify for an extra saving throw bonus by using the Manual of Bodily Health, you will not see the benefits until you level up.

CON Score Save Bonus
1-3 0
4-6 1
7-10 2
11-13 3
14-17 4
18-25 5

Note:

  • Dwarves and Halflings receive these bonuses to saves vs death, wand and spell. (No polymorph or breath bonus).
  • Gnomes receive bonuses only to saves vs wand and spell. No death, polymorph or breath.

Prime Stats[edit | edit source]

For those of you playing over the internet with friends, you will want somewhat higher stats than if you were playing alone. Low Strength (bad carrying weight), and low Intelligence and Wisdom (bad Lore) will be irritating to both you and everyone around you. Bad Lore, especially, will hurt, since it means you have to pass every minor magical item you find to a friend to get it identified. You should try to get high (15+) on both Wisdom and Intelligence for multiplayer characters even if they don't really need it just so you can Identify minor things without bugging your friends. If you have to short one of them, short Wisdom and hang onto Potions of Wisdom. They're cheap, drop pretty often, and pump up your Lore to a proper level.

Baldur's Gate determines each stat by rolling 3 dice that are all 6-sided, and summing these. It then applies race and class modifiers, and rerolls if the value falls outside the minimum or maximum for the race or class. After determining each of the six stats in this way, it checks to see if all six scores add up to at least 75. If not, it scraps the scores it has found, and begins over again.

Unfortunately, it's a pipe dream to think you're going to get all 18s. The exact odds of getting all 18s vary depending on race and class adjustments, but for human with a core class (Fighter, Cleric, Thief, Mage), the odds of getting all 18s are 1 in 5,431,084,533,885 (5 trillion, 431 billion, 084 million, 533 thousand 885). This is much worse than the odds of winning the jackpot in many government-run lotteries. The odds are considerably better for race/class combinations with high minimums and maximums. (The best odds are with an Elven Ranger, followed closely by human Paladins, with their 17 Charisma requirement.) This guide will help you decide what's essential and what isn't, and what, exactly, each stat does.

Also, note that stashed throughout the realm in Baldur's Gate 1 is at least a single tome for every stat point that will increase it by one. For Wisdom, there are actually 3 Tomes. All the books are easily accessible so there is no excuse for not finding them. If you are playing solo, by the time you export to BG2 you can have a character with superhuman stats, definitely a plus when playing alone. If you are in a multiplayer game, discuss with your teammates about where the books are best placed. For instance, it is better to have two clerics with 20 Wisdom each than to have one cleric with 18 and another with 22.

Most likely, you'll need a dump stat. The dump stat of choice is Charisma. It is not very necessary in Baldur's Gate 1 unless you are soloing the game, as you can simply use an NPC with high charisma for the few times in the game that it checks your stats. In Baldur's Gate 2, Charisma is completely ignorable because you can use the Ring of Human Influence, which is found shortly after the game's intro dungeon, before any Charisma checks ever need to be made. As a general rule, don't go below 7 in any given stat if you don't want to incur penalties.

Strength[edit | edit source]

Influences: Melee THAC0, melee damage, carrying weight, door and lock forcing.

Races with adjustments: Half-Orc (+1), Halfling (-1)

Strength THAC0 Adjustment Damage Adjustment Carry Weight Open Doors
3 -3 -1 5lbs 3
4 -2 -1 15lbs 4
5 -2 -1 15lbs 5
6 -1 0 30lbs 6
7 -1 0 30lbs 7
8 0 0 50lbs 8
9 0 0 50lbs 9
10 0 0 70lbs 10
11 0 0 70lbs 11
12 0 0 90lbs 12
13 0 0 90lbs 13
14 0 0 120lbs 14
15 0 0 120lbs 15
16 0 +1 150lbs 16
17 +1 +1 170lbs 18
18 +1 +2 200lbs 20
18/01-50 +1 +3 220lbs 25
18/51-75 +2 +3 250lbs 30
18/76-90 +2 +4 280lbs 35
18/91-99 +2 +5 320lbs 40
18/00 +3 +6 400lbs 45
19 +3 +7 500lbs 50
20 +3 +8 600lbs 55
21 +4 +9 700lbs 60
22 +4 +10 800lbs 65
23 +5 +11 1000lbs 70
24 +6 +12 1200lbs 75
25 +7 +14 1600lbs 80

Recommended Statistics by Class[edit | edit source]

Note: Generally speaking, if you are doing some sort of hybrid class, such as a multi-class or dual-class, you should try to get the recommended statistics for BOTH classes (or as close to it as you can manage without becoming a rabid maniac). BG2-only races and classes will be included for readers using BGTutu.

Fighter/Ranger/Paladin/Barbarian: 18/?? or 19 (if Half-Orc). Aim for 18/51 or better but don't stress about it. It's way too hard to get a good slash value AND decent rolls elsewhere, especially for Rangers and double especially for Paladins. Besides, using the Tome of Strength or the +STR Bonus from the Machine of Lum the Mad on a character with any value of 18 (even if it is raw 18 without any exceptional strength modifier), it boosts to 19 so you bypass it anyhow. It is worth noting the "Strength" spell from Mages will boost whatever your exceptional roll was by another 50 to a max of 18/00.

Cleric: This can vary depending on the role of your cleric in your party. In situations where the cleric will also be the main tank, you will want 17+. In situations where the Cleric is largely support, there's no harm in as low as 15 (though weight capacities will become a pain in the ass). 15 is required for Full Plate Armor and Large Shields, however, so don't go any lower than that. Of special note is that Clerics have the spell Draw Upon Holy Might which increases their STR/DEX/CON by 1 point per three caster levels. Given how many 2nd level spell slots a Cleric gets this is a reliable way to reach higher 19+ Strength Scores. Note that the Enhanced Edition kits Priest of Lathander and Priest of Tyr have special methods of gaining Attacks Per Round, and any class with the ability to reach high APR benefits exponentially more from high Strength than others.

Druid: Strength isn't as useful for Druids as it is for Clerics because first and foremost, they can't wear heavier than studded leather armors, and don't gain APR bonuses and therefore should not be in melee. Secondly, if you really need to tank in a pinch, you can always shapeshift into another form, which simply sets your strength score to something else entirely. This is especially true for Avengers and Shapeshifters.

Mage/Sorcerer: Contrary to what a tabletop player may expect, Mages and Sorcerers would actually prefer high Strength. They have the ability to sacrifice some of their Intelligence (especially Sorcerers who gain no benefit from it at all), Wisdom, and Charisma to maximize Strength and Dexterity. As will be explained later, Mages and Sorcerers need zero points in Wisdom, and can maximize Charisma with a starting roll of 11. Between that and Potions of Genius they will have more than enough points to start with max STR, DEX, and 17 points in CON. While they only have four sub-par weapon options, a Mage starting with 18 STR using the Manual of Gainful Exercise is a Mage who can deal +7 damage on Sling attacks in-between casting spells.

Thief: Since Thieves do not care about Intelligence or Wisdom they have no reason not to max Strength. With the Manual they can hit that juicy +7 damage bonus. They always appreciate a bonus to THAC0 given their bad THAC0, and Half-Orc Thieves have the ability to start the game right out of Candlekeep cracking skulls. Your main Thief will need to invest in Open Locks and Find Traps due to the need to obtain loot and not die to traps, so you may not have the stealth skills to reliably stealth and backstab, but of special note is the Shadowdancer class kit that can stealth in plain sight who will want to be investing in stealth (and thus backstabbing) from level 1.

Bard: Bards gain no APR boosts like Warriors, and can only cast spells in some very specific armors, and can only equip buckler shields. They lack the HP, AC, and APR to reap the maximum benefits of high Strength, but remember that Bards start with a minimum 15 Charisma, access to the Friends spell (Charisma caps effectively at 20), and cannot cast Wish at all so they do not need Wisdom (and even then Limited Wish can be used to max effect with plentiful Potions of Insight). There's almost no reason for a Bard to not maximize Strength and Dexterity, as well as have 17 Constitution and a fair amount of leftover points for Intelligence. Bards have a class-kit called Blade that can increase their APR with Offensive Spin so they gain much more out of high Strength than the other Bard kits.

Multiclass: Since almost every class has no reason not to maximize Strength, there's no reason for multi- or dual-class characters to not maximize Strength. Even the Multiple-Ability-Dependent Fighter/Druid will just want to reroll until they can maximize their Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, and Wisdom.

Dexterity[edit | edit source]

Influences: Ranged THAC0, AC, Reaction Adjustment, thief skills.

Races with adjustments: Elf (+1), Halfling (+1), Dwarf (-1)

Special notes: Many races get special adjustments to thieving skills. In regular BG1 (without Tutu), only Hide in Shadows is used in stealth calculations, and Move Silently, Detect Illusion, and Set Traps do not exist. You will likely notice that a 9 Dex thief at Character Creation is given some negative skills. Apparantly these do not carry over into the actual game mechanics, though you are forced to work your way out of the negatives before putting positive points into a skill (much like Lore). Also, Reaction Adjustment should not be confused with Reaction (see Charisma). Reaction Adjustment influences who moves and attacks first in a round while Reaction is the bonus or penalty you incur while speaking with NPCs.

Dexterity AC Adjustment Ranged THAC0 adjustment Reaction Adjustment Open Locks Adj Find Traps Adj Pickpocket Adj Move Silently Adj Hide in Shadows Adj Detect Illusion Adj Set Traps Adj
3 +4 0 0 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
4 +3 0 0 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
5 +2 0 0 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
6 +1 0 0 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
7 0 0 0 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
8 0 0 0 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
9 0 0 0 -10% -10% -15% -20% -10% 0% -10%
10 0 0 0 -5% -10% -5% -15% -5% 0% -10%
11 0 0 0 0% -5% 0% -10% 0% 0% -5%
12 0 0 0 0% 0% 0% -5% 0% 0% 0%
13 0 0 0 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
14 0 0 0 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
15 -1 0 0 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
16 -2 +1 +1 +5% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
17 -3 +2 +2 +10% 0% +5% +5% +5% 0% 0%
18 -4 +2 +2 +15% +5% +10% +10% +10% 0% +5%
19 -4 +3 +3 +20% +10% +15% +15% +15% 0% +10%
20 -4 +3 +3 +25% +15% +20% +18% +18% 0% +15%
21 -5 +4 +4 +30% +20% +25% +20% +20% 0% +20%
22 -5 +4 +4 +35% +25% +30% +23% +23% 0% +25%
23 -5 +4 +4 +40% +30% +35% +25% +25% 0% +30%
24 -6 +5 +5 +45% +35% +40% +30% +30% 0% +35%
25 -6 +5 +5 +50% +40% +45% +35% +35% 0% +40%

Recommended Statistics by Class[edit | edit source]

Note: Generally speaking, if you are doing some sort of hybrid class, such as a multi-class or dual-class, you should try to get the recommended statistics for BOTH classes (or as close to it as you can manage without becoming a rabid maniac). BG2-only races and classes will be included for readers using BGTutu.

Thief: Dexterity is your prime requisite, so clearly you will want as much as you can get. Notice that there's a nice bonus in base thief skills and an extra +1 ranged THAC0 for going up to 19, making the Elf and Halfling options more attractive. The very lowest you could POSSIBLY want would be 13 or 14 (both are equal statistically and incur no penalties to any abilities, but no bonuses either).

Everything Else: There's really no reason to not have 18 Dex unless you're a dwarf, in which case you want 17. All classes benefit from Dexterity's AC bonus regardless of the armor they wear. In the extreme case you are rolling something that requires extreme stats in every area (example being a dual-classed fighter into a druid), it's acceptable but very dangerous to lower dexterity to 7 and rely on the Gauntlets of Dexterity, but even then a dual-classed Fighter->Druid will most likely be dualing in BG2 when Druid functions more as a caster than a frontliner, so sacrificing Strength points may be preferable to losing out on AC (not counting the fact that Druids can shapeshift).

Constitution[edit | edit source]

Influences: Hit points gained per single-digit level, regeneration rate, fatigue modifier.

Races with Adjustments: Dwarf (+1), Half-Orc (+1), Elf (-1).

Special Notes: "Warrior" classes include Fighter, Barbarian, Paladin, Ranger, and all kits underneath those classes. If you are multi-classing, you will earn 1/2 or 1/3rd the listed bonus (rounded up), depending on if your multi-class has 2 classes (IE: Fighter/Thief and 19 Constitution implies +3 HP/level on Fighter levels and +2 HP/level on Thief) or 3 classes (Fighter/Thief/Mage and 18 Constitution implies +1 HP/Level on Thief and Mage levels, but +2 HP/level on Fighter levels). If you dual-class into Fighter, you will only earn the Constitution bonus until the SUM of your two classes' levels exceeds 9. You will then lose the bonus and start gaining 3 HP per level statically.

Characters gain +1 fatigue every 4 in-game hours, AKA 1200 real seconds (20 minutes). Characters gain a -1 luck penalty at 7 fatigue. From then on, every 4 more in-game hours after the initial onset of fatigue causes a further -1 luck penalty, up to -94 luck at 100 fatigue. Here is how Luck works. Fatigue can be increased by spells or effects such as Haste and Lesser/Greater Restoration, but not decreased; the only way to completely reset fatigue is to rest. High Constitution essentially gives you a time bonus of 4 hours per fatigue mod. point before it sets in, while low Constitution gives you a time penalty.

Constitution HP/Level bonus
(Non-Warrior)
HP/Level bonus
(Warrior)
HP regeneration
rate
Fatigue
modifier
1 -3 -3 0 -4
2 -2 -2 0 -3
3 -1 -1 0 -3
4 -1 -1 0 -2
5 -1 -1 0 -2
6 -1 -1 0 -1
7 0 0 0 -1
8 0 0 0 0
9 0 0 0 0
10 0 0 0 0
11 0 0 0 0
12 0 0 0 0
13 0 0 0 0
14 0 0 0 0
15 +1 +1 0 0
16 +2 +2 0 1
17 +2 +3 0 1
18 +2 +4 0 2
19 +2 +5 0 2
20 +2 +5 1 HP/turn 3
21 +2 +6 1 HP/50 seconds 3
22 +2 +6 1 HP/40 seconds 4
23 +2 +6 1 HP/30 seconds 4
24 +2 +7 1 HP/20 seconds 5
25 +2 +7 1 HP/10 seconds 5

Recommended Statistics by Class[edit | edit source]

Note: Generally speaking, if you are doing some sort of hybrid class, such as a multi-class or dual-class, you should try to get the recommended statistics for BOTH classes (or as close to it as you can manage without becoming a rabid maniac). BG2-only races and classes will be included for readers using BGTutu.

Fighters, Rangers, Paladins, Barbarians, and kits of any of these classes: 19 if your race allows it. 18 otherwise. No excuses. You'll need every last hit point. Of special note are the boosts to Constitution, the Manual of Bodily Health, Machine of Lum the Mad, and the Evil choice in the Test of Bravery at the end of Shadows of Amn (don't look this up if you wish to remain unspoiled). Almost every Warrior player will have 19 CON early on in BG1 given how easy the Manual is to obtain, but in BG2 the only benefit you can gain is going from 19 to 21 CON. This would require an Evil choice in an alignment test (turning the alignment of non-Evil characters to Evil) but would give Warriors an additional 9 HP. Elf players will benefit at all points from every CON boost in the game, and Dwarf/Half-Orc players who don't want to shift to Evil can use the Manual and Machine to reach 21 CON, but if your starting CON in BG1 is 18 then you cannot benefit from the single-point boost from the Machine of Lum the Mad. That boost is better off being given to another Companion to boost their HP, pretty much every Warrior companion will gain 9 HP with it. You may notice that at 20 CON and higher you regenerate HP, but that is one HP per minute at 20. This can only be used in BG1 and the first half of Siege of Dragonspear, and even then it only really heals while sleeping or traveling (although this will heal a little over 40 HP just for an 8 hour rest). You can see this on the companion Kagain who has 20 CON. However, once HP-regenerating items come into play this bonus is useless by comparison.

Anything else: You stop gaining any benefits from Constitution at 16. However, you may wish to go up to 18 if you intend to equip the Claw of Kazgaroth, which gives you -2 Constitution and a penalty to your Death save, but big bonuses to your AC and all other saves. If you're going to skip this, however, take 16 points. Since the Manual boosts CON by 1, you can maximize a non-Warrior's CON who wishes to use the Claw with 17 CON.

Note: HP gains and actual HP represented are two different things. Theoretically, Thanatos the Elven Mage has 5 Constitution, therefore incurring a -1 HP penalty per level. With max HP rolls on, he'll be gaining 4 HP a level but only have 3 max HP to show for it. Raising his constitution artificially via a potion of fortitude would actually give a net increase of +3 HP per level instead of simply +2 because you're getting out of negatives. Because base HP and net HP are seperate, it's acceptable to begin a character with only 15 consitution instead of 16, as you will retroactively gain the HP you missed out on once consuming the Manual of Bodily Health.

Intelligence[edit | edit source]

Influences: Mage spell learning rate, Maximum Mage spells per spell level, Lore.

Races with Adjustments: Gnome (+1). Half-Orc (-2).

Special Notes: Negative Lore skills are simply expressed as 0 in game. Bards gain 10 lore per level, Thieves and Mages gain 3 lore per level, and everyone else gains 1 lore per level. Lore bonuses (and penalties) from Intelligence stack with those from Wisdom. Those importing into BG2 should be aware that strikes from the Illithids (AKA Mind Flayers) will drain your Intelligence. You will be killed if they reduce your Intelligence to 0. Mages cannot cast at all at less than 9 Intelligence. In the original Baldur's Gate 2 normal maximum spell level restrictions don't apply. Even a 9 Intelligence Mage can learn and cast level 9 spells.

This information applies only to Enhanced Edition BG games

However, in Baldur's Gate 2 Enhanced Edition you need to have 18 intelligence (either innately, through a stat modifying item, or stat modifying effect) in order to learn level 9 spells. Once you've learned them you can cast level 9 spells without having 18 intelligence. In the case of both games Intelligence does not give Mages more spells per day.

Intelligence Spell Learning Rate Spells Per Level Lore (See Notes) Maximum Learnable
Spell Level (BG2EE Only)
3 N/A N/A -20 N/A
4 N/A N/A -20 N/A
5 N/A N/A -20 N/A
6 N/A N/A -20 N/A
7 N/A N/A -10 N/A
8 N/A N/A -10 N/A
9 35% 6 -10 4
10 40% 7 0 5
11 45% 7 0 5
12 50% 7 0 6
13 55% 9 0 6
14 60% 9 0 7
15 65% 11 +5 7
16 70% 11 +5 8
17 75% 14 +7 8
18 85% 18 +10 9
19 95% No limit +12 9
20 96% No limit +15 9
21 97% No limit +20 9
22 98% No limit +25 9
23 99% No limit +30 9
24 100% No limit +35 9
25 100% No limit +40 9

Recommended Statistics by Class[edit | edit source]

Note: Generally speaking, if you are doing some sort of hybrid class, such as a multi-class or dual-class, you should try to get the recommended statistics for BOTH classes (or as close to it as you can manage without becoming a rabid maniac). BG2-only races and classes will be included for readers using BGTutu.

Mages and Bards: Like Strength this runs counter-intuitively to what tabletop players would expect. Intelligence doesn't affect anything other than meaningless Lore bonuses and the chance to scribe a scroll. Even if you're playing hardcore no-reload runs, there are about 10 Potions of Genius in BG1 and hundreds in BG2. In BG1 you can scribe scrolls of only the best spells of each level and simply save all the more limited-supply scrolls until the end of the game and boost your Intelligence to scribe them. At 14 INT you can use the Tome of Clear Thought to boost to 15, then one singular Potion of Genius to reach 19 INT and eliminate the spells-per-level limit of your spellbook. If playing hardcore, drink two to hit 99% scribe chance at 23. There is no reason to maximize Intelligence.

Sorcerers: Sorcerers are the kindest class in the game when it comes to Ability Scores. They start with 9 INT, and that's enough to use wands and Protection scrolls. They don't scribe scrolls so they don't need higher. Easiest class to maximize your ability scores.

Everyone else: There are only three bonuses Intelligence gives outside of learning Mage spells: Lore (which is useless given the existence of Bard and Identify), the ability to use Wands and Protection scrolls at 9 INT, and one very important aspect: Mindflayers. Mindflayers become somewhat common enemies midway through Baldur's Gate 2, and when they hit you with a melee attack they temporarily drain 5 points of Intelligence. If you start with 3 INT, you will die in a single hit to them. Companions like Minsc with 8 INT will die in 2 hits and die in the same way as Massive Damage/Level Drain/Disintegrate and cannot be resurrected. If you start BG1 with 15 INT you can gain 1 point with the Tome of Clear Thought to hit 16, and that will give most races the maximum 3-hit buffer between Mindflayers and death. Gnomes starting with 19 can use the Tome plus the Machine of Lum the Mad to hit 21 and take 4 hits, but that requires going through most of Watcher's Keep before fighting Mindflayers to get any benefit, and is definitely not a reason to drop other ability scores.

Wisdom[edit | edit source]

Influences: Priest spells per day. Lore.

Races with adjustments: Gnome (-1), Halfling (-1).

Special Notes: Negative Lore skills are simply expressed as 0 in game. Bards gain 10 lore per level, Thieves and Mages gain 3 lore per level, and everyone else gains 1 lore per level. Lore bonuses (and penalties) from Wisdom stack with Lore bonuses from Intelligence. Bonus Spells per day are cumulative; a priest with 18 Wisdom will get the bonuses from having 17 Wisdom and 16 Wisdom and so on. Rangers and Paladins, though they have Priest spells, do not get bonus spells per day due to Wisdom. Finally, despite what the manual says, spells do not fail because of low Wisdom, and Wisdom does not give you a magic defense adjustment (as it says in the manual errata section of readme.txt).

Wisdom Bonus Spells Lore (See Notes)
3 N/A -20
4 N/A -20
5 N/A -20
6 N/A -20
7 N/A -10
8 N/A -10
9 0 -10
10 0 0
11 0 0
12 0 0
13 +1 1st level 0
14 +1 1st level 0
15 +1 2nd level +5
16 +1 2nd level +5
17 +1 3rd level +7
18 +1 4th level +10
19 +1 1st level, +1 4th level +12
20 +1 2nd level, +1 4th level +15
21 +1 3rd level, +1 5th level +20
22 +1 4th level, +1 5th level +25
23 +2 5th level +30
24 +2 6th level +35
25 +1 6th level, +1 7th level +40

Recommended Statistics by Class[edit | edit source]

Note: Generally speaking, if you are doing some sort of hybrid class, such as a multi-class or dual-class, you should try to get the recommended statistics for BOTH classes (or as close to it as you can manage without becoming a rabid maniac). BG2-only races and classes will be included for readers using BGTutu.

Cleric and Druids: Maximize it. No arguing - there is no benefit any other ability score can give compared to literally being able to get two entire bonus 6th level spells plus lower spells slots along the way. With the Good test in the Test of Wrath (changes Evil alignments to Good), Machine of Lum the Mad, Star card from the Deck of Many Things, and three Tomes of Understanding any Cleric or Druid starting with 18 Wisdom will reach 24 unmodified Wisdom. Two additional Harm spells per day is two additional enemies dead in two hits. Notice halflings and gnomes have a -1 penalty, which is potentially losing out on one extra 3rd and 5th level spell after using 3 tomes of wisdom.

Mages, Sorcerers, and Bards: Don't. No, don't. At all. Ever. Even if you want to spam Wish spells in-combat with the best pool of Wish options fishing for that amazing Double Time Stop + Improved Alacrity, there are hundreds of Potions of Insight available in BG2 just counting the ones you can buy in temples. You have no reason to ever put any points into Wisdom.

Everyone Else: The only thing you get from Wisdom is Lore. That's it, there's no other bonus. Nothing in the game attacks your Wisdom score. Drop it as low as possible, the only penalty is that you might not be able to identify cheap crappy +1 equipment that you can still use un-identified.

Charisma[edit | edit source]

Races with adjustments: Dwarf (-2).

Influences: Buying prices. NPC reactions.

Special notes: Reaction is not to be confused with Reaction Adjustment (see Dexterity). Reaction Adjustment governs who moves and acts first in combat, while Reaction relates to NPCs. Discounts were calculated by examining the Full Plate Mail at Thunderhammer Smithy's buy price at 12 reputation at various Charisma ratings. 9000 was by far the most predominant price and is the base 100% rate.

Charisma Reaction Shop Prices
3 -8 100%
4 -7 100%
5 -6 100%
6 -5 100%
7 -4 100%
8 -2 100%
9 -1 100%
10 0 100%
11 0 100%
12 0 100%
13 +1 100%
14 +2 100%
15 +3 100%
16 +4 95%
17 +4 90%
18 +5 85%
19 +8 80%
20 +9 75%
21 +10 75%
22 +11 75%
23 +12 75%
24 +13 75%
25 +14 75%

Recommended Statistics by Class[edit | edit source]

Note: Generally speaking, if you are doing some sort of hybrid class, such as a multi-class or dual-class, you should try to get the recommended statistics for BOTH classes (or as close to it as you can manage without becoming a rabid maniac). BG2-only races and classes will be included for readers using BGTutu.

Everyone: Charisma is the traditional dump stat. There are very little downsides for having it at 3. Notice that anything over 20 Charisma does not give you any better prices at shops; therefore, even a mage or bard with 14 Charisma can be your 'face' character for buying purposes so long as he or she knows Friends. However, 'face' characters really are a luxury. Money is not overly hard to come by in BG1, and you get a ring that allows you to set your Charisma to 18 pretty much from the get go in Baldur's Gate 2. Having a character with high Charisma is useful for buying commodities earlier and in greater quantities, but you'll only need 1 character with high Charisma. Imoen is more than enough to satisfy your Charisma needs and is already one of the best NPCs in either game besides.

Your "Face" Character: As mentioned above, 14 or more Charisma is sufficient for the maximum discount in stores if relying on Friends. It also affects your party reaction - note, however, that with BG1TuTu on single player, your party leader charisma is used for both store discounts and reaction score adjustment, not the character actually doing the speaking - this is different when compared to multiplayer behavior, so be careful you don't accidentally spend thousands more gold than needed. Note that the Enhanced Editions use the highest Charisma in the party regardless of who's talking to the shopkeep in question. In BG1, there are a handful of NPCs who refuse to join you if your charisma is too low. Arcane casters who start with 11 Charsima can use the +1 from the Tome of Leadership and Influence, +2 from Algernon's Cloak/Nymph Cloak, and +6 from the Friends spell to hit 20 and get maximum discounts. Helmet-users have the option of the Helm of the Noble for a +1, so Fighter/Mages and Cleric/Mages can reach 20 with a starting score of 10. And in BG2 there's the Ring of Human Influence that sets your score to 18 and can be boosted even further with an even larger plethora of CHA-boosting items. Never sacrifice other scores for Charisma. Bards start with a minimum 15 so a Bard character starts out effectively maxed.


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