Baldur’s Gate 3: Best Backgrounds for Roleplaying Ranked – All Backgrounds Included

Here are the best backgrounds and ideas for roleplaying ranked if you plan to start a new Baldur’s Gate 3 playthrough. All twelve Backgrounds Included!

Baldur's Gate 3 Best Backgrounds for Roleplaying Ranked - All Backgrounds Included Guide Thumb

There are twelve backgrounds in Baldur’s Gate 3, representing where your character comes from and what their life was before. NPC characters, including your companions, will sometimes react consequently to your protagonist’s origin, which can sometimes earn you favors or enemies. Backgrounds are not limited to race or class, so you can pick whatever you like or will give you the best statistics.

In addition to the role-playing aspect, each Background in Baldur’s Gate 3 improves proficiencies, giving you a small bonus to dice rolls and success in checks. Skill proficiency is what your character is good at and what knowledge they possess. In Baldur’s Gate 3, you should choose a background if it fits your character and you like it.

In Our Ranking of Best Baldur’s Gate 3 Backgrounds, we considered two main factors: the roleplaying aspect and how helpful skill proficiencies every background offers. Backgrounds represent your character’s past; they have a solid roleplaying aspect in Baldur’s Gate 3, so we will give you a few ideas and examples for each.

The Best Backgrounds for Roleplaying in Baldur’s Gate 3

The haunted one, guild artisan, and noble are the best backgrounds in Baldur’s Gate 3 for roleplaying, but they also provide valuable skill proficiency improvements. All three add charisma skill: persuasion, or intimidation, adding value every time you speak with someone. They also have a few unique interactions with some NPCs in the game.

The following list presents every background, from the best to the worst, ranked based on our criteria:

  1. Haunted One
  2. Guild Artisan
  3. Noble
  4. Urchin
  5. Soldier
  6. Sage
  7. Charlatan
  8. Acolyte
  9. Folk Hero
  10. Entertainer
  11. Outlander
  12. Criminal

12 Criminal

Circlet of Hunting - Baldur's Gate 3 - BG3 - Araj Oblodra Merchant
  • Improves Skill Proficiencies: Deception, Stealth
  • Best suited for class: Ranger, Warlock
  • Characters with Criminal Background: Ver’yll Wenkiir
  • The game description: You have a history of breaking the law and survive by leveraging less-than-legal connections. Profiting from criminal enterprise will lead to greater opportunities in the future.
  • Roleplaying Character Idea: A Rogue with exceptional dexterity and a knack for evading dangers. You stepped carefully since you were a child, and now you have transitioned into an assassin for hire, exclusively selecting elite and lucrative contracts.

Proficient in Deception and Stealth, your character can thrive in the underworld, navigating the criminal network with ease, deception, and finesse. Whether your crimes may be, you are always the winner. Maybe you were on your way to your trial by jury when a mind flayer ship kidnaps you. There are countless possibilities on who your character could be in the past. It’s the ideal background for rogue classes, such as Rogues or Bards, who can use these skills for a life of stealthy maneuvers and clever schemes.

BG3 Criminal Background

The Criminal background in Baldur’s Gate 3 enhances proficiency in Deception and Stealth. Proficiency in Deception allows characters to convincingly lie, disguise their intentions, or manipulate others during dialogue. Many classes can benefit from it.

Baldur's Gate 3 How to Trigger Surprise
How to Trigger Surprise

Proficiency in Stealth enables characters to move quietly and remain unseen, crucial for sneaking, ambushing, or infiltrating. It aligns with their roles as agile, shadowy classes. However, most importantly, stealth can be used to surprise an enemy in combat. Characters with a surprise status effect are forced to skip their first turn, which can benefit any team.

11 Outlander

Baldur's Gate 3 Karlach New Origin Character
  • Improves Skill Proficiencies: Athletics, Survival
  • Best suited for class: Fighter, Barbarian
  • Characters with Outlander Background: Halsin, Karlach, Eldra Luthrinn, Sina’zith
  • The game description: You grew up in the wilds, learning to survive far from the comforts of civilization. Surviving unusual hazards of the wild will enhance your prowess and understanding.
  • Roleplaying Character Idea: You can be familiar with the woods you cross like no one else, quickly recognizing footprints and nature surrounding you—the perfect backstory for Ranger or barbarian class, a Robin Hood of Baldur’s Gate 3 who helps the poor.

Halsin and Karlach are both the most recognizable characters with Outlander backgrounds. Outlander’s description and connection to land make Ranger or Druid the best choice of classes. However, because of athletics proficiency improvement, it may also be a fantastic choice for fighters and barbarians.

BG3 Outlander Background

Regardless of your chosen class, your team will benefit from survival skills during the exploration. Thanks to it, you can recognize lands, track in the wilds, and discover hidden treasures buried under the ground, so ensure you have a shovel with you. Athletics will always be perfect for strength-focused characters or those that fight within melee range. It helps you shove and resist being shoved.

10 Entertainer

Alfira - Rescue the Tieflings Quest - BG3 - Baldur's Gate 3 - Potent Robe
  • Improves Skill Proficiencies: Acrobatics, Performance
  • Best suited for class: Bard, Rogue, Monk
  • Characters with Entertainer Background: Brinna Brightsong
  • The game description: You live to sway and subvert your audience, engaging common crowds and high society alike.
  • Roleplaying Character Idea: Sorcerer who loves music and performs for masses, but one unpredicted explosion of their wild magic ended in the tragic devastation of a marketplace. Now, you must run from the consequences.

As an entertainer, fame is your currency, and the spotlight is your stage. The Entertainer background is an ideal choice for players aspiring to be crowd-pleasers and bring joy to the masses. If you don’t play as a bard class and still want to perform and play on musical instruments, remember that any class can earn this ability with one of the permanent bonuses. If you speak with Alfira in Act 1 and successfully pass all skill checks while performing with her, you will gain the ability to play any musical instrument. We have a detailed guide on how to get the ability to play instruments in any class.

BG3 Entertainer Background

Optimal for charisma-based classes like bard or sorcerer, the Entertainer background enhances two charisma-based skill proficiencies: Performance and Acrobatics. A character proficient in both these skills proves to be a valuable asset. You can charm the audience while your other characters use their Sleight of Hand skills and steal from crowds.

Moreover, pairing the Entertainer background with the Friends cantrip can enhance your character’s social interactions, offering a unique blend of charm and performance. Acrobatics is a dexterity skill, and each character, regardless of class, should aim at least 12 dexterity ability scores. It helps increase initiative, and your character has a chance to evade being hit during combat.

9 Folk Hero

Baldur's Gate 3 Wyll Best Warlock Class Spells
  • Improves Skill Proficiencies: Animal Handling, Survival
  • Best suited for class: Cleric, Druid
  • Characters with Folk Hero Background: Minsc, Wyll, Danton
  • The game description: You’re a champion of the common people, challenging tyrants and monsters to protect the helpless. Saving innocents in imminent danger will make your legend grow.
  • Roleplaying Character Idea: A Druid with extensive knowledge of the wild lands of Faerûn, famous among animals and people as a protector of the vulnerable.

The most noticeable characters with Folk Hero backgrounds are Wyll and Minsc’s, companions. Both are marked by fame but also are expected to be the protectors of the people. As a result of the roleplaying aspect, your character will gain inspiration from rescuing those in need, regardless of their race or origin. Folk Hero is a perfect choice for players seeking to be a true hero of people. However, it can also be a story of redemption. Maybe in the past, your character was an admirable folk hero who was forced to make an impossible decision: maybe a choice between saving a wood full of innocent animals or a village with hard-working people from quickly spreading fire. As a result, now this responsibility hunts them.

BG3 Folk Hero Background - Baldur's Gate 3

A folk hero background will be the best choice for all wisdom-based classes, such as cleric or druid, because both skill proficiency improvements, animal handling, and survival are wisdom-based in Baldur’s Gate 3. The character with high proficiency in both those skills will be a valuable team addition that can help explore and learn additional clues or information from animals, especially if you combine it with the Speak with Animals spell. Folk Hero is number 9 on our Baldur’s Gate 3 Best Backgrounds for Roleplaying Ranked list.

8 Acolyte

Baldur's Gate 3 Shadowheart Blessed by Shar
  • Improves Skill Proficiencies: Insight, Religion
  • Best suited for class: Cleric, Paladin
  • Characters with Acolyte Background: Shadowheart, Zenith Feur’sel
  • The game description: You have spent your life in service to a temple, learning sacred rites and providing sacrifices to the god or gods you worship. Serving the gods and discovering their sacred works will guide you to Greatness.
  • Roleplaying Character Idea: A pacifist Cleric, having spent a life in solitary contemplation of Selune within a temple, is now thrust into the tumultuous world events and politics, forced to fight for survival.

Acolyte is a fantastic background for players who would like to create a character with strong religious beliefs. Shadowheart is a Clerc of Selune with strong opinions, and if you pick this path and choose the Selune diety, not to spoil too much, you will even receive a special dialogue from her. As Acolyte, you will gain inspiration from resurrecting anyone from your party, reading some of the religious books you’ll find in the world, or interacting and performing quests related to the religion or any of the deities in Baldur’s Gate 3. It’s also a fantastic choice if you would like to explore more about the Ferun religions and history.

BG3 Acolyte Background

Insight and Religion are two skills you will get improvements in. Insight is one of the most valuable proficiencies, especially in conversations when you quickly notice someone lying to you. It is a helpful skill for a dedicated to-truth cleric or paladin. Second, proficiency in religion will help you gain inspiration and benefit from any religious artifacts and volumes you will find during your travels.

7 Charlatan

Baldur’s Gate 3 Astarion Companion Guide
  • Improves Skill Proficiencies: Deception, Sleight of Hand
  • Best suited for class: Monk, Sorcerer, Warlock
  • Characters with Charlatan Background: Astarion, Kree Derryck
  • The game description: You’re an expert in manipulation, prone to exaggeration, and more than happy to profit from it. Bending the truth and turning allies against each other will bring you success down the road.
  • Roleplaying Character Idea: A charlatan who once thrived in a bustling city, with extraordinary talents in deception, accumulating wealth through schemes and shrewd investments. One day, a fateful deal with a devil granted immense power and transformed them into a Warlock.

This is another type of background that can be used for morally grey protagonists or evil playthroughs. The rogue class comes to mind as the most classic and best for this background. However, many others can fit into it. Deception skill is charisma-focused proficiency that will benefit Warlocks, bards, and sorcerers. While stealing can be a fantastic roleplaying tool, it is also a way to gather riches for any type of character.

BG3 Charlatan Background - Baldur's Gate 3

Charlatan’s background will be suitable for characters who want to use stealing as one of their main activities. It’s a dexterity skill that can benefit rangers, rogues, or monks, who usually spend significant points on this ability. However, deception is useful for all classes because it influences the initiative, defining who goes first at each turn in combat. Secondly, dexterity ability is used to evade being hit, so regardless of your class, you should aim at a dexterity score of 12 or 14 points. For all those reasons, sleight of hand and charlatan background can be safely used with almost any character in Baldur’s Gate 3.

6 Sage

Baldur's Gate 3 Gale Best Wizard Class Spells
  • Improves Skill Proficiencies: Arcana, History
  • Best suited for class: Wizard
  • Characters with Sage Background: Gale, Sir Fuzzalump
  • The game description: You are curious and well-read, with an unending thirst for knowledge. Learning about rare lore of the world will inspire you to put this knowledge to greater purpose.
  • Roleplaying Character Idea: The young wizard who received a proper arcane and history education, but was expelled from various schools for necromancy practices. I advise you to pick a necromancer subclass and never skip an opportunity to speak with the dead!

Reading books and notes and discovering the secrets of Ferun is what will grant you and Gale, who also has a sage background, inspiration. It’s the only background solely focused on intelligence and, as a result, undoubtedly the best choice for Wizards. However, you can have some fun with it, mix your monk character with a sage background, and create a wise martial arts master. It won’t be the optimal class background combination, but you may have a lot of fun roleplaying with it.

You will need at least one character in your party proficient in Arcana and History, both intelligence-based skills, to make the most out of the game’s dialogues and permanent bonuses and even to get powerful gear. For example, to get the Markoheskir legendary staff, you will need to pass a high 25 DC arcana check. Same with History, you will unlock a lot of additional lore if you are proficient with history. We ranked the Sage background so high in our best Baldur’s Gate 3 backgrounds for roleplaying list for those reasons. Sage Wizard may be classic, but some classics are fun regardless of how often you see them.

5 Soldier

  • Improves Skill Proficiencies: Athletics, Intimidation
  • Best suited for class: Barbarian, Paladin, Fighter
  • Characters with Soldier Background: Jaheira, Lae’zel, Varanna Sunblossom
  • The game description: You are trained in battlefield tactics and combat, having served in a militia, mercenary company, or officer corps. Show smart tactics and bravery on the battlefield to enhance your prowess.
  • Roleplaying Character Idea: A Paladin fueled by the fires of Vengeance. Battle-hardened from numerous wars, but one crucial event, in particular, made them want to avenge their fallen comrades or perhaps even family.

As a seasoned warrior, you’ve faced the front lines and honed your skills through rigorous training. Your background provides a solid foundation for the challenges that lie ahead, granting proficiency in Athletics and Intimidation. The soldier’s life could affect your character, influencing their attitude and decision-making. Whether a loyal soldier, a veteran seeking purpose, or one haunted by the memories of past conflicts, the Soldier background offers a versatile narrative backdrop for various character arcs.

BG3 Soldier Background

The Soldier background in Baldur’s Gate 3 enhances proficiency in Athletics and Intimidation. These skills align well with Barbarian, Fighter, and Paladin classes. Proficiency in Athletics is advantageous for climbing, swimming, and making physically demanding maneuvers. Fighters, Barbarians, and Paladins can particularly benefit. It complements their front-line roles, helping in battlefield mobility and resilience.

On the other hand, Intimidation allows characters to exert influence through fear. Through the roll-dice chacks, you will gain advantages in conversations. Fighters, Sorcerers, Bards, Warlocks, Barbarians, Rogues, and Paladins can use Intimidation well. It suits characters who rely on physical power or are simply skilled in various aspects of negotiations.

4 Urchin

Baldur's Gate 2 Mattis in Act 2
  • Improves Skill Proficiencies: Sleight of Hand, Stealth
  • Best suited for class: Bard, Rogue
  • Characters with Urchin Background: Maddala Deadeye
  • The game description: After surviving a childhood on the streets, you know how to make the most out of very little. Using your street smarts bolsters your spirit for the journey ahead.
  • Roleplaying Character Idea: You started on the streets as one of the bravest and most resourceful kids and learned the world from travelers. One day, you met an old Monk in a tavern who taught you the martial arts and Ki philosophy.

Your character with an Urchin background can be quick, witty, and resourceful. The Urchin background grants proficiency in Sleight of Hand and Stealth, skills honed while navigating the gritty streets of Baldur’s Gate, crucial to survive in the city’s shadows. Your character’s backstory could involve running with a group of street urchins, relying on each other for support and protection. As a versatile option with unique skills, we ranked Urchin as number 4 in our Baldur’s Gate 3 best roleplaying backgrounds list.

BG3 Urchin Background

The Urchin background provides mechanical advantages and adds a narrative of survival. Sleight of Hand can prove useful for various situations, from pickpocketing to stealing objects unnoticed. Stealth allows your character to move silently and remain unseen. Approaching any fight while in stealth will also grant you an advantage from the start. You have a chance to apply a surprise status effect on enemies. As a result, they will be forced to skip their first turn, giving you a chance to attack first and eliminate a few enemies fast. This background is an excellent fit for rogue classes, such as Rogues, Rangers, or even Monks, who can further make use of those two dexterity proficiencies.

3 Noble

Minthara bg3 Baldur's Gate 3 - Noble Background
  • Improves Skill Proficiencies: History, Persuasion
  • Best suited for class: Bard, Sorcerer, Wizard, Warlock
  • Characters with Noble Background: Minthara, Kerz
  • The game description: You were raised in a family among the social elite, accustomed to power and privilege. Accumulating renown, power, and loyalty will raise your status.
  • Roleplaying Character Idea: Lolth-sworn drow female bard raised in a matriarchal and cruel society. You received a proper musical and history education and now exploit your persuasion and deception skills to manipulate everyone around you, anything to achieve your goals.

Noble background possesses a lot of potential, you can be any class and create various stories from lost prince or princess to a child of powerful family. Minthara is a notable character with a noble background, and if you follow our advice and create a drow or half-drow character with a noble background, you will receive a unique dialogue option with her. It’s a perfect combination if you plan to choose Minthara over Halsin. To gain inspiration as a noble, try to talk your way out of dangerous situations, hire others to do your bidding, interact with other nobles, and learn about your companion’s past.

BG3 Noble Background

Persuasion and History are extremely useful proficiencies that only add to the noble background value. Most of your dice rolls will have persuasion and charisma skill checks, and as mentioned before, history will help you learn a lot about Baldur’s Gate 3 world. Every main character can benefit from those two skill improvements, placing Noble in the top three roleplaying backgrounds in our Baldur’s Gate 3 ranking.

2 Guild Artisan

Baldur's Gate 3 Dammon at Last Light Inn thumbnail
  • Improves Skill Proficiencies: Insight, Persuasion
  • Best suited for class: Any Class
  • Characters with Guild Artisan Background: Jacelyn
  • The game description: Your skill in a particular craft has earned you membership in a mercantile guild, offering privileges and protection while engaging in your art. Repairing and discovering rare crafts will bring new inspiration.
  • Roleplaying Character Idea: A proficient Guild Artisan focusing on crafting top-tier magical weapons. A dwarf fighter who delights in the most potent armaments, secretly hoarding them away with the hope of studying and eventually crafting similarly powerful creations in the future.

This may seem like the most boring background, but Guild Artisan actually hides a lot of potential. It is primarily because of the fantastic skill improvements it offers, making it versatile and one of the best backgrounds overall. As a guild artist, you will receive insight and persuasion proficiencies. Persuasion is the most common skill check you will encounter in Baldur’s Gate 3, making this background an already powerful roleplaying tool. Secondly, Insight is a wisdom skill that will help you detect lies and notice many details about your interlocutor, unraveling the layers of truth in the conversation.

BG3 Guild Artisan Background

Acquiring magical items and crafting will gain your inspiration. Additionally, anything related to crafting or taking part in quests related to experiments will also help you achieve your goals as a guild artisan. To make the most of this roleplaying opportunity, you can roleplay as a wizard with the Transmutation School subclass, whose background is marked by many unsuccessful magical experiments. Perhaps you would like to be a fighter dwarf and a master of forging weapons who will collect the best and rare weapons throughout their journey and keep them safe in a locked camp chest.

1 Haunted One (Dark Urge)

Dark Urge Build Guide in BG3 - Haunted One Background
  • Improves Skill Proficiencies: Medicine, Intimidation
  • Best suited for class: Any Class
  • Characters with Haunted One Background: The Dark Urge (Player Origin)
  • The game description: You were once sworn to seclusion and continue to prefer solitude over the chaos of society.
  • Roleplaying Character Idea: Pick your favorite class and explore the mysteries behind your past.

Unsurprisingly, Dark Urge or Haunted One is first on our Baldur’s Gate 3 roleplaying backgrounds ranking. Dark Urge is also an origin character, so to pick it, you must navigate to the Origin tab in character creation, and then your background choice will be locked to the Haunted One background. It’s a unique path where player discovers the truth behind their past. As you wake up, you suffer from amnesia. You know almost nothing about yourself but that you have an extreme hunger. Hunger for blood, cruelty, and destruction.

You can take two distinctive paths when playing with a dark urge. You can make an “evil playthrough” and see alternative quest outcomes by giving into the nature of the haunted one. Alternatively, you can try to resist the hunger for blood your character feels and try to make things right. The second path is far more challenging. However, both approaches are extremely rewarding and interesting. Many players believe that dark urge is the true origin meant by Larian Studios for player characters.

Dark Urge Background Haunted One in BG3

Proficiency in Medicine allows characters to provide first aid, stabilize the dying, and diagnose illnesses. It’s a wisdom-based skill, so Clerics, Druids, and non-magical classes like Fighters or Rangers can benefit. It’s valuable for characters involved in healing or support roles. Secondly, intimidation enables characters to exert influence through fear, gaining dialogue advantages. Intimidation is a good choice for almost any class as it gives the players an additional advantage in interactions with NPCs.

Looking For More About Baldur’s Gate 3?

Thank you for reading Baldur’s Gate 3: Best Backgrounds for Roleplaying Ranked – All Backgrounds Included Guide. We provide the latest news and create guides for Baldur’s Gate 3. Also, watch me play games on Twitch or visit my YouTube channel!