Best Origin Characters in Baldur’s Gate 3

If you’re looking to start a new play-through, here is our list of the Best Origin Characters in Baldur’s Gate 3!

Best Origin Characters in Baldur's Gate 3

When you first pick up Baldur’s Gate 3 it’s highly recommended by the developers at Larain Studios that you choose to create a custom character for your first playthrough. The standard choice when opening up the character creation screen is to create a basic custom character. Furthermore, the Dark Urge origin is another option for those wanting to play through the game with a custom avatar. Moreover, the Dark Urge has a background that much more strongly ties in with the game’s main story. Creating a build around the possible special abilities you can pick up gives the Dark Urge some great additional flavor.

However, once you’ve played through Baldur’s Gate 3 using either of these custom origins, you might be considering your other options for another run. Larian Studios has also made some of the companion characters available as Origin Characters. Consequently, this means that you can choose one of them and play through the entire game as that character. In this guide, we’ll list out all of the available characters, what makes their play-through special, and why you might want to choose them!

Best Origin Characters in Baldur’s Gate 3

The best Origin Character in Baldur’s Gate 3 is Shadowheart because of her strong ties to the main story, and her powerful healing abilities can help carry your party. When playing as any of the Origin Characters in Baldur’s Gate 3 you will get a chance to see more of their inner thoughts, the reasoning behind their actions, and sometimes unique interactions with specific story NPCs.

Finally, not all of the available companion characters are available to choose from in the Origin Character screen. There are six different characters you can choose from: Astarion, Lae’zel, Gale, Shadowheart, Wyll, and Karlach. Unfortunately, Minthara, Halsin, Jahiera, and Minsc are not available as origin characters.

Here are the Best Origin Characters in BG3:

  1. Shadowheart
  2. Lae’zel
  3. Astarion
  4. Karlach
  5. Wyll
  6. Gale

6. Gale

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Gale Origin Character Stats:

  • Race: Human
  • Class: Wizard
  • Primary Ability Score: Intelligence
  • Background: Sage (Arcana and History Proficiency)
  • Playstyle: Ranged Spellcaster
  • Best Build: Evocation Wizard
  • Unique Interactions: Tara, Elminster, Mystra

The reason why Gale ranks at the bottom of our list as an Origin Character choice is that there isn’t much difference between playing as him or having him come along as an active companion in your party. There are some unique conversations you’ll get to have with his friend Tara, the tressym. Normally, you won’t get to meet her until Act 3. However, when you are playing as Gale, she will arrive in camp during your first Long Rest and then stick around as a camp follower.

Additionally, if you’re not super comfortable with the combat in Baldur’s Gate 3, then playing as a ranged spellcaster can be a challenge. Wizards are fairly weak and limited until they reach Level 5 and get access to more powerful spells such as Fireball. However, the best way to play Gale is an Evocation Wizard. He’s a human race and, therefore, can equip a shield with a quarterstaff. This will grant Gale +2 Armour Class (AC) and help avoid attacks. We suggest spells like Shield, Mirror Image, and Misty Step early until you get the hang of the spell casting Human.

5. Wyll

Baldur's Gate 3 Wyll Origin Character

Wyll Origin Character Stats:

  • Race: Human
  • Class: Warlock
  • Primary Ability Score: Charisma
  • Background: Folk Hero (Survival and Animal Handling Proficiency)
  • Playstyle: Mix of Ranged Spellcaster and Melee
  • Best Build: Fiend Warlock
  • Unique Interactions: Mizora, Counsellor Florrick, Duke Ravengard

Although Wyll has his own tangled backstory, it doesn’t tie into the main narrative of Baldur’s Gate 3 as well as some of the other companions. He has a personal connection to the City of Baldur’s Gate, but that doesn’t add anything to his character motivation. At heart, he is a hero, who would have wanted to challenge the Netherbrain, no matter whether it was attacking his home or someplace else.

On the other hand, Wyll is an often unappreciated character in Baldur’s Gate 3. For many players, he doesn’t seem as interesting as the varied cast of other companions you can surround yourself with. However, his personality can shine on an origin playthrough, and he is revealed as a much more complex character.

Additionally, a Wyll play-through can be great for players who wish to get a bit of a boost on some of the dialogue dice rolls. Because Charisma is the primary ability that a Warlock bases their spells on, it should be the highest of your ability scores. Moreover, the special dialogue options, like Deception, Intimidation, Performance, and Persuasion, are also based on Charisma. Consequently, playing as Wyll will often give you better opportunities to get your way without a fight. Like Gale, Wyll is a human who can take advantage of a Quarterstaff with a Shield granting a +2 AC. Use this setup for a Warlock to gain some early defensive capabilities.

4. Karlach

Karlach Origin Character Stats:

  • Race: Zariel Tiefling
  • Class: Barbarian
  • Primary Ability Score: Strength, Constitution
  • Background: Outlander
  • Playstyle: Raging Melee
  • Best Build: Berserker Barbarian
  • Unique Interactions: Mizora (if Wyll is in the party), Dammon, Raphael, Jaheira, Gortash

Unfortunately, Karlach’s story won’t change drastically when playing her as an Origin Character in Baldur’s Gate 3. Nothing you find in the game can enable you (or her) to permanently fix her Infernal Engine. However, that doesn’t make her story any less powerful. Moreover, when playing as Karlach, you’ll get to hear a lot of her inner dialogue, in which she gives her perspective on the current situation. Additionally, you can then make choices that will influence her emotional state.

Furthermore, if you’re looking for a fun, strong, melee character, Karlach the Barbarian is your girl. She is a fantastic front-line character who is proficient in any weapon type and can use whatever is close at hand to deal powerful blows. Moreover, her high Strength and Constitution mean she can pick up and carry all those explosive barrels you want to save for that nasty boss up ahead.

While Karlach is a Barbarian, her Tiefling race makes a great build for any front-line melee class. Paladin and Fighter are alternative choices if you wish to use heavy armour and still play the front lines.

3. Astarion

Baldur's Gate 3 Astarion Origin Character

Astarion Origin Character Stats:

  • Race: High Elf
  • Class: Rogue
  • Primary Ability Score: Dexterity
  • Background: Charlatan (Deception and Sleight of Hand Proficiency)
  • Playstyle: Ranged and/or Dual Wield
  • Best Build: Thief Rogue
  • Unique Interactions: Gandrel, Cazador Szarr

The best bits of an Astarion playthrough are all front-loaded into Act 1. Early on, you’ll have to choose between hiding your vampirism or revealing it to your companions. You can choose to be up-front and tell them about it voluntarily; you can bite an enemy during battle, or you can attempt to bite a companion at night. Furthermore, you’ll also experience a nightmare that expresses Astarion’s fear of his former master, Cazador. And finally, if you run into the Gur Hunter Gandrel near the Riverside Teahouse, you can have a unique interaction there.

Act 2 includes another nightmare, but most of the rest of the Shadow-Cursed Lands will play out like normal. During Act 3 you can have a unique run-in with your spawn ‘brother’ Petras, but while there are a few new lines of dialogue with Cazador that scene will still play out much the same.

Nevertheless, playing Astarion as a Thief Rogue can make for a fun Baldur’s Gate 3 playthrough. Astarion is excellent at both stealing and Deception, and unlocking all of the chests, vaults, and doors you find will be a snap. Looting is so much more fun and easy with Astarion. Additionally, the Rogue class is great at ranged combat using the Gontr Mael longbow, or dual-wielding with Bloodthirst and Rhaspody. It’s recommended to multiclass the Rogue to the Ranger after level 5 for extra attack, making use of two attacks per action.

2. Lae’zel

Lae’zel Origin Character Stats:

  • Race: Githyanki
  • Class: Fighter
  • Primary Ability Score: Strength
  • Background: Soldier (Athletics and Intimidation Proficiency)
  • Playstyle: Military Melee
  • Best Build: Battlemaster Fighter
  • Unique Interactions: Losiir, Kith’rak Voss, Vlaakith, Orpheus

On the surface, playing as Lae’zel would seem like a straightforward rush into disaster. If everything were up to her, wouldn’t she simply head straight for the mountain pass and the crèche? (And therefore most likely to an early, under-leveled death.) However, Lae’zel has a lot of nuance to her if you look a bit more deeply, and she is much more willing to listen to companions (particularly Karlach) than she may first appear.

Furthermore, her personal story runs in a powerful parallel to the main narrative, and when playing Lae’zel, you have control of her allegiances right from the beginning. Will new discoveries make her turn, or does she hold fast to Vlaakith? Additionally, given that Lae’zel is a Githyanki, you’ll also get a lot of unique dialogue options based on her race that you wouldn’t see otherwise.

Finally, the Fighter is one of the game’s best and strongest melee classes. Getting a Feat to boost your Strength score and/or Great Weapon Master at Level 4, plus an Extra Attack at Level 5, means you’ll be well on your way to becoming a powerhouse while you’re still in Act 1. The Fighter also fits Lae’zel’s aggressive nature and is simple and powerful. We suggest not multiclassing the Fighter to gain an Improved Extra Attack at level 11, granting three attacks with one action! Our Githyanki builds list gives alternatives for Lae’zel origin character.

1. Shadowheart

Baldur's Gate 3 Shadowheart

Shadowheart Origin Character Stats:

  • Race: High Half-Elf
  • Class: Cleric
  • Primary Ability Score: Wisdom
  • Background: Acolyte (Insight and Religion Proficiency)
  • Playstyle: Healer/Tank
  • Best Build: Life Domain Cleric
  • Unique Interactions: Isobel, Viconia DeVir

Of all the Baldur’s Gate 3 origin characters, Shadowheart has the strongest tie-in to the main narrative of the game. Without her and the Astral Prism that she carries, neither she nor any of the other companions would last more than a few days before turning into mind flayers. Much like Astarion revealing his vampirism, when you play as Shadowheart you will have to choose when and how to reveal that you are a follower of Shar. Additionally, you’ll get some more insight into the wound on Shadowheart’s hand, and what she’s experiencing when it affects her.

Additionally, there will be some new features to discover in Act 2. Thanks to Shar, Shadowheart finds herself unaffected by the curse and able to walk freely. Furthermore, your meeting with the Cleric of Selune, Isobel, can take a more contentious tone. Finally, in Act 3 her confrontation with Viconia DeVir and her discovery of her parents can twist her story into a tragedy or a path to redemption.

When you’re playing as Shadowheart, we highly recommend re-rolling her subclass from Trickery Domain to the Life Domain. The Life Domain subclass offers far more utility and healing for your party, but doesn’t skimp on some strong offensive spells, either! Moreover, Life Domain gives heavy armor proficiency, freeing you to use any armor in the game. For players who don’t want to fulfill the support role, try a Light Cleric. These offensive powerhouses can play up close and personal using Radiant damage, making Shadowheart an offensive Origin Character and our number-one choice.

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