A recent 11-minute preview of Baldur's Gate 3's full-release character creator dropped into the internet's collective lap the other day, courtesy of Kotaku, alongside an interview with lead character artist Alena Dubrovina.
The preview itself unfortunately doesn't show off much about the nitty-gritty of race and class features—sorry, pre-release theorycrafters. We did, however, get a peek at some flashy class-selection animations that sum up their fantasy with flair. The druid summons a gust of wind, the fighter shows off a little footwork—I think my personal favourite is the rogue, who rolls a coin across their fingers like they've just learned a new party trick.
We also got a further look at the dragonborn types which were announced in a community post earlier this month, and confirmed that you can have a dragonborn with or without a tail. Yes, this has really been a point of contention in the TTRPG community for some reason. While the PHB states that they "lack wings or a tail", most players rightfully ignore that sage advice, because tails are cool.
The juicer details originate from the interview with Dubrovina. Larian Studios is rightfully invested in player identity, and have provided that in the form of body-type agnostic genitalia. The option to customise your brave hero's bits isn't new information, as the tab was shown—but not explored—in the Panel From Hell showcase. What is new, however, is the news that your character's genitals are completely unrelated to their body type or voice.
"The question arose, 'what happens when you take [your underwear] off? … At first we were like, 'you know, maybe nothing's gonna happen. Maybe we're gonna have another underwear mesh under it. Who cares? But then I started thinking about it, talking about it, and we realised that for some players, it's just another way to represent their identity." You can choose between penis and vulva options, as well as whether your character has pubic hair. The article also mentions that, given their biology, dragonborn will have race-specific options.
This divorce of gender expression from body type extends to the game's voices and pronouns, too. As revealed in the Panel From Hell, body types no longer have gendered symbols to denote them. You can also choose male, female, or non-binary pronouns, and your character's voice is tied to neither choice. There's even an option to hide nudity in case you're not fussed by your character's particulars, or intend to stream the game.
From where I'm sat this just means that there's more customisation, more types of players feel seen, and you can turn them off if you don't care—everybody wins. However, while I'm hyped to get stuck in myself, I do have some minor complaints.
The creator looks comprehensive enough, but in a game like this I really wanted to see some proper sliders rather than the preset templates we have for body types and facial features. For example, a lot of the half-orc face options for the more masculine body type weren't exactly pretty.
Plus if we're going for broader representation, I'm not sure four variants of muscular or androgynous bodies really achieve that. Even so, the fact we'll be getting multiclassing and 22 subclasses to choose from means I'm bound to be experimenting for weeks. You'll be able to tinker yourself when Baldur's Gate 3 arrives on PC August 3.