Baldur's Gate 3 promises level 12 cap, new races, 22 new subclasses, and whopping 174 hours of cinematics in community update

Protagonists from the upcoming Baldur's Gate 3 pose dramatically in front of stormclouds, with a flying ship crashing to the earth behind them.
(Image credit: Larian Studios)

Baldur's Gate 3 just keeps getting bigger. Larian Studios dropped a new community update today, revealing a new release date as well as a huge package of features that'll be included with the full release. 

First off, the game's level cap—initially slated to be level 10—has been raised to 12. For those unfamiliar with the TTRPG ruleset Baldur's Gate 3 is built atop, that's a big deal: Dungeons and Dragons fifth edition only has 20 levels in total, so a bump from 10 to 12 is a huge power spike, providing casting classes with 6th level spells.

"While we originally planned for Level 10 to be the highest character level in the game, too many rad high-level spells would have been left just out of reach had we done so. Instead, Baldur's Gate 3 players will be able to reach Level 12, unlocking Planar Allies, Otto’s Irresistible Dance, and Chain Lightning."

Just those three spells ought to have the mages among you drooling. Planar Allies allows you to summon a divine ally for up to 10 days, Otto's Irresistible Dance forces your foes to boogie with no saving throw, and Chain Lightning can hit up to four targets with a whopping 10d8 lightning damage. Of course, we'll have to see how these translate to Larian's new colossal RPG.

A powerful dragonborn warrior stands strong in a gloomy dungeon.

(Image credit: Larian Studios)

Also mentioned are two new racial options: Half-Orcs and Dragonborn, the latter sporting 10 whole draconic subraces.

"A Dragonborn's subrace determines their damage and resistance. For Silver Dragonborn that's cold damage; for Red Dragonborn it's fire. In Baldur's Gate 3, there are 10 subraces to choose from: Black, Blue, Brass, Bronze, Copper, Gold, Green, Red, Silver and White, more subraces than any other race in the game."

The post mentions you'll be able to see the Dragonborn in action during the Panel From Hell: Reveal Showcase on July 7.

Monk will be dashing into the full release with three subclasses from the TTRPG: Way of the Open Hand, the Way of Shadow, and Way of the Four Elements.

"Monks are masters of manipulating the field of combat - pushing, pulling, and stunning enemies across the battleground using forceful Ki-powered punches. Their combat style is a balance between Fighter and Rogue, allowing them to traverse the map effortlessly - with Step of the Wind - and then strike out with powerful melee blows."

Larian also revealed a new playable character for your party, Karlach, a tiefling barbarian with a battle-scarred past, freshly escaped from a war between devils and demons. Sarah Baylus, Lead Writer at Larian Studios, sums her up nicely: 

"In a 2023 setting, [Karlach would] roll in on a Harley with shades and a cigar between her teeth, blaring Sabbath - a diesel-soaked dynamo with a heart of gold. She seeks justice for the oppressed, camaraderie, and revenge on the bastard who sold her to Hell."

A powerful tiefling barbarian stands, scarred by her previous battles with a battleaxe slung across her back.

(Image credit: Larian Studios)

Lastly, we received an estimation of how much story we can expect from Baldur's Gate 3. There's a lot of it, to put it lightly.

"Baldur’s Gate 3 has more cinematic dialogue than three times all three Lord of the Rings novels combined. It has 174 hours of cinematics, making it more than twice the length of every season of Game of Thrones combined."

Whether we'll be seeing three novel's worth of dialogue on a single playthrough—or whether Larian's rolling its branching storylines into one massive number—will have to be seen on the game's full release. Either way, it's looking like we'll need to brace for a long journey through the Forgotten Realms.

Harvey Randall
Staff Writer

Harvey's history with games started when he first begged his parents for a World of Warcraft subscription aged 12, though he's since been cursed with Final Fantasy 14-brain and a huge crush on G'raha Tia. He made his start as a freelancer, writing for websites like Techradar, The Escapist, Dicebreaker, The Gamer, Into the Spine—and of course, PC Gamer. He'll sink his teeth into anything that looks interesting, though he has a soft spot for RPGs, soulslikes, roguelikes, deckbuilders, MMOs, and weird indie titles. He also plays a shelf load of TTRPGs in his offline time. Don't ask him what his favourite system is, he has too many.