Baldur's Gate 3 is well out of the bag now and despite the lengthy gameplay reveal that Larian hosted at PAX East last month I have oh so many questions. So do you lot, it seems. Larian hosted an AMA yesterday to answer them all and though there were a few things they declined to answer, we've mostly rolled well on our Persuasion checks and come out with new details. Most importantly, yes, Baldur's Gate 3 will continue the story from Baldur's Gate and its sequel. It isn't a direct sequel, but Larian say "we wouldn’t call it Baldur’s Gate 3 if there wouldn’t be a link."
That's been a big question from the start. A lot of time has passed since the original Baldur's Gate games developed by BioWare and plenty of time has passed in the Forgotten Realms as well. Larian have hinted previously that we may spot familiar characters but the ways that Baldur's Gate 3's actual plot ties back to the earlier games isn't yet being shared. That hasn't changed much with this new Q&A, but Larian CEO Swen Vincke did at least assure players that they are connected.
"Let me just say that we touch upon the story of BG 1 & 2 in meaningful ways," Vincke says. "There are returning characters and what happened in BG 1/2/[Throne of Bhaal] leads to what happens in BG3. You won’t necessarily see that at the start of the adventure, but you will quickly understand once you get further into the game."
There are a bunch of other details in the Reddit AMA thread as well. Here are some of the highlights, by my measure:
Character creation will be similar to Divinity: Original Sin 2. We already know that, as with D:OS2, players will be able to make a custom character or choose to play as one of the "canon" story characters. Customising faces will also be similar, relying mostly on face presets, hair and skin colors, and hair styles. You won't be fiddling with a bunch of sliders. You'll also be able to choose a voice style even for a custom character and they will be fully voice-acted just like origin characters.
As for how custom characters will compare with origin characters during the story, Larian say that compared with D:OS2, "custom characters have a much stronger connection to the world and the main arc of the story. ... We’re confident that you won’t feel short-changed in terms of narrative breadth and depth if you choose to play as a custom character." I always recommended to friends that they choose one of D:OS2's origin characters rather than building their own for this reason, so it's good to see Larian adjusting their approach.
When it fully launches (after the planned early access period), Baldur's Gate 3 will let you play as any of Dungeons & Dragons' character classes from the 5th Edition ruleset. During early access, you'll be able to play as a Cleric, Fighter, Ranger, Rogue, Warlock or Wizard. One keen commenter asked about the distinction between long and short rests for Warlocks, who can regain their spell slot uses after only a short rest. Larian confirmed that yup, Warlocks will net back their spells between combat encounters, which in BG3 will count as a short rest. Your party will have to make camp to take a long rest though.
There's a lot more that you can dig up in the Reddit thread, which you can do without my assistance. I've got to clear this stage before I get kicked off it, so here's a last few details for ya.
You can find Baldur's Gate 3 on Steam.