The D20, or 20-sided dice, is a core element in the world of tabletop role-playing games, and it has been seamlessly integrated into the digital realm of Baldur’s Gate 3. This guide will delve into the intricacies of the D20 system in the game, helping players understand its significance and how it works with gameplay.


The D20 system is a fundamental part of Baldur’s Gate 3, mirroring its importance in Dungeons & Dragons, the tabletop game that inspired the video game. At its core, the D20 system is about rolling a 20-sided dice to determine the outcome of various actions and events.

How Baldur’s Gate 3 D20 System Works

The D20 system is a fundamental aspect of Baldur’s Gate 3, derived from the 5th edition of Dungeons and Dragons. It’s the backbone for resolving various encounters, challenges, and scenarios within the game. While many of these rolls occur behind the scenes, players can still witness the results displayed in the bottom corner of their screens. Here’s a breakdown of how it functions:

  • Dice Roll and Modifiers: Whenever an action requires a check, the game automatically rolls a D20 and combines it with the relevant modifier. This modifier often originates from one of the character’s six ability scores. In certain situations, a proficiency bonus might also be added, depending on the character’s expertise in the task at hand.
  • Circumstantial Bonuses and Penalties: The world of Baldur’s Gate 3 is dynamic, and various elements can influence the outcome of a roll. Factors such as class features, active spells, or the specific context of an action can introduce bonuses or penalties to the check. For instance, a character might have a spell or ability that grants them an advantage in persuasion checks, thereby providing a bonus when trying to convince an NPC.
  • Matching the Roll Against a Benchmark: Once the D20 is rolled and all modifiers are applied, the total is compared to a predetermined target number. If your total meets or exceeds this number, the action is deemed successful. If not, it results in a failure. These target numbers are set by the game based on the difficulty of the task and other contextual factors.
  • Player’s Role in Shaping Dice Outcomes: Players aren’t merely passive observers of these rolls. They have the agency to influence outcomes. For example, before making a crucial check, a player can opt to use a spell that might increase their chances of success. However, it’s essential to note that utilizing such spells or abilities often comes at a cost, like consuming a spell slot.

Critical Success And Failure

  • Critical Success (Natural 20): In Baldur’s Gate 3, rolling a natural 20, which means the dice lands on the number 20 without any modifiers, is considered a critical success. This result often leads to the best possible outcome for the player, whether in combat or during interactions.
  • Critical Failure (Natural 1): On the opposite end, rolling a natural 1 is deemed a critical failure. This can lead to unintended consequences, often putting the player’s character in a precarious situation.

D20 Modifiers

Modifiers play a pivotal role in the D20 system. These are numerical values derived from a character’s abilities, skills, and other factors. Modifiers can either increase or decrease the final number rolled on the D20. For instance, if a player rolls a 15 and has a +2 modifier, the final result would be 17.


D20 And Combat

Combat scenarios in Baldur’s Gate 3 heavily rely on the D20 system. Whether it’s determining the success of an attack, the effectiveness of a spell, or the outcome of a defensive maneuver, the D20 roll, combined with relevant modifiers, decides the result.

Baldur’s Gate 3 showcases the D20 roll in a visually appealing manner. Whenever a player makes a roll, the game displays a virtual D20, allowing players to witness the roll in real-time. This not only adds to the immersion but also brings the tabletop experience to the digital platform.

One of the most exciting aspects of the D20 system is its inherent unpredictability. Even seasoned players can’t always foresee the outcome of a roll. This unpredictability adds depth to the gameplay, making each decision and action truly unique.