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Baldur's Gate 3

Charisma Explained in Baldur's Gate 3

Nathan Garvin

Charisma is one of the six Ability Scores that define a character’s physical and mental attributes. In Dungeons and Dragons, Ability Scores for player character races generally range from 3-18 - the result of rolling 3d6. In Baldur’s Gate 3, your player character’s starting Ability Scores will range from 8-15 by default, with racial modifiers potentially boosting them up to 17. On their own, Ability Scores don’t directly influence anything, but the higher an Ability Score is, the higher its associated modifier will be, and different Ability Score modifiers cumulatively affect just about every aspect of the game, including Attack Rolls, Damage Rolls, Skill Checks, Saving Throws, spell potency, and many, many more core aspects of the game. This page will explain what the Charisma Ability Score does in Baldur’s Gate 3.

Bards, Paladins and Sorcerers all have their spellcasting influenced by their Charisma score. Furthermore, Charisma governs skills that pop up when you interact with others, like Deception, Intimidation, Perform and Persuasion.

What Does Charisma Do In Baldur’s Gate 3

Force of personality.

Affects your 4 Charisma Skills, influences traders’ prices, and improves spellcasting for bards, sorcerers, and warlocks.

  • Skills: You add (or subtract) your Charisma modifier to a related group of social skills, including Deception, Intimidation, Performance and Persuade. These are checked regularly when you’re interacting with other characters, and can be quite useful in getting conversations to go your way. If you want to resolve some encounters without violence, a high Charisma score will help.

  • Saving Throws: You add your Charisma modifier to Charisma Saving Throws.

  • Bard/Paladin/SorcererWarlock Spellcasting: Just as Wizards use Intelligence as their primary spellcasting Ability Score and Clerics and Druids use Wisdom, Bards, Paladins, Sorcerers and Warlocks use Charisma. This makes Bards, Sorcerers and Warlocks by far the biggest beneficiaries of Charisma, as their Charisma modifier affects their spellcasting in two ways: First, the Saving Throws their spells impose is equal to 8 + Proficiency + Charisma modifier - the higher a spell’s Saving Throw, the less likely enemies are to resist, mitigate or otherwise avoid the effects of your spells. Second, your Attack Rolls with spells are boosted by your Charisma modifier (10 + Proficiency + Charisma modifier), so any spells that have an Attack Roll will be more likely to hit. Bards, Sorcerers and Warlocks do not prepare spells as Clerics, Druids and Wizards do, so Charisma can’t give them a bonus to prepared spells.

Charisma has the dubious honor of being the go-to dump stat in the Baldur’s Gate series - if you weren’t a Bard or a Paladin, the stat just wasn’t that important for gameplay purposes. Granted, the fact that any character could just wear a Ring of Human Influence and get their Charisma boosted to 18 in Baldur’s Gate 2 didn’t help, either, but aside from some quest rewards being beefier and NPCs occasionally friendlier, there wasn’t much to recommend Charisma in older games.

With the addition of proper skills in 3rd Edition, Charisma became more appealing, as it now directly influenced various skills that governed your interactions with other characters - a bit better than the nebulous “reaction bonus” Charisma gave in earlier Baldur’s Gate games. Spellcasting classes have also proliferated since then, and now that three different spellcasters derive their spellcasting prowess from Charisma, the Ability Score is simply more appealing to more classes. If you’re a Bard, Paladin, Sorcerer or Warlock, you’ll want to boost Charisma fairly high. If not, it’s a fairly safe dump stat.

Since Charisma also influences numerous useful dialog-based skills, it’s not a bad idea to try and double up the utility Charisma gives by ensuring your Charisma-based casters are also proficient in Deception, Persuasion and Intimidation. Either way, if you’re one of the classes who needs Charisma to boost their spells, you’ll want it fairly high. If not, you can use it as a dump stat.

Charisma Score Charisma Modifier
1 -5
2-3 -4
4-5 -3
6-7 -2
8-9 -1
10-11 0
12-13 +1
14-15 +2
16-17 +3
18-19 +4
20-21 +5
22-23 +6
24-25 +7
26-27 +8
28-29 +9
30 +10
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Guide Information
  • Publisher
    Larian Studios
  • Platforms,
    Mac, PC, PS5, XB X|S
  • Genre
    Adventure, RPG
  • Guide Release
    6 April 2023
  • Last Updated
    26 March 2024
    Version History
  • Guide Author

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Baldur’s Gate 3 is an immersive roleplaying game set in the Dungeons & Dragons universe. It features a rich story with multiple outcomes for almost every encounter, and plenty of character customization features including more races, classes, subclasses and party combinations than you are ever likely to explore. The seemingly endless possibilities and numerous choices that you can make throughout your journey make a helping hand always welcome, and that’s where we come in! This guide features the following:

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