|Items of Interest||Area||Location|
|Dagger +1||AR2618||x=490, y=410|
You start your adventure just outside of the Candlekeep Inn (x=1060, y=520), and while you’re tasked with picking up some supplies for the journey ahead (of indeterminate duration and direction, one might add), there are people to talk to, quests to complete, loot to be collected, and vicious foes to vanquish, first. Besides, it would be silly to go shopping prematurely when you might get your hands on more loot shortly - no need to settle for subpar gear, right?
Start by heading northeast and as you travel note the Tutors (the guys in green robes) standing around. You can talk to them to learn about basic aspects of the game. Chat with them when you need to, and when you’re an unquestioned expert in all things Baldur’s Gate, continue northeast to find Phlydia (x=3600, y=310), who will ask you to find her copy of The History of Halruaa, which she foolishly misplaced somewhere. This starts the quest Phlydia’s Book. Huzzah, your first quest! Once you slay the dragon roosting upon this tome, you’ll certainly have enough money to purchase whatever you wish!
Let’s focus on this quest for now and head east past some cows and Tutors, as well as past the "Priest’s Quarters" building (x=2950, y=400), which you’ll get to later. At (x=3270, y=420) you’ll find Dreppin, who will tell you that Phlydia left her book in the hay (x=3250, y=290). Not quite the dragon we were looking for, but… well, who can fault it for hiding the book in some hay and fleeing at our approach?
|x=3250, y=290 : History of Halruaa|
Note: You can hold the Tab key to highlight interactable objects - like the hay where the dragon hid Phlydia’s History of Halruaa. Sure beats waving the cursor around madly and hoping you stumble upon something like in the good old days.
Grab the book, backtrack to Phlydia and return it to her for your first, magnificent reward… 50 EXP and, if she likes you enough, a Lynx Eye Gem. All joking aside, that’s actually not a bad reward for such a paltry task.
|For returning Phlydia's book||50 EXP / Lynx Eye Gem|
Reaction Modifiers: It’s a sad fact of life that the prettier you are, the more people tend to like you. This holds true in Baldur’s Gate, as well, as every NPC makes an unseen Reaction check when talking to you. At its extremes this might rarely effect what they say to you, but mostly it’ll influence what quest rewards they give you. Your Reaction modifier is influenced by your Charisma stat and your Reputation, neither of which you can do much to improve at the moment. Playing a character with low Charisma of dubious morality may cost you some rewards in the early-going, but in the long term, you can just get prettier characters to do the talking for you, or bolster your appearance with items or spells.
Friends: Another useful early-game spell is the Friends spell, which will temporarily boost the caster’s Charisma score by six, with all the attendant bonuses that comes with it. Namely, better Reaction modifiers, which could lead to better quest rewards and lower prices at shops. If your caster’s natural Charisma score is low, this spell could quickly become obsolete when you start recruiting allies with a higher base Charisma (10 + 6 is still worse than a natural 18, after all), but assuming that’s not the case, you could regularly benefit from this spell by casting it on yourself before turning in quests or shopping. Just make sure the character with the highest Charisma is the one who does the talking.
If you don’t start out with this spell, don’t be bothered by it too much - you can acquire it pretty quickly after Candlekeep, and it’s a common low-level drop. It’s useful and may be worth using if you have it, but it’s probably not going out of your way for.
Attacked by Assassin - Shank
Now return back east to the Priest’s Quarters (x=2950, y=400) (AR2627), which you may as well explore en route to Dreppin. Before you go inside, save your game - you know, in case a book falls of a shelf onto your head or something (you didn’t read the header yet, right? Good) - and enter the building.
Once you enter the building a man named Shank will attack you. As the first battle of the game, it shouldn’t be too tough, despite the fact that you’re armed with an over-glorified stick… and if something should go horribly awry (RNG is ever a fickle mistress in Baldur’s Gate) you saved just outside… right? If you’re a caster, keep in mind that you’ve got some spells you can throw at Shank, and if that’s not enough, you can always flee the building and run to one of the Watchers - you know, the big guys in plate mail whose job it is to handle this sort of thing? It’s worth noting that you can pause the game at any time by pressing the Space Bar button - expect to do this a lot.
Either way, once Shank is dead loot him and the building around you. Pick locks if you can - in the Enhanced Edition, picking locks and disarming traps nets you some experience (like in Baldur’s Gate 2) so it’s worth trying if you have a Thief… which in this case, your only option is to have a Thief protagonist. If you’re not a Thief, you can attempt to employ brute force to open locked objects, just click on whatever weapon you have equipped at the bottom of the screen and the cursor will change into a sword, indicating that you’ll now attack whatever you select next… including obstinate chests! Your success at this particular brand of thuggery will depend on your Strength score, and honestly, unless you have over 18 Strength you’re probably just wasting your time. Later on, Wizards can learn a Knock spell which will suffice to open almost all locked containers throughout the rest of the game (and the entirety of the sequel!), but that’s still likely a ways off.
Anyways, loot and leave.
|x=130, y=320 : Dagger|
|x=100, y=200 : 8 gold|
|(x=480, y=220 : War Hammer|
Find Familiar: My good protagonist is Fighter/Mage and my evil protagonist is a Fighter/Mage/Thief. Either way, I have access to Wizard spells, one of which being Find Familiar. You should only need to cast this spell once, as doing so will conjure a familiar for your protagonist which confers a variety of bonuses upon the caster, including a permanent HP boost equal to half the familiar’s HP (either 4 or 6, depending on the caster’s alignment). The downside is, if the fragile beast dies, you’ll suffer some hefty penalties, chiefly a permanent one point reduction in Constitution. That said, you can simply talk to your familiar once it’s summoned (press F1 or click the Talk button at the bottom of the screen) and put it in your pack, forever safe from damage. Six bonus HP accounts for over 50% of my protagonist’s HP total, and during these fragile early levels every bit will help.
Familiar Theft: Not all familiars are the same, and although they’re all worth casting due to the Hit Point boost they provide, some are little more than inventory-stuffers. Others can be quite a bit more useful, but for the sake of focus, we’ll limit ourselves to discussing those that can use Thief skills. The Ferret, Rabbit and Cat all have some paltry Thief skills, but any familiars that have access to any Thieving skills should be able to use the "Thieving" command. This should include Pick Pockets, whether the critter has any appreciable skill in it or not.
While all familiars have low enough scores in these skills as to make them very limited in scope, as long as they have them they can Pock Pocket, and as long as they can Pick Pocket there’s a bit of an exploit they can take advantage of. While you shouldn’t expect them to successful rob most NPCs (and even then, not without a lot of save/loading) they can Pick Pocket your own party members without consequence. Even this will take some effort, but once the familiar succeeds there’s a chance they’ll take an item from the character’s inventory and put it in their own. They can carry roughly as much as a normal character, but have no encumbrance limit, allowing them to carry as much heavy junk as you need them to.
There are some limitations to this, however. Aside from the tedium of waiting for your familiar to succeed at stealing from you (you’d be wise to remove everything from a target character’s inventory save the heavy stuff you want the familiar to steal - equipped items cannot be stolen) you can’t access items the familiar possesses aside from transferring all said items to your own inventory. To do this you’ll need to talk to your familiar (F1 by default) and pick the option "Give me anything you have pickpocketed, will you?". Again, this will transfer all the familiar’s items at once - anything that you can’t carry will be dropped. You also can’t put the familiar back in your backpack while it’s carrying items, as it’ll just transfer them all to you, so you’ll need to be cautious while you use your familiar as a mule.
Still, it can allow you to haul back more loot than you’d normally be able to, and is worth considering in some situations.
When you exit the Priest’s Quarters, a man named Parda will question you. Answer him however you will, either way he’ll suggest you finish your preparations and depart with Gorion. They clearly know much more than they’re letting on.
Oh well, no sense in letting a little murder get in the way of our busy day of questing. Return to Dreppin and he’ll ask you to get an antidote from Hull for his poor cow, Nessa. Quests galore! This starts the quest Dreppin’s Cow, which is simple enough to complete, and for the sake of continuity (you’ll be hearing this a lot) we’ll get it out of the way now… even if it means dodging some other attention-starved NPCs in the meantime.
From Dreppin, keep following the trail east and south, past an open-air shrine to Oghma. Bet they have to repaint this thing every year, but I guess it’s a welcome break from supervising books… Anyways, you can talk to the Priest of Oghma and gain access to various priestly services, none of which you should either need nor be able to afford at this time. That being the case, continue south past Jondalar (x=4100, y=1330) and Reevor (x=4330, y=1450), who will be worth talking to later, then turn southwest to finally find Hull at (x=3650, y=2430).
Talk to Hull, who will ask you to retrieve his sword for him, which he left in the Barracks. Also, he’ll tell you that the potion Dreppin wants is where his sword is. Convenient. This starts the quest Hull’s Sword - you’ve got so many quests, even your quests are having quests! If you continue southwest, then west you’ll reach the Barracks, but some pushy old Gatewarden (x=3210, y=2880) will try to pressure you into some group training. No need to bother with that yet, so backtrack north and west to the Candlekeep Inn (x=1060, y=520), then venture south and east.
Eventually you’ll spot the Barracks at (x=1570, y=2450) (AR2618). Loot the barrel outside of the Barracks (x=1410, y=2680) then enter the Barracks, where you’ll find Fuller (x=490, y=410). Hull’s chest is at (x=650, y=260), and while it’s hardly the only bit of loot in this area, we wouldn’t suggest stealing from the Barracks, as you’re likely to get caught doing so. Instead, be a good ward, talk to Fuller and pick the dialogue option "I was just wondering if you had any errands I could run." to find out that, of course, he does. Apparently he needs a quarrel of crossbow bolts, and can’t get them himself because Candlekeep Inn is aaaaall the way over there. This starts the quest An Errand for Fuller. We’re in questception territory now.
|x=1410, y=2680 : 8 gold|
Crime and Punishment: Crime in Baldur’s Gate is pretty straight-forward - if somebody sees you taking things that don’t belong to you, they’ll call the guards… assuming there are guards to be called, otherwise more proactive NPCs might take justice into their own hands. The former case is far more common, and while you may be tempted to reload when the law comes barging in on your well-intentioned appraisals of other people’s wealth, all is not lost.
If the guard manages to catch you, you may be able to bribe them or pick a fight, but you’re better off not letting it come to that. It’s rather counterproductive to lose wealth while you’re stealing, and turning people hostile and/or losing reputation (both consequences of fighting the guard) is even worse. And if you feel tempted to say "well yeah but I’m evil" - there’s stupid evil, and then there’s smart evil, and smart evil is not causing more trouble for yourself than necessary. Go around terrorizing the populace too much and end up with a low reputation and you’ll be perpetually harassed by a squad of high-powered Flaming Fist mercenaries. Don’t be stupid evil. Stupid evil tends not to make it all that far into the game.
So, getting caught by the guard isn’t necessarily grounds for reloading, but the guard appearing isn’t always. If you can escape to another area before the guard manages to talk to you, you’ll be fine. The guard will disappear after a while (rest a few times, save your game, and check again) and you only suffer the consequences for your action if the guard actually manage to talk to you. That being the case, where stealth isn’t possible, simply grabbing whatever treasure you desire and bolting for the door will suffice.
Also keep in mind that the gameplay mechanics of stealing aren’t an exact science, either. You typically won’t get in trouble for picking or bashing a locked container, nor for casting a Knock spell on it, but if you actually go to open said container… well, that’s a different story. You also won’t get caught unless an NPC can see you doing it, so blocking access to rooms with loot with another character can prove handy, as can the Stealth skill and spells like Invisibility. That said, sometimes an NPC will be provoked into calling the guards when they noticed they’ve been robbed, not just when they catch you in the process of robbing, so saving regularly and not sticking around for any great length of time are both advised. There will be some trial and error when it comes to stealing, even if you’re familiar with the game - it’s just a wonky system.
Anywho, loot the aforementioned chest at (x=650, y=260) and grab both Hull’s Long Sword and the Antidote, then exit the Barracks. Now all you need to do to finish this quest is to backtrack to old Dreppin and his poor cow, and if you make your way clockwise you can avoid the Gatewarden for now. Return to Dreppin unmolested and he’ll mention some iron crisis, which has made the local bandits somewhat keen on certain parcels of the adventuring profession - namely armor. Certainly such business will never have any impact on us, personally. Your reward for this epic bovine rescue is… 50 XP. What? Guy raises cows for a living, you didn’t expect him to have money to give you, right?
|x=650, y=260 : Hull's Long Sword, Antidote|
|x=200, y=170 : Dagger, Long Sword|
|x=180, y=250 : War Hammer, Dagger|
|x=170, y=320 : Battle Axe|
|x=140, y=400 : Long Sword, Mace|
|For giving Dreppin an antidote||50 XP|
You’ve mostly completed this quest, all you really have to do is turn it in. Still, for the sake of continuity (told you that you’d be seeing this a lot), let’s wrap this quest up. In case you for some reason didn’t manage it earlier, you’ll need to enter the Barracks (x=1570, y=2450) (AR2618), inside of which you’ll find Hull’s chest (x=650, y=260) which naturally contains Hull’s Long Sword. Grab it and take it back to Hull near the gate to Candlekeep (x=3650, y=2430).
Hull’s generosity is another example of that under-the-hood Reaction check in action. If Hull likes you, you’ll get 50 XP and 20 gold - a hefty reward considering his sword is only worth 7 gold. If he’s not that keen on you he’ll give you 50 XP and 10 gold, which is still a fine reward. His dialogue may also vary if you get his sword before talking to him and starting this quest, for what that’s worth.
|For giving Hull his sword (low Reaction)||50 XP / 10 gold|
|For giving Hull his sword (high Reaction)||50 XP / 20 gold|
Combat Practice with Jondalar
From Hull backtrack north to find Jondalar (x=4100, y=1330) again, who will give you some combat training if you talk to him. If you’re new to the game, you might as well indulge. After the chat ends, Jondalar will attack, but he’ll immediately be joined by a man named Erik (x=4170, y=1100) who will pepper you from afar with arrows. Through the magic of tutorials, this won’t hurt, and the tutorial will end when you run up and smack Erik with your standard-issue Quarterstaff. This tutorial is there to teach you to… watch out for random archers popping up? Actually, that’s not a bad thing to learn, and in the Enhanced Edition, it’s easier to keep an eye on things since you can zoom out.
Reaving Rats for Reevor
No fancy reward for Jondalar’s interaction, save the unquantifiable value of the training itself. A short ways to the southeast you’ll find a dwarf named Reevor (x=4330, y=1450), who will offer you a more tangible reward for a bit of combat. Talk to him and he’ll tell you to clear the rats out of the storehouse. Head inside the Storehouse (x=4350, y=1400) (AR2606) to do just that.
Inside the Storehouse you’ll be accosted by several rats, who walk up to you and wait to be smote. Oblige them, loot the building, chastise the lazy cats for not doing their ONE JOB, and return to Reevor for your reward.
|x=100, y=200 : Silver Ring|
|For killing Reevor's rats||50 XP / 5 gold|
Gatewarden’s Group Combat Tutorial
Venture south, then southwest past Hull to find the Gatewarden (x=3120, y=2880), who you need not bother avoiding anymore. When you have him on screen he’ll approach you and initiate conversation, offering to train you in group tactics. If you decide to go, follow him to the building he mentions (x=3020, y=3050), where you’ll get a party with which to fight a number of illusory foes, courtesy of Obe the illusionist.
When your companions join and the illusory monsters attack you’ll be able to engage in combat the likes of which you’ll aspire to when your adventure properly begins. On the right side of the screen you’ll find the portraits of all you companions. You can select a specific companion by clicking on their portrait or their in-game sprite. If you hold the Shift or Ctrl keys while you click you’ll add or remove more characters to the current selection. The number buttons (1-0) will also select a specific character based on their order in the party lineup - the 1 key will select the first character, 2 the second, and so on, while 7 will select the first two characters, 8 the next two and 9 the last two, while the 0 key will select the entire party… or you can just press and hold the left mouse button and drag a selection box over the characters you want to select.
After Obe summons some monsters for you to fight, pause the game, select the party at your disposal and click on the critters you want to die. The first foes you’ll face off against are a host of Gibberlings, who shouldn’t be any trouble for your team… mostly because they can’t do any damage. If you want to get a hang on some spellcasting practice, select Osprey, click the spell icon (crescent moon and stars), select the spell you want to cast (say, Magic Missile) then select a target.
Also note the magic of Party AI, which you can toggle off and on by pressing the A button or by clicking the lantern icon at the bottom right of the screen. You can customize AI scripts in the character record menu (press the R button to summon this menu), click the "Customize" button, then select "Script". When we bother using the AI (see note below) we’ve always had a simple enough time just selecting the "STANDARD ATTACK" script - you’ll attack enemies in sight with whatever weapon you have equipped Not elegant, nor suitable for difficult encounters, but ideally you’ll intervene (direct commands take precedence over AI scripts) when necessary, leaving AI scripts only for those battles with foes you can afford to contemn, or for general mop-up when victory is inevitable.
Note: AI Scripts can be a good thing, but honestly, we’ve found relying on the AI too much to be a nuisance. The AI will almost never handle things as well as you will, and leaving AI on will inevitably at some point result in a character running off into a bad situation - chasing enemies only to find more foes you’re not prepared to fight, or across hidden traps being two common occurrences. It might seem useful to set up AI scripts to handle healing, and ranged combat, but again, the actual combat mechanics of disengagement and healing are best left to you. The AI scripts in practice are at best wasteful, and at worst fatally incompetent. Most of the time we keep AI off.
Note: In case you’re wondering, no, you cannot unequip your temporary companions, put their gear on your protagonist and keep it. It all vanishes when you end this tutorial. But we like that sort of thinking - there are quite a few sneaky ways to get extra loot and quest rewards in this game.
Once every couple of rounds Obe will ask if you’ve had enough, and when you have, pick the dialogue option "I think I’ve had enough, just take me outside.".
Note: There are multiple containers in this warehouse, and while there’s no loot to be had here, there are two locked chests. You can select Deder and have him pick the locks (click the "Thieving" button on the action bar at the bottom of the screen, then select the offending chest) for 10 XP each. It’s an absolute pittance, and in a party full of six characters that has to split six ways, but if you want to scrounge every bit of XP…
When you’re back outside, make your way east to the building at (x=3550, y=2950), which just so happens to be the Candlekeep Hospital (AR2605). Talk to the Priest of Oghma that wanders around and he’ll offer to
give you a Healing Potion. Why refuse? There’s another potion you can filch from the desk at (x=660, y=410) but the guards will be called on you.
This may be your first theft of the game, so keep in mind what was mentioned earlier and put it into practice. Namely the fact that if you’re caught stealing (your theft will almost certainly be discovered at some point in this small building) the guards will be summoned, and if said guards manage to initiate dialogue with you, it’ll likely end in a fight and/or a reputation drop. If the guards cannot find you, however, you will not suffer any consequences. The solution, then, is clear - steal what you want, then bolt for the door.
As long as you avoid contact with the guards, you will get away with your thieving consequence-free, and the guards will vanish if you wait a few days (game time). That’s the model of stealing for the Enhanced Edition. Steal, sneak, flee. Get used to it, you may be doing it a lot.
|x=660, y=410 : Potion of Healing|
Attacked by Assassins - Carbos
Head west until you come across the Bunkhouse, which is your last stop before you finally venture into Candlekeep Inn. Loot the chest outside, then head into the Bunkhouse (x=2070, y=2670) (AR2607), inside of which you’ll be accosted by another would-be assassin named Carbos. He’s not very different from Shank, stat-wise, to cut him down and leave the building. Just like the last time you fought of a would-be assassin you’ll be pestered by a tardy monk outside, this time named Karan. Like Parda, he’ll ask you a question, and your response is irrelevant. Curious these monks seem to understand why assassins would be after you, always ready to respond after the violence is over, and entirely unwilling to share any useful information.
|x=2150, y=2750 : 15 gold|
An Errand for Fuller
Oh well, nothing that can be done about it now. Time to head to Candlekeep Inn (x=1060, y=520), inside of which you’ll find Winthrop (x=670, y=410). From him you can buy all the goodies you’ll need to get started… he sells just about every weapon out there, but before we get into that let’s finish up Fuller’s quest real quick. Navigate Winthrop’s tired joke however you wish, then you’ll find yourself on the shopping screen.
There are three icons on the bottom of the screen in this case, and while the variety of services may vary based upon merchant, Winthrop offers "Rooms", "Buy and Sell" and "Drinks", as indicated by the three icons, from left to right. Don’t be profligate with your gold and just pick the "Buy and Sell" option for now, and once you’re staring at the massive array of arms and armor available to you, scroll down until you find some Bolts. One gold coin will get you twenty of them, so buy some Bolts, leave the Candlekeep Inn and return to the Barracks (x=1570, y=2450) (AR2618) where you’ll find Fuller (x=490, y=410).
If you started the quest earlier, great - talk to Fuller and give him the Bolts for a reward. If not, talk to Fuller, ask "I was just wondering if you had any errands I could run." to pick up the quest, then talk to him again to give him the Bolts. Either way, you’re done with this quest.
As with Hull and Phlydia, your reward varies based on your Reaction modifier (if you forgot, it’s a mix of Reputation and Charisma, for the most part). If Fuller doesn’t like you much, your reward will be 50 XP and 10 gold, while if he does he’ll give you 50 XP and a Dagger +1 instead. There are many reasons to prefer the latter reward to the former, but one of the more obvious is the fact that a Dagger +1 will sell for a cool 150 gold.
|For giving Fuller a score of bolts (low Reaction)||50 XP / 10 gold|
|For giving Fuller a score of bolts (high Reaction)||50 XP / Dagger +1|
Identifying Magical Items: Magical items are great, who doesn’t love them? They do… magical stuff, and generally make your life better. Magical items are generally unidentified when you find them, their properties hidden until a character with a sufficient Lore score examines said item, or until an Identify spell is cast.
Identify is a 1st-level Wizard spell that will become a staple in your spellbooks. Once it’s memorized, simply right-click on an unidentified magical item and if your Lore skill is insufficient to glean its properties you’ll be able to click on the "Identify" button on the bottom left of the screen. Sure, constantly having to keep spell-slots filled with such trivial spells is kind of a shame, but it’s a necessary evil, one the sequel honestly deals with a bit better… you know, when 1st-level spells are far less relevant.
Anywho, your Lore stat can also be used to identify unknown magical items. To do this, just right-click on said magical item and if the stats aren’t revealed in detail, your Lore wasn’t high enough. Your Lore score is largely a function of your class/level and your Intelligence and Wisdom scores. Bards gain 10 Lore per level, Thieves and Mages gain 3 Lore per level, and everybody else gains one point per level. If your Intelligence/Wisdom scores are 15 you’ll gain 3 Lore, at 16 you’ll gain 5 Lore, 17 is worth 7 Lore and 18 is worth 10 Lore. Suffice to say, since a 5th-level Bard has a higher Lore score than a 7th-level Wizard with high Intelligence and Wisdom, you might as well consider Lore a function of the Bard class.
Magical Weapons: Magical items are wonderful and all (save the ones that are cursed, they kind of suck), but magical weapons… well, there are a few things about magical weapons that make them extra important (and we daresay iconic?).
First, and most obviously, magical weapons tend to have a "+ X" after their name, which indicates the weapon’s enhancement bonus. Generally speaking, a weapon’s enhancement bonus indicates what bonus to THAC0 and damage the weapon gains in combat, but some weapons will vary from this to some extent. For example, the Dagger +1 you may have received from Fuller has a +1 bonus to THAC0 and a +1 bonus to damage.
Second, many monsters are outright immune to mundane weapons, or weapons with an insufficient enhancement bonus. This isn’t 3rd Edition Dungeon and Dragons, if your weapon isn’t sufficiently enchanted, it won’t do any damage to one of these powerful creatures. Creatures immune to nonmagical weapons are uncommon, especially in the early parts of the game, but if you get your hands on any +2 weapons you should consider holding onto them for later, as some bosses are immune to weapons of lesser enchantment. Even if you’re not proficient with said +2 weapon, being able to deal with with a weapon you’re not skilled with is better than being incapable of dealing damage with a weapon you’re skilled at using.
Finally, due to various as-of-yet only hinted at plot elements, non-magical metal weapons in Baldur’s Gate have a tendency to "rot", breaking during use. The sooner you get your hands on magical weapons, the sooner you’ll be able to stop worrying about your weapons breaking.
Anyways, magical dagger or no, return to Candlekeep Inn to give it the proper exploring it has long since avoided.
Candlekeep Inn, Downstairs
Return to Candlekeep Inn (x=1060, y=520) again and this time ignore Winthrop - there’s still a bit more loot to collect before you bother buying and selling anything else, so let’s turn our attention elsewhere.
At (x=200, y=400) you’ll find Firebead Elvenhair. Talk to him and he’ll ask you to retrieve a Scroll of Identify from Tethtoril, starting the quest Firebead’s Scroll. We’ll get on this shortly.
Did You Know?: There’s a stupidly obscure Easter-egg regarding Firebead Elvenhair… it’s a fairly profitable one, too. If you talk to him exactly 30 times and wait a few seconds, you’ll be given 300 gold. Extra coin at this point in the game can’t hurt, right?
Speaking of spell scrolls, grab the Scroll of Armor and the Scroll of Infravision from the dresser at (x=800, y=250). You may have to bash or pick the dresser to get it open, but with luck it should yield, and nobody seems to mind your theft this time around. Thank you, fog of war!
Scrolls: Scrolls have two major functions in Baldur’s Gate: casting the spell on the scroll, or scribing the spell.
To cast a spell from a scroll, you simply need to equip said scroll into a quick item slot via your inventory screen (press the I button to access your inventory - the quick item slots are on the left-hand side of the screen, under your weapon slots). Back on the main game screen you should now find any equipped scrolls on the right end of the icon bar at the bottom of the screen. Generally you can only equip - and hence cast - spell scrolls of a type you could ordinarily cast. Mages can use arcane spell scrolls and Clerics can use Divine spell scrolls, but not the other way around, and if you’re not a caster of any sort, you can’t use any spell scrolls. Some rogue classes may gain the ability to use spell scrolls in Baldur’s Gate 2, but… that’s a fair distance off.
Scribing spells from scrolls is perhaps even more important, as doing so will give the scribing character permanent access to the scribed spell, although they still need to memorize and prepare the spell as normal. To do so, right-click on the desired scroll in your inventory and click the "Write Magic" option on the bottom right of the screen. Only arcane spellcasters casters can scribe scrolls from spells, divine spellcasters automatically learn all available spells, so they don’t need to scribe spells. Keep in mind that based on an arcane spellcaster’s Intelligence score they may not always succeed at scribing scrolls and there’s a limit to what level - and how many spells per level - they can learn. This is generally not a big long-term issue provided your Intelligence is relatively decent, as various items can be used to boost your Intelligence (even if temporarily) to bypass these limitations. You can save/load scribing attempts until you succeed, and with an Intelligence score of 19 or higher there’s functionally no limitation to how many spells you can learn per level.
Both casting and scribing spell scrolls consume the scroll in question. You can remove spells from your spellbook by right-clicking on the spell icon, but keep in mind this is permanent. If you want that spell back you’ll have to find another scroll, which isn’t guaranteed.
Only one more thing to do here now before you head upstairs. In a room to the north you’ll find a pair of nobles standing around. Talk to the male (x=550, y=200) and when you get a chance to reply pick dialogue option #3 ("Oh, I would not let it concern you, milady. Perhaps they are not used to wealth such as yours. You are quite wealthy, are you not? Bring a lot of expensive jewelry with you?") to lavish an unseemly amount of attention on their status symbols. Most characters will be reprimanded with threats of incarceration, but if you manage to get a good Reaction check from the noble his wife will mistake your larcenous intent and decide to put her jewelry back in their room, to avoid offending the monks with any
further ostentatious displays. Anyways, when you’re done with this level head upstairs (x=350, y=250).
|x=800, y=250 : 18 gold, Scroll of Armor, Scroll of Infravision|
|x=650, y=100 : Dagger|
Candlekeep Inn, Upstairs
Go around looting, there’s not really much else to do on this floor besides antagonize nobles. If you have a great amount of Strength (and by "a great amount", we mean more than is legitimately possible to get with a new character), or a terribly high lock pick score (60 or more), or a Knock spell memorized, you can get at the Star Sapphire in the dresser at (x=420, y=170). However, to get this you need one of three things: either a character from a previous playthrough, a character who has been modified by console commands or a save editor, or a Thief with the appropriate skills. For the rest of us, the gem is just there to mock us. Even if you have a Thief, investing in the Open Locks skill is, in the long-term, a waste of points, so we suggest just ignoring it.
On the other hand, if you managed to convince the nobles downstairs into putting their jewelry away, the Star Sapphire in the dresser at (x=420, y=170) will be joined by a Pearl Necklace and a Fire Opal Ring. The Star Sapphire alone sells for 1,000 gold, while the Fire Opal Ring is worth 250 gold, and the Pearl Necklace will burden your purse with 500 gold. It’s not a bad bit of starting money… ignoring the fact it’s probably out of reach for most characters. It’s also worth noting that the nobles will still plant their goodies in the dresser if you rob the Star Sapphire from it before talking to them and convincing them to stash the rest of their loot. Not very smart, eh?
Finally, in the room across the hall you’ll find another dresser (x=570, y=300) which contains quite a few gold coins worth pocketing, as well as a watchful Nobleman (x=520, y=350). While the Star Sapphire in the previous room likely will teach you a lesson about learning to let go of what you cannot obtain (and rewarding the odd thief - bless them, they need the help), this room is also instructional. It’ll teach you about the limitations of the grab-and-dash and reinforce the Star Sapphire’s lesson about when it’s best to just let sparkly things lie.
You can most likely bash or pick your way into the dresser, but if you dare touch the goods within, the Nobleman will call the guard. The distance to the stairs and narrow confines of the area make it very hard to escape without trouble. A Thief with the Stealth skill might be able to steal the loot, hide, wait for the guard to get out of the way, and escape, but other characters are playing a riskier game.
That said, we were able to escape without consequence by running to the stairs, and when caught by the guard picking the dialogue option "I don’t have any gold. Can’t we just forgive and forget?". Naturally the guard wasn’t happy and attacked us, but clicking on the stairs again got out out of the area without any loss to reputation, and the guard won’t follow you downstairs if he hasn’t actually initiated combat (if you see the text Watcher: Attacks [Charname], you probably just want to reload).
Even better, if you snatch the goods, run to the stairs, and when the guard appears click on the stairs again the game might generously allow you to head downstairs without having to walk near the guard, avoiding any confrontation at all. This should take a few tries to get right, as the pathfinding is notoriously fickle at the best of times. You’ll have to wait a while for the guard to leave, but if you save this bit of robbery for last there’s also no reason you have to head upstairs again at all.
You can also just kill the Nobleman so you can rob him in peace, but the Reputation loss isn’t worth the reward in this case, and almost never is.
In any event, you can view this as a nice little bit of practice in an advanced bit of grab-and-run if you wish, and the reward for pulling this last heist off isn’t terrible. 86 gold in raw coinage, and the Flamedance Ring sells for another 62 gold, for a total of 148 gold. Speaking of which, it’s probably time to talk about what to buy.
|x=100, y=270 : 4 gold|
|x=170, y=350 : Silver Necklace|
|x=380, y=400 : Potion of Clarity, 36 gold|
|x=420, y=170 : Star Sapphire, (Pearl Necklace, Fire Opal Ring)|
|x=570, y=300 : Flamedance Ring, 86 gold|
When you’re back downstairs, talk to Winthrop again and sell off any gems, jewelry and weapons you may have picked up around Candlekeep, for what can generously be called pocket change. Every little bit helps, but honestly your starting gold and the money you made from the silly Firebead trick probably account for the lionshare of your resources, provided you didn’t manage to obtain the Star Sapphire, Pearl Necklace and Fire Opal Ring earlier. In any event, we’ll assume everybody has roughly 400 gold to spend, which should be more than enough to purchase your initial gear.
First, if you’re a single-class Mage, you’re already done. You might want to buy a Sling and some Bullets - you don’t want to be in melee combat due to your low Hit Points and Armor Class, and you don’t have a whole lot of spells, so this will give you some way to contribute. Anybody who can use any sort of conventional bow (Shortbow, Longbow or Composite Longbow) should consider buying one and some arrows - they’re by and far the superior ranged weapons in the game, provided you’re proficient with them. Heavier melee types might want to consider buying Splint Mail and a Large Shield (provided you’re not using a two-handed weapon), although your weapon type should match your proficiencies. Last and not least, if you can wear a Helmet, buy one. It’ll prevent critical hits, and at this point in the game almost any critical hit can force you to reload. One gold coin isn’t a lot to pay for critical hit insurance.
Note: We buy two Morning Stars for our good protagonist - a Fighter/Mage - and two Long Swords for our evil protagonist - a Fighter/Mage/Thief. We also buy a Helmet, but otherwise no armor. Wearing most armor will hinder their spellcasting abilities, and if they need some armor at a later date, they’ll soon find some without having to pay for it.
Note: Keep in mind that nonmagical metal weapons will eventually break with use, so you might want to buy a spare, just in case. Armor, shields, and non-metallic weapons (bows, staves, slings, etc.) do not suffer from this liability.
When you’re done up here, you’re done with the Candlekeep Inn.
Only one thing left to do before you leave - find Tethtoril and retrieve Firebead’s scroll. He can be found wandering around the central area of Candlekeep, near the… actual keep after which this place is named. While his location varies, he’ll initiate dialogue with you if he sees you, giving you the scroll you’re after. Once this Scroll of Identify is in hand you’ll need to return to Firebead Elvenhair at the Candlekeep Inn. He’ll give you a meager reward and cast Protection From Evil on you. Oh boy. Or you could just scribe the scroll for yourself, but such scrolls are common enough you shouldn’t feel compelled to do so.
|For giving Firebead Elvenhair his scroll||50 XP / Potion of Healing|
With that, you’re ready to seek out Gorion and skadoodle. Along the southwestern end of the keep you’ll find a Chanter and some directional "Voices" chanting about some prophecy, which certainly has nothing to do with you…
"The Lord of Murder shall perish, but in his doom he shall spawn a score of mortal progeny. Chaos will be sewn from their passage. So sayeth the wise Alaundo."
Just beyond the southern gate to the keep - in front of Gorion, in fact - you’ll find Imoen. If you plan to follow the guide’s suggestion for a good-aligned party, you might as well get used to her. There’s a good chance she’s going to be your Thief through the game… and she’ll play a decidedly more important role in the sequel. Respond to her as you wish, it doesn’t make a difference here.
Once everything is done in Candlekeep, talk to Gorion (x=2700, y=1760). If you’re ready to go, tell him so, and with that you’ll be off to Chapter 1. As you leave your father will tell that if something happens and you find yourself separated from him (what are the odds of that happening?), you should head to the Friendly Arm Inn and meet with two of his friends: Khalid and Jaheira.
Did You Know?: In the original game, it was Gorion himself who healed you before setting off from Candlekeep. Now a Priest of Oghma is standing by to do the honors. This makes more sense - Gorion is Mage, not a Cleric, and being human, he’s certainly not a Mage/Cleric. Although he could have been a dual-class Cleric/Mage… hmm… oh well.