All Baldur’s Gate 3 character backgrounds explained: Soldier, Criminal, Sage, more

Rajarshi Acharya
A town square in Baldur's Gate 3Larian Studios

Baldur’s Gate 3 gives you several different options when creating your character, and one of these is your background. Here’s everything you should know about backgrounds in Baldur’s Gate 3 and how it affects your playthrough.

Baldur’s Gate 3 has a robust character creator where you pick several different characteristics for your Tav. This includes physical characteristics, race, class, background, and even a Patron Deity if applicable. You can choose between 11 different backgrounds that add to your character’s backstory. Two of these backgrounds, the Hermit and the Sailor, were removed from the final release.

Article continues after ad

Your background can sometimes lead to additional dialogue choices or reactions when interacting with NPCs and companions. Your selected background will also decide your inspiration goals. You can choose any background you want, but some are suited to certain builds. This is because your background also gives you proficiencies in two different skills.

Here are all the backgrounds in Baldur’s Gate 3 along with the proficiencies they give and their inspiration goals.

All character backgrounds in Baldur’s Gate 3

When choosing your character’s background in Baldur’s Gate 3, you must take the proficiency they offer to certain skills into account. Once you’ve made your character, you can’t change your background, so choose wisely.

Article continues after ad

Here are all of the character backgrounds in Baldur’s Gate 3.

Acolyte

a character in baldurs gate 3Larian Studios
You pick your background when creating your character.

Acolytes are proficient in Insight (Wisdom) and Religion (Intelligence). The official in-game description for the Acolyte character background in Baldur’s Gate 3 reads, “You have spent your life in service to a temple, learning sacred rites and providing sacrifices to the god or gods you worship. Serving the gods and discovering their sacred works will you to Greatness.”

Here’s a list of the Acolyte’s inspiration goals:

Article continues after ad
  • Saving The Heretic – Learn about Maglubiyet and safely free his priest.
  • Her Gift Of Silver – Recover Selune’s lost treasure through prayer.
  • Treefather’s Sorrow – Unleash Silvanus’ curse upon the grove.
  • A Kiss Without Mercy – Endure the ritual of Loviatar until Abdirak is pleased.
  • Silvanus’ Solitude – Witness the ritual that seals off the grove from the world.
  • Last Rites Of The Dark Dancer – Complete Eilistraee’s ritual of sorrow and obtain her blessed blade.
  • A Unified Spirit – Pray with the Flaming Fists at Waukeen’s Rest.
  • The Final Scribe’s Boon – Discover Jergal’s amulet in the chapel’s hidden tomb.
  • Tipping The Scales – Earn the worship of the Kuo-Toa.
  • Fate Must Wait – Resurrect anyone in your party.
  • Justice Sees All – Discover why Anders betrayed Tyr.
  • Shatter The Moon – Destroy Selune’s protection over the Underdark fort.
  • Divinity Undone – Unlock and read the Book of Dead Gods.

Charlatan

Charlatans are proficient in Deception (Charisma) and Sleight of Hand (Dexterity) in Baldur’s Gate 3. The Charlatan background’s official in-game description reads, “You’re an expert in manipulation, prone to exaggeration and more than happy to profit from it. Bending the truth and turning allies against each other will bring you success down the road.”

Here’s the list of the Charlatan’s inspiration goals:

  • Very Important Parasite – Deceive any of the guards in the goblin camp.
  • Cheese Your Way Through – Talk your way past the bandits and enter the chapel.
  • Merciless – Manipulate the Flind into eating itself.
  • Silver Blades, Silver Tongue – Convince Kith’rak Voss to leave without violence.
  • Spiked – Poison the beer in the goblin camp.
  • Mirror Master – Trick the magic mirror in the Thayan cellar.
  • Flexible Diplomacy – Betray the tieflings after convincing them to free Lae’zel.
  • Anything For A Profit – Steal the toe ring from Crusher without getting caught.
  • Devil’s Advocate – Interrogate the dead mind flayer without drawing suspicion.
  • A Better Offer – Convince the pit spiders to attack the goblins.
  • The Importance Of Networking – Talk your way into the Zhentarim hideout.
  • One Of Us – Use the hag’s mask to peacefully bypass her thralls.
  • Just Passing Through – Trick the goblins in Moonhaven.
combat in baldurs gate 3Larian Studios
You can choose any background for your character irrespective of race or class.

Criminal

Criminals in Baldur’s Gate 3 are proficient in Deception (Charisma) and Stealth (Dexterity). The Criminal background’s official in-game description in Baldur’s Gate 3 reads, “You have a history of breaking the law and survive by leveraging less-than-legal connections. Profiting from criminal enterprise will lead to greater opportunities in the future.”

Article continues after ad

Here are all the inspiration goals for the Criminal:

  • A Fine Fortune – Steal an item worth at least 1000 gold.
  • Friend Of The Family – Become an ally of the Zhentarim.
  • Escape Artist – Escape from jail after being arrested.
  • Slaughter’s Prize – Ally with Minthara to loot and slaughter the grove.
  • Finders Keepers – Refuse to return Barth’s locket.
  • Serpent’s Bounty – Take Zevlor’s payment for killing Kagha.
  • Blood Price – Murder an innocent civilian.
  • Heretic – Steal the Idol of Silvanus.
  • Open For A Surprise – Acquire the Iron Flask from the Zhentarim.
  • Swiftly Stolen – Steal the duergar boots from the gnome.
  • Jailbreaker – Smuggle Sazza out of the grove.
  • A Sound Investment – Give Mol money to found a guild in Baldur’s Gate.
  • Culling The Crowd – Use poison to kill the drunk goblins in camp.
  • Lesser Evils – Rob the enthralled fishermen.

Entertainer

Entertainers get access to Acrobatics (Dexterity) and Performance (Charisma) proficiencies. The official in-game description for the Entertainer character background in Baldur’s Gate 3 reads, “You live to sway and subvert your audience, engaging common crowds and high society alike.”

Here are all the inspiration goals for the Entertainer:

  • The Price Of Ink – Free Oskar the painter from the Zhentarim.
  • The Art Of Agony – Perform for Loviatar’s pleasure in her ritual.
  • Life Of The Party – Take part in the goblin camp’s toast.
  • Made You Look – Earn Mattis’ respect by taking his ring.
  • Celebrant – Enjoy a dance in camp with the tieflings.
  • Give Them A Show – Get the goblins on your side while dueling Crusher.
  • Chicken Chase Extraordinaire – Win a match of chicken chase.
  • A Bard’s Muse – Inspire Alfira the bard.
  • Heart Of The Creator – Perform in a play with Bernard the automaton.
  • Feel The Beat – Successfully perform on the goblin war drum.
  • A Story For The Ages – Turn someone to your side with a well-timed tale.

Folk Hero

shadowheart in baldurs gate 3Larian Studios
Your background affects NPCs and companions as well.

Folk Heroes are proficient in Animal Handling (Wisdom) and Survival (Wisdom) in Baldur’s Gate 3. The background’s official in-game description reads, “You’re a champion of the common people, challenging tyrants and monsters to protect the helpless. Saving innocents in imminent danger will make your legend grow.”

Article continues after ad

Here’s a list of the Folk Hero’s inspiration goals:

  • Unmasking The Truth – Free one of the Hag’s masked thralls.
  • A Timely Rescue – Save Findal from the goblins who kidnapped him.
  • The Most Unfortunate Gnome – Rescue the gnome from his fate at the windmill.
  • Rescued From The Flames – Save whoever you can from Waukeen’s Rest.
  • Liberator – Liberate the enthralled fishermen from the mind flayer.
  • The Bard With Nine Lives – Rescue Volo from the goblin camp.
  • Saved By A Thread – Save Smythin from his lethal fall.
  • Fate Worse Than Death – Save Liam from his goblin torturers.
  • Guardian Of The Forgotten – Save the tieflings from the goblin assault.
  • A Lethal Endeavor – Escort Baelen out of the field of bibberbangs.
  • Snake Whisperer – Protect Arabella from Kagha and her serpent.
  • Protector Of The Small – Save Mirkon from the harpies.
  • Soul Warden – Save Nadira from the bugbear assassin.

Guild Artisan

The Guild Artisan gets proficiencies in Insight (Wisdom) and Persuasion (Charisma) in BG3. The official in-game description for the Guild Artisan background says, “Your skill in a particular craft has earned you membership in a mercantile guild, offering privileges and protection while engaging in your art. Repairing and discovering rare crafts will bring new inspiration.”

The Guild Artisan has the following inspiration goals:

  • In Working Order – Repair the elevator in the Zhentarim hideout.
  • The Spider’s Gift – Identify the drow armor near Waukeen’s Rest.
  • Treasure & Tramp – Observe the effects of the Chest of the Mundane.
  • An Acquired Taste – Drink one of Auntie Ethel’s unique potions.
  • The Apprentice Turns Master – Craft Nettie’s antidote in the cauldron.
  • Valued Customer – Trade with someone who has High approval of you.
  • A New Vision – Reforge the broken spear.
  • An Artist In Need – Rescue Oskar the painter from the Zhentarim.
  • Mind Over Mushrooms – Gather ingredients for Omeluum’s potion.
  • A Golden Masterpiece – Sell an item worth at least 1000 gold.
  • The Finest Ingredients – Create a masterwork item from Sussur Bark.
  • Regeneration – Restore power to the elevator in the Arcane Tower.
a full party in baldurs gate 3Larian Studios
Your character background can affect your entire playthrough.

Noble

The Noble in Baldur’s Gate 3 is proficient in History (Intelligence) and Persuasion (Charisma). The background’s official in-game description says, “You were raised in a family among the social elite, accustomed to power and privilege. Accumulating renown, power, and loyalty will raise your status.”

Article continues after ad

The Noble has the following inspiration goals:

  • Protector Of The Duke – Rescue Counsellor Florrick from the burning inn.
  • Lest Ye Be Judged – Learn Astarion’s history as a magistrate.
  • Noblesse Oblige – Dismiss a companion for interrupting a conversation.
  • Soul For Sale – Acquire a Soul Coin for your personal collection.
  • Blueblood Solidarity – Learn Wyll’s family history.
  • Bodyguards For Hire – Recruit the ogres to protect you.
  • Eldritch Authority – Become a True Soul.
  • Fine By Me – Use your wealth to bribe a guard.
  • Dragon’s Horde – Have at least 2000 gold among the party.
  • A Man Of Many Talents – Expand your retinue by bringing Volo to camp.
  • Penchant For Diplomacy – Reach a High level of approval with a companion.

Outlander

An Outlander is proficient in Athletics (Strength) and Survival (Wisdom) in BG3. The Outlander background’s official in-game description reads, “You grew up in the wilds, learning to survive far from the comforts of civilization. Surviving unusual hazards of the wild will enhance your prowess and understanding.”

The Outlander’s inspiration goals are:

  • Nest Egg – Take an item from the Carrion Crawler nest.
  • Rock Steady – Survive the bandits’ rolling boulder trap.
  • Mushroom Enthusiast – Destroy each kind of hazardous Underdark mushroom.
  • Clever Cuckoo – Steal from the giant bird’s nest in the Underdark.
  • Abyss Jumper – Enter the Underdark through the bottomless well.
  • A Noble Endeavor – Effectively use a noblestalk mushroom.
  • Sticky Fingers – Secure the pouch from the spider crevice.
  • Cub Tamer – Successfully tame the owlbear cub.
  • Walking On Air – Successfully use a fairy ring
  • A Mother’s Fury – Triumph over the mother Owlbear.
  • Curse breaker – Discover the curse of Yeenoghu and destroy his hyenas.
  • Eyes Of The Wild – See past the illusion covering the swamp.

Sage

quest in baldurs gate 3Larian Studios
Your character’s background can give you some exclusive quests.

The Sage gets proficiency choices in Arcane (Intelligence) and History (Intelligence). The official in-game description for the character background in Baldur’s Gate 3 reads, “You are curious and well-read, with an unending thirst for knowledge. Learning about rare lore of the world will inspire you to put this knowledge to greater purpose.”

Article continues after ad

Here are all the inspiration goals of the Sage:

  • A Natural Alliance – Recognise the druid and Harper armor.
  • The Phases Unfold – Solve the moon puzzle sealing the door to the Underdark.
  • Secrets Of The Matron – Read the obscure text by a drow matron.
  • Reanimator – Correctly follow Gale’s instructions to resurrect him.
  • The Forbidden Arcane – Read Omeluum’s notes on illithid magic.
  • Secrets Of The Sussur Tree – Read the Treatise on Anti-Magic.
  • Secrets Of The High Chieftain – Read Volo’s Guide to Goblins.
  • Roots Of The Grove – Learn local history from the druidic frescos.
  • Secrets Of The Necromancer – Discover the strange nature of the Thayan tome.
  • All Knowledge Is Worth Having – Finish reading the Thayan tome of necromancy.
  • Secrets Of The Shadow Druids – Discover and read Faldorn’s Canticle.
  • A Solitary Spider – Read the arachnomancer’s journals at the bottom of the well.
  • Secrets Of The Sundering – Unlock and read the Book of Dead Gods.

Soldier

A Soldier in Baldur’s Gate 3 is proficient in Athletics (Strength) and Intimidation (Charisma). The official in-game description for the Soldier background reads, “You are trained in battlefield tactics and combat, having served in a militia, mercenary company, or officer corps. Show smart tactics and bravery on the battlefield to enhance your prowess.”

The Soldier’s inspiration goals are:

  • Pentacrush – Kill 5 enemies in a single run
  • Stalwart Heart – Persuade Rolan to stay and protect the grove
  • Chain Of Command – Follow Flaming Fist orders at the burning inn
  • Conquer The Conquerors – Defeat the Githyanki raiding squad
  • Crow Crusher – Kill every leader in the goblin camp
  • Warrior Of The Hells – Kill the cultist leader seeking Karlach
  • Start Them Young – Inspire the tiefling children to train harder.
  • Drowned In The Dark – Defeat the duergar patrolling on the Ebonlake.
  • No One Left Behind – Ensure all of the Grove’s defenders survive the first goblin assault.
  • Strategist – Destroy a powerful foe in one strike.
  • One For The Ages – Survive a fight in which you kill ten or more enemies.
magic in baldurs gate 3Larian Studios
Some character backgrounds work better with certain builds.

Urchin

The Urchin’s proficiencies include Sleight of Hand (Dexterity) and Stealth (Dexterity). The official description for the character background in Baldur’s Gate 3 reads, “After surviving a childhood on the streets, you know how to make the most out of very little. Using your street smarts bolsters your spirit for the journey ahead.”

Article continues after ad

The Urchin’s inspiration goals are:

  • What Price Dignity? – Urchin Steal the toe ring from Crusher without getting caught.
  • Protect Your Own – Protect the child who took the locket from Barth.
  • Born Innocent – Save the owlbear cub from the goblins.
  • Mercenary – Get some coin out of the Zhentarim survivors.
  • The Allure Of Coin – Steal from a child charmed by harpies.
  • Pyramid Scheme – Convince the ogres to work for you without giving them gold.
  • Artful Dodger – Earn Mattis’ respect by taking his ring.
  • Family Comes First – Encourage Meli to tell the truth about the amulet.
  • Not On My Watch – Save Arabella from Kagha and her serpent.
  • Hunger Never Fades – Fill your plate at Raphael’s House of Hope.
  • Slaying The Piper – Rescue Mirkon from the harpies.
  • Idolatry – Help Mol steal the Idol of Silvanus.

That covers everything that you need to know about Baldur’s Gate 3 character backgrounds.

For more, look through our other articles on the game:

Baldur’s Gate 3 PC system requirements | Baldur’s Gate 3: All editions & preorder bonuses | Is Baldur’s Gate 3 crossplay? | Is Baldur’s Gate 3 single-player? | Does Baldur’s Gate 3 have multiplayer & co-op? | Is Baldur’s Gate 3 coming to Xbox? | Is Baldur’s Gate 3 coming to Nintendo Switch? | Is there DLC for Baldur’s Gate 3? | Does Baldur’s Gate 3 have microtransactions?

Article continues after ad

Related Topics

About The Author

Rajarshi is a Writer at CharlieIntel who loves RPGs, racing games, FPS titles, and unique indie games that grab his attention. With a degree in English literature from Rabindra Bharati University, Rajarshi worked for Sportskeeda and KeenGamer before joining CharlieIntel in 2023. You can reach him at [email protected].