Developer Larian put absolutely everything it could into the launch version of Baldur’s Gate 3, from cosmetics to side-stories, holding nothing back. There is no Baldur’s Gate 3 DLC, and Larian has not announced plans to make any.
That’s surprising enough in the context of modern game publishing, where launch-day expansions and cosmetic DLC is common. There’s also the fact that Baldur’s Gate 3 max level cap is 12, while DnD caps out at level 20. That seems to leave the door wide open for DLC to take the party to the end of the level scale. But, according to developer Larian, the story is finished and no expansion is currently planned.
In an interview with PCGamer on August 7, Larian founder Swen Vincke stated that the studio wasn’t developing an expansion for the game.
He explained that’s in part because it would be very difficult to continue the story after BG3’s many variant endings. It’s also because high level DnD spells give players nigh godlike power, which would be incredibly hard to integrate with the base game’s open-ended simulation.
Vincke didn’t, explicitly, rule out Baldur’s Gate 3 DLC, but made it clear that the risk to reward ratio was not favorable.
Mike Drucker wrote an excellent article for The Gamer pointing out how absurd it is to ask for DLC for the most impressive CRPG ever published. He’s right! There’s already more game here than a single person could digest. Wargamer’s Mollie Russell mainlined the game to write our Baldur’s Gate 3 review, and immediately after completing it went straight into a second playthrough.
It’s not that we’re dissatisfied with Baldur’s Gate 3 – it’s a veritable buffet, whether you’re addicted to tactical combat or are a serial BG3 romance fiend. We’re just so impressed with the meal on offer that, even as we’re gorging ourselves on the main course, we’re already fantasising about dessert.
So while Baldur’s Gate 3 DLC may never happen, here’s our wishlist for the seven things we most want to see in it. It’s entirely possible that some of these are hidden somewhere in Baldur’s Gate 3 and we just haven’t found them yet – it really is that big!
Storm giant castle
The environmental design in Baldur’s Gate 3 is wonderful, a perfect mixture of world-building and entertaining level design that provides a playground to use the game’s skill system and physics interactions. So wouldn’t it be great if, instead of jumping between crumbling pillars of rocks and scrambling over dusty ruins, you were scrambling between plates in a Storm giant’s oversized kitchen?
Wizards of the Coast has just released a supplement for tabletop adventures featuring giant antagonists – see our Glory of the Giants review for our thoughts – and we suspect there’s plenty of demand for tiny adventures in a giant world. We would also accept a witch casting a spell on you that shrinks you down so much that you have to fight a house cat the size of a bull elephant.
The Tomb of Horrors
BG3’s gloriously permissive physics engine is so much fun to exploit, whether you’re yeeting powerful enemies into pits or setting up Rube Goldberg explosive traps before you start a fight. The game is perfectly happy to indulge player freedom – but why not fight back with something equally unfair?
The classic Tomb of Horrors module is to regular dungeon design what the Saw killer is to due legal process. The only sane way for tabletop players to approach the dungeon is to buy a herd of sheep, drive them into the dungeon first, and carefully note all the burnt patches – and even then, the chances of winning are pretty low. A fair and matched challenge for players with the reality-shattering power to save scum.
‘DnD in flying space boats’ is a powerful premise, which makes it all the more frustrating that our DnD Spelljammer Adventures in Space review found the most recent official supplement to be a damp squib.
The Illithid Nautiloid that you wake up in at the start of BG 3 is a classic Spelljammer concept, which illustrates what’s so cool about it: it’s all about soaring through the Astral sea and hopping between planes while battling Astral Leviathans and Githyanki pirates. Top stuff.
Little bit of DnD lore, folks – Ravenloft, home of mopey goth vampire Strahd von Zarovich, is one of the Domains of Dread, a purpose-built prison realm intended to keep Zarovich pent up and miserable for all of time. It’s a demiplane, supposedly cut-off from the rest of the multiverse… except for all the player characters who keep wandering in.
Curse of Strahd might be the single most popular DnD 5e adventure supplement, and the self-contained bottle-dimension of Ravenloft would make it perfect DLC fodder. Frankly, we just want to see what the BG3 companions make of it.
The Feywild and Shadowfell
DnD cosmology is painfully obtuse and often gets reconfigured by new editions of the game or in-universe catastrophes, so this will require a little bit of explanation – ‘travelling between planes’ can mean wildly different things in DnD depending on how far you’re travelling. Metaphorically travelling, that is. I said it was obtuse.
Faerȗn is a ‘prime material’ world. The further you travel, magically, from the prime material, the more abstract the planes are that you find Right on the edges you’ve got your heavens and hells, which are the planes of particular moralities: closer in are the elemental planes, that are basically “the fire level”, “the water level”, and so on.
The Feywild and Shadowdark are more like alternate versions of the material realm. The Feywild is heightened, magical, mercurial, and full of fey creatures: it’s the origin of elves. The Shadowdark is the emo version of reality, much more closely associated with undeath.
So a simple version of this DLC would add new maps and adventures that take place in one or the other plane: elven court intrigue and royal hunts in the Feywild, grisly dungeoneering in the Shadowfell. A totally radical version of this DLC would add Feywild and Shadowfell versions of the entire Baldur’s Gate 3 map, with new questlines and the ability to avoid obstacles in one plane by shifting into another.
Having written that, we can sense a QA tester somewhere weeping. But you know it would be rad!
With the right high-level spell, powerful artefact, a Spelljammer keel or captured Illithid nautiloid, there’s nothing stopping a DnD party from rip-roaring across the multiverse. But much lower-level parties can make the trip too, just by opening the wrong door.
Sigil, City of Doors, is built on the inside of a torus at the top of an infinitely tall spire in the centre of all the planes. It’s full to the brim with both portals to other worlds, and squabbling factions.
To give you a sense of the Sigil aesthetic, its ruler is a giant, floating, silent, goddess-like-thing called the Lady of Pain, who is absolutely covered in blades. If you piss her off she will trap you in a maze dimension forever; if you somehow get out and piss her off again, she’ll eviscerate you with her shadow. Despite this, she’s generally pretty chill.
Give us the Baldur’s Gate 3 level editor
Larian has always been extremely supportive of modding, and there are already several Baldur’s Gate 3 mods available that were developed during the game’s early access period. Opening up the game’s level editing tools for the community would be the ultimate gift to support modding – and it’s something Larian has done for previous titles.
Baldur’s Gate 3 is already the best DnD videogame ever made – some are arguing, credibly, that it’s the best videogame ever made, fullstop. The sheer scope of content is daunting: I actually got paralysed by indecision in the character creator, knowing how much impact my choice would have over the course of the game.