Baldur’s Gate 3: How Active Rolls Work in BG3

Active rolls are such an important part of Baldur’s Gate 3, imapcting everything players do while exploring, fighting, and talking.

Image via Larian Studios

Baldur’s Gate 3 relies heavily on the rules set out in tabletop Dungeons & Dragons rulebooks. This means that everything, whether it’s walking past some roots or aiming a bow, requires an active roll. However, it’s not clear quite how they all work when they show up in-game.

Active rolls pop up in Baldur’s Gate 3 early and often, and it’s a good idea to learn what they mean because they can dramatically change the outcomes of every situation. This guide explains how active rolls work so no one rolls a 1 on Intelligence and accidentally murders their character.

Related: Baldur’s Gate 3: How to Prepare Spells in BG3

How do Active Rolls Work in Baldur’s Gate 3?

Screenshot by Gamepur

Active rolls determine how well a player succeeds or fails in skill checks in Baldur’s Gate 3. When players encounter an action requiring a skill check, such as opening a locked chest with a lockpick or using their Dexterity to escape a scuffle, the active roll screen will open.

The active roll will show a number of dice based on the character’s proficiency in the skill being checked or tested. The character’s proficiency in a skill is shown as their character level. It’s easy to judge how hard the active roll will be to succeed based on how high or low the character’s skill is.

How Modifier Numbers Work in Baldur’s Gate 3

Most of the time, just one dice will be used. Any modifiers from specific perks or abilities will be shown below the dice area on the screen. These can add or remove from the number shown on the dice once it’s been rolled based on whether a character is proficient or lacking in the tested skill.

If one character isn’t particularly skilled in Dexterity, Persuasion, or another specific skill, players can swap to control another character in the party and use their skill rating instead. This allows them to take advantage of a wide range of skills that have been invested in very different areas depending on which character is used.

Of course, other characters in the active party can also directly affect the outcome of an active roll. Should they have a perk or ability that adds to takes away from a dice roll, that will be applied to the active roll, and their influence can be seen on the screen below the playable character’s own impact.

Certain spells can also impact active rolls by increasing a character’s level in certain skills. There are too many to name, but players should pay attention to the spells the characters in their party can cast because some can provide a general buff to all skill checks while others increase specific skills greatly, meaning some seemingly unpassable skill checks can become child’s play at the wave of a hand.