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Baldur's Gate 3: what is Karmic Dice?

Should you play with Karmic Dice on or off in Baldur's Gate 3?

As you start your adventure in Baldur’s Gate 3, one of the first major questions it gives you is whether or not you want Karmic Dice turned on. The game’s brief descriptor explains that “Karmic Dice avoid failure or success streaks while keeping the results mostly random,” which is a little vague.

We’ll explain what Karmic Dice actually does, and whether or not you should use it when you play.

If you're just starting out on your adventure, then make sure to check out our class tier list so you can weigh up all your options, as well as how to craft potions, and how to change your class.

Karmic Dice explained – Baldur’s Gate 3

Baldur's Gate 3 Karmic Dice setting

In short, Karmic Dice ensure that you can never get ridiculously lucky/unlucky with your dice rolls. If you’ve had a run of several bad rolls in a row, then your next roll will be far more likely to succeed, and vice versa.

It’s important to note that this doesn’t affect the obvious skill checks, as almost every aspect of combat is determined by dice rolls as well. Hit chance, damage dealt, and saves of every kind are all resolved with hidden dice rolls.

Karmic Dice is like the invisible hand of the DM that occasionally nudges the odds one way or the other when things are getting too easy or difficult.

Should you play with Karmic Dice? – Baldur’s Gate 3

Baldur's Gate 3 Critical fail

If you’re completely new to TTRPGs or their systems, the Karmic Dice is a good way to get to grips with it. It stops things going horribly wrong for extended periods of time. However, it also puts a ceiling on your success, so as you get familiar with the game you may want to turn it off.

We recommend that you should play without Karmic Dice unless you’re a total beginner, as the community’s experiments with the system have found that, on average, you deal higher damage without it – although so do your enemies. It means you may have to put up with streaks of bad luck, and fights where you can’t seem to land a hit, but not only is that truer to D&D, it can also reap great rewards.