Baldur's Gate 3: From Useless Bard to Mighty Barbarian
Baldur’s Gate 3 has made me realise how unfulfilling the bard class is, and I’m so glad to be rid of mine. As much as I love the roleplaying aspects of role-playable games, I found myself playing as other characters in my party just to avoid my useless bard. During a break, I tried other classes, and fell in love with the barbarian. Now, the campaign continues with a new character, and I’m glad to have moved on from being a bard.
For context, I’ve been playing through the Enhanced Edition of the original game’s sequel for over a week now, and the campaign has brought the group to the city of Baldur’s Gate. After dealing with some business, we headed to the sewers to clear out an ogre nest.
I died very quickly in combat, charisma checks could be done by other characters, and my healing abilities were overshadowed by an actual cleric. It all added up to a frustrating experience. I found myself playing as other characters to avoid my useless bard.
During a break, I tried a few other classes to see what was beyond the scope of my first-level bard. I started as a barbarian, and I absolutely loved it. I smashed enemies, solved puzzles with brute force, and tanked attacks like a champ. When the campaign resumed, I couldn’t bring myself to play as a bard again.
So I retired my bard character in a fiery demise, making way for a new tiefling cleric named Gertrude. Being useful in combat as a healer was more thrilling than casting repetitive cantrips as a bard. The one bard in the game couldn’t join the party and was always in need of saving, so I figured the one thing I could do was bring a spirit of recklessness and excitement to my playthrough. So, Gertrude was born.
I’m really enjoying the change. While I might not be as strong in combat as some of the other classes, my healing abilities are invaluable and fun to use. And at level two, I can start laying traps, which is a skill that I’m looking forward to perfecting.
I’m not alone, either; while all the characters are still getting to know each other, the barbarian turned out to be my husband’s go-to class. We’ve been taking turns as Shadowheart, and it’s been fun to have a healer who can fight back when needed.
While I’m sure the bard can be fun in the right context, the limitations of the class in Baldur’s Gate 3 made it an unappealing choice for me. Trying other classes showed me that I’m much more combat-oriented and reckless than I thought. My new character, Gertrude, is a reflection of that – I’m so happy that I’ve found my go-to class in the barbarian.
Baldur’s Gate 3 – which you can read our review of here – is a fantastic game, and I’m sure that bards do have a place in the world of Faerûn. I’d love to hear about your bard in the comments below, but I think I’ll be steering clear until I’m a lot more experienced.
Check out the best new games coming in 2023: