Baldur's Gate II | Character | Races

Race is the character’s species: human, elf, dwarf, gnome, half-elf or halfling are the most common choices. For Baldur's Gate II, the half-orc has also been introduced. A character's race will affect their ability scores upon creation and will limit the choice of the character’s class.


Dwarves are short, stocky fellows, easily identified by their size and shape. They average 4 to 4 1/2 feet tall and have ruddy cheeks, dark eyes, and dark hair. Dwarves generally live for about 350 years. They are a cunning race of sturdy workers and craftsmen, especially resistant to magic and poison. During combat, dwarves receive bonuses when attacking man-sized giant-class creatures and are adept at dodging the attacks of larger giant-class creatures. Infravision allows dwarves to see heat emanations from objects up to 60' in the dark.


Elves tend to be somewhat shorter and slimmer than normal humans. Their features are finely chiseled and delicate, and they speak in melodic tones. Although they appear fragile and weak, as a race they are quick and strong. Elves often live as long as 1200 years. They are nearly immune to Sleep and Charm spells and are adept at finding hidden objects. During combat, elves receive +1 bonuses when attacking with swords and bows. Elves also have infravision which allows them to see up to 60' in darkness. In AD&D, they cannot be raised from the dead, however, in BG they can be.


Gnomes are shorter and slimmer than their dwarven cousins, but have significantly larger noses. Most gnomes have dark tan or brown skin and white hair. A typical gnome lives for 350 years. They are especially resistant to magic, and have a natural affinity to the magic school of Illusion. During combat, gnomes receive bonuses when attacking man-sized giant-class creatures and are adept at dodging the attacks of larger giant-class creatures.


Half-elves are usually much like their elven parent in appearance. They are handsome folk, with the good features of both races. They mingle freely with either race, being only slightly taller than the average elf (5' 6" on average) and weighing about 150 pounds. They typically live about 160 years. While they do not have all the abilities of the elf, they are still somewhat resistant to sleep and charm spells and are adept at finding hidden objects. Half-elves also have infravision up to 60' from their elven parent. Of all the demi-human races, half-elves have the greatest range of choices in character class.


Halflings are short, generally plump people, very much like small humans. Their faces are round and broad and often quite florid. Their hair is typically curly and the tops of their feet are covered with coarse hair. Their prefer not to wear shoes whenever possible. Their typical life expectancy is approximately 150 years. Halflings gain a +1 bonus to their attack rolls when using thrown weapons or slings. Depending on lineage, certain halflings have infravision, and all are especially resistant to magic and poison.


Another example of a hybrid, half-orcs are products of human and orc parents. Of a height similar to half-elves, half-orcs usually resemble their human parent enough to pass for a human in public. Their skin ranges from peach to olive to deep tan, and their hair can be blond, red, brown, black, gray, and shades in between. Half-orcs have infravision.


Humans are the most common player race in the Forgotten Realms. They suffer no level racial limitations or ability modifiers. They can be any class including all eight specialist mages or dual-classed.

Racial Ability Adjustments

Ability scores are modified based on the character's race as described below. It is possible to achieve a 19 in an ability by addition of these bonuses.

Race Adjustment
Dwarf +1 Constitution, -1 Charisma
Elf +1 Dexterity, -1 Constitution
Gnome +1 Intelligence, -1 Wisdom
Halfling +1 Dexterity, -1 Strength
Half-Elf None
Half-Orc +1 Strength, +1 Constitution, -2 Charisma
Human None

Classes Permitted for Each Race

The table below lists the classes available to each race. Only demihumans can be multiclassed while only humans can be dual classed. There will be no level limits because of race in Baldur's Gate II. The symbols in the table refer to the following:

X Class permitted.
-- Class not permitted.
1 All gnome mages are illusionists and they are the only specialist mages that can be multiclassed.
2 Elves can only specialize as a diviner or enchanter.
3 Half-elves can only specialize as a conjurer, diviner, enchanter or transmuter.

Class Human Dwarf Gnome Halfling Elf Half-Elf Half-Orc
Fighter X X X X X X X
Ranger X -- -- -- X X --
Paladin X -- -- -- -- -- --
Cleric X X X X X X X
Druid X -- -- -- -- X --
Mage X -- -- -- X X --
Specialist Mage X -- 1 -- 2 3 --
Thief X X X X X X X
Bard X -- -- -- -- X --
Fighter/Mage -- -- 1 -- X X --
Fighter/Cleric -- X X -- -- X X
Fighter/Druid -- -- -- -- -- X --
Fighter/Thief -- X X X X X X
Ranger/Cleric -- -- -- -- -- X --
Fighter/Mage/Thief -- -- -- -- X X --
Fighter/Mage/Cleric -- -- -- -- -- X --
Cleric/Mage -- -- 1 -- -- X --
Cleric/Thief -- -- X -- -- -- X
Mage/Thief -- -- 1 -- X X --
Dual-classed X -- -- -- -- -- -- | GameSpy | Comrade | Arena | FilePlanet | GameSpy Technology
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