Lore gives a character a 'natural' insight into discerning masked item properties. This insight continues to grow each time a character levels but at a rate determined by its class.

Candidate items requiring identification usually possess some sort of magical enhancement or property, but not always. Some books, potions and scrolls may also need to be identified using the Lore rating of the examining character. Cursed items are always very difficult to detect. The bard class, as part of their innate bardic lore background, are ideally suited for deciphering the hidden treasures that are unearthed.

To compare for a moment, "classic" D&D uses the Lore function (sometimes implemented as a character "skill") to help solve puzzles, determine the characteristics of creatures, discern the terrain or interact with NPCs through conversation, among many other uses. The expanded use is not, however, the case in Baldur's Gate (game) mechanics. It just identifies.

Description, from the Baldur's Gate (game) manual:

"Each character has a lore rating. Every item has a lore value. If a character's lore rating is equivalent or higher than an item's lore value, then that character may identify that item. As characters gain levels, they are able to identify items based on their experience.

A character receives bonuses (and penalties) to their lore rating based on their Intelligence and Wisdom. The modifier is not cumulative with each level, but each ability bonus is applied separately. It is a "one-time" bonus at character creation."

Lore Increase Rate
Class Lore Increase
Bard +10 per level
Thief +3 per level
Mage +3 per level
All others +1 per level

Assessing Lore's In-game Impact and Utility Edit

In Baldur's Gate (game), an unidentified item which possesses one or more magical properties does not necessarily need to be identified (via Lore or by a merchant) to be used.

As a few examples: an unidentified Algernon's Cloak will still charm creatures and an unidentified Ring of Wizardry will still double the number of Level 1 mage spells. Also, the character screen will display any item's magical influence regardless of its ID status and the character animation will reflect the item's properties in the same manner (eg. an unidentified pair of Boots of Speed will still increase travel speed of its wearer). Notable exceptions to this game idiosyncrasy are the types of items which must be placed into Quick Item Slots (like wands), items which are not equip-able in those slots until identified.

The key, potential hazard of equipping unidentified items is the possibility of being cursed or poly-morphed. In a single-player environment, the danger is less critical since a preemptive save/reload can "undo" a player's hasty action. However, in a multi-player game, only a priest with at least 5 levels (or a visit to a temple) can restore a character's well-being. Resting will end the poly-morph effect unless the effect has been combined into a curse.

Generally-speaking, identifying every magical item can be expedited inexpensively with either a bard or mage who can write the Identify spell into their spellbook (with the exception of Conjurers like Edwin). An Identify scroll costs approximately the same as the merchant fee for identifying a single item so is economical for any arcanist member to have in their spell repertoire to use on demand.

Imoen, with her uncharacteristic thief INT level (17) is ideal for identifying low Lore value items like magical ammo and most +1 equipment using her Lore rating alone... with her seldom-enlisted roguish cousin, the bard, still better. Mages identify well with the initial Lore boost at character creation due to high INT level but level-up slower than thieves. In BG1, Garrick is a reliable, early-accessible bard to intermittently enlist for his utility Lore potential since he will readily dispatch and rejoin parties with just about any reputation... a boon of his neutral alignment. Evil Eldoth's membership may not be as easy to manipulate, depending on the party reputation. All bards can learn the Identify spell.

Item Lore ValuesEdit

The following table displays the minimum Lore ratings needed to identify items found in Baldur's Gate (game):

Category Item Lore
Armor, LightLeather +1 25
Armor, LightLeather +2 60
Armor, LightStudded Leather +1 30
Armor, LightStudded Leather +2 70
Armor, LightStudded Leather +3 (shadow) 45
Armor, LightStudded Leather +2 (cursed) 100
Armor, HeavyChain Mail +1 30
Armor, HeavyChain Mail +2 65
Armor, HeavyChain Mail +4 (drizzt mithral) 65
Armor, HeavySplint Mail +1 35
Armor, HeavyPlate Mail +1 40
Armor, HeavyFull Plate Mail +1 70
RobesMage Robe of Cold Resistance 20
RobesMage Robe of Fire Resistance 20
RobesMage Robe of Electrical Resistance 20
RobesAdventurer's Robe 35
RobesKnave's Robe 35
RobesTraveler's Robe 35
RobesRobe of the Evil Archmagi 65
RobesRobe of the Good Archmagi 65
RobesRobe of the Neutral Archmagi 65
CloaksCloak of the Wolf (polymorph) 30
CloaksCloak of Non-Detection35
CloaksAlgernon's Cloak (charm)40
CloaksNymph Cloak (charm)40
CloaksCloak of Displacement 40
CloaksCloak of Protection +1 55
CloaksCloak of Protection +2 100
CloaksCloak of Balduran (ac/saves +1) 100
ShieldsSmall Shield +1 20
ShieldsMedium Shield +1 30
ShieldsLarge Shield +1 40
ShieldsLarge Shield +1 (+4 vs missiles) 70
HeadgearHelm of Infravision18
HeadgearHelm of Defense 30
HeadgearHelm of Glory 40
HeadgearHelm of Charm Protection 40
HeadgearHelm of Balduran 100
HeadgearHelmet of Opposite Alignment (cursed) 100
FootwearBoots of Avoidance 25
FootwearBoots of Speed 30
FootwearBoots of Grounding 35
FootwearBoots of the North 35
FootwearBoots of Stealth 45
BeltsGolden Girdle 35
BeltsGirdle of Bluntness 35
BeltsGirdle of Piercing 35
BeltsGirdle of Masculinity/Femininity 70
BracersBracers of Defense AC 8 30
BracersBracers of Defense AC 7 40
BracersBracers of Defense AC 6 50
BracersBracers of Archery 40
BracersGauntlets of Ogre Power 60
BracersGauntlets of Weapon Skill 60
BracersGauntlets of Dexterity 70
BracersGauntlets of Fumbling (cursed) 70
BracersGauntlets of Weapon Expertise 100
BracersBracers of Binding (cursed) 100
Weapons, AxesBattle Axe +1 20
Weapons, AxesBattle Axe +2 (mauletar sf5) 50
Weapons, AxesThrowing Axe +2 (auto-return sf2)65
Weapons, BladesDagger +1 10
Weapons, BladesDagger +2 50
Weapons, BladesDagger +2 (venom. sf0) 20
Weapons, BladesDagger +2 (longtooth, sf0) 60
Weapons, BladesShort Sword +1 20
Weapons, BladesShort Sword +2 50
Weapons, BladesShort Sword +3 (backstabbing, sf0) 40
Weapons, BladesLong Sword +1 30
Weapons, BladesLong Sword +2 60
Weapons, BladesBastard Sword +1 40
Weapons, BladesBastard Sword +1 (+3 vs shapeshifters) 60
Weapons, BladesScimitar +1 35
Weapons, BladesScimitar +3 (frostbrand) 80
Weapons, BladesScimitar +5 (defender) 80
Weapons, BladesTwo-handed Sword +140
Weapons, BladesTwo-handed Sword +2 (spider's bane free action ) 40
Weapons, BladesTwo-handed Sword +3 (cursed)60
Weapons, BluntFlail +1 20
Weapons, BluntMace +1 30
Weapons, BluntMorning Star +130
Weapons, HalberdsHalberd +1 30
Weapons, HalberdsHalberd +2 60
Weapons, HammersWar Hammer +1 30
Weapons, HammersWar hammer +2 60
Weapons, SpearsSpear +1 40
Weapons, SpearsSpear +3 (cursed) 60
Weapons, StavesQuarterstaff +1 20
Weapons, Range, BowsShortbow +1 25
Weapons, Range, BowsShortbow +2 (eagle sf4) 50
Weapons, Range, BowsLongbow +1 30
Weapons, Range, BowsLongbow +3 (marksmanship sf5) 50
Weapons, Range, CrossbowsLight Crossbow +1 30
Weapons, Range, CrossbowsLight Crossbow +1 (speed +1apr sf3) 40
Weapons, Range, CrossbowsHeavy Crossbow +1 30
Weapons, Range, CrossbowsHeavy Crossbow +5 (accuracy sf7) 50
Weapons, Range, DartsDart +1 6
Weapons, Range, DartsDart of Stunning 20
Weapons, Range, DartsDart of Wounding 21
Weapons, Range, SlingsSling +1 21
Ammo, ArrowsArrow of Dispelling 20
Ammo, ArrowsArrow +1 20
Ammo, ArrowsArrow +2 40
Ammo, ArrowsAcid Arrow 25
Ammo, ArrowsArrow of Fire 25
Ammo, ArrowsArrow of Ice 25
Ammo, ArrowsArrow of Biting 30
Ammo, ArrowsArrow of Piercing 30
Ammo, ArrowsArrow of Detonation 45
Ammo, ArrowsArrow of Slaying 50
Ammo, BoltsBolt +1 20
Ammo, BoltsBolt +2 50
Ammo, BoltsBolt of Biting 25
Ammo, BoltsBolt of Lightning 35
Ammo, BoltsBolt of Polymorphing 40
Ammo, BulletsBullet +1 10
Ammo, BulletsBullet +2 18
Jewelry, AmuletsAmulet of Metaspell Influence 30
Jewelry, AmuletsAmulet of Protection +1 35
Jewelry, AmuletsShield Amulet 40
Jewelry, AmuletsNecklace of Missiles 50
Jewelry, RingsRing of Infravision 20
Jewelry, RingsRing of Fire Resistance 25
Jewelry, RingsRing of Animal Friendship 30
Jewelry, RingsRing of Free Action 30
Jewelry, RingsRing of Holiness 30
Jewelry, RingsRing of Protection +1 35
Jewelry, RingsRing of Protection +2 70
Jewelry, RingsRing of Energy 40
Jewelry, RingsRing of Wizardry 50
Jewelry, RingsRing of Invisibility 65
Jewelry, RingsRing of Clumsiness (cursed) 100
Jewelry, RingsRing of Folly (cursed) 100
Spellcasting, WandsWand of Fear 40
Spellcasting, WandsWand of Magic Missile 60
Spellcasting, WandsWand of Paralyzation 40
Spellcasting, WandsWand of Fire 50
Spellcasting, WandsWand of Frost 60
Spellcasting, WandsWand of Lightning 60
Spellcasting, WandsWand of Sleep 30
Spellcasting, WandsWand of Polymorphing 30
Spellcasting, WandsWand of Monster Summoning 40
Spellcasting, WandsWand of the Heavens 50
Spellcasting, PotionsRed Potion 15
Spellcasting, PotionsViolet Potion 15
Spellcasting, PotionsPotion of Invulnerability (cursed) 45
Spellcasting, Scrolls Protection Scrolls (all) 85
Spellcasting, Scrolls Cursed Scrolls (all) 85
BooksManual of Bodily Health (con) 50
BooksManual of Gainful Exercise (str) 50
BooksManual of Quickness of Action (dex) 50
BooksTome of Clear Thought (int) 60
BooksTome of Leadership and Influence (cha) 60
BooksTome of Understanding (wis) 60
BooksHistory of the Nether Scrolls 100
MiscellaneousThe Claw of Kazgaroth 20
MiscellaneousThe Horn of Kazgaroth 30
MiscellaneousGolden Pantaloons 50

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