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As much as I love the story of Baldur's Gate, I cannot deny that I have always found the 2e ruleset that it operated under to be clunky and awkward - do not get me started on dual-classing vs. multi-classing, or racial class restrictions. So, I was something of an evolutionist for D&D rulesets, up until 4e gave way to Essentials.

As a result, just for fun and a bit of brain exercise, I've been giving some thoughts to what classes and alignments the various characters from Baldur's Gate might have been if it was made under 4th edition rules.

Now, to clear the air first up, this is just for fun. I don't mind people posting comments about their own interpretations of a given character, and I am willing to consider other viewpoints, but let's not make this into some kind of flame war, okay? Especially over the idea of uplifting characters to other editions.

Also, I will aim more to preserve the "theme" of a character than to directly translate them. Imoen's Thief/Mage class is directly reproducible in 4e, but it's an awkward and clunky combination that doesn't really do Imoen's game-role justice, I feel.

I don't really know the BG 1 characters well enough to feel comfortable doing this for them, but I would be willing to discuss it with those who are.


Imoen

4e Alignment: Good

4e Class: Warlock or Sorcerer with Thievery Skill Training

Justifications: Imoen's "good hearted rogue" type personality translates effectively into 4th edition as an alignment of Good. Her class is a little trickier to figure; Baldur's Gate 2 depends on her being an Arcane caster for the sake of the story, but her first game portrays her as a skilled and charismatic thief. Fortunately, 4e divorces thieving mechanics from the Rogue class, meaning that a properly trained Arcanist can easily serve as a party's thief. The Warlock and the Sorcerer both fill the same combat role in the party that the Rogue does, and also mesh with some of her game lore; Imoen's Constitution and Charisma scores are both quite high, and in fact in Baldur's Gate she can easily be dual-classed to one of five Specialist Mage classes; the Conjurer, the Enchanter, the Illusionist, the Invoker or the Transmuter, even if BG2 makes her a vanilla mage. Being they are Charisma and Constitution secondary Arcanists, the Warlock and the Sorcerer both mesh well with Imoen; the Warlock slightly better, since its Eldritch Blast spell more closely mimics the Magic Missile with which she canonically seals her fate.


Jaheira

4e Alignment: Good

4e Class: Warden

Justifications: Jaheira's alignment may draw controversy, but, in-game, she has always been a fairly heroic individual, for all her belief in balance; only the 2e ruleset forcing Druids to be some form of Morally Neutral keeps her from being Neutral Good like her husband. This, combined with her allegiance to the Harpers - who are classic Good-aligned types in my book - is why I gave her the jump to Good, particularly since she never seemed that Lawful in-game. The Fighter/Druid combination is possible under 4e, but I feel that it's unneccessarily clunky. Instead, the Warden more neatly encapsulates her "theme" of "warrior-protector of nature who is empowered by the natural world to aid in their defense".


Minsc

4e Alignment: Good

4e Class: "Berserker" (Battlerager Fighter tweaked to use Swords rather than Axes & Hammers)

Justifications: Ah, Minsc. So simply, yet so straightforward. He may be too crazy and impulsive to be Lawful Good, but his dedication to Good surely goes without question. In game, his skills as a Ranger have always been pathetic, and he hardly matches the archetype; he's an armor-plated berserker who goes charging into the enemy and reduces them to mincemeat with a big honking sword. Since 4e gives us an armor-plated rage-driven killing machine in the Battlerager variant of the Fighter, it seemed an obvious class to pair him with. The slight houseruling reflects his weapon preference, and Boo is just a personal keepsake.


Viconia De'Vir

4e Alignment: Unaligned (Good if Redeemed)

4e Class: Cleric

Justifications: Again, this one will be controversial. Viconia is unquestionably a result of her upbringing, but at the same time, she left her people because she's not like them - she has established moral standards, things that she just Will Not Do, and a sense of guilt for some of her transgressions. In both games, when you meet her, she's not trying to fulfil some evil scheme, or attempting to claw her way back into power. She just wants to be left alone, and will return the courtesy. So, to me, she seems more of a rather vicious when provoked form of Unaligned, and if redeemed by a PC, will make the jump, however grudgingly, to Good.

I also choose to ignore the frankly ridiculous aspect of her complaining about a Reputation that is too high, given her whole motivation for joining the party is for protection and she's smart enough to realise the value that a reputation as a doer of good deeds/fellow hero has when it comes to adding to her protection.

Class seems to be a fairly straightforward conversion, though I guess one could argue that an Avenger, given its role as a "divine assassin" or "holy thief", could be more appropriate, given her backstory and, heck, the La'Viconia mod (which converts Viconia to a Cleric/Assassin).


Edwin Odesseiron

4e Alignment: Evil

4e Class: Wizard

Justifications: Edwin is your classic evil wizard type. It's an archetype that worked in 2e, and it's an archetype that works just fine in 4e. Edwin may well be the simplest, most straightforward character to translate; once you get past his unique personality, he's pretty cookie-cutter.


Aerie

4e Alignment: Lawful Good

4e Class: Invoker or Hybrid-classed Cleric/Wizard

Justifications: Aerie's alignment seems pretty straightforward, though I guess she could also be seen as Good. Class is trickier; it's a common complaint that Aerie is actually pretty mediocre as either a Cleric or a Wizard. The Invoker, which is essentially "a Wizard powered by Divine energy rather than Arcane" seems like a good way of compromising her general theme - a caster who mingles aspects of Arcane and Divine archetypes. There is always the straightforward Cleric/Wizard hybrid-classing option, which makes her equally good at both, if one wants to be more game-faithful as well.


Anmoen Delryn

4e Alignment: Unaligned (by default or if fails test) or Lawful Good (becomes Knight)

4e Class: Warlord, retrains to hybrid-classed Paladin/Warlord or simply Paladin if passes test

Justifications: Anmoen's Fighter/Cleric dual-classing is certainly possible in 4e, but, as with Jaheira, it feels awkward and clunky. The Warlord class, which fits the same sort of combat roles, is much more effective and meshes better with Anmoen's storyline; he is technically a knight, but he wants to be a Knight - a warrior empowered by the gods. Hence the changeover; becoming a fully fledged Knight either adds to his former martial skills, or replaces them with divine ones, I'm not sure which is better. The Unaligned alignment is simple; before his Test, Anmoen aspires to be good, but fails, due to his fixation on law above good and, most of all, due to be an arrogant bugger. If he gets over himself, he genuinely realises the error of his ways and becomes Lawful Good; if he fails, he slides towards darkness, but not so much as to become actually Evil.


Cernd

4e Alignment: Unaligned

4e Class: Druid

Justifications: Cernd's focus on the Balance, like a good little Druid, makes him a perfect candidate for the Unaligned alignment in 4e; he doesn't care about Good or Evil, Law or Chaos, just making sure that the natural world survives and prospers. With the Druid's extended focus on its Wild Shape ability in 4e, it meshes perfectly with Cernd's canonical Shapechanger kit; Cernd is a classic Predator Druid, focusing on his Wild Shape, Beast keyword powers and appropriate options to reflect the raging but self-controlled werewolf he is in canon.


Haer'Dalis

4e Alignment: Unaligned

4e Class: Bard

Justifications: Haer'Dalis is a little complicated to convert, but a Virtue of Valour Bard who focuses on melee attacks and uses feats to train in Scale Mail and Military Weapons meshes up pretty well - as well as qualifying him for the Doomlord Paragon Path (Heroes of the Elemental Chaos page #123). Unaligned, meanwhile, covers his indifference to anything besides his philosophy that all things decay and new things arise from the decay.


Keldorn Firecam

4e Alignment: Lawful Good

4e Class: Paladin

Justifications: How could one not make Keldorn, one of the best D&D Paladins to come onto the pixellated screen, into a Paladin in 4e? It's just not right to do otherwise. Lawful Good matches his nature very well in addition to being iconic.


Korgan Bloodaxe

4e Alignment: Chaotic Evil

4e Class: Battlerager Fighter

Justifications: Like Edwin up above, there's not a lot of character complexity to Korgan beyond his personality, which is a great example of "high functioning" Chaotic Evil; still whimsical, violent and vicious, but not so much as to make him just a drooling monster.


Jan Jansen

4e Alignment: Unaligned

4e Class: Hybrid-classed Artificer/Wizard with Thievery Skill Training

Justifications: Jan is totally crazy, hence his Chaotic Neutral alignment in canon and his Unaligned alignment here. Class is a lot trickier; I went for the above because the Artificer matches his "mad arcano-engineer" motif (Flasher Master and other gear, anyone?), whilst the Wizard aspect gives him more of his iconic illusion spells. The skill training, meanwhile, replicates the reason why people take him in canon: if Gorion's Ward isn't a Thief themselves, then Jan is the only thief in the game whose thievery skills progress.


Mazzy Fentan

4e Alignment: Lawful God

4e Class: Fighter

Justifications: Mazzy becoming a paladin or not is a tough call to make. On one hand, it is part of her background lore that she wants to be one, but can't. On the other hand, she couldn't only due to some of 2e's sillier rules and the game bent the line to the point it almost broke by giving her all of the basic Paladin abilities despite her ostensible Fighter class. So, in the end, making her a full-fledged Paladin and revamping her backstory (which isn't hard, as her "desire to be a paladin but can't become one" thing never gets mentioned in-game without checking her biography) makes the most sense to me.


Nalia de'Arnise

4e Alignment: Good

4e Class: Sorcerer with Thievery Skill Training

Justifications: Nalia is... well, she's basically a cheap clone of Imoen. Sorcerer over Warlock was chosen to A: give her a little difference to Imoen (who leans more toward Warlock in my mind), and B: mesh well with her "born to power she tries to use for the good of all" motif.


Valygar Corthala

4e Alignment: Good

4e Class: Ranger with Warlock multi-classing or hybrid-classing

Justifications: What is there to say? Valygar is an unusual character in that he's an archer with some limited magical powers. Ranger multi-classed to Warlock fits his backstory as "scion of a family cursed with an aptitude for dark magic" better than a Ranger multi-classed to Wizard - plus, it means a better meshing of combat roles. On the other hand, an interesting take on Valygar would be to make him a Seeker, which blends "archer" and "spellcaster" into a much more singular whole, if somewhat less thematically than what I went with.


Yoshimo

4e Alignment: Unaligned

4e Class: Rogue

Justifications: What is there to say about Yoshimo? The only proper thief in the whole game (unless you count Jan or have CHARNAME take that role), he's another "simple transition" character. Nothing special warranted.

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