Recently I completed Baldur’s Gate 3 Honor (Honour) Mode difficulty. It’s like Tactician difficulty plus single-save-file and some encounters have added legendary abilities. No reloading. If entire party falls, game over. Completing Honor Mode earns golden dice. How pretty!

BG3 GoldDice

Here I share my experience and spoiler-free tips for completing Honor Mode.

Soon after my first full play-through on Tactician (a Dark Urge necromancer), I decided try Honor Mode with a Lore Bard. I love the single-save concept for role-playing game! It’s more like table-top RPG where your party makes a decision and accepts the consequences. For players wanting a single-save experience on easier difficulty, choose Custom difficulty and check the single-save box. My bard made it far, but I ended my quest short. My mistake was taking a different path into unfamiliar situations which I was unprepared to face. Having gained more experience, I started another attempt. Once again I chose the Dark Urge origin character.

BG3 Sorc2

Introducing my cute, freckle-faced High Elf draconic sorcerer! What better look for a serial killer than a warm smile, a twinkle in the eye, and with the grace of a dancer? By the end of my 110-hour play-through, she turned darker.

BG3 SorcFin

Below her character sheet at level 12:

BG3 SorcSheet3

My party included Astarion, a thief, Shadowheart, a cleric, and Lae’zel, a battle-master fighter. To reduce distractions, I stuck with these same companions for the entire quest. I told Jaheira to go her own way, which she agreed, but she ended up at camp anyway. My camp remained empty until Volo and Halsin joined followed later by Arabella, Jaheira (what’s she doing here?), Dame Aylin, Minsc (Jaheira insisted), and Yenna. I prefer a smaller camp and keeping with the same companions. Doing multiple play-throughs means next time I can switch companions. I finished without using any tadpoles, and I did not miss them.

Tips for Honor Mode

Choose any class you like or feel confident playing. Playing a high-charisma-based class can be fun, and I enjoyed my bard sweet-talking through most of Act 2. I enjoyed my necromancer even more, and found her stronger in other areas. Play the class you like and have fun.

For the best story experience I absolutely recommend playing Dark Urge origin, especially for a good, resisting-the-urge play. Like I stated in my Dark Urge post, playing a non-origin character feels like a supporting role for other characters. Dark Urge adds challenge to one specific encounter during Act 2, and also makes some encounters easier.

Should you respec your companions to improve their ability values? I find it a personal preference perhaps when desiring a different class. I respecced Shadowheart during Act 2 to switch domains. I like Trickery Domain, but I felt Light Domain worked better for this party. I took this opportunity to adjust her ability values. I left Astarion and Lae’zel at their default, less than ideal, ability scores. For them I used their first ability score improvement (ASI) to add a point into two of their odd-number values increasing the bonus for each ability. I do not feel it necessary to min-max everything.

1. Take notes

The quest is long and diverse where encounters may vary depending on choices made earlier in the game. Difficulty of some encounters can vary greatly. For example, the fight near the end of Act 2 may be easy or very challenging depending on what you did throughout Act 2. Proper preparation makes this fight much easier! During your Honor Mode play-through, make note of encounters so that next time you will be better prepared. Guides are good for reference, but try not to follow them too closely as the guide may have been based on the game before recent patches or making different decisions. Your notes matter most.

2. Be prepared to flee

Have Misty Step, invisibility, or Dimension Door at the ready. Keep one member prepared to flee combat. It only takes one survivor returning to camp for Withers to retrieve everyone else.

3. Take your time and roll with the punches

Before a fight, scout ahead and prepare. Combat is turned based, so take all the time you need. Examine your opponents. Even the best plan can go awry. When it does, make adjustments or consider fleeing.

4. High initiative wins fights

My first trip through Act 2 felt brutal, not only because of unfamiliarity, but due to the enemies winning initiative forcing my team onto the defensive, spending extra resources or wasting turns. After that experience I realized winning initiative wins fights in Tactician and Honor Mode difficulties.

On character creation, put some points into dexterity even for non-dexterity based classes! At least 12, or reach for 14 if you can muster. Consider alertness feat and purchase gear bestowing initiative bonus. For Act 2 your entire party should have at least +3 initiative bonus, some members with a +6 or better. (At level 8 my Shadowheart had a +10 initiative bonus.) Also consider using initiative bonus for order of attack such that the member with higher initiative bonus can prepare the battlefield for another member. In Act 3 when your Dark Urge goes to a certain duel, and you wish to go first, best have a +8 or more initiative bonus. Say, that Elixir of Vigilance looks tasty!

5. Master tactics

Never underestimate the power of a simple cantrip or first-level spell. Darkness can be your friend. Minor illusion cantrip can distract attention, or used to lure one or two opponents away from a group. Magic Missile is super handy. During Act 1 get the quasit, Shovel, to surprise your opponents. Take advantage of the elements. For example, wetness increases lightning damage.

Have fun!

Thank you for reading. If you have questions you may reach me by email or on Discord.