Baldur's Gate 3, the game that swept through the awards season like an enchanted broomstick, had it all: a captivating world, dynamic gameplay, impeccable production, and, of course, a cast of delightful characters that stole our hearts. As fans eagerly await the next installment in the franchise, be it DLC or Baldur's Gate 4, there's one thing we can all agree on—they can't leave the companions behind!

Sure, the world of Faerun and the intricate mechanics of Dungeons and Dragons can stand on their own, but it was the companions' stories that truly made Baldur's Gate 3 a memorable experience. Beyond the central quest to rid themselves of those squirming tadpoles in their brains, players spent most of their time entangled in the problems and triumphs of newfound friends like Lae'zel, Shadowheart, Astarion, Gale, Wyll, and Karlach. It's no wonder we'd find it hard to bid them farewell. So, as Larian Studios ponders their next move, let's hope these beloved companions are part of whatever comes next!

Ah, but let's not lose hope during this waiting game for Baldur's Gate 4. Larian Studios has a golden opportunity to keep us entertained and enthralled within the world of Faerun. How, you ask? Well, my friends, by creating spin-off titles that explore the rich backstories of our favorite BG3 companions! Picture it—games that take place before the events of Baldur's Gate 3, allowing us to witness firsthand the adventures that shaped these extraordinary characters.

Writers often say, "show, don't tell," and that's precisely what these spin-offs would achieve. No longer would companions merely recount their past experiences; instead, we'd be thrust into the heart of their daring escapades. Imagine Karlach battling through the fires of Avernus, Lae'zel's unwavering loyalty to Vlaakith, or Wyll's thrilling exploits as The Blade of Frontiers. It'd be a chance for those who previously prioritized creating their own characters to step into the shoes of these remarkable individuals. And let's not forget the potential for new locations—the mysterious Waterdeep tower of Gale, or the uncharted corners of Faerun that BG3 has yet to reveal.

But hold onto your enchanted weapons, my friends, for there's more to this tale! We can't overlook the untapped potential of Halsin, Minthara, Jaheira, and Minsc. Each of them possesses stories that could stand on their own as standalone spin-off titles. Jaheira, with her special place in the Baldur's Gate franchise since the original game's release in 1998, could be the perfect bridge for new players, introducing them to the events of the older games while weaving her own captivating narrative.

Now, let's talk about DLC. Many of us yearn for additional content that continues the story of our treasured companions. However, here's the tricky part—each player's choices can alter the fate of these characters dramatically. We've shed tears over their deaths or reveled in their triumphs, but accounting for every possibility in DLC is no small feat. So, the DLC would have to either leave the companion party behind entirely or take place within the main story, in media res. That way, we avoid the tangled web of accounting for the infinite branches of fate.

Considering these challenges, perhaps it would be more prudent for Larian Studios to embark on Baldur's Gate 4 rather than getting entangled in the timeline of BG3. After all, the game stands tall on its own, not necessarily needing augmentation through DLC. However, fear not, dear readers! Hypothetically speaking, Baldur's Gate 4 could still honor the choices we made and the paths our companions took. Take Mass Effect 2 as an example, where players could import their characters from the previous game, carrying forward the consequences of their actions. The same could be done for Baldur's Gate 4—whether Shadowheart met an untimely demise or Karlach turned her back on us, these choices would shape the sequel, adding depth and continuity to the narrative.

Regardless of the path Larian Studios chooses, one thing is certain—the next Baldur's Gate game must include the characters we've grown to adore. A sequel without even a whisper of these influential names would be like a fireball spell without the boom! These companions have lived lives of their own, impacting us in more ways than we can count. Even if they return as fleeting NPCs, they deserve recognition and a place in the future of the franchise.

So, dear adventurers, as we eagerly await the next installment in the Baldur's Gate saga, let us hold onto the hope that Larian Studios will continue to weavetheir magic, bringing us spin-off titles that delve into the rich backstories of our cherished companions. Let us dream of epic battles, untold adventures, and the chance to walk in the shoes of these extraordinary characters. And when the time comes for Baldur's Gate 4, may it be a continuation of our journey—one that honors the choices we've made and the companions who have become a part of our gaming souls.

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