The Dark Urge is one of the most mysterious character creation options in Baldur’s Gate 3, promising a dark and haunted backstory for your character. But Larian Studios plays it pretty coy with what exactly the Dark Urge storyline is when you’re first building out your character.
Creating your perfect Baldur’s Gate 3 character isn’t easy, what with all the classes you can choose from, but it’s worth spending the time to educate yourself as much as possible before making a big decision that will impact your game time for 100 hours or more.
In this Baldur’s Gate 3 guide, we’ll explain what the Dark Urge is, what the ramifications are for playing as the Dark Urge. And, while playing as the Dark Urge in Baldur’s Gate 3 is more of a narrative choice than a mechanical one, we’ll offer some suggestions for the best build and class that work for the character.
What is the Dark Urge origin character in BG3?
When you’re first starting your game in Baldur’s Gate 3, and creating your character, you’ll get to choose between a fully custom character or one of several origin characters — characters with a pre-determined backstory, which usually come with a locked race and class combo.
Most origin characters are based on party members you’ll meet in the world of Baldur’s Gate 3 — like Karlach, Astarion, or Wyll — allowing you to play the game as these characters instead of alongside them. The Dark Urge, however, doesn’t have an NPC equivalent in any other playthroughs. The Dark Urge will only appear in the world of Baldur’s Gate 3 if you’re actively playing as them.
This is because the Dark Urge comes with a unique, and uniquely dark, backstory that actively changes some events in the campaign.
The elevator pitch is that, for some reason, you have dark thoughts swirling in your mind constantly, backed up by the narration. For example: When you meet a party member for the first time, the narrator might say that you imagine their fresh, beautiful corpse on the ground. Or, if you examine a body, the narrator will pipe in to tell you how much you’re really digging all of this destruction, death, and sadness.
All of this Dark Urge stuff ties into some major parts of the act 3 narrative. We won’t spoil any of that here, as that’s a big reason why you’d want to try your hand at a Dark Urge playthrough. But, suffice it to say, if you don’t want your origin to be tied into evil itself, the Dark Urge probably isn’t the origin character for you.
Is the Dark Urge only for evil playthroughs in BG3?
Despite the evil origin of the Dark Urge, you certainly don’t have to roleplay the character that way. In fact, you can play much of The Dark Urge as a kind of redemption tale, pushing against who you’re supposed to be and forging a new destiny. Baldur’s Gate 3 is very good at flexing to meet your internal roleplay, and that remains true for The Dark Urge.
However, if you want to play a purely good character, you want to stay away from The Dark Urge. Being good in a Dark Urge playthrough means fighting back against narrative temptations and actively trying to avoid doing the evil things that your internal monologue is tempting you to do.
If these kinds of interjections of chaos and bloodshed sound interesting to you, the Dark Urge’s story does go to some very interesting places. If those aren’t the kinds of curveballs you’re interested in, the Dark Urge won’t be a good fit.
Should the Dark Urge be your first character in BG3?
If you’re just starting Baldur’s Gate 3 for the first time, I would advise not to play the Dark Urge as your first character.
There are a couple of reasons for this, but it’s primarily because the Dark Urge’s story is arguably more interesting if you’ve already seen the way Baldur’s Gate 3’s story plays out on a normal playthrough.
Another reason I’d recommend staying away from The Dark Urge is that it changes the narration to make it more of a psychological horror game than a traditional fantasy one. If that’s the kind of vibe you’re looking for, you could probably have a great time starting with the Dark Urge. But I see the Dark Urge as more of a way to remix the game just a little bit on a second playthrough than as a baseline experience.
Best class and build for the Dark Urge in BG3
Unlike the other origin characters in Baldur’s Gate 3, you’re free to select the Dark Urge’s race and class. Neither are locked to their default. That said, the Dark Urge defaults to Sorcerer and a White Dragonborn with red accents, and I suggest sticking with something similar in your playthrough.
You don’t need to play a Sorcerer as the Dark Urge, but at the very least, I’d recommend sticking with a Charisma-based class like Sorcerer, Paladin, Bard, or Warlock. Because these classes are all Charisma casters, your damage abilities are directly tied to the stat that also makes you good at talking to other characters.
Usually, Charisma casters are referred to as the “face” of a party, meaning they handle all the persuasion and intimidation checks. When playing the Dark Urge, you’ll want to be the face of your party, as you want to be the person either intimidating others or persuading them that you’re not actually that bad of a person and that you’re trying to be better.
There’s nothing about the Dark Urge character type that demands you play as a certain class — there’s no difference between a normal Warlock and a Dark Urge Warlock — and you can definitely find success as a Dark Urge that’s a Rogue, Cleric, or any other class. However, with it being such a roleplay heavy origin character, you’ll have an easier time if your Charisma checks have some added bonuses.
If you’re looking for the best character builds that thematically pair well with Dark Urge, here are some that exhibit trickery, violence, and chaos — or justice and redemption:
- Wild Magic Sorcerer
- The Great Old One Warlock
- Oath of Devotion or Oathbreaker Paladin (break your oath to get the latter)
- College of Lore Bard
- Trickery or Light Domain Cleric
- Assassin Rogue
As for why you should stick with the White Dragonborn with red accents: It looks really cool and creepy. If that look doesn’t speak to you, you’re more than welcome to swap to a creepy Elf or a mean-looking Dwarf. Or, hey, maybe you want to make your Dark Urge a bubbly, friendly-looking Tiefling. Your race is The Dark Urge decision that matters least, so do whatever you feel inspired to do. (And, if I’m being totally honest, while Dragonborn do look really cool, their racial bonuses are pretty subpar compared to other races, so you won’t be missing much if you swap.)