Baldur's Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast article by Al Giovetti


By Al Giovetti
Genre:Fantasy Role-Playing
Release:Spring 1999
Developer: Bioware and Black Island
Lead Artist:
Publisher: Interplay

Baldur's Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast

by Chris Parker, Ben Smedstad and Al Giovetti


Company Line

The First Adventure Pack for the 1998 Blockbuster RPG of the Year!

Continue on your travels on the Sword Coast with the next set of adventures in the award-winning Baldur's Gate role playing game series. Legends abound in the region. Almost all have at least some basis in truth and almost all speak of treasures lost and monsters to be defeated. Are you up to the task? Will you return with even more fame than you accumulated in your previous travels? Or will you journey off, never to be heard from again - the source of your own legend, in turn...?

Game Play

New Items: There are going to be a lot of new items, but most of the items will exist within the same broad categories as the items from BG. As we get closer to the release of the project, we will make a smaller version of the Faerun Querum with pictures and descriptions of some of the new items.

New Spells: We will be adding a number of spells from the 4th and 5th level for both Priests and Mages. The number will not be huge however, somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 spells or about 1/5th of the spells in BG. There will likely be some new higher level spells, but unfortunately for the players, those spells will be used against you by NPCs.

The experience cap is going up. We haven't exactly decided what the new experience point cap is going to be however. In BG the cap was 89,000, this allowed characters to attain 7th or 8th level depending on their class. In our discussions it seems pretty well agreed upon that the cap will allow characters to get up into the 8/9th level range in TSC.

There are ways to modify the experience point cap in the game currently available on the internet. If you do in some way modify Baldur's Gate, you may make it impossible for your characters or your game to port to the adventure pack or any possible sequels. At the very least, your characters will be brought back down to 89k xp.

New Monsters: There will be some new monsters, but not a ton. We think there'll definitely be enough to keep you satisfied. Of the new monsters, only a few will actually be created from scratch with new models, animations, and all that. There will be new variations on many of the existing creatures in BG.

No New NPCs. There will be no new Non-Player Characters that you can take into your party.

New game play items: The game will have no changes in the rules but will have some changes to game mechanics. The majority of these things came from feedback directly from the message boards:

  1. Character toolbars have been revised so most have 2 quick weapon slots -- the 3 that don't are: Cleric/Thief, Mage/Thief, Fighter/Mage/Thief.
  2. The speed of all projectiles (normal and magical) has been doubled.
  3. Backstabbing now requires the thief to be behind the target.
  4. Web and Grease spells have been changed so they better reflect the area effect of the spells.
  5. All area effect spells have been altered so they only affect people still within the area of effect (ie. you can now run out of the fireball blast radius).
  6. Summoned creatures now start facing random directions.


The setting: The adventure pack takes place on the Sword Coast in the exact same region as BG. Part of takes place to the west of the city of BG (on the high seas) and some takes place near the Wood of Sharp Teeth.

The time: The action is set within the game of Baldur's Gate before you defeat Sarevok, and somewhat after you go south to the Nashkell mines. The added areas of Ulgoth's Beard which is an island in the sea west of Baldur's Gate, Durlag's Tower, which is west of Beregost and south of the Wood of Sharp Teeth. It is not known if the area of Berdusk, a town near Durlag's Tower will also be in the game at this time.

There will be a lot of NPCs. As it stands there will likely be a hundred with 20-30 major parts.

There are 4 areas that are being added to the Sword Coast. There is a small town called Ulgoth's Beard, an Island, and the famed Durlag's Tower. All of these areas are complex, having multiple interiors and subterranean levels. Our estimation is that the adventure pack will add roughly 20 hours of gameplay into the world.



No, not yet. As it stands, 3d implementation will only happen if there is a sequel. We want to do it right, and to give the player the full potential of the 3d support, not just some hack to get it working.

Yes there are several pre-rendered cutscenes in TSC. They are placed as such to further the story and to immerse the player further into the game.

Voice Actors

There will be new voice overs, but not a huge amount. The amount of voice overs per character will be roughly equivalent to the amount of voice overs that is currently in BG per character and it is likely to be for the major NPCs only.

Music Score

We might do a small amount of new music, but it would be relatively brief and is likely to be very location specific.

Sound Effects


The adventure pack will simply add areas into the currently existing world. That is, the world map will be replaced with a new world map with areas on it that weren't in BG. With the adventure pack, you will still be playing BG, it will just have a bigger world.

So there are 3 things that can happen:

  1. You start a new game: Everything is just like BG, with a bigger world and more stuff to do.
  2. You continue a current game: After installation, you load your last save game. Everything will be the same as it was before TSC, but the world map is slightly different and bigger. You can continue with what you were doing before, or head off and investigate the new areas.
  3. You want to play with the save game from when you beat BG: You will actually start just before the end of BG. You will have the opportunity to go out and investigate the TSC areas, and then come back and beat BG again.
If you beat BG with the adventure pack installed, the game will end as it would without it.

You must have BG installed in order to play the adventure pack because it adds into the currently existing world. If you choose to uninstall BG until the adventure pack is released, keep your save games folder backed up someplace. There are two of them "/saves" and "/mp saves". After you get the adventure pack, reinstall BG and then install the add pack. By copying over your saves at that point, you could resume where you left off.

You must have BG installed in order to install TSC, but the adventure pack will only make a number of small modifications to your current installation. That is, if you choose a minimum installation where all of the SFX and music stay on the CD, then the adventure pack will be roughly equivalent to patching BG, less than 5 megs. If you choose to do a regular installation, the size will depend entirely upon the amount of new assets in sound and animations that we add into the game. It is likely to be less than 50 megs however.

The German/French/Italian/Spanish versions should be shipped one or two weeks after the English version is shipped. We're going to do the best we can. BG shipped out in the US on the 12/23/98, in the rest of the world it took around one or two weeks to arrive on the shelves. The reasons for this were primarily logistical. BG has 5 CDs (which means it takes a long time to duplicate and build units) and it silvered on what is probably the worst week in the entire year to try and get something done. Since TSC is only one CD, and since its not shipping in the middle of Christmas, we may be able to turn it around faster. However, because we are developing the adventure pack very quickly, we may not have time to produce all of the localized materials such as the box and manual fast enough. So there are a number of factors at play and all we can say is that we'll do the best we can.

Compare to

Multi-player Features

Multiplayer will work exactly the same in TSC as it does in BG. If you have installed the adventure pack however, you will only be able to play with others who have it too. This is because game data has to be the same on all machines and TSC will be modifying some existing BG data when it installs.

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