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The character creation process is very confusing to me. It's unclear why I need to create 2 characters.

After completing all the steps for the first time I clicked 'Venture forth'. Then a character was shown that has no resemblance to the character I just created. I got confused and thought this was a bug or my character was not created yet.

It turns out you need to create another character. What is purpose of this second character?

3 Answers 3

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The first character is the character that you actually play, while the second character is their "Guardian." According to Rock Paper Shotgun:

Strangely, the Baldur's Gate 3 Guardian does not appear to be an actual person who you can actually meet in the open world. They also, seemingly, aren't a character that you can control at any point.

Additional sources:

This is merely how your Guardian chooses to appear to your character. In truth, the Guardian is actually a mind flayer called The Emperor.

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    Who the game claims this character to be appears to be related to your choice of character. In my first play-through (early access) I created a male rogue and then it said something like "who do you dream of? who attracts you?" like in this answer. In my second play-through (full game), I created a female sorceress and then it said something like "who is your guardian". Also the cutscenes are completely different - in the rogue playthrough the NPC tried to seduce and tempt me, in the sorceress playthrough the NPC seems much more noble. I guess it depends on which profession you pick.
    – Amarth
    Aug 7, 2023 at 18:05
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    It's not profession based. The Dream Lover was changed to the Dream Guardian from EA -> full release because of story reason.
    – Shadur
    Nov 11, 2023 at 11:32
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! Here be spoilers !


The second character, referred to as the Guardian and the Dream Visitor, is an NPC that protects your main character(s) from ceremorphosis, the process initiated by infection with an illithid tadpole.

The Guardian will initially visit your main character in their dreams, and tell you of the protection they offer them.

This Guardian is in actuality a disguise used by the mind flayer known as the Emperor. The Emperor can be found in a pocket plane on the Astral Plane reachable only by means of the Astral Prism, the 'Mysterious Artefact' Shadowheart is so keen to bring to Baldur's Gate.
This mind flayer initially can only communicate telepathically, hence their introduction in a dream.
Their relationship towards you is still more complicated than this, and unfolds while you play the game.

Why you are able to create this non-playable character in the first place, is a very clever way to allow for the disguise to have a specific meaning to the player, a manifestation of the protagonist's concept of a Guardian.

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Spoiler-free answer:

The second character you create is your "Spirit Guardian". This character will have an important role during the story. They will protect your character and your party from a serious threat. But this character might also have an agenda of their own. Whether you consider them as an ally or an adversary is up to you.

You will not get to play as that character or fight alongside them. But you will interact with them during dialogs.

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