Baldur’s Gate 3: What is a Critical Miss in BG3?

It's not good, obviously.

The back of a man in black armor with a large knife in Baldur's Gate 3
Screenshot by Dot Esports via Larian Studios

If you have jumped into Baldur’s Gate 3 with little experience or exposure to Dungeons and Dragons and the systems that make it up, then you have a lot to learn. The Critical Miss is a famously groan-inducing moment from friends around a table or in a Discord, but what exactly is it?

What is a Critical Miss in Baldur’s Gate 3?

A Critical Miss is an automatic failure on a dice roll. It will not matter what kind of modifiers you might be able to apply that could help. If you roll a Critical Miss, you cannot succeed at all. So, let’s say you can stack up four +2 modifiers on a difficulty eight roll. If you roll a one, you will automatically fail that roll, despite the modifiers taking you to a total of nine. A one will always be a failure, no matter what other circumstances apply to the roll.

How dice rolling works

Dice rolling in Baldur's Gate 3.
Screenshot by Dot Esports

From time to time, the game will make you roll a dice to complete certain tasks. These tasks will often be things like using a skill or ability, or even a piece of equipment, or taking a specific action. Everything you do is based on one of your stats, and that stat score will form the basis of how hard any action is to do.

After that, you may be considered to be at an Advantage or Disadvantage. For either one you will roll an extra dice, but if you are at Advantage, you get to use the higher roll, and at Disadvantage, you’re forced to use the lower roll. In combat, you can be at Advantage if you flank an enemy with two of your characters.

Related: Best multiclass builds in Baldur’s Gate 3

Up next, you have your modifiers. These can be drawn from things like your class, spells that you can cast, or even the circumstances that you are in. This will allow you to add or subtract values from the score. Sometimes those values are fixed, while sometimes, they will be the result of yet another dice roll.

In the screenshot shown above, the difficulty of the roll is set to 10, which means we must come to a 10 after all modifiers have been applied. We are not at Advantage or Disadvantage, so we get one dice and must use the resulting score. We get a +1 to the roll because of our Charisma stat and a +1D4 due to the Guidance spell. This means we get a possible modifier of between 2 and 5, depending on that dice roll.

What is a Critical Success?

A Critical Success is when you roll a 20, and it means you will succeed no matter what. On top of that, when it comes to attacking people, a Critical Success means you cause a critical hit and will do increased damage. Depending on your skills, class, and abilities, this can be increased, and even the odds of a Critical Success can be increased.


Aidan O'Brien
A massive gaming fan, Aidan has been bad at esports since before it had a name. Known for haunting Quake and Unreal Tournament servers back in the day, he graduated to being bad at Brood War before moving on to becoming a terrible ADC in any MOBA that will have him. He spends too much time in Warframe and Destiny 2, and is eyeballing Marathon like a starving man looking at a sandwich.

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