Baldur's Gate 3 patch 5 introduced new features including Honour Mode, balance updates, and more. Honour Mode is a new game mode in Baldur's Gate 3 that will be available to choose at the beginning of playthroughs and makes the game much more difficult.
What is Honour Mode in BG3?
Honour Mode is the new game mode for Baldur's Gate 3 that makes boss fights more difficult, removes certain exploits, and is limited to one save file. Over 30 tweaks have been made to boss fights, including the addition of the Action System, which allows bosses to perform new actions to devastate your party.
Honour Mode is extremely difficult not only due to the boss fights, but also because a party wipe will end the game. You will be shown stats of the adventure and have the option to continue the game on another difficulty level, but the Honour Mode run will be over. Players who complete Honour Mode without all party members dying will get a golden D20 die to use in-game. Since save scumming is removed, you will want to make sure at least one party member can always survive combat, otherwise, you will fail the playthrough.
Honour Mode removes a few major exploits popularly used in other difficulty modes. Changes have been made to action economy and damage mechanics to make combat more difficult and prevent cheesing battles.
Action economy is basically how much you can do with your turn including the use of actions, bonus actions, and free actions. In Honour Mode, you can no longer benefit from Extra Attacks in certain instances that are considered exploits. If under the effects of Haste or Bloodlust, you will no longer be able to use an Extra Attack on your second action if your Extra Attack was used on the first action. Pact of the Blade does not stack with Extra Attack, so Warlocks cannot get three attacks by multiclassing into martial classes.
Changes to DRS in BG3 Honour Mode
Damage riders are effects that can stack damage with other attacks, like the spell Hex or a Barbarian's Rage bonus damage. Sometimes, damage riders can be applied as damage sources, which is considered DRS (or Damage Rider Sources). These effects can stack multiple times in a single turn, resulting in a ton of damage output. Honour Mode removes these effects so damage boosts cannot interact with each other. Here are some of the DRS exploits that cannot be used in Honour Mode:
- Phalar Aluve Shriek: No longer creates separate DRS for every source.
- Tavern Brawler: No longer creates separate damage instances on throws
- Several weapons: No longer have DRS boosts, but have normal boosts.
- Sneak Attack, Divine Smite, Divine Strike, and Colossus Slayer have added checks to ensure they do not receive bonus damage.
Overall, the changes in Honour Mode can make your playthrough extremely challenging and a very fresh experience. While some changes like DRS being removed can affect how you play and build your characters, it will enable you to discover new ways to play and new builds to try.
For more on Baldur's Gate 3, check out Where is BG3 save file location? here on Pro Game Guides.