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The co-creator of the Dragon Age franchise has commented on the reaction to one of Baldur’s Gate 3’s main female characters, saying fans “always treated male characters with more forgiveness”.

The comments revolve around Lae’zel, a female Githyanki Fighter who can be a companion throughout Baldur’s Gate 3.

Lae’zel’s personality has prompted much discussion since Baldur’s Gate 3’s explosive launch on PC, with some praising her no-nonsense attitude, others criticising it, calling her “hostile”, “rude”, and “unfriendly”.

This criticism of Lae’zel’s character has approached meme status, with parts of the community saying they’d ditch the character altogether if not for her impressive damage output and tanking ability.

Twitter user PleasantKenobi called Lae’zel “the RPG party member equivalent of ‘the show gets really good after season 4’.” “I’m glad she has an arc, but I’m not putting up with her shit for 10 hours for her to eventually maybe stop being an ass.”

This tweet, viewed 1.6 million times, prompted a response from Twitter user BlackSalander, who said if Lae’zel was a male character, players “would be swooning about him being so edgy and such a bad boy”.

“Oh wait I forgot, that’s Astarion,” BlackSalander said, referencing Baldur’s Gate 3’s cruel, pompous, manipulative, male vampire companion.

This tweet then prompted a response from David Gaider, lead writer and co-creator of BioWare’s Dragon Age franchise, which Baldur’s Gate 3 is often compared to.

“Can confirm,” Gaider said. “The Dragon Age fandom consistently gave WAY more latitude and forgiveness to male characters as opposed to female characters, in every game. It is very much a Thing.”

Gaider, whose roleplaying musical adventure Stray Gods came out recently, expanded on the thought in subsequent tweets, insisting it was the same deal for Dragon Age 2 and Dragon Age Inquisition. “Fandom has always treated male characters with more forgiveness – full stop,” Gaider insisted.

Twitter user Joseph Clark suggested player opinion of Lae’zel may be influenced by their frenetic first encounter, which is aboard the Nautiloid ship during the game’s prologue. Here, Lae’zel temporarily joins your party and very much gets her personality across.

This encounter was contrasted with the player’s first encounter with Morrigan, the much-loved Dragon Age character. “It does everything right to make you like the character, before showing you her darker side,” Clark said of Morrigan’s introduction in Dragon Age: Origins. “I don’t think they did this with Lae’zel.”

Gaider dismissed this suggestion, saying “it truly does not matter”. ”This isn’t specific to Lae’zel, but in her case had the character been male the fandom would be more forgiving. I guarantee it,” Gaider said.

Lae’zel isn’t the only hot topic within the world of Baldur’s Gate 3. There’s an ongoing community debate about save scumming, and a group of players who are convinced they can “fix” Shadowheart.

Find out what we think of the game in IGN’s recently updated Baldur’s Gate 3 review in-progress. Oh, and be careful when you Long Rest in Baldur’s Gate 3.

For more info, check out how our guide to building a character in Baldur’s Gate 3 as well as our guide to Baldur’s Gate 3’s races and subraces.

Wesley is the UK News Editor for IGN. Find him on Twitter at @wyp100. You can reach Wesley at wesley_yinpoole@ign.com or confidentially at wyp100@proton.me.



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