Apologies for leaving this one for a couple of days.. we’re talking about Constitution this time, the stat that measures a character’s hardiness - their resistance to illness, ability to function without sleep, and general physical health. In the Baldur’s Gate games Constitution only affects a few things, like getting extra hit points at level ups. A very high constitution will cause you to have limited regeneration capibilities.
Also, I wasn’t aware how this worked up to writing this, but the short races get saving throw bonuses based on their Con. From the Baldur’s Gate Wiki:
"Gnomes, Dwarves, and Halflings get bonuses to saving throws based on their constitution, up to a maximum of +5 at 18 constitution. Collectively known as the "shorty bonuses", these bonuses are re-calcuated on level-up. So, while you may qualify for an extra saving throw bonus by using the Manual of Bodily Health, you will not see the benefits until you level up. Gnomes receive this bonus to their Wands and Spells saving throws, while Dwarves and Halflings both have the bonus added to their Death, Wands and Spells saving throws."
Veddy interesting. So, without further ado...
Elves have a constitution penalty, as we’ll soon see, and Xan is the sickliest of the lot. Any lower and he’d be feeling a hit point penalty. Maybe his health affects his melancholy disposition? Poor thing.
Next we have Viconia, one of the elven subrace Drow. Very frail, but she has more options to buff herself than Xan, and her dexterity is excellent (19).
9: Garrick, Shar-Teel, Aerie, Haer’Dalis
Another elf and a tiefling (I think Haer has some elven heritage?) here, plus a fey actor. Funny how Aerie, despite losing her wings in an extremely gruesome manner, still has 2 more con than Xan. I’m surprised Shar-Teel has such low Con, given her exceptional 18/58 strength and Amazonian persona. As an aside, from a RP perspective Con should generally be a very important stat for adventurers given all the travel involved.
11: Faldorn, Quayle
Disappointing low for Faldorn. I would think Druids would have very good con given their outdoorsy lifestyle (don’t they become immune to poison at some point?), but like most of her stats it’s distinctly average. High however for a walking brain like Quayle, and indicative of how the short races are surprisingly hardy (gnomes even get a con bonus in Neverwinter Nights and Icewind Dale 2).
12: Safana, Coran, Alora
Working our way through the average scores, I’m sure the developers just assigned more or less random numbers for most characters. Still, it’s fun (to me) to think up role playing reasons for this or that.
13: Canderous, Osprey, Cernd
Another druid with a disappointing Con.
14: Kivan, Dorn, Neera, Rasaad, Clara, Hexxat
How strange, almost all the Beamdog NPCs are here! No extra HP for these guys, with Dorn feeling this the most as he’s the only one of a warrior class. I would’ve thought Vampires gained supernatural toughness but I guess not.
15: Mordaine, Montaron, Minsc (BG1), Branwen, Eldoth, Skie, Jan
So, Kivan, an elven ranger (outdoorsy warrior) has less con than Mordaine, an elven mage? I think the tutorial NPCs have even more arbitrary scores than most. At 15 you get 1HP bonus per level up. Not really worth it, I would think.
16: Deder, Imoen, Ajantis, Edwin, Dynaheir, Tiax, Minsc (BG2), Yoshimo, Anomen, Nalia, Mazzy, Baeloth
Lots of characters here, just like with 16 dexterity. 2HP bonus per level up. Interesting that Dynaheir originally had more con than Minsc (maybe accounting for his head wound?). Edwin too, with his paltry strength and dex scores, has very respectable constitution. Now, the Invoker (Dynaheir’s class) requires 16 con, while the Conjurer (Edwin’s) requires 15. So some mages have to be really hardy folk to control the forms of energy they specialise in. It makes me look at both of them slightly differently now, as well as Nalia and Imoen.
17: Khalid, Jaheira, Yeslick, Keldorn
Warrior classes get +3HP here. Also, I’m probably reading too much into things here, but spouses Khalid and Jaheira have the same con, as do couple Skie and Eldoth, and one-sided couple Coran and Safana.
18: Sarevok, Wilson
+4HP for warriors. No suprises Sarevok has the perfect score for his race, though I thought Wilson would have a higher score. He still regenerates from what I’ve heard.
19: Arkanis, Korgan
Yep, dwarves are the antithesis of elves in so many ways, and they get awesome Con scores to prove it. I can see Korgan easily surviving a brick house falling on him. Not only does he get +5HP per level, he has a +5 bonus to his saving throws due to being a dwarf. None can stand up to his stamina. Except, maybe...
“That’s right, yer muttonheads! I win! I’m so tough my wounds close by themselves! Korgan, ye’ve guts, but ye’ve a long way to go till you can match Kagain. Yeslick, shave yer beard. Might as well pass yerself off as a pansy elf if yer gonna have the constitution of halfa one...”
...so how important is Constitution to you? I admit, I always max it out to get the maximum hit points possible, but I’m not sure how useful those extra hit points are in the grand scheme of things.
Can you tell a person's general Constitution by looking at them? Consider that Edwin and Ajantis have the same Con score, as do Skie and Montaron, and Dorn and Neera. If not, then just what conditions the stat?
Another question, does anyone know how many hours characters can go before getting fatigued, going by their Constitution scores? Seems like that might be cool to know.