For Baldur’s Gate 3 players, this is a super detailed NPC guide that contains attitude, equipement advice, skills, combat and more, let’s check it out.
I take a different approach to my NPC guides than most guides. I look at how best to use certain NPC’s, typically in combat. While I will speak about their weaknesses, I don’t give them ratings or tell you which ones suck or which ones you shouldn’t play. For me its always been about you getting the most out of the character that you can and enjoying the experience.
I’m also looking to be spoiler light with this guide. If you are looking to see how NPC’s react to specific encounters in the game, it’s probably better to check the Baldur’s Gate 3 wiki.
Also for the time being, I’m not going to spoil the location of the best magic items that NPC’s can use. I may relax this overtime. I will at least discuss some of the better common types of equipment you should be on the lookout for. A general tip though is that if you are looking for a basic +1 weapon or magic armor, Dammon or Arron in the Tiefling camp (the Hollow) may have what you are looking for.
Race: High Elf
Skill Proficiencies: Acrobatics, Deception, History, Perception, Persuasion, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth.
Saving Throw Proficiencies: Dexterity and Intelligence.
Meeting Location: Southwest of crashed ship near the water.
Being flirtatious, backing him and his ideas up, and having his back, are the best ways to get his approval. He’s not very big on helping others. But he’s also not as dead set against helping others as someone like Lae’zel or Shadowheart.
Switch out his armour as fast as you can. He starts with padded armour that gives him disadvantage on stealth checks. This is definitely a big nope for any rogue.
Since he’s a high elf, he also can use a longbow instead of a shortbow. So switch to that when you can.
Astarion is really good for any kind of dexterity skill checks that need to be done. Especially if you give him a boost to 18 dexterity at level 4. He’s also excellent with perception. So he’s a good choice for scouting things out and for detecting things you’ll really otherwise want to notice.
As an elf he gets proficiency in perception, and coupled with the four skills he gets as a rogue, as well as the two provided by his background, he ends up having by far the most proficiencies of any of the current companions. It’s just a shame that his intelligence and charisma are low enough that you probably have a better option for skills like Deception, History, and Persuasion.
Rogues in 5th edition are pretty much best used as damage dealers. They hit creatures hard with a sneak attack and then often can move back out of harm’s way. They can also hit hard from range as well with their sneak attack.
Especially for tough fights, being hidden with him and surprising an enemy is not a bad idea. He’s going to have a pretty good chance of being the first on the initiative roll and (at least for the moment) you can often get a sneak attack on an enemy that starts any combat. So he can deal quite a bit of damage.
While normally I would say Rogues want to avoid staying in the melee range of an enemy at the end of their turn, so far the game seems to be pretty well balanced towards expecting these party members (and their limitations) to get used. Even with just 14 AC at the start, I found that Astarion works pretty well up close and can manage to survive a long period of time.
Fortunately, he doesn’t have to be up close. He also gets a pretty solid range option in the form of his ranged sneak attack. But, especially if you go with the Thief subclass, you are probably going to be better off attacking in melee when you can. With the Thief subclass he can have a main attack as well as two bonus action attacks.
Next to a fighter, rogues are probably the easiest class to play. Just use him to move around the battlefield by dashing and disengaging (jumping) as needed. Then work with the rest of your group to hit the biggest threat on the battlefield hard. This especially works well if someone else in your party can get the enemy he’s attacking prone, as that will give Astarion advantage on his attacks against them. Alternatively, Astarion can attack a creature from behind and gain advantage on his attacks that way as well.
You can also use his numerous attacks to try to take out weaker enemies quickly so that the group can focus on one big enemy. 5th edition’s action economy really favours numbers over pure power a lot of the time. So the less enemies you are facing the better off you’ll often be. Especially when you’ve got control spells available.
(Spoiler) As his story progresses he even gains a vampire bite that he can use as a bonus action attack. You can also bite a creature and not break stealth. The use of this ability is limited to once per short rest, though.
No choices to be made at this level.
Honestly, because of his poor intelligence, I can’t really recommend you take Arcane Trickster as his subclass. Thief is going to be a much better option, and it also comes with the really sweet benefit of being able to use two bonus actions. This could mean two bonus action attacks, having one be a jump, or even just using your bonus action for using a healing potion.
Putting +1 to dexterity and +1 to constitution at level 4 is not a bad idea. This will give him more health, better dexterity and constitution saving throws, a bonus to his dexterity attacks, more damage, and a bonus to his dexterity skills.
Alternatively, taking the Mobile feat is an option. This can be good if you want him to be able to move around the battlefield. But honestly, he already has the ability to disengage as a bonus action by jumping. So opportunity attacks shouldn’t be a big threat.
If you want him to get a bit of spellcasting then the Magic Initiative: Cleric is an option. He’s not going to be a good spellcaster, but with 14 wisdom he’ll have a passable bonus. Healing Word or Shield of Faith are good 1st level options here because they only use up a bonus action and don’t heavily rely on your wisdom score.
An alternative to this is Magic Initiative: Warlock. This one is a bit out of left field, but getting the ability to cast Hex once per day could be really useful. In Baldur’s Gate 3, the spell seems to last either for an entire day or until you lose concentration. With it active it’ll let you deal out a ton more damage if you can avoid getting hit. Your charisma sucks though, so the cantrips you take for it are likely to not be very effective.
Also, while you might be tempted to take the Dual Wielder feat, don’t. It is a terrible feat whose benefits are less than just increasing your dexterity (increasing your dexterity would improve your AC and increase your chance to hit, damage, and skill bonuses). This was an issue in pen and paper as well. Just never take it.
Skill Proficiencies: Arcana, History, Insight, and Investigation.
Saving Throw Proficiencies: Intelligence and Wisdom.
Meeting Location: North of crashed ship near the Roadside Cliffs waypoint.
Gale seems pretty happy with stereotypically good-aligned behaviour. If you are helping people out and not doing anything to help out the goblins, it seems like he’ll approve of you. There might be an exception to this that I don’t know. But along with Wyll, he’s probably the easiest NPC to predict in terms of how he will react to what you say and do.
There aren’t a lot of mundane items that can really help him. There are a few magic robes in the game that can help a bit. He typically doesn’t have a lot he can do with his bonus action so giving him a bunch of potions of healing isn’t a bad idea either.
He’s good at really most of the intelligence checks as well as Insight. Sadly, in my experience, Arcana checks tend to come out of the blue just when you are walking around. So until they implement the ability to switch between party members, you may not find his ability here that useful. I’m not sure I’ve seen any history or insight checks, and if there have been any, there have been very few (or passive checks). Investigation has come up for me a few times. He’s good to have as a character that can do all this stuff but just don’t expect anything other than Arcana to come up with regularity.
Honestly, enemies are pretty smart. If they see him and can attack him, he’s probably going to take a bit of a beating. The best advice I can give there is to consider using mage armor, have healing word at the ready for when he does go down, and most importantly of all not let that happen in the first place. It can be tough, though especially when enemies can jump or teleport next to him.
Spell advice in 5E is very much a tough thing to do. Control spells are often king and Sleep in particular is such a useful spell at low levels. Being able to put one or two enemies to sleep, without needing concentration, can make a huge difference in a fight. Sadly, by the time you are level 3 or 4 enemies probably have too much HP to be initially affected by Sleep.
Sadly, control spells are also often “save or suck” spells. In other words, if the enemy successfully saves against them, they do nothing. Enemies often also get the chance to make another save during their turn against these spells. They are still the best way to go in my book just because of how valuable taking an enemy out of the fight for a round or more is.
That said, Magic Missile and Scorching Ray are two solid low-level spells you can look at taking. Magic Missile uses force damage, which is a type that is almost never resisted. Scorching Ray, on the other hand, can deal a lot of damage to a target if all of its attacks hit.
At the moment he can only choose between Abjuration or Evocation. It’s a tough call to make. I chose Evocation, and it sounds like, just because of the way the Adjuration’s Arcane Ward ability works at the moment, Evocation is probably the way to go. As I understand it, the Abjuration ability is in conflict with any temporary hitpoints you may acquire from elsewhere. It’s also only 3hp that it protects against. This is a change from pen and paper where the amount absorbed is double your wizard level + your intelligence modifier. Even then to get it you have to cast an abjuration spell, and there are only a few of these. Wizards are squishy though so you may find it useful.
I went evocation and to be honest because we can’t access Fireball yet I really haven’t found any use for its ability either. Burning Hands is the logical choice for this at low level. But it’s kind of a meh spell because of its short-range, how easy it is for enemies to save against it (as a dexterity save), and because of its low damage. So I never found much use for allowing allies to avoid the damage from his spells.
Shatter is an option for a spell if you are looking for something that can hit a bunch of people. But to be honest, its damage isn’t great. Scorching Ray might be a better choice. Gale also benefits from having a good defensive spell available for him when it comes to tough fights. Mirror Image is great because it doesn’t require concentration. Blur is good as well, but it does require concentration. Misty Step is also a solid option because it just uses up a bonus action (though your ability to jump as a bonus action does slightly reduce its overall value).
Regardless of whether or not you go with a damage spell or defensive spell, I would probably stick with taking at least one control spell here. Web is a good choice. Hold Person is also a good choice at this level as well.
Detect Thoughts is an option if you are looking for more of a roleplay option. But you can also probably find a scroll for it and just learn the spell that way.
As far as level 4 is concerned, I strongly recommend you increase your intelligence to 18. There really isn’t any better option for you.
At level 4, you also get to choose another cantrip. I think Shocking Grasp is probably your best option here. At the moment all you have is offensive cantrips that are ranged attacks. So by taking this if you need to cast something in melee range of someone then you’ll have that option. It’s especially nice because it can prevent an enemy from taking a reaction, allowing you to escape from them without taking an opportunity attack.
You’ll also have two more spells to choose from at this level. Maybe take something you don’t have in your spellbook yet from the spells I mentioned in the earlier level 3 section.
Skill Proficiencies: Acrobatics, Arcana, Athletics, Intimidation, and Survival.
Saving Throw Proficiencies: Strength and Constitution.
Meeting Location (after ship): Trapped in a cage north of the Roadside Cliff waypoint.
She seems to only care about getting the parasite out of your head. Anything that delays this is going to annoy her (unless it’s seriously warranted). Even if it’s as simple as breaking someone out of a locked cell. Basically, don’t help people or even show sympathy and she probably will show more approval of you.
Give her a big sword, give her some heavy armor, throw on a helm, pick up some gauntlets, and she’s good to go.
Lae’zel is an interesting character here in that her strongest skills are her Athletics, followed by her Survival, and then her Arcana. But it’s her athletic ability that really shines here. If you’ve got a party wizard or cleric, then they are probably going to be equally, if not better suited, for Arcana or Survival checks.
Fighters are very versatile typically in the kinds of weapons they can use. Lae’zel could be used effectively while wielding a great weapon or taking a sword and shield approach. She could even dual-wield short swords and be fine as well. The only thing she really can’t do well, particularly without the Archery fighting style, is attack at range.
My best advice with her is to take advantage of the insane distances her high strength allows her to jump. By the time she hits level 3, her race also gives her the Jump spell that she can cast once per long rest. This triples her jumping ability, and it will allow her to go basically wherever she is needed on the battlefield, frankly, to kind of an insane degree. It will also let her easily escape from dangerous situations.
Also, don’t forget that you have abilities like Second Wind and Action Surge at your disposal. Take advantage of these as well as your ability to coat your weapons in various types of surfaces.
The choice of what fighting style to take really depends on how you want to use his character.
You might think that Great Weapon Fighting is the best choice. But numbers have been crunched, by people far smarter than me, and it’s been determined that it actually only adds about 1 extra damage on average. So while it will raise the minimum damage you do it isn’t all that impressive compared to other options.
Defence is probably your best bet here. If you want to make her a substantially more accurate ranged character, then you can also take Archery instead.
Protection isn’t really worth it because of how close your ally has to be for it to work.
Unlike pen and paper, I’ve heard that dueling actually requires you to just be using the one hand for the weapon and to not have any shield. So it’s not a good choice because that isn’t much different than using a versatile weapon two-handed. I haven’t found this, but instead, I’ve found that it is bugged at the moment. At least on the character screen, it’s not showing a damage bonus for me regardless of my setup right now. Either way, I would avoid it.
Likewise, two-weapon fighting is not worth it right now because of a bug. The game currently gives you a bonus to damage equal to your modifier regardless of whether or not you have this fighting style. So it’s pointless to take it.
Despite the fact that you are a freakin Githyanki, and being a “Gish” (Warrior Wizard) is what you live for, you don’t gain that much by taking the Eldritch Knight subclass choice here. Quite frankly, your intelligence really sucks. At least for when we’re talking about being good enough to use for spells that rely on it.
If you had access to the Shield spell, this would be a different story. But you don’t. The best first level spells you can take here are probably Magic Missile and Protection From Evil and Good. The latter of these is useful against a number of different enemy types. In the EA though most of the enemies you fight are none of these.
None of your cantrip choices are any good either. True Strike isn’t worth it (unless maybe you are dual wielding) because you use your action on the turn you cast it and then gain advantage for all your attacks until the end of your next turn. This might work if you had multiple attacks, including a bonus action attack, but if you are doing anything other than dual wielding, you won’t. Although I suppose it may give advantage to shoving.
For a jumper like Lae’zel it’s also not that hard to get advantage in the game. Either attack from the high ground, Obi-Wan style, or position yourself to attack an enemy in the back. You’ll know you have advantage when you see a little green ^ when you have your cursor over the target.
Regardless, Battlemaster here is probably the way to go. You get superiority dice back on a short, or long rest and the options you get here are all solid. Rally is particularly good because, unlike the others, it uses a bonus action. At least for me it seemed like they were just regular hitpoints and not temporary hitpoints. This makes it like an exceptionally good version of Healing Word.
Giving +1 to strength and dexterity is an option here. The dexterity probably won’t be needed, but it will give you some boosts to your dexterity-based skills and improve your initiative roll. You don’t gain much by having 19 strength compared to 18 strength here.
It’s a shame there isn’t a feat that gives a bonus to your strength here that you gain enough out of it to take. Athlete is probably the closest one, but it’s not worth it.
In terms of feats, the options here are kind of sad. She’s got a few good options. It’s a shame because feats like Polearm Master and Sentinel are in the player’s handbook but have not been implemented yet.
The best option is probably Great Weapon Master. This will let her make an extra attack when she scores a critical hit or kills an enemy and also gives the chance of doing a ton of extra damage in situations where she feels she likely will hit a target.
Defensive Duelist is another option. However, enemies will eventually start getting multiple attacks per turn. At this point, this feat becomes much less impressive. Especially when multiple enemies are taking swings at you with each having multiple attacks.
Finally, Tough is always a respectable choice. She’s already very difficult to kill, but this will just make it that much harder. This is probably not the choice that I would make, because frankly its kind of a mediocre choice, but if you are looking to have someone able to take a lot of hits it will help.
Under no circumstances should you take the Dual Wielder feat. You are better off putting towards your strength score over taking it even if you are playing a character that is using multiple weapons.
Mobile is probably also not worth it because she’s kind of already a goddess at jumping. She really doesn’t need help with avoiding opportunity attacks.
Race: High Half-Elf
Subclass: Trickery Domain
Skills: Insight, Religion, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth.
Saving Throw Proficiencies: Wisdom and Charisma.
Meeting Location: Northeast of Overgrown Ruins waypoint.
Honestly, when you initially have her in your group it may feel like she will never be happy with anything you do. The best way to keep her approval is to focus on the mission at hand, not help people in need of help, listen to her opinions and advice, and to limit who you tell about your condition. Even then you may not always please her.
Get her the best medium armor you can get her, the best shield you can get her, and the best mace or one handed melee weapon she can use. Until throwing spears and daggers becomes less clunky she’s probably going to have to rely on her spellcasting for ranged attacks. Which is too bad because in my experience Sacred Flame is very unreliable.
The mix of her skills and stats though are kind of wacky. She has half of her skills in dexterity-based skills even though she has terrible dexterity.
She’s good at wisdom checks (especially insight) and if you are really desperate she can be used for strength checks. Her ability to cast Guidance is also a godsend for any ability check you need to do. A 1d4 doesn’t seem like much but it can make all the difference. You can cast it on any party member as well which is pretty great. It’s also a cantrip so the only limit on its use is that it’s a concentration spell.
She also has access to the Disguise Self spell. She sadly doesn’t have any charisma-based skills to actually use it as effectively as she could in conversation, but as we get access to more of the game this may become a bigger deal than it currently is. Even playing a Drow I haven’t found my appearance to be too big of an issue though. But we’ll see.
The biggest shame for her spell list (at least when it comes to her skills) is the fact that Enhance Ability is nowhere to be seen. It’s probably one of the best utility spells in the entire game.
At these low levels she does fine in melee combat. At higher levels, like level 5 and greater, that is going to change as characters get more than one attack. But for now that is where she is best used. Her access to Mirror Image in particular can make all the difference in a really brutal fight.
She also works pretty well as a support character. Spells like Bless and Healing Word can help out a lot in combat. Blindness can be a pretty useful spell if you want to really kneecap one enemy in particular.
Unfortunately, she sucks at range. Yes she has Guiding Bolt but she’s got limited uses of it (though if you can pull off a critical hit with it you can do some serious damage).
Plus it’s good to have at least a slot or two available for Healing Word when you need it. Sacred Flame is the cantrip she has that she’s supposed to be able to use for this, but I’ve found that it hardly ever works. Even when it has a high percentage chance of working it doesn’t seem to want to work.
Even when Sacred Flame does do damage it’s only doing an average of 4.5 damage, which actually wouldn’t be all that different than if she were to throw a dagger (1d4+2 damage) since that would also be an average of 4.5 damage. Presumably, like in pen and paper, Sacred Flame will get better at level 5. However, the EA only goes up to level 4.
Her other weakness in combat right now is the lack of things she can do with her bonus action. At higher levels she can use her Misty Step spell a few times, and of course she has healing word and potions, but she doesn’t get much in the way of offensive use for her bonus action. This is where Spiritual Weapon, a spell from pen and paper, would have come in handy.
Since her domain is already decided you don’t have a huge number of choices to be making when it comes to advancing levels. Basically, just deciding on what spells to take and your level 4 choice for a feat or ability score improvement (ASI).
This is of course when I tell you to prepare Spiritual Weapon. What’s that? That spell doesn’t exist yet in the game? Well then. Umm… take Blindness? Sadly clerics at this level have a ton of different concentration spells and it really works to their detriment. I’ve yet to run into any disease that didn’t go away after a short while. So I’m not sure Lesser Restoration is worth it to take.
If you are looking for her to become more of a tank then consider taking the Heavily Armored feat. She’ll have just enough strength after taking it to use any heavy armor. This is however conditional on your actually finding good heavy armor to use. But since heavy armor won’t be affected by her dexterity penalty no matter what you are still going to see at least a +2 boost to her AC from wearing it. Level 4 is also the only chance you are going to get to take this feat until level 8. So it’s your call.
The best thing to do is probably to just put +2 towards her wisdom.
Subclass: The Fiend Patron
Skill Proficiencies: Arcana and Intimidation (this seems bugged since he should have two more from a background).
Saving Throw Proficiencies: Wisdom and Charisma.
Meeting Location: Tiefling Camp/Druid Grove
Wyll is pretty easy to please. Just be helpful towards other people, don’t be cruel, don’t help out the goblins, and show support for the druid grove. This should be enough to gain approval with him.
Just give him good leather armor. Honestly, Warlocks don’t need great equipment. He’s going to be better off casting a spell than using any kind of weapon.
For some reason Wyll only has two proficiencies. He should have 4 (2 from being a warlock and 2 from his background).
In the meantime he’s good at Arcana and he’s alright with most intelligence checks. He’s excellent at Intimidation and good generally with charisma checks. Especially if you boost his charisma at level 4. All his other skills are kind of mediocre.
Hex + Eldritch Blast is probably your best bet to be honest. He doesn’t start with Hex, but it’s his default spell choice at level 2. So you’ll probably have access to it when you pick him up regardless. Hex is great because it seems like (at least with the way the game currently works) it either lasts until you next go to bed or until your concentration breaks. I generally choose dexterity when casting Hex, especially when I’m creating ice surfaces with someone like Gale, because I assume it will increase that enemies chances of falling prone on the ice. Also, Hex only gives disadvantage for ability rolls, not saving throws, so it’s not going to help with most of your control spells.
Command is a good spell for controlling that he can select as one of his available spells. It also doesn’t take up concentration.
I would probably steer clear of most other damage spells with him. Warlocks only get a few castings per short rest and the game at the moment seems to limit you to one short rest per day. So it’s really important that you use spells that don’t waste these valuable slots.
In general, keep him at a distance from enemies. Use Hex on your target and then blast at them with Eldritch Blast. It’s a bit bland but warlocks are basically spellcasting archers in 5E. Just with a blast of magic instead of a bow.
Hex is kind of an interesting spell as well because after it is cast a separate icon will appear for it (on your hotbar near your other spells and consumable items) that will allow you to recast it without expending a spell slot. So make sure you use that and not the original icon.
Also keep in mind that once the target of your Hex spell is killed, at least at the moment, you aren’t considered to be maintaining concentration. So you can cast a concentration spell at that point and not lose the ability to recast Hex later.
By 3rd level you’ll have Pact of the Chain. With it you can cast Find Familiar as often as you’d like outside of combat. You get an improved familiar compared to other casters as well. I’m sure there are a million things you can think to do with them. But an Imp for instance can cast Invisibility on itself, use Hide, and then get used for scouting. If it dies you can just create a new one.
One downside, at least with the Imp, is that it doesn’t have either devil’s sight or darkvision (as odd as that may sound). So without help it’s not going to be great at fighting in dim light or darkness. An invisible Imp that uses the Hide action can really mess with the enemies in the game because they won’t know who to attack. So you can lure enemies towards you by starting the combat with your Imp.
Finally, don’t forget that Warlocks get their spell slots back on a short rest. At the moment the game seems to limit these to once per day.
The best combat invocations for him to take as far as I’m concerned are Agonizing Blast and Repelling Blast. Especially since you can use Repelling Blast (with the right positioning) to blast people off ledges.
As a human, Wyll doesn’t have darkvision. So Devil’s Sight might appear as an appealing option. When testing it though I’ve found that, while it does remove the penalty to normal darkness, it does nothing for magical darkness. So I would be a bit more cautious with taking it. A torch or someones Light spell might be a better option.
Unlike in pen and paper, warlocks here (so far) can’t switch their invocations when they level up. So you should weigh your options carefully here because you will be stuck with them.
Fiendish Vigor is another option. Unfortunately, Armor of Agathys is a better spell than False Life though and it’s a spell he knows by default. The advantage of taking Fiendish Vigor is that you can keep casting False Life as much as you want and replenishing your temporary hitpoints. Even still, it’s not as good of an invocation as it could be.
If you don’t have a druid or ranger in your party, then Beast Speech could be an interesting choice. I really don’t know how many encounters you will have with animals and I don’t know how useful it will be.
Had I seen more examples of your race mattering I would recommend Mask of the Many Faces. But honestly I really haven’t. As we learn more about the game it may prove to be as great of a spell as it is in pen and paper.
Finally, I don’t think invocations that only give you one casting per day of a spell are worth it. So avoid any like that. One use out of a Bane spell once a day, for instance, seems rather limiting. Especially when it takes up your concentration.
In terms of his spellcasting, when he hits level 2 he selects Hex to learn by default. Honestly, he should have had this at first level. This and Eldritch Blast are your go to spells as a warlock.
At this stage you can also replace one of the default spells he has already. Arms of Hadar is an interesting spell that he already knows, but it requires that you be in pretty close proximity to targets for it to work. With jump being available as a bonus action you may want to switch that out for something else. Maybe Command.
Sadly at the moment he has no choice over what pact he takes. One day he’ll be able to take the Pact of the Tome. But until then you have to go with Pact of the Chain.
Second level spells for warlocks are kind of interesting. Scorching Ray is still a solid pick if you are looking for raw damage.
Darkness should be able to work with the Devil’s Sight invocation, but at the moment it doesn’t, so if you take it be mindful of this. It also needs to be placed strategically in order to ensure it does not mess up what the rest of your party can effectively do.
Blindness is probably your best choice for a control spell because it doesn’t require concentration. So you can use it and still have your Hex spell active.
Don’t forget that you can also replace one of your spells with another spell. So if you didn’t like a spell you were using earlier (provided its not a cantrip) you can switch it up for something else when you level up.
At this level just put both points towards charisma. Then maybe take a spell I mentioned for level 3. You can also replace a spell you chose earlier now as well. Assuming you have something you want to replace.
That’s all we are sharing today in Baldur’s Gate 3 NPC Guide, if there are anything you want to add please feel free to leave a comment below and we’ll see you soon.
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