Baldur’s Gate 3 provides players with tremendous freedom in how they approach problems, combat or otherwise. One of the main tools available are spells, but with over 600 in the game it’s easy to miss some of the more inventive ways to deploy these arcane – or divine – abilities.
If used with a little planning even simple spells can have a huge impact on your playthrough, unlocking social and tactical options you otherwise might not have considered. Inventiveness with your spellcasting is almost always rewarded, even if not in the way you might expect. Here are some creative uses for spells not included or made obvious by their in their in-game description.
Combat in Baldur’s Gate 3 is both tactical and challenging, with a wide variety of dangerous monsters ready to run right through your adventuring party. The spell Polymorph can allow you to turn even the most dangerous of foes into a harmless, fluffy sheep.
This can be used to buy you time to deal with other dangers, but it also means you can pick up that sheep with ease and throw them over the edge of a cliff. The massive fall damage will carry over to the monsters actual HP and now your party can have a peaceful Long Rest, counting polymorphed sheep.
Enlarge/Reduce is a rare two-in-one spell that either lets you increase or decrease the size of a creature. In combat this has clear uses, tiny enemies or gargantuan allies both make fights easier in their own way.
One convenient, if not obvious, use for the spell though is to make your own characters smaller. This will let them wriggle through small openings they would otherwise be too large to fit through, opening up areas in the game you may never have been able to access otherwise.
8 Disguise Self
The ability to change your appearance has all kinds of uses both in Dungeons & Dragons and a game like Baldur’s Gate 3, but one of the more ingenious ways to use it is actually hidden behind another spell. Speak With Dead allows your character to converse with the deceased, often gaining information you would have missed otherwise. The catch is that enemies you had a hand in killing aren’t so keen to have a chat with you, even through the power of magic.
If you use Disguise Self beforehand to change your appearance however, the dead won’t recognise you as the one behind their untimely death and will be more than happy to spill their secrets. It might not be honest, but it’s certainly effective.
7 Create or Destroy Water
Veterans of other Larian Studios games like Divinity: Original Sin 2 will know all about elemental effects, a feature carried over into Baldur’s Gate 3. You can use Create or Destroy Water to make it rain on enemies, applying the Wet status effect, and then follow up with a cold or lightning spell for double the damage. That isn’t the only unexpected way you can use this spell though.
When romancing the internets new favorite fiend, Karlach, you’re presented with the obstacle that she generates so much heat from her internal infernal engine that touching her is going to mean you need to call a Cleric for healing right away. Before you find a permanent solution to this you can use Create or Destroy Water on her in your camp to cool her off just enough to steal a quick and fiery kiss. Other spells like Ray of Frost have the same effect but making it rain is more peaceful and arguably more romantic too.
Grease is a Level 1 spell that never loses value through the entire game. It creates a slick, flammable surface that can be set ablaze to turn otherwise safe areas into killing fields for your adventuring party and this isn’t even the best thing about it. Grease is an undervalued way to make enemy magic users little more than a nuisance.
Creatures in the area have to make a Dexterity saving throw or fall prone. While prone a creature can’t do very much at all until they spend half their movement speed to stand up, but most importantly being knocked prone causes spellcasters to automatically lose Concentration on their spells. No need to damage them and hope they fail their Concentration check, just cast Grease and watch them slip up on their incantations.
Daylight is an interesting spell not only for its uses in Baldur’s Gate 3 but also how those differ from the same spell in Dungeons & Dragons. While in both games the spell illuminates an area and dispels darkness, even magical darkness, the difference lies in the kind of light created. In the tabletop game Daylight creates bright light, but in Baldur’s Gate 3 it specifically creates sunlight.
Sunlight is particularly useful in one specific circumstance, fighting vampires. Vampires or vampire spawn will each take 20 Radiant damage per turn they spend in sunlight, making this spell a great way to exert battlefield control and reduce their HP at the same time.
4 Selûne’s Dream
This spell can only be cast by using the Amulet of Selûne’s Chosen, found in the notorious Goblin Camp in Act I. It provides 1-8 points of healing, which as you level up becomes less impressive, and can put the target to sleep. This makes it a dangerous way to heal your party during combat, and an inconvenient one out of combat. However, there is a way to enjoy the benefit with none of the drawback.
Elves are immune to effects that would magically put them to sleep, meaning you can cast Selune’s Dream on someone like Shadowheart without fear that she’ll nod off. The healing may not be much, but with the downside removed it’s free HP, which is never a bad thing.
A Druid classic, Entangle causes vines to sprout from the ground to slow enemies down and even possibly ensnare them with the Entangled condition. While Entangled their movement is reduced to zero, preventing them from getting around the battlefield. It also grants Advantage on attack rolls against them, and gives their attack rolls and Dexterity saves Disadvantage.
If you can knock an enemy down and inflict the Prone condition on them, they can’t do anything on their turn until they’ve used half of their movement to stand back up. If you have them Entangled though, they have no movement to use, meaning you just locked them out of doing anything at all. Hold Person is an easier way to achieve this on single targets, but against a group the combo of Entangle and Grease will do the trick.
The humble Goodberry spell creates four magical berries in your inventory, each one providing 1-4 points of healing when consumed. This isn’t a bad way to top up your parties’ health between battles without using a Short Rest but unfortunately they only last until your next Long Rest, so you can’t store them up for a rainy day.
One thing the game doesn’t tell you about them though is that each Goodberry counts as one Camp Supply. The chances of you being only a few points short of the 40 Camp Supplies requirement for a Long Rest and having to rely on your conjured berries is low, but it’s a decent way to put them to use since they vanish after you Long Rest anyway.
1 Feign Death
Feign Death puts people into a protective coma, putting them to sleep and providing resistance against almost every type of damage in the game. It comes with a caveat, it can only be used on creatures the game has flagged as your allies.
You could use this to make an NPC you need to protect harder to kill, that would be an honest use for a spell like this. Or, alternatively, you could trade with a merchant and gift them gold until their attitude toward you improves so much that the game marks them as your Ally. Then cast Feign Death to knock them out and pickpocket them, taking back your gold and robbing them blind. The choice is yours.
Next: Baldur’s Gate 3: Best Wizard Spells