Baldur's Gate 3 players realize they can kill one of the RPG's most canonically powerful characters, all because he's missing a bunch of D&D spells

Baldur's Gate 3
(Image credit: Larian)

A Baldur's Gate 3 player has realized you can take down one of the RPG's most powerful characters to gain a big burst of XP, but only because he's severely limited by the game's level cap.

If you recruit or play as Gale at any point during Baldur's Gate 3, you'll meet Elminster, a hugely powerful wizard who's helped save the day across swathes of D&D history. It's Elminster, in his role as the Chosen of goddess of magic Mystra, who tells Gale to blow himself up to defeat the Absolute in a favored strategy of speedrunners everywhere, and he'll show up somewhere around the end of Act 1 or start of Act 2 in order to do so.

Elminster's grandfatherly appearance and penchant for cheese belies his extreme power. Canonically, he might be bested by the literal or near-divinity of characters like Mystra, Myrkhul, Bhaal, Withers, and Vlaakith (or the conditional strength of characters like Raphael in certain situations), but he's probably one of the strongest mortal characters in the game.

Technically, he's certainly up there. At the D&D level cap of 20, he's stronger than the likes of Ansur or Raphael, who make up what are considered to be the most difficult boss fights in the game. And while that level might make him the strongest interactable character in the game, it's also exactly what helps turn him into a relatively reliable XP farm.

In a post on Reddit, one player said that their ally in a multiplayer campaign had inadvertently dismissed Gale early in a playthrough. Because Gale had been recruited, Elminster showed up in the Mountain Pass, but the wizard refused to talk to the party because Gale wasn't around. Doing what any good RPG player would do, the party quick-saved before starting a fight with Elminster (who appears as a Construct, rather than the real thing, before you start worrying about the lore implications).

Working under the assumption that their level six party would be "annihilated," the player says they actually managed to beat the Construct thanks to "some lucky rolls and the fact that this game doesn't have 9th level spells." That's referring to the fact that the Baldur's Gate 3 level cap is only 12, at least in part because Larian didn't want to have to contend with the reality-altering spells that can be unlocked beyond sixth-level. Elminster doesn't have an official stat block, but plenty of D&D players have cooked up their own, and they tend to include spells like Meteor Swarm and Incendiary Cloud, which do huge amounts of damage over huge areas of effect, or Wish, which one particular character can use to wipe your entire party if you upset them enough.

With those spells in his arsenal, you'd assume that Elminster would win this fight with ease, even in Construct form. With Baldur's Gate 3's rules set as they are, however, it seems he can be taken down, at which point he rewards the party with a massive burst of XP. It's not exactly a reliable farming option, but like the 1,400XP reward that the Raphael exploit offers, it seems worth grabbing if you can.

Elsewhere, Baldur's Gate 3 fans are in shambles as they realize the RPG's most notorious dungeon can be skipped with one of D&D's simplest spells.

Ali Jones
News Editor

I'm GamesRadar's news editor, working with the team to deliver breaking news from across the industry. I started my journalistic career while getting my degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick, where I also worked as Games Editor on the student newspaper, The Boar. Since then, I've run the news sections at PCGamesN and Kotaku UK, and also regularly contributed to PC Gamer. As you might be able to tell, PC is my platform of choice, so you can regularly find me playing League of Legends or Steam's latest indie hit.