A Baldur’s Gate 3 player has just shared their detailed notes from a playthrough of the game in which they tried to get the absolute worst story outcomes for every single character. All except for Scratch the dog.
In a Reddit thread, u/Sparkism provided a detailed guide to ruining the day of every single Baldur’s Gate 3 character systematically through all three acts. Surprisingly, this is more complex than it seems: while it may feel like the easiest way to do this is to just murder everyone, some characters actually have a better time if certain other characters are dead, so they had to get creative to make things as abysmal for everyone as possible.
Warning: Light spoilers for act one of Baldur’s Gate 3 are detailed below. Read on at your own risk!
For instance, Sparkism’s guide recommends saving Oskar from the Zhentarim in their hideout. Him being alive plays an important role later in the game, as it makes another character miserable who would otherwise be happy if he never comes home. Similarly, while players are advised to kill Karlach and Gale early on (or, by inaction, let them die), Astarion, Wyll, and Lae’zel need to be recruited to cause further misery down the line.
Other interactions are a little more obvious, though. Sparkism recommends smashing the bard Alfira’s lute, saving the Tiefling from the Bugbear assassin only to throw her off a cliff, and camping outside the burning inn while everyone roasts to death inside. It’s a pretty grim playthrough!
We don’t want to spoil anything farther in than that for those who are still working their way through the game, but suffice to say, Sparkism’s playthrough really does leave everyone completely unhappy. Many characters are dead after suffering their worst nightmares, while those left alive are stuck cursed, miserable, and mourning various losses.
Scratch and the Owlbear cub are fine, though
Notably, the guide has players recruit both Scratch the dog and the Owlbear cub, and then mercifully spares them from any harm the rest of the run. After all, neither of them did anything wrong ever. Everyone else in the game, though, has sinned at least once and deserves retribution.
Sparkism’s run is a glorious example of the level of player freedom available in Baldur’s Gate 3, and it sounds like even more may be on the way. A major patch is planned for later this week that Larian says will fix performance issues as well as add in some previously unavailable content for certain characters’ epilogues. This is all satisfiying since players have been complaining that characters such as Minthara and Karlach have unsatisfying late-game stories.
Baldur’s Gate 3 is on its way to PS5 on September 6, with the Xbox Series X|S version coming sometime later this year. And if you’d rather have a pleasant playthrough than one where you make everyone hate you, you can check out our list of the most rewarding romances in Baldur’s Gate 3.
Rebekah Valentine is a senior reporter for IGN. Got a story tip? Send it to [email protected].