Here’s why Baldur’s Gate 3 is filled with headless bodies

Larian head and Baldur’s Gate 3 creator Swen Vincke reveals a macabre rule that stops the Speak with Dead BG3 spell from getting out of control.

Baldur's Gate 3 creator - Larian image of a player-character about to cast Speak with Dead

Like many RPGs, Baldur’s Gate 3 creates an illusion of choice, its highly detailed encounters making you feel like anything is possible. But there are barriers, and Larian studio head and Baldur’s Gate 3 creator Swen Vincke recently revealed an unusual trick BG3 uses to keep players on-track – decapitated corpses. In an official D&D YouTube video from September 4, Vincke explains that beheading bodies was key to limiting the ‘Speak with Dead’ Baldur’s Gate 3 spell.

“If you put a feature in [the game], you have to go Full Monty”, Vincke says in Monday’s video (see below). “If you can speak with animals, you can speak with every animal.” Chatting with the entire animal kingdom and everyone in the afterlife was clearly a bit much, so Larian brought in a few tricks.

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Vincke points out that players can only cast Speak with Dead on corpses that still have a head, and “very old bodies” won’t be up for much gossip, either. Players have already spotted several other conditions Vincke doesn’t mention – a corpse won’t speak with you if you were its killer, for example.

When asked about any other tricks in Baldur’s Gate 3, Vincke reminisces about his dreams of adding Dispel Magic to the game. “We wanted to do Dispel Magic”, he says, “and for a long time it was on the table, but it just became too much because there’s just so much magic in the game.” “It would have doubled the size of the game just to support that one spell properly.”

The developers of BG3 aren’t the only ones using dead bodies to their advantage. The latest Baldur’s Gate 3 speedrun strategy revolves around killing Shadowheart, and one player has shown off a gruesome yet impressive Dark Urge murder pile. It’s that age-old saying: when near-limitless possibilities are presented to gamers, cartoonish levels of violence are just around the corner.