Baldur’s Gate 3: How to (Kinda) Become a Vampire

Welcome, brave adventurers, to another exploration of the depths and delights of the vast role-playing game universe of Baldur’s Gate 3, developed by Larian Studios and based on the evergreen Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition. Designed to capture the imagination of PC gamers with its intricate gameplay and rich role-playing opportunities, Baldur’s Gate 3 is also set for release on the PS5 in September 2023, allowing ample time for new and old players alike to dive deep into the gameplay mechanics.

In the world of Baldur’s Gate 3, aspirants rubbing shoulders with the supernatural can walk alongside a vampire companion, and even nurture a romance with him, adding layers to the immersive gameplay. However, the tantalizing allure of vampiric powers extends beyond matters of the heart; players are often intrigued by the potential of in-game vampirism. Although there isn’t an option for the player to turn into a vampire via a conventional narrative process, the game offers a unique workaround – a potion to gain temporary vampire-like abilities.

Unpacking the vibrant character canvas of Baldur’s Gate 3, one particular non-player character stands out – Astarion. A fabled high-elf vampire spawn, Astarion brings to life the characteristic elements of the Rogue class with his light footwork, nimble fingers, and a stealthy, deadly bite. His Origin move, aptly titled Bite, rips into the enemy dealing 2d4 damage, all while maintaining his stealthy demeanor. It’s indeed a tactical dream for players, but unfortunately, player characters can’t transform into a vampire just yet.

A pivotal point in the gameplay that further elevates the curiosity around vampirism is when Astarion, in the camp, indulges in a secret feeding frenzy on the player character. Yet since he’s not a full-fledge vampire, the player cannot catch his ‘vampiric infection’ in exchange. There is a nuance between vampire spawn and vampires, but that’s an exploration for another day. For now, let’s delve into how to taste vampirism, albeit temporarily, in the grand world of Baldur’s Gate 3.

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Astarion: The High-Elf Vampire Spawn

Hailing from the magical realms of high-elf society, Astarion is a vampire spawn who strides through the game’s narrative with an undeniable allure. His character backstory, a weave of treachery, freedom, and survival, provides a rich backdrop to his role in your party. Charming yet unpredictable, Astarion’s demeanor often sways between delightful companionship and biting cheekiness. A true rogue at heart, his tricks stretch beyond the mundane, offering an intriguing twist on the archetypal rogue class.

From a mechanical perspective, Astarion presents a unique blend of rogue and vampiric abilities, making him a compelling member of any party. His nimble reflexes and agile skillset, a testament to his high-elf origins, are generously complemented by his vampiric instincts. He excels in stealth and subterfuge, while his vampire spawn heritage equips him with seductive charm and persuasive prowess, valuable assets for any conversation or conflict. His ‘night vision’ is another remarkable trait inherited from his undead lineage, providing a tactical advantage in dark terrains and low-light environments.

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While Astarion’s multi-faceted character provokes intrigue, his vampirism takes the spotlight. Legions are drawn to the aesthetic and allegorical appeal of vampirism, where the eternal life, the predatory instincts, and the cultural mystique converge. This fascination is amply catered to in Astarion’s character design, with his fiery red eyes and sharp bite introducing an eleventh-hour thrill to the gameplay.

Now, let’s address the elephant in the room: Vampire spawns vs. vampires – what sets them apart? The transformation from a living being to a vampire isn’t a single leap but a series of unholy metamorphoses. A being first turns into a vampire spawn upon being bitten by a full-fledged vampire. These spawns are immortal, need to consume blood for survival, and possess a portion of their creator’s power. However, they remain subservient to their vampire progenitor, a detail that impacts their level of autonomy and sway in the vampire realm.

The leap from being a vampire spawn to a full-fledged vampire involves an explicit act – the spawn must feed on the blood of the vampire who created it. This act emancipates the spawn, elevating it to the status of a full vampire, laden with added powers, privileges, and perils. It implies undying freedom from servitude and unshackling one’s self from their maker’s yoke, stepping into the night as an apex predator. However, it equally begets potential dangers and entanglements, as full-fledged vampires are often hunted more extensively and feared more widely.

Once elevated, the newly-minted vampire gains the potential to sire spawns of their own, expanding the vampiric bloodline further. In Astarion’s case, he remains a spawn, as he hasn’t consumed the blood of his sire. However, whether there would be an opportunity in the future for him to elevate his status by feeding on his creator is a tantalizing question left to be answered.

Diving into the core mechanics, Astarion’s bite becomes a tactical ace, promising a critical combat advantage in-game – the Vampiric Bite ability. Cloaked in stealth, Astarion takes his enemy by surprise, sinking his fangs into them, dealing 2d4 piercing damage. Additionally, his stealth remains unbroken, offering a seamless transition back into the shadows, where he can plan his next move.

Dealing considerable damage, his bite becomes a formidable tool in close-quarter combat, specifically in situations demanding stealth and sabotage. Astarion’s Bite maintains the delicate balance between deadly attack and subtle subterfuge, reinforcing his role as a rogue in the party.

Moreover, Astarion’s Bite instills a sense of horror in those who behold it, often leading to their swift withdrawal from battle, further tipping the scales in his favor. Harnessing these powers holds significant potential for strategic gameplay, but it can also enrich the role-playing experience – sinking your fangs into your enemies could certainly make for some unforgettable gaming moments.

Gaining Temporary Vampiric Powers

As a player in Baldur’s Gate 3, you might not be able to morph into a vampire, but you can relish in the thrill of using vampire-like abilities. A clever twist in the fantasy world of the game enables you to gain temporary powers that imitate those of our vampire comrade, Astarion. All you have to do is consume a potion. Sounds simple, right? Well, it’s the journey to obtaining the potion where the real challenge lies. Allow me to guide you through this quest to fulfill your vampire dreams!

Introduction to “A Mother’s Loathing” Potion

“A Mother’s Loathing,” the very name of this potion resonates with a nerve-chilling intrigue. Although it might not turn you into a living-dead creature yearning for blood, it does bestow upon you powers that are strikingly similar to those of a vampire, until its effects wear off. An interesting side note to drinking this potion is how well it aligns with Astarion’s Vampiric Bite attack, giving your tactical gameplay an exciting edge.

The potion exudes an odd allure, with a faint trace of blood seemingly lingering around the stopper, enough to make your in-game character’s mouth water. Don’t be deceived, though, the potion is safe for consumption! Your transformation won’t be physical; however, you’ll be able to mimic the terrifying act of biting enemies, causing considerable damage in the process. Remember, this alluring power trip is temporary and lasts only until your next long rest.

With its unique abilities, “A Mother’s Loathing” brings a fresh game dynamic, allowing you to add a new dimension to your role-playing strategies. While you may not be gaining the eternal life of a vampire, the experience is sure to be a fascinating one for players seeking to enhance their gameplay tactics and role-playing abilities.

Location and Description of Auntie Ethel’s Lair

The hideaway for your desired potion is the lair of Auntie Ethel. You may remember her for her rather eccentric collection of potions. It’s a strangely alluring place, a mix of whispered horror stories and inescapable fascination. Tucked away in a corner of her lair is “A Mother’s Loathing,” waiting for you to take the plunge into the semi-vampiric adventure.

To reach the Auntie’s dwelling, you must venture past her unsettling exhibition of victims, her enslaved masked guards, and her deceitfully innocent-looking but perilously explosive cliffs. A word of caution, though — remain as stealthy as possible. Make your entire party, yes, including the familiars, go into stealth mode and stick to the left side.

Once you maneuver your way to the bottom of her cave, you’ll perceive a door leading to Auntie Ethel’s lab, the destination of your quest. The potent potions you seek reside against the left wall, nestled inside unique clay flasks majestically surrounded by ominous skulls and flickering candles.

Detailed Guide to Finding the Potion

To ensure your quest is successful, here is a handy step-by-step guide to help you find the “A Mother’s Loathing” potion.

Once you are inside Auntie Ethel’s lab, move your cursor over the bottles and jars. This action will reveal tooltips with potion names and tantalizing descriptions of their appearance and contents. Many of these potions bear potent and permanent debuffs, so it’s advisable to not give in to the temptation of sampling them.

Your goal, the white flask called “A Mother’s Loathing,” hides amidst these dangerous elixirs. Look for the flask that enriches your senses with a hint of blood lingering around the stopper. Be careful though, do not mix it up with the other potions – remember, it is your mouth that must water, not your character’s death wish that it should fulfill.

Once you identify the right potion, grab it and step back into the thrilling action of Baldur’s Gate 3, but this time, as a temporary vampire who can wreak havoc on the battlefield. Prepare yourself for the thrill of the Bite and use this temporary power to your strategic advantage!

How to Use the Bite Ability in BG3

Possessing temporary vampiric powers in Baldur’s Gate 3 certainly adds an electrifying twist to your gameplay. As you navigate through this newfound power, it is crucial to understand how best to use the Bite ability. Chomping into the enemies, causing a substantial 2d4 piercing damage is an exciting prospect. However, making the most of this ability becomes pivotal with well-calculated strategy and timing.

Understanding the effects of “A Mother’s Loathing” potion, you’ll quickly realize that the powers it grants are about more than merely piercing the enemy’s defenses. You have the ability to continually bite enemies until your next long rest, illuminating new paths to victory in the heat of battle.

Effects of Drinking “A Mother’s Loathing” Potion

Upon gulping down the “A Mother’s Loathing” potion, your character is immediately endowed with the base form of the Bite ability. This means you can target any enemy, reach into their chest, and go for the terrifying jugular attack, all while basking in your temporary vampiric glory.

You are not simply biting for the thrill of it, each bite delivers a gnarly 2d4 piercing damage to your enemy. They will gasp for breath as this potent attack slices through their reserves. And the terrifying part? The ability recharges after each turn. This means you can let your fangs sink into one enemy after another, leaving them weak and vulnerable.

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However, remember that your temporary vampiric abilities, as thrilling as they may be, only last until your next long rest. So, it’s advisable to make the most out of this ability before your character snoozes and loses their vampire-like powers.

Tactical Advantages of the Bite Ability

The vampiric Bite ability brings a range of strategic advantages to your gameplay. The ability to take a sizeable chunk out of your enemy’s health is an undeniable gamechanger, delivering a devastating blow that can tilt the scales in your favor in the heat of battle.

It’s important to remember that your Bite impact is immediately regenerated, allowing you to deliver a succession of punishing bites to your adversaries. This makes the potion and the accompanied ability an exceptional tool during intense fights and boss battles where sustained damage can whittle down formidable foes.

Also, the very nature of the Bite ability – sneaky, swift, and deadly – adds a layer of unpredictability to your combat strategy. Unleashing a barrage of bites on unsuspecting enemies can devastate enemy ranks and sow chaos in their strategic planning.

Special Synergies with Astarion’s Vampiric Bite

As you enjoy your temporary vampiric powers, you will notice that the Bite ability synergizes well with Astarion’s Vampiric Bite. Astarion, with his deep-rooted vampiric nature, elevates the Bite power to another level altogether. When he bites, he doesn’t merely deal damage; he receives an equal measure of hit points, essentially healing himself in combat.

Moreover, Astarion sees an added advantage of gaining the buff “Happy” when he bites, showing that his “Vampiric hunger” is temporarily sated. This buff grants him a +1 bonus to attack rolls, saving throws, and skill checks – a significant advantage in battle indeed. Additionally, his victims also acquire a “Bloodless” debuff, which imposes a -1 disadvantage to all their rolls until their next rest, making them easy targets.

Nevertheless, Astarion’s Bite ability can usually only be used once per short rest. But the timely use of “A Mother’s Loathing” recharges this ability every turn. This tactic can effectively turn Astarion into the team’s Most Valuable Player in prolonged boss battles, as he continuously bites, debuffs enemies, and provides the group with tactical leverage.

Strategic Considerations

Next, let’s look at the strategic considerations you need to make.

When to Use the Bite Ability and Potion

The use of the Bite ability and the “A Mother’s Loathing” potion should be wise and timely. Since the effects last only until the next long rest, it would be reasonable to utilize the power when you are anticipating tougher battles or need additional damage output. Giving forethought to potion usage before sizable battles can turn the tables in your favor.

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Benefits and Drawbacks of Having Multiple Biters in the Party

While having multiple Biters in your party can add to the damage inflicted, there could also be drawbacks. Since the vampiric power is temporary, it would be better utilized on a single character who can exploit it adequately. Additionally, key potions like “A Mother’s Loathing” are currently only available in limited quantities – making its use a precious resource.

Tactical Recommendations for Boss Battles

In boss battles, where the stake is high, constantly using Bite can help whittle down the large health pool of bosses. With every turn, Astarion, or your character, can continuously bite and debuff enemies, while also recovering hit points. This tactic will provide a significant advantage, helping you diminish powerful adversaries and claim victory in epic battles in Baldur’s Gate 3.

Additional Insights and Tips

As we uncover the secrets of vampirism in Baldur’s Gate 3, it’s worth contemplating how the game might evolve in the future. While the addition of a full vampiric transformation for player characters isn’t currently available, who knows what updates Larian Studios may have in store? Perhaps a storyline allowing Astarion to ascend to full vampirism, thereby siring new vampires, could be a future development. Such a feature certainly has the potential to add further depth to the game’s storyline and enriching gameplay dynamics.

Baldur’s Gate 3 also thrives on references and connections to its predecessors. This narrative and thematic continuity between games helps to weave a rich tapestry of lore, but also informs the gameplay. The vampiric dynamics and elements in Baldur’s Gate 3 and its predecessors can have implications for how you approach possible encounters in future games. Lastly, always remember to exercise caution regarding the use of potions, especially those carrying debuffs, lest you find yourself in unexpected peril during gameplay.


If you’ve been yearning for a taste of the supernatural in your Baldur’s Gate 3 adventures, consider your wish granted. Although you can’t turn your character into a full-fledged vampire, the game offers you an exhilarating chance to experience vampiric powers temporarily. It all hinges on the quirky yet potent potion, “A Mother’s Loathing,” safely tucked away in Auntie Ethel’s shadowy lair. Securing this potion won’t be a walk in the park, but the thrilling, enhanced gameplay is well worth the challenge.

Baldur’s Gate 3, much like its Dungeons & Dragons foundation, thrives on the richness of options it offers to players. The temporary vampirism powers obtained from consuming “A Mother’s Loathing” potion is just one exceptional example of the gameplay diversity, and I encourage avid gamers to experiment with various strategies. Vampirism, with all its nuances and mysterious allure, is an intriguing piece of the larger, fascinating puzzle that makes up the immersive world of Baldur’s Gate 3. So, get ready to sink your temporary fangs into the game – happy biting!

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Paul Bellow

LitRPG Author Paul Bellow

Paul Bellow is a LitRPG author, gamer, RPG game developer, and publisher of several online communities. In other words, an old school webmaster. He also developed and runs LitRPG Adventures, a set of advanced RPG generators powered by GPT-3 AI. Here at LitRPG Reads, he publishes articles about LitRPG books, tabletop RPG books, and all sorts of DND content that's free to use in your personal tabletop campaign - i.e. non-commercial use. Enjoy your stay and reach out on Twitter or Discord if you want to make contact.

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