In this Baldur’s Gate 3 Companions Guide we’re going to take a look at Astarion in BG3 Early Access, and which Spells, Feats, and Equipment to use, and how to improve your reputation with him. We’ll also discuss which are good Companions to take with him, and what your party might look like depending on which Companions you know for sure you want to use.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Early Access Companions Guide: Astarion
There are five Companions you can acquire in Baldur’s Gate 3 Early Access, and you can bring three of them along with you at a time. You can travel back to your Camp at any time and swap them out to your liking, and it’s worth noting that Companions in your Camp gain experience the same as those in your party. Let’s take a look at Astarion. He is probably the second Companion you will acquire.
Astarion Abilities & Skills
Astarion has a very good Ability spread for a Rogue, and his high Dexterity helps him excel at Stealth and stealing, as well as deal significant damage in combat with Finesse Weapons like Shortswords, and Ranged Weapons like Longbows. I highly recommend taking the Ability Improvement Feat at level 4 and increasing his Dexterity to 18, and Constitution to 14 for some extra hit chance, damage, Skill checks, and HP.
He has Proficiency with Acrobatics, Stealth, Sleight of Hand, History, Perception, Deception and Persuasion. Of these Astarion is going to be best suited to use Acrobatics, Stealth, Sleight of Hand and Perception because of his high Dexterity and Wisdom. He has a -1 Modifier with History, and +0 with Deception and Persuasion, so conversation should be left to other Characters when trying to get a desired outcome.
At level 3 you’ll have to decide if you want Astarion to be a Thief or an Arcane Trickster, and while there is no denying that Astarion has much better Ability Scores for a Thief than Arcane Trickster, you can actually use either in Early Access just fine. This is because you can select Wizard Spells that don’t need Intelligence, like Magic Missile and Sleep. And also because you can use Spells that require Intelligence effectively if you wear the Warped Headband of Intellect, which will set your Intelligence to 18 and is acquired near the beginning of Early Access.
Rogue Actions & Spells
At level 2 Astarion will gain Cunning Action: Dash. This allows him to use the Dash Action as a Bonus Action instead, meaning he can double his movement for the cost of his Bonus Action, and then still get an attack off in the same turn. This can help him to get behind an enemy for a Sneak Attack, or to get up high to gain Advantage with a bow shot if he wants.
At level 3 if Astarion should become a Thief you will gain Fast Hands and Second-Story Work. Fast Hands allows Astarion to take a second Bonus Action every round, which is incredibly powerful because you can use this to Shove someone to their death, or to get an additional Offhand Attack Melee. Under the right circumstances Astarion can do a Sneak Attack and two Offhand Attack Melees in the same turn, which is a lot of damage!
Second-Story Work reduces the fall damage you take, allowing you to jump from higher elevation to lower elevation without taking as much damage. You’ll likely get the benefit from this without even realizing it, but it isn’t the strongest feature of the Thief in BG3 Early Access.
Arcane Trickster Spells & Actions
If you made Astarion an Arcane Trickster at level 3 then you will get to choose 2 Cantrips and a few select Spells from the Wizard Spell List. Which you choose will likely be decided by whether or not you intend to wear the Warped Headband of Intellect. If you don’t wish to use it then you will want to select Spells that don’t need Intelligence to be effective, but keep in mind you likely won’t use Cantrips all that often because Sneak Attack is much more powerful than they are, even when used with a Bow. Some good Spells are:
You’ll notice that some of the Spells on my lists are the same regardless of your decision about the Headband. This is not only because you can only select some very specific Spells, but also because Sleep and Magic Missile might be two of the most powerful Spells an Arcane Trickster can use in Early Access.
Sleep is important because you can Sneak Attack Sleeping enemies, and you automatically Critically Hit them while they are asleep. Sneak Attacks deal double the main-hand damage and double the extra Sneak Attack Damage when they Critically Hit. Cast Sleep and then Sneak Attack to kill an enemy in one strike.
Magic Missile cannot miss, and it doesn’t increase in damage from Intelligence. This allows you a very strong ranged attack when the odds of you hitting an enemy with a Bow are slim, or when you need to finish off a weak target but still want to deal some damage to your primary target. Magic Missile might just be the strongest Spell in early access, and that’s before you consider the The Sapphire Spark necklace, which boosts Magic Missile damage by a further 1-4 Psychic Damage PER MISSILE.
Astarion is going to be using Light Armor, since that’s the only Proficiency he has, and he will have high Dexterity so he can make good use of it. Studded Leather Armour +1 will give him a total of 17 Armour Class, which isn’t bad for Early Access for a Rogue, so you should get this when you can. You can purchase this from Brem in the Zhentarim Hideout a ways into the Early Access.
You can find the Warped Headband of Intellect on the 3 Ogres in the Blighted Village if you wish to use this. I’m not sure if you can steal it, but the intelligent Ogre will drop it if killed. You don’t have to use this, but that is its location if you want it.
For Weapons you’re going to want to use two Shortswords so that you can use the Offhand Attack Melee with your Bonus Actions to increase your damage, and have a Longbow +1 in your Ranged Weapon slot. The Steelforged Sword will give you a Shortsword that has +1, and it can be found in an abandoned house in the Blighted Village. Shortsword of First Blood is also a good choice for Astarion’s offhand, but last time I tested it appeared to do no extra damage, so I’m hoping this will get fixed in a patch. This can be found in The Underdark.
For Accessories, Broodmother’s Revenge is an excellent choice of necklace because Astarion will gain the Vampire Bite ability some ways into Early Access, and this will allow him to buff his damage, heal and deal damage for 1 Bonus Action. It is one of the strongest combinations in Early Access currently. However, if you went Arcane Trickster you might consider using The Sapphire Spark instead for extra Magic Missile damage.
In this section I’ll show you how you can gain approval with Astarion, as well as how you can gain disapproval if you wish. These are not all the ways possible in Early Access, but they are the ones we have accumulated on the Wiki so far:
- Deceive Tieflings and ask Lae’zel to say “please” before freeing her from the cage OR join Lae’zel against the Tieflings if you persuade them to free her.
- Tell Auntie Ethel about a Tadpole in your head in the Druid Grove.
- Try to persuade the goblin Guard outside the Blighted Village.
- Decline the Devil‘s invitation to remove your Tadpole.
- Respond to Volo in the Goblin Camp with “-“.
- Kiss Novice Crusher’s foot in the Goblin Camp (and steal the ring).
- Let Astarion suck your blood in Camp.
- Support Astarion in the dialogue with the team after the bite in the Camp.
- Tell Astarion that he can feed on enemies.
- Persuade him to share his dream with you.
– Say you’ll “watch his back ( … + if you watch mine.” – also works) in the same dialogue.
- Kill Gandrel (the monster hunter; down south of the Sunlit Wetlands / nearby Auntie Ethel‘s home).
- Agree to help tiefling Karlach from Tyr Followers.
- In the conversation with Shadowheart (after the dream with the city in fire) support the Astarion’s idea to continue usage of Tadpole’s power.
- (After the next dream) say to Wyll that you are not going to excuse for using Tadpoles’ power.
- Let Arka kill Sazza in the Druid Grove’s Makeshift Prison.
- Tell Astarion that the refugees are desperate and will do anything after Arka kills Sazza. (Quest: Save the goblin Sazza)
- Tell Kagha the Archdruid you enjoyed her show after she asks if you think she’s a monster. (Quest: Save Arabella)
- Walk in on a bugbear and an ogre named Grukkoh and Buthir having sex in an abandoned barn the Blighted Village.
– After walking in, tell Astarion it was fun (and disturbing).
- Tell the two brothers (north of the Sunlit Wetlands) they are on their own to find their sister Mayrina. (Quest: Save Mayrina / Deal with Auntie Ethel)
- Resurrect Mayrina‘s husband and give her the wand.
– Right after that tell Astarion that it was funny.
- Kill Priestess Gut in the Goblin Camp.
- Demand boots in the dialogue with Tulla ( in the Underdark, Myconid Colony)
- Agree to kill the Duergar for Myconid Sovereign.
- Do not excuse for using the power of Tadpoles (dialogue with the party at the Camp)
- Tell Abdirak you’re curious and agree to be tortured (the follower of Loviatar in the Goblin Camp)
- Agree to open the gate for goblin raiders.
- Open the Gate for goblin raiders.
- Join Minthara for the Grove raid (It’s possible without an actual opening of the Gates).
- Fight the fake god Boooal in the Festering Cove OR Let the Koa-Toes bow to you as the Boooal’s chosen.
- Ask for “Compensation for Effort” in dialogue with Bark Root (Deep Gnome who was tied to the windmill) in the Blighted Village.
- Crush the Tadpole that comes out of True Soul Edowin.
- Say “They practically worshipped us, that could be useful” after Edowin‘s siblings leave.
- Attack the Druid Apprentice Nettie.
- Agree to share your bed/sleep with Astarion at the Tiefling party at Camp.
- Choose the option to “Bare your neck, inviting him” in the bed scene.
- Kick the squirrel in the Druid Grove.
- Poke the bird Nettie was healing to death during the dialogue.
- Kill the Githyanki patrol.
- Intimidate or provoke human and Zevlor at the Druid Grove.
- Choose “I’d rather not die” when discussing preferred methods of death during the night 2 dialogue at the Camp.
– Then choose a method. (I.E. Decapitation.)
- Kill Gimblebok and the gang near the ruins.
- Give Astarion the Necromancy of Thay tome.
- After purchasing Oskar, the artist, say he’s your slave.
- Attack the Goblin Camp. (Quest: Save the Refugees)
- Volunteer to torture Liam at Goblin Camp.
- Feed the Owlbear cub at the Camp.
- Decline when Halsin asks to kill Goblin leaders.
- Laugh at Lorin (elf in Auntie Ethel‘s house) by pretending that you are the monster he sees. (Quest: Deal with Auntie Ethel)
- Choose to kill Kagha without trying to persuade her.
- Choose to spare Auntie Ethel when he surrenders during battle battle. (Quest: Save Mayrina / Deal with Auntie Ethel)
- Agree to help Wyll save the Tiefling refugees in the Druid Grove.
- Question Astarion‘s attitude towards the controlled fishermen at Nautiloid wreckage.
- Say that the Druids overreacted when speaking to Marriko and Locke in the Druid Grove.
- Agree to help Zevlor.
- Smear dung on your face when Sentinel Olak asks you to.
- Let True Soul Gut in the Goblin Camp clear your mind.
- Promise Nettie to take Wyvern Poison if you feel symptoms of the Tadpole (after intimidating/persuading/deceiving her).
- Agree to help find Mayrina (on the way to Auntie Ethel).
- Read the Necromancer Tome from Search the Cellar.
- Persuade the Zelvor and Human to calm down when they’re arguing at the Druid’s Grove.
- Reveal Astarion‘s identity to the monster hunter, Gandrel.
- Failing to persuade Astarion to explain his dream.
- Insist on helping Mayrina when talking to Auntie Ethel at her house.
- Killing Mayrina‘s zombie husband after bringing him back with the Hag’s wand.
- Tell Raphael you would do anything to remove the Tadpole.
- While playing a Warlock, telling Astarion: “Raphael’s only a cambion – we can handle him” (After speaking to Raphael).
- Find the evidence of Kagha working with Shadow Druids and expose her. (Quest: Save the refugees)
- Tell Edowin‘s siblings to find the beast that attacked them to take revenge.
It’s best to bring Astarion along if you are not a Rogue or a Ranger who selected Proficiency with Thieves’ Tools. He is invaluable at picking locks and disarming traps, and his damage is some of the highest in the game. He works well in any party, but he has a very selfish temperament, so he tends to Disapprove of helping other people.
You want to try to attack with Sneak Attack every round if possible. In order to get extra Sneak Attack Damage you need to either a) use Sneak Attack Melee from Stealth, b) use Sneak Attack Melee from behind the target, or C) use Sneak Attack Ranged or Sneak Attack Melee on a target that is Threatened. Note that despite the tooltip, your Sneak Attack Damage doubles when you reach Level 3.
If you attack normally while dual wielding you will use an Action and a Bonus Action, which is the reason I advise against this if possible. Not only will Sneak Attack deal more damage on average, but it will not use a Bonus Action.
You can begin combat by sneaking up on a target with Astarion and Sneak Attacking them, often eliminating one enemy before the fight even begins. And, in some cases where the enemy is off on its own, you won’t even trigger combat at all. This can create a scenario where you can pick off a few enemies before actually engaging in a proper battle.
Remember that you can use Vampire Bite instead of Offhand Attack Melee with one of your Bonus Actions in order to heal Astarion while also dealing damage. For best results, wear the Broodmother’s Revenge necklace for increased Poison Damage on your next attack.
Since Astarion is a Rogue he gains Proficiency with Thieves Tools, allowing you to add +2 (in Early Access) to your Lockpicking and Trap Disarming attempts when using him. When added with his Dexterity Modifier, this gives him +5 to his rolls on these and +6 once he has 18 Dexterity. For this reason you’ll want to use him for this when you can, because there is no one better suited in Early Access. And for even better rolls, if you’re a Cleric or you have Shadowheart in your party, use Guidance on him before his attempts.
Stay tuned for more Baldur’s Gate 3 content as we take a look at Companions and Builds, and be sure to drop by our Twitch channel if you have questions about the game. If you need something specific, check out our Baldur’s Gate 3 Wiki which is being worked on night and day!