Baldur's Gate 3 Director on Game Design and Decapitations

Swen Vincke, the director for Baldur’s Gate 3 explains the gruesome game design behind decapitated bodies.

Intricate Design Choice in Baldur’s Gate 3 Explained in Interview

In an insightful interview, Baldur’s Gate 3's pivotal figure, Swen Vincke highlighted a significant reason for all the decapitated bodies in the game. The design choice is intricately linked to one of the game’s most useful spells. This game is set in an ominous world where danger is always waiting around the corner. As part of the thrilling experience, players will often find dead bodies, many of which can be interacted with, particularly if you have a party member trained with the spell, 'Speak with Dead'.

The Mystery of Headless Corpses

Although not all corpses have a backstory, some can bestow on the player valuable information that could serve as a strategic advantage. Nevertheless, the origin of the headless corpses strewn across the Sword Coast has always been a mystery. Larian Studios CEO and the game's director Vincke, unveiled a surprising fact that helps explain this.

Baldur's Gate 3: Unusual Class Combinations
Related Article

A Unique Approach to Balance Gameplay

According to Vincke the balance of the 'Speak with Dead' spell was reached using a unique approach. It was decided that a player can ask a dead body a maximum of five questions, but not all bodies needed to offer feedback. This is where the gruesome but ingenious tactic comes into action. Vincke described their trick as any dead body that still has its head is able to provide information, Kenreck referred to this as Larian's 'cheat'.


How The 'Cheat' Simplifies Gamification

Amid the game's somber and dense population of bodies, this rule simplistic yet creative 'cheat' seems logical. The abundance of interactions would have made it an onerous task for the game developers to attach dialogue to all the bodies. This is why many of the bodies found in the game are headless. While it's not shocking to encounter decapitations in such a relentless, war-torn universe, the discovery of more headless cadavers than anticipated, at least now makes sense.