Baldur’s Gate 3: How To Survive The Swamp

The Sunlit Wetlands, better known as the Fetid Bog, is one of the highest level areas you can get to in the early access of Baldur’s Gate 3. You can find yourself reaching level three pretty quickly after taking on the various lackeys roaming the lands, but your progress stops there for a while once you have to deal with what’s in the Fetid Bog and the Underdark. The highest level may only be four, but if you go in unprepared it can be pretty unforgiving. Inside contains one of the higher level bosses herself, Auntie Ethel, as well as tough enemies and many traps.

There are multiple things you should remember before taking on the swamp head-on so that no Revivify scrolls need go wasting and all materials can be saved by the time you make it to Auntie Ethel herself. Traversing through the swamp requires a lot of trial, error and planning. So much so that some players feel this area needs a major rework because it ends up more tedious than it is fun. Especially when it’s your first time going through.

Be Aware Of Your Surroundings

A lot of perception checks are needed the moment you enter what appears to not be a swamp. With the first one succeeding, the beautiful and sunny fields of the Sunlit Wetlands will turn into the true form of a yucky and dreary bog. The other perception checks after that are various traps on the ground and glamor tricks you’d rather not get tangled into.

Along the main wooden pathways will be various spike traps you could accidentally stomp all over. They are usually in the running water that breaks up paths but can be found elsewhere around the bog and off the beaten path so it’s important to have decent perception for that. On another note, on the ground as soon as you enter there is a basket full of apples. They will poison and kill you, Snow White-style. There are plants you can loot throughout the swamp that also have these apples attached to them. They will also kill you. The kicker is that you have them in your inventory there is no way to distinguish them from harmless apples other than the description saying the poisonous ones look more enticing to eat. So, it’s best not to carry them at all in case you eat one in a panic during battle.

The sheep in the middle could spell trouble for you if you didn’t pass the first perception check. They are actually some creatures working for the hag. They won’t attack you unless you unveil their glamor or after you kill the hag and exit the swamp. They are as easy as regular enemies though, unlike the hag, the mud mephits and wood woads. The last thing to be weary of is the special note you must find for a quest relating to Kahga. This is a troublesome task to some people because it’s passed the tough ancient creatures at the Twisted Tree and very hard to spot. It doesn’t take a perception check but rather a very keen eye and hovering over with your mouse so that it highlights the crevice on the back of the tree. So:

  • Traps: Walk forward and lead with the highest Perception character
  • Swamp Apples: Bring your own food!
  • Sheep/Creatures: Speak to break illusion or ignore for later
  • Twisted Tree: Hover your mouse around the tree until you see a highlight

Don’t Bring Astarion

If you’ve known Astarion long enough you know he has some rather interesting qualities that make him weak as heck to running water. Running water does damage to vampires. In the Fetid Bog? There is a lot of it. A common issue that may occur is Astarion simply not following you by trying to find a longer and safer route without water, but still taking a lot of damage anyway because you can’t escape water here. This can be especially tough for the Twisted Tree since there is more water there than a dirt ground.

A solution is to just maybe not bring him. He’s not the most crucial class role you could need for getting through the swamp, and is a pain in the ass to handle. You’ll have to constantly make him jump over every bit of water or waste resources healing him on and on. Everyone can carry a bow too and you can do without a dagger-boy until the boss fight. If you simply must bring him he has a decent perception level anyway that could be made higher. It would be better to mainly control him so that you can maneuver him around the water while everyone else follows or to put into hiding during the Twisted Tree fighting.

AOE And Shove

Having AOE damage bottles and magic is useful once you get into the hag’s special lair. Passed the twisted door will be various Masked enemies who offer a nice challenge and will one shot you if you melee them. With AOE damage you can get them down quicker and move on, or just make it so they are less inclined to walk closer to you. And when all else fails, there’s always the used and abused Shove button.

Alchemist’s Fire, any cloud spell, Grease, and more are all useful for grouped enemy fights you just wish would end. They also don’t hurt for an extra punch with the hag since she is one of the harder fights in the entire early access. Though the hag is mighty and strong, putting Grease beneath her feet will make even her slip and fall for a while. Shove may not be the move for the other enemies you encounter in the Fetid Bog, but being as there is a ginormous and gaping abyss in the room you fight Auntie Ethel in, it could be something worth using on her. One shove down the abyss and the fight can end in seconds, though when some people do it her loot doesn’t spawn and seems to fall with her.

  • Twisted Tree creatures (AOE)
  • Masked slaves (AOE)
  • The Hag (Shove)

Next: Baldur’s Gate 3: 5 Reasons To Side With The Tieflings (& 5 To Side With Druids)

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Sharnelle is a small town Canadian writer and gamer with an interest in all things fashion and fantasy. She dabbles in writings from articles to screenplays and spends most of her time drinking tea and playing video games.

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