Baldur's Gate 3: 10 Best Permanent Buffs In The Game And How To Get Them


  • Unlock powerful, permanent buffs in Baldur's Gate 3 to enhance a character's abilities for the whole game experience.
  • Discover unique opportunities like Auntie Ethel's Hair and Vampire Ascendant to gain special bonuses and abilities for one's characters.
  • Don't miss out on valuable buffs like Anointed In Splendour or Mirror Of Loss that can significantly improve the party's stats and saving throws.

Thanks to the many spells and abilities in Baldur's Gate 3, there are so many ways for players to grant bonuses to their characters. However, spread throughout each of the game's three acts, there are plenty of really cool opportunities to give one or more of a player's characters a permanent buff.

10 Most True Neutral Baldur's Gate 3 Characters
These Baldur's Gate 3 characters sit smack in the middle of an alignment chart, walking the balance between order and morality.

While many of these will still have some caveats, such as the buff being lost upon death and resurrection, each can theoretically last a player for their entire experience, rather than being lost after a set time as is the case for most buffs. Be sure to pick up these buffs for powerful effects and unique interactions!

10 The Tharchiate Codex: Blessing

20 Temporary Hit Points Every Long Rest

Baldurs Gate 3 Sorcerous Sundries Vault
  • Act: 3
  • Location: Sorcerous Sundries Vault
  • Related Quests: Unlock The Ancient Tome

This permanent buff can be acquired by reading the eponymous codex locked behind the Elminster door in the Sorcerous Sundries vault door puzzle. Players can open Elminster's door either via the "Knock" spell or by opening the Silverhand door, then the Evocation door, then the Wish door, and finally pulling the lever. Reading the book applies the Tharchiate Withering debuff, which lowers the reader's constitution by 5.

The debuff can be cured with "Remove Curse" or "Greater Restoration" spells, which change it to a blessing. Players will immediately gain Tharchiate Vigour, which provides 20 temporary hit points, and the blessing will reapply this bonus after every long rest. Should players use Withers to respec, the blessing will initially be lost but will reapply after the next long rest. Reading the codex is also required to unlock the "Danse Macabre" spell after re-reading The Necromancy of Thay.

9 Survival Instinct

Unique Illithid Power Heals Target Instead Of Them Falling Unconscious

BG3: Omeluum
  • Act: 1
  • Location: Ebonlake Grotto
  • Related Quests: Help Omeluum Investigate The Parasite

Survival Instinct is a unique illithid power that can't be unlocked via the normal illithid skill tree. To permanently gain access to this ability, players will need to complete the quest, "Help Omeluum Investigate The Parasite." The quest is initiated in Ebonlake Grotto in the Underdark, where players can talk to Blurg the hobgoblin. He introduces players to Omeluum, who wants to look into the strange nature of their parasites.

Players will need to fetch Omeluum Tongue of Madness mushrooms and Timmask Spores, both of which can be found at the Arcane Tower, also in the Underdark. Players will then need to drink Omeluum's potion to obtain Survival Instinct. This powerful illithid ability can protect a target for three turns, ensuring that if they fall to 0 hit points they heal 3d4 hit points instead of falling unconscious.

8 Loviatar's Love

Bonus To Attack And Wisdom Saves When At 30% Hit Points

Abdirak staring blankly in Baldur's Gate 3
  • Act: 1
  • Location: Goblin Camp
  • Related Quests: Find A Cure, Save The Refugees

In Act One's Goblin Camp, players can find Abdriak, a torturer who worships Loviatar, the goddess of pain. He practices worship by mercilessly beating himself, and he offers to apply this same worship to the player character. Should they accept his offer, they will turn their back on him and allow him to beat them. To receive the blessing, players will have to pass three performance or intimidation checks (note that the constitution or monk class options will leave Abdirak disappointed and the players without their blessing).

Players have an advantage on these checks if they unequip their armor for the beating. Should they succeed, players will receive Loviatar's Love, a permanent blessing that grants a +2 bonus to attack rolls and wisdom saving throws for three turns when the character has 30% hit points or less. To make the most out of this 30%, the blessing is best applied to the character with the highest health.

7 Auntie Ethel's Hair

Increase Any Ability Score By One

auntie ethel-2
  • Act: 1
  • Location: Sunlit Wetlands/Putrid Bog
  • Related Quests: Save Mayrina

As disgusting as this buff sounds, players can consume a fleshy scrap of hair from the hag, Auntie Ethel, to permanently increase an ability score of the player's choice by one. The best part about this effect is that unlike with most ability score increases, it isn't capped at 20, so players can use it to work towards a +6 in their primary ability score when paired with items or other buffs.

To get this buff, players will have to fight Auntie Ethel in Act One, saving her victim, Mayrina. When reduced to low health, Auntie Ethel will use a turn to bargain with the players, offering this buff in exchange for her life and her hostage. If players succeed on an intimidation or deception check, they can get this buff while also refusing to let Ethel take Mayrina.

6 Potion Of Everlasting Vigour

Increase Strength By Two

Baldur's Gate 3, Araj Oblodra
  • Act: 2
  • Location: Moonrise Towers
  • Related Quests: Infiltrate Moonrise Towers

Just like with Auntie Ethel's Hair, drinking this potion permanently increases the character's ability score. In this instance, it is specifically the strength score that increases, but it does so by a +2. That means it will always increase the character's strength modifier.

10 Most Chaotic Neutral Baldur's Gate 3 Characters
These Baldur's Gate 3 characters follow their own unconventional code, valuing personal freedom over concepts like right and wrong.

Just like Auntie Ethel's Hair, it can also increase the score past the usual cap of 20, meaning it can easily grant a strong barbarian a +6 strength modifier. The effect also persists even if players use Withers to respec. Unfortunately for fans of Astarion, earning this buff is likely to put the player in the vampire spawn's bad books, as the player has to convince him to bite Araj Oblodra in Moonrise Towers against his better judgment.

5 Anointed In Splendour

+2 To All Saving Throws

Stormshore_tabernacle interior baldur's gate 3
  • Act: 3
  • Location: Stormshore Tabernacle
  • Related Quests: The Wizard Of Waterdeep

This powerful buff grants a +2 bonus to all saving throws and is easy to miss but also easy to acquire for any player willing to part with a portion of their hard-earned gold pieces. At the Stormshore Tabernacle in Baldur's Gate city proper, players can leave offerings to statues of different Forgotten Realms deities.

Offer enough gold to any one of the statues (the amount varies depending on the player's level and difficulty settings), and players will receive this blessing, presumably from the chosen deity. Players can actually get this buff for every character in their party; it would simply require a gold offering from each of them. It is also worth noting that Gale will be granted this blessing for free if he asks for Mystra's forgiveness during their meeting.

4 Vampire Ascendant

Powerful Buffs Unique To Astarion's Quest

astarion doing the ritual in baldurs gate 3
  • Act: 3
  • Location: Cazador's Dungeon
  • Related Quests: The Pale Elf, Investigate Cazador's Palace

This incredibly powerful buff might have been top of the list if not for the fact that it is only relevant to a very specific character on a specifically evil path. When Astarion confronts Cazador, the vampire who turned him, alongside the party, there are a few options players can take. One of the less moral options is to defeat Cazador while ensuring that all the vampire spawn stay alive, and then encouraging Astarion to go through with the ascension himself.

In turn, Astarion gets some incredibly powerful permanent buffs. His bite changes from dealing and healing 2d4 to dealing and healing 6d6, he gets a unique ability called "Misty Escape," and his weapon and unarmed attacks deal an additional 1d10 necrotic damage. On top of these permanent buffs, an ascended Astarion companion can provide some powerful summons in the final few battles.

3 Mirror Of Loss

Potential +1 To Charisma And +2 To Any Ability Score

Mirror Of Loss in Baldur's Gate 3
  • Act: 3
  • Location: House Of Grief
  • Related Quests: Investigate The House Of Grief, Daughter Of Darkness

The Mirror of Loss, found in Baldur's Gate's secret temple to Shar, The House of Grief, is as fickle as the evil goddess it represents. But, for those who can successfully get its blessing, they'll find it to be an incredible source of power. Players will need to pass a religion check and then offer a memory to the mirror, suffering from a temporary -2 penalty to an associated ability score. This can be removed by taking a long rest or using the "Remove Curse" spell.

In return, players will receive a new memory which has a chance to grant a +1 to their charisma ability score or a +2 to any ability score of the player's choice. Each character in the party can attempt these checks and, since the characters have six memories that they can give up relating to each ability score, they can have six attempts each to get the +2 and +1 ability score bonuses. It is worth noting that the deception option to sacrifice a false memory doesn't offer the chance to get the buff.

2 Partial Ceremorphosis

Unlocks All Options For Illithid Powers

Baldur's Gate 3 Illithid Minthara looking evil
  • Act: 3
  • Location: Astral Prism
  • Related Quests: Embrace Your Potential

After completing Act Two and traveling to Baldur's Gate, the party will be attacked by githyanki and retreat into the Astral Prism. Following the ensuing fight, the Emperor will offer the characters an Astral-Touched Tadpole. If any character consumes it, they will undergo partial ceremorphosis, beginning the process of becoming a mindflayer.

Baldur's Gate 3: 10 Ways To Use Multiclassing To Improve Roleplay
Giving characters a second class can improve roleplaying in addition to giving them added combat abilities.

While this may sound unpleasant, it doesn't have a major bearing on the story and the player's choices, only changing their appearance to look a little more...sinister. Instead, it gives players instant access to all the previously available illithid powers, as well as the illithid flight ability, and allows players to start using tadpoles to unlock new, higher-tier illithid powers.

1 Awakened

Allows Use Of Illithid Powers As Bonus Actions

Baldur's Gate 3, Githyanki Creche, Zaith'isk, Ghustil
  • Act: 2
  • Location: Creche Y'llek
  • Related Quests: Find The Githyanki Creche

Illithid powers are some of the most powerful abilities in the game and, while the Awakened buff isn't an illithid power in itself, it does improve them. This buff can be acquired in Creche Y'llek by visiting the githyanki Ghustil, who wants to purify the characters of their tadpoles in her Zaith'isk. Unfortunately, the tadpole has other ideas, and a stay in the Zaith'isk proves to be quite traumatizing.

So much so, that failing any of the three saving throws will result in the character taking a cumulative -2 penalty to intelligence, wisdom, and constitution, which is permanent until the affected character consumes an illithid tadpole. However, if the character succeeds on all three saving throws, they will be able to use all of their illithid powers that would usually cost an action as a bonus action instead. It is worth noting that the checks are far harder for Lae'zel than for other characters.

Baldur's Gate 3

August 3, 2023
Larian Studios
PC , Stadia , macOS , PS5 , Xbox Series X