Are you broke in Baldur’s Gate 3? Do you see a merchant selling something you want but don’t have the gold to purchase? Sure, you could send out your merry band of misfits to do some quests and earn some cash but, my dear reader, have you ever considered larceny instead? Better yet, have you considered bypassing all the risk of pickpocketing to just steal almost everything a merchant has on their person? Well friend, let me introduce you to Knocking a Merchant Out and Taking Their Wares.
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Baldur’s Gate 3 has non-lethal attacks. If you have a Charisma-based build, you probably haven’t had to engage with these at all because you just talk your way out of a fight if you’re trying to avoid violence. But did you know you can use these on anyone? Yes, for the low cost of a couple clicks and button presses, you can substitute gutting someone so that the light leaves their eyes for giving them a light bop on the head and knocking them unconscious. This isn’t exclusive to hostile enemies, as you can knock anyone the *** out in Baldur’s Gate 3 as you please. But if you’re spotted doing this by anyone other than the trader, you’ll end up in a fight. So place some visual blockers like Fog Cloud between you, the trader, and any witnesses before you proceed. Also, keep in mind that if you do this, you won’t be able to trade with the shopkeeper again. So this is best kept to those inhabiting non-hub areas you don’t intend to frequent in the future.
To do this, check your Passives section on the command menu and you’ll find “Toggle Non-Lethal Attacks.” As the option says when you hover over it, this will only work if you’re unarmed or using a melee weapon, so archers and spellcasters should move their equipment around accordingly. Then it’s just a matter of beating them up with melee attacks until they’re knocked out. Then you can loot their unconscious body to get that sweet armor set or weapon you couldn’t afford (or simply did not want to pay for).
Screenshot: Larian Studios / Kotaku
If you’re going through all this trouble to shoplift, why not simply kill the trader? Well, one, because that’s morally reprehensible, and unless you’re doing a Dark Urge playthrough, you should be saving your sword strikes and spells for more worthy foes. But also, if you loot a dead body you’ll have fewer items to pick from as you loot. While testing this method after seeing it on TikTok, I confirmed there were definitely more items to take off an unconscious trader than a dead one. But some folks, like TikTok user @igotjesussandals13 say they’ve had some encounters where they’ve had access to a trader’s entire stock. So your mileage may vary depending on which shopkeeper you smack in the back of the head, but you will at least be able to take more from them than you would from their corpse.
Anyway, violence is never the answer and Kotaku does not endorse *** up Arron in the Emerald Grove, who is positioned just right that you can initiate combat against him without being spotted by other civilians.