Baldur’s Gate 3 – Class: Camp Butler

Consider for your adventure, at little expense other than a few measly coins, the most supportive and devout follower to assist your party and their adventurer regardless of difficulty – guaranteed to improve your daily ventures: the camp butler.

Pre-Guide Spoiler Warnings

This guide contains no story spoilers. It contains very minor (and frankly negligible) spoilers by directly addressing certain spells and when they become available; but besides this utmost care has been given to writing this guide as spoiler-free (and entertaining) as possible.

Camp Butler – The How and Why

In any good fantasy adventure, the day begins and ends in your camp setup. And Baldur’s Gate 3 is no different. No matter where you located, be it the safe confines of a city, town or allied outpost, or in the midst of a dangerous trip to the Underdark, Hells, Astral Plane or that falling-rock-infested place when you’ve pissed off your dungeon master; your camp comes with.

The camp in Baldur’s Gate 3 gives you a vessel to interact with the all recruited companions and followers, whether or not they’re in your party. It also gives you access to your Traveler’s Chest, the cheap knock-off Bag of Holding that allows you to easily teleport items in to it, but not much else. Still, it’s good to have a place to store all those magic items and old journals you’re sure will have a use at some point – that painted rock is just a legendary item waiting to be activated, right?

The camp is also where you choose, if you so wish, to alter your party setup. Simply request one party member to remain in camp, and ask another to join you for your adventures. Easy!

It is also where Withers resides. If this name is unfamiliar to you, please continue on your journey and look in all nooks-and-crannies for unforeseen adventures (and wait to check out guides after a bit of exploration to avoid spoilers)!

For those who are familiar with Withers, you’ll undoubtedly have noticed the option to recruit hirelings. With such a strong array of characters to chose from with great storylines (and the option to change any character in to any class you want to anyway), hirelings are currently rarely used. But they do have a very powerful, unique use: to specialize in the “Camp Butler” class.

The Camp Butler improves your gameplay for a minimal cost – 300 gold to get the most benefit out of it. They can be of assistance as soon as level 1, but they truly shine starting at level 5. By then, they can provide the following:

  • Nearly guaranteed doubling your potions, elixirs and oils supply
  • Nearly guarenteed to open any locked chest you can transport to camp
  • Provide all team members with +3m movement speed
  • Provide mage armour and darkvision for classes/races that need it.
  • Provide a Bardic Inspiration dice for every party member
  • Light or Sunlight for those extra-dark regions
  • Potentially extra healing, decursing and temporary hitpoints
  • Minor gold income through performance if needed

Sounds like a pretty good deal to me!

Building Your Butler

The first step is to speak to Withers and pick dialogue options to inquire about hirelings. You can pick whichever you’d like for flavour, although if you want to get the absolute maximum efficiency out of this class build you should opt for Brinna Brightsong due to her racial Halfing Luck, allowing her to reroll natural 1s. This will cost you 100 gold.

Then, selecting your new hireling, speak to Withers again and inquire about changing class. This will cost you 200 gold. Ensure the following:

  • Set wisdom score to 17
  • Set dexterity score to 16
  • Skill proficiency in Medicine
  • Skill proficiency in Sleight of Hand
  • Bard of Lore level 3 (Expertise in Medicine and Sleight of Hand)
  • Wizard of Transmutation level 2
  • Ensure your spell book has Mage Armour, Longstrider and Enhance Ability
  • Recommended to also learn Knock and Lesser Restoration

This assumes you’ve made it to level 5. If you want to employ this tactic earlier, prioritize picking a Mage if you want access to Mage Armour or a Bard if you want access to Longstrider and additional healing/bardic inspiration.

As for other ability scores and skills: the Butler requires very few and you are free to pursue what you desire; you could opt for a charisma of 14 to help with Bardic spell casting but realistically this won’t matter. You might consider putting extra skill proficiency in knowledge skills your party lacks (e.g. Nature, Investigation, History, Religion) when you encounter a mystery in your adventure your team simply isn’t handled to decode (although this involves some back-and-forth between followers and moving between camp). If you don’t have any use for the Warped Headband of Intellect, you can use it on your camp butler to increase the amount of wizard spells prepared – though this is only a minor quality of life upgrade as you can change prepared spells outside of combat.

The goal is for this butler to be, and stay, at camp – so it won’t need any consideration for combat viability.

Experimental Alchemy – The Math

So, the biggest and most powerful boon your butler can do for you, besides keep those precious spell spots saved for combat, is maximizing your alchemical products. You have been doing alchemy, right?

Yours might look a bit less artisinal, and a bit more fantastical. A level 2 Wizard of Transmutation gains access to Experimental Alchemy. When brewing a alchemical solution (potions, elixirs, oils or poisons), they can make a DC 15 Medicine skill check to double the products (from 1 to 2).

Here’s why the Butler Build nearly guarantees double products every time:

  • Combining wisdom score, proficiency bonus and expertise bonus should give +7 in Medicine.
  • Enhance Ability: Owl gives you advantage in Medicine skill checks
  • If you have a different character who can concentrate Guidance (either a cleric cantrip or magical item) on your Butler, it’s an additional +1 on the skill check for +8.
  • If you picked Brinna Brightsong, a roll of 1 is rerolled once per dice. (A 1 in 160.000 chance to end up with two natural 1s with advantage – with karmic dice this is essentially disabled)

With Enhance Ability and Guidance you have a 91% chance (actually higher with Halfling Luck) to double to alchemy products. This improves with levels too: with an extra wisdom score point (+3 to +4) and proficiency bonus (+4 to +6) you need to roll a 4 or higher with advantage – a 98% chance. Dice Odds wise, this is considered “1 in 1”, especially with Halfing Luck and Guidance being a 1d4, not just a +1.

All of this math is the same when it comes to DC15 locks to pick for any treasure chest you’ve send to camp!

Butler and Beyond

However, this doesn’t stop. As you progress the game and gain levels, so does your camp butler. A wide variety of options becomes available to you, and you can improve on it however creative you can get. You could maximize the wisdom or dexterity score if you don’t trust that 2% fail chance – or if you want a follower with access to Disguise Self and an Advantage on Stealth and Sleight of Hand to get a 5-finger discount from vendors. And if they get caught – well, the camp butler won’t be needing to make any further appearances in that part of town anyway, right?

However, simply improving the bard level is a straight-forward and efficient progression regardless, if you don’t wish to micromanage another characters progression. Further levels in Bard provides you with feats, improved Bardic Inspiration dies and Magical Secrets at level 6: allowing you access to any level 1 to 3 spell available. For example, Darkvision, Daylight, Remove Curse, Warden of Vitality, Mass Healing Word, and Revivify. At bard level 7 (character level 9), you gain access to Freedom of Movement which is an amazing buff to hand out. At character level 12 (level 10 Bard ,since you multiclassed 2 in to wizard), you gain access to Death Ward which you could cast on 3 party members.

For feats, Ritual Caster is a bit of a waste since you already have access to most of these spells through the Bardic Spell list but Silence could assist you with Sleight of Hand/Stealth shenanigans. Magic Initiate provides some versatile options; such as Cleric for Thaumargy (Advantage on Performance) and Guidance or Druid for Goodberry. Dungeon Delver could be useful if you lack a dedicated person to deal with traps; though this requires some party micromanagment that can be quite a headache.

The Day-to-Day of the Butler

After a long rest, most conditions are removed (both positive and negative) and health and spell slots are restored (depending on your camp supplies used). It’s recommended to start each day after a Long Rest using your Camp Butler to do it’s duty: spend spell slots on beneficial buffs on all that need it that last till next long rest such as Longstrider and Mage Armour – as long as it doesn’t require concentration.

Spend a spell spot on Enhance Ability to process the alchemy ingredients and craft potions for today’s adventure: a fresh collection of healing potions never goes amiss; and an elixir of resistance to the most likely damage type will double your longevity.

And perhaps an alarm clock would be more tolerable if it was the sweet tunes of Bardic Inspiration: visit each of the characters you plan to take on the adventure and play them a tune to ensure they go out with an extra pocketed dice for emergency moments.

Consider if any other spells are useful straight away – perhaps bringing your butler along for a single encounter (if you’re sure it won’t end in combat) to assist with Enhance Ability: Charisma or investigating for traps or mysterious lore could be worth a minute of micromanagement, or perform a song in a particular crowded (and friendly) area for a small influx of pocket money. Otherwise deposit the butler back to the camp and enjoy having extra spell slots for extra healing, removing curses or cleansing ailments.

Be sure to praise your Camp Butler – they are crafting your potions and poisons after all..

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