This is a guide to help players build up money in baldurs gate 3 quickly and put them in a position where they will be able to buy out every vendor as they progress though out the game.
Building up cash in Baldurs Gate III can be a bit daunting in the early to mid-game. There is tons of stuff to spend money on and you can’t buy everything, however, you may want to be able to buy everything so that you can explore different weapons, builds, and consumables.
So, how do you do it?
You can’t buy everything because you don’t have money or way to regenerate that money once it is spent. You can’t kill and loot because the vendor will not drop all of their stuff and won’t be available in the future.
You can potentially pick-pocket everything but it would take forever to do so, even if you have a character spec’d for it at the beginning. Some items are so valuable that you need to roll nat 20’s to be able to loot them and if a vendor’s cash stack goes up too high then it will be almost impossible to loot.
The best method is to knock-out vendors and then loot their bodies If you knock out vendors, then they will basically respawn after a long rest. Larian appear to have made some changes to how this worked during early access to make it a bit more difficult to do.
During early access, if you knocked out a vendor, they would drop everything they have. This has not been my experience post-launch. Sometimes it works, but other times, it does not. I have had vendors who have a full inventory not drop anything after getting knocked out.
Regardless, if you follow the steps below, you will be able to make fairly quick cycles through all of the vendors any time you need cash, consumables, or other resources.
The Sell Stack
The first thing you need to do is build up a sell stack of weapons and gear. This stack will snowball throughout the campaign and be recycled to every vendor you want items or money from. The easiest way to start is just to loot everything as you are playing and send it to camp.
If you want to save time, then put all of your junk in a separate bag so you don’t have to add everything one by one in the vendor screen later on. You can use a second bag for stuff that you want to cycle with vendors but that isn’t worthless, again, so you don’t have to click a bunch of times at vendors.
So, when do you stop? There are two answers, just pick whichever one you like better.
You can either wait until you have a true stack or cycle through a couple mini-stacks first.
If you want to do a true stack, then wait until the value of your sell stack exceeds the value of the vendor’s inventory (including vendor gold).
If you want to do a mini stack, then just build up something appreciable and follow the steps below until you have a true stack.
When you are selling, you want to be able to make sure a few different roles are fulfilled: 1) Face, 2) Attacker, 3) Bag Man, and 4) Cloud Man. Some of these roles can be combined, but some cannot.
A party’s face (whoever has the highest charisma) needs to be used to talk with the vendor. This will lower the vendor markup. The face can sell stuff from the bag man’s inventory. The face cannot be the attacker.
The attacker needs to be someone who can down vendor as quickly as possible. It is preferable if you get someone who is melee (for reasons described later). If you pick up great weapon master on your attacker, you should be able to down them pretty quickly. Vendors don’t usually have a ton of HP but some do and NPC’s HP appears to increase as you progress throughout the game. You could also do this with a rogue or other classes that put out high damage across multiple attacks but who can stealth.
The bag man is the person who is going to hold all of the stuff to sell and loot all of the items. Being over encumbered makes you move very slowly, so there are some steps below you should follow to make this as easy as possible. The bag man can be combined with any other role.
The cloud man is just anyone who can cast fog cloud, darkness, etc. I have a throwaway companion who is lvl’d up a bunch in wizard so they have tons of casts of fog cloud and darkness. This can be combined with any other role.
If you want anyone to cast bless on your attacker, then you either need to get that through an item (like the bless heal ring) or through another pc. Be mindful of concentration spells. You can only have one up at once per pc.
Selling Your Sell Stack
First thing to do is to assemble your team with the roles described above. Then find the vendor you want to rob. Assemble your team at the vendor, then open your map and go to camp. Once you are back at camp. Make sure the bag only has the stuff that is going to be sold in his inventory. Once the bag is loaded up and can’t walk, leave camp (do not use waypoints) and you will tele right back in front of the vendor. This saves on encumbered walking time. I usually pop a safety save right here.
Assemble your team directly around the vendor. Use the face to talk to the vendor to start selling. If you have excess items, you can start giving the vendor money or items for free until you have 100 reputation with them. This will drive down the markup. So, sell everything to the vendor. Basically an inventory swap.
After everything is sold, get your attacker and cloud man ready. Put the attacker right next to the vendor. Make sure that the party members are close enough that the cloud from the cloud man will cover everyone.
Do the following step as quickly as possible so that the vendor doesn’t run away. Cast a cloud spell, toggle group hide, and enter into turn based mode. If you can have everyone hide before you cast a cloud spell, then it’s a very easy 1-2, but sometimes it is not possible because of other npc’s.
Next, have your attacker knock out the vendor. Make sure that you have non-lethal attacks turned on. Make sure you have all of your appropriate buffs and damage increases applied. When you are about to swing, pop down a save in case your roll sucks. If you knock them out with one swing, great. If not or if you miss, you can still attack them most of the time. It just depends on your stealth check, other npc proximity, and where the vendor moves if you have to pass the turn. If you are not able to get them knocked out in one turn, then let the round pass and see if you are able to do it on the next turn. If the npc walks out of the cloud, you can usually cast another. If you trigger combat with the entire town, then reload.
Once the vendor is knocked out, have the bag man come in and loot the body. You will be able to get back everything that you sold the vendor. The vendor’s own loot has been buggy post release on knock out drops but the items you sell to the vendor always appear. Pull up your inventory tab to confirm that you have looted everything. I encountered a bug a bit ago where certain pc’s were not able to loot from certain bodies. If that happens, just grab a different bag man. Once the bag man has secured the loot, open the map and go to camp. Once everyone is back in camp use the inventory screen to send the loot to your camp storage.
After a long rest, all the vendors will be back where they were with new inventories. They will not have new versions of unique items that they had before but they will generate an inventory based on your level and progress in the game of armor, consumables, and gold.
Ok, good, so that is how you do one vendor. The next step is running a circuit. To do that, you just repeat the same steps above to all of the vendors you have available before long resting or at least until your spells run dry. Don’t worry about long-rests because vendors will continually restock with camp supplies, so you will never run out. You can also increase your sell stack as you do these runs because vendors’ inventories will keep getting more expensive.
Once you get your stack set up this will go very quickly. Once you have done a cycle or two then you will have enough cash just from the vendor’s gold stacks to not have to worry about money. If you see your cash reserves going down, then do another cycle.
Here are some final miscellaneous tips to help with this process.
Dedicated Bag Man
In order to minimize set up time, you can use dedicated pc’s from your camp that you are not using in the campaign so that you can quickly swap in a bag man quickly when needed.
If you have extra gold or items, then tip the vendor so that your reputation gets to 100% before buying or selling anything. This will get your markup down very low.
Note that the vendor will ♥ hate whoever keeps knocking them out over and over and over. I haven’t had any major issues yet but the narrator prompts me to give the vendors gifts when their attitude goes too low.
Keep in mind that you can always use this technique to just get the gold off of the vendors or to get all of their alchemy supplies, etc. You can cycle small.
If you are experiencing issues with npc’s interfering, you can use certain summons to scare and body block npc movement. From my playing, npc’s are terrified of the ranger’s advanced summons. You can control the summon and drive a wedge between the vendor or isolate the vendor. This should be a back-up though unless you find a consistent set-up because it can take some tinkering to get the right position.