In true D&D fashion, you can bypass Baldur's Gate 3's most notorious dungeon with a single, simple spell

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(Image credit: Larian Studios)

Most people who play Dungeons & Dragons have a story about the time a relatively innocuous, low-level magic spell bypassed a series of complex challenges and difficult fights... because the Dungeon Master forgot that it existed.

Baldur's Gate 3 has exactly that feature included, and many players have recently been shocked to find that the challenging Gauntlet of Shar dungeon can be mostly bypassed by just... magically unlocking its big scary doors. It's a difficult task  normally accomplished by finding the Umbral Gems. The gems are each kept within a tough puzzle and fight you must pass to move forward, all of which can be quite hard—hard enough that we have a dedicated guide on how to find and retrieve the Umbral Gems.

However Knock, a level 2 arcane spell that most players will have had for dozens of hours, can be used to open the three gates that you normally need the gems for. Any given Bard, Sorcerer, or Wizard can just... magically ask the door to open. That means you only need one gem and a spear retrieved from the library, just a single one of the four gems, to use the elevator down to the bottom.

The seeming cause of this surge in recognition was a Twitter/X post by someone called clancadera, whose innocuous single-sentence post that you can skip the Gauntlet of Shar trials caused their replies to become a hodgepodge of people absolutely gobsmacked that a spell does what it says on the tin and/or melting down because they'd found the Shar Olympics to be the hardest part of the game so far.

The funniest part of this, to me, is that I did this the first week Baldur's Gate 3 came out. I looked at a challenge in the Gauntlet, said fuck that, and cast Knock. I've been playing D&D since I was a child—so this was obvious to me—but the great part about BG3 is that such a critical mass of people is playing that you get to watch people discover and have complete brain-exploding meltdowns over things you've known about for months which is extremely fun and entertaining.

Cheers, Gamesradar.

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.