This Baldur's Gate 3 NPC has brutal, tailor-made taunts to wreck the psyche of every companion character

Auntie Ethel, a hag from Baldur's Gate 3 with a twisted mien and a cruel smile, grins at the viewer.
(Image credit: Larian Studios)

Vicious Mockery might just be one of the best spells in Baldur's Gate 3, even Dungeons & Dragons proper. Not because of its power, mind you. While giving an enemy disadvantage on their next attack roll is useful, psychic damage is often resisted by foes—and its damage isn't anything to write home about.

No, what makes Vicious Mockery great is its theme. It's an excuse to throw verbal dirt at your enemies with lethal consequences. What other game lets you smack-talk a goblin to death? That's especially fun in tabletop D&D, where you can tailor your dunks to whoever you're fighting. Sadly you can't import custom lines to Baldur's Gate 3 without some serious modding know-how, but Larian Studios have sorted the next best thing.

Over two hours of voice lines are dedicated entirely to giving every origin character unique smack talk, as compiled by YouTube channel Chubblot. But beware, that road goes both ways. Most Vicious Mockery voice lines are dedicated to player voices or origin characters, but there's one NPC that gets her own—everyone's least favourite hag and overall nightmare, Auntie Ethel. 

What's more, these voice-lines are absolutely savage, personalised to each of the origin character's backstories. Most spellcasters are content with just calling someone a cuck, but Ethel takes it one step further by zeroing in on each character's insecurities with horrifying accuracy. Spoilers for some characters' stories follow.

"Deep down you like being leashed, don't ya?" she says to Astarion, a man who has been under the full control of an abusive vampire lord for centuries. "Why would Shar love you when no-one else does?" she says to Shadowheart—who has had those she loves either killed, taken away from her, or scrubbed from her memory. 

"Your people will never take you back, illithid scum," she hisses at Lae'zel—someone who prides herself most on her link to her people and culture. Ethel even calls Wyll "Daddy's mistake." Damn lady, who hurt you? Oh, right. My party did.

You can watch the full list of burns below, which start around the 1 hour, 32 minute mark. Hop back a little earlier and you'll even find some more generally targeted roasts determined by your character's race.

I'm just fascinated players keep discovering new stuff when turning up this game's many stones—rare dialogue for edge case scenarios, entire plot threads revolving around a single spell, bespoke game overs you have to try really hard to get, bizarre fourth wall breaks—it just doesn't end.

I also love how in character this is for Ethel. She's a hag. Manipulation is in her blood. She breaks people down so they'll make deals to doom themselves for her gain. Of course she goes right for the throat—she's spent her whole life pulling people's strings and shining a light on their worst insecurities.

Harvey Randall
Staff Writer

Harvey's history with games started when he first begged his parents for a World of Warcraft subscription aged 12, though he's since been cursed with Final Fantasy 14-brain and a huge crush on G'raha Tia. He made his start as a freelancer, writing for websites like Techradar, The Escapist, Dicebreaker, The Gamer, Into the Spine—and of course, PC Gamer. He'll sink his teeth into anything that looks interesting, though he has a soft spot for RPGs, soulslikes, roguelikes, deckbuilders, MMOs, and weird indie titles. He also plays a shelf load of TTRPGs in his offline time. Don't ask him what his favourite system is, he has too many.