This page of the Baldurs Gate 3 game guide answers why the elf Astarion receives damage and loses health points when exposed to water. This can cause trouble when exploring the game world. We suggest how to deal with this problem.
The following description, explaining the problem, contains minor spoilers about Astarion. Some pieces of information are not known from the start, although you can discover the reason by yourself before it is explained by the game.
For the record, Astarion is one of the potential team members. You can recruit him soon after beginning of the first act begins. The circumstances of finding and adding Astarion to your team have been described on the page Playable Characters List from the "Party" chapter.
While traveling with the Elf, you will notice Astarion receives Acid damage upon contact with water. Short contact usually means a loss of 1 health point, but a longer stay in the water can increase the rate of HP loss and ultimately lead to Astarion's rather rapid death.
The explanation for this is that Astarion is a vampire. According to the official D&D handbook, whose rules were replicated in Baldur's Gate 3, vampires receive Acid damage upon contact with running water. This is especially true for various kinds of rivers and ponds. This does not apply to rain, for example, and you don't have to hide anywhere if weather conditions deteriorate. Astarion also does not need to be afraid of, for example, traveling across the swamps. Contact with muddy ground will not result in HP loss.
You can deal with Astarion's "weakness" in several ways.:
- Try to personally control Astarion while traveling through locations with plenty of water. Artificial intelligence may try to look for other pathways that don't involve entering the water, but it's better to always take care of it yourself.
- Jump option to avoid smaller streams, while making sure not to enter the water in preparation for the jump.
- Look for alternative routes to your destination, which are ones that don't involve water contact.
- Change the members of the active party while exploring areas with rivers and water reservoirs.
- Make sure to save the game often. If Astarion accidentally enters the water and loses too many health points, load the previous game state.
- In locations with opponents you can try to provoke them into getting closer to the team. This may allow you to avoid having to cross water.