Just like traditional Dungeons & Dragons, Baldur’s Gate 3 is chock-full of different effects, conditions and states that players must learn if they want to perform well in combat. From positive buffs that can give you additional actions to negative ones that impose disadvantages, there’s a lot to learn and it can get pretty overwhelming at times. One such example is Invisibility, a very useful buff which is a massive boon to you and a huge hindrance for your enemies. It allows you instantly duck out of sight, letting you strike for advantage on your next attack or sneak away for a cheeky heal. However, this goes both ways and your foes can also utilise Invisibility to their advantage.
That being said, there are a few ways to unmask invisible foes, with the primary one being See Invisibility. This is a level 2 Divination Spell or effect that will, as the name implies, let you see right through the guise of invisible creatures. Usually, only certain magic classes such as Bards or Wizards have access to it and they’ll need to expend a Spell Slot to do so. Luckily for you, though, there’s a way to get permanent See Invisibility on your character without needing to use spells or even be a magic caster, at all. By completing a certain questline and undertaking a bit of punishment, you can be rewarded with this incredibly powerful ability.
Here’s how you can get permanent See Invisibility, on any character or class, super early in Baldur’s Gate 3.
How to Get Permanent See Invisibility in Baldur’s Gate 3
The ability to get permanent See Invisibility on your character can be unlocked very early on in Baldur’s Gate III. In fact, you can have it within the first few hours of Act 1 if you know where to go and what to do. This can be done on any character following any path.
Before we continue, we need to make one thing clear. Baldur’s Gate 3 is a ginormous game with so many possibilities and combinations for choices that it can be difficult to nail down specific routes to take. While we can advise and give details on the route, certain things may be different on your playthrough. Unless you kill a major NPC, things should still go smoothly but you may have to do things out of order or skip some steps entirely.
With that out of the way, let’s talk about how to get permanent See Invisibility and how it relates to Volothamp Geddarm.
Find Volo in the Emerald Grove
To begin our quest for true sight, we’ll need to find the main NPC related to this small quest: Volothamp Geddarm. Fans of D&D will instantly recognise this character as the famous (or infamous) monster archiver who wrote Volo’s Guide to Monsters, a supplementary book for the traditional tabletop game with new monsters for DMs to sic on their players. Well, he’s here in Baldur’s Gate 3 and is a key part of unlocking permanent See Invisibility.
During Act 1, you’ll arrive in the Emerald Grove, home to a group of Druids and Tieflings who are in quite the spat. Honestly, the outcome of the Grove doesn’t seem to impact or change much, but you need to get inside the Grove to start this questline. Once you’re in the Grove, head down to Sacred Pools where the Druids are preparing to seal off the area from the outside world. After passing by three Druids guarding the stairs against some angry Tieflings, you’ll find the eponymous Bard sitting under a tree beside a bear.
At this point, you should speak to him and try to figure out what he wants. If you defeated the rampaging Goblins outside the gates, he’ll want to know all about them and ask you several questions regarding them. After some embellishments, one of the questions will relate to the Absolute and he’ll reveal that he’s planning on visiting the nearby Goblin Camp to learn more.
To ensure that the next part of the quest can occur, make sure to take a Long Rest at some point before you head over to the Goblin encampment. Several different routes on the main quest will take you to the camp, so it’s worth doing. Volo may end up in the camp even if you don’t take a Rest but it is a surefire way to make it happen.
Rescue Volo from the Goblin Camp
After speaking to Volo in the Emerald Grove and deciding how to deal with a quarrel between the Tieflings and the Druids, you’ll need to make your way to the Goblin Camp. Unless you are actively looking for a fight or roll really poorly, the Goblins here won’t attack you on sight, especially not if you have access to your Illithid powers after a Long Rest. This will make entering the camp and finding Volo much easier.
Upon entering the main thoroughfare leading deeper into the camp, you should spot a familiar face standing atop a stand. It’s Volo and he’s putting on a show for a group of Goblins after he was captured by them. At this point, you should speak to him. This will result in his new master getting quite upset, ending in her taking Volo back to his cage inside the Shattered Sanctum. This will give you a new quest in your journal titled “Rescue Volo” which you’ll need to complete successfully.
From here, there are fair few options for how you want to handle this. The bottom line is that you need to rescue Volo by getting him out of his cage. One method is to enter the Shattered Sanctum, get past Warrior Trinzas to gain free entry, find Volo in his cage and then use Persuasion or Deception to get his handler to leave: this will allow you to let him out without any bloodshed and without breaking your cover. Another way is to just slaughter his handler (and any Goblins who get in your way) and then break open the cage with your bare hands.
If you wish to know where to find Volo in the Shattered Sanctum, head in through the main doors. Then, once you’re past the stairs and are in the main chamber where you first meet Priestess Gut, head right. This area leads to the Worg Pens where you’ll find the Druid Halsin and houses a captured Druid being tortured. Before you cross the wooden bridge to the Worg Pens, there should be a room to the right where Volo is being held.
Once he’s been freed, Volo will take up residence in your camp, which is where you should go next.
Visit Volo in Your Camp
With Volo in your camp, you can discuss your current condition and the situation with the Illithid tadpole with him. At first, he’s full of disbelief but he’ll slowly come to believe you in one way or another. He’ll then add that he may know a way of curing you of your condition and that he’ll need a bit more time to prepare it.
After undergoing a Long Rest, you can return to Volo to hear about his findings and this is where things get grisly. Volo’s supposed method of extracting the Illithid tadpole is a touch more personal than those offered by Raphael or Auntie Ethel: instead remove the tadpole with magic or sorcery, Volo intends to wrench it from your skull using a needle. As you can imagine, this will be very painful and may result in the loss of certain organs should you proceed.
You do have the choice of whether or not to undergo this surgery with Volo and he’ll remain in your Camp until you decide to go through with it. So, should you let Volo perform eye surgery on you in Baldur’s Gate 3?
BG3 Volo Eye Choice: Should You Let Volo Take Your Eye?
The choice to let Volo perform surgery on your eye is likely one of the first big decisions players will make in Baldur’s Gate 3. In actuality, the choice isn’t actually that deep and won’t result in the massive spiderweb of changes you may expect from losing an eye. Just know that, if you want to unlock permanent See Invisibility in BG3, you will need to undertake the surgery.
If you decide that you don’t really care for it and want to keep your parasite (and your eye) where it is, you can simply walk away from Volo. He’ll remain in your Camp until at least the end of Act 1 and you can change your mind at any time.
If, instead, you decide to take Volo up on his offer, simply visit him and ask him to perform the procedure. Over several, painful minutes, Volo will attempt to excise your Illithid tadpole in quite a crude fashion, jamming a needle – and then an ice pick – into your eye socket. At this point, you need to just continue suffering through the pain, choosing every choice and dialogue option that lets Volo continue.
Eventually, and to almost no-ones surprise, Volo will make a mistake and pop out your eye. After awakening from the trauma and blood loss, Volo will be in quite a hurry to leave your camp, especially after maiming you. However, he won’t leave you one normal eye short (not like Auntie Ethel, anyway) and will give you a replacement Volo eye in the form of Volo’s Ersatz Eye before vanishing into thin air.
It is worth noting that, if you decide to undergo the surgery, at least one choice will become locked to your current character. In Act 1, you can find a Hag in the swamp south of the Blighted Village named Auntie Ethel: she’s tied to a few sidequests in the area but the main thing she’ll offer is another way to purge you of the tadpole. She’ll only do this if you offer her one of your eyes in trade. If you decide to undergo Volo’s surgery, and thus receive Volo’s fake eye in return, this choice will be unavailable to whoever lost their eye in the operation. You can still make this choice, you’ll just need to offer a different party members’ peepers in return.
Volo’s Ersatz Eye
Volo’s Ersatz Eye is what allows your character to constantly, and permanently, See Invisibility. Once you’ve replaced your old, fleshy eye for Volo’s creation, you’ll always have the See Invisibility buff active at all times, no matter where you go or what you do. As we said before, this doesn’t require a Spell Slot, scroll or any other form of magic: any class, whether you’re a brutish Barbarian or a book-smart Bard can use this ability.
One thing that worries some is going to be the potential of any negative effects this may have on your character. Fortunately, there aren’t any downsides, at least not tangible ones. Having a fake eye doesn’t make you lose any proficiencies, make attacks harder or give you a disadvantage on Perception Checks, it’s just a straight upgrade from your old eye. The only change is a slight cosmetic one. On my Dragonborn, the fake eye is slightly paler than the real eye. It’s obvious enough to be a fake eye while still keeping the overall look of your character intact.
If you’re willing to sacrifice one of your eyes and are happy to put up with the minor cosmetic alterations it brings, you should always take Volo up on his offer and get Volo’s Ersatz Eye. It is, literally, just an upgrade over your regular eyes and will be very useful in the latter portions of Baldur’s Gate 3.
That was how to unlock permanent See Invisibility on any character early on in Baldur’s Gate 3.