Astarion has slipped a knife around my neck and wrestled me to the ground – the companion character’s customary greeting to new players of Baldur’s Gate 3. It’s a scene that’s grown familiar over years of early access and developer previews—the sense of alarm long since dulled as I roll a D20 to try and get the high-elf lunk off me.

What I’m not prepared for is the moment when he stands back up. At 5’9, Astarion looms like giant Richard Ayoade in Fable’s first trailer. Because now I’m playing a halfling—and Larian won’t let me forget it.

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