Even in a fantasy world, the short kings, queens, and monarchs in non-binary finery among us don’t get the treatment they deserve. This time, the injustice is taking place in Baldur’s Gate 3, and it’s perhaps the worst violation yet of the rights and dignity of our comrades of diminished stature: They can’t kiss Karlach, the game’s resident hot Tiefling girlfriend.
Spotted by Kotaku, it seems that Faerûn’s gnomes and halflings—a hobbit by any other name that remains as short—are running into a little difficulty when it comes to romancing Baldur’s Gate 3’s big red one. A tweet from Prima Games associate editor Jesse Vitelli illustrates the issue: Their gnome character’s head is eye-level with Karlach’s torso, transforming what should be a sweet, chaste kiss between new lovers into a strangely sensual smooch on the midriff (while Karlach pecks the air, as though blowing a kiss in acknowledgement of a distant aunt at a wedding).
My gnome can’t even kiss my love because he’s too short. This is the kissing animation This is NOT Short King Summer pic.twitter.com/kOPCKoKudXAugust 11, 2023
Here is a video of this bug, this error, this crime in action, though be warned Karlach is inexplicably in her underwear for it, so maybe don’t play it at work. At least she still shouts “Yay!” afterwards, though. I guess everyone’s happy in the end.
I’m playing a wood elf who kind of ended up romancing Shadowheart by default, so I can’t test this myself, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this issue affected romances with party members besides Karlach. No companion (at least that I’ve encountered) looks a hair under five foot eight to me, so I think they’d all pose a challenge to an amorous gnome or halfling.
It’s a strange oversight in a game otherwise filled with polish, small details, and examples of the devs taking into account all the baffling ideas players will come up with while playing. After all, BG3 is a game with a big emphasis on its romance options (either too much of an emphasis or just the right amount, depending on which PC Gamer staff member you happen to be talking to), and three of its playable races (dwarves, halfings and gnomes) are on the short side. Maybe this is actually just how short people handle romance in D&D, I guess I’m not fully up-to-date with the lore.
I’ve reached out to Larian to ask if there are plans to fix this travesty of romantic justice, and I’ll update this piece if I hear back. For now, well, maybe stand on a bucket?