The director of Baldur’s Gate 3 has explained why the popular Dispel Magic spell from Dungeons & Dragons 5E was cut from the game after efforts to include it. This is despite other spells with lots of uses, like Speak with Dead, being fully implemented into Baldur’s Gate 3, with a lot of care put into the player being able to use it in obscure ways.
Dispel Magic is a level 3 Abjuration spell, which can be taken by nearly every spellcasting class in D&D. It has been one of the most popular spells throughout the history of D&D, thanks to its ability to peel away enemy buffs, remove enchantment effects that are controlling your allies, and for its capacity to disable powerful magic items temporarily. Dispel Magic is a must-have spell for any character in a campaign with lots of arcane or divine enemies, as you’ll need its protection to bail out the party.
Dispel Magic Needed to Be Removed From Baldur’s Gate 3 Due to its Endless Uses
Despite seemingly being a perfect fit for the game, Dispel Magic never made it into Baldur’s Gate 3. The reason why has been explained by the director of Baldur’s Gate 3, Swen Vinke, in an interview on the official Dungeons & Dragons YouTube channel. According to Vinke, the team tried implementing Dispel Magic at one point in time, but they just couldn’t put it in.
The reason why Dispel Magic was cut was due to its sheer number of uses, especially in a magic-heavy game like Baldur’s Gate 3. The developers were running into issues where Dispel Magic needed to be accounted for in nearly every situation, and they realized that it would have doubled the size of the game.
Players do have a similar option, as the Counterspell spell is present in Baldur’s Gate 3. This allowed a character to spend their Reaction to cast Counterspell in response to any enemy spell, preventing it from working. Counterspell is especially useful when fighting mages, but it’s only used within combat and doesn’t have uses in the overworld.
It’s a shame that Dispel Magic didn’t make it into Baldur’s Gate 3, but it’s understandable why the developers chose not to prioritize it. It’s the kind of spell that can be a bit too versatile, especially when you’re trying to tell a story, and if the player can use one magical effect to overcome many obstacles, then they’ll start to rely on it over everything else.