Baldur's Gate 3 developer Larian Studios has repeatedly advised players anxious about RNG to simply trust in the game's dice rolls, but trusting the dice didn't work out very well for Astarion actor Neil Newbon, whose custom avatar was recently killed on-stream by the very vampire he plays in the RPG.
(Extremely minor early-game spoilers for Astarion ahead.)
Two days ago, Newbon streamed a Baldur's Gate 3 co-op session with friend and horror director Tom de Ville. Around 2:33:40 in the stream VOD, Newbon and his party settle down for a long rest only for an iconic Astarion cutscene to kick off. His vampire blood revealed, Astarion swoops in to snack on Newbon's custom character, Bow'ee, in the dead of night, and the resulting exchange is a legendary stroke of irony.
Fully aware of what's coming, Newbon claps excitedly as the cutscene begins. De Ville asks what's going on, and Newbon hastily explains that "it's Astarion" before going right back to gushing. Baldur's Gate 3's co-op privacy settings apparently kept De Ville from seeing the moment in-game, so he also ends up tuning into Newbon's stream – and not a moment too soon.
"I am not going to attack him," Newbon declares as Astarion inquires about a harmless little drink, understandably choosing not to impale the character he voices. "You can trust me," he says, synced with Astarion. Answering the vampire's request for blood, and unknowingly setting himself up for one of the best Twitch highlights I've ever seen, Newbon reckons "I'm gonna say fine, but not a drop more! OK? Don't be greedy."
Astarion wastes no time and – with Newbon mimicking the motion on-stream – latches on like a starved leech. Ever the generous blood donor, Newbon casually ignores the first ability check and just lets Astarion continue drinking. "He's a thirsty boy, I'm gonna let him," he says, earning a shocked "wow" from De Ville.
As the second ability check pops up, Newbon finally decides that enough is enough. He rolls for persuasion to get Astarion off of him, which is the exact moment that some far-off god of D&D chucks a karmic lightning bolt. Newbon rolls a natural one and Astarion drains him dry like a juice box.
Newbon's response coupled with De Ville's stunned reaction is priceless. "Oh I got a natural one. I got a crit 1," Newbon says as his Twitch chat explodes into a chorus of laughs.
"On what?!" De Ville replies. "What were you rolling for?! Is he gonna drain you? I'm gonna wake up and you're dead?"
"I was trying to ask him to stop."
"Oh my god, this is it," De Ville says with resignation.
"Oh dear," Newbon agrees, noting that Bow'ee is dead with an "oh shit" and a laugh of his own. He and De Ville scramble to revive poor Bow'ee – well, technically De Ville ponders looting Bow'ee's corpse and distracts himself by playing with the camp dog Scratch, but you can really feel his heartfelt concern – and ultimately end up going to Withers.
"I'm so disturbed that you've killed your own character," De Ville says. "You've killed yourself, Neil!"
Improvising new lines for Astarion on the fly, Newbon adds: "Um, Withers, small problem. I've done something silly. Yes, about the corpse. Funny you mention that."
Bing, bang, boom, Bow'ee's back on their feet for a simple 200 gold. As someone who also ended up getting killed by Astarion – after my 16 Strength Paladin failed both Strength rolls – I appreciate Newbon's immediate rush to ask Astarion what the hell that was about – while De Ville carries on petting Scratch, of course. OK, maybe Larian was right. Trusting the dice is more entertaining.
This may well top the Baldur's Gate 3 playthrough from Karlach's actor, which has been as chaotic as you'd expect.