Balthazar’s Room Puzzle located within the Moonrise Towers of Baldur’s Gate 3. As you navigate the Shadow-Cursed Lands, you’ll stumble upon Balthazar’s Laboratory, a place filled with secrets, experiments, and a particularly perplexing puzzle involving moonlanterns and a ritual circle. But fear not, fellow traveler! Whether you’re trying to reverse-engineer a Moonlantern or simply want to understand the depths of Balthazar’s experiments in Baldur’s Gate 3, this guide will shed light on the steps needed solve the frustrating bookcase puzzle.


How To Find Balthazar’s Room In Baldur’s Gate 3

As you journey through the eerie Moonrise Towers, the narrative will naturally guide you towards Balthazar’s Room. This room is especially significant if you’re on the hunt for a Moonlantern, a vital item for safely navigating the shadow-cursed terrains.

If, for some reason, you missed getting a Moonlantern from Kar’niss or lost its protective blessing, venturing into Balthazar’s chilling chambers becomes essential for moving forward in the game. But even if the lantern isn’t your primary goal, the room offers a unique reward that might test your ethical boundaries.

Balthazar’s Room is situated on the First Floor of the Moonrise Towers at coordinates X:-132, Y:-182. It’s concealed behind a locked door, which can be opened either with a specific key or by successfully passing a DC 15 Sleight of Hand check. If you play your cards wisely and pretend to be loyal to the Absolute, Disciple Z’rell will willingly give you the key after a conversation.


Understanding Balthazar’s Room Puzzle

The central element of this puzzle is the large bookshelf located on the western side of Balthazar’s Room. As you approach this bookshelf, your party will automatically attempt a DC 10 Perception Check. If successful, you’ll spot four distinct books sticking out.

Press the book located on the top-right corner of the bookshelf. You’ll hear a distinct click sound, indicating the unlocking of a small Ancient Altar to the bookshelf’s immediate right. Beware: touching any other book will activate a lethal trap in the room. This could be anything from a lightning strike, a release of toxic gas, or even the reanimation of all the room’s corpses.

How To Solve Balthazar’s Room Puzzle In Baldur’s Gate 3

The crux of the puzzle in Balthazar’s Room revolves around the large bookshelf on the room’s western side. This bookshelf hides a secret entrance to Balthazar’s Moonlantern laboratory, and to access it, you’ll need to interact with the books in a specific order.

1. Perception Check: As you approach the bookshelf, your party will automatically attempt a DC 10 Perception Check. If successful, you’ll notice four books that stand out from the rest.


2. The Right Book: Among the four books, the one you need to press is located on the top-right corner of the bookshelf. Pressing this book will produce a distinct click sound, signaling the unlocking of a small Ancient Altar to the right of the bookshelf.

Warning: It’s crucial to press only this specific book. Interacting with any other book on the shelf will trigger a trap, which can have various deadly consequences, such as a lightning strike, the release of poisonous gas, or even the sudden reanimation of the room’s corpses.

3. The Beating Heart: After unlocking the Ancient Altar, move to the room’s central altar. Here, you’ll find a heart. Take this heart and place it into the unlocked Ancient Altar. This action is in line with the clue provided by the red book titled “Attention Acolytes” found on a table in the western part of the room, which hints at the Absolute’s desire for a “beating heart”.

4. Revealing the Secret: Once the heart is correctly placed in the Ancient Altar, the bookshelf will slide away, unveiling the entrance to Balthazar’s hidden Moonlantern laboratory.


Balthazar’s Ritual Circle Dialogue Options

Upon cracking the bookcase puzzle and stepping into Balthazar’s chamber, players are immediately drawn to the room’s eerie ambiance. Scattered across the room are research notes, providing insights into the Illithid Parasites. A locked chest, holding within it an elixir and a hat, sits quietly in a corner. But the room’s true centerpiece is a table adorned with a luminescent ritual circle.

Given Balthazar’s reputation as a malevolent necromancer, the presence of such a circle isn’t surprising. However, what truly piques interest is the dialogue option that emerges upon interacting with it, especially if Gale is part of your party.

Before diving into the conversation, players should be aware of a couple of prerequisites:

  • Gale’s Presence: To unlock this dialogue, Gale must be part of your adventuring party.
  • Wizard’s Expertise: The puzzle’s solution requires the skills of a Wizard. So, either the player character should be a Wizard, or there should be one in the party.

Once these conditions are met, interacting with the ritual circle unveils a compelling dialogue with Gale. He is quick to voice his disdain for the circle, deeming it a heinous contraption that exploits pixies. Gale‘s master, Mystra, holds these creatures in high regard, further fueling his aversion. He vehemently suggests obliterating the circle.

From this point, players face a moral dilemma: heed Gale’s advice and destroy the circle or harness its power for their own ends. Each choice comes with its own set of rewards and repercussions.

Secrets And Rewards Behind Balthazar’s Bookshelf

Behind Balthazar’s bookshelf lies a clandestine chamber, revealing the depths of his arcane endeavors. The room’s centerpiece is a grand ritual circle, beckoning players with the allure of unique interactions. But that’s not all. Scattered around are damaged Moonlanterns and, most unsettlingly, a lifeless pixie sprawled on an examination table. These grim discoveries hint at Balthazar’s dark and forbidden experiments.

Navigating this chamber isn’t just about exploration; it’s about choices. The decisions players make here ripple through their journey, shaping character arcs and influencing relationships. Here’s a breakdown of the pivotal choices awaiting players:

  • Destroy the Circle: Many players, driven by a moral compass, might choose to obliterate the ritual circle. This decision often stems from apprehensions about the potential fallout of Balthazar’s experiments. By erasing the circle, adventurers can ensure that its potent powers remain dormant, safeguarding the world from unforeseen threats.
  • Forge the Shadow Lantern: For those enticed by power, there’s the option to continue Balthazar’s work and craft the enigmatic Shadow Lantern. This path promises tangible rewards, like a potent spell or the ability to summon formidable allies. Crafting the Shadow Lantern requires a particular broken lantern and the essence of the deceased pixie, combined within the ritual circle’s confines.
  • Character-Specific Choices: The weight of the decision might shift based on who’s in the spotlight. For instance, if players control a character directly tied to the experiment, such as Gale, their choices might differ from those made on behalf of another character. These choices aren’t just about the immediate aftermath; they can grant unique buffs, advantages, or even repercussions, all contingent on the decision-maker.

General Looting Tips For Balthazar’s Laboratory

Balthazar’s laboratory isn’t just a hub of dark rituals and enigmatic puzzles; it’s also a treasure trove waiting to be explored. For those with a keen eye and a penchant for exploration, the lab offers a range of valuable items and unique experiences.

Treasures Within the Chest: Tucked away in the lab is a locked chest, a veritable Pandora’s box of useful items. Inside, adventurers can find a Coldbrim Hat, perfect for those chilly nights, and an Elixir of Necrotic Resistance, a must-have when dealing with the undead or necrotic energies.

Gaining Inspiration:
The challenges and mysteries of the laboratory don’t just test one’s mettle; they also inspire. Adventurers can earn two distinct inspiration points during their exploration:

  • Secrets of the Necromancer: This inspiration point is a given, awarded automatically upon setting foot in the ritual room.
  • A Little Too Familiar with the Grotesque: For those who tread carefully and exit the lab without triggering any traps or reanimations, this second inspiration point is their reward.

The Moonlantern’s Glow: Moonlanterns are more than just sources of light; they’re protective artifacts. These lanterns emit a special glow that shields travelers from the malevolent shadows that lurk in cursed lands. For those venturing into such perilous territories, a moonlantern is indispensable.

Luckily, Balthazar’s quarters house one of these coveted lanterns. After unraveling the room’s secrets and navigating its passages, direct your search towards Balthazar’s desk, located in the southern part of the chamber. Beside a large cabinet and telescope, on a modest table, lies the Moonlantern.

It’s worth noting that some adventurers, especially those who’ve bested Kar’niss or completed certain quests, might already have a Moonlantern in their possession. But for those who don’t, Balthazar’s lab is the place to find one.