The Emperor certainly doesn’t seem like a normal Mindflayer. And, most importantly, he shares the same goal as you: to end the control of the Absolute permanently. And to do that, he urges you to ‘evolve’ and become more Illithid. But should you let the Emperor evolve you?
Should You Accept the Emperor’s Tadpole in BG3?
After protecting the Emperor and accepting his help, he’ll try to do a favor for you in return. That favor is helping you ‘evolve’ by triggering the next stage of your tadpole’s lifecycle. Doing so won’t cause you to lose your free will or independence… but there will be some changes.
The benefit of accepting the Emperor’s “gift” (the Astral-touched Tadpole) is that you’ll gain access to the outer rim of Illithid perks. These perks are easily the best and include abilities like Displacer Beast Shape (without being a druid), Fracture Psyche, gain expertise in Charisma, an ability that lets you counterspell for free, and so on.
It’s a huge step up from rings one and two. But the tradeoff is that you’ll gain some pretty ugly black veins all across your face and part of your body. Your companions will also be very unhappy that you let the tadpole in. But they can also be convinced to take the next stage in their “evolution”, giving them access to the same powers.
But taking on the Astral Tadpole won’t influence your ending. So, feel free to let it chomp on your brain matter for those sweet, sweet abilities. Unless you like your face looking pretty, of course.
If you choose not to accept the tadpole immediately, you’ll get to keep it in your inventory. Just in case you change your mind.
If you’re still on the fence, that’s totally understandable. Why not check out all the Illithid abilities here, with the best ones outlined, to see if it’s worth your time?