The House of Hope dungeon is one of Baldur’s Gate 3’s toughest act 3 dungeons, featuring a little bit of every challenge the game can throw at you. There’s stealth, deception, rebellion, and even a bit of romance, capped off with an escape sequence and a brutal boss fight.
Our Baldur’s Gate 3 guide explains how to get to the House of Hope, what to do when you get there, how to free Hope, and how to deal with Raphael at the end.
How to get to the House of Hope in BG3
There’s only one way to enter Raphael’s abominable abode, the House of Hope, regardless of whether you accept his deal when you speak in Sharess’ Caress. That’s through a portal to the hells that only one person can open: Helsik the diabolist. Helsik’s shop is in the northern part of the Lower City, next to the Nine Hells Forge. If you leave the graveyard via its southern exit and turn right, Helsik’s shop is the second large building on your right.
Speak with Helsik, and request information. She serves Mammon, lord of money, and won’t spill much juicy gossip for free, though you can pass a persuasion check and get the first piece of info without paying. After that, I asked about Raphael and paid 1,000 gold, and she seemed happy enough, despite insulting me.
Tell Helsik you want to bust into the House of Hope, and she’ll give you a choice: Pay 20,000 gold or promise to get her something from Raphael. She wants the Gauntlet of Hill Giant Strength, a tough item to get in the House of Hope, but a much easier option than raising 20,000 gold.
Make your choice, and she’ll hand over a grimoire explaining how the hell portal ritual works and a pouch containing five materials you need to pull the spell off. She’ll also hand you a key that unlocks the upstairs floor where the ritual’s blood circle is already drawn and disable the trap on the staircase landing.
There’s little of interest in the room, and most of the other doors just lead to balconies overlooking the city. Head to the room’s far end, where the large circle of blood is.
How to start Helsik’s ritual and enter the House of Hope
Open the ritual pouch. Place the skull at the circle’s western point, the one that touches the desk. Face away from the skull, and cross the room. Put the diamond on the left point and the incense sticks on the right point. Go back to the skull, and face it. Put the Mammon’s Coin in the spot to the skull’s right and the Infernal Marble in the center. Refer to the graphic above for reference.
The Emperor warns you several times not to go through with the ritual, and while he’s correct that the trials ahead are difficult, entering the House of Hope has no ramifications on your relationship with him or anyone else. Interact with the active portal, and enter the House of Hope.
Before you enter the House, make sure you have a party member who can cast Guidance, plenty of potions, and weapons that don’t deal radiant damage. Arcane Cultivation elixirs are also useful, and if you have anyone who knows the Globe of Invulnerability spell, make sure it’s prepared. You’ll have use of it when you face Raphael.
I recommend leaving weaker party members like Gale and Jaheira at camp for this adventure. In the final battle, your foe can quickly defeat weaker characters and leave you at a big disadvantage.
Where to go in the House of Hope in BG3
You arrive in a chamber with four soul pillars, but you can’t do anything with them yet. The apparition of a woman named Hope appears as you prepare to exit the room and begs you to help save her. She also gives you Debtor’s Attire, which automatically replaces your camp clothes and overrides your armor as the default visible clothing. Your armor effects remain unchanged, though.
You need to keep these clothes on during your time here, or multiple enemies spawn and everyone turns hostile. Agree to help Hope, and she’ll tell you where to look for the Orphic Hammer. Ignore the prison hatch in the next room, and enter the feasting room. You can speak with the skeletal mason there for some extra lore about Ketheric and Moonrise if you’re interested.
The House of Hope is essentially a giant circle. The main thoroughfare around the feasting room leads you to some balconies overlooking Avernus, and you can chat with the other debtors for some grim background about the house and how Raphael operates.
You’ll see an open room blocked by an energy barrier, which you can’t enter for now. Opposite it is an Infernal Gem. If you pass a Wisdom check and an Intelligence check, you can enter the room behind it, which houses some rare items and Mol’s contract. If you want to free Mol from it, you either need to defeat Raphael later or return the contract to her.
At the end of the hallway is the Archive. Hope pops up again and tells you the Archivist is the key to getting the Orphic Hammer, but there’s a catch. You’re not invited.
How to find the Archivist in the House of Hope
Cast Detect Thoughts or use a potion of mind reading before entering the Archive, and speak with the Archivist. Choose the [Detect Thoughts] option, and pass a Deception check to convince him you’re actually working for Zarial. This method gives you some leeway in the archive, and he’ll give you an invitation to Raphael’s boudoir. You can also use the balcony in the northeastern room to reach some rocky ledges and enter the boudoir without an invitation, but there’s not really a point in doing that. You still have to speak with the Archivist anyway.
What to choose in the Haarlep encounter
Inside the boudoir is Haarlep, an incubus who lives to gratify Raphael’s carnal needs. They entice you to bed for an intense encounter, and you’ll want to proceed carefully. If you rebuff their advances, Haarlep and a few Cambion friends fight you. This is a valid option, but if you want to avoid a fight, agree to strip down. During the romance scene — which is very NSFW, for the record — choose to retain control of your mind, or you’re in for an unpleasant surprise.
Once Haarlep has what they want from you, they give you the key to Raphael’s safe and tell you where it is — behind the portrait in the room’s northwest corner. You can also take the safe key from Haarlep’s body if you choose to fight them.
Open the safe, and read the note inside to get the “key” to the Orphic Hammer. Loot the chests in the boudoir for some items you can sell and a Potion of Angelic Slumber, and you can get some unique camp clothes from the wardrobes. Interact with the faucets to restore your health and spell slots if you need to, and if you were intimate with Haarlep, make sure to re-equip your armor and weapons. Things are about to get dicey.
How to get the Orphic Hammer in the House of Hope
Approach the hammer, and use the password you learned from Raphael’s note to deactivate the magic shield. Once you grab the hammer, your Debtor’s Attire falls away, and everyone in the House of Hope becomes hostile. Several imps and a flaming sphere spawn as well. There’s no way around this obstacle, but you can deal with it in a sneaky way if you don’t want to fight.
Before you grab the hammer, send three party members to the prison hatch. Pass a strength check to bust it open. Switch back to your party member in the Archives, grab the hammer, and either cast invisibility or use a potion of invisibility. Make sure to swipe the Gauntlets of Hill Giant Strength and the other treasure before leaving.
Since you’re invisible, you should be able to walk through the feast room and arrive at the prison hatch unscathed.
How to free Hope in the House of Hope
Two Beholders and a small army of imps guard the crystals that keep Hope imprisoned. Death Ward and spells or armor that negate fear are helpful here, since the Beholders can easily inflict it on your allies. Avoid approaching ledges, since the imps know Eldritch Blast and can shove you to your death with it.
Area-of-effect spells such as Cloudkill, Cone of Cold, and Chain Lightning are your best bet for dealing with the imps quickly. The Beholders are tough, but squishy. You should be able to take them down in a turn or two.
Once the enemies are no more — and not before, or you run the risk of harming Hope — use the Orphic Hammer to attack the two crystals and free her. Heal, use the angelic slumber potions you nicked from the boudoir, and save. If you have elixirs of fire resistance, use them. Craft them if you don’t.
Leave the prison, and enter the foyer where you first arrived. You have a visitor.
How to beat the Raphael boss fight in the House of Hope
The Raphael boss fight has several moving parts. There’s the demon himself, along with Korilla, and Yurgir from the Gauntlet of Shar. You can pass a tough persuasion check to recruit him, or use Hope’s unique skill to banish him from the field permanently.
Raphael also summons six Cambions who use fire spells, and he gains buffs from the soul pillars around the room.
Your first task is dealing with the Cambions. Fire resistance, absorb elements, and Counterspell are good options for this phase, and you could try Silence as well. With them defeated, turn your attention to the Soul Pillars. Destroy them with weapon attacks.
Now it’s Raphael’s time. Polymorph and Silence can give you a break from his powerful fire spells, and you can use Hope’s intervention skill once to give your party the equivalent of a long rest. Raphael is, like most spellcasters, a bit squishy. Use your strongest melee fighters and attacks to take care of him quickly.
Raphael has a second phase, during which he uses spells more often and can down wounded or weak party members in one hit. Your overall strategy should remain the same, though. Heal and provide support whenever you can, and use your strongest characters to bring him down quickly. A Fighter or Barbarian — or a multiclass with both — is ideal, thanks to their bonus actions and high strength stats.