James Ohlen was the lead designer on both of BioWare’s Baldur’s Gate games and now heads Archetype Entertainment, an in-house studio working on story-driven video games for Wizards of the Coast. Apparently he also had time to create a Dungeons & Dragons add-on based on Baldur’s Gate with the help of some other ex-BioWare veterans (Drew Karpyshyn, Brent Knowles and Jesse Sky are in the credits).
Minsc & Boos Journal of Villainy contains descriptions of characters from the two original games, which are slated for the 5th edition of D&D. Some are presented as potential patrons for your characters, others as opponents. It also describes four cities from the games (Athkatla, Suldanessellar, Ust Natha and of course Baldur’s Gate) and 12 monsters that hadn’t made it into 5E before (like gibberish, sword spiders and Phaerimm).
While recent D&D additions have avoided pinning down too much detail and leaving parts vague for players to fill in the blanks themselves, this book is full of detail. Each of the cities has rules and prices for buying magical items, and the monster stats blocks have full magic lists. This stuff will be useful to a lot of gamers – as will the stats for high-ranking big villains like Mephistopheles and Bhaal – but some of the character biographies come with some surprises. Imoen seems to have given up studying magic and is now a vampire? However, they are not as far from the video game versions as those from the (terrible) novels. And Minsc’s description is perfect, as he simply lists his favorite enemy as “evil”.
Anyone who wants more Baldur’s Gate in D&D has also written to Ohlen Heroes of Baldur’s Gate, an adventure game between the two video games that has recycled some of the artwork and monsters in this book. Heroes of Baldur’s Gate was a third-party publication released without the official Wizards of the Coast stamp of approval, but Minsc & Boos Journal of Villainy is one of WotC’s official books used as a fundraiser for. were published Extra lifewho has raised money for children’s hospitals. Available as PDF or print-on-demand via DriveThru RPG.
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