D&D 5E D&D Beyond Offers A Free Baldur's Gate Gazetteer

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In Baldur’s Gate, thievery, blackmail, and illegal trade runs rampant. Now you can journey to this dangerous city of the Sword Coast with the Baldur’s Gate Gazetteer. Learn about each of the city’s districts and key locations and people, and unlock backgrounds for your next Baldurian character!


The Gazetter includes:
  • History of Baldur's Gate
  • Baldur's Gate Today
  • Government
  • Citizenry
  • Economy and Trade
  • Religion
  • Dangers in Baldur's Gate
  • City Landmarks
  • Upper City
  • Lower City
  • Outer City
  • Beyond Baldur's Gate
  • Baldur's Gate Character Backgrounds
  • Dark Secrets
The Gazetteer is quite sizable, and mainly lore-based, with two new NPC stat blocks (Nine-Fingers Keene, and Rilasa Real), some random encounter tables, and information on how the regular D&D character backgrounds fit in. There's also a new background, the Faceless. Finally there are some rules about 'Dark Secrets' which are a background element which the party shares.

 

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Except, it's pretty obvious that the vast majority of people were not playing the game in 2020. A minority played the Early Access, yes, but even then, that was only less than a third of the game. You couldn't glean all of the plot points of BG3 from that, and without those, the ways in which the book fully ties in with the video game are not clear. For instance, at some point you learn that the Dead Three are behind most of what's happening in the game. The Dead Three also played a role in DiA, but their role was secondary to Duke Vanthampur and his infernal plots. I'm at the start of Act 3, and I still don't know if the beginning portion of DiA and the big plot in BG3 are related or not. Without clear plot threads creating a synergistic story between the two games, it's not a good tie-in. And we didn't have access to BG3's full story until two weeks ago.

So for all intents and purposes, BG3 came out this year. A small minority played the Early Access, but the buzz they generated is negligible compared to the new crowds that are playing the game now. The smart synergistic strategy would be releasing DiA now, not three years ago when a (at the time) dubious Early Access programme was launched.
I think that it was good for Descent into Avernus to be released first, and had time allowed for groups to complete the adventure in preparation for the next regional story in the timeline (which was BG3). If it weren't for the pandemic, BG3 might have been out a year earlier to be hotter on the heels of DiA, but I'm giving them a pass on that.

Now they could have invested a lot more into other offerings alongside BG3, like supplemental products (the Baldur's Gate Gazetteer in DDB is not super crunchy, but is appreciated), or going further to translate the NPCs from the game into DDB stat blocks for TTRPG use. But the pandemic and logisitics behind designing and delviering physical toys and collectibles for a digital game that took a while to release would be a hard moving target to plan for. Money needs to be spent to make them, and how long would that product have to sit before a tie-in release?

But now that I've played BG3? It's going to be long-lived game for me. I want minis of the BG3 heroes and villains. There can be an entire minis expansion that would sell like hotcakes. I may be basic, but I would shell out cash for a good-quality statue of Karlach. Who doesn't want something cool that represents their favorite BG3 NPCs? But before the full release, I couldn't say I was going to want all that.

But after the BG3 release I'm super excited about FR again. Seeing how Faerun is portrayed with animation and voice acting is verrry powerful for capturing both dark and light aspects of the Forgotten Realms. I want to see more stories. I want to see animated stories voice-acted by new favorite voice actors. I am so looking forward to Phandelver and Below: The Shattered Obelisk, and future adventures. I also want a new FRCS. For now, I could settle for more Gazetteers on DDB for a while, kinda like they used to in the old magazines (Dragon, Polyhedron, and Living Greyhawk Gazeteer)

But back to the discussion of how the previous adventures tie into BG3, now that BG3 is out and proud, I'm curious how many people now want to play Descent into Avernus as a prequel? Or even go back to Murder in Baldur's Gate or Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle, or Scourge of the Sword Coast again?

Am I alone in this reinvigoration?
 


Dire Bare

Legend
The folks complaining about WotC's "failure" to properly tie the TTRPG to the movie and video game are missing a few things . . . .

Coordinating a book release to a movie release, or to a video game release, isn't easy. Both movies and video games get delayed, all the time. BG3 certainly was delayed. WotC used to try harder back in the day, and the tie-in releases never lined up well as things on one side or another got delayed.

More importantly, there are a handful of posters here who seem to think more explicit movie/game tie-ins are a must-do, that WotC is foolishly incompetent and/or leaving money on the table . . . . while WotC shrugs. WotC has done the marketing tie-in with games and movies before, and it didn't seem to really work out for them. I assume they haven't done so this year because . . . they don't feel its worth the effort. And, I agree.

What exactly do you guys want to see? What kind of game product tying in to the movie, Honor Among Thieves, would you want to see . . . . that lots of other folks would want to buy? What kind of tie-in product for Baldur's Gate III?

For Honor Among Thieves . . . I picked up the tie-in novels, and I really wanted that AMC popcorn bucket . . . but beyond that, I can't imagine what WotC or their partners could have delivered that I would want. Perhaps that's a failure of imagination on my part.

For the game, BG3 . . . I wouldn't mind a mini-release for some character rules for having a tadpole in your head . . . but that might spoil the game's plot a bit, so maybe down the road. Other than that . . . .
 


bedir than

Full Moon Storyteller
Coordinating a book release to a movie release, or to a video game release, isn't easy. Both movies and video games get delayed, all the time. BG3 certainly was delayed. WotC used to try harder back in the day, and the tie-in releases never lined up well as things on one side or another got delayed.
Then you delay the book release
 

Ondath

Hero
Then you delay the book release
Yeah, I think this is a simple solution. WotC was saying that they have multiple books being developed simultaneously at any given moment, and they could simply make sure the tie-in books are slotted in to the relevant release dates, and release other stuff in the menatime.
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
Coordinating a book release to a movie release, or to a video game release, isn't easy. Both movies and video games get delayed, all the time. BG3 certainly was delayed. WotC used to try harder back in the day, and the tie-in releases never lined up well as things on one side or another got delayed.
None of the stuff that I've suggested is hard to do. They had projects that came out at almost the same time as the movie that they could have prepared DADHAT art for, in the same dimensions as the art they chose to use.

Producing additional art is relatively inexpensive. And choosing to swap in a piece of art can be done at almost the last minute. They could have 100% had DADHAT characters depicted in the art for Stormwreck Isle and Golden Vault. Golden Vault's drop dead date, in particular, came after the great pre-screenings that happened in fall 2022.
More importantly, there are a handful of posters here who seem to think more explicit movie/game tie-ins are a must-do, that WotC is foolishly incompetent and/or leaving money on the table . . . . while WotC shrugs. WotC has done the marketing tie-in with games and movies before, and it didn't seem to really work out for them. I assume they haven't done so this year because . . . they don't feel its worth the effort. And, I agree.
Last December, WotC's bosses ripped them a new one for leaving money on the table. Shrugging about this is a great way for them to become ex-WotC employees. Because, in the end, the corporation that wants more revenue is going to win, with or without them.

Even if tie-ins only nudged up revenue for the movie and books by 5% each, that more than offsets the work involved and keeps them employed longer.

I work for crappy, profit-motivated company owners. I say all of this from experience and from genuine sympathy for WotC employees. They need to do better for their own good. I have survived massive layoffs of people who didn't take this stuff seriously.
What exactly do you guys want to see? What kind of game product tying in to the movie, Honor Among Thieves, would you want to see . . . . that lots of other folks would want to buy? What kind of tie-in product for Baldur's Gate III?
A sourcebook with the new spells, variant rules, and adventure sites from the game, with a lot of inspired-by-the-game new magic items and monsters wouldn't be terribly hard to do -- concept art for videogames tends to be plentiful and very inspirational. Although a physical book would be ideal -- the better to shrink-wrap to the videogame and put on display in Target -- even a digital product would be an improvement over doing nothing.
 



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