D&D 5E The Minsc and Book product

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Just finished my copy.

Some general opinions:

The Good

1. I am a huge Baldur's Gate fan so I was recommended this book out the gate. Mostly, I admit I bought it not because of Minsc and Boo (who I love) but because I heard it updated Imoen for use in 5th Edition and that was something I wasn't going to miss out on. Yes, it's me, Imoen and she'll always be an inspiration for my PCs and their LIs.

2. I generally enjoyed the book and thought it was extremely well done. I'm confused about why it's not canon, though, and why Wizards of the Coast would release a professionally done book on the Forgotten Realms via a third party release. It's especially weird since Baldur's Gate is so incredibly popular.

3. The art is fantastic in the book. I've actually been taking screenshots of the PDF and cut and pasting them into art for my home game because there's so many fantastic images here. Jaheira, Bodhi (who is scary hot), Imoen, and Edwin are all beautiful works of art. I daresay this is up there with D&D in the Eighties.

4. I enjoy the comedic duo of Volo and Minsc and wish we'd actually seen them work together or read about it. The pompous intellectual ass and the lovable fool would have been a great comedic pair to follow across the realms. The premise of this just being Minsc's rambling thoughts about his adventures across the Realms makes it very entertaining.

5. I absolutely love the updates on the various factions here that include some badly needed material for the Realms: The Harpers especially are a group that needs to be detailed because they're the frigging Harpers man. Plus we've got the Flaming Fist, Shadow Thieves, and other groups that are definitely useful to put in games.

6. I like how the book gives us a bunch of enemies that can be used in a variety of ways for a variety of levels. The Black Dragon who is trapped in the form of a dwarf but can become a rampaging one if killed is a pretty cool one. So is the Half-Ogre who wants to stalk PCs, love them, and call them George.

7. There's ample updates on a lot of great Baldur's Gate characters like Jaheira, Imoen, Xan, Kagain, Montaran, and so on. I have issues with some of these, however. Generally, though, those on Team GoodTM are well updated.

8. It was cool seeing Michael B. Jordan as a Halruuan airship captain on page 121.

9. I like how the book provides a lot of stats for Archdemons and Archdevils. We've got Baalzebul, Mephistopheles, and Pazazu among others. If you think there's a place for stabbing the infernal in your game then this is definitely a good place to look. I admit, this isn't my cup of tea because the only fiends I use is Asmodeus and Gargauth. I prefer gods of evil.

10. Rules for Lichdom!

11. Edwin is awesome and I actually love the idea that he got back to Thay eventually. Especially with something as ridiculous as acquiring a Nether Scroll. Making him an 18th level mage seems too much in a setting where almost no one gets over 16th. Also, WIS 15? CHR 16? naughty word. Wisdom 8? Chr 10? MAYBE.

12. I like all of the city write-ups too. Baldur's Gate is my preferred place of adventure over Waterdeep these days.

The Bad

1. Sad but true, there's some complaints here.

2. Basically, the book is absolutely full of retcons that seemed designed to undermine, avert, and ruin the efforts of the video game protagonists. It's basically like the ending of the CURSE OF STRAHD where they say, "Strahd will come back no matter what you do so any good you did in this module is pointless." I'm very much of a belief that RPG canon should allow protagonists to make measurable changes for the better and given the popularity of the Baldur's Gate video games, this is doubly irritating. It's not even limited to BG either.

3. I think we all agree making Aribeth into a servant of the Nine Hells was a terrible idea and that the book should have stuck to her canon ending of being redeemed. Making her a servant of the 2nd most powerful demon in Hell is doubly weird. She was a Blackguard of Morag and had nothing to do with the Nine Hells.

4. Jon Irencius is alive and Bodhi too? Who the hell thinks this is a good idea? It's like bringing back Darth Malak. It's one of the all time best games and his story was epic. Why the hell ruin it? Also, I am deeply confused whether he's stuck in the Shadowfell or Ravenloft itself. Is Jon a Darklord? If so, what's his curse? Or is the Demiplane in the Shadowfel now? God, keeping up with this is so hard.

5. Random aside: Jon Irenicus being a Lich is a bad idea because that would probably make him a great deal less of an naughty word. Most of his motivations were due to his inability to feel anything as a dying while an immortal Lich doesn't feel anything as a perk.

6. A lot of these monsters seem overpowered in the way the 2nd Edition monsters were and 3rd Edition and 5th Edition had been getting away from. There doesn't seem to be much in the way of information about permanently slaying them--which should be the goal of PCs. Bodhi, at least, is an exception.

7. Having Saverok lose his redemption to become a Priest of Bhaal is rank character assassination and another thing I really disliked about this book. It seems determined to overwrite every bit of progress the heroes have made to make the Forgotten Realms a better place.

8. See also Viconia Devir in the fact she's apparently STILL a one-dimensional Shar worshiper with apparently no character development. Hell, working with the cults of the Elemental Evil God? What the hell?

9. Speaking of Out of Universe Gods, the book mentions Vecna a few times. Since when has he been canon to the Realms?


If so, what's his curse
Constantly failing whenever he gets THIS CLOSE to achieving whatever goal he was trying to do in Baldur's Gate 2. As a Lich, he's constantly stuck in a static grade/level of power that can never be surpassed, even with almost absolute immortality, which is something that should allow him to do such a thing since he now has all the time in the world.

Voidrunner's Codex

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