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Heroes of Baldur's Gate (5e) $19.95
Average Rating:4.6 / 5
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Heroes of Baldur's Gate (5e)
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Aaron C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/26/2019 14:41:54

I've been running this as a DM for 4 months, so I have some real experience with the contents of the book.

TL;DR;

If you LOVE Baldur's Gate, you'll probably want this to add your your shelf (physical or digital).

If you're looking for a good campaign story with meaningful story arcs and detailed plots, I'd look elsewhere. The book has an adventure, but it's not the strength of the content.

The group is having fun, but it's a lot more effort to run than I'd expected and wanted.

Pros
  • Well written
  • Looks good -- it fits right in with the WoTC books visually
  • The maps look nice and art is well done (sometimes the art doesn't align with the PC descriptions very well)
  • Digital maps don't have the numbers on them (usable on Roll20 for example)
  • Uses a nice variety of creatures/monsters and has some new for the book.
  • Lots of details about the city of Baldur's Gate
Cons
  • Too much detail up front. I was overwhelmed with all of the upfront detail -- I didn't know what to do with it (it wasn't something that I could easily transfer to players, so again, more work). I know I'd expected a campaign first, so my expectations weren't met. Frankfly, most of the content doesn't come up so it would have been maybe useful in an appendix, but front-loaded, it was distracting.
  • Maps -- while they're super useful, I've found flipping back and forth between the maps and the location descriptions to be frustrating. the numbers on the maps don't align necessarily very well, so you'll be flipping to different pages as the characters walk from room to room for example. "Where's #5, they just came from #42 ... scan the entire map, looking for Waldo...." This matters if the players are using the underground and buildings and going up/down.
  • Often times, the "read-aloud" text is fine, but then I don't know what to do next. This is where the book lacks details, and often mentions something in passing, so you'll need to have considered what the rest of the story is more frequently than I'd like. I often feel like I'm doing homebrew even though I've purchased content that I thought would take me farther into the story.
  • The book refers to things sometimes that don't seem to be described. Example: it mentioned a shrine to a God that I hadn't memorized elsewhere, I didn't remember it was a known FR God and it's alignment. A footnote type reference in some cases so I knew where to look for more info would be helpful. Another example, "wife kidnapped" ... and immediately, the PCs ask, "what's her name...." D'oh. Having the name would have made this less stressful for me, "wife, Breena, has been kidnapped."
  • The descriptions of rooms and locations doesn't always align with the maps very well, (South door for example might actually mean east, ...). There are things on the maps that I've just had to handwave about several times. "Yeah, sure, that's a door." Many times it seems like the map art was created before the text was completed.
  • I wish the map art included more of what was described in the text. If there's a large pot of boiling acid that's important to the location, I'd like it to show up on the map, permanently.
  • I had to use page tabs just to mark chapters of the book so I could flip back and forth more easily. Some in-text page numbers would often be handy, especially with the important NPCs and included monsters. (Jaheira, p. 134)
  • I would have liked this book to include less world-backstory and instead have more adventure-detail. The book is about 50-60% adventure and the rest back-story. Ideal would be for this to have been broken into 2 books, one with campaign, and one for those who love world information.
  • I've gotten lost several times, wondering myself what the point of the adventure arcs really are. It's covered briefly, but doesn't seem effectively applied in the adventure part of the book. It's just not called out enough. In fact, I think the arcs themselves aren't very novel or compelling.
  • Because of the open-endedness of the book and it's layout, I've found this requires a substantial amount of prep for a session. "Oh, the players are going up that ladder, which leads to what building .. ugh, I've not read that one recently ... page X flip flip, page Y, looking at map..." Or, "we want to go to the Cloakwood (or AKA, the chapter you haven't re-read yet)."
Other things
  • I can't imagine running this without the searchable PDF and associated digital maps (thankfully, without numbers on them!)
  • I bought this to save myself time, but it hasn't been a time saver unfortunately.
  • This is very open ended
  • In the game I'm running the party ended up with a lone gibberling as a grumpy little non-speaking killer pet. :)
  • I've been awarding XP based on a 4 party group and running with the #s of monsters in the book suggested and the players have leveled faster than the book suggests. I'll need to accomodate that.


Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Heroes of Baldur's Gate (5e)
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Pedro M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/18/2019 07:33:52

This is one of the best pre written modules I've ever seen before. The world building is amazing, the characters are great and I love the idea behind EPIC Backgrounds.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Heroes of Baldur's Gate (5e)
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Sander P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/23/2019 07:19:32

Very nice/ good book. The art is top notch and really like the overview maps op the Sword coast. The text is very good, looks like a good adventure. Can't wait to start. Only one (if i must name one) point of criticism. The book itself is slightly larger than al my other DnD books, so doesn't fit very nicely on my shelf. (this was also the case with my POD Rules Cyclopedia).



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Heroes of Baldur's Gate (5e)
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Sean B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/19/2019 17:45:34

Just received my copy in the mail today & skimming through before work brought me back to when I played BG, can't wait to mix up my Waterdeep Heist campaign with a few familiar faces to intice the players south one day.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Heroes of Baldur's Gate (5e)
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Duncan M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/24/2019 06:46:35

I just bought this, as my campaign is taking my players to the eponymous Gate next and wanted some decent information. The Sword Coast Adventurer Guide is basic on Baldur's Gate, although useful, and older version content is out of date. Then I saw this and, combined with the credentials of the persons creating it, I clicked buy.

At first glance it looks professionally produced, colourful and easy to read, with a good collection of maps and handouts to support the story. Delving into the book I am seriously impressed by the quality of the work, from the layout, to the detail, to the artwork, which is so good, particularly around the characters and NPCs.

Echoing on of the other reviews on this title, I cannot wait to run this for my players. The story sounds good and exciting, although I might have to tweak as my characters are now 2nd level.

Recommended!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Heroes of Baldur's Gate (5e)
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Justin C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/20/2019 12:44:15

I cannot WAIT to run this! I will be borrowing from this liberally when the Descent is officially released. The adventure really looks like a video game come to life in campaign form! James and Jesse bring the characters that we love back to life (sometimes literally) and weave a magical story that continues the original feel while providing new viewpoints. The art is wonderful and the maps are great, providing SO many descriptions of any place your adventurers will want to go. I also just enjoyed reading this!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Heroes of Baldur's Gate (5e)
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Patrick B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/15/2019 19:07:35

A beautiful book! I have yet to read it but did pan through it today! Wow! A lot of work went into this and now I can't wait to get the Kickstarter!!!

Nice job!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Heroes of Baldur's Gate (5e)
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/02/2019 16:30:59

Awesome high quality stuff, if you ever played Baldurs Gate this is highly nostalgic. Great great artwork and maps, really indeepth characters and locations. If you even wanted to run a campain in the Baldurs gate area infused with the magic of the Baldurs Gate games, this is it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Heroes of Baldur's Gate (5e)
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Keith M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/29/2019 23:39:52

My Verdict

As a sourcebook this is a great resource and for anyone looking to set their game in or around Baldur's Gate it is definitely worth it to buy it for that. As an adventure though? It's a decent level 1-6 adventure but it does feel just like they were trying to find a way to cram in as many villains from the first game as possible.

Having said that, they could have gotten a lot more wrong about small little canon details about these areas and (as someone who has created extensive mods of the games and is very familiar with them) they really did put the effort in here to get it right. Overall I'd definitely recommend this but (first and foremost) understand that you are mostly buying a sourcebook.

The Good

  • You get to revisit a lot of the classic places in BG1
  • A lot of passion has clearly gone into these pages and it does seem like the authors care to do the games justice.
  • The art in general is really well done in this book.
  • If you want a modern sourcebook for Baldur's Gate (admittedly set over 100 years ago by the current timeline) it's very readable and gives detailed maps for where things are in the city (and descriptions of the different locations).
  • You get access to monster statblocks for some of the classic monsters you encounter in BG1, like Sword Spiders, Tasloi, and Gibberlings.
  • All the battle maps are 1 square = 5 feet
  • The adventure provides a means of you to convert this to a later year (1489)

The Bad

  • The actual adventure is rather short and more than half of the book is taken up by source material. There isn't anything wrong with that by itself but don't come into this thinking you are going to get close to 160 pages of adventure. It's more like 60 pages of adventure and then the rest spent on describing the Sword Coast, Baldur's Gate, the factions, religions, and the NPC's. The book itself fairly describes this but the page on DMGuild makes it seem like its an adventure first and foremost. I would say its a sourcebook first and an adventure book second.
  • It feels like it should have been organized in a way that had the adventure first and then the rest of the details later on into the book. At the moment its just a mashing of the two and it takes some time (13 pages) before you even get into what the structure of the adventure is.
  • The adventure plotline itself is not very inspiring and certain elements of it just feel like too much of a rehash of the first games plot. There are so many stories that could have been told here, especially with the aftermath of the events of Siege of Dragonspear, and for me what they've settled on here just falls flat.
  • Some of the NPC portraits don't fit the characters. Kivan should be this brooding character and instead he's got like flowing hair and is in the middle of a heroic pose. Same goes with Xan (he should be much more reserved but instead has this heroic pose). Xzar is probably the most different out of any of them. In any case there were definitely a few artistic liberties taken with them.
  • For some reason Tiax didn't make the cut. I'm assuming it's because he rules all and was otherwise preoccupied.

Super Nitpicky Timeline Stuff

  • So this is set supposedly one year after the events of Baldur's Gate 1. Strictly speaking (based on the game journal dates) Shadows of Amn actually starts one year after the start of Baldur's Gate 1. So that doesn't add up since a lot of the NPC's featured here should be far to the south in Amn by this point
  • Shadows of Amn starts in Mirtul 1, 1369. So even if this did take place say 10 months after the start of Baldur's Gate 1 it should be winter or springtime, not summer (but everything looks like its summertime).
  • There are a few other timeline inconsistencies. For example, under the Nashkel Mines section it states that it was overrun a few years ago by Kobolds. Again, this is not consistent with the timeline of BG1. Kobolds overruning the mines should state that it happened a little over a year ago. Same with the death of Mutamin (about a year ago).


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Heroes of Baldur's Gate (5e)
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Renee V. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/24/2019 17:57:08

This is a high quality product that I am very happy I purchased!

There is so much to gush about here, but one thing in particular I want to mention is that I enjoy how they tell you that this takes place one year the original Baldur's Gate, but if you wanted to run this adventure in a more current modern 5E timeline they give you instructions on how to do that. I feel that is incredible foresight into how people would use this adventure and gives me great hope they will continue to put out great content like that just because of that foresight.

I'd love to see them put an adventure together that covers the original Baldur's Gate games in a TTRPG adventure module for those that would like to experience the story if playing video games is not their cup of tea.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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