James Ohlin was lead designer on both BioWare’s Baldur’s Gate games, and now he’s head designer on both BioWare’s Baldur’s Gate games. Archetype Entertainment, an in-house studio working on story-based video games for Wizards of the Coast. Apparently he also had time to make a supplement for Dungeons & Dragons based on Baldur’s Gate, with the help of some ex-BioWare veterans (Drew Karpyshyn, Brent Knowles and Jesse Sky in the credits).
Minsc & Boo’s Journal of Villainy contains writings by characters from both original games for the fifth edition of D&D. Some are presented as potential sponsors for your characters, others as opponents. It also details four game towns (Athkatla, Suldanessellar, Ust Natha, and of course Baldur’s Gate), and 12 monsters that have never made it to 5E (like gibbers, sword spiders, and phaerimm).
While recent D&D supplements have avoided specifying too much detail, and left parts vague so that players feel free to fill in the blanks themselves, this book is full of detail. There are rules and prices for purchasing magic items in each city, and stats blocks for monsters contain full lists of spells. These will come in handy for a lot of players – as well as the stats for the big bad guys like Mephistopheles and Bhal – but some of the character bios contain a few surprises. Emmoine seems to have given up on her magical studies, and is she a vampire now? However, it’s not as far from video game releases as those in (horrible) novels. And Minsk’s writing is exemplary, as he mentions his favorite enemy as just a “villain”.
If you want more of Baldur’s Gate in D&D, Ohlen wrote too Baldur Gate Heroes, which is an adventure taking place between the two video games, from which some of the artwork and monsters in this book have been recycled. Heroes of Baldur’s Gate was a third-party release, published without the official Wizards of the Coast seal of approval, but Minsc & Boo’s Journal of Villainy is one of the official WotC books published to raise funds for Extra lifeWho raises money for children’s hospitals. It is available in pdf format or can be printed on request via DriveThru RPG.