Veteran Dungeons & Dragons players are more than familiar with the Forgotten Realms campaign setting and the Sword Coast area. The lore was even touched on briefly in the live-action film Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves. But thanks to the massive success of Larian Studios' Baldur's Gate 3 computer roleplaying game (CRPG), there is an influx of curious players who are interested in trying the classic D&D tabletop RPG.
With such a long and rich history of source material from all the editions of D&D that explored Faerun, these new potential Dungeon Masters (DMs) and players may easily become overwhelmed with too much information. Fortunately, D&D Beyond has released a new Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition primer for Baldur's Gate fans. And it's free!
The release of the Baldur's Gate Gazetteer was posted on the D&D Beyond website and shared on the official social media.
Adventuring in #BaldursGate3 and want to know more about its namesake city?
— D&D Beyond (@DnDBeyond) August 23, 2023
The Baldur's Gate Gazetteer can be claimed for free just by logging in to the D&D Beyond website or app (available through Google Play and the App Store). Per the marketing copy of the Baldur's Gate Gazetteer, it serves as a resource for DMs and players of the Dungeons & Dragons tabletop roleplaying game and for use with the D&D Beyond app:
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!
This claim unlocks the Baldur's Gate Gazetteer for use in the D&D Beyond compendium and character builder.
The Baldur's Gate Gazetteer is broken into separate sections, detailing the key locations and landmarks; the city's economic, political, religious, and social status quo; and important NPCs that can be potential story hooks for Dungeon Masters to take advantage of in setting up an adventure.
Meanwhile, D&D players can incorporate the new unique Backgrounds should they wish to make Baldur's Gate and its surrounding areas as part of their characters' origin stories. For instance, there is the Folk Hero Background may be able to convince Baldur's Gate commoners to help the party. Another example is the Noble Background, who may be one of the ruling and influential patriars of Baldur's Gate's Upper City.
The Baldur's Gate Gazetteer content is fully compatible with the Fifth Edition Dungeons & Dragons rules, as well as the 2019 adventure campaign supplement Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus written by Chris Perkins (D&D Senior Story Designer). Descent Into Avernus serves as a prequel to the story in Baldur's Gate 3, as well as incorporating the character of actor and D&D hardcore fan Joe Manganiello (Magic Mike's Last Dance) Arkhan the Cruel into the Forgotten Realms lore.
Having an easy-to-use resource that new DMs and players can use to bring their previous Baldur's Gate 3 characters is a good move. The critical and financial success of Baldur's Gate 3 has been paying dividends for Wizards of the Coast (and parent company Hasbro). Partnering with Larian Studios by licensing the D&D IP is proving to be the best gateway for the mainstream video game fans to get into the tabletop roleplaying experience.
Baldur's Gate is available through Steam and GOG for Windows PC and can be played on the Steam Deck. Meanwhile, the BG3 Sony Playstation 5 port is on track for release on September 6, 2023.