New D&D 5E sourcebook starring Baldur’s Gate characters Minsc and Boo gets a surprise release, only to vanish
Update: It's back!
Update 11/10/21: Minsc and Boo's Journal of Villainy has reappeared for sale on DMs Guild and DriveThruRPG, after disappearing without notice last week. The file listed is noted as last being updated on July 21st 2021, without any specific notes on what (if anything) has changed, giving no clue to the reason for its withdrawal.
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Dungeons & Dragons 5E dropped a surprise new sourcebook earlier this week, starring two fan-favourite characters from video game series Baldur’s Gate, only for the book to seemingly be pulled from sale shortly after appearing.
Minsc and Boo’s Journal of Villainy - named after the much-loved ranger and his “miniature giant space hamster” companion, who can join the player’s party in both the original Baldur’s Gate and its sequel Shadows of Amn - popped up on DMs Guild and DriveThruRPG in both digital and print-on-demand physical forms on October 6th, costing $15 for the PDF.
The 156-page supplement covers a number of familiar places, people and elements from both the original 1998 PC game and its 2000 sequel, including details on the city of Baldur’s Gate itself and Ust Natha, Athkatla and Suldanessellar, which make an appearance in Shadows of Amn.
Minsc and Boo have missed a lot in the last 100 years—so they've tracked down old friends and hated enemies to see what they've been up to! Take a peek into their adventures in their comprehensive journal - available exclusively through @dms_guild with all proceeds to #ExtraLife! pic.twitter.com/YjVXDmNwHZ— Dungeons & Dragons (@Wizards_DnD) October 5, 2021
The book also delves briefly into the lore of early noughties D&D PC game Neverwinter Nights in its list of NPCs, with Aribeth de Tylmarande making a cameo appearance among 11 detailed henchpeople.
Unsurprisingly, the tome also contains stat blocks for a number of monsters for players to include in their campaigns, including a dozen monsters and half-a-dozen arch villains drawn from the Baldur’s Gate series and its Forgotten Realms setting. Demon lords including Baalzebul, Bhaal, Mephistopheles and Pazuzu appear as possible campaign villains, with some being updated for 5E for the first time.
Players can gain the support of various group patrons detailed in the sourcebook, each with ties back to Minsc and Boo’s appearance in the video games. Items and equipment available to purchase in each of the cities are also laid out for DMs to include in their games.
The D&D 5E sourcebook itself features various written notes from Minsc himself, with the journal framed as a collection of the characters’ adventures and encounters edited by familiar in-universe scholar Volo. In reality, Baldur’s Gate and Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn lead designer James Ohlen, who also worked on Neverwinter Nights, is credited as writing the sourcebook, having previously co-penned 5E supplement Heroes of Baldur's Gate in 2019.
Wizards of the Coast said all proceeds from Minsc and Boo’s Journal of Villainy would go towards Extra Life, the gaming charity that supports children’s hospitals in the Children's Miracle Network.
However, after its sudden appearance - with a number of players confirming they were able to purchase and download the sourcebook - the book vanished almost as quickly from both DMs Guild and DriveThruRPG, making it unable to pick up for the time being. Some fans noted that the book’s cover illustration seemingly shows Minsc’s distinctive head marking as being flipped from past appearances, possibly explaining the withdrawal as an effort to correct the artwork.
Dicebreaker has reached out to Wizards of the Coast to confirm the reason for the book’s withdrawal from sale, and to confirm a possible re-release date.