Wealth flows into the city of Baldur’s Gate like water. As the rich luxuriate in their mansions atop the bluff and artisans ply their trades on the steep streets, masses of poor laborers swell the slums. Money and power beget political scandal, religious fervor, crime . . . and murder. No one feels safe on the rain-darkened streets. Strange, foreign gods are beseeched in secret shrines. The city is rife with corruption. And through it all, the body count keeps rising.

Why Murder in Baldur’s Gate?

Why did I select Murder in Baldur’s Gate as the setting for my next adventure? There are several reasons all of which influence the way this game is going to be played so I figured I would detail them here for perspective players.

First and foremost, it is short. The expected running time for the campaign is 3 months. I expect that to be pushed to 4 or 5 by the time all is all said and done but that is significantly less of a commitment then the epic 5 year campaign arcs that I have tried before. Hopefully this will limit burnout and mean that a core group of players can commit and stay committed for the whole game.

Second, I love The Realms. I was huge fan of The Forgotten Realms up until that massive changes put forth in 4th edition. As such I am (tentatively) hopeful that the new “fix-it” being offered by the FR team will return Faerun to somewhere I will want to devote my campaigns to again. To that end, I find the idea of playing a campaign setting up that “reboot” very interesting.

Along the same lines, returning to the place of my favorite CRPG series was a big lure. While temporally displaced by over a hundred years, Baldur’s Gate still has much of the same feel now as it did in the Bhaalspawn Saga. Adventuring with the familiar sights and a few old friends around I think will be fun for anyone that has played the games.

Finally, the way the campaign itself is designed I like. Characters will soon discover that although they have the powerful ability to influence the events happening around them, there is much that is beyond their control. Murder in Baldur’s Gate is designed to be very open world for the PCs but also with a strong story that will continue on with or without the PCs’ involvement. Players will have to make tough choices and not only their actions, but also their inaction, will have strong consequences.

Why Pathfinder?

Murder in Baldur’s Gate is designed to be played using any of three systems: D&D Next, 4th edition, or 3.5 edition. However, none of these appealed to me. 4th Ed. is a complete non-starter for reasons to numerous to describe here. D&D Next while a strong improvement is, in its current form at least, very superficial. 3.5 of course has a great deal of depth and for convenience’s sake I may have used it over Pathfinder if it wasn’t for the fact that I am going to have to redesign all the encounters anyways since the recommended scale for the the campaign (levels 1-3) is far too low for anyone that is familliar with the lore. (For instance, the last of the Bhallspawn, Abdel Adrian is listed as only being 4th level. Since he saved the sword coast from Sarevok, defeated the Five, and conquered the Throne of Bhaal, that is just absurd.) As it stands Pathfinder is a far superior system and so that is the rules set we will be using.

Where to go from here?

Check out the wiki for house rules, character generation information, and lore write-ups. The Forums will have the current discussions going on, and the Calendar will show the next game session. Once you have a PC idea in mind please create a character page on the Character tab.

Dove's Baldur's Gate Campaign

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