Murder in Baldur’s Gate – Sean’s Pick, 012318

Gonna try and stay with 5e products for my Adventures in D&D Week, and this one is an official joint from the Wizards of the Coast themselves. Set in one of the most well-known city regions in D&D history (thanks to some pretty great computer games), Murder in Baldur’s Gate comes from the era in which the Great Transition between 4th and 5th Editions occured. It features a lot of story-driven experiences and roleplay within the structure of the organized play module releases.

Duke Adrian Abdel is a living legend in the city of Baldur’s Gate, and much of the city has gathered to celebrate him and his accomplishments. On tis day of festivities, though, the dukes past will finally catch up with him, with dire consequences. Murder ha returned to Baldur’s Gate, and brave heroes are the city’s only hope to stop the violence.

This Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying Game adventure is designed to kick off the 2013 August-November season of the D&D Encounters official play program. The adventure comes with one full-color battle map, a short introductory scenario, information on the D&D Encounters program, and statistics to play the adventure using 3rd edition (v.3.5), 4th Edition, or the D&D Next playtest.

Includes the 32-page Adventure Guide, the 64-page Campaign Guide, and the DM Screen that were included in the original printed package, plus the three downloads: the 16-page Launch Guide, the 10-page Event Supplement, and the 24-page Monster Supplement.

Product History

“Murder in Baldur’s Gate” (2013), by Ed Greenwood, Matt Sernett, and Steve Winter, is the adventure for Season 15 of D&D Encounters. It was released for play in August 2013.

Continuing the Encounters. The fifteenth season of Encounters began on the weekend of August 17th with a special “launch weekend”. Participating stores got a 16-page adventure that contained an expanded version of the first week of play as well as player maps, NPC cards, and Bhaal d20s. Because the launch weekend coincided with Gen Con, Wizards was also able to run the event at the con, spotlighting the Encounters program at the world’s largest roleplaying convention.

The “Murder in Baldur’s Gate” module then went on sale on Tuesday, August 20th. This was another big change for the program. The previous seasons of Encounters had all been distributed as limited edition books that were given freely to participating GMs. Now, anyone could buy the Encounters adventures, but they had to buy them. Encounters GMs angrily declared that this new pay-for-play methodology would be the death of the Encounters program. (It wasn’t.)

Meanwhile, selling this season of Encounters also offered some benefits. First, it gave D&D some much needed attention on gaming store shelves during a year where Wizards’ schedule was otherwise filled with reprints of classic rule books and adventures. Second, it allowed Wizards to produce a much more comprehensive supplement. Instead of just producing an episodic adventure, Wizards published “Murder in Baldur’s Gate” as a folio that contained a 64-page setting book, a 32-page adventure book, and a four-panel Baldur’s Gate GM screen. Encounters GMs were saddened to see that cards and other accessories that had been common in previous Encounters adventures were absent, but of course the economics for mass-producing an adventure were very different from making it available on a limited basis.

Besides the core folio, Wizards also produced three additional “Murder” books: the 16-page “Launch Guide” was initially shipped to stores, but then made available as a PDF. In addition, a 10-page “Events Supplement” PDF provided more adventure and a 24-page “Monster Statistics” PDF gave GMs the stats they needed to play.

Though it was produced differently from previous seasons, “Murder in Baldur’s Gate” otherwise matched the traditional format for Encounters play. That meant that it was for levels 1-3 (after a few seasons that were a little higher in level). It also meant that individual sessions were designed for just 1-2 hours of play (though those sessions was much of a free-wheeling sandbox than before).

“Murder in Baldur’s Gate” was the Fall 2013 Encounters season, running for 12 weeks from August 21, 2013 to November 13, 2013. This followed a week of character generation on August 14 (and the special August 17-18 launch weekend)… (Hit the link for much more information).

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, much more
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!


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