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Diffan
Great Reader

USA
3528 Posts

Posted - 03 Nov 2018 :  13:20:08  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
So I got Baldur's Gate for my Android phone and I'm playing the crap out of this game, bringing back so many amazing and fun memories of it. And then I got to thinking, this translates well to 5E in a myriad of ways including the options AND Items found therein, not to mention how fun the actual adventure is. So then I started creating NPCs and Bad-guys just for fun (like the Half-Orc cleric Mulahey in the Nashkel Mines and Tarnesh, the assassin outside of The Friendly Arms Inn).

And then I got to thinking how fun taking this adventure to the PnP side of D&D would be. Everything is all pretty much laid out: Plot, NPCs, monsters and gold and magic items, side quests, fun banter, etc.

The big question is that the whole point is for the Ward of Gorion to face off against Sarevok - the Bhaalspawn. With an adventure like this, who really plays the Ward? I have a couple of ideas:

The Ward is randomly selected from the PCs at Session 1 (in secret).

The Ward is still Abdel Adrian (adhering to Canon and for future Canon via Murder In Baldur's Gate) and the PCs escort / protect / become Abdel's companions in the game. As if hey were selected by the player akin to Jaherea, Khalid, Xan, etc.

They're all Wards of Gorion and potential Bhaalspawn in which Saervok wants to eliminate.

There is no Bhaalspawn in the group and the PCs do the adventure with Abdel doing his own thing in different parts of the Swordcoast and I sprinkle in bits of him (and other NPCs he acquires) exploits when the player's visit towns. The PCs will still largely do the adventure Abdel was supposed to do (Nashkel Mines, investigating the Woods for bandits, finding out who's behind the Iron Throne, etc.) While Abdel is out saving Minc's love interest from the Gnolls or maybe while he's just traipsing about oblivious to the hour at hand.

OR maybe some other suggestion that I hadn't thought of? I'm really open to ideas here.

Other Aspects to note:

Magic items. It's no secret that Baldur's Gate has LOTS of magical items in the game. From loads of magical ammo and potions and consumable items to big things like Ankheg Full-Plate, Rings of Wizardry I, swords vs. the undead (my current Paladin is equipped with 'the Harrower' a +1/+3 vs. undead longsword).

I think a LOT of this makes the game fun and if the PCs get a lot of items from their kills, then so be it. I can always tailor the adventure to be more difficult based on random encounters.

Adhering to Old-School ways. So this adventure is going to be set in the original timeline (1368 DR) so events occur after the Time of Trouble but before the rebirth of Bane and the coming of Netheril. 5E is pretty adaptable in emulating a lot of older styles so I was wondering if old restrictions would make the game "feel" like the computer one (like Paladins being LG only and Human and Cha 17; Druids must be Neutral; Dwarves not being spellcasters, etc.)? Or does this take away from the fun-aspect of 5e and the combinations players might want to employ with the new game?

Anything else I'm missing or not coming up with? Feedback would be much appreciated here.

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."

dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4156 Posts

Posted - 03 Nov 2018 :  14:40:06  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I had a few ideas for Baldur gate many years ago to try and make a playable adventure.

Of course now I am trying to eliminate direct deific intervention in the realms to the point that Bhaal would not be able to sure any children because he is a god and is incapable of physical manifestation anywhere but the outer planes.

However I have a few ways around this. What if creating a bhaalspawn just requires an infusion of his essence.

You could create bhaalspawn by being related to tharlagaunt bale (the netherese against that became bhaal), you could be the target of a ritual that infuses you with the essence of Bhaal trapped in some old artefact of his, you could even become bhaalspawn by slaying a bhaalspawn (a bit highlands esque but that's one way to explain how the bhaalspawn got more powerful and why they felt compelled to kill one another - you the essence of a bhaalspawn moves into the person that killed it so the last bhaalspawn concentrates all the essence in one person).

If it were me I'd completely abandon abdel Adrian and the official version because it is pants. You could have the pcs hired to get rid of a bandit group who happened to be led by a bhaalspawn and whoever lands the killing blow becomes one. Then the party get embroiled in the affair because their friend is in danger and compelled to seek out and destroy other bhaalspawn.


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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31599 Posts

Posted - 03 Nov 2018 :  14:52:52  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Another possibility is that the Ward is another NPC, one the PCs have to deal with.

Though of the ideas listed, I like either having all the PCs be Wards, or having Abdel Adrian (a name that really bugs me, for some reason) as the sole Ward while the PCs are fulfilling his role in the adventure.

As for this... " Adhering to Old-School ways. So this adventure is going to be set in the original timeline (1368 DR) so events occur after the Time of Trouble but before the rebirth of Bane and the coming of Netheril. 5E is pretty adaptable in emulating a lot of older styles so I was wondering if old restrictions would make the game "feel" like the computer one (like Paladins being LG only and Human and Cha 17; Druids must be Neutral; Dwarves not being spellcasters, etc.)? Or does this take away from the fun-aspect of 5e and the combinations players might want to employ with the new game? "

Even though I grew up in 2E and tend to think that way, somewhat, I'd not go full-on with the 2E restrictions. I do favor LG paladins*, and druids that have a neutral aspect to their alignment, but I've always had a hard time wrapping my head around true neutral nature junkies being adventurers. And dwarven spellcasters don't bother me; my sole quibble there has always been the lack of a canon explanation for why their magical issues suddenly went away.

It is my opinion that the plot is more important, here, than emulating an adaptation of an earlier ruleset. Whilst I don't know your players, I think the plot would be much more fun than sticking with the oft arbitrary seeming class restrictions of 2E.


*Paladins -- in the revised 2E PHB, it says this: "The paladin is a noble and heroic warrior, the symbol of all that is right and true in the world. As such, he has high ideals that he must maintain at all times. Throughout legend and history there are many heroes who could be called paladins: Roland and the 12 Peers of Charlemagne, Sir Lancelot, Sir Gawain, and Sir Galahad are all examples of the class." Because of this, and because that's the era of D&D that I grew up in, I feel quite strongly that paladins must be LG.

However... One of the most interesting characters in Weis & Hickman's Rose of the Prophet trilogy was Auda ibn Jad, a Black Paladin of Zhakrin, the main god of evil. The Black Paladins were an interesting bunch, and they quite aptly depicted an evil but not chaotic evil group -- something I'm not sure I'd seen before then. And it was that group that opened my eyes to the idea of evil paladins.

And I like the idea of holy warriors serving deities. So while I have no issue with paladin-types that have different abilities, I favor keeping the term "paladin" for the LG ones, and using other terms for similar types of other alignments. I know there was a Dragon article or something that explored the idea, going with "Paladin of this" and "Paladin of that" for the other versions, but I'd be more inclined to rename them entirely, despite the extra bookkeeping involved.

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