[DMsGuid] [5E] Heroes of Baldur's Gate PDF and Hard Cover

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[DMsGuid] [5E] Heroes of Baldur's Gate PDF and Hard Cover

Post by Havard » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:13 pm

Image

This announcement was posted at the DMsGuid Facebook Page:

From the lead designer of Baldur's Gate I and II comes a full-color 160-page adventure book available as a HARDCOVER or digital PDF!

The city of Baldur’s Gate is the pride of West Faerûn—a mercantile stronghold ruled by the famous Grand Dukes. One year ago, a powerful merchant leader named Sarevok nearly catapulted the city into war with the neighboring nation of Amn. This crisis was averted, and the remnants of the organization were scattered throughout the Sword Coast.

Now, the city is threatened from within by agents of the nefarious Zhentarim, who seek to fill the power vacuum left behind in the wake of these events. Meanwhile, the Shadow Druids plot to destroy the city by performing terrible rituals, deep within the Cloakwood. Who will rise to oppose them?

Epic Backgrounds. Choose from one of four epic backgrounds to equip your character with strong motivations in the story. Meet your unique goals to unlock new powers!

Legendary Companions. Join together with the legends of the Sword Coast to thwart the forces of evil. Features statistics and illustrations for 14 familiar heroes and villains—Minsc, Jaheira, Imoen, Edwin, Viconia, and more!

Sword Coast Campaign Guide. Features 8 unique monsters and magic items. Includes extensive maps for Baldur’s Gate and the surrounding regions of the Sword Coast. Explore the city to discover new adventure hooks, and continue the story with your own epic campaign!
Heroes of Baldur's Gate (5e)

I don't usually push DMSguild releases, but I always find it interesting when they release print products. Its curious that they don't release these as WotC releases though. I guess that makes them only semi-official? Still, they look so similar to WotC releases its only the DMsGuild logo and lack of D&D logo that sets them apart...

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Re: [DMsGuid] [5E] Heroes of Baldur's Gate PDF and Hard Cover

Post by Big Mac » Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:50 pm

Havard wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:13 pm
I don't usually push DMSguild releases, but I always find it interesting when they release print products. Its curious that they don't release these as WotC releases though. I guess that makes them only semi-official? Still, they look so similar to WotC releases its only the DMsGuild logo and lack of D&D logo that sets them apart...
It's not by Wizards of the Coast. It's not even got the DMs Guild Adept logo on it, so they probably know nothing about this. :lol:

Every DMs Guild product could be done as a Print on Demand product...just like every DriveThru RPG product can be done as a Print on Demand product. But PoD files have to be done to a higher standard. I think that creators also have to get a printed copy sent to them and verify that it has printed correctly. It's easier to fix broken PDFs. Creators can just upload a replacement and customers can download a replacement. I think that a lot of designers are a bit wary of that. (It would probably be safer for designers to put up a PDF of something for a while, before they put up the PoD version. That would give them a chance to find any errata and get it fixed before making the PoD version available.)

But there is something more interesting that this being given a WotC stamp of approval. I saw the blurb you quoted from the Dungeon Master's Guild webpage and did a bit of searching on James Ohlen's Wikipedia article. Check this out:
James Ohlen article on Wikipedia wrote:In his early career, Ohlen ran a comic store as well as two Dungeons & Dragons campaigns. The campaigns were so popular that each had a waiting list. BioWare founders Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk recruited Ohlen to work at the company based on his D&D skills. At BioWare, part of his early work included testing on Shattered Steel, then becoming the lead designer for Baldur's Gate which was credited with making BioWare a successful company. As a result of the success of Baldur's Gate, Ohlen was made the company's Director of Design. He continued to work as the lead designer on BioWare’s Dungeons and Dragons titles including Baldur’s Gate 2 and Neverwinter Nights. He later led up the design on Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Dragon Age: Origins.
So, he was a homebrew D&D designer and got poached by BioWare and (among other things) used his D&D design skills to build Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn.

So while this could have been put out as a published WotC product, the fact that James Ohlen has left BioWare and set up Arcanum Worlds, so that he could create tabletop RPG products kind of makes this more special than if it was "official" but didn't have James Ohlen working on it.

I wonder if he had any ideas he had for Baldur's Gate that didn't make it it into the computer games...or if this is a totally new idea based on 5th Edition material. At the moment, they are in the middle of a Kickstarter campaign, but they have released Heroes of Baldur's Gate right in the middle of it.
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Re: [DMsGuid] [5E] Heroes of Baldur's Gate PDF and Hard Cover

Post by Big Mac » Wed Apr 24, 2019 8:55 am

I just noticed the video trailer that Arcanum Worlds put up on YouTube: Heroes of Baldur's Gate: D&D 5th Edition Adventure Book
Image

The video answers a lot of questions, and has some great pictures of pages from the book.

And the dude who does the video has the dramatic movie trailer voice! It's worth watching just for that alone! :lol:
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Re: [DMsGuid] [5E] Heroes of Baldur's Gate PDF and Hard Cover

Post by Seethyr » Wed Apr 24, 2019 8:54 pm

I really want this book, it’s just a bit too pricey for me.
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Re: [DMsGuid] [5E] Heroes of Baldur's Gate PDF and Hard Cover

Post by Big Mac » Fri Apr 26, 2019 12:09 am

Annnd...

...24 hours after this book went on sale on DMs Guild, Wizards of the Coast have hired James Ohlen to open a studio in Austin, Texas. :shock:

Hereos of Baldur's Gate must have been rushed out ahead of the announcement.
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Re: [DMsGuid] [5E] Heroes of Baldur's Gate PDF and Hard Cover

Post by agathokles » Fri Apr 26, 2019 12:20 am

Big Mac wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 12:09 am
Annnd...

...24 hours after this book went on sale on DMs Guild, Wizards of the Coast have hired James Ohlen to open a studio in Austin, Texas. :shock:

Hereos of Baldur's Gate must have been rushed out ahead of the announcement.
And they hire the designer of BG not to work on D&D, if I understand correctly.

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Re: [DMsGuid] [5E] Heroes of Baldur's Gate PDF and Hard Cover

Post by Big Mac » Fri Apr 26, 2019 1:37 am

agathokles wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 12:20 am
Big Mac wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 12:09 am
Annnd...

...24 hours after this book went on sale on DMs Guild, Wizards of the Coast have hired James Ohlen to open a studio in Austin, Texas. :shock:

Hereos of Baldur's Gate must have been rushed out ahead of the announcement.
And they hire the designer of BG not to work on D&D, if I understand correctly.
It does seem that way.

And they also clearly could have put the Wizards of the Coast logo on Heroes of Balder's Gate (alongside the logo of Arcanum Worlds) instead of the DMs Guild logo. It could have been an official D&D product. If they hired him for a top job for their Austin, Texas studio, they must have spoken to him about his work at Arcanum Worlds. They must have known that Heroes of Balder's Gate existed. It can't be a co-incidence that it was sneaked out on DMs Guild a day before the day they said he would be running their studio. :?
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Re: [DMsGuid] [5E] Heroes of Baldur's Gate PDF and Hard Cover

Post by agathokles » Fri Apr 26, 2019 7:18 am

Indeed. We'll see how this plays out.
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Re: [DMsGuid] [5E] Heroes of Baldur's Gate PDF and Hard Cover

Post by Havard » Fri Apr 26, 2019 12:55 pm

I didn't realize anyone can release print products on DMsGuild. I had assumed limiting DMsGuild products to PDFs would help prevent dilution of the brand like we saw during the d20 era.

Given the other news about James Ohlen, it does seem like there could have been other behind the scenes things happening before this release though.

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Re: [DMsGuid] [5E] Heroes of Baldur's Gate PDF and Hard Cover

Post by Big Mac » Fri Apr 26, 2019 1:12 pm

agathokles wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 7:18 am
Indeed. We'll see how this plays out.
I hope that the WotC job doesn't stop Arcanum Worlds making other DMs Guild products.
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Re: [DMsGuid] [5E] Heroes of Baldur's Gate PDF and Hard Cover

Post by Big Mac » Mon May 06, 2019 7:51 pm

Havard wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 12:55 pm
I didn't realize anyone can release print products on DMsGuild. I had assumed limiting DMsGuild products to PDFs would help prevent dilution of the brand like we saw during the d20 era.
Aside from the restrictions of DMs Guild, the system is identical to DriveThru RPG.

The main reason why people don't make PoD products, is that the process is harder. Just look at the D&D Classics store, where DriveThru's own staff are struggling to convert all of the PDFs into Print on Demand files.
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Re: [DMsGuid] [5E] Heroes of Baldur's Gate PDF and Hard Cover

Post by Havard » Mon May 06, 2019 8:26 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 7:51 pm
Havard wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 12:55 pm
I didn't realize anyone can release print products on DMsGuild. I had assumed limiting DMsGuild products to PDFs would help prevent dilution of the brand like we saw during the d20 era.
Aside from the restrictions of DMs Guild, the system is identical to DriveThru RPG.

The main reason why people don't make PoD products, is that the process is harder. Just look at the D&D Classics store, where DriveThru's own staff are struggling to convert all of the PDFs into Print on Demand files.
Well, I'm not sure this is the same situation since D&D Classics are often working based on scans rather than text documents, but you still have a point. My main worry is that the market will be flooded with low quality amateur productions that are difficult to tell apart from official (presumably of better quality) material. Hopefully these difficulties will limit that problem.

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Re: [DMsGuid] [5E] Heroes of Baldur's Gate PDF and Hard Cover

Post by Big Mac » Thu May 09, 2019 1:41 am

Havard wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 8:26 pm
Big Mac wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 7:51 pm
Havard wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 12:55 pm
I didn't realize anyone can release print products on DMsGuild. I had assumed limiting DMsGuild products to PDFs would help prevent dilution of the brand like we saw during the d20 era.
Aside from the restrictions of DMs Guild, the system is identical to DriveThru RPG.

The main reason why people don't make PoD products, is that the process is harder. Just look at the D&D Classics store, where DriveThru's own staff are struggling to convert all of the PDFs into Print on Demand files.
Well, I'm not sure this is the same situation since D&D Classics are often working based on scans rather than text documents, but you still have a point. My main worry is that the market will be flooded with low quality amateur productions that are difficult to tell apart from official (presumably of better quality) material. Hopefully these difficulties will limit that problem.
If it's got the DMs Guild logo on it, it is not official material.

If it's got the DMs Guild Adept logo on it, it's created by people who have been hand-picked by Wizards of the Coast.

If it's got the Dungeons & Dragons logo on it, it's official material.

When it comes down to the DMs Guild stuff, you have to fall back on looking at who the designers are, to judge if you think they are any good.

Ironically, DMs Guild ban companies that publish things via DMs Guild, from putting their company logos on the ccover. So, although Kobold Press put out a couple of things, for Al-Qadim, it's not too easy to work that out.
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Re: [DMsGuid] [5E] Heroes of Baldur's Gate PDF and Hard Cover

Post by Big Mac » Sun May 12, 2019 3:09 pm

Havard wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 12:55 pm
I didn't realize anyone can release print products on DMsGuild. I had assumed limiting DMsGuild products to PDFs would help prevent dilution of the brand like we saw during the d20 era.
You might want to look at this topic: DMs Guild looking for projects good enough for PoD launches

That's a specific call for people up to the higher standards of PoD production to contact the DMs Guild staff.

Obviously James Ohlen was up to their standards. :)
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Re: [DMsGuid] [5E] Heroes of Baldur's Gate PDF and Hard Cover

Post by Big Mac » Sun May 12, 2019 3:13 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 12:09 am
Annnd...

...24 hours after this book went on sale on DMs Guild, Wizards of the Coast have hired James Ohlen to open a studio in Austin, Texas. :shock:

Hereos of Baldur's Gate must have been rushed out ahead of the announcement.
Just to add to this mystery tangental news, Arcanum Worlds are also on the tail end of a Kickstarter called Odyssey of the Dragonlords: 5th Edition Adventure Book.

Their original target was $50,000 USD and they have sailed beyond that to $319,969 USD, with four days left.

James Ohlen is also the designer of that, so he has left Bioware and churned out two different high quality RPG products and then got hired by WotC to not design RPG products. :?
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