D&D 5e Review Roundup: Minsc and Boo’s Journal of Villainy

Wizards of the Coast dropped a new 150+ page supplement by the designer of the original Baldur’s Gate. Minsc and Boo’s Journal of Villainy (5e) is described thusly.

From the Journal of the Legendary Ranger and his Pet Hamster

A century has passed since the Bhaalspawn fought over the legacy of their father — Bhaal, the Lord of Murder. Two heroes witnessed the epic struggle firsthand — the ranger Minsc and his faithful companion, Boo.

Minsc and Boo were able to track down old friends and hated enemies and find out what they’ve been up to over the past century. They’ve compiled everything into this journal, edited by the traveler extraordinaire, Volo Geddarm.

Included in this journal are four cities, including Athkatla and Baldur’s Gate; ten group patrons led by some of Minsc and Boo’s old friends; a dozen new monsters; six DND arch villains and eleven dastardly henchmen.

DM’s Guild

And also…

Minsc and Boo’s Journal of Villainy is split into five chapters. The first contains overviews of four different hometowns, ranging from Baldur’s Gate to the drow city of Ust Natha. The second chapter (and its longest) details 10 different organizations or factions that can serve as a party’s group patron.


Minsc and Boo’s Journal of Villainy (5e) Reviews

Here’s a roundup of what the web is talking about when it comes to Minsc and Boo’s Journal of Villainy (5e).

Nerd Immersion Review

Insight from the Enworld Forums…

It’s published by WotC via DMsGuild (like for example any of the much shorter products they’ve put out to benefit the Extra Life charity, or like the Wayfinder’s Guide). But it doesn’t look like anyone on the WotC RPG team worked on it. Instead, its lead designer was James Ohlen, who was one of the folks responsible for the original Baldur’s Gate I & II games. He released a setting guide / adventure based on those games through DMs Guild a while back (“Heroes of Baldur’s Gate”)—then got hired by WotC in their video games division. I wonder whether perhaps this new book, seemingly a follow-up to “Heroes,” was already under independent development by Ohlen and then the decision was made to release it “by” WotC since Ohlen was now a WotC employee.


From the Reddit crowd…

I just started reading through it, but it seems to have a bunch of really awesome stuff. Each section on the cities has tables for magic items available in the city and their prices (apparently an Ioun Stone cost 46,000 GP), the guilds and their contacts give some great questlines for players (one has a Spelljammer that can take you across the planes), Candlekeep has magic item recipes in its library and a chart of what it takes to craft those items (i.e., Robe of Stars requires help from a cloud giant, 20,000 GP, and the sail of a Githyanki astral ship).


More from the sleuths at Reddit…

There are a few monsters, like Tasloi, that reuse art from the Heroes of Baldur’s Gate book. But they are few and far between.

Also, Baldur’s Gate does reuse some art from Heroes of Baldur’s Gate and some of the NPC’s are also reused again. But beyond all that I’m pretty sure this is 95% new art.


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Paul Bellow

LitRPG Author Paul Bellow

Paul Bellow is a LitRPG author, gamer, RPG game developer, and publisher of several online communities. In other words, an old school webmaster. He also developed and runs LitRPG Adventures, a set of advanced RPG generators powered by GPT-3 AI. Here at LitRPG Reads, he publishes articles about LitRPG books, tabletop RPG books, and all sorts of DND content that's free to use in your personal tabletop campaign - i.e. non-commercial use. Enjoy your stay and reach out on Twitter or Discord if you want to make contact.

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