Baldur’s Gate: City Encounters is now available on the Dungeon Master’s Guild! Anthony Joyce and I co-led this project with amazing contributions from Anne Gregersen and Gordon McAlpin (who also did the fantastic graphic design). This supplement provides Dungeon Masters with forty short encounters to supplement their Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus campaigns. These brief scenarios enliven the City of Blood and distinguish it from other settlements along the Sword Coast, such as Waterdeep or Daggerford.
This follows the last project that I worked on with Anthony and Gordon, Baldur’s Gate: the Fall of Elturel (which you can find here). This is actually my fourth title designed to accompany the current fifth edition story line. On top of that, Anthony and I are huge fans of the Forgotten Realms. Needless to say, this project was right up our alley. Be careful in those alleys, by the way, especially in Baldur’s Gate.
Tension in Baldur’s Gate
“There’s no eliminating power in the City of Blood.
It only changes hands.”
This isn’t your typical city encounters supplement. Baldur’s Gate: City Encounters introduces a new mechanic: the tension meter. With it come twenty random encounters tied to five levels of tension within Baldur’s Gate – Martial Law, Order, Status Quo, Unstable, and Pandemonium.
We wanted a way for the encounters to have meaning while also portraying the city’s unique mood. Baldur’s Gate has criminals, cults, and the brutal Flaming Fist. As the characters make decisions, they may shift power between the city’s major factions and unlock new encounters. Surprise your characters with the true villain of any D&D campaign: consequences.
I think the mechanic came out well in the end. We had some back and forth about whether dice would be involved, how wide the bands between tension levels should be, etc. In the end, we decided to honor the philosophy of 5e and keep it simple. Tables maybe will have five encounters in Baldur’s Gate; why not show them a nice sampling of the tension within the City of Blood?
The tension meter has received some good feedback, and it’s another reason I firmly believe TTRPG designers should play more board games, because that’s what inspired this idea for me.
The “Baldur’s Gate Gazeteer” in Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus is packed with useful lore and story hooks for neighborhoods in the Upper, Lower, and Outer City. We’ve taken that information and done all the heavy lifting for you by turning it into twenty location-based encounters, ready to go at your D&D table.
I won’t spoil too terribly much about the encounters, but Anne and Gordon have quite the knack for disgusting food-based encounters that make this milk-themed horror author awfully proud. There’s also a reference to a certain barber on Fleet Street somewhere in there.
I think I’m going to hang out in Hell just a little while longer. I enjoyed this supplement, and Anthony and I have at least one more idea up our sleeves for your Descent into Avernus game.
You can purchase Baldur’s Gate: City Encounters by clicking the red button below. Yes, this is one of those times where you’re encouraged to push the big red button.
Like this article? Consider supporting me by buying one of my products on the DMs Guild, such as Darkhold: Secrets of the Zhentarim or Elminster’s Candlekeep Companion. If you’re running Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus, consider picking up an alternative introductory adventure to the campaign, Devil’s Advocate: A Guide to Infernal Contracts, or Baldur’s Gate: City Encounters.