Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus – Session Zero Companion

We just released the definitive guide to Candlekeep in 5th Edition D&D, Elminster’s Candlekeep Companion. Featuring design and consultation by creator of the Forgotten Realms, Ed Greenwood, this supplement is packed with lore, new player options, and the first-ever map of the library fortress!

As the shelter in place restrictions slowly start to loosen up here in Texas, I’m gearing up to run our next campaign. Thankfully, we finished Waterdeep: Dragon Heist just before the pandemic began, but I’ve been itching to break out my Platinum Edition of Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus by Beadle and Grimm’s for a few months now.

If you didn’t get a chance to get this amazing box, B&G is actually offering a Silver Edition for less than half the cost, and everything is 10% off for Nurses’ Week starting on Wednesday, May 7th, with another 10% of all proceeds going to the Feeding America charity. See what’s in the box using the video below.

With all the writing I’ve been doing, I actually felt like I was slacking during my Waterdeep: Dragon Heist campaign. Luckily, my players didn’t feel that way. However, I’ve written a lot of content for Descent into Avernus, so I’m confident I can do this one justice. That said, I’d like to start the campaign off on the right foot. I’ll be running the alternative introductory adventure The Fall of Elturel that Anthony Joyce and I released a few months ago. For that supplement, I wrote three new backgrounds, including one for the Hellriders that lets you commandeer a warhorse.

Session Zero Companion

While doing my campaign research, I came across a Player’s Guide for Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus that included helpful information about the city. Most of it appears to have been summarized from the adventure text, but I cannot for the life of me find the original source of it, so I’ve decided to build off of the information there and write a Session 0 guide for my own players. (If you do happen to know where the guide came from, please let me know so I can contact the original creator and credit them here.)

This document is freely available and created in accordance with the Wizard’s of the Coast Fan Content Policy. Much of the information came from Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus and the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide. In this Session Zero document, you’ll find:

  • A spoiler-free adventure set up
  • Baldur’s Gate lore, including government, city districts, and quick facts
  • Mechanics-free descriptions of the backgrounds in the Baldur’s Gate Gazetteer
  • Elturgard lore, including the Companion, the Hellriders, and quick facts
  • Three new background options (created by me), each including ranks for advancement
  • A brief introduction to Dark Secrets

You can download the companion using the button below.

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 Contractsor Baldur’s Gate: City Encounters.

You can also follow me on Twitter at @justicearman or sign up for my email list, the Gjallarhorn, for exclusive updates, playtest opportunities, and discounts.