Literature: Baldur's Gate

The Baldur's Gate video games received three Novelizations, corresponding to the three biggest entries in the series. They are:
  • Baldur's Gate (1999) by Philip Athans
  • Baldur's Gate II (2000) by Philip Athans
  • Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal (2001) by Drew Karpyshyn

The books establish a "canon" version (later downplayed a bit) of the player character: a man named Abdel Adrian.

The Baldur's Gate novels provide examples of:

  • Broad Strokes/Canon Discontinuity: With the release of D&D NEXT, novel protagonist Abdel Adrian makes an appearance during the module Murder in Baldur's Gate that introduces the Forgotten Realms to the new edition. Perhaps as a bone to the game's fandom, he dies either as victim of the titular murder, or morphs into the slayer and is immediately killed by the PCs. Meanwhile the Legends of Baldur's Gate comics, as well as an off-hand description of a statue in the city of Baldur's Gate, seem to have utterly discarded the novels, portraying Minsc (at least physically) as he is in the game. All in all the conclusion seem to be that a warrior named Abdel Adrian was the canonical bhaalspawn and that otherwise the narrative followed the game and not the book.
  • Cassandra Truth: Xzar tells the others All There Is to Know About "The Crying Game" pretty much at the start. No-one believes him because he's insane. Of course, he also doesn't care, because he's insane.
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: No-one except for Gorion's ward makes it to the end of the trilogy alive. Causing readers to wail, "No! Why did he not die?!"
  • Faux Action Girl: Jaheira. A particularly egregious case in that she doesn't even try to fight anyone almost ever.
  • Gorn
  • Informed Ability: Jaheira is a tough warrior. And a druid. And Abdel Adrian is smart. *snrk*
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Adrian's thuggish fighting skills don't improve from the first novel to the second like they would in the games, so when he has to fight a giant monster, he just becomes super-powerful all of a sudden. Of course, he is carrying around the essence of a dead god inside him all the time, but still, way to make it a Deus Ex Idiot.
  • Novelization: Well, obviously.
  • Suddenly Sexuality: It turns out Imoen is into chicks. Imoen "realizes her sexuality" when Phaere orders her to sleep with her. In order to keep up their drow disguises and continue with their mission, Imoen couldn't refuse. She had no romantic or sexual inclinations in either direction in the game except swooning momentarily over Haer'Dalis' poetic skill. Of course, Phaere isn't interested in women in the game either, but don't let that stop you.
    • In the game there are implications that Irenicus' destructive sexuality and sensuality are his failed attempts to relive a love he's no longer capable of understanding and, by his own admission, can't even remember. In the novel, he's just a gross pervert.
    • And Bodhi, who never showed signs of sexuality in the game, becomes a Vamp.
  • Thud and Blunder: Even the mysterious very positive reviews at tend to recognise this genre shift.