Friday, May 24, 2024

Beadle & Grimm’s Journey on the ‘Descent Into Avernus’: Prologue

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It’s a busy week in Beadle & Grimm’s Pandemonium Warehouse. Earlier today they just announced their upcoming special edition of the new Baldur’s Gate property, Baldur’s Gate: Descent Into Avernus, and their much-anticipated Dungeons & Dragons: Ghosts of Saltmarsh Sinister Silver Edition is almost ready for launch. You wouldn’t blame them if the five men behind the company “looking to put the platinum in Platinum Edition” were currently running around like dire chickens with their heads cut off.

But not quite.

Actually, they’re pretty chill, if not entirely too interested in tokens, DM screen layouts, and creating the raddest bonus encounters this side of, well, Avernus. To put it lightly, Matt Lillard, Jon Ciccolini, Bill Rehor, Charlie Rehor, and Paul Shapiro are probably more into crafting the perfect player experience than what is probably healthy, but the players are definitely going to reap the benefits of their undying nerdery.

And yes, it’s that Matthew Lillard, the one your kids recognize as Shaggy and the one you probably remember from SLC Punk. That’s not the important part. What is important is that I get to follow the five guys who make up Beadle & Grimm’s as they take Descent Into Avernus from Dungeons & Dragons concept to product launch. And it all starts with a four-hour meetup in Pasadena, at Matt’s house on a Saturday afternoon.

Back to where the chill (mostly) planning happens.

The guys are finishing up their lunch when they begin to talk about the actual book they’ve been reading through. Matt immediately throws out that a particular description from hell is so vile, he can’t even talk about it while eating. Then they pivot to an angelic elephant character in the story that they’ve decided to include in the Platinum Edition as an actual plushy figure. This is all nice and well, but they have less than a week until the big announcement and there are still things to be done.

One worry is that they haven’t received the tokens they’re planning to add to the event bags yet. While the delivery should arrive on time, they now have to prepare to show up early and stuff the bags themselves. Which is time they’re kinda in short supply of, especially Matt. He’s got interviews to do, you see. There’s the one on Thursday with Frog God (Beadle & Grimm’s are doing a map pack for Alex Kammer’s upcoming Kickstarter release), then the meeting with the documentary folks on Friday. And then he also has to make time to guest with Dragon Talk AND participate in three streaming games on top of all of that.

This isn’t even counting getting the flyer copy approved. (No, one cannot simply slap writing and art together and assume Dungeons & Dragons will magically approve of it without following any guidelines.) Oh, and don’t forget Ghosts of Saltmarsh, they’re busy approving production modules for that as well.

This is all just a preview to the main event, however: addressing an itemized spreadsheet. One that concerns pretty much every item and component you could think of regarding Avernus (and many you won’t). Over the next four hours, the guys argue about devil contracts, sliding corruption scales, encounter cards, figures, artwork, tokens, and pretty much everything including the kitchen sink. Matt argues for creating linked bonus journeys and discusses investing additional time in PC work. He and Bill have fundamentally different opinions on how much is “too much” in an entire kit, and they’ll have to agree to set that aside for future meetings. Charlie, who looks all the world like a younger George Lucas, argues about the logistics of some of Matt’s loftier ideas. Jon wants to hammer out artwork ideas so they can get mockups rolling. It’s only the beginning of the journey to bringing Avernus Platinum Edition to launch, and the Fandomentals will take you along for the ride (look for our more detailed breakdown of this infamous brainstorm meeting in early June) from the early days of inception to prototype breakdowns, item bidding, copywriting, and more.

For now, check out the release information below for Baldur’s Gate: Descent Into Avernus, tune in all weekend to DnDLive for more updates and liveplay, and maybe light a candle for the Beadle & Grimm’s boys to survive the weekend.

New Platinum Edition of Baldur’s Gate: Descent Into Avernus Coming from Beadle & Grimm’s Pandemonium Warehouse

A boxed adventure with everything Dungeon Masters need to run an amazing hell-bound D&D adventure now available in pre-order for October release.

Beadle & Grimm’s, a young company devoted to the iconic Dungeons & Dragons game, announced today the unveiling of a tabletop-friendly Platinum Edition of the new Dungeons & Dragons adventure and storyline, Baldur’s Gate: Descent Into Avernus, to be released worldwide in the Fall of 2019.  Fans can pre-order their collector’s edition box now at

The Baldur’s Gate: Descent Into Avernus Platinum Edition is the third major release from Beadle & Grimm’s following their sold-out Platinum Edition of Waterdeep: Dragon Heist in 2018 and the Ghosts of Saltmarsh: Sinister Silver Edition coming out this June. Produced by B&G under an arrangement with Wizards of the Coast, this newest Platinum Edition box takes the Baldur’s Gate: Descent Into Avernus adventure to the next level by adding exclusive art, maps and in-world handouts for the players.

Beadle & Grimm’s Pandemonium Warehouse was founded by actor and longtime D&D enthusiast Matthew Lillard (Scooby Doo, NBC’s Good Girls), Bill Rehor, Charlie Rehor, Jon Ciccolini, and Paul Shapiro.

“Year one of this company was all about proving to the fans that we can deliver,” stated Lillard. “We hope the 2018 Platinum Edition showed everyone that we love this game and truly understand what Dungeon Masters need to make their game experiences even better. We’re so gratified by the overwhelming positive response, and we’re using that as inspiration to top ourselves in 2019 with products that are even more unique and inspiring.”


Images courtesy of Beadle & Grimm’s, Dungeons & Dragons

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