This article contains mild spoilers for Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves.
Between Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves and Baldur’s Gate 3, fans of the popular tabletop roleplaying game (TTRPG) Dungeons & Dragons had a lot going for them in 2023. Both have a lot to offer longtime fans, and prove that the game can transcend mediums and still be thoroughly enjoyable. But what’s even more compelling about the love that Honor Among Thieves and Baldur’s Gate 3 have received is the fact that they’ve brought so many newcomers into the world of Dungeons & Dragons.
Even if you don’t know a thing about D&D, Honor Among Thieves is such a fun movie to watch. The story makes this fantasy world accessible, and the cast does a great job of bringing the film’s chaotic but well-meaning band of misfits to life. There are plenty of easter eggs for D&D lovers, but newbies aren’t bombarded by boring lore dumps either. However, if you’re not super familiar with D&D but have even briefly thought about playing Baldur’s Gate 3, I highly recommend playing the game before watching the movie.
There’s a bit of a higher learning curve with Baldur’s Gate 3 than Honor Among Thieves, because the game involves D&D game mechanics like dice rolls and ability checks in addition to lore, but the game has so many possible outcomes and scenarios that, like D&D itself, there’s plenty of room to learn along the way. Speaking from experience, learning how the game works and what weird things you can get away with as you progress is part of the fun, and it’s arguably part of why Baldur’s Gate 3 has developed such a devoted fanbase.
Baldur’s Gate 3 has been a lot of people’s first experience with D&D, myself included. Before playing the video game, Dungeons & Dragons always seemed like this overwhelming behemoth of lore and rules that I would just never find the time to learn—it was like my nerdy white whale. But after spending hundreds of hours exploring this world via BG3, it’s hard to believe that I had almost no idea what Faerûn was a year ago.
Honor Among Thieves and Baldur’s Gate 3 are perfect companions for each other not only because they are both adaptations of D&D, but because they both carry the same heart, humor, and penchant for chaotic fun that has drawn fans to the TTRPG for decades. The background knowledge of this fantasy world that players can uncover in BG3 isn’t necessary to enjoy watching Honor Among Thieves, but it does enhance the experience.
Plus, playing Baldur’s Gate 3 before watching or revisiting Honor Among Thieves is an opportunity to become the Leonardo DiCaprio pointing at the TV meme in real life. Watching Edgin (Chris Pine), Holga (Michelle Rodriguez), and the rest of the crew come across mimics, intellect devourers, and displacer beasts throughout the film is more fun after fighting against those creatures yourself in BG3; their journey into the Underdark is a richer experience after spending hours exploring this mysterious realm on your own during a playthrough; and learning the creepy book that can be found in the Apothecary’s basement in Baldur’s Gate 3 hails from the same lands as the villainous Sofina (Daisy Head) in Honor Among Thieves makes me grateful that none of my characters thus far have been brave enough to open it.
Even those involved with making Baldur’s Gate 3 have found that the game and Honor Among Thieves go well together. Performance director Aliona Baranova recently posted on X (formerly Twitter) that she thoroughly enjoyed the movie, having watched it for the first time after working on and playing through the game. Baranova has been streaming playthroughs of BG3 with her girlfriend Jennifer English (who plays Shadowheart in the game), and while they both worked on the game, they’ve still been learning a lot about D&D and how it works through gameplay.
Thanks to Baldur’s Gate 3 and Honor Among Thieves, it’s been a great time to become a Dungeons & Dragons fan. Knowing that I’m not the only person (or only queer woman) discovering the joys of Faerûn and dice rolls for the first time through these projects is comforting and has helped me feel at home in a fandom I once thought would be inaccessible. Honor Among Thieves is phenomenal on its own, but together, BG3 and Honor Among Thieves are the perfect introduction to D&D and the world it exists in.
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