D&D’s Space Hamsters Have A Baldur’s Gate Reference


The Spelljammer campaign setting for Dungeons & Dragons includes a reference to the Baldur’s Gate series in the attacks of D&D 5e’s space hamsters. Spelljammer predates the original Baldur’s Gate by nearly a decade, but the two became linked through the fan-favorite characters Minsc the ranger and his animal companion Boo, who is a miniature giant space hamster. This might sound like a ridiculous notion and most people around Minsc believe that Boo is just a regular hamster, but D&D‘s giant space hamsters and their smaller kin do exist in the wider D&D multiverse.

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The concept of D&D‘s giant space hamsters debuted in the Monstrous Compendium Spelljammer Appendix in AD&D. Giant space hamsters are not natural creatures, as they were bred by the gnomes of Krynn (from the Dragonlance campaign setting) to act as docile food sources on long voyages, as well as sometimes running in the giant hamster wheels in their ships that acted as a secondary power source. The fact that the giant space hamsters were created via magical experimentation meant that they had many variants, some of which really packed a punch, with the tyrannohamsterus rex being a notable threat to adventuring crews.

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The worlds of Baldur’s Gate and Spelljammer have finally met in the Spelljammer: Adventures in Space box set, which updates the classic campaign setting to the D&D 5e rules. The set comes with three books, one of which is dedicated to the illustrious Boo, as he is the headliner of Boo’s Astral Menagerie, which is the Spelljammer monster book. Boo’s Astral Menagerie contains stats for giant space hamsters and regular space hamsters, with a sly reference to Baldur’s Gate thrown in for DMs. Minsc and Boo are so famous that they not only entered D&D proper, but are also Commanders in Magic: The Gathering, so it’s not surprising that the developers of Boo’s Astral Menagerie wanted another shout out to the duo.

D&D’s Space Hamster’s Reference Minsc’s Famous Quote

D&D's space hamsters have an attack that references a famous Baldur's Gate quote.

In Boo’s Astral Menagerie book, where D&D’s Spelljammer setting confirms a Baldur’s Gate joke, the regular space hamsters are CR 1/4 creatures, making them surprisingly threatening to a low-level party. These creatures have a recharge 6 attack called Go For The Eyes, where they can attack a foe and force a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw, or be blinded until the start of the hamster’s next turn. This is a reference to one of Minsc’s quotes from the Baldur’s Gate series, where he would yell for Boo to “Go for the eyes,” which was followed by a hamster shrieking.

It’s only natural that Baldur’s Gate would receive another shout out in Spelljammer. For many years, Spelljammer was considered to be the oddball among the classic D&D campaign settings, thanks to its unusual premise that merges sci-fi and fantasy together. Minsc and his supreme loyalty to his miniature giant space hamster have helped keep the spirit of D&D‘s Spelljammer campaign setting alive after all of these years, which is why Boo receive the ultimate honor and had a book named after him. It’s hard to imagine Spelljammer returning to Dungeons & Dragons in a world without Baldur’s Gate.

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