D&D 5E Keys from the Golden Vault play reports

The +1 dagger is actually the ritual dagger of Muk'luk'nuggan, and its cultists are searching for it.

Much as I love the Mission Impossible gags (bonus points for gratuitous use of the word "disavowed"), I'm not planning on using the Golden Vault organisation myself.
Me too. I have the same feelings about the Radiant Citadel. I hated that stupid demiplane, but I used all the adventures.
 

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Parmandur

Book-Friend
I feel it actually makes it work better because some of the adventures don't really feel like missions that fit the Golden Vault prospectus all that well (the Stygian Gambit, for instance, is just about helping a gambler get revenge against another gambler). However, if you add in the whole Draconic Prophecy thing, then pretty much anything goes. You're not just helping a gambler get revenge, you're (potentially unwittingly) helping prevent an Overlord from escaping its bonds.
Yeah, the long con is a pretty good trope for spy thrillers as a genre, too: this mission might not have a clear purpose, but it may set up something way down the line for the Prophecy.

The final Heist also would play very well into a Chamber versus Lords of Dust covert war...
 

Me too. I have the same feelings about the Radiant Citadel. I hated that stupid demiplane, but I used all the adventures.
Oh, I like the Golden Vault stuff, but I tend to have fits of laughter over all the Mission Impossible jokes, and it feels contrived. I reckon I can link the adventures I am using (about half) more organically.

I like the Radiant Citadel too (which isn't a demiplane) and used it for a short "treasure hunt" as my players described it, where they had to wander about the Preserve of the Ancients talking to weird characters in an attempt to find the information they needed. They also learned about the interplanar trade in spices, coffee and chocolate.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Oh, I like the Golden Vault stuff, but I tend to have fits of laughter over all the Mission Impossible jokes, and it feels contrived. I reckon I can link the adventures I am using (about half) more organically.

I like the Radiant Citadel too (which isn't a demiplane) and used it for a short "treasure hunt" as my players described it, where they had to wander about the Preserve of the Ancients talking to weird characters in an attempt to find the information they needed. They also learned about the interplanar trade in spices, coffee and chocolate.
One thing I appreciate about how things the Golden Vault framework is, is that these heists can actually be fit into a Radiant Citdel framework instead: place one of these Heist locations in onenof the Citadel world's, and make these covert missions that the Citadel will disavow if the character caught...
 

pukunui

Legend
OK so I'm going to run "Reach for the Stars" next (and then I'll backtrack and run "The Stygian Gambit").

I'm thinking I'll place Delphi Mansion in Skyraker Forest west of Galethspyre in Breland. While the Eberron adaptation guide I got from the DMs Guild suggests placing the mansion near Sigilstar in Thrane, I'd prefer to keep things closer to home (Sharn) at this stage. Also, the name 'Skyraker' ties in nicely with this adventurer's references to stars and astrology-based magic and such.

The BBEG will be Markos ir'Delphi, of course. Krokulmar will be an entity from Xoriat (perhaps another daelkyr). [As an aside, Krokulmar's weird magic effects map pretty closely to the weird magic effects for the plane of Xoriat as presented in Exploring Eberron. I think that's pretty neat.]

One thing that puzzles me is that the description for the wine cellar (D23) makes it sound like the secret door behind the barrel is the only way to access the rooms beyond, but the maps (both the players handout and the DM's map) show a regular door in the west wall to the south of the barrels. I'm going to assume that's a mistake and edit it out of the maps before I print them for my game.

EDIT: Another minor error: The book states that all the ceilings in Delphi Manor are 20 feet high, but then proceeds to state (erroneously IMO) that the ceiling in the entry hall (D1) is 30 feet high. It should be 40 feet. Those are also some steep stairs, rising up 20 feet to the balcony on the second floor!
 
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I'm about to start Reach for the Stars. You are right about the errors on the mansion map. 20 feet seems rather high for a building of this kind, particularly for upper floors. It would make the whole building 60 foot tall, not including the roof. A front elevation of the building would be more useful than some of the other artwork. Same goes for the museum in the earlier adventure.

I'm going to take the 30 feet entrance hall as correct, and either assume 20 ft ground floor and 10 ft upper floor; or all ceilings 15 ft. I haven't decided yet (if it even matters).
 

pukunui

Legend
I have now updated my original post with my recounting of "The Dolurrhi Gambit". Overall it was fun. There's only really one thing of concern, which pertains to the amount of money in vault coffers.

I'm running a non-Golden Vault adventure next, but I'll get to "Prisoner 13" once the PCs hit 4th level.
 

In case people are looking to this thread for advice on Golden Vault, here are my observations on Reach for the Stars:

This feels like a very old-school adventure. Open the door, kill the monster (often disguised as something innocuous), take the loot. And it has a lot of loot (and combat) by the usual 5e standards. This is exacerbated by my players' approach, which is to systematically clear every room, rather than using the map to head for the most likely location of the mission objective.

Next up for us: Shemshime's Bedtime Rhyme (Candlekeep).
 

pukunui

Legend
We're one session into "Prisoner 13", and everything has gone a little too smoothly. I feel like I need to introduce some kind of complication. Here's the situation so far:

I placed Revel's End on the island of Dreadhold. (I decided that House Kundarak has multiple prison buildings on the island, with Revel's End being the one where they keep dangerous magic-using prisoners -- hence the anti-magic fields.) All the guards are dwarves, and the PCs didn't have any way to make themselves look like a dwarf, so two of them posed as cooks, while one of them hid in a crate. The paladin talked her way in by saying she wanted to try and get the prisoners to convert to the Silver Flame. The artificer talked his way in as a volunteer fixer-upper.

To give the artificer something to do, I had the warden complain about the magical heating playing up in her rooms. This not only gave him access to her stuff but also enabled me to show off the warden's possession.

The paladin was able to talk freely with Prisoner 13 in the exercise yard under the cover of trying to convert her. They have managed to steal the ledger from the warden's cabinet, but rather than giving the original to Prisoner 13, the bard and artificer worked together to create an elaborate forgery that includes some false information (very clever!).

I feel bad for my daughters because the cook angle seems to be something of a dead end. I haven't been able to think of much for them to do.

All that there is left to do, though, is get the forged ledger to Prisoner 13 in exchange for the key, return the real ledger to the warden's office, and then escape.

I'm not entirely sure what I can do to throw a wrench in the works. I'll give Prisoner 13 a chance to detect that the ledger is a forgery, but I believe the PCs rolled well on their forgery check, so it's unlikely she'll discover the truth.

The only thing I can think of is a prison riot. Maybe some of the prisoners out in the exercise courtyard start a fight, and the warden puts the prison on high alert just as the PCs are preparing to escape. That should make things tricky because the bard has been relying on invisibility to sneak around undetected, and high alert makes it so all the guards can see invisible creatures.

Any thoughts?
 

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