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

Since at high alert all the guards get See Invisibility, that would mean your bard is stuffed. It's the usual heist problem: either everything goes smoothly and the adventure is unexciting, or it goes completely pear-shaped. The trick is to make it look like it's going to go pear shaped, but give the players a chance to avert it. Maybe one of the prisoners is able to see invisibility by virtue of their race, and threatens to raise the alarm unless your bard does something for them?

The other complication, this one in the adventure, is Prisoner 13 themselves. They are not inclined to be co-operative. Even if the party agrees to get them out, they are still likely to attempt a betrayal.
 
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pukunui

Legend
Thanks for responding.

Since at high alert all the guards get See Invisibility, that would mean your bard is stuffed. It's the usual heist problem: either everything goes smoothly and the adventure is unexciting, or it goes completely pear-shaped. The trick is to make it look like it's going to go pear shaped, but give the players a chance to avert it.
Hmm. Yeah, I guess that's what the suspicion levels mechanic is meant to do, but so far the PCs haven't done anything to raise the suspicion level even once!

The other complication, this one in the adventure, is Prisoner 13 themselves. They are not inclined to be co-operative. Even if the party agrees to get them out, they are still likely to attempt a betrayal.
Since Prisoner 13 doesn't want to leave the prison, the players decided to give her what she wanted (the ledger) but with a twist they came up with all by themselves (give her a forged version with incorrect information - because they're sure she's up to no good even though they don't know about her secret network).
 


Hmm. Yeah, I guess that's what the suspicion levels mechanic is meant to do, but so far the PCs haven't done anything to raise the suspicion level even once!
No reason you can't add something in. A blind old gnome prisoner with huge ears hears the bard and calls out to them, not realising they are invisible. They are going to need to talk fast before the guard notices.

Basically, a "sweat drips... but Ethan catches it" scene.
 
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pukunui

Legend
That forgery maybe should blow up in their face somehow.
Yeah maybe. Last session they just kept rolling really well on their checks. I don't remember the exact result but the check they rolled for the forgery was quite high. But yeah, the book does say that Prisoner 13 insists on taking a good 20 minutes or so to peruse the book before giving the PCs the key. It's possible that the PCs have made a mistake about another prisoner that Prisoner 13 knows about and thus she spots the mistake and realizes it's a forgery that way. But then what? It would seem like that would make it so the only option is for them to beat her up.

I would like to reward them for their clever thinking in deciding to create a forgery in the first place.

No reason you can't add something in. A blind old gnome prisoner with huge ears hears the bard and calls out to them, not realising they are invisible. They are going to need to talk fast before the guard notices.
Yep. That's a possibility.

Can either of you think of anything for the two PCs stuck in the kitchen to do? My youngest was having enough fun just dreaming up elaborate menus to serve the guards and the prisoners, but my teen was looking a bit bored last session.
 


pukunui

Legend
A small bear turns up wanting to make marmalade?
Sure, why not? Here we go, this one's even got the prison pyjamas on:

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Parmandur

Book-Friend
Can either of you think of anything for the two PCs stuck in the kitchen to do? My youngest was having enough fun just dreaming up elaborate menus to serve the guards and the prisoners, but my teen was looking a bit bored last session.
Mayne some evil NPC group is trying to to enter the prison vis the same method for nefarious purposes, and they can uncover their plot by accident? "I would have gotten away with it, too, if it wasn't for those darned kods" sort of thing.
 

pukunui

Legend
I didn't have the best day - car troubles and general busyness - so I didn't feel inspired to do anything more than wrap up this adventure quickly. Probably took us about an hour? Then we spent about 10 minutes or so choosing the rare magic item reward - they settled on an amulet of health for Sunny (since that boosts both her HP and her AC).

They also took the cap of water breathing, the slippers of spider climbing, and a suit of mithril plate armor from Varrin Axebreaker.

I feel like there should be some consequences later in the campaign. Prisoner 13 is bound to figure out eventually that they fooled her with a forged ledger riddled with deliberate errors. I expect she'd send her agents after the party, although she'd want them to be careful not to reveal their connection to her, as I expect she wants to keep her telepathic criminal empire a secret.

Any potential consequences vis-a-vis fooling House Kundarak would probably be smoothed over behind-the-scenes by the Golden Vault (like how it smoothed things over with the museum).


Next up I'm going to run a few non-Golden Vault adventures, but I'll come back to "Tockworth's Clockworks" once the PCs hit 5th level.
 

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