D&D 5E More Golden Vault Info!

From a recent press release sent out by WotC. “A secret organization called the Golden Vault sends mission briefings to its operatives—the adventurers!—in the form of magical, golden keys that are inserted into what looks like a mundane music box. Instead of a pretty tune, though, the music box then provides a recording with all the information needed for the adventurers to hunt a particular...

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From a recent press release sent out by WotC.
  • “A secret organization called the Golden Vault sends mission briefings to its operatives—the adventurers!—in the form of magical, golden keys that are inserted into what looks like a mundane music box. Instead of a pretty tune, though, the music box then provides a recording with all the information needed for the adventurers to hunt a particular item of interest,” said Amanda Hamon, senior game designer on the D&D Team and co-lead designer of Keys from the Golden Vault. “It’s up to the adventurers to do the reconnaissance necessary to circumvent any defenses and pull off a legendary heist. Teamwork is paramount, because as so often happens in these capers, something will go wrong, and creative thinking could save the day!”
  • The Golden Vaiult is linked to metallic dragons, and is good-aligned. It has a motto: "“Do good, no matter the cost.”
  • The 13 adventures each have two full-page maps (one player map and one for the DM). The player map is often unreliable or incomplete.

Channel Your Inner Rogue with 13 Heist Adventures in Keys from the Golden Vault

Get the Mission, Plan the Caper, and Make Sure Everyone Gets Out Alive with the Prize

Renton, Wash., D&D players are not strangers to impossible missions. A perilous heist requires careful strategizing followed by daredevil antics when something unexpected happens and the players’ plan goes sideways. Dungeons & Dragons invites players to experience the thrill, drama, strategy, and intrigue of the heist genre in Keys from the Golden Vault, the latest Dungeons & Dragons book of adventures. Keys from the Golden Vault will be released in North America on February 21, 2023 and on March 24, 2023 in the UK/EMEA.

“A secret organization called the Golden Vault sends mission briefings to its operatives—the adventurers!—in the form of magical, golden keys that are inserted into what looks like a mundane music box. Instead of a pretty tune, though, the music box then provides a recording with all the information needed for the adventurers to hunt a particular item of interest,” said Amanda Hamon, senior game designer on the D&D Team and co-lead designer of Keys from the Golden Vault. “It’s up to the adventurers to do the reconnaissance necessary to circumvent any defenses and pull off a legendary heist. Teamwork is paramount, because as so often happens in these capers, something will go wrong, and creative thinking could save the day!”

The Golden Vault is rumored to be associated with metallic dragons and based on one of the good-aligned Outer Planes. Its operatives help the downtrodden and innocent when the law can’t. The organization’s motto is: “Do good, no matter the cost.”

D&D players can live out their fantasies of running a caper like one they might have seen on the silver screen in movies such as Mission: Impossible; Ocean’s 11; or even The Great Muppet Caper. The thirteen adventures in Keys from the Golden Vault range from levels 1 to 11. They can be played as one-offs dropped into ongoing campaigns, or run as a campaign of heists perpetrated by the same crew.
“Each adventure includes two full-page maps: one that players can use to plan their heist, and another the Dungeon Master uses to run the adventure,” said Chris Perkins, Story Architect of the D&D Team and co-lead of Keys from the Golden Vault. “The players’ map, however, is often unreliable or incomplete.”

Keys from the Golden Vault has an alternate cover by Simen Meyer, available only through game stores, and an evergreen cover by Anna Podedworna, available in North America on February 21, 2023. Fans who pre-order the digital/physical bundle at dndstore.wizards.com will be able to access the digital release on February 7, 2023.
 

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Parmandur

Book-Friend
Which high level 5E content did they sell that didn't do well? This feels very much like a self-fulfilling prophecy: "We sold zero books of the high level adventures we chose not to publish."
It's their consumer research, not the sales data, that showed them this (Chris Perkins laid thisnout at some point, since he was the one people kept asking about this): there are people who like playing high Level D&D, but they are overwhelmingly FIYers, and people like making their high Level Foes tailored to their Player Character's histories and stregnths/weaknesses. Low or mid level villains can be fairly generic and fit well, but a mass market product doesn't have that level of specificity that high Level DMs can make themselves. So for high Lvel material, they release aids for DIYees, not pre-written modules.
 

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Reynard

Legend
Supporter
They have better data now, with Beyond.
That doesn't change the fact that them not producing the content keeps people from engaging with the game at those levels.

Not to mention that them relying primarily on DnD Beyond data seems like a poor way to understand your complete customer base.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
That doesn't change the fact that them not producing the content keeps people from engaging with the game at those levels.

Not to mention that them relying primarily on DnD Beyond data seems like a poor way to understand your complete customer base.
The Beyond info has always, interestingly, matched their previous market survey results. That suggests the Beyond user base may be fairly representative. And we see as their data has improved, they've brought the Level for products down to match where people are actually playing.

Probavly just going full DCC and making a 10 Level game where 10 is Epic would work better, but 20 Levels is iconic and services the players who do play high Level.
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
I think it's fair to say that it is harder to write high level content. But if WotC is going to publish a game that runs 20 levels, as the market leader, it behooves them to publish a book that shows how to make it work. They have the ability to hire the best designers in the business.

If they don't think that levels 11 through 20 are worth supporting, put them in a supplement and make the three core books focus on levels 1 through 10.
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
Eh. Level maximums have been all over the place. They reset each edition. Level 20 is more common than not, but level caps have been unlimited (AD&D's Throne of Bloodstone included support for level 100 characters), level 36 and level 30 in the past.

If they can't make the higher levels work, take them out.
I seem to recall that they specifically said at one point that 20 was it during the Next playtest because people felt that it "felt like D&D" even if they stopped way short of 20.
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
I seem to recall that they specifically said at one point that 20 was it during the Next playtest because people felt that it "felt like D&D" even if they stopped way short of 20.
Given how many more signatures of paper are required to print all the higher level spells and monsters, that feels like a weird business decision to me. They could print smaller books or flesh out 1 through 10 more and print a smaller print run for the higher level content in a supplemental book. 🤷‍♂️
 

EpicureanDM

Explorer
I think it is a chicken and egg scenario: since WotC doesn't much support high level games, people don't play them, so WotC doesn't support them because no one plays them. Pathfinder is significantly more complicated than 5E and they support high level play all the time, both in APs and stand alone modules.
I don't think WotC's design team has played a lot of high-level 5e, so they don't know how to support it.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Given how many more signatures of paper are required to print all the higher level spells and monsters, that feels like a weird business decision to me. They could print smaller books or flesh out 1 through 10 more and print a smaller print run for the higher level content in a supplemental book. 🤷‍♂️
I believe the term I've heard Crawford use is "aspirational": even people who never intend to play thst high Level like to imagine it a little bit. That's juat the nature of the game.
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
Given how many more signatures of paper are required to print all the higher level spells and monsters, that feels like a weird business decision to me. They could print smaller books or flesh out 1 through 10 more and print a smaller print run for the higher level content in a supplemental book. 🤷‍♂️
Remember that 5e was the edition where they were trying really hard to be all things to all people just to keep the game in print.

It doesn't surprise me at all that they might have decided that 20 levels was important to have because that's what 3e had, even if the designer part of their brains was saying something different. That's kind of 5e's core design in a nutshell - try to find the cleanest design that preserves as many sacred cows as you possibly can to make the most people as close to content as possible.
 

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