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D&D General WotC Reveals New Information and Covers for 'Keys from the Golden Vault'

Due in just a few weeks, Keys from the Golden Vault has receoved little fanfare so far. However, a cover and descrioption has appeared on the Wizards Play Network site. Wizards Play Network (WPN) is a network of WotC-approved stores. An anthology of 13 heist-themed adventures for the world’s greatest roleplaying game.   Some jobs require more than simply wielding a sword or slinging a...

Due in just a few weeks, Keys from the Golden Vault has receoved little fanfare so far. However, a cover and descrioption has appeared on the Wizards Play Network site. Wizards Play Network (WPN) is a network of WotC-approved stores.

DnD_KGV_TradCv_EN_0001.png


An anthology of 13 heist-themed adventures for the world’s greatest roleplaying game.

Some jobs require more than simply wielding a sword or slinging a spell. Whether it’s procuring a well-guarded item or obtaining crucial information from an imprisoned contact, these tasks require careful planning and flawless execution. The secretive organization called the Golden Vault specializes in hiring crews for such jobs, and for the most daunting assignments—pursuing fabulous treasures and stopping dire threats—that crew is your characters.
Keys from the Golden Vault™ is a collection of 13 short, standalone Dungeons & Dragons adventures designed for characters levels 1–11. These adventures can be placed in any setting and you can run them as one-shot games or link them together into a campaign. This book also includes in-world maps to help players plan their heists, plus advice for running nontraditional games with high risks and huge rewards.

Contents:
  • Book of 13 stand-alone adventures spanning levels 1–11, each focused on a single heist
  • Adventures can be set in any D&D or homebrew world and can be played individually or as part of a full campaign
  • Introduces the Golden Vault—a mysterious organization for which the player characters can work as heist operatives
  • Each adventure includes a map to guide Dungeon Masters and a map to help players plan their heists
  • Adventures emphasize player choice with each heist having multiple paths toward success
  • Includes advice and detailed information for Dungeon Masters running nontraditional adventures with high risks and huge rewards


There's also an alternate cover.

DnD_KGV_AltCv_EN_0000.png
 

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wellis

Explorer
Not a fan of the cover. The physics of the rope is all goofy for the character in the cloak. The other one looks great.

Plus the smile makes it look....juvenile? Silly?

Alt cover seems about right. I'm generally impervious to buying them. They look cool, but I'm not doing 'collectible' covers for D&D books.
Hasn't this kind of been a problem for a lot of WotC 5e art? Characters don't look like they're really interested in the task they're doing, or the viewpoints of the characters are really off, or spectators just look bored even when exciting magic is being thrown about, and so on?

I have to admit, the standard cover looks kind of goofy with the lead thief being so...smiley about it all. Just kind of bugbear to me.
 

NiClerigo

Adventurer
I sincerely hope there is in-depth information on how to use the adventures in Eberron (although this is quite unlikely the case), the only 5e-covered setting without a published adventure (most are in the FR, even Wildemount has its own, and Strahd is in Ravenloft). For instance, finding out information about a prisoner in Dreadhold, retrieving an antidote from a house Jorasco medical enclave, deactivating a weapon that could trigger another Mourning, recovering a holy artifact of the Silver Flame that was stolen by Karrnath during the Last War, etc., would be fun plots. I think Eberron is particularly well suited for heists and 1-shot missions entrusted to agents of the different nations
 

WotC, according to the leak, knew the OGL thing was going to be controversial.
There's controversial, and then there's 'articles in the Washington Post marvelling about how comprehensively you've alienated your customer base' controversial. I think WotC were prepared for blowback, but that the scope took them completely by surprise. Had the OGL thing gone under the radar, or never happened at all, I reckon we probably would have seen Golden Vault promos and hype ramping up as soon as WotC staff came back to work in the new year.
 

Yes, that's precisely what I mean: those are the features away from which extensive playtesting seem to have moved WotC. Based particularly on what the designers have shared from stories about the 100+ table playtests each book goes through. I won't fault you or even disagree with thinking those features are "good design" per se, but vague and loose plots with thin descriptions seem to me to be the result of extensive playtesting rather than the other way around. Granted, this is counter-intuitive, but that's my conclusion from listening to discussions of their internal aytrsr process.

(As far as Drsgon Heist not having any Heist, though it has plenty of Dragon coins, do note that the names are chosen by marketing well after the book is finished)
Interesting. I still don't truly believe it, in my heart, but if it's true, then the problem lies at a higher level, I guess in how they're reacting to the playtesting, because it's leading to them producing a product that is just not very good. Like, I used to think it was unfair that WotC-era adventures almost never made into "top adventures for D&D"-lists, then I went back and read some of the 2E adventures and campaigns, and I hate to say it, but they're better written and more complete in most cases (with the odd aberration like Terrible Trouble in Tragidore lol - last played it when I was 12, still mad about it at 44 - I should have been born a D&D Dwarf). I'd assumed it was merely rose-tinted specs on my part, but apparently not (also of note - a lot of 2E adventures are pretty easy to convert to 5E, so there's that - they did not convert well to 3E or 4E lol).

Also to be fair to me, I think have logical reason to be skeptical, because this isn't a new thing, and there's no way stuff like early 3E or 4E adventures has "100+ table playtests", yet they share the same basic flaws. I would love to see a playtest version of an adventure/campaign next to the final version though.

There's no accounting for it, I guess. Either they'll shape up one day or they won't. At least WotC still tends to make the best "PHB"-type books in the business!

But for me, this is the reason I personally care a lot about 3PP stuff. Not sourcebooks. Setting books can often be systemless pretty well (or implied system). I don't use many 3PP splatbooks. But adventures? 3PPs do such a good job for my money. Even if WotC just "scare off" people from making 3PP stuff, and the nobody loses any jobs and so on, even if everything was fine (it won't be lol), it seems like there will probably be fewer 3PP adventures for the 1D&D era. Depressing (because even if I'm not running 5E/1D&D I'll probably at least play in a campaign or two).
 

Interesting. I still don't truly believe it, in my heart, but if it's true, then the problem lies at a higher level, I guess in how they're reacting to the playtesting, because it's leading to them producing a product that is just not very good. Like, I used to think it was unfair that WotC-era adventures almost never made into "top adventures for D&D"-lists, then I went back and read some of the 2E adventures and campaigns, and I hate to say it, but they're better written and more complete in most cases (with the odd aberration like Terrible Trouble in Tragidore lol - last played it when I was 12, still mad about it at 44 - I should have been born a D&D Dwarf). I'd assumed it was merely rose-tinted specs on my part, but apparently not (also of note - a lot of 2E adventures are pretty easy to convert to 5E, so there's that - they did not convert well to 3E or 4E lol).

Also to be fair to me, I think have logical reason to be skeptical, because this isn't a new thing, and there's no way stuff like early 3E or 4E adventures has "100+ table playtests", yet they share the same basic flaws. I would love to see a playtest version of an adventure/campaign next to the final version though.

There's no accounting for it, I guess. Either they'll shape up one day or they won't. At least WotC still tends to make the best "PHB"-type books in the business!

But for me, this is the reason I personally care a lot about 3PP stuff. Not sourcebooks. Setting books can often be systemless pretty well (or implied system). I don't use many 3PP splatbooks. But adventures? 3PPs do such a good job for my money. Even if WotC just "scare off" people from making 3PP stuff, and the nobody loses any jobs and so on, even if everything was fine (it won't be lol), it seems like there will probably be fewer 3PP adventures for the 1D&D era. Depressing (because even if I'm not running 5E/1D&D I'll probably at least play in a campaign or two).
I think the issue really is one of corporate era blandness, along with the good ideas having been used up over the years. And the economics-driven switch from novella-equivalent modules to epic hardback books.

As for testing, a lot of the issues are ones an experienced DM would barely notice, used as they would be to adapting everything to their group on the fly. How many tests are done with inexperienced DMs? But there have always been things in D&D adventures that make no sense if you stop to think about it. I mean, I noticed this kind of stuff running The Hidden Shine of Tamoachan in 1983.
 


GDGD

microscopic
I sincerely hope there is in-depth information on how to use the adventures in Eberron (although this is quite unlikely the case), the only 5e-covered setting without a published adventure (most are in the FR, even Wildemount has its own, and Strahd is in Ravenloft). For instance, finding out information about a prisoner in Dreadhold, retrieving an antidote from a house Jorasco medical enclave, deactivating a weapon that could trigger another Mourning, recovering a holy artifact of the Silver Flame that was stolen by Karrnath during the Last War, etc., would be fun plots. I think Eberron is particularly well suited for heists and 1-shot missions entrusted to agents of the different nations
And an entire dragonmark house dedicated to nothing but stopping people from stealing things. That could be your level 12 adventure right there.
 


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