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.

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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.

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dave2008

Legend
Really, the whole of any D&D campaign setting makes no sense if you think about the implications of the existence of magic. Why do cities have walls when it is easy to fly? Why lock anything up when someone can teleport and take it? Why steel something when they can track it down with locate object? Why is there medicine when there is healing magic? Why doesn't everyone live in Tiny Huts? Why farm when the cleric or druid can create food and drink?
Those all still work if magic is really rare (which is how we play)!
 
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dave2008

Legend
Then you have the issue that how come the very tiny number of spellcasters and magical creatures in the world keep encountering each other? It's incredible either way.
Or they don't. I mean, my group rarely encounters NPC spellcasters and though magical creatures are more common than spellcasters, we still primarily face off against the more mundane variety (orcs, gnolls, ogres, goblins, etc.)
 

Or they don't. I mean, my group rarely encounters NPC spellcasters and though magical creatures are more common than spellcasters, we still primarily face off against the more mundane variety (orcs, gnolls, ogres, goblins, etc.)
Then how come your PC wizard doesn't rule the world? If you have a very small number of magical characters in the world, they are so much more powerful than mortals (including orcs and ogres) that they can basically do whatever they want unopposed.
 

dave2008

Legend
Then how come your PC wizard doesn't rule the world? If you have a very small number of magical characters in the world, they are so much more powerful than mortals (including orcs and ogres) that they can basically do whatever they want unopposed.
Our PC wizard (lvl 15) is the most power magic using non-monster in the world. But there are several things that keeping him from ruling the world:
  1. He is not strong enough to take on a nation or even an army or even a well organized elite assassin squad. There are limits to magic. Heck, if he tried this his follow team members could take him out fairly quickly.
  2. He is not stronger than the strongest creatures in the world (there are dragons and a lich at least that are stronger, not to mention demons and other extraplanar creatures.
  3. There are setting issues too (anti-magic, dead magic zones, etc.), but these are minimal.
  4. Neither he, nor any of our group, has the desire to rule the world. They are currently the most powerful people (not monsters), in terms of personal power, in our world. But even the whole group could not take on a nation, or the most powerful dragons for that mater. They are much more interested in solving problems than ruling the world!
 
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Then how come your PC wizard doesn't rule the world? If you have a very small number of magical characters in the world, they are so much more powerful than mortals (including orcs and ogres) that they can basically do whatever they want unopposed.
In general the PCs normally don't rule the world cause they don't want to... At least in my experience (in 5e especially) they do what ever they set out to do at least 7 out of 10 times
 

In general the PCs normally don't rule the world cause they don't want to... At least in my experience (in 5e especially) they do what ever they set out to do at least 7 out of 10 times
But if they exist, then other spellcasters must exist in the world, even if they only make up a tiny fraction of the population. So they rule the world.

Either way, the setting doesn't work. Either spellcasters are relatively normal, and you have all the issues I outlined earlier, or they are extremely rare. In which case, they are also extremely powerful. Unless the PCs are literally the only spellcasters on the planet, there will be someone who abuses that power. You are in a "what if Superman was evil?" scenario. There is no way to build a D&D world if you insist that it must make logical sense.
 
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EpicureanDM

Explorer
An experienced DM adapts the content to the group. It's not something my players would notice or consider significant. It's like the juvenile horizonback tortoises in CotN having a different creature type to the adults. I noticed it, but also noticed it didn't matter to the player's experience.
Ultimately, we both maintain different standards for game design. I'd like to see the quality of published scenarios improve and believe that drawing attention to substandard game design will do that.

I don't think my comment really reinforces your point, but your point is completely valid and I am sympathetic to it.
Yes, agreed. I took a few breaks when writing that comment and should have revised that first sentence in the end.

However, I think it must be quite hard or unclear to a lot of adventure designers how to do it well. There doesn't seem to be a universal understanding on how to make a good adventure.

Again, I will go back to Paizo because the are typically hailed as being good at adventures. The first 3-4 APs for PF2 were often criticized for not being very good and in particular for not showcasing the strengths of the game design. If a company who's bread-and-butter is adventure design can't do what you want, well, I can only conclude it must be really hard?!
I also think it's quite hard, harder than designing a game. Even if that's true, though, the flaws I mentioned in the Radiant Citadel example are basic mistakes. All Arman needed to do - as I did - is have the rules you're asking your customer to use open in front of you and ask, "Am I instructing the DM to use these rules in an interesting way? Does anything I'm suggesting create a potential conflict with the rules I'm telling the DM to use?" If so, the encounter needed to be clarified or adjusted so that the rules don't create ambiguity for the DM as they're sitting behind the screen, looking their players in the face.
 

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