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.

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
 
Last edited by a moderator:

log in or register to remove this ad

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
An awful lot of WotC's adventures (though definitely not all of them) have a "nobody playtested this" vibe.

To be fair about 30-40% of all adventures for all TTRPGs have that vibe to some degree, but it's unusually high with WotC's ones. Though personally I feel the "We sold you 80% of a campaign, pls fill in the rest" is the biggest possible wind-up you can do lol and WotC specializes in that.

Doesn't stop them making the odd classic like Phandelver.
I would suggest that it's not that they don't do much playtesting... but that they recognize they are trying to serve all the different DMing styles with their adventures.

They are trying to give just enough story beats and interesting narrative encounters leading towards plot for those folks who just want compelling story to follow. They also try to give just enough interesting combinations of enemies and locations and "victory conditions" for those people who just to do fights. And they try to set up just enough narrative "problem-solving" where those who want to strategically "solve" encounters via everything written down on just their character sheets can do so.

But they can't and never will go all the way to create encounters that allow all those styles of DM to just run things as-is. Because that's just way too much detail and page count required, and which each branch only helps a small amount of people.

I know so many DMs want any modules and adventures they pick up to just be "plug and play" exactly in the manner they engage with Dungeons & Dragons... but that's just not possible. Not for this game. Because too many of us can't agree on what that "plug and play" should actually look like. And thus to make these adventures work for us... yes... we have to put in the effort to build them out ourselves.
 

log in or register to remove this ad


MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I'm actually excited by this. Of course I could be disappointed by the execution but I've been wanting more collections of small adventures that can be put into any setting. I also like heist adventures. I'll definitely be getting the alt cover. I like it much better than standard. But I'll probably read reviews and flip through it in the game store before buying to make sure the heists are well written and that there is a good variety.
 

But they can't and never will go all the way to create encounters that allow all those styles of DM to just run things as-is. Because that's just way too much detail and page count required, and which each branch only helps a small amount of people.
I'd have bought that explanation like 30 years ago. Or maybe even more recently if I hadn't seen 3PP adventures which manage to do a vastly better job. The Arcane Library is a good example.
I know so many DMs want any modules and adventures they pick up to just be "plug and play" exactly in the manner they engage with Dungeons & Dragons... but that's just not possible.
Yes it is.

The Arcane Library and other 3PPs show it is. It's not even arguable.
Because too many of us can't agree on what that "plug and play" should actually look like. And thus to make these adventures work for us... yes... we have to put in the effort to build them out ourselves.
I don't think there's any real disagreement about what "plug and play" should look like.

Just WotC not being good at this. Again, 3PPs manage it all the time - Paizo is another one, they've been managing to do a vastly better job than WotC for decades on this front.

Sorry, dude, once you've seen competent adventure writing, and I saw that before WotC even got hold of D&D, this whole thing is just not believable. Especially as WotC can, on occasion, write complete adventures/campaigns, they usually choose not to. And it's not a "disagreement" thing, it's literally them leaving huge chunks unfinished/blank.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
I’m all for flying carpet chases. I think we can agree that this encounter isn’t the only way that a flying carpet chase might have been designed and implemented.

My concern is that the professional game designers who work on the official D&D design team writing these encounters and scenarios aren’t masters of the game system. I don’t need to spend $50 on a book of scenarios that are going to hand-wave the game’s rules, especially when the book’s text refers to specific rules in the game rather than some generic concept outside those rules, i.e. a carpet of flying rather than a “flying carpet.”
Heh... I suspect the designers are masters of their system enough to know that they would not be able to write the adventure in the particular style you would want, without alienating all the other types of DMs out there who find your needs to be way outside of what they require, LOL.

I mean, for me personally... I don't need locations, enemies, and objects for an adventure all designed and set up in such a way that it becomes more like a puzzle or adventure game for the players to figure out the fight combinations of things to use to solve the issue. That goes way, way further into the weeds than I would ever want. So the fact that the adventure says "Use the Mage NPC stat block" and that stat block has a couple spells on it that would change how the event progressed if we were using the rules "as-is"... doesn't bother me at all. Because I myself am perfectly fine with ignoring those spells or manually changing the spells on the statblock since they don't serve the story of the encounter (and I understand they only used the Mage statblock to save on page space rather than creating two new statblocks with a spell load-out that would lend itself towards the direction of the story.)

At this point I don't think any DM out there should think they can pick up any adventure from WotC and be able to run it as-is-- in their particular style of Dungeon Mastering. There are just too many ways to play (as I suggested above.) If anyone buys a book, they have to know going in that indeed they will need to re-write or change some things so that it works for them. Because the designers can't serve us all. The needs are too varied, and the page count too few.
 

At this point I don't think any DM out there should think they can pick up any adventure from WotC and be able to run it as-is-- in their particular style of Dungeon Mastering. There are just too many ways to play (as I suggested above.) If anyone buys a book, they have to know going in that indeed they will need to re-write or change some things so that it works for them. Because the designers can't serve us all. The needs are too varied, and the page count too few.
You can keep saying it but it's laughably obviously untrue because so many 3PP adventures show it to be untrue.

It really sounds like what you're saying is WotC writes terrible adventures that are equally terrible for everyone. Great lol.

Not too that this has been true for MULTIPLE EDITIONS. This is not a 5E thing.

3E and 4E also had a ton of absolutely mediocre to terrible adventures, even when 3PPs were doing a good job. I will say that WotC's short adventures are typically a lot more together than their long ones. Some long ones are pretty solid though, like Strahd.
 

This scenario was written by a Senior Game Designer on the D&D design team and presumably vetted by either Jeremy Crawford or Chris Perkins. It's a small part of the larger scenario, but it's the heist/theft part of it. It doesn't inspire confidence that the high-level heist scenarios in Golden Vault are designed and reviewed by people who actually play the game at high levels.
Wow... that is bad. I would have made a 9th level thief rogue and a 9th level arcane trick rogue (both as NPC stats not full class) if that were me... but the 'use the MM stats' idea in modern D&D makes me think they hit a "We never stated a thief"
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
I'd have bought that explanation like 30 years ago. Or maybe even more recently if I hadn't seen 3PP adventures which manage to do a vastly better job. The Arcane Library is a good example.

Yes it is.

The Arcane Library and other 3PPs show it is. It's not even arguable.

I don't think there's any real disagreement about what "plug and play" should look like.

Just WotC not being good at this. Again, 3PPs manage it all the time - Paizo is another one, they've been managing to do a vastly better job than WotC for decades on this front.

Sorry, dude, once you've seen competent adventure writing, and I saw that before WotC even got hold of D&D, this whole thing is just not believable. Especially as WotC can, on occasion, write complete adventures/campaigns, they usually choose not to. And it's not a "disagreement" thing, it's literally them leaving huge chunks unfinished/blank.
Well, I haven't seen the Arcane Library nor any of the Paizo adventures, so I cannot confirm or deny your statements. All I can say though is that if you really like them, then at the very least they are written to work for your particular style of DMing. Which is great for you... but who knows if they would work for anyone else without having to do the same amount of work to "fix" things as people say they have to do for WotC's?

Maybe they do? I have no idea. Maybe they are that good. But just because you think they work well doesn't necessarily mean they serve everyone else equally.
 

Well, I haven't seen the Arcane Library nor any of the Paizo adventures, so I cannot confirm or deny your statements.
Have you read ANY 3PP adventures at all?

If you've only read WotC adventures, I can understand why you think the way you do. But what you're reading are mediocre to terrible adventures, and you're trying to rationalize how bad they are as being some "middle path" thing lol.
ll I can say though is that if you really like them, then at the very least they are written to work for your particular style of DMing.
Nope. Paizo's ones are for a distinctly different style to the way I DM. However they're definitely well-written and run well even if you don't use that style.

You have this theory about DMing styles, and that theory is wrong, and I don't think you even have enough experience of reading/running 3PP adventures to assess your own theory.
But just because you think they work well doesn't necessarily mean they serve everyone else equally.
I'm personally pretty sure they're serving the vast majority of DMs far better than what WotC is usually doing.
 

Right, which is what gives me pause with Golden Vault. If I'm buying a book of heists, I want them to make clever use of the game's rules that push for creative uses of the rules to beat them. I want them to have thought it through so that I don't have to. It's a very difficult, peculiar sort of design and the D&D design team hasn't given me any indications that they're suited to it.
I almost want a special retcon rule added...
"oh you thought I fell for your trap, but let me show you in flash back how this was ALL PART OF THE PLAN" but I know it wont
 


DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
You can keep saying it but it's laughably obviously untrue because so many 3PP adventures show it to be untrue.

It really sounds like what you're saying is WotC writes terrible adventures that are equally terrible for everyone. Great lol.
No... because I don't see needing to make changes to an adventure to fit my particular style means the adventure is necessarily "bad". So most likely we just have different requirements on what makes an adventure good/useful or not. Which is fine... we all have different wants and needs.

I mean... I would say that I disliked (if not outright hated) probably 90% of all the 4E adventures the WotC designers wrote for Dungeon Magazine through Insider. Most of those modules do not serve me at all. But I also recognize they all are written to serve the 4E game and the lovers of that game probably think the adventures work great for how that game plays for them. Now... does that mean those adventures are "bad" empirically just because I find no use of them? Nope, not necessarily. Maybe they are, maybe they aren't. But I also know I'm not the person who can adequately make that call.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
Have you read ANY 3PP adventures at all?

If you've only read WotC adventures, I can understand why you think the way you do. But what you're reading are mediocre to terrible adventures, and you're trying to rationalize how bad they are as being some "middle path" thing lol.

Nope. Paizo's ones are for a distinctly different style to the way I DM. However they're definitely well-written and run well even if you don't use that style.

You have this theory about DMing styles, and that theory is wrong, and I don't think you even have enough experience of reading/running 3PP adventures to assess your own theory.

I'm personally pretty sure they're serving the vast majority of DMs far better than what WotC is usually doing.
That's fine. Agree to disagree. Although I assume when you say that you think my theory about DMing styles you think is wrong, it's not the part about there being a lot of different styles, right? It's rather that you think a single adventure can serve all of them relatively equally?
 






Parmandur

Book-Friend
An awful lot of WotC's adventures (though definitely not all of them) have a "nobody playtested this" vibe.
Well, while I could just say "nuh-uh, they playtest!" that would be a bit silly and flat to leave there. What I will say is that based on what Chris Perkins has said about people do in playtests over the years goes a long way to explain how the final products are structured. And suggest that my experience ofnDMing my 5 and 7 year old children is actually fairly typical of most players. Once you step out of trying to imagine a Platonic "Well Designed Adventure" and look at the more practical al question of utility for how most people apparently play, the perspective shifts a fair bit.
 


Visit Our Sponsor

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top