Dungeon Masters take inspiration from many different sources for their Dungeons & Dragons games. The most obvious sources are things like the Conan stories or epics like Lord of the Rings. The newest book due from Wizards of the Coast looks for inspiration from an unlikely source: heist movies.
Keys From The Golden Vault brings the twisty plots and clever banter of films like Ocean’s 11 or Now You See Me to the table. Thirteen adventures offer players the opportunity to steal a cool artifact from an exotic location. Other collections have been aimed at adenturers; this book is built for criminal crews.
“Each of the adventures takes place in a single location and includes some type of time crunch,” said a Wizards of the Coast spokesperson. “Teamwork is the name of the game for the player characters, where in each adventure they must receive a mission, plan the job, execute their plan, and try to escape the scene unnoticed.”
You Think We Need One More?
To help the crew nail their job, each adventure comes with a pair of maps. One is for the players to pour over, discuss details and put together an impressive plan. The other is for Dungeon Masters that’s full of the suprise traps, unexpected encounters and last minute betrayals that make crime capers so exciting.
“All of the locations are fun and unique,” said Wizards. “And the most interesting location is entirely subjective! There’s a heist in a natural history museum, a Nine Hells-themed casino, a massive underground tomb, a castle crumbling into ash, an interplanar train, a mansion in the Feywild, and more. It’s up to the Dungeon Master to decide which locations they like best.”
Rob From The Dragon, Give To The Poor
The Golden Vault in the title refers to a secret organization rumored to be creating these jobs to put bad guys to good use, Robin Hood style. The initial details of each adventure come from a magical key that’s inserted into a musical box which plays out a message. Mission: Impossible style.
Most heist stories feature obstacles that are high-tech and hard to beat. In the world of Dungeons & Dragons, things like laser grids and biometric locks are replaced by magical traps and devices. The adventures stretch from level one to level eleven and offer unique challenges for each story.
“Certain adventures have situational mechanics built into them,” said Wizards. “For example, The Stygian Gambit is an adventure set in a Nine Hells-themed casino, so it includes fun mechanics for some of the games that can be played there, including slot machines. Similarly, Affair on the Concordant Express is an adventure that takes place on an interplanar train. Whenever the train enters a new plane of existence, the adventure describes a prevailing mechanical effect that’s in play until the train departs that plane. Keys from the Golden Vault also presents several new creature stat blocks and magic items, including a remarkable painting that can magically eavesdrop on nearby conversations.”
Get The Lowdown
Wizards of the Coast also released a video featuring further details on the stories in this book. Co-leads Amanda Hamon and Chris Perkins are interviewed about what to expect in the adventure series.
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.