Nerds on Earth
The best place on Earth for nerds.

Get Your Crew Together for a New Heist: A Review of Keys From the Golden Vault for Dungeons and Dragons

I love a good heist. From the glamorous actions of Danny Ocean and his various crews to the down and dirty archeological adventures of Dr. Indiana Jones, crowds have long enjoyed the tales of heists. When you add in the fantasy elements, you find wonderful stories like Robin Hood and the like. And in the latest anthology of adventures from Wizards of the Coast for Dungeons and Dragons, Keys From the Golden Vault, you get the chance to be a part of a group of adventurers recruited by the Golden Vault, a mysterious group that finds crews willing to help in their overall purpose: “Do good. No matter the cost.” (And don’t think that it is lost to us all that the heist theme comes near the release date for the heist themed “Honor Among Thieves.” Dungeons and Dragons movie.)

The premise of the series of adventures is extraordinarily strong. The design team has managed to make 11 level-appropriate heists that involve a wide variety of settings. “The Murkmire Malevolence” is a great Level 1 heist where the heroes have to “free” an object from a museum in order to avert an incoming disaster. And then you can compare that with the Level 10 adventure (“Party at Paliset Hall”) where the heroes are swiping a prize from an archmage in the Feywild.

From a quick read through of the heists, the creators have done a great job of creating a variety of scenarios that are all heists, yet they all manage to feel very different from one another. Would they feel that way if you ran them back-to-back-to-back? That may be more challenging to work. But using these adventures as a part of a larger campaign feels like an excellent idea. Imagine if you are using milestone leveling up as the Gamemaster and your characters know that once the Golden Vault reaches back out to them, the party levels up at the end of the heist. That feels like a fantastic way to use this anthology and the things it introduces.

And without a doubt, the Golden Vault is one of the highlights of the book. The Golden Vault is an organization that you can introduce into your game and do some really fun things with, as they essentially become the ones hiring your adventuring party.

One of the things that really works for the organization is that it can drive the overall theme of your game; they strive to do just, righteous work in the world, even if it is outside the realms of the law. Call me cynical but the premise informs the party that these are the kinds of people that should be involved.

On top of that, the Golden Vault has some really great ideas that come alongside and support it, from excellent ideas on the team’s handler, a great place to use a new NPC from the book or take a fun NPC from your game and have them reveal themselves to be Golden Vaulter. Also, there is a very fun magic item involved, a music box that serves to be the information drop the party needs when they get a golden key. (You can imagine the music almost with the “Your mission, if you choose to accept it…”)

Each adventure can begin with the party receiving a different key that they put into the Golden Vault music box to get their orders, “should you choose to undertake it”

But every heist has complications and one of the very smart things in this book is a set of rivals who want to get the same item that you do. For every adventure there is a reason why the rival crew would want the same item, as well as some basic ideas on the rivals themselves. In the hands of a good Gamemaster, this rivalry could be a very fun, stellar dynamic, especially if the rivals occasionally win the race to get to the Macguffin first. Reading this part of the set-up really got me excited to think about Gamemastering this series of adventures.

A key element that is also present in all the adventures is that the party is given a map of the main area of the heist. Just like in a real heist where they would investigate the scene, through the Golden Vault (or other hiring party, as every adventure gives you at least one other option other than the Golden Vault) they gain access to a rough map. In addition, you also have more formal maps, which have both Gamemaster and table-play versions as well, featuring the art of Mike Schley, who maps wonderful, full-color art for many Dungeons and Dragons adventures. It is a fun mechanic and using these maps as print-outs or in the notes of your VTT adds a layer of intrigue and depth to the adventure. The party has a starting map with information. How much of it is good? How much is not clear or how much could it have changed since it was made? These all factor into each heist.

So is this book worth checking out? If you are a Gamemaster looking for a straight run through campaign book, this isn’t the one for you. But to be honest, it isn’t being sold as that. There are some patterns and things that could appear repetitive if you ran your party through them in sequence. But what Keys From the Golden Vault is an excellent series of adventures that give you some really great connective tissue if you want it to weave it in your campaign. But it also has the material where you could ignore the Golden Vault, pick it up and throw the adventure at your appropriately leveled party.

The setting of each adventure is really well done, from the museum in the 1st-level adventure, to the town overrun by automatons in the 5th-level adventure, to an earthquake-threatened town in the 8th level adventure. Each is well-designed, built-out and gives enough detail for the Gamemaster without overwhelming them.

However, there are pros and cons to each adventure having its own, clear success goal. One of the pros is that the party needs to do more than just power their way through a horde of bad guys; certainly I have been a part of groups that play like that. But if you want to do more and have some wider sense of story and role play, this is a good anthology. That said, the same clear goal can make the story feel very much like it’s run on rails, which is why it would be good to sprinkle these adventures in an existing campaign or run them as one-shots for fun.

All in all, this is the best work for Dungeons and Dragons that Wizards of the Coast has put out in some time. While books like Journeys Through the Radiant Citadel and Candlekeep Mysteries had some good ideas and excellent adventures, they didn’t grab my attention and get my imagination working the way that this anthology has. It is definitely worth picking up and having on-hand to work into your campaigns, now or in the future.

blumen verschicken Blumenversand
blumen verschicken Blumenversand
Reinigungsservice Reinigungsservice Berlin
küchenrenovierung küchenfronten renovieren küchenfront erneuern