Although Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves comes out in less than two months, Wizards of the Coast is still trying to buff the party after the Open Gaming Licence fiasco in January. The newest adventure book — Keys from the Golden Vault — features 13 heist-themed adventures for levels 1-11, and is a “serendipitous” tie-in to the film.
It features a secret organisation known as the Golden Vault; players are given heist-y tasks at casinos, museums, and prisons, and are encouraged to act as bandits and outlaws at every turn. All for the sake of good, of course. While wanton thievery has its place, the Golden Vault is ultimately a benevolent force, acting as a vigilante organisation that steps in when the law fails. According to the press release, the organisation’s motto is: “Do good, no matter the cost.”
These adventures will feature a lot of what makes heists compelling — sneaky traps and sneaking around, the thrill of danger, the payoff at the end. All adventurers will be “operatives” as they get information from the Golden Vault via music-box mission deliveries. “It’s up to the adventurers to do the reconnaissance necessary to circumvent any defences and pull off a legendary heist,” Amanda Hamon, senior game designer on the D&D Team and co-lead designer of Keys From the Golden Vault, explained in the press release received by Gizmodo. “Teamwork is paramount, because as so often happens in these capers, something will go wrong, and creative thinking could save the day!”
The listed adventures are “The Murkmire Malevolence” (Level 1); “The Stygian Gambit” (Level 2); “Reach for the Stars” (Level 3); “Prisoner 13″ (Level 4); “Tockworth’s Clockworks” (Level 5); “Masterpiece Imbroglio” (Level 5); “Axe From the Grave” (Level 6); “Vidorant’s Vault” (Level 7); “Shard of the Accursed” (Level 8); “Heart of Ashes” (Level 8); “Affair on the Concordant Express” (Level 9), “Party at Paliset Hall” (Level 10); and “Fire and Darkness” (Level 11). Along with Hamon, the authors are listed in the credits are Christopher Perkins, Jeremy Crawford, Justice Ramin Arman, Kate Baker, Makenzie De Armas, Dan Dillon, Brooks Donohue, Tim Hitchcock, Sadie Lowry, Jeffrey Ludwig, Sarah Madsen, Mario Ortegón, Ben Petrisor, and T. Alexander Stangroom.
The adventures can be played as a series or as a heist arc inside of a larger campaign. Each adventure contains two maps — one for the players and the other for the DM. “The players’ map, however, is often unreliable or incomplete,” said Perkins, story architect of the D&D Team and co-lead of Keys From the Golden Vault.
Although preorders have been up for Keys From the Golden Vault since late 2022, there has been no marketing push for this book at all. This is the first release of any additional information about the adventure module and there is very little extra happening around this book. This is highly unusual, and the decision to keep this release quiet might have been influenced by the fan outrage over the proposed changes to the OGL.
Inspirations for these modules come from movies like Mission: Impossible, Ocean’s 11, or even The Great Muppet Caper. Like all D&D games, Perkins planned for “wacky adventures,” much like those that will be seen in the upcoming Honour Among Thieves film. The level four adventure, “Prisoner 13,” even takes place at Revel’s End, one of the locations in the upcoming film (it was also featured in a previous book, Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden). Perkins worked with the writer/directors of Honour Among Thieves to come up with an appropriate Forgotten Realms location.
Keys From the Golden Vault will be released in North America on February 21, and March 24 in the UK/EMEA. You can pre-order here. Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves hits theatres March 31.