Still reeling from the controversies surrounding the proposed OGL changes, Wizards of the Coast releases its first Dungeons & Dragons supplement Keys From the Golden Vault.
The Open Gaming License (OGL) issues were disastrous for Wizards of the Coast and parent company Hasbro. Players and third party creators of Dungeons & Dragons rallied together to push back against OGL 1.1 (and the later OGL 1.2 draft). And while D&D has doubled back and dropped the proposals, retaining OGL 1.0a and releasing the System Reference Document (SRD) to a Creative Commons license, the situation is far from being completely resolved in the tabletop gaming community.
However, have the proverbial wounds already healed enough for players to welcome a new Dungeons & Dragons product? Or will its sales feel the fallout from the OGL 1.1 backlash? Check out the details below.
Keys From the Golden Vault is a tome of useful details and standalone adventures for Fifth Edition Dungeons & Dragons players and Dungeon Masters. It is primarily focused on heists, whether as the main plot or as part of a bigger campaign.
Thievery required, honor optional.
Thirteen new adventures with a larcenous twist.
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— Dungeons & Dragons (@Wizards_DnD) February 2, 2023
According to the official description of the Keys From the Golden Vault product:
Keys from the Golden Vault contains 13 standalone adventures ranging from levels 1 to 11. Each adventure centers around a heist that will need smart planning, clever problem-solving, and keen roleplaying to pull off. Each mission starts with a brief of the goal, and the players are given a map to formulate their plan for infiltration, acquisition of the required item, and escape routes. Then, it's up to the players to execute their strategy—though they'll have to be quick on their toes to deal with various plot twists that can throw their plan off track.
If you are familiar with heist-style stories such as Ocean’s Eleven, The Italian Job , most of the Mission: Impossible movies, or even Avengers: Endgame, then you know all the familiar tropes of this pop culture subgenre. You can basically break a heist adventure down to:
- A mission is given to take something difficult to acquire.
- A crew is assembled, each with special skills.
- The plan to accomplish the heist is formed by getting necessary intel and resources.
- The plan for the heist is carried out.
- A denouement at the end, rewarding the crew for its successful heist or getting the consequences of failure.
Keys From the Golden Vault also introduces the Golden Vault as a recurring presence in the D&D worlds, not just the Forgotten Realms. It is a decentralized organization that has a vast network of agents that operate in the shadows. The Golden Vault itself mainly operates in the Outer Planes and associated with benevolent powers that attempt to right moral wrongs. Operatives of the Golden Vault receive their missions through a music box with instructions (5-second self-destruct optional).
Fans of Dungeons & Dragons can pre-order the physical and digital versions of Keys From the Golden Vault through the D&D Store. The advantage of pre-ordering is early access, allowing those who purchased the bundles to get the digital version 2 weeks earlier than everyone else.
One interesting tidbit about Keys From the Golden Vault is that it has an in-game connection to the upcoming Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves live action film. Revel’s End is a key location that is newly created for the movie, but will also be officially part of the Forgotten Realms D&D setting.
As a tie-in promotion, Dungeons & Dragons players who use D&D Beyond can claim the adventure Prisoner 13 for free which will take place in Revel’s End. This adventure ideal for 4th level characters can be played by itself or in conjunction with the content from the Keys From the Golden Vault.
Dungeons & Dragons Keys From the Golden Vault will be released on February 21, 2023. Players who pre-ordered can download their digital copies on February 7.