Keys from the Golden Vault is a Dungeons & Dragons adventure anthology in which every objective is treated as a robbery, allowing players to live out their Ocean’s Eleven fantasies. The disadvantage of this strategy is that individual adventures are designed to be independent experiences with minimal connective tissue between them, so DMs will have to work a little harder to weave them together into a single campaign.
Baldur’s Gate Campaign
When adapting Keys from the Golden Vault into a campaign, a central location and framework are the finest places to start, and there are few better locations than Baldur’s Gate. This is because, owing to the extensive gazetteer in Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus and reams of material from earlier versions of D&D and the Baldur’s Gate video game series, it is undoubtedly the most fleshed-out city in D&D 5e.
Baldur’s Gate is a vast metropolis teeming with adventure, crime, and many possibilities to amass wealth. It’s so large that most of the tasks in Keys to the Golden Vault may be located within or near the city without requiring the players to go far. If an adventure takes place in a faraway area, lots of mages in the city have access to teleportation spells and can whisk players away and return them when they’re through.
Most crucially, Baldur’s Gate is within a few days’ journey from Candlekeep, allowing DMs to easily include missions from the Candlekeep Mysteries anthology into their campaign without disrupting it too much. This allows the party to undertake more traditional adventures in between heists, preventing them from becoming stale.
Use Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything’s Crime Syndicate Group
Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything is a D&D supplement that includes rules for Group Patrons. These people or organizations gather adventurers, supply them with funds and perks, and assign them tasks. Noblemen searching for talented agents to old liches in need of spies are among the Group Patrons.
Keys from the Golden Vault features a group named the Golden Vault that serves as the default mission giver in most adventures. The Crime Syndicate Group Patron may be used to flesh out this gang, giving it a more substantial organization with headquarters, operatives, recurrent NPCs for the players to work with, and special privileges, such as the ability to acquire rare things through the group’s black market network.
Throughout the campaign, drop persistent hints about a mystical book.
If there’s one thing that geeks adore above all else, it’s consistency. This is common in most D&D 5e campaigns, since indications about the ultimate boss may be found throughout the adventure as the party gradually foils all of their schemes, up to an epic showdown at the conclusion.
The difficulty with adventure anthologies is that they are self-contained, which is true in Keys from the Golden Vault, as each mission is its own entity, with no characters shared between them other than the players and perhaps a Golden Vault contact.
One approach to connect all of the Keys from the Golden Vault adventures is to include references to the ultimate robbery throughout the adventure, since it includes a magical tome desired by a powerful creature. The DM may easily add hints about how each adventure was triggered by a magical book that causes turmoil in the lives of people who come into contact with it, leading to a huge reveal about its origins at the conclusion of the campaign.