How to Perfectly Plan a D&D 5e Heist, Save Time as a DM, and Let Players Have Fun Stealing
Image © Leif Heanzo for Army of Thieves
Everything a Dungeon Master Needs to Design Their Very Own Heist Encounter in 30 Minutes
By Riley Rath
Table of Contents
Today's D&D 5e is so much more than delving dungeons and slaying dragons. Players overthrow despots, cross planes in magical portals, and win small change gambling in a tavern.
If it's adventurous... if it is part of a story... if it's FUN... then it can be a part of any Dungeons and Dragons campaign. And one type of encounter that meets all that criteria is a classic, criminal genre:
Image © Wizards of the Coast
A guard wanders the dark lit halls of the fine art museum, oblivious to the rogue lurking in the shadows with a sharp knife ready to cut a priceless painting out of its frame.
A druid in rat form scurries through the walls of the nobles manor, making her way into the cellars to free a precious diamond from a safe.
A monk leaps and tumbles, avoiding the magical laser security as he makes his way to the bank vault...
And with the recent release of the Keys From the Golden Vault anthology adventure module (my brief review at the end of this post, read it here), we couldn't think of any better time to release OUR homebrew method for creating your very own heists!
For those tables needing a break from hacking hordes of orcs... here is a simple guide to help DMs design an entire heist arc in less than 30 minutes.
Every D&D Heist Gang Needs a Caster
What Is a D&D Heist?
First thing's first... a definition.
A heist story follows a group of protagonists through the planning, execution, and aftermath of a significant robbery. They typically involve interesting characters, high stakes, and unexpected twists that shock the audience. Some great examples of heists would be the Ocean's 11 movies, the Sly Cooper video games, The Italian Job, and The Great Train Robbery.
(Image does not belong to Awesome Dice)
Technically/literally, a heist is just a robbery. But in fiction and imagination, a heist is so much more. You aren't putting on a ski mask and holding up a 7-11... you are robbing the vault of the CENTRAL ROYAL BANK.
But those are books, games, and movies... why play a heist in Dungeons and Dragons?
Because heists freaking work with D&D 5e.
They are basically a special kind of dungeon, which works great for DUNGEONS and Dragons.
The foundation of D&D 5e is the famous/infamous "3 pillars": social, combat, and exploration. Every type of encounter a player experiences... whether in a tavern of Waterdeep, traveling along the Great Road, or in Castle Raveloft... is held up by some combination of these three pillars.
Heist encounters are unique in three ways:
Heists rely heavily on the FORGOTTEN pillar (exploration)
Exploration is seeking, investigating, wandering (etc.)... out of a desire to discover something. A lot of the heist is exploring an area, learning all its strengths and weaknesses, and then overcoming obstacles keeping you from the prize.
However, exploration doesn't often come naturally to DMs and has a hard time engaging players. Because of this, exploration is often neglected and ignored, to the detriment of all our campaigns.
Why is this the case? Well, it's kinda complicated... but also kind of interesting. So much so that we published a while blog post about it.
Heists are a great BLEND of all three of D&D 5e's pillars
Encounters often become one-dimensional: talk to this strange wizard in the tavern (all social)... fight the gnolls in the badlands (all combat)... (etc.) In one-dimensional encounters, usually certain classes, and players, can feel a bit left out.
N.C. Wyeth's "Hands Up!"
Heists, on the other hand, are like a well designed meal. The rhythm and tone of a heist encounter is determined by exploration, but woven throughout the players exploring is going to be tons of role-playing and probably one or two tense, high stakes combat encounters. And part of being balanced means they require a team of varied and specialized professionals... JUST LIKE THE AVERAGE ADVENTURING PARTY.
Heists naturally create game ENCOUNTERS and storytelling SCENES
Speaking of the difficulties... unlike combat and social encounters, 5e exploration does not lend itself to scenes. And no scenes means no storytelling... which is a big problem for a game that prides itself as cooperative storytelling.
Heists solve that problem. Every heist naturally falls into distinct "phases," or in storytelling terms, "acts." Furthermore, each individual phase is full of planning, stealthing, schmoozing, bribing, sabotaging... aka scenes!
So Why Run a D&D Heist?
Temple Thief © Evyn Fong
Ok... so maybe you are inspired by Daniel Ocean... and maybe you are convinced that a heist is a special type of D&D adventure. The next step is to propose a heist for your campaign.
But maybe you hesitate. I mean, didn't Rick and Morty basically rip apart and show how lame heists are? And isn't D&D more about slaying dragons, not sneaking into the dragon cave and stealing the horse while the dragon is asleep?
I understand such skepticism. And true, reading or watching a heist is predictable and not for everyone...
... but PLAYING a heist is totally different.
- Players are not a passive audience, but actively living the heist.
- It is an engaging, player-driven encounter.
- There is a place for every character class.
- A heist is a unique form of D&D exploration.
- It's a great way for DM's to post a real, non-lethal challenge to players.
But most importantly...
The reward for the heist IS the heist-ing!
(Technically this can apply to any D&D encounter... but it is PARTICULARLY true with heists and worth reiterating).
Yes, players will enjoy their treasure, but they will get more enjoyment from gathering info on the location, understanding all the challenges, and then devising a way to solve that puzzle. And they will feel all the smug satisfaction knowing they outsmarted the BBEG and the DM... laughing as they ride off into the sunset.
Heists, like many exploration-heavy encounters, are examples of "the journey is better than the destination." The rewarding feeling is greater than the reward itself.
The Basics of a "Heist Encounter"
So if you propose a heist of a bank, mansion, or vault, and everyone is excited and on board, then it's time to create a 1-3 session (4-8 hours) heist mission.
And I'm going to show how you, the DM, can design your very own in less than 30 minutes! We'll cover everything from NPCs to magical traps, but first... the basics!
A heist is a high-stakes robbery of something that is:
A) priceless or one of a kind
B) Capable of being stolen
C) Is locked away and guarded
Also, given that you are in a magical world, there are a number of spells that can make something big or small... light or heavy... so don't be afraid to think outside the box!
(Image does not belong to Awesome Dice)
Ideally, the object you are stealing is inherently valuable to the players... maybe a BBEG stole a magic sword and the players have tracked it down to his mountain castle. However, any precious item can serve as a "macguffin" to your story (an item that is technically meaningless used to drive the plot along).
And while the motivation could be "well, it's valuable and we want to be rich"... the players still need a buyer... and it saves everyone a buttload of time if the buyer approaches the party with the job in the first place and provides motivation.
This has the added bonus of having a sponsor for their mission (more on that later).
(Image does not belong to Awesome Dice)
This is where you will spend most of your time as a DM: a place for the prize to rest and the players to heist.
Some common examples include a noble's manor, a bank vault, an armored carriage or ship, or an art museum (Keys From the Golden Vault has some EXCELLENT ideas). Your players will be studying this map intently, so it needs to be detailed.
Or, more accurately, it WILL need to be detailed... your players will also be discovering it as they explore every inch, so if you are short for time and want to improv some superfluous details of the map as you go along, that's okay.
But all of that is window dressing... you will need to nail down some fundamental details, starting with the entrances/exits:
There needs to be at least 3 (and no more than 5) entrances into the place housing the precious item.
A main entrance.
An entrance above and/or blow.
A secret, back-door access point that is technically not an entrance.
OPTIONAL: A single, magical entrance.
OPTIONAL: An "in transit" entrance (like a carriage or trolley).
Regardless as to whether these limited entrances/exits are close to the vault or on the perimeter of the location, you want to have limited but diverse options for your players to choose from.
For my heists, creating the map has dominated my time as a DM... and totally breaks the "30 minutes or less" promise... (sorry!). However, if you don't feel comfortable drawing out your own, or are fully satisfied with a map you find online, then you cut out 75% of the DM-prep and really can plan the rest in 30 minutes!
This is the area where the heist location is located. It is very simple, with generic descriptions being appropriate, and can even exist in the imagination of the DM. The area should include:
A) The heist location (where the valuable item is located).
B) The safe house (a secure place where your players can plan).
C) Some sort of social center where players can meet relevant NPCs.
D) (Optional) Places they can get supplies (costumes, uniforms, tools, etc.)
Once you have these 4 basics established, pull out your heist location map and pick a spot where the priceless object is guarded... and then find ways to guard it!
Match Your Thief With a Set of Our Rogue Dice
The security on your map will be the majority of the obstacles your party will overcome. In general, they come down to:
They are there for a single purpose: to protect the precious item(s) from anyone that wants to steal them.
Your heist location should have at least one of each. Not only so that it is interesting and a challenge to overcome, but also so that there is a diverse variety of problems that each player can feel particularly adept in addressing.
I also suggest that your heist location automatically goes on red alert if the players fail a single time. Instead, for every minor failure, make the guards a little more suspicious of them. If they fail 4 or 5 times, have the guards react. I first encountered this in the homebrew module "Diamond Heist," but Keys From the Golden Vault includes it as well.
This is relatively self-explanatory: doors, windows, safes... they should all have locks on them that require players to be proficient in thieves tools, followed by a high Sleight of Hand check.
D&D also has Arcane Lock which either raises the DC to crazy heights or requires magic to dispel. Or, if you prefer traps, Glyph of Warding can create a deadly explosion for anyone who improperly unlocks a device.
(On another note, this Lock of Eternity (homebrew) would be particularly helpful for heists!)
These are the guards, watch dogs, sentinels, monsters, automatic turrets... anything that does physical harm. They step in and stop the party once they are alerted that something is being stolen.
You can, of course, go with standard humanoid guards... NPCs drawn from the character classes. Volo's Guide to Monsters has some great ones on pages 209 - 220. Here are some of my favorite options found in Mordenkainen Presents: Monsters of the Multiverse:
- Clockwork Constructs
- Undead (skeletons and zombies)
- Guard "Dogs" (any beast that can be tamed or domesticated, such as Quaggoths, dinosaurs, or Wyverns)
- Elementals (including Gargoyles!)
- Animated Armor
A monster that turns intruders to stone would be VERY handy...
(Image © Wizards of the Coast)
While you can choose to have a lot of them, I prefer to have them outnumber the party no more than 2:1 and be formidable on their own. Once again, if whatever needs protecting requires security, then it makes sense that they would hire top-notch armed guards!
In D&D there are a whooooole lotta ways to sneak around. People can polymorph into animals, or turn into gas, change their appearance, or become invisible. If you are playing in a high-magic world, the owner would be aware that a patrolling guard making minimum wage isn't enough protection.
And this might be a stretch, but consider giving the bad guy some divination security. It's kiiiiinda cheating as a DM, but it was pretty cool in Minority Report, some NPCs would definitely use it! It is also a great way to introduce complications, and players can play with fate and use it to their advantage.
Consider the following (look up spells here):
- Arcane Eye/Clairvoyance: Functions like a security camera
- See Invisibility: Self explanatory...
- Detect Evil and Good: Know if the supernatural is secretly nearby
- Identify: Know if a visitor is bringing in a magic item
- Alarm: Sets off a pinging in the mind of the caster if triggered
- Scrying: Good if the security is looking out for a particular thief
- Augury/Divination: Vaguely predict the future
- True Seeing: SEE EVERYTHING
- Anti-magic security
Unless you are playing in a very low magic campaign, the owners of the precious item will be well aware of the presence of spellcasters in the world, and will have taken steps to secure their prize from magical thieves.
On the other hand... unless they are outrageously wealthy, they probably cannot afford to have every state of the art magical security. For example, a permanent teleportation circle requires 18,250 gold and an additional cost of 365 days of wizard labor... not cheap!
The said, the owner would have to pick and choose which magical abilities they most want to defend against. Here are some common magical methods players might use (look up spells here):
Image © Dean Spencer
- Fly spells: Easy to reach things high up or get to the roof
- Teleportation spells: Easy to pass by security or get away
- Invisibility: Easy to sneak by anything with eyes
- Transmutation spells: Easy to temporarily change the precious object or a weapon into something else
- Charm spells: Easily turn hostile guards friendly
- Divination spells: Easily spy on guards
Here are some DnD 5e precedents you can use to suppress spells (look up spells here):
(Image does not belong to Awesome Dice)
- Anti-Magic Field: Prevents ANY magic, save an artifact
- Private Sanctum: Prevents magic from getting IN
- Force Cage: High level magical trap that prevents creatures from getting OUT
- Counterspell: Stops any single spell from being cast
- Dispel Magic: Stops any magical effects
And never forget... magical world = magic b*llsh#t! Some general anti-magic security can be:
- Make it so magic items do not work
- Scramble telekinetic or magical communication
- Raise the DC for any spell cast (make casting less reliable)
- Sanctums and wards that prevent teleportation or magic items from working properly
As a DM you can select these randomly or... more deviously... you can look at your players characters and design security systems that "coincidentally" counter your players strongest abilities. But keep in mind: players like using their abilities... but players also like overcoming a challenge... so it's up to DMs to balance that line.
In general, these traps should either signal security or keep the intruder stuck there so security can come get them. See page 113 - 123 of Xanathar's Guide to Everything, which expands on traps.
There is also one more pseudo-security measure you should include, and that is "Law Enforcement."
City Street Chase © Satibalzane
In the classic movies, it is the police showing up 5 minutes later if the alarm is triggered. But in your fantasy world, it can be anything from an Ancient Dragon to a Steel Golem. Whatever you choose, it has to be something so bad that if the party is caught by the "law enforcement," it's game over... there is no fighting or getting away.
Want to be the Bruiser of the Crew?
Crystal Street © Sandara
As seen in every prop culture example, a heist involves some role-playing. Unlike many abandoned dungeons, the precious object is guarded by individuals... each with their own motivations that can be exploited by the party for information, access, or protection. And by using a combination of charm, wit, and blackmail, your party can bend these people to become allies.
Players need "random" guards, servants, employees, or bystander NPCs to help them plan/execute their heist.
For this, I have "roles" that NPCs play. These roles are archetypes of people that might be able to be convinced or manipulated into helping the party.
The best part? No matter how you develop NPCs... whether you randomly generate online or spend hours handwriting them... you can just add these roles to an NPC and immediately they are an integral part of the heist experience.
Your heist should have at least three of these "role NPCs":
(Image does not belong to Awesome Dice)
- "The Ambitious": Seek social or professional advancement... want to supplant an authority figure.
- "The Proud": Feels their talents are not appreciated... wants to show off.
- "The Cowardly": Is easily frightened and caves easily to threats... can be intimidated.
- "The Romantic": Is seeking a relationship... can be seduced.
- "The Paranoid": Is suspicious of allies... can be manipulated.
- "The Apathetic": Is no longer motivated... can be distracted.
- "The Traitor": Is no longer loyal... can be flipped.
- "The Foolish": Is unwise and naive... can be tricked.
- "The Indebted": Is in financial debt... can be bought off.
- "The Vulnerable": Has family or fortune at risk... will help if the party helps them.
There are two more optional NPCs: the sponsor and the target.
- "The Sponsor": If the party needs external motivation, this is the creature that approaches them with the job. They made provide free clues and intel, bankroll the party until the heist is pulled off, and even aid them in the heist itself. Keys From the Golden Vault relies on this heavily.
- "The Target": This is the person the party is stealing from. I suggest they are not good... make them neutral or in some way evil. Your players are probably the good guys, so make sure they are stealing from an oil baron type and not a Mother Theresa type.
Make sure each important NPC has their own mini/token and stand apart from any crowd with a successful low perception/passive perception check (DC 10).
Assembling the Heist
You have a precious item... a map... security... NPCs... and now you can put it all together!
Like we said before, you are not solving the heist for them... putting the heist together does not meaning finding a way to solve it all on your own.
Let me repeat that in case you missed it:
DO NOT SOLVE THE HEIST FOR YOUR PLAYERS!!!
Coming up with your own way to beat the security is all the fun! It immediately becomes less fun if players realize you are just leading a trail of breadcrumbs to the solution. You are not railroading them: you are providing a small sandbox with a specific goal and letting them solve it as they see fit.
Alexandre Honoré © Wizards of the Coast
Instead, provide opportunities for players to learn everything they need to know.
Each entrance and each security system should have:
A clue that lets players know it exists.
A clue that lets them know how it works OR how to deactivate it.
Scatter these clues across the location and across NPCs. This will involve players making a lot of perception, arcana, and investigation checks... and that is ok!
Have multiple sources for each of your clues! Make sure they can find the same clue in several different places.
It is highly unlikely your players will discover every single clue. You can have some that have a higher DC in some places and a lower DC in others, but whatever you do make sure there is NOT an essential clue that can only be found in one well-hidden place.
So, in summary, here is how you provide clues:
One clue that reveals each entrance and security system
One clue that reveals how to unlock each entrance
One clue that reveals how to defeat/deactivate each security system
Provide three different ways players can discover each of those clues
Scatter those clues across the building and NPCs
Heist-ing: The 4 Phases
A heist is a type of story that involves an intricate, high-stakes robbery and follows a familiar pattern of 4 phases. They may happen naturally, but it doesn't hurt to bluntly and clearly tell your players about these 4 phases. Otherwise, they might wait around for you to tell them everything they need to know and need to do to pull off the heist.
Heist © Gintas Galvanauskas and Goodname
The essential phases of any heist are scouting, planning, executing, and escaping.
Scouting: The first phase is figuring out the environment: what is the area? Who is around here? Where even is the object of value?
Planning: Once players have enough information, they begin planning how they will perform the heist.
Execution: The actual heist! Players preform their plan or improvise when things go wrong.
Escape: The getaway! Once they have what they want, they need to reach safety before the authorities can descend upon them.
NOTE: Some people believe a "complication" is essential to any heist story. While this may be the case if you are writing a heist movie, book, or game, I do not think it is essential for TTRPG. I also believe it is a flaw in WOTC's module Keys From the Golden Vault.
There are two important reasons why:
1. If you plan a complication ahead of time, you will look for ways to mess up their plans after hearing said plans... which is a cheap way to challenge players and infringes upon their agency.
2. Complications are BOUND to happen anyways. You do not need to plan ahead of time for ways your party will fail... if nothing else, the dice will somehow fail them.
And even if nothing goes wrong, and the party pulls of the job without a hitch, it is still a win for everyone at the table.
Remember, the goal is to tell a story together and have fun... and I promise you your players will leave extremely satisfied if they pull of a heist like true professionals.
But the true greatness of a heist is all the exploration and role-playing the players need to do to scout the area and plan their heist.
Your Character Needs Heist Gear... And So Do You
Image © Wizards of the Coast
A huge portion of the heist will just be scouting: the players explore the layout of the building, discover the location of the precious item, and learn about all the security. Given the variety of your security and clues, there should be something for each player to discover.
Just make sure they can do more then "stealth."
The only thing you don't want to do is have them just roll a stealth check over and over and over again. You want to empower the players to use their agency, so create situations where they can gain access to an otherwise secluded area.
Maybe the location is hosting a tour they can tag along? Or there is an inspection or maintenance on the calendar that will give them almost free reign? Or maybe there is a party or speech being given where they can hide in the crowd? And if its a big enough facility, maybe they can pose as a guard?
All that said, just because those things are happening doesn't mean you have to tell them! Have them explore and ask around to discover those events taking place.
Once they discover all the security and entrances... make sure they know!
Otherwise, they will be paralyzed by doubt. Yes, it breaks immersion, but having FULL knowledge of the location is a big part of heists. You need to leave your players with no doubt that they missed something crucial.
Image © Wizards of the Coast
One players feel they know everything they need to know, they can go about figuring out how they are going to do it.
For this, provide them with an updated map that has every clue and discovery they have made. Provide some kind of time limit, but don't rush them too much: planning is an essential part of what makes heists fun. The execution phase will be a let down if they don't have time to plan.
Provide a time limit, but don't rush their planning.
Feel free to leave them to plan in secret or be present to answer any clarifying questions.
As they plan, they may realize they need some things to pull of the heist... most heists do! These can range from special tools to disable anti-magic fields, something to make a distraction, disguises and fancy clothes... etc. All of these things cost money.
This is where a sponsor comes in hand, particularly for low level parties.
A sponsor can promise to provide the party with daily living expenses and everything they need so long as it is exclusively for the heist. They should have provided details of what they purchase and everything they purchase should be consumable in some way (or it gets docked from their reward).
Tomb Raiding © Beaver-Skin
Notice how this is the shortest section? That's because it is mostly outside of your control!
You have done your work... now the players do theirs. Let them act and respond to their decisions. Just make sure you stay consistent with everything you have communicated to them so far!
A Thief's Tale © Jorem
The pacing speeds up at last!
A heist adventure runs at a much slower pace than the average D&D 5e adventure, involving many encounters but very few of them being combat.
But now that the party has the precious object, they need to get away! And they may need to fight their way past anyone trying to stop them.
This is the most likely place for combat to take place, so be sure to have stat blocks at the ready.
And don't forget... if an alarm was triggered, the "Law Enforcement" will be on the way! Remind the players of that fact and put a timer on the battle... it will create the most intense and natural forms of urgency you can find in D&D!
Final Miscellaneous Tips
- Give them a bad guy that follows a disciplined and predictable schedule (college humor makes fun of this trope).
- I would suggest against giving them FALSE clues. There is just too much info for them to manage and it will only rupture trust between player and DM. That said, you can always leave information out...
- Give them a single, clear precious object as their target. Don't leave it up to their own character motivations: state the objective, have them and their characters say yes they want to steal it, and then begin the heist.
- Don't make the precious object an NPC with agency. If they are rescuing someone, have them automatically go along with whatever the party wants.
- Guards come with varying degrees of loyalty: some are devoted to "The Target," others are paid mercenaries, others are unfeeling robots. What your guards are will impact how your players will address their challenge.
- Create a deeper sense of urgency by having the precious object moved somewhere unreachable in X amount of days.
- In general, keep the DC low. Players will be making a lot of skill checks, and you want them to cleverly know WHEN to make a skill check and reward them with information for their own cleverness.
- When it comes to tripping alarms, don't make it "pass/fail"... make it so that they can fail 3-5 times before the alarm goes off. Every time they fail, raise the DC by 1 to make it a litter harder to succeed. Critical fail can mean two failures or just play by the rules were Nat 1 only applies in combat.
- Like any encounter in D&D, use your descriptions to draw their attention to sources of clues.
- When planning a heist, it is important to notice that they do not need all the information. It is up to the players to decide if they have enough information.
Conclusion: The Secret Before You Start
You want to know the biggest secret to running a heist for your table?
You, the DM, are PASSIVE.
For so many encounters, DMs need to instigate a lot. They need to come up with an evil guy doing evil things, create NPCs, make random tables, etc. And in game, often the DM needs to interrupt the players' status quo with plot hooks and random encounters; ya know, the stuff that makes an adventure.
But in a heist, the DM is designing a space and situation that the players are interrupting.
In other words, it is a special type of encounter-informed, small-scale world building. The players are entering a scene that existed perfectly fine without them... the players, not the DM, are interrupting a status quo in the world.
This is also why a heist leans so heavily on exploration: you create the world, they explore, discover, and take from that world!
BONUS: "Why Not Just Use the Official 5e Heist Book?"
Image © Wizards of the Coast
WOTC recently released their latest adventure module Keys From the Golden Vault. It is one of their anthology adventures, containing 13 individual heist adventures capable of being woven into just about any homebrew campaign or adventure module.
If I had been smart and written/released this blog 6 months ago, I would have spared myself this section and all the comparisons. Alas, if the early bird gets the worm, then the late bird has to fight off the squirrels for the bird feed... or whatever, I don't know I'm not an ornithologist.
Knowing I would be a fraud if I wrote this blog post without reading it (and that a PFD on Anyflip wouldn't appear for some time...) I promptly lightened my wallet and gave it a read.
I actually wrote this blog post BEFORE I purchased the module, and thankfully (for me at least) most of my work was not for nothing and remains relevant. Here's why:
Keys From the Golden Vault is GREAT at what it tries to do, but OKAY overall.
To me, most of the adventures feel more like "heist-themed dungeons" rather than actual heists. I believe this is because they do not see heists as a unique form of extended exploration. But it also means the design of the mission follows dungeon, rather than heist, priorities.
One example: nearly every mission has traps or monsters the players could NEVER discover... which means they will definitely "trip the alarm." IMO, this is the antithesis of a true heist.
Another thing... they do WAAAAAY too much for the players, often handing them over 50% of the information and tools they will need for the heist ahead of time. This further cuts down on the time they could explore and discover for themselves.
But, that said, the heists are varied in their location, targets, and precious object. They provide a scaled down, thematic map for players that forces them to fill in the gaps and in no way solves the heist for the players.
Image © Wizards of the Coast
I'll spare you the 1.5 hour podcast and just summarize some of the pros and cons right here:
Keys From the Golden Vault PROS:
- Simple and distinct NPCs
- Very creative heist locations and themes
- Most adventures have a time limitation
- Offers different maps for players and DMs
- Some GREAT gambling mechanics
- Many guards have a "suspicion level"
- Various methods for players to get clues
- The "Handler" is helpful
Keys From the Golden Vault CONS:
- Adds complications
- Few "back door" or magical entrances
- Players never need to work to get tools, disguises, or maps
- Too many of the adventures use mostly humanoid guards
- Very easy for players to miss clues
- Can feel more like solving a puzzle than pure exploration
- Some have only 1 or 2 ways to pull off the heist
- The objects players steal are macguffins... no inherently meaningful to players
- No "escape" section or "law enforcement"
The Best "Missions" in the Module:
- "The Murkmire Malevolence": Rob a natural history museum during a gala, just watch out for the dinosaur skeletons...
- "The Stygian Gambit": Get vengeance on a crooked partner, who now runs a nine hells themed casino.
- "Prisoner 13": An icy prison along the Sword Coast can only be reached via a single elevator. A prisoner has info... get the info or get her out... your call.
- "Tockworth's Clockworks": The clockwork soldiers have become murderous, running rampant throughout a Deep Gnome Underdark town. Shut them down Phantom Menace style.
- "Affair on the Concordant Express": An inter-planar train is en-route to Mechanus. Retrieve the true names of some devils before it arrives. Hopefully no one is murdered on this express...
- "Fire and Darkness": Steal the legendary magic item "The Book of Vile Darkness" from a Efreeti fortress in the elemental plane of fire... nuff said.
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Based out of Spokane, Riley is a freelance copywriter that combines his love of reading, writing, and people into something useful! He is thankful to be applying his passion for imaginative role-playing to help D&D related businesses communicate their value in the best way possible. He's kinda like a bard giving inspiration, except without the annoying pop covers!