What Do I Know About Reviews? Keys from the Golden Vault, Part Nine (D&D 5e)

330506_VIDORANT’S VAULT—CHAPTER START_ Art By Zuzanna WużykWe’re going to double up on vaults this time around, because not only is the anthology Keys from the Golden Vault, but the adventure is Vidorant’s Vault. Look at all the Vs! This adventure revolves around theft as a means of revenge, and is for 7th-level characters.

Spoiler Warning

While I’m not going to reveal every possible twist and turn of this adventure, we will be looking at some details that might provide more information than you will want to know if you are a player in this adventure. Time to step away if you are going to be a player.

The Hook

Samphith Goldenbeard recently won a contest to take over as the head of the Silver Fingers thieves guild against his rival (and former partner) Nixylanna Vidorant. Now he wants to cement that win by stealing back the Ruby Diadem, an item that he and Vidorant stole together, but which Vidorant kept. Now that he’s an important guild master, he’s letting it be known that he’ll owe someone a favor if they want to make a name for themselves by stealing the item for him.

If the PCs work for the Golden Vault, the Silver Fingers have ties to the Golden Vault, so the PCs are directed towards Goldenbeard as a favor to him. If they aren’t working for the Golden Vault, they get an invitation to join the hunt for the diadem from Goldenbeard, who meets with them at a restaurant.

The Setting

This adventure assumes at least a general urban setting. It needs to hold the restaurant, several pubs, the Silver Fingers Guild Hall, and Vidorant’s Vault (although the PCs aren’t going to need to go to the guild hall).

Heist Tropes

The players get information on former employees of Vidorant, information on how to surveil their target, and details on what happens if they case the Vault for shift changes and entry points. Inside the Vault, there are lots of guards, alarms, and traps, as well as a trope we haven’t seen yet . . . there is probably way too much stuff for the PCs to actually steal, if they don’t focus on the job at hand.

Each time the PCs find another room with valuable things that aren’t what they were sent for, there is the risk/reward of setting off alarms or traps, or potentially awakening guardians. Vidorant’s Vault is also essentially a museum of her greatest thefts.

In addition to the above, there is the opportunity to find some blackmail information, both on some local government officials, as well as material that proves Goldenbeard and Vidorant faked the heist that got them membership in the Silver Fingers.

Finally, there is a double cross twist, as Vidorant, if she catches the PCs, offers them several valuable items if they go back to Goldenbeard and attest that the Vault is impenetrable. Because both Goldenbeard and Vidorant have some skeletons in the closet as well as a rivalry with one another, the PCs may feel safe enough to attempt this double cross.


Beyond the background information on Goldenbeard and Vidorant’s history with one another, we also get some quick personality sketches of the six provided former employees of Vidorant that the PCs can ply for information.

There is some information about what happens when PCs trigger alarms and the guards that show up, but what’s fun is that the guards have details on what it takes to bluff, scare, or bribe them.

There are also a few books that Vidorant has stolen, and some details on what these books contain. These include a ship’s log, a book used for bargaining with devils, and even a mystery novel that alludes to another adventure in the anthology. Many of the treasures on display also note cards in their cases, detailing some facts about the item that Vidorant has ascertained.


It probably won’t be a surprise that most of what you will encounter in this adventure will be humanoids, but in the Vault, there are also constructs, a menagerie of animals that Vidorant keeps in a personal zoo, and an Invisible Stalker that may follow the PCs around to things like pit traps and attempt to shove them in.

After Action

The PCs can bargain with Goldenbeard for cash prizes after his initial offer of membership in the guild and a favor to be named later. Additionally, the PCs can wring a little bit more from Goldenbeard if they snagged the blackmail material.

If they keep the diadem for themselves or take Vidorant’s offer, they have to convince Goldenbeard that they aren’t lying, or else he uses the guild to make their lives miserable. While this isn’t detailed, it’s a good excuse to use some of the rivals from the introduction in future adventures as rival crews messing with the PCs.

The Golden Vault pays out a rare magic item if the PCs completed their mission and return the Ruby Diadem to Goldenbeard.


I really enjoyed the twists and turns in this one, and the decision points that it introduces. I like feeling like we’re now several layers deep into the criminal underworld, being commissioned by one thieves guild to help another take revenge on a former colleague. I also really like the personal museum feel of the Vault, and the way it underscores the story of Vidorant’s successful career.

If there is anything I would have liked to have seen more of, it’s a way to convince the Golden Vault that maybe Vidorant is worth more as an ally than Goldenbeard. She clearly has some useful items and information, and neither Vidorant nor Goldenbeard come across as notably more or less evil or honorable.

The fact that it feels tempting to take Vidorant’s offer, but it will still effectively be a failed mission for the Golden Vault feels a little hollow. But everything else up to that point feels like a lot of larcenous fun.