keys-cover-art (1)Again into Keys from the Golden Vault we go. The following journey,  Masterpiece Imbroglio, can be for Fifth-level characters, so in marketing campaign play, you might have the choice of solely utilizing one of many Fifth-level adventures, or utilizing each of them and possibly ensuring the PCs are completely satisfied enjoying at Fifth stage for 2 adventures.

Spoiler Warning

As with all the opposite adventures on this anthology, I’m going to be taking a look at a few of the story beats and common structural components. I received’t be revealing all the things, however it could be sufficient that you simply’ll choose up some spoilers. If you’re planning on enjoying via this journey with a personality, you might need to skip the remainder of this put up (however be at liberty to search out another weblog posts to learn, I’m not too proud to ask for that).

The Hook

Past working with the Golden Vault and having this heist assigned to the crew as a mission, there are a couple of different hooks. On this case, because the PCs will probably be attempting to retrieve a magical portray on behalf of the Cognoscenti Esoterica, the PCs could also be on the lookout for some obscure information that solely the group can reply, with the retrieved portray being the price of information.

One of many PCs might already owe a favor to somebody within the Cognoscenti Esoterica, which I like, however feels extra substantial if that is arrange earlier than the start of this journey.

My favourite hook is that the PCs have already had a historical past with the Agile Hand, the thieves guild tha stole the portray from the Cognoscenti Esoterica, and so they need to steal the portray to settle some scores with their rivals.

The Setting

Many of the motion on this journey takes place in a city that, at minimal, features a secluded barn, an area tavern, and the Agile Hand guild home itself. This setup signifies that you solely actually need a location that’s massive sufficient to have a thieves guild, however possibly not massive sufficient to have a mess of them.

Heist Tropes

That you must steal a portray again from the Agile Hand. The phrase is that they are going to be promoting the portray inside a couple of days, so the PCs ought to really feel a while strain. The guild home itself has a coaching course and loads of locks and traps scattered round.

Most likely the largest heist trope is that this journey doesn’t push the PCs within the course of any particular plan. They discuss to a captured guild member to get some data, together with the map of the thieves guild, and so they additionally discover out that one of many guild members may additionally be caught unaware exterior of the guild home.

The journey doesn’t posit any specific plan, however it does have a number of sections the place you get some “what ifs,” like “if the PCs set this on hearth,” or “the partitions on this space are largely soundproof.” The PCs can do reconnaissance, try to seize one other guild member, trigger a distraction, or any variety of different issues to get into the guild home.

One very useful facet of all of that is that there’s a chart that reveals who reveals up from the place if an alarm is raised within the guild home. There are a number of locations the place PCs might be able to get into small-scale skirmishes, however plowing via the entrance door like Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser on a revenge mission goes to attract loads of aggro.


I’m completely in love with the entire guild member names. The names on this journey are so good for conveying the texture of individuals which might be a part of this sort of crew. Not solely do you get names for the entire main movers and shakers within the guild, however you additionally get an inventory of names that you should use if it is advisable to select a reputation for random members that the PCs resolve to interrogate in the midst of the journey.

I additionally love a few of the issues which might be included which might be solely evenly touched on within the narrative, just like the Cognoscenti Esoterica being a company that does like to assemble magical issues and obscure information, however is probably not practically as essential as their title makes them sound.


Many of the creatures on this journey are humanoids, with some swarms and animated skeletons to spherical issues out. Nonetheless, as befits an essential thieves guild, a couple of of the guild members are shapechangers (a doppelganger and an oni), which might shock the PCs in the event that they underestimate their humanoid opponents. Additionally, the portray itself is definitely a sentient magic merchandise that may be set to carry out safety duties by its present proprietor.

After Motion

This journey has a number of layers of decision. If the PCs get better the portray, they obtain one reward, however they will additionally flip over a ledger held by one of many guild leaders for some additional gold items, and in the event that they uncover the truth that the guild has a spy within the Cognoscenti Esoterica, they get one other reward (a set of sending stones).

The Golden Vault provides them . . . anticipate it . . . a uncommon magic merchandise. Truthfully, the truth that they could double up on uncommon magic objects in the event that they play each Fifth-level adventures might play into your choice to run each. It already seems to be a magic reward-heavy marketing campaign, however then once more, how a lot hurt can that one little uncommon magic merchandise do to a marketing campaign?


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