You can get a free D&D adventure for Tales From the Golden Vault right now

Keys From the Golden Vault Prisoner 13 adventure artwork
(Image credit: Wizards of the Coast)

Players can download a full Tales From the Golden Vault adventure for free ahead of the D&D book's release. This quest is set in a location from the upcoming Dungeons & Dragons movie, so it's also a chance to check out what's to come in that film ahead of time.

Called 'Prisoner 13' (which can be claimed by all D&D Beyond users at no cost through the official site), this Tales From the Golden Vault mission is designed for 4th-level characters and tasks players with infiltrating Revel's End jail. Your goal? To get info from a crime boss imprisoned there. Naturally, that's easier said than done, as the location is described as a "tough nut to crack" thanks to an "unforgiving environment, total isolation, and fortress-like defenses". 

It may as well be impregnable… unless you have the right people in your crew. A good plan is also needed; the usual all-guns-blazing approach that might work in other Dungeons and Dragons books will fall flat here. Is it worth trying? From what I've seen after digging in, yes; it's the stuff of classic heist movies. After being given your assignment via a Mission Impossible-style briefing from a secret recording in a music box, your party must plan how to get inside the prison itself (be it through disguises or stowing away inside supply crates.)

Keys From the Golden Vault Prisoner 13 interior artwork of Revel's End

(Image credit: Wizards of the Coast)

The challenge then becomes convincing your crime boss target to give up info on how to get into their secret stash of treasure - which they'll obviously be reluctant to do - and avoiding the suspicion of guards. A 'Suspicion' tracker will help Dungeon Masters keep track of all of this, and if characters stand out too much, they'll have to deal with additional patrols. Even prising the info needed from Prisoner 13 is difficult, so this adventure is all about role-playing and holding your nerve as the situation inevitably escalates.

Overall, it gives a good impression of Tales From the Golden Vault overall. Unlike many of the best tabletop RPGs, it can also be played as a one-shot without the need for a lengthy, time-consuming campaign.

It's a return to normal of sorts after the D&D OGL controversy that raged for much of January. While D&D publisher Wizards of the Coast has since reversed all those changes, it's clearly still wary after details for Keys From the Golden Vault were released on the down-low at the end of the month.

The book itself can be pre-ordered for $41.45 at Amazon instead of almost $50 ahead of its February 21 launch (or March 24 in the UK), while getting the digital and physical bundle from the D&D Store gets you early access to the PDF as of February 7.

Want some recommendations to while away the time before Keys from the Golden Vault? Check out our list of the best board games, must-have cooperative board games, and these essential board games for 2 players.

Benjamin Abbott
Tabletop & Merch Editor

As the site's Tabletop & Merch Editor, you'll find my grubby paws on everything from board game reviews to the latest Lego news. I've been writing about games in one form or another since 2012, and can normally be found cackling over some evil plan I've cooked up for my group's next Dungeons & Dragons campaign.