D&D: Best character classes to use in Keys From The Golden Vault

The standard D&D classes won’t cut it in Keys From The Golden Vault.

A Dungeons & Dragons bard escaping a tower in Keys From The Golden Vault

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Keys From The Golden Vault is a Dungeons & Dragons adventure anthology containing thirteen standalone adventures that involve heists. This means that the usual party setup of a cleric, fighter, rogue, and wizard won’t be as effective as usual, as these quests involve deception, planning, and stealth rather than kicking in the door and killing every monster in the room. Luckily, many scoundrel-type subclasses in the game will be highly effective in a fantasy version of Ocean’s Eleven.

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Way of the Shadows Monk

A Dungeons & Dragons rogue sneaking into mansion.
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Keys From The Golden Vault has adventures that favor the indirect approach, which means that the melee paladin-style D&D classes that rely on heavy suits of armor aren’t going to do well, as they’ll struggle to pass Stealth checks. It’s here where the unarmored fighting classes will favor well, and while it might be tempting to bring a screaming barbarian on a stealth mission, the better prospect is the monk, especially as they don’t need any heavy gear to do their job.

Many monk subclasses would work well in Keys From The Golden Vault, but the Player’s Handbook provides the best one in the Way of the Shadow monk. These sneaky fighters are described as ninjas in the Player’s Handbook, with the ability to cast incredibly useful spells for a stealth mission, such as darkness and silence. Once they hit level six, they become even better as they gain the ability to teleport from shadow to shadow, making them the perfect infiltrators.

Illusionist Wizard

Dungeons & Dragons wizard class artwork from Spelljammer
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The most significant advantage of the wizard class over the sorcerer and the warlock is its utility, as they can learn every spell on their list at once and use them to prepare for various situations. This is a major asset in Keys From The Golden Vault, where each adventure has a specific planning stage and the party is made aware of the challenges ahead, giving the wizard time to weigh their magical options.

Keys From The Golden Vault will give three lesser-used magic schools a chance to shine, as Divination, Enchantment, and Illusion will be especially useful in heists. This is because Divination school lets players scout ahead with magic, which is helpful, as Keys From The Golden Vault gives players fake maps ahead of time, while Enchantment can manipulate the minds of any guards the party encounters.

The wizards who choose the School of Illusion in Keys From The Golden Vault will benefit the most, as their spells can hide the party and create distractions to misdirect enemies.

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College of Eloquence Bard

A dragonborn bard in Dungeons & Dragons
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The capers seen in heist movies often involve confidence tricksters who talk their way out of situations and use their charm to get into secure locations. There are few classes better suited for this role in D&D than the bard, as their abilities are tied to their Charisma stat, which lets them act as the face of the party and use their personality to deal with NPCs.

The best bard subclass for this role in Keys From The Golden Vault is the College of Eloquence from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. These wordsmiths always get a minimum of ten on Deception and Perception checks, can use their Bardic Inspiration to weaken an enemy’s saving throws, and even magically understand the language of anyone they’re talking to.

Trickery Domain Cleric

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The stereotypical cleric is a heavily-armored healer who uses the power of light to banish the darkness. This is not the case for every priest, as there are gods who preside over deception and lies, such as Cyric and Mask in the Forgotten Realms. The clerics who worship these gods often take the Trickery Domain subclass, giving them divine powers related to subterfuge.

A Trickery Domain cleric can still heal and turn undead with their holy symbol, but they also gain some amazing Domain Spells for their list, including charm person, disguise self, pass without trace, dimension door, and modify memory. Better yet, they can grant allies an advantage on Stealth checks and create illusory duplicates of themselves to use as a distraction.

Inquisitive Rogue

Dungeons & Dragons rogue class art from the Player's Handbook
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The rogue class excels in Keys From The Golden Vault, as they’re the masters of stealth, possess a wide of exploration skills, and can deal with enemies as quietly as possible. If a group wants to take on the adventures in Keys From The Golden Vault, then multiple rogues can work, especially if they all take different subclasses.

All the rogue subclasses work well in Keys From The Golden Vault, but the Inquisitive from Xanathar’s Guide to Everything is the best. These detective-style rogues excel at telling lies from truth, are masters of finding hidden objects, and can use Insight checks to use sneak attacks without the usual conditions needing to be in effect.