Keys are a nice little treasure that you can throw into an adventure at almost any time and if not assigned when initially created, can be used at a more appropriate time.
Keys are great for a lot of the standards ranging from jail cells, handcuffs, chains, doors, chests, and in the fantasy settings, things like gates.
Keys can vary in size and type. The key for a storm giant's treasury might be slightly different than the keys to a halflings private stash of pipe weed.
In a city with a good thieves guild, there might even be specialist who can forge keys. These keys may come in a few different types. For a quick switch out, the duplicate key may only look superficially like the real key. It's a distraction so that no one knows that the real key has been yanked. In the latter case, an actual duplicate key is made that no one else necessarily knows about.
Well, you know, except for the poor guy who made that special duplicate key right?
Some of the older dungeon adventurers don't necessarily use a standard 'key' though. Sometimes there were slots that required a certain weapon to be used, other times a set of phrases to unlock something.
When dealing out the contents of a person's pouch to that rogue's latest acquisition, don't forget the keys!
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