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Review of Vecna Eve of Ruin Celebrating 50 Years of D&D

Posted on May 7, 2024 by Flames

Vecna: Eve of Ruin is a campaign book for characters of levels 10 through 20. Compatible with Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, the campaign tasks the players with a seemingly-impossible job: to save the multiverse from annihilation.

The campaign book is offered in two editions: standard and an alternate cover. The standard edition cover, illustrated by Kieran Yanner, features Vecna weaving a ritual whilst his enemy, the warlord Kas, pauses just before he rushes in to slay the lich. The alternate cover is a gorgeous, gilded rendering of runes and the Eye and Hand of Vecna by Hydro74.

Due to the contents and nature of this title, this review of Vecna: Eve of Ruin contains spoilers.

Vecna: Eve of RuinVecna: Eve of Ruin is an eleven-chapter supplement with an introduction, three appendices, and a full color, double-sided, pull-out map. In addition to the story, the three appendices present a bestiary, character dossier, and a secrets tracker to help manage important reveals and plot twists for a new rule. The DM will need a copy of the Player’s Handbook, Monster Manual, and Dungeon Master’s Guide to run this campaign.

Produced to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Dungeons and Dragons, the campaign spotlights a villain that even Strahd von Zarovich is afraid of: the lich-god, Vecna who dares to remake reality by performing a powerful ritual.

Starting in the iconic city of Neverwinter as level ten heroes, they quickly become embroiled in Vecna’s plot due to their lofty reputations. Throughout the campaign, the adventurers will find treasure, unlock secrets, and explore unique and labyrinthine locations while racing toward the lich-god. Each chapter takes place in a different, unusual location filled with puzzles, traps, and unlikely characters the party must bribe, assist, or battle.

Reminder: this review contains spoilers. If you don’t want your gaming experience ruined, please don’t read any further.

To hook the players, Lord Neverember asks the players to rescue kidnapped citizens in Neverdeath Graveyard where they’ll encounter Vecna’s cultists for the first time. During the rescue, when they thwart the cultists they become tied to the lich-god, and fall into a different reality. Though they can and do escape the nightmarish real of Evernight, their connection to Vecna remains along with a new mechanic that rewards players for gleaning secrets. It isn’t until the heroes encounter three wizards–some time later in chapter two–that the story continues, enabling them to learn how to defeat Vecna, by finding and reassembling the Rod of Seven Parts.

Using secrets as commerce is a great mechanic, but it also means that players will want to know what happens next and which secrets they should encounter. Glancing at the table of secrets in Appendix 3, the placement of the secrets is carefully managed design-wise and accommodates savvy players who uncover plot twists far ahead of their natural reveal.

Over the course of the campaign, the adventurers access portholes, travelling to other realms, to pursue the rod’s reassembly. Upon doing so, the heroes are ultimately betrayed by Kas, and are in danger of losing the legendary rod. Once the outcome of the battle is decided, the heroes are ready to face Vecna to save the multiverse.

The Eve of Ruin draws upon the best and iconic aspects of Dungeons and Dragons to celebrate its 50th anniversary. As such, it makes sense that the adventure has linear components. One piece of the rod reveals its next location, and when the pieces are almost assembled the party learns of Kas’s betrayal and must face him. The twist, however, hinges so much on Kas that gleaning this secret threatens to unravel the plot and shorten the campaign experience even before the players face Vecna. (Kas is even depicted in the cover art, preparing to slay Vecna.) Additionally, this campaign assumes the heroes are, in fact, true heroes and not evil-aligned warlocks or druids. This, in particular, is something that’s both missing and challenging to accommodate within the confines of this story.

Production-wise, Vecna: Eve of Ruin is a high quality supplement and a gorgeous nod to several fan-favorite elements in Dungeons and Dragons that span the game’s storied history. If you and your friends are keen on playing a straightforward campaign to emerge as heroes of the multiverse? Then pick up your dice and prepare to thwart Vecna’s plans.

Vecna: Eve of Ruin is available for pre-order in hardcover and digital. You can pick up a copy on, DMsGuild, and the official Wizards of the Coast website. This campaign supplement will be available wherever fine games are sold on May 21st.

This review provided by Allie Brooks. This review also contains Amazon affiliate links.

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