We now have Vecna 5e for free thanks to Stranger Things DnD

DnD Stranger Things Vecna 5e dossier - a close-up of arch-lich Vecna, covering one eye with a golden hand and staring at the viewer

Stranger Things season four has people in a Dungeons and Dragons frenzy once again. Everyone and their aunt seems to be buying Hellfire Club shirts and wanting to know more about Vecna – which, frankly, is great news for fans of the world’s biggest tabletop RPG. Thanks to the newest instalment in the Netflix show and a D&D livestream with the cast that aired on Thursday (see below), we’re getting new Vecna 5e content. And we’re getting it for absolutely free.

From June 9 until June 16, a free Vecna dossier is available to all users of the digital TTRPG platform DnDBeyond. This updates Vecna’s DnD stats for fifth edition rules, and it complies with the new approach to D&D monster stats introduced in Monsters of the Multiverse. DnDBeyond has also released ‘Don’t Say Vecna’, a free level 20 adventure that only requires the new dossier and the basic D&D rules to run.

“In ‘Don’t Say Vecna,’ the players are tasked with investigating a wizard tower that mysteriously disappeared from the Material Plane”, writes Michael Galvis on DnDBeyond. “Their exploration will reveal the forbidden secrets three scholars discovered and what fates befell them.”

The dossier gives a short but comprehensive overview of Vecna’s history. It specifies the stat block is based on Vecna in his arch-lich form, before he lost his hand and eye and ascended to god-hood. There’s also a little detail to help with continuity in your DnD campaigns: “Because Vecna is said to have mastered magic allowing him to travel through time, he can appear in this form even on worlds where his severed hand and eye are already known artefacts”.

Vecna 5e has a challenge rating (CR) of 26, 272 hit points, and an armour class of 18. If that wasn’t scary enough, Vecna comes equipped with some pretty dangerous abilities. His dagger Afterthought deals piercing and necrotic damage, and Flight of the Damned allows him to summon a 120-foot cone of flying spectres that can inflict necrotic damage and the frightened condition. He can even turn player-characters into zombies if he kills them with the necrotic damage dealt by Rotten Fate.

Vecna can cast a host of 5e spells without material components, including animate dead, dimension door, and plane shift. He can automatically counter any fourth-level or lower spell as a reaction and can counter higher spells with a successful Intelligence check. Fell Rebuke also allows him to use a reaction to deal necrotic damage and teleport 30 feet away whenever he is hit.

Head of D&D Ray Winninger explains in an interview that Vecna doesn’t stop being powerful just because you kill him. “Perhaps Vecna’s most fearsome power is that even if you manage to defeat him, his hatred is so all-consuming and can never be vanquished.” “Out of sheer hate, he’s just going to reassemble himself in 1d100 years”, Winninger adds. “He’s going to manage to hate himself back into existence.”

You can find the ‘Don’t Say Vecna’ adventure on this D&D Beyond page, and the Vecna dossier is found here on D&D Beyond. You can also purchase Vecna-themed dice for $5.99 / £4.81 – just in case regular DnD dice weren’t hitting the Stranger Things spot for you.

Looking to take on Vecna? Here’s a DnD character creator guide to help you get started. You’ll also need to understand a DnD level up if you want to go on a level 20 adventure (and survive).