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You don’t need to be a DnD expert to play Vecna: Eve of Ruin

Upcoming Dungeons and Dragons book Vecna: Eve of Ruin is “a love letter to D&D’s history”, but you don’t need to do extra homework to play.

DnD Vecna Eve of Ruin art of Vecna

Vecna: Eve of Ruin features many famous faces from Dungeons and Dragons history, but Wizards of the Coast says you won’t need to be an expert to play. “We don’t expect people to know all this information or read Wikipedia pages before you pick up this book”, says senior designer Amanda Hamon in a press event on April 10.

As the name of the DnD book implies, Vecna has a starring role in Eve of Ruin. He’s instructed members of his cult to steal secrets from across the multiverse, fueling a ritual that will help Vecna do the most cartoonishly evil thing possible – rule everything. It turns out that the only people equipped to stop him are your level ten adventuring party.

Even before he was in Stranger Things, Vecna was a boneified D&D celebrity. “The first mention of Vecna dates all the way back to 1976”, Hamon says. In Eldritch Wizardry, a tabletop RPG title co-written by Brian Blume and Gary Gygax, Vecna is name-dropped in reference to two now-iconic DnD magic items. These are the Hand of Vecna and the Eye of Vecna. And, according to Hamon “the legend just built from there”.

DnD Vecna Eve of Ruin art of Tasha, Mordenkainen, and Alustriel Silverhand

Vecna isn’t the only legend in this DnD campaign, either. The noble Alustriel Silverhand makes her first appearance in fifth edition, teaming up with the more recently-seen Mordenkainen and Tasha. Strahd von Zarovich and Miska the Wolf Spider both play a major role. Plus, there’s brief mentions of Dragonlance’s Lord Soth and Acererak, the Lich from the Tomb of Horrors. That last character has a ‘False Lich’ version of himself that you’ll meet on your adventures.

You might not know who any of these people are, but Wizards of the Coast has prepared for this. Vecna: Eve of Ruin has an 11-page dossier that explains exactly who everybody is. According to graphic designer Trystan Falcone, Eve of Ruin “contains a lot of love notes to D&D’s history, but it’s still accessible”.

DnD Vecna Eve of Ruin art of the False Lich version of Acererak

The campaign book apparently also includes some guidance for running such a high-level campaign. “We recognize a lot of our adventures end between tenth and thirteenth level, so the book provides guidance for segueing existing characters into the adventure”, Hamon says. “There’s also story guidance about creating characters from all across the multiverse for this story.”

And if you still don’t feel prepared enough, there’s already a Vecna stat block you can practice with ahead of the release date. The stat block in the 2022 Vecna dossier will be used for the campaign, mostly untouched. “A few little things are modernized for the current rules set that we’re using, but it is largely going to be similar to the Vecna dossier”, Hamon explains.

DnD Vecna Eve of Ruin art of Kas fighting Vecna

Vecna: Eve of Ruin releases worldwide on May 21. However, it will also be available early on D&DBeyond and in Local Game Stores from May 7.

For more D&D updates, be sure to follow Wargamer on Google News. We can tell you what’s next on this year’s DnD release schedule, or we can tell you all about the different DnD classes and DnD races.