Review – D&D Vecna: Eve of Ruin

Ain't no party like an undead lich party cuz an undead lich party don't stop...ever

The Special edition cover (L) and original cover (R).

 

Designer Amanda Hamon

Artist Kierana Yanner, Hydro74 and others

Publisher Wizards of the Coast

Category RPG Suppliment

Length 256 pages

Release Date May 2024

Player Count 2+

Players will have to come together in this D&D 5E story and save the multiverse from the evil lich Vecna as he tries to pull his version of a Thanos Snap(™). But instead of ending half of all life, the destructive spellcaster wants to reshape the multiverse as he sees fit, subjugating his enemies and obliterating the gods as well as anyone else standing in his way. Only with the help of other players level 10-20 will you have any chance of winning as you hop between different planes and locales trying to find the tools and allies able to stand up to him. Helping you are some of the most famous archmages in the universe, but in the end, will it be enough? Read on for the review!

Content Guide

Usual D&D content applies, with some extra focus on undead and magic-using enemies. Many of the more formidable foes in this campaign are either undead, or have many extra limbs, or are some form of spider/demon hybrid. One Dryad in the bestiary has a specifically detailed upper body and no leaves or clothes on. Vecna himself is a lich who wants to re-create existence in his own image, killing or subjugating anyone standing against him. 

Review

To run with my opening metaphor, the campaign in Vecna: Eve of Ruin definitely feels like D&D’s version of Avengers: Endgame as you hop from place to place and go up against classic baddies like Strahd, Acererak, and Tiamat on their home courts. Players will start the campaign at level 10 (which is rare and pretty cool), and by the end will need to be all the way up to level 20 to be able to withstand the evil lich’s machinations. This gives the story a unique feel as players strive to power up and save the multiverse, while also acting as somewhat of a sendoff for the 5E setting as Dungeons and Dragons has plans to release a new edition starting with the new version of the player’s handbook in September of 2024. 

What starts as a simple hostage rescue in the opening adventure ends with the player’s characters receiving a link to Vecna, which allows them to collect and spend secrets to give themselves specific advantages throughout the campaign. Then, thanks to a failed Wish spell, the characters are shunted into Lady Alustriel’s Sigil Sanctum, where they learn of Vecna’s plans to remake the multiverse. Thanks to Mordenkainen’s planning, the players set off to collect the scattered pieces of the Rod of Seven Parts, hoping to use it to stop Vecna from finishing his ritual. Also thanks to the Sanctum they’re able to access portals to the various different locales where the Rod’s different pieces are located. 

It’s difficult to talk about much more of the story without ironically giving up its secrets, but players who do manage to collect all the pieces will be treated to many different dungeons, fights, and social interaction options as they attempt to save the multiverse. They’ll also get to work with legendary characters such as Alustriel, Tasha, and Mordenkainen as well as bump elbows (or butt heads) with the earlier mentioned baddies on their way to the final inevitable confrontation with Vecna himself. 

This really does feel like a sendoff or greatest hits of Dungeons & Dragons as players are treated to a number of popular scenarios, baddies, and NPCs. While it definitely has an air of things ending (what with the multiverse in peril and all), it could also be the start of an epic campaign that sets players up as fully-leveled demigods, ready to take on whatever challenges their DM wants to dream up. Or, of course, there’s always the retirement option where their offspring/squire/nephew or niece takes up their old equipment and goes on an adventure just like that time when they saved everyone. There’s a lot to be excited about and look forward to with D&D this year and next, but if you want to continue your adventures in 5E for the moment, Eve of Ruin is an easy suggestion for any play group. 

Review copies were generously provided by the publisher.

The Bottom Line

Eve of Ruin is an easy suggestion for any play group looking to trip through the multiverse.

 

8

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Author: Andrew Borck

Christian/Husband/Dad/Gamer/Writer/Master Builder. Jesus saves and Han shot first.