Vecna: Eve of Ruin is a farewell tour of a multiversal rogue’s gallery

The god of secrets is breaking out all the baddies for one last nostalgic 5e joyride.

Vecna: Eve of Ruin is a farewell tour of a multiversal rogue’s gallery
Credit: Wizards of the Coast; Art by Kieran Yanner

While we were warned that Vecna: Eve of Ruin would be a “world-hopping adventure” serving as a “tour of the multiverse,” I don’t think that I was really expecting the adventure book to deliver on those promises quite so literally. Within the first few minutes of the press event for the final fifth edition campaign book, it became increasingly clear that Eve of Ruin wasn’t going to be a tour; it was going to be a parade of Dungeons & Dragons’ greatest villains, a rogues’ gallery where Vecna shows up in a convertible and tells Strahd, “get in, loser, we’re going shopping.” 

Credit: Wizards of the Coast; Art by Martin Mottet

At the conference held on April 10, Rascal got a sneak peek at the larger themes for the campaign module that D&D would use to bookend the fifth edition, and provide one of the cornerstones for the game’s fiftieth anniversary. Senior Communications Manager Greg Tito, product lead Amanda Hammon, and graphic designer Trystan Falcone spoke about the game design and art direction. Words like “nostalgia,” “historic,” and “legacy” permeated the discussion as Hammon led attendant journalists through the book, discussing all the ways in which Vecna: Eve of Ruin was designed to be a sweeping epic, a high-level game meant for players to take one last spin through the 2014 edition, pushing their characters up to level 20 to defeat the god of secrets for… well, not ever. But for now

The pre-game starts when three well-known D&D magic-users–Alustriel Silverhand (Ed Greenwood’s famous character, showing up for the first time in fifth edition), Tasha, and Mordenkainen realize that something is going on in the multiverse. Using their powers for (chaotic) good, they summon forth a group of adventurers to help them out. With Sigil–the city of doors–as their base of operations, the three magicians send the party out on a massive fetch quest, asking them to retrieve the Rod of Seven Parts, which, when assembled, will become the Rod of Law. This is a historic item which has been “retooled” for this adventure, according to Hammon. The adventurers confront more than their fair share of iconic characters, including the Demon Lord Miska, and Strahd (and Rerak, who is not the lich Acererak, but is… close, I suppose) as they visit locations from Dragonlance, Spelljammer, and Planescape, taking a truly massive tour through D&D’s hall of fame as players exit through the gift shop.