D&D 5E How would YOU build Vecna?

Reynard

Legend
So as not to bog down the other thread.

How would go go about statting out Vecna for your 5E game? What tools would you use to create the ultimate BBEG lich? How would your design address issues of solos, high level play, etc...?

Note I am not talking about how you would build the encounter/dungeon with Vecna, but how you would actually stat Vecna.

For my part, there are 3 core things that matter with any high level spellcasting enemy.
First: Vecna would have a handful of themed lichy "spell attacks" each a) doing damage, b) causing a condition, and c) on a "recovering recharge" (that is, the recharge number gets easier each round it doesn't succeed at recharging).
Second: Vecna would have defensive and movement based reactions designed to foil incoming attacks and attempts to pin him down. One of these reactions would be the equivalent of Legendary Resistance.
Third: He would have Legendary Actions that allow him to cast spells and use his spell attacks off turn. Note that the pool of Reactions and LAs would be combined at 5, so every time he uses a defensive Reaction that's one less potential LA, and vice versa.

(Note this is pretty much how I built Strahd for a con game and it worked GREAT.)

How would you build Vecna?
 

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6 spells instead of 3 for 2/day and 1/day.

No spell on either of those list is under 5th level. If it is, it is cast with a minimum of a 6th level slot, but probably a 9th level slot instead.

Give him Mythic. When it triggers, he gains 3 legendary actions instead of 2 (since he has none normally).

Boost his hit points by +50. Just because.
 

Reynard

Legend
6 spells instead of 3 for 2/day and 1/day.

No spell on either of those list is under 5th level. If it is, it is cast with a minimum of a 6th level slot, but probably a 9th level slot instead.

Give him Mythic. When it triggers, he gains 3 legendary actions instead of 2 (since he has none normally).

Boost his hit points by +50. Just because.
I forgot about Mythic. In my build above I think I would make it so he no longer has recharge on any of his abilities.
 

I use the warlock idea a lot... I take 6-8 cool offensive/defensive spells upp cast them all to 9th for him, and give him 3-4 castings. I would then give him 3-5 special unque attack/actions and make him mythic...
 


Hmm depends but mostly I would make shadows of Vecna the primary stat block. leave him closer to archdevil where they are so powerful you won't see an actual block. That means each shadow can be molded for a specific task.
 

Hmm depends but mostly I would make shadows of Vecna the primary stat block and leave him closer to archdevil where they are so powerful you won't see an actual block. That means each shadow can be molded for a specific task.
yeah building those lair actions form the adventure in is a BIG improvement
 

Hmm depends but mostly I would make shadows of Vecna the primary stat block. leave him closer to archdevil where they are so powerful you won't see an actual block. That means each shadow can be molded for a specific task.
This is fun! I mean, Vecna probably knows the clone spell. With the Book of Vile Darkness, a clone that makes a negative-shadow version of you under your control that Vecna then modifies into some abominable purpose is pretty slick, actually.
 


Far more spells, especially useful ones. Spell slots so some can be upcast. That means 8th and 9th level spell slots.
Cantrips, like Prestidigitation...unless Venca plans on opening a dry cleaning service, why is this even on the list?
Venca of course adds his prof bonus to ALL saves. Utterly ridiculous that a CR 26 has a +2 to Str saves, or a +2 to ANY saves.

Vecna should be something an entire conclave of 20th level clerics, paladins, and wizards should have to work together to cleanse the world of for a period of time.
 

Far more spells, especially useful ones. Spell slots so some can be upcast. That means 8th and 9th level spell slots.
Cantrips, like Prestidigitation...unless Venca plans on opening a dry cleaning service, why is this even on the list?
Venca of course adds his prof bonus to ALL saves. Utterly ridiculous that a CR 26 has a +2 to Str saves, or a +2 to ANY saves.

Vecna should be something an entire conclave of 20th level clerics, paladins, and wizards should have to work together to cleanse the world of for a period of time.
I don't know how you could design a stat block that can keep back entire organizations of 20th level characters lol
 

This is fun! I mean, Vecna probably knows the clone spell. With the Book of Vile Darkness, a clone that makes a negative-shadow version of you under your control that Vecna then modifies into some abominable purpose is pretty slick, actually.
Yep. Lol I did something similar with an elder evil BBEG who prefers to focus on plant life. basically could sow seeds of corruption and grow clones that are not quite clones of itself to spread it's influence. Party spent the entire campaign tracking and killing what turned out to be nothing more than an sapling.

they ended up teaming up with Zuggtmoy, orcus, and a colony of mind flayers to prevent it from consuming the abyss and material plane.
 

I don't know how you could design a stat block that can keep back entire organizations of 20th level characters lol
It is called a god stat block. In my campaign, I had a god create a tidal wave 100 feet high that was hundreds of miles long, and washed some 20 miles inland. There is no spell, no effect, in the game that can do that. But I can handwave it as a DM, because the DM is the god of gods.

But to your point, Venca's actual ability scores would be miles higher, prof added to all saves, a whole whack of features like "if your char is below 12th level, and Vecna points his finger at you, you are dead. No questions asked, no saves,, nothing. And dead dead. Like soul eaten dead."
 

It is called a god stat block. In my campaign, I had a god create a tidal wave 100 feet high that was hundreds of miles long, and washed some 20 miles inland. There is no spell, no effect, in the game that can do that. But I can handwave it as a DM, because the DM is the god of gods.

But to your point, Venca's actual ability scores would be miles higher, prof added to all saves, a whole whack of features like "if your char is below 12th level, and Vecna points his finger at you, you are dead. No questions asked, no saves,, nothing. And dead dead. Like soul eaten dead."
Now out of everything you've ever said, the stats I finally agree! Vecna's stats are PITIFUL! I think any CR 20+ creature needs to have multiple 20s, and CR 25+ needs to have 1-3 30s on there too.
 

Reynard

Legend
Utterly ridiculous that a CR 26 has a +2 to Str saves, or a +2 to ANY saves.
I agree with this wholeheartedly. Even with LR and magic resistance, those kinds of saves drastically increase the probability of an accidental and ultimately unsatisfying victory. I think building in weaknesses is totally viable, but it should be intentional and something the PCs can discover and weaponize, not just a stat block oversight.
 

Reynard

Legend
It is called a god stat block. In my campaign, I had a god create a tidal wave 100 feet high that was hundreds of miles long, and washed some 20 miles inland. There is no spell, no effect, in the game that can do that. But I can handwave it as a DM, because the DM is the god of gods.
That's not a stat block.
 



I think you could find some middle ground on how to do spells. Like since he's a wizard, and a god, you could say, He knows all the spells in the PHB and probably others, but if attacked, he usually uses x and name an at-will or two, a reaction, a bonus action and a couple of 1/day or 3/day options. With save DC x and cast as a 20th level wizard would do it. I agree that a god focused on Intelligence should probably have a 30. I imagine doing a Titan, maybe Empyrean as a loose template and making him a lich. Make his phylactery an artifact.
 

The Vecna presented by WotC is specifically pre-god.
Then it's not actual Vecna or it is but not really more than an avatar. It even has time travel paradoxes to protect it so strong DC villain logic to keep it coming back. Like vandal Savage and reverse flash had a super genius emo son.
 

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