D&D 5E How would YOU build Vecna?


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That's fine. I'm just saying that in the context of "how would you build a stat block" the answer "I would fiat everything" isn't particularly interesting or even on topic.
Already answered that earlier with suggestions, but will expand.
All ability scores of 30. There is zero doubt that over hundreds of years (or thousands) Vecna would find ways to increase all scores.
At least a 20th level caster. Spells like Finger of Death, Powerword Kill, are automatics.
Prof in all saves (as mentioned before).
Given that the Book of Vile Darkness is on his person at all times, the various properties described in general for that book would be applied to the stat block. I am talking these properties. At the very least force the DM to flesh them out, if not explicitly described:
  • 3 minor beneficial properties
  • 1 major beneficial property
  • 3 minor detrimental properties
  • 2 major detrimental properties
DC of 22 or 20 on spells/ effects also ludicrously low. Sure, that would likely mean having some magic items on him. but given that I can create a 20th level char with a DC higher than 22 (including items like Rod of the Pact Keeper), no way Vecna is that low.
 


I'd give him damage resistance to magic weapons or double his hit points. For my money, he looks like he's going down fast.
If played true to type getting off any attack on him is going to be rare enough to not have warrant that. One of the reasons kas could cut off arm/and gouge an eye out is that no one else has had an opportunity to even get that far. This is a guy who made skill lords as a punishment after getting bested and in a weaker state.
 
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If played true to type getting off any attack on him is going to be rare enough to not have warrant that. One of the reasons kas could cut off arm/and gouge an eye out is that no one else has had an opportunity to even get that far.
my issue with this is the same as my issue with Strahd in CoS... yes if played by a DM smarter or better at D&D tactics then the players that works... by 11th 12th level PCs have too many lock down options
 


Even if the GM is essentially better, there are 4 or 5 players and groups just think better than individuals.
yup... we used to run circles around the best DM I knew... the guy was a genius and always had suprises... but once we all got used to him and worked around him a bit he never stood a chance against the 6 of us.
 

my issue with this is the same as my issue with Strahd in CoS... yes if played by a DM smarter or better at D&D tactics then the players that works... by 11th 12th level PCs have too many lock down options
This can be true but that's one of the reasons I just avoid placing someone like Vecna in a position to be targeted at all. He is a force that should be untangible in regards to the party. If you stat it the potential for your party to destroy something that supposedly has thousands of years experience and knowledge will just deflate the game. That's why I said I'd use shadows instead. You might occasionally beat a sliver of his actual power or temporary slow one of his plots. Are you going kill him? No. At best you will set in motion one of many contingencies plans.
 

This can be true but that's one of the reasons I just avoid placing someone like Vecna in a position to be targeted at all. He is a force that should be untangible in regards to the party. If you stat it the potential for your party to destroy something that supposedly has thousands of years experience and knowledge will just deflate the game. That's why I said I'd use shadows instead. You might occasionally beat a sliver of his actual power or temporary slow one of his plots. Are you going kill him? No. At best you will set in motion one of many contingencies plans.
one of the best villians I ever ran was in 3e a level 6 noble (maybe aristocrat) against a party that first ran afoul his plans at level 8ish and he was still a thorn in there side by level 14... cause I never let them be in the same room as him
 

dave2008

Legend
Maybe not, but Vecna is referred to in some canon and lore as a god, or very near to one. He should be treated as such.
The version posted by WotC is specifically a non-deity version.

However, I do plan on making a statblock for him and I plan to do 2 versions.
  1. Archlich Vecna: A few tweaks to the Vecna posted on DnD Beyond. Add magic resistance, remove LR, add "unstopabble, more spells, and provide reaction protection. Maybe a few more if think about it.
  2. Vecna, God of Secrets: upgrade everything, add legendary actions (move some reactions to legendary actions), and mythic actions (probably CR30 w/ 2 mythic stages).
I will post them when I'm done.
 




one of the best villians I ever ran was in 3e a level 6 noble (maybe aristocrat) against a party that first ran afoul his plans at level 8ish and he was still a thorn in there side by level 14... cause I never let them be in the same room as him
Aye. If I want a true villain(s) to stay as a constant in a setting they are best left in place not in direct view of the party of God killers
LET'S DO IT!

Also
Strixhaven: The Lich That Shall Not Be Named
Eberron: Architect of the Mourning
For eberron I'd make him lady Illmarrow's father or something like that related to the house of Vol. Alternatively he could have the knowledge she is lacking to restore her mark.
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
The only "Vecna" I'd build would be one based on a character (PC or NPC) who succumbed to wearing the Eye and Hand and whose body is now host for Vecna's spirit. As such, I'd start with the abilities and form of the cursed figure and then build onto that with the powers of the Eye and Hand and some synergistic powers that come from having both.
 

dave2008

Legend
I’d leave him as a boogeyman plot device. The worst thing D&D ever did was give stats to the gods.
No! That is what has inspired more than anything else. The 1e Deities and Demigods was foundational to my D&D experience. I don't know if I would still be playing D&D if it wasn't for that book and gods with stats in general.

EDIT: Though the 5e Vecna is not a god, so it doesn't fall under your no stats suggestion.
 

Reynard

Legend
The only "Vecna" I'd build would be one based on a character (PC or NPC) who succumbed to wearing the Eye and Hand and whose body is now host for Vecna's spirit. As such, I'd start with the abilities and form of the cursed figure and then build onto that with the powers of the Eye and Hand and some synergistic powers that come from having both.
That's actually a good tactic to have one's god and lich it too.
 


jgsugden

Legend
I'll never tell.

And in this instance, I mean it. This is the God of Secrets and Deception. I might have Vecna be a big bad that is fought at the culmination of a major campaign, but even if that did happen, I'd leave that maddening ambiguity to make the PCs think that even in victory, maybe there was something they were missing.

In essence, there are certain figures that can't be what they are described to be if I make them fair. To that end, I try to keep them remote from the PCs and treat them more as forces of nature than entities.

A similar example for me is the Tarrasque. I do not use the Tarrasque in play, but there is a lot of lore about it and it is discussed. If the PCs actually face it and kill it, then en legend is diminished and my world loses some of the luster that keeps it attractive - so I do not place thr Tarrasque before the players. They can hunt it down, and I'd allow them to find it with reasonable approaches ... but putting it live into the game just takes it from meing mythic to being Encounter 132.
 

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