D&D 5E New Vecna Battle (Let's Get Ready to RUMBLE!!!) - CONCLUDED

This is again a scenario where your one off versus organic story can create a difference.

For this one shot we were given a certain number of items (which is exactly how I run my one shots too). However, in a campaign where I knew I was fighting vecna as the endgame, yes I would shop around or even try to craft potions of necrotic resistance...that just makes good sense. Then again, there was dispelling, so potions might have failed...and I would not expect all players to have items of permanent necrotic resistance. Likewise, if a group of 20th level characters is prowling around an area, the super lich is probably going to know about it...and might have preparing for weeks for our arrival....so that's always a possibility.

Ultimately half of the primary being resistant to his primary damage is pretty good.

I can say my biggest goof in this one, was having contingency but not using it. I thought of my shorter range buffs, and completely forgot about the super long term one!
Hey... do not blame yourself! Everone can forget things in the midst of combat. Especially with PbP.
 

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Vyrlm will move behind cover, either the statue or were Pyre, and use cleansing touch to end the effect the damage sharing. Bonus action cast branding smite (4th lvl slot)
 


DND_Reborn

Legend
4.8.2 (Vyrlim) Stepping away from the green-glowing symbol spell, Vyrlim backs up to move behind the statue, losing sight of Venca. He cleanses the necrotic link between himself and the archlich and casts branding smite (4th level slot).

Vyrlim then turns and widens his stance, sunblade and shield prepared for the end...

1658276488107.png


It is now Lair Actions on Initiative 20 (round #9).
 


DND_Reborn

Legend
4.9.20 (Lair Action) A shrieking spirit rises from the cracks in the stone near Pyre, and strikes! Pyre suffers a failed death save (failed 1, made 0) as the spirt vanishes.

4.9.19 (Pyre) Pyre's body convulses and goes rigid, her breath hanging above her lips like a ghostly mist... (Roll 9 FAIL death save; failed 2, made 0).

4.9.12 (Vecna) Howling with an almost giddy delight, Vecna rushes forward and teleports next to Vyrlim, motioning to Pyre behind the archlich, "Your last ally dies!" Vyrlim suffers 12 psychic damage and Pyre her final failed death save, as Vecna's wounds heal. Vyrlim watches as the Pyre shakes once more and lies still... "Do not fret, you will all serve ME soon!"

More necrotic magic engulfs Vyrlim, but he stands firm against the barrage (SUCCESS Roll 18,19+7=26 vs. DC 22 CON save), but still takes 22 necrotic damage (half 45 of half 90).

"Now, DIE!" Vecna cries as he stabs Vyrlim with Afterthought, HITTING (16+13=29 vs. AC 21) for 13 total damage (9 piercing + 4 necrotic (half 8)), reducing him to 0 hit points...

The shadow of death falls over Vyrlim as darkness claims him. The last thing he feels is himself falling...forever.

1658277573105.png


This concludes our third (and maybe final? LOL) Vecna battle. I will posting the complete "Vecna Lair" later, this weekend, if not sooner.

A special thanks to @Stalker0, @FitzTheRuke, @DragonBelow, @Smythe the Bard, and @sleepyInsomniac for making characters and/or participating. I hope you all (and those viewing!) enjoyed playing as much as I enjoyed running the scenario.

And thanks to all the others who commented on rulings and such to help make this play as smoothly as possible!

May you always roll 20s! :D
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
Since this is the "quick part":

Changes to Vecna:

Book of Vile Darkness.

Being attuned to the Book gave Venca the following benefits/spells. The spells were used extensively to guard his sanctum.
  • Proficiency in Stealth (+11)
  • Resistance to Fire damage
  • Glyph of Warding (1/day)
  • Symbol (1/day)

Spell Substitutions.
These were the spell changes I made for Vecna, but only the Flesh to Stone spell was actually used to open the encounter... 🤷‍♂️
  • Detect Magic -> Shield
  • Dimension Door -> Greater Invisibility
  • Invisibility -> Mirror Image
  • Dominate Monster -> Maddening Darkness
  • Globe of Invulnerability -> Flesh to Stone (used)
  • Plane Shift (self only) -> Reverse Gravity

Lair Actions.
Finally, these were Vecna's three lair actions. One was taken from the posted adventure from D&D Beyond, while the others are bumped lich lair actions with the default DC raised from 18 to 20.
  • Shadowplay (from the D&D Beyond Adventure)
  • Siphon Life (lich lair action)
  • Lost Souls (lich lair action)

Originally, symbol was going to be a spell substitution as a spell Vecna could cast himself and glyph of warding was going to replace fly. So, if those changes had "stuck", Vecna would really never have even benefited much from the Book. I did have him roll Stealth when he took up position hidden in his dark tower to watch the PCs enter (Roll 19+11=30... which no one was likely to spot, and of course was much higher than any passive perceptions.
 



Stalker0

Legend
I did have him roll Stealth when he took up position hidden in his dark tower to watch the PCs enter (Roll 19+11=30... which no one was likely to spot, and of course was much higher than any passive perceptions.
Man with that kind of stealth, realistically he could have just used his rotten fate over and over again in teh tower, and we would have never spotted him (as rotten fate doesn't break stealth per our decision earlier in the thread). Further any attempt to firebomb the tower or teleport inside he could have counterspelled.

So I'm honestly not sure how to have stopped that play.
 

DragonBelow

Adventurer
Man with that kind of stealth, realistically he could have just used his rotten fate over and over again in teh tower, and we would have never spotted him (as rotten fate doesn't break stealth per our decision earlier in the thread). Further any attempt to firebomb the tower or teleport inside he could have counterspelled.

So I'm honestly not sure how to have stopped that play.
Counterspelling a 9th level spell has a 65% chance of failure. It's not trivial but he can do it. The casters needed to coordinate better. I had a few strategies that I just didn't get a chance to try. When @DND_Reborn asked me about secondary targets for the Meteor Swarm, I was going to target the tower. Hopefully it wasn't a load bearing structure. On a different note. teleporting as a reaction is awesome.
 


DND_Reborn

Legend
Man with that kind of stealth, realistically he could have just used his rotten fate over and over again in teh tower, and we would have never spotted him (as rotten fate doesn't break stealth per our decision earlier in the thread). Further any attempt to firebomb the tower or teleport inside he could have counterspelled.

So I'm honestly not sure how to have stopped that play.
Yeah, I was really surprised when I rolled that 19. But, I realized in the prior encounters the two skill Vecna would most benefit from would be Athletics and Stealth.

He is too easily grappled. Inside that Anitmagic Field he can't escape it either. That led to his first loss IMO. If he had Athletics, he would have been +10 and could likely escape even two grapplers eventually.

And stealth is very valuable when you can teleport away, out of line of sight, and then hide. But at this level without proficiency the PCs would too easily spot him.

Honestly, for a creature 1000's of years old, I would expect Vecna to have as many skills as he wants.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
I just got unlucky on that roll.
Honestly, there was a couple of times you guys had bad breaks. I don't know how much it would have helped unless the stars aligned and you all could have done major damage in the same round.

Plus, I am kind of glad it didn't work because I was not looking forward to DMing the effect of meteor swarm on the sanctum and trying to figure out damage vs. the tower. 🤷‍♂️
 

Stalker0

Legend
Yeah, I was really surprised when I rolled that 19. But, I realized in the prior encounters the two skill Vecna would most benefit from would be Athletics and Stealth.

He is too easily grappled. Inside that Anitmagic Field he can't escape it either. That led to his first loss IMO. If he had Athletics, he would have been +10 and could likely escape even two grapplers eventually.

And stealth is very valuable when you can teleport away, out of line of sight, and then hide. But at this level without proficiency the PCs would too easily spot him.

Honestly, for a creature 1000's of years old, I would expect Vecna to have as many skills as he wants.
I would argue most creatures at high levels are "too easily grappled". I had a party that easily held down a pit fiend one time. But theoretically that is supposed to be the weakness of spellcasting monsters. We have to remember that the technique only worked because of the ruling that monk and paladin abilities work in an antimagic field (personally in my game I would allow the monk but not the paladin, you can't tell me that emanating radiant power from your sword isn't magical). If we hadn't had those people, we couldn't have hurt vecna anyway.

The "have as many skills as he wants" argument though is a very slippery slope, especially in 5e. That leads to the argument that elves should also have infinite skills, and it becomes pretty imbalancing.

How I've always thought of it in my games, when your immortal like that, time loses meaning. Sure you are 1000s of years old, but your also the ultimate procrastinator. Why release my plan today....tomorrow looks just as good, etc. Why worry about training....I have plenty of time, etc.

In terms of the tower, I use wall of stone as my guide (there is a section on objects but it loses meaning when your talking about large structures). If a stone structure could be made with a wall of stone, than its 1 object with that many hitspoints (3 x 30 hp or 6 x 30 depending on thickness). If its larger than that, it counts of two structures with those hitpoints. A Meteor swarm doing 140 hp on average would basically rip through a normal thickness tower (90 hp).
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
I would argue most creatures at high levels are "too easily grappled". I had a party that easily held down a pit fiend one time. But theoretically that is supposed to be the weakness of spellcasting monsters. We have to remember that the technique only worked because of the ruling that monk and paladin abilities work in an antimagic field (personally in my game I would allow the monk but not the paladin, you can't tell me that emanating radiant power from your sword isn't magical). If we hadn't had those people, we couldn't have hurt vecna anyway.
Especially since PCs can get expertise as where most creatures won't have it. Another issue is although you can grapple a creature larger than yourself, I think it should be with disadvantage. And creatures two or more sizes larger you cannot grapple.

The technique still would have worked vs Vecna (albeit much more slowly) as he just burned... One of the reasons I gave him resistance to fire LOL!

The "have as many skills as he wants" argument though is a very slippery slope, especially in 5e. That leads to the argument that elves should also have infinite skills, and it becomes pretty imbalancing.
Older elves should to a point, but not "younger" just starting out PCs. One extra skill per 100 years would not be unreasonable IMO.

In terms of the tower, I use wall of stone as my guide (there is a section on objects but it loses meaning when your talking about large structures). If a stone structure could be made with a wall of stone, than its 1 object with that many hitspoints (3 x 30 hp or 6 x 30 depending on thickness). If its larger than that, it counts of two structures with those hitpoints. A Meteor swarm doing 140 hp on average would basically rip through a normal thickness tower (90 hp).
If that works for you, that's cool, but considering the hit points of siege equipment in the DMG (p.255), I would think it should be much higher for the tower.

For instance, a siege tower has 200 hp alone. 🤷‍♂️
 

Stalker0

Legend
If that works for you, that's cool, but considering the hit points of siege equipment in the DMG (p.255), I would think it should be much higher for the tower.

For instance, a siege tower has 200 hp alone. 🤷‍♂️
Yeah the numbers are a bit all over the place. I go with the "realism" notion that you ascribed to for this, I can't see a scenario where a meteor swarm....the most destructive magic in existence, couldn't blow up a basic stone tower.

The rules do mention damage thresholds, and that's probably the best way to handle it. A stone tower has a threshold of like 20 but doesn't have a ton of HP.... yeah most things aren't going to scatch it, but as soon as your hurdling big rocks at it or doing immense explosions....its going to go down relatively easily.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
VENCA'S LAIR

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The sliding wall requires a DC 20 Intelligence (Investigation) check to notice the groove in the floor. A DC 20 Dexterity (Thieves' Tools) check is required to deactivate the trap.

Stepping in spaces 1a or 1b activates the trap. The pressure plates beneath the shattered doors can only be found if the remains of the doors are lifted, and then requires a DC 20 Intelligence (Investigation) to find them. Once active, a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw is required to act before the door closes. It closes 1 round after being activated.

This spell is activated as soon as a non-undead creature crosses into its area. It requires a DC 22 Charisma saving throw to avoid the affects.

Written on the altar in Infernal is "Bow before Vecna and know eternity." If the PCs bow or crawl when crossing the glyph, it will not activate.

If a PC enters this space, they must make a DC 10 Dexterity save or fall 40 feet fall for 4d8 bludgeoning damage. Making the save allows the PC to continue moving to an adjacent space instead of falling.

Climbing out is difficult terrain due to loose, sharp rocks.

A DC 20 Wisdom (Perception) check will indicate the carpet in the center is slightly sagging, indicating the presence of the rug-cover pit.

When the chest is touched or opened magically by a non-undead creature, a glyph of warding is activated, dealing 5d8 acid damage to all creatures within 10 feet. A DC 22 Dexterity save reduces damage by half.

This spell is activated as soon as a non-undead creature crosses into its area. It requires a DC 22 Constitution saving throw to avoid the affects.

When a PC steps on the bottom 5-feet of the stairs at locations 6a or 6b, the steps will catapult the PC forward 30 ft. into the acid pool. A DC 15 Dexterity saving throw will allow the PC jump to the bottom of the steps without being thrown into the pool.

On the lower acid pool level in the four recesses are caged zombies. Hanging 60 feet above are another four cages, also containing zombies.

The cages are locked by arcane lock. A DC 20 Wisdom (Perception) check reveals levels at each location to lower the raised cages above. Vecna uses the zombies as healing batteries if the needs arise. He can also release a zombie by speaking a command word (no action required).

The stone sarcophagus at this location has a cold glyph on it. Touching or opening the sarcophagus without the proper command activates the glyph. Creatures within 10 feet will take 5d8 cold damage, a DC 22 Dexterity save reduced damage by half.

This is the residence of the Vecna's Vampire Spawn servant. Vecna will not call on the servant unless he is losing a fight.

This spell is activated as soon as a non-undead creature crosses into its area. It requires a DC 22 Constitution saving throw to avoid the affects.

This spell is activated as soon as a non-undead creature crosses into its area. It requires a DC 22 Constitution saving throw to avoid the affects.

This spell is activated as soon as a non-undead creature crosses into its area. It requires a DC 22 Intelligence saving throw to avoid the affects.

The scrying font is protected by a glyph. Gazing into the water or touching it by a non-undead creature will activate it. Creatures within 10 feet will take 5d8 lightning damage, a DC 22 Dexterity save reduced damage by half.

This spell is activated as soon as a non-undead creature crosses into its area. It requires a DC 22 Wisdom saving throw to avoid the affects.

The entire lower pool level is full of Malice, an inhaled poison. A creature subjected to this poison must succeed on a DC 15 Constilulion saving throw or become poisoned for l hour. The poisoned creature is blinded.

A creature (while breathing) must repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns while it remains on this level.

A creature in the pool or starting its turn there takes 2d8 acid damage. The creature can make a DC 20 Constitution save, for half damage. A submerged creature has disadvantage on the saving throw. The pool is 5 feet deep.

The pool extends under the eastern wall to the "Hidden Pits" (see below).

This structure is 80 feet tall, reaching the ceiling. Inside are levels at 15, 30, 45, and 60 feet. In the center of each level is a small hole in the floor, allowing Venca line of sight to the lower and upper levels so he can teleport between the levels at need.

Around the levels are arrow-slits, allowing Vecna to observe intruders from a place of relative safety.

The tower, itself, is stone 2 feet thick and covered by a permanent magical darkness spell which prevents darkvision.

The Bronze Dragon head mounted to the wall will release a 30-foot cone of repulsion breath identical to a Bronze Dragon when a non-undead creature steps within 10 feet of the dragon head. Creatures must make a DC 15 Strength saving throw or be pushed back 40 feet into the "Hidden Pits" (see below).

The trap requires inspecting the dragon head from either side and a DC 15 Intelligence (Investigation) check to disable the trap.

The six spaces before the stairs to the throne platform are hidden pit traps. The pits are very well concealed and require a DC 25 Wisdom (Perception) check to notice. Any small or larger creature walking on these spaces will trigger the pits.

When triggered, the creature can make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw to jump clear into an adjacent space. If the pits are triggered by a creature affected by the repulsion breath, they make their Dexterity saving throw to jump clear with disadvantage.

Failure indicates the creature falls through the pit, landing in a rocky section of the acid pool below, taking 1d6 piercing damage from the rocks. The pit closes at the same initiative that it opened on the next round. The creature must then contend with the acid pool (see above) and submerge to swim beneath the wall and emerge back in the lower level.

This spell is activated as soon as a non-undead creature crosses into its area. It requires a DC 22 Wisdom saving throw to avoid the affects.

The book (a replica of the Book of Vile Darkness) on the desk is protected by a glyph. Touching the book or trying to read its contents will activate the glyph. Creatures within 10 feet will take 5d8 fire damage, a DC 22 Dexterity save reduced damage by half.

The throne atop the platform is protected by a glyph. Touching the throne or approaching within 5 feet of it will activate the glyph. Creatures within 10 feet will take 5d8 thunder damage, a DC 22 Dexterity save reduced damage by half.

Beneath the throne platform is a private chamber used by Vecna to hold the Book of Vile Darkness. It can be accessed from either opening in the north or south walls, but the openings are hidden in darkness and require a DC 15 Wisdom (Perception) check to notice.

60 feet above the entrance is an old wooden catwalk, supported by the pillars around the lair. A section of it is broken and remnants can be see on the floor below near the southern stairs to the eastern level.

Walking along the catwalk can be tricky and requires a DC 10 Dexterity (Acrobatics) check. Failure indicates a creature's speed is 0 (it cannot move along the catwalk anyway). A DC 10 Dexterity saving throw is required if the creature attempts to move again on its next turn. Failure indicates it falls to the levels below.

Areas 24a and 24b are balconies a full 30 feet above the eastern level (40 feet above the pool level). Vecna likes to hide in these areas and observe intruders. It is also a prime location from which to cast maddening darkness as (if centered within the tower, which Vecna can see) the back reaches of the balconies are out of the area effected by the spell (as are the hanging cages).

I think that's it. If anyone has any questions, please let me know.
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
Sweet. Could you post a version with all the hidden things hidden (for me to print for players)? I think I'd like to run it with my home group.
 


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