Vecna: Eve of Ruin

D&D 5E Vecna: Eve of Ruin Coming May 21st!

Rabulias

the Incomparably Shrewd and Clever
Right but the stones were early 70s.
Per the Marvel Wiki the first appearances are mostly mid to late 1970s.

Soul: (as the "Soul Gem") Marvel Premiere 1 (Nov 1971)
Mind: Captain Marvel 41 (Aug 1975)
Power: Marvel Team-Up 55 (Dec 1976)
Time: Marvel Team-Up 55 (Dec 1976)
Space: Avengers Annual 7 (Aug 1977)
Reality: (as "Soul Gem") Avengers Annual 7 (Aug 1977)
(as "Reality Gem") Thanos Quest 2 (Aug 1990)
(as Reality Stone) Captain Marvel v7 126 (Nov 2017)

While the Soul Stone technically first appeared in 1971, the idea of multiple stones was developed years later, and the idea of combining them into a weapon was years after that. But the idea of the stones is slightly different than restoring a shattered weapon/device to full functioning. But that concept is not original to D&D either -- Tolkien has Narsil, for example.
 

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Reynard

Legend
Supporter
Just going by the Doctor Who example, its fifth story ever (in 1964), The Keys of Marinus, featured a plot where the Doctor and his companions had to hop around a planet collecting keys to empower a long-dormant machine. The "collect parts to empower the whole" plot has been around a long time...
Now I want to know exactly how long. I am sure that Gygax stole it from somewhere and it probably wasn't either Marvel or Dr. Who.
 

Just going by the Doctor Who example, its fifth story ever (in 1964), The Keys of Marinus, featured a plot where the Doctor and his companions had to hop around a planet collecting keys to empower a long-dormant machine. The "collect parts to empower the whole" plot has been around a long time...
That story has so many D&D tropes - maze-like buildings, trapped statues, killer vines, brains in jars, acid seas, treasure frozen in ice along with it's guardian monsters - there has to be timey-wimey shenanigans going on.
 

Kurotowa

Legend
That story has so many D&D tropes - maze-like buildings, trapped statues, killer vines, brains in jars, acid seas, treasure frozen in ice along with it's guardian monsters - there has to be timey-wimey shenanigans going on.
Doctor Who was quite big in SF Fandom back then. And at least in the 80s, on endless repeat on various PBS stations. So I would have zero surprise that it was an unstated influence on early D&D.
 


That story has so many D&D tropes - maze-like buildings, trapped statues, killer vines, brains in jars, acid seas, treasure frozen in ice along with it's guardian monsters - there has to be timey-wimey shenanigans going on.
I can just hear the DM being angry over the party splitting up. And at his oen mistake of having a fake key as part of a trap, which the players later cleverly used to throw his planned ending into chaos and avoid his big final boss fight!

Of course nothing in Doctor Who in D&D-ness more than The Five Docors - there's even miniatures on a game board!
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
Certainly, but I wouldn't be surprised at all if the MCU was their inspiration here (although I would be surprised to hear them admit it).
They might do that later. They've done it with other recent-ish books. They were very upfront with the inspirations for Descent into Avernus and Rime of the Frostmaiden, for instance (Mad Max and John Carpenter's The Thing respectively).

IMO, it probably does take some inspiration from Infinity War and Endgame (which isn't a bad thing, all art has things that inspired it, and the MCU is still extremely popular), but it also is probably a matter of convergent evolution with the Rod of Seven Parts filling a similar niche of a "multi-piece MacGuffin" from previous editions that can be easily used to score some nostalgia points as well as being an excuse to show off some of the more popular settings in D&D history, like how the Infinity Stones were used in Endgame for early MCU nostalgia.
 

Riley

Legend
Supporter
Just going by the Doctor Who example, its fifth story ever (in 1964), The Keys of Marinus, featured a plot where the Doctor and his companions had to hop around a planet collecting keys to empower a long-dormant machine. The "collect parts to empower the whole" plot has been around a long time...

Doctor Who was quite big in SF Fandom back then. And at least in the 80s, on endless repeat on various PBS stations. So I would have zero surprise that it was an unstated influence on early D&D.

There was a brief flurry of Jon Pertwee broadcasts in the US in the early 70s, but older/B&W Doctor Who like Keys of Marinus didn’t hit the US until after Tom Baker broadcasts were a hit in 1978+.

So Doctor Who, either Keys of Marinus or 1978’s Key To Time, is unlikely to have influenced Gygax’s 1976 Rod of Seven Parts.

Anyway, as others have noted, chasing a series of MacGuffins seems a pretty reliable workhorse of serial/episodic storytelling.
 


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