New to Sly Flourish? Start Here or subscribe to the newsletter.


The Kickstarter for my latest book, The City of Arches, begins August 6th! Sign up to be notified on the launch of this high-fantasy city sourcebook for Lazy GMs!


Build Your Own Vecna Campaign

by Mike on 8 July 2024

I'm not going to spend a lot of time on details but I wasn't a fan of the plot of WOTC's Vecna – Eve of Ruin adventure. Without spoiling, I'll say that the adventure hinges on one bit of deception that, when revealed, unravels the whole purpose of the rest of the adventure.

But fear not! We can build our own Vecna adventure!

This article contains a campaign outline you can use directly or use to inspire your own Vecna-based multiverse-spanning adventure. You can use it to refactor material from Vecna – Eve of Ruin or you can save yourself $60 and build your own Vecna-based adventure exactly the way you want it.

Here's one potential outline for your own Vecna-based adventure.

Vecna's Motivation

As a mortal-become-god, Vecna continually sought the one thing he wanted most – power. Until, at the culmination of his might, he realized his folly. In his quest for power, he lost his happiest moment forever – a moment side-by-side with his partner, Kas, before the two of them began their individual quests for power. This drive for power destroyed them, sending Kas to the domain of Dread known as Torvag after his betrayal of Vecna and Vecna on his insatiable quest for godhood.

Realizing his loss and recognizing he can never find that happiness again, Vecna seeks to undo reality. He wants to roll back the multiverse to the moment before he and Kas focused on power above all, leading to Kas's betrayal. In doing so, he will destroy everything and everyone in all worlds that followed after that one moment.

Thus, Vecna travels to Pandemonium to conduct the ritual of unmaking and it's up to our heroes to stop him.

Kas and the Cult of Vengeance

In their search for power, Vecna and Kas once stood side by side. Vecna forged a powerful weapon and gifted it to Kas, the legendary Sword of Kas. None know what led to Kas's betrayal. Some say the sword itself suggested it to Kas. But it's well known that in his attempt to slay Vecna and usurp his power, Vecna lost his eye and his hand while Kas lost his life – becoming a vampire trapped in the prison world of Torvag, bound by the chains of the Dark Powers.

Kas now believes he has escaped his prison world of Torvag not realizing the Dark Powers holding him there wanted him to escape. Along with his fanatical followers, Kas plots revenge against Vecna. He seeks the Rod of Seven Parts, spread across several worlds of the multiverse: Oerth, Athas, Krynn, Toril, Eberron, Barovia, and the Astral Sea. Kas knows only the rod, and the entity it releases, can give him the power needed to defeat Vecna. With the Rod of Seven Parts in his possession, he can call forth one of the most powerful horrors in the multiverse, Miska the Wolf Spider.

Kas's Cult of Vengeance spreads out across these worlds seeking the pieces of the Rod of Seven Parts.

Heroes of the Wizards Three

Our heroes begin by infiltrating a forgotten temple deep beneath Neverwinter where they face a powerful cult of worshippers of Vecna, including a lich in his service. After the lich's defeat, the characters discover that Vecna has begun a ritual of unmaking in the plane of Pandemonium. They are contacted by three wizards – Mordenkainen, Alustriel, and Tasha.

The wizards three know the only way to defeat Vecna is to gather the pieces of the Rod of Seven Parts which can pierce through his divinity and bring him down to his original archlich self. They are currently unaware that Kas too seeks pieces of the rod. The wizards aid the characters by discovering locations where the pieces might be found, teleporting the characters to those locations, and attempting to contact the gods for aid (which is unsuccessful – the gods simply don't believe them or the severity of the threat.)

Quests Across the Multiverse

The wizards offer three locations to the characters where the wizards know pieces of the rod might be kept. When the characters reach the second location, they run into members of Kas's Cult of Vengeance also seeking the pieces of the rod. The piece at the third location, the wizards discover, has already been captured by Kas's cultists. The wizards then offer the next three locations.

After the characters return from their fourth world, the cult of Kas has recovered two pieces from two other worlds, leaving a final piece in play. At this final location, the characters face the strongest followers of Kas and attempt to recover a fifth piece.

Final Confrontations with Kas, Miska, and Vecna

With their own pieces in possession and knowing that Kas has the remaining two pieces, they travel to the prison realm of Miska the Wolf Spider. There they face Kas, weakened by his lack of pieces of the rod, and Miska. Should they successfully defeat the two forces, the characters receive all seven parts of the rod.

With all seven pieces in hand, the characters assemble the rod and face Vecna himself in the center of Pandemonium. Their use of the rod makes the elder god mortal once again, though extremely powerful. If the characters succeed, the multiverse is saved. If they fail, all reality is unmade to a time thousands of years previous – the last happy moment for the archlich.

Level Progression

This campaign would begin at 12th level and take the characters to 20th level before they face Vecna. Adventure progression is as follows:

Choosing Locations

This campaign outline lets you choose which worlds you want to offer to the characters. You can choose whatever worlds are meaningful to you and your players. This way the players can choose which ones they want to visit. Let them know that they only get to choose two of the three before the piece of the rod at the third is taken by the cult.

You can choose one world for the final piece of the rod if you have a favorite.

You can add your own side-quests as well. Perhaps the wizards send the characters to worlds where Kas's cult already acquired a piece in order to learn more information. The characters might also go to Kas's former prison domain of Torvag. Perhaps the characters can unravel why the Dark Powers released Kaz in the first place. Perhaps those Dark Powers seek Vecna himself to add to their terrible menagerie of villains. You can expand this campaign wherever your shared story takes you.

Your Own Take on Classic D&D Worlds

This outline gives you freedom to build a flexible campaign for your players based on the material you want to run and your players' choices. Choose the worlds and sites you want to visit. Choose a map, select inhabitants, add some secrets and clues, reskin some monsters, and bathe it in the lore of these classic worlds to build awesome adventures for your group.

More Sly Flourish Stuff

Last week I posted a couple of YouTube videos on Splitting Up Components of your Game Prep and Last Watch – Shadowdark Gloaming Session 35 Lazy GM Prep.

Last Week's Lazy RPG Talk Show Topics

Each week I record an episode of the Lazy RPG Talk Show (also available as a podcast) in which I talk about all things in tabletop RPGs. Here are last week's topics with time stamped links to the YouTube video:

Patreon Questions and Answers

Also on the Talk Show, I answer questions from Sly Flourish Patrons. Here are last week's questions and answers:

RPG Tips

Each week I think about what I learned in my last RPG session and write them up as RPG tips. Here are this week's tips:

Related Articles

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Subscribe to the weekly Sly Flourish newsletter and receive a free adventure generator PDF!

More from Sly Flourish

Sly Flourish's Books

Share this article by copying this link: https://slyflourish.com/vecna_tears_of_unmaking.html

Have a question or want to contact me? Check out Sly Flourish's Frequently Asked Questions.

This work is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International license. It allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format, for noncommercial purposes only by including the following statement in the new work:

This work includes material taken from SlyFlourish.com by Michael E. Shea available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International license.

This site uses affiliate links to Amazon and DriveThruRPG. Thanks for your support!