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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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36123 Posts

Posted - 11 Jun 2022 :  16:45:56  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
So unless you've been living under a rock, you probably know that Vecna is the big bad for Season 4 of Stranger Things. (If you've not been watching Stranger Things, rectify this situation immediately! You don't even need Netflix -- it's on DVD)

Even though there are some notable differences between the show's Vecna and the D&D Vecna (like the number of eyes and hands), WotC has decided to run with it and give us some Vecna content.

quote:
What Is the Vecna Dossier? Uncover the Archlich's Deepest Secrets and Stat Block

The Vecna Dossier is a homage to one of the greatest villains in Dungeons & Dragons, the archlich Vecna. Inside, you'll find information regarding Vecna's past, as well as a stat block for using him in your games.

From June 9th to June 16th, 2022, all D&D Beyond users can claim their copy of the Vecna Dossier at no cost! Simply head to the redemption page by clicking the button below. From there, you can unlock its contents for use in D&D Beyond's digital toolset! After June 16th, the Vecna Dossier will only be available to claim by subscribers during June and July.



It's not the greatest, most well-detailed write-up, but it's free content and 5E stats, so there's some utility there.

(True story: I only recently found out that Vecna is an anagram of Vance -- as in, Jack Vance, whose fiction influenced a lot of D&D stuff, including spellcasting and ioun stones)

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 11 Jun 2022 16:47:31

Baltas
Senior Scribe

Poland
942 Posts

Posted - 11 Jun 2022 :  17:10:47  Show Profile Send Baltas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It does change/retcon a bit about Vecna's backstory with his mother, Mazell - as Mazell not exiled for practicing necromancy, but executed for just practicing arcane magic (though she DID know and practice necromancy), or was killed for even a simpler thing - giving indirectly the princess of Fleeth medicine to cause a miscarriage, to not reveal she had an affair, but the girl overdosed and died. With Mazell being executed for it.


Though it does tie to 4E lore, were Vecna claimed his mother practiced extremely dark magic she taught him, and even lied with fiends, though I fancanoned that as Vecna's memory being warped from his great age, lichhood and other things, him plain lying, or that being Nerath! Vecna's backstory.

Edited by - Baltas on 11 Jun 2022 17:16:16
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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USA
36123 Posts

Posted - 11 Jun 2022 :  20:44:48  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I find myself pondering the creation of Vecna, now.

I assume Gary Gygax created both artifacts... But why were the only surviving bits one eye and one hand? (I get that the rest was destroyed or whatever; I wonder why it was decided that just an eye and just a hand were left, instead of a skull or an inanimate object that could have carried some part of Vecna's power)

And which was created first, the artifacts or the dude they were attached to? Eldritch Wizardry doesn't really say anything about Vecna himself, but that doesn't mean that there wasn't already a backstory, there -- the Sword of Kas is also described, with a connection to Vecna, so there must have been at least a rough idea of an origin, already.

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ElfBane
Learned Scribe

USA
233 Posts

Posted - 11 Jun 2022 :  22:37:59  Show Profile Send ElfBane a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I find myself pondering the creation of Vecna, now.

I assume Gary Gygax created both artifacts... But why were the only surviving bits one eye and one hand? (I get that the rest was destroyed or whatever; I wonder why it was decided that just an eye and just a hand were left, instead of a skull or an inanimate object that could have carried some part of Vecna's power)

And which was created first, the artifacts or the dude they were attached to? Eldritch Wizardry doesn't really say anything about Vecna himself, but that doesn't mean that there wasn't already a backstory, there -- the Sword of Kas is also described, with a connection to Vecna, so there must have been at least a rough idea of an origin, already.



I may have missed this being mentioned, but the Baldur's Gate PC games had a "Robe of Vecna". It was QUITE nice for a magic user to aquire. And since these games were licensed by the Rights holder, I assumed they were Canon.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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USA
36123 Posts

Posted - 11 Jun 2022 :  23:00:03  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ElfBane


I may have missed this being mentioned, but the Baldur's Gate PC games had a "Robe of Vecna". It was QUITE nice for a magic user to aquire. And since these games were licensed by the Rights holder, I assumed they were Canon.



I think at this point, pretty much everything ever associated with Vecna has become some sort of artifact or powerful magical item. Someone, somewhere, has likely written up a detailed history and set of powers for the Belly Button Lint of Vecna.

I now find myself imagining players trying to figure out what to do with the Duodenum of Vecna.

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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
6474 Posts

Posted - 12 Jun 2022 :  02:26:08  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Jagged Toenail of Vecna is known to have slain at least three kings, two beholders and a dragon.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Baltas
Senior Scribe

Poland
942 Posts

Posted - 12 Jun 2022 :  12:40:14  Show Profile Send Baltas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
And let's not forget about the infamous Head of Vecna...

...which was fake, and using was just really stupid reason to kill yourself...
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Athreeren
Acolyte

41 Posts

Posted - 13 Jun 2022 :  13:44:27  Show Profile Send Athreeren a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by ElfBane


I may have missed this being mentioned, but the Baldur's Gate PC games had a "Robe of Vecna". It was QUITE nice for a magic user to aquire. And since these games were licensed by the Rights holder, I assumed they were Canon.



I think at this point, pretty much everything ever associated with Vecna has become some sort of artifact or powerful magical item. Someone, somewhere, has likely written up a detailed history and set of powers for the Belly Button Lint of Vecna.

I now find myself imagining players trying to figure out what to do with the Duodenum of Vecna.



Recently, Ed Greenwood mentioned a scene he once wrote where several characters claimed they had the authentic foreskin of Vecna. Somehow he was not allowed to publish it...
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PattPlays
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431 Posts

Posted - 14 Jun 2022 :  02:39:04  Show Profile  Visit PattPlays's Homepage Send PattPlays a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Athreeren

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by ElfBane


I may have missed this being mentioned, but the Baldur's Gate PC games had a "Robe of Vecna". It was QUITE nice for a magic user to aquire. And since these games were licensed by the Rights holder, I assumed they were Canon.



I think at this point, pretty much everything ever associated with Vecna has become some sort of artifact or powerful magical item. Someone, somewhere, has likely written up a detailed history and set of powers for the Belly Button Lint of Vecna.

I now find myself imagining players trying to figure out what to do with the Duodenum of Vecna.



Recently, Ed Greenwood mentioned a scene he once wrote where several characters claimed they had the authentic foreskin of Vecna. Somehow he was not allowed to publish it...



"You think that's a wand? THIS is a wand!"

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Delnyn
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USA
710 Posts

Posted - 21 Jun 2022 :  02:22:53  Show Profile Send Delnyn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I think at this point, pretty much everything ever associated with Vecna has become some sort of artifact or powerful magical item. Someone, somewhere, has likely written up a detailed history and set of powers for the Belly Button Lint of Vecna.

I now find myself imagining players trying to figure out what to do with the Duodenum of Vecna.


The Duodenum of Vecna is a long range indestructible trollgut rope. Other Body parts of Vecna deserve the same amount of ridicule as a poll about 20th level slaves.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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36123 Posts

Posted - 21 Jun 2022 :  03:25:35  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Delnyn

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I think at this point, pretty much everything ever associated with Vecna has become some sort of artifact or powerful magical item. Someone, somewhere, has likely written up a detailed history and set of powers for the Belly Button Lint of Vecna.

I now find myself imagining players trying to figure out what to do with the Duodenum of Vecna.


The Duodenum of Vecna is a long range indestructible trollgut rope. Other Body parts of Vecna deserve the same amount of ridicule as a poll about 20th level slaves.






Ooh, boy, that one was out there!

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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
11211 Posts

Posted - 26 Jun 2022 :  23:14:36  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Delnyn

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I think at this point, pretty much everything ever associated with Vecna has become some sort of artifact or powerful magical item. Someone, somewhere, has likely written up a detailed history and set of powers for the Belly Button Lint of Vecna.

I now find myself imagining players trying to figure out what to do with the Duodenum of Vecna.


The Duodenum of Vecna is a long range indestructible trollgut rope. Other Body parts of Vecna deserve the same amount of ridicule as a poll about 20th level slaves.




I agree, I heard about the phallus of vecna and the fact that it shriveled up when laughed at by young women. It was an entirely impotent artifact if you ask me. Of course, there were also rumors that he had also run into a certain type of cursed girdle in his youth as well, and that this was a source of a lot of his anger.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 26 Jun 2022 23:18:59
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Delnyn
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USA
710 Posts

Posted - 02 Jul 2022 :  16:23:24  Show Profile Send Delnyn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Baltas

And let's not forget about the infamous Head of Vecna...

...which was fake, and using was just really stupid reason to kill yourself...



We have a close approximation with The Pillar of Geryon in Fiendish Codex 2.
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 02 Jul 2022 :  18:18:23  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You know, ever since I first heard about the Head of Vecna, I've wondered how people were stupid enough to fall for that one. Even if it had worked as advertised, the original character was dead -- the head would have its own brain and personality.

I think it's a bit of a stretch to maim yourself for power, as the Eye and Hand require an otherwise intact person to do, but at least the player's mind would still be there and in charge of the body (at least for a while).

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sleyvas
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Posted - 03 Jul 2022 :  18:53:39  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
you make the assumption that the being cannot exist with ONE of its heads missing. There ARE several beings that could chop off a head and survive to implant the head of vecna on the stump of the head that they just chopped off. It might be an interesting storyline if an ettin were to put on the head of vecna (granted, I realize... fake item, but....).

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 03 Jul 2022 :  23:25:46  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

you make the assumption that the being cannot exist with ONE of its heads missing. There ARE several beings that could chop off a head and survive to implant the head of vecna on the stump of the head that they just chopped off. It might be an interesting storyline if an ettin were to put on the head of vecna (granted, I realize... fake item, but....).



Given that the whole thing involved adventurers, and at least a couple of them did die trying this stunt, it's fair to say they couldn't exist without their heads.

Really, most critters can't survive without their heads -- at least the critters who'd be interested in becoming more powerful. It's not that much of an assumption to assume that adventurers hearing about the Head of Vecna are your standard-issue, singled-headed, humanoid, murder hoboes.

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Ayrik
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Canada
7650 Posts

Posted - 04 Jul 2022 :  01:30:24  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

It might be an interesting storyline if an ettin were to put on the head of vecna (granted, I realize... fake item, but....).

Ah, but the Eye of Vecna (real item) could be used by a beholder or a dragon.
And the Hand of Vecna (real item) could be used by a phaerimm or an illithid.

Forget the stupid ettin. Artifacts of malevolence will find their ways into the possession of worthy adversaries.

[/Ayrik]
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Eldacar
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431 Posts

Posted - 04 Jul 2022 :  02:09:42  Show Profile Send Eldacar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ElfBane

I may have missed this being mentioned, but the Baldur's Gate PC games had a "Robe of Vecna". It was QUITE nice for a magic user to aquire. And since these games were licensed by the Rights holder, I assumed they were Canon.


As I recall, under the 2e rules it decreased casting time by 6. You could stack it with the Amulet of Power, as well, for a net -7. (Then in the late game you used Improved Alacrity and Time Stop to drop your entire load of spells at once minus a single 9th level Wish, then cast that Wish to refresh your entire spell selection and rinse, repeat.)

Worthy of Vecna, at the least.

I believe Dragon #359 also listed two other body parts of Vecna as magic items/artifact-level items. A couple of his phalanges and an ear, it might have been.

"The Wild Mages I have met exhibit a startling disregard for common sense, and are often meddling with powers far beyond their own control." ~Volo
"Not unlike a certain travelogue author with whom I am unfortunately acquainted." ~Elminster
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sleyvas
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USA
11211 Posts

Posted - 04 Jul 2022 :  17:49:12  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

It might be an interesting storyline if an ettin were to put on the head of vecna (granted, I realize... fake item, but....).

Ah, but the Eye of Vecna (real item) could be used by a beholder or a dragon.
And the Hand of Vecna (real item) could be used by a phaerimm or an illithid.

Forget the stupid ettin. Artifacts of malevolence will find their ways into the possession of worthy adversaries.



Hmmm, deepspawn with the eye of vecna. I know beholder is probably a better choice, but something about that appeals to me, especially since they have a ton of eyes. Put some teeth of Dahlver-Nar in their fanged mouths too.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Ayrik
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Canada
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Posted - 04 Jul 2022 :  22:55:34  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think Vecna would enjoy having access to a beholder's anti-magic eye, a dragon's breath weapon, or an illithid's mind blast.

[/Ayrik]
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 05 Jul 2022 :  00:16:23  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

It might be an interesting storyline if an ettin were to put on the head of vecna (granted, I realize... fake item, but....).

Ah, but the Eye of Vecna (real item) could be used by a beholder or a dragon.
And the Hand of Vecna (real item) could be used by a phaerimm or an illithid.




Would a dragon be able to use the Eye of Vecna? There's a rather notable size different there.

*snickers* A dragon gets ahold of the Hand of Vecna, grafts it onto the end of one of his claws...

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LordofBones
Master of Realmslore

1443 Posts

Posted - 10 Jul 2022 :  11:31:44  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I find the whole "necromancy = ooga booga" to be kind of bogus at this point, mostly because Vecna has now been saddled with Orcus-worship and has turned into a god of undeath. My preferred interpretation is that the voodoo Vecna's mother was executed for was Binding, and the Serpent is a vestige. It fits the whole "creepy arcane magic" thing and Vecna's general nuttiness - he was an unknowing binder who became a wizard, and the Serpent is the only vestige he bound.
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Baltas
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Poland
942 Posts

Posted - 10 Jul 2022 :  15:55:41  Show Profile Send Baltas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yeah, as I mentioned, Vecna's mom, Mazell while knowing necromancy, she wasn't not punished for that in old lore. (And her punishement was harsher, ie execution.)

Nice theory/fan-canon with the Serpent/Mok'slyk being a vestige, it could make sense with it not having any worshippers (sans Mazell and latter Vecna), but still being active, while not an Overpower.

It could make the Serpent an ancient rival of Pholtus - if I remember right, Fleeth has forbidden arcane magic - if Pholtus' ancient enemy was a god of (arcane) magic, it has sense Fleeth (city worshipping Pholtus) forbade it. And Pholtus' cult could at least have a hand in driving that of the Serpent to extinction among Flan.
(It is implied Pholtus was originally a Flan not an Oeridian (only?) deity, seeing his worship being so dominant in Fleeth, an Ur-Flan city state. Even I think the oldest known place of Pholtus' worship.)

Edited by - Baltas on 10 Jul 2022 15:58:53
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LordofBones
Master of Realmslore

1443 Posts

Posted - 11 Jul 2022 :  05:36:11  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yup, I figured that binding would be the sort of thing that would raise hackles; standard arcane magic wouldn't raise eyebrows, but I figure that bargaining with creepy ghostlike things for power is probably what gets the Inquisition knocking on your door with their enormous fiery greatswords waving.

In PF, Mazell would be a witch.
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