Dungeons & Dragons Reveals Vecna as Villain of 50th Anniversary Campaign

Vecna will be the villain of the Dungeons & Dragons adventure celebrating the game's 50th anniversary campaign. Wizards of the Coast revealed that the classic god-lich would be the villain of the 2024 adventure, which will span multiple worlds and serve as a celebration of all things D&D. The new adventure will also apparently launch a new phase of D&D campaign plots, with the Vecna adventure revealing "even deeper plots for years to come." Storylines and "interconnectivity" from the Vecna adventure will apparently play out over a five year period, with other adventures bringing back more classic D&D villains. For instance, the Red Wizards of Thay will be the focus of the 2025 adventure, while the League of Malevolence (a group of D&D villains that were originally part of the 1980s D&D toy line) will appear in multiple adventures seeking power from across the multiverse. Venger, the main antagonist from the D&D cartoon, will also appear in an upcoming D&D adventure. 

The focus on the "interconnectivity" of the D&D multiverse is an interesting one and seems to be a shift in how D&D approaches its adventure content. While the first several years of 5E adventures published by Wizards of the Coast featured small connections between campaigns in the form of easter eggs and NPCs that popped up in multiple adventures, the two adventures published in 2022 (a Dragonlance adventure and a mini-campaign published as part of the Spelljammer box set) were very much removed from the interconnectivity that had appeared in past books. 

With Wizards of the Coast hinting at a five year plan for their adventures and talking about adventures that won't be published for years to come, it almost sounds like the D&D design team is working towards some sort of meta-narrative within its adventures, which could be exciting for fans if done right. It's an easy way to get people excited about Dungeons & Dragons in an organic and authentic fashion and could be a way to keep players interested in sticking with "official" D&D adventures. 

We could see the start of the Vecna plotline later this year, as the Phandelver and Below: The Shattered Obelisk adventure will involve a set of strange obelisks that were tied to Vecna in a past campaign. Until then, we'll have to wait and ponder what Wizards of the Coast has planned for the Dungeons & Dragons game.