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The creature Vecna has the following Aura:

Vecna's Aura (Healing, Necrotic) aura 10; any living creature that starts its turn within the aura takes 50 necrotic damage. Any undead creature that starts its turn within the aura regains 50 hit points.

Vecna has been a big bad throughout my campaign. A few of my players recently rerolled revenants and vampires, and I realized yesterday why: they intend to use the undead part of their class/race to dominate their nemesis during the final confrontation. Have they missed something, or did they beat the system?

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I don't have a full answer here, but keep in mind that a monster can spend a minor action to turn off an aura. So at the very least you can avoid healing your PCs. –  wax eagle Feb 14 at 21:25
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up vote 8 down vote accepted

For Revenants, no, but you've got to work for it. Revenants start off both living and undead:

Undead: You are considered an undead creature for the purpose of effects that relate to the undead keyword. You are also considered a living creature.

This means that for a Revenant the Aura is neutralised at best, until you take the Death's Blessing feat (Dr376).

Benefit: You no longer need to eat, drink, or breathe, so you never need to make Endurance checks to resist the effects of starvation, thirst, and suffocation. You are no longer considered a living creature.

At this point, you're about equal to how the Vampire class starts out, for the purposes of this 'exploit'. However as mentioned all Vecna has to do is notice your PCs are still looking pretty healthy after a couple of rounds and use a minor action to turn off the aura (this is specified in MM1's Glossary).

Did they beat the system?

The key thing to remember as a DM is you are the system. This really comes down to whether you want to reward your players for metagaming or not. Pull a M. Night Shyamalan, and have some other Big Bad your players weren't expected come in as the real BBEG. Maybe have Vecna treat the PCs as allies initially - after all, they've paid a heavy price to become undead in order to face him. Make whatever it is memorable - this is the final confrontation after all.

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