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I am considering creating a campaign with Vecna as the main antagonist.

The Critical Role show has the party fight against Vecna with Matt Mercer having stats and rules he refers to, I am trying to determine if these rules are from 5E published materials and if so which book they are in or if I need to sit down and create them myself.

I have read and researched and while this is a bespoke campaign created by Matt Mercer many of the creatures he uses are taken as written from the various sourcebooks and then tweaked to match the party level. For example the Beholder, Elder Brain, ancient dragons and the various demons and devils they face.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Answer updated thanks for the reminder :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Richard C
    Jun 20, 2022 at 8:57

2 Answers 2

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The Vecna Dossier

Available to all D&D Beyond users from June 9, 2022 to June 16, 2022, and available to subscribers through July, 2022, The Vecna Dossier contains the official 5th Edition stat block for the legendary archlich, Vecna.

This pre-ascension form of Vecna comes out to CR 26, and most notably, has a very limited selection of spells to cast. I would have expected Vecna to have a full array of Spellcasting choices all the way up to 9th level spells, similar to Acererak and other 20th level casters, but this is not the case.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Note that this is a stat block for Vecna before his ascension to godhood (i.e. this is a stat block that makes sense to fight). \$\endgroup\$
    – BBeast
    Jun 11, 2022 at 6:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @GroodytheHobgoblin Yeh I’ll add some notable observations later. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 11, 2022 at 20:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov It was my understanding (and see the video interview on the download page) that the limited number of spells is because Vecna has been statted out in the new Monsters of the Multiverse style, where NPC casters have fewer spells, and more spell-like actions. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Jun 12, 2022 at 4:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kirt Also, I suspect, because Vecna has three reactions, per round, which include an unlimited 4th level counterspell reaction (with damage applied). Unlimited counterspells with multiple reactions is an insane spell like ability to have. \$\endgroup\$
    – illustro
    Jun 12, 2022 at 5:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ I was pretty disappointed by him having so few spells. Sure, this is a super tough opponent (teleporting around to heal 80 hp each time while meting out psychic damage as a bonus action is nasty, too), and Kirt's likely right why he is built that way. But it feels more like a thug than like a lich. Like Thomas, I would have expected him to have spells up to 9th. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 12, 2022 at 10:38
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This answer was correct until June 2022, when stats for Vecna pre-ascension were released on D&D Beyond.


Not yet

While D&D third and fourth edition provided statistics for Vecna, there aren't any in fifth edition (yet, at least). Matt Mercer's statistics for the deity appear to be his own invention. Vecna's entry at the Critical Role wiki has many statistics missing, as Mercer never revealed them and they do not appear in any sourcebook.

Possible statistics

Based only on what we know about Vecna from the D&D core rulebooks, he's a lich-god capable of crafting artifacts (Dungeon Master's Guide p.208,222). This suggests his statistics are at least that of the lich (Monster Manual p. 202), a challenge rating 21 creature capable of casting 9th level spells. That's a good starting point for Vecna's statistics.

The Dungeon Master's Guide p.11 defines the power of deities. Unlike earlier editions of D&D, there's no specific definition of deities' power levels here. The lesser deity Tiamat is challenge rating 30, so Vecna's 5e statistics may be around this power level. The empyrean is a challenge rating 23 titan, with titans being among the weakest of deities. The highest challenge rating creature in this edition is CR 30, and anything above CR 20 are intended to test player skill. (Monster Manual p.9).

Vecna's statistics in 5e would thus depend entirely on how challenging you intend him to be in your campaign.

  • At minimum, he's a CR21 base lich, which would be a reasonable fight for high level PCs. This might represent Vecna before his ascension to divinity.
  • If you want him to be challenging even to level 20 PCs, give him stronger abilities.
  • If you want him to be of truly godlike power, make him a challenge rating 30 creature.
  • Anything more powerful than challenge rating 30 basically isn't something that player characters will fight.
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    \$\begingroup\$ I feel like Crit Role’s Vecna was at least CR 30, having over 1500 base hitpoints. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 12, 2020 at 13:39

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