Vecna Returns for Dungeons & Dragons’ 50th Anniversary

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Dragons and Dungeons is celebrating its golden jubilee, and as expected, Wizards of the Coast is commemorating the 50th anniversary with significant announcements—some of which seem to reflect the extensive history of the tabletop roleplaying game. Today’s news includes: six book releases, upcoming gaming events, and brand partnerships, ranging from predictable to unexpected—with more details yet to be revealed.

The celebration, commencing earnestly in March, will include an official Lego Ideas set (complete with minifigures), a line of footwear and clothing from Converse, and some sort of partnership with Pop-Tarts that will hopefully involve dice-shaped breakfast pastries. Although there aren’t additional details about Pop-Tarts yet, we have information on the soon-to-be-released books, which include the trio of main rulebooks set to lead Dragons and Dungeons into its next era, with a new Player’s Guide and Dungeon Master’s Manual scheduled for release in 2024, and a new Beast Handbook set to follow a few months later in early 2025. Here’s the rundown:

Vecna: Eve of Ruin alt cover

Vecna: Eve of Ruin alt cover
Image: Wizards of the Coast

  • Vecna: Eve of Ruin, an Adventure Campaign for characters of levels 10-20, is described as “a high-stakes adventure in which the fate of the entire multiverse hangs in the balance. The heroes begin in the Forgotten Realms and travel to the realms of Planescape, Spelljammer, Eberron, Ravenloft, Dragonlance, and Greyhawk as they race to save existence from obliteration by the notorious lich—and now of course, Stranger Things star—Vecna who is weaving a ritual to eliminate good, obliterate the gods, and subjugate all worlds.” It releases May 21.

Image for article titled Dragons and Dungeons' 50th Anniversary Brings Back Vecna

Image: Wizards of the Coast

  • The Making of Original Dragons and Dungeons: 1970-1977. Billed as “the ultimate book showcasing Dragons and Dungeons‘s inception, including Gary Gygax’s never-before-seen first draft of Dragons and Dungeons written in 1973, a curated collection of published fanzine and magazine articles contribute to Dragons and Dungeons‘s origin story. Each document is introduced, described, and woven into the story by one of the game’s foremost historians, Jon Peterson. It releases June 18 and is available to pre-order on Amazon.
  • Missions From the Infinite Staircase, an Adventure Anthology for character levels 1-13, “this anthology weaves together six classic Dragons and Dungeons adventures while updating them for the game’s fifth edition. The Infinite Staircase holds doors leading to fantastic realms. It’s home to the noble genie Nafas, who hears wishes made throughout the multiverse and recruits heroes to fulfill them.” It releases July 16.
  • Player’s Guide (2024). “Take your game to the next level with the revised 2024 Player’s Guide. More player options, enhanced organization, and engaging additions to the fifth edition rules make this a must-have for your next Dragons and Dungeons campaign.” It releases September 17.
  • Dungeon Master’s Manual (2024) “It’s never been easier to become the Dungeon Master than with the revised 2024 Dungeon Master’s Manual. Learn the craft from the experts in a cleverly crafted and accessible approach to running your own game. With more tools than ever before, becoming the master of your own multiverse will be a breeze.” It releases November 12.
  • Beast Handbook (2025) “The revised 2025 Beast Handbook brings you the greatest selection of foes to face off with your player’s characters than ever assembled in the history of the game. More options at all levels of play means more ways to provide the challenges that will keep them coming back to the table again and again.” It releases February 18, 2025.

In addition to merchandise, Dragons and Dungeons will also provide more interactive ways to celebrate; in March, “fans all over the world will be able to play the same adventure together inspired by the Dragons and Dungeons creators’ love of tournament-style play.” The event will highlight an excerpt from the upcoming title Descent into the Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth “in game stores, at community centers, libraries, conventions like Gary Con and PAX East, on kitchen tables and painted scenery, in video chat rooms, and on D&D Beyond. Dungeon Masters will be available wherever fans want to play.”

Wizards is also teasing “new ways to enhance immersion with a 3D virtual tabletop and remove barriers to play through new features on Dragons and Dungeons Beyond” as well as an enhanced presence at shows and fan conventions all year long.

Dragons and Dungeons has a rich history, an exciting present, and a great future,” said Kyle Brink, the executive producer of team Dragons and Dungeons at Wizards of the Coast. “This year we’ll be celebrating all three with the 50th anniversary of the first publication of Dragons and Dungeons. We’ll take you through the making of the game, bring some of the classic adventures to today’s play, visit the most iconic settings in the Dragons and Dungeons multiverse, and kick off the future of the game with the new 2024 core rulebooks that are the heart of the game. We’ve been building up to this for a while now. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Visit Dragons and Dungeons Beyond for updates.


This article initially appeared on io9. Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.

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