The next version of Dungeons & Dragons kicks off in 2024, and publisher Wizards of the Coast has finally revealed how it will begin: with Vecna, the undead villain who has been the focal point of many classic adventures. Developers also revealed on Tuesday, during the D&D Direct livestream, that the world of Sigil — the centerpiece of the beloved Planescape setting — will play a major role. In addition, the publisher firmed up its timeline for 2023, giving release windows for four major pieces of tabletop content.
Vecna is a lich, a powerful undead monster born of a corrupted sorcerer. He was introduced to D&D in 1976 with the publication of Dungeons & Dragons Supplement III: Eldritch Wizardry, written by Gary Gygax and Brian Blume. Fans of Stranger Things will be familiar with the name, which was borrowed for the Netflix show’s season 4 villain.
During the livestream, developers hinted that the new Planescape: Adventures in the Multiverse (now confirmed for a release in the fourth quarter of 2023) will set the stage for Vecna’s return. Sigil — the “city of doors” that connect D&D’s multiverse — will provide the setting with more “interconnectivity” than ever before.
Also mentioned during the livestream were the Red Wizards of Thay, which play a prominent role in the upcoming film Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves. Joining them will be the League of Malevolence, which previously returned to the D&D canon with the release of The Wild Beyond the Witchlight in 2021, and Vengar, the antagonist of the 1980s D&D cartoon.
Additional release windows on the roadmap include Bigby Presents: Glory of the Giants, a supplement coming in the third quarter of 2023; Phandelver and Below: The Shattered Obelisk, a campaign-length expansion of the tiny adventure included in the original 5th edition starter set, also dropping in the same time period; and The Deck of Many Things, an exploration of one of D&D’s most iconic magic items, pegged for the fourth quarter of 2023.