Tuesday, June 18, 2024

With ‘Vecna: Eve of Ruin’ Beadle & Grimm’s Plans Their Biggest, Baddest Platinum Edition Yet

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It’s the 50th Anniversary of Dungeons & Dragons this year and every part of the D&D world is firing on all cylinders, from streetwear to LEGO sets, and of course the D&D team is kicking it all off in style with next month’s Vecna: Eve of Ruin, an epic romp through the most iconic places in D&D history in order to stop one of the biggest bads to ever threaten the Multiverse. With a big adventure naturally comes a big release from the Beadle & Grimm’s team, who have announced a Platinum Edition of Eve of Ruin set for release this August. We had a chance to chat with the B&G team to get a sneak peek at the box and try to figure out what all they’ve been plotting for the big year.

Vecna: Eve of Ruin Platinum Edition

What was the reaction when you found out you’d get to work on a Vecna-focused adventure?

The Pandemonium Warehouse Cafeteria Goblins were ecstatic. Huge fans of Vec. They’ve been running Season 4 of Stranger Things on a constant loop in the cafeteria, so you can imagine the celebration. The only problem is, when they play the adventure, Vecna always wins.  

You’re all old school D&D fans, what’s your relationship with the Big V Man?

Vecna as he appeared in 3rd edition

Jon Ciccolini: Like all of my high school relationships, short lived and embarrassingly immature. I attempted to cover up my insecurities with +5 armor of emotional invulnerability, but the relationship was doomed from the start. And who are you calling old?
Bill Rehor: It was a long time ago, but I don’t remember ever actually encountering him in a game. For me it was those sweet, sweet magical items with his name on them. The idea of something that’s “so powerful it’s bad for you” is ridiculously enticing to a teenage kid – whether that’s the Eye of Vecca or “Heaven and Hell” by Black Sabbath.

What were your priorities when you started planning out the Platinum Edition?

It’s been 2 years since our last Platinum Edition and we wanted to make sure this one lived up to the epic levels it covers. It’s packed with elements that are sure to please our fans: epic battle maps, hard-core artifacts, immersive handouts, painted minis, original DM screen, piles of encounter cards, etc. Being able to offer a D&D Beyond code for the adventure was also a priority and a big win.

Bill: One exciting thing about Eve of Ruin is that it’s for VERY high-level characters. It’s epic heroes traveling to epic places and (hopefully) saving the world in epic fashion, so the box has to feel, well, epic from the second you open it. The box, the DM screen art, it’s all designed to set the stage for the battle of your life. And when you start pulling out all those double-wide encounter cards, your players are going to know it’s not just to make the art bigger – it’s because that creature has so many crazy powers that their stat block didn’t fit on a normal card!

Why bring back the Soul Coin?

Vecna: Eve of Ruin soul coin

Jon: It’s important to the adventure. We didn’t want to ignore it just because we included it in our Descent Into Avernus premium editions. Soul Coins are currency. Sure, they eat away at your soul if you carry them around, but hey, you can’t have too many!
Bill: I’ll just add that, over the years, the Soul Coin has been the single most popular “jewelry” piece we’ve ever made. We felt like we might get run out of town if we DIDN’T include it.

What was the thought process behind making the Rod of Seven Parts? How did you approach that challenge?

The Rod is iconic. And it’s central to the adventure. So we knew from the start we wanted to do something big. Our artifact has a two-fold purpose: 1) each individual piece acts as its own magic item card, providing the player with that piece’s powers at a glance; 2) when put together side by side on the table, it’s a massive reminder of the progress of the quest. It’s epic, AND it functionally ties to the adventure. There were some early prototypes of the Rod by our more zealous and aggressive Product Goblins, but our Legal Goblins quickly shot those down. 

How do the alternate decorations on the WizKids minis change the impact of the characters?

Well, it doesn’t change their stat blocks at all. That is, unless the DM decides to change them to make them a bit more deadly, which I whole-heartedly endorse. WizKids is a great partner in that they go out of their way to help ensure that the minis found in our Platinum Editions have some unique element. You can’t get them anywhere else. 

Jon: For a DM like me who collects and uses a lot of minis – that makes a difference.

How did you go about creating your new original adventures? Without spoiling, how do you tie them into the greater story?

We always try to have them inspired by the D&D adventure they’re supporting and we develop them in partnership with the lead of that adventure at Wizards of the Coast. What are those key moments that a DM might want to expand on? For one of our original pieces we took a NPC that was mentioned as missing and gave the party a way to find her. For another, we expanded upon a manor gifted to the party. We try to insert these additional encounters in places that won’t disrupt the flow of the greater story arc. Places where the adventure might say, “Feel free to expand on this area.” And then we go and do that. Working with talented writers makes the whole process smoother, and for this box we had some great contributions from Carlos Cisco and Erin Roberts. 

What was the coolest thing included in this box?

Jon: The coolest? As in Fonzie, Ryan Reynolds, or our Event Planning Goblin? I might have to say the BOX itself. This faux-leather bound, foil-stamped beauty majestically rests on your game room shelf. Ideally, just over your shoulder on all your Zoom calls for all to see. I mean, it should be cool, right? 

You can pre-order Vecna: Eve of Ruin Platinum Edition at the Beadle & Grimm’s shop, where it’ll run you $509.99. But trust us when we say they definitely make that price worth it.

Images via Beadle & Grimm’s and Dungeons & Dragons

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