Since 2010 when I made a new year’s resolution to play more Dungeons & Dragons, I’ve run hundreds of D&D games at game stores and gaming conventions. Virtually all those games featured adventures published for D&D Encounters, Living Forgotten Realms, Adventurers League, and the D&D hardcovers. I’ve enjoyed nearly all of those modules, learned from the rest, and written about much of it here.
Still, like every DM, I’ve wanted to run some of my own creations at conventions for friends and for strangers who will soon become friends. So this year at Winter Fantasy 2023, I’ve added two sessions where I’ll be running my own adventure, titled House of Vecna—or Curse of Vecna. (Please help me choose a title before I put it up for sale.) One slot has sold out and I’m delighted, but the 2pm Friday game still has tickets, so you should drop all your plans in favor of joining my game.
House of Vecna started when a kid who practically grew up playing my D&D Encounters games came back from college and asked to revisit the fun. I dreamed up a scenario for two hours on a Wednesday night—just enough time for a strong start and a senses-shattering conclusion. Friends, I am so proud of the adventure’s irresistible hook: A child who can’t read approaches the party and hands them a note that says, “I poisoned my parents. They’re in my house. I am very wicked and should hang.” When my players read that note, a shock wave of surprise and curiosity passed their faces, and I still relish the memory. Things turned out fine.
I revisited the adventure for a second group, but this time a 4-hour session required a middle, stronger motives for the villains, a more developed mystery, and a small dungeon because I like that sort of thing. I turned to my notebook of D&D ideas waiting for the right game and tried to match ideas to my adventure. For each bit of inspiration, I asked myself how each could work with the adventure. I landed on a delightfully creepy marriage of ideas that gives players the fun of figuring things out.
So drop everything and play. And even if you can’t, please say hi. Winter Fantasy is small; you’ll see me.
For House of Vecna, I’ll have pre-generated characters. Alternately, bring a level 9 or 10 Adventurer’s League character to play. You can’t gain AL rewards, but you can add its story to your character’s imaginary history.