5 Reasons Why Mythic Odysseys of Theros Could Be Your Next D&D Campaign Book
If you like your fantasy tabletop game to be full of monsters and creatures from myth and legend, then Mythic Odysseys of Theros could be the ideal campaign setting for your next Dungeon & Dragons Game. Mythic Odysseys of Theros is the fourth new campaign setting for 5th edition (the fifth if you count the Aqc Inc. book, which you probably shouldn’t), and it continues the brand’s expansion away from the main Forgotten Realms setting. The other three campaign settings released so far are:
Fans of Magic The Gathering will recognize this new setting, as Mythic Odysseys of Theros comes straight from WotC’s other main product line. And, like the accidental second child of an already stretched and loveless marriage, D&D fans will have to put up with some of Magic‘s oversized hand-me-downs. But don’t worry: those slightly worn-out jeans and unwanted, stained Converse All-Stars can find a new lease of life as second hand treasure. As we will see when we look at the top 5 reasons to add Mythic Odysseys of Theros to your D&D collection.
Naturally spoilers for this setting will follow, and so only Dungeon Masters and players who really know how to keep a secret should read on.
1. Legends Walk the Lands – More than 50 pages of new monsters
Like Guildmasters’ Guide to Ravnica, the first D&D 5e book to pull from the Magic: the Gathering toolbox, this tome comes complete with hordes of creatures from the new setting; some old, some new, but all with a unique Theros twist.
Theros is a land of the ancients. Fans of Greek, Roman, and Norse mythology will love to see the monsters from antiquity represented herein. Chimeras, golden lions, collusus (collusi?), sphinxes, and many-headed hydras are all among the classic D&D monsters to receive a Theros-style makeover. And there are a whole host of brand new creatures too.
Dungeon Masters can choose from ancient conquerors called Archons, celestial survivors of an age long past; demons of the underworld such as the Eater of Hope, the Nightmare Sherherd, and the Abhorrent Overlord; and highly trained Hoplite warriors, reminiscent of Spartan hunters, to throw at their players. My particular favorite foe from this section of the book is the Hundred-Handed One. A huge giant with infinite extra pairs of arms that orbit its body ready to swat away missiles and air-borne heroes alike.
2. Mythic-Level Monsters
What sets Mythic Odysseys of Theros apart from other D&D collections is the addition of Mythic level monsters. Three of Theros’s most infamous terrors, beings whose might and dread set them apart as menaces of legendary proportions, are included here: Arasta of the Endless Web, Hythonia the Cruel, and Tromokratis the Karaken. These three monsters far outstrip anything we’ve seen in 5th edition D&D so far, and deliver a brand new mechanic to help DMs keep their players guessing. Each of these creatures has Mythic Traits and Actions which the Dungeon Master can use to ramp up the difficulty and really hammer home the sense of a truly terrifying and world-ending threat. Often, once player characters get to a certain level (usually around 16/17th) they just laugh off whatever you might throw at them. “Ha! There’s nothing in the Monster Manual that can hurt me!” Well, not anymore.
Not only do these three magnificent creatures come with deeply scary backgrounds and mystifying lairs, but their new Mythic traits allow them to act beyond the usual final point of a battle. Reduce Arasta of the Endless Web to zero hit points, for instance, and they erupt into a cacophony of over one million tiny spiders which swarm over their gargantuan body, giving 200 additional hit points and increasing the need for a change of pants in your players. Likewise, when the giant snake-like Hythonia reaches 0 hit points, they shed their scaly hide, regain 199 hit points, and immediately move up to 40ft, and likely causes all players in the vicinity to instantly turn to stone. But the best, and most chilling by far is Tromokratis. Reduce this behemoth to 0 and its giant kraken carapace cracks revealing its four beating hearts, which must be individually destroyed in order to take out this fearsome monstrosity.
3. Create Your Own Hero Straight From Myth
Who better to fight a monster from antiquity than heroes, chosen by the Gods, destined to be legends and adventurers born of this mythic setting? The first chapter of Mythic Odysseys of Theros helps you to explore this idea of creating a true champion of Theros. Complete with brand new races, backgrounds, class options, and traits, it also introduces supernatural gifts available to characters—features that set Theros’ adventurers apart as true heroes.
You could be an Iconoclast, refuting the worthiness of the gods, but forever protected from their machinations; an Oracle, haunted by nightmares foretelling the deaths of people you’ve never met; you might have an Heroic Destiny, making you harder to kill; or be an Anvilwrought, created in the fires of Purphoros’s forge, with constructed resilience and immunity to disease.
The playable races in Mythic Odysseys of Theros are also different from those found in the Player’s Handbook, and include centaurs, leonin, satyrs, tritons, and minotaurs. Whilst some of these races appear in other 5th edition texts, in Theros they have their own unique traits, abilities, and characteristics that distinguish them from their Forgotten Realms counterparts—and encourage you to spend more on purchasing this book to get hold of the exciting new Theros Triton Variant. I mean, of all the possible races they could have included here to give a cool Theros twist, was anyone really asking for a new Triton? Were you not eagerly holding your breaths to see what type of gills they might have? The leonin on the other hand are very cool, and well worth considering for your next heroic character.
4. Divine Relationships
What would a mythic hero be without their god behind them? The divine relationship of any champion guides them, shapes their actions, and provides their moral compass. Paris killed Achilles only with the blessing of Apollo, and the mythic hero you create in Theros will need a similar relationship with their god to be victorious.
There are 15 gods in the Pantheon of Theros and they play a constant role in the lives of their heroes. The main way this is shown in a Theros campaign is through Piety Points. The gods in this setting reward the devotion of their chosen champions and as they move along their journey they might receive a reward for particularly heroic deeds in the service of their god. When devotees of Heliod, God of the Sun, gain 3 piety points for instance, they can cast the bless spell; five piety points and they can cast daylight; 25 points gives advantage on saving throws against being blinded and resistance to fire damage; and 50 piety points means they can increase their strength or wisdom score by 2. Thus there is plenty of advantages to a pious life, and in Theros there are plenty of gods to choose from if you fall out of favor with your own.
5. Temple Maps and More
Mythic Odysseys of Theros includes lots of useful temple maps, which can be used in any campaign as places for heroes to explore or attend in piety. Each of the main deities mentioned has a detailed map for their main temple. From amphitheaters to volcanoes, Dungeon Masters are given plenty of interesting locales for their players to navigate and traverse, as they uncover the depths of these unique dungeons.
There are also detailed instructions of how to put together an adventure in Theros included in this book. Details on how to help set the tone of a Theros campaign and give your players a taste of the wonders therein, whilst encouraging exploration of the divine through oracles, portents, and prophecy. As well as this, there’s a brief introductory adventure, No Silent Secret, which sees your level 1 heroes leave the safety of civilization and head to the Court of Orestes and delve deep into the Crypts of the Deathless.
Mythic Odysseys of Theros
Overall, Mythic Odesseys of Theros is a fun and jam-packed campaign setting that sheds more than just a little light on an exciting adventuring world. If you’re looking for a new setting, where players will find dangerous magical artifacts, uncover the secrets behind ancient myths, and fight titanic, epic monsters then this could well be the perfect next D&D book for you. Just don’t mention the Tritons, OK?
Disclaimer: GeekDad received a copy of Mythic Odysseys of Theros for review purposes
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