Review: Wizards of the Coast – Mythic Odysseys of Theros (Dungeons & Dragons)

Mythic Odysseys of Theros
Mythic Odysseys of Theros is an epic fantasy supplement for Dungeons & Dragons, published by Wizards of the Coast.
By Dave Pierson

Learn more about Mythic Odysseys of Theros here
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The Homebrew DM’s Perception

Disclaimer: Truly, what mortal’s poor striving can weather the scheming of heaven? Heliod reached for rulership; Purphoros never accepts him. Kruphix but watches, and mortals are left to the whim of the fates, or Torn in the claws of the furies; only a hero denies them.

-The Callapheia

Wizards of the Coast, Mythic Odysseys of Theros, 2020

Gods, monster, and heroes; all intertwined by the Fates. Welcome to the next crossover setting between Dungeons and Dragons and Magic the Gathering. Theros was a plane of existence introduced to Magic the Gathering players back in 2013. Given it’s roots in ancient Greek and Roman mythology, it was only time that a setting based on these principles would make its way to D&D. In fact, a search of the internet will populate results of many individual creators who have attempted to present their own D&D setting based on Greek history. Just last month we reviewed Odyssey of the Dragonlords. So, what is in the book and how can we use it in our homebrew settings?

First item to point out, unlike some other setting books Wizards of the Coast has produced, this one is lacking in adventure hooks to really give the DM and players a reason to adventure. There is a short adventure designed for 1st level characters towards the end, but otherwise the book itself is just a plethora of lore and general high-level detail of locations.  In fact, I would say the majority of the book is dedicated to the gods and mortal realms of Theros. It’s a little surprising given the excellent plot hooks and detailed locations that were provided in the Wildemount release. There are some new races – Leonin (Lions) for the win – and a couple new subclass options, a background and the concept of Supernatural Gifts that all players begin play with, and of course 50 pages for friends or foes our players can come across.

So lets start with player character creation and your homebrew settings. We have 2 new subclasses and a background that can provide some interesting tidbits for our players. The Bard subclass, College of Eloquence, is all about persuasion; using the power of speech to win over the day. The 3rd level class benefit of “Silver Tongue” lets you treat any Persuasion or Diplomacy check roll of 9 or lower as a 10, which can be beneficial for those role playing moments. However, if your group prefers more action than role playing, there are some fun new ways to use your Bardic Inspiration. The Paladin subclass, Oath of Glory, is about completing deeds of heroism to gain your glory. The Aura ability at 7th and 18th level feels a little underwhelming, increasing one’s speed by 10 feet if they are within 5 feet of you, however the Channel Divinity feature Inspiring Smite is a very nice to have – providing temporary hit points to an ally that includes yourself following a Divine Smite. Unlike some subclasses in prior books, these are subclasses that are setting agnostic and could be used in any homebrew world as they are, or combined into a homebrew subclass as well. For me the new Athlete background feels a little one trick pony. There are other backgrounds that provide the same benefits with more flavor and choices. But then again, this background fits well with the ancient Greek mythology.

Out of the new races presented, I really love the Leonin…the lion-like humanoids. One of my favorite Magic the Gathering Planeswalkers to collect for the art is Ajani, who is a Leonin himself. I envision a pride of Lenoin roaming the planes as noble barbarians. Their features remind me of shifters a little with their claws and I do like the Daunting Roar ability. I might have found a new race of NPCs for my homebrew world.

The rest of the book is much like other setting books; information on deities, cities, magic items, and dastardly monsters and creatures to throw at your players. Although I found some items lacking compare to past setting books, overall, Mythic Odysseys of Theros provides some good, general information for a Greek setting. If you are looking to really immerse yourself in a Greek mythology type setting, combining the official Theros setting with the Odyssey of the Dragonlords book we reviewed last time would give you plenty to pull from to create your own.

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