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D&D 5E [Let's Read] Odyssey of the Dragonlords

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Greetings everyone, and welcome to my next Let’s Read! I know that I said I’d review SIGMATA, but I found myself feeling a lot more passionate about another book. As such undertakings take quite a bit of time and effort on my part, I felt it best to do the ones that fill me with the most excitement and energy.

Back in the 90s and early Aughties, Bioware was the most prominent studio that brought the Dungeons & Dragons rules to the realm of video games. Even their much-acclaimed Knights of the Old Republic used rules derived from the Star Wars D20 System. Although Bioware moved on to its own Intellectual Properties over time, the company brought countless gamers to the Forgotten Realms seeking to learn more about the vaunted cities of Neverwinter and Baldur’s Gate.

In a way, it wasn’t too unsurprising when the lead designers of said games (as well as Dragon Age: Origins) wrote up a 5th Edition-compatible adventure for their account of Baldur’s Gate. But that was not their only delve into tabletop; last year they advertised a very successful KickStarter for an original setting.

Odyssey of the Dragonlords is part setting, part level 1 to 20* adventure path that takes heavy inspiration from Greek mythology. The continent of Thylea is dominated by two divine pantheons, the Five Gods and the Titans, who settled into an uneasy Oath of Peace for 500 years. But the Oath’s magically-binding duration is coming to an end, and the PCs are spoken of in a prophecy to be Thylea’s only hope. As the wicked Titans muster their forces to bring ruin and devastation, every day is one step towards uncertain doom.

*the book advertises 1 to 15 but it got extended as a stretch goal.

Introduction
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Our book opens up with a discussion of distinguishing tropes to make Odyssey stand out from the typical D&D faire. For one, the plot has high stakes: even at level 1 the PCs are assumed to be well-known and accomplished heroes with a few mighty deeds already under their belts. At low levels the rulers of city-states are calling upon an audience with them, and at higher levels they can even challenge the gods themselves who have convenient stat blocks for such a purpose. Oaths are powerful and cosmically-binding, and accruing fame from deeds nets you followers and power represented by a Fame score. Fate and prophecies are a gift and a curse which even the gods cannot defy, and the lives of mythic heroes have elements of comedy and tragedy.

The fate part is subverted in the adventure path proper, as some visions that can be averted and there are multiple ‘timelines’ the major Oracle character can witness. The comedy/tragedy thing isn’t really something one can do save based on the subjective tastes of the group. The adventure likely has potentially tragic moments (cities being destroyed, NPCs suffering cruel fates, adventure plots and backstories revolving around past injustices, etc), but more comedic and absurdist elements aren’t really present from my initial reading.

The World of Thylea: Thylea is an island-continent located in a remote section of the known world, guarded from the rest by the actions of the local gods. Ample islands and peninsulas reach off its southern shores, lush forests and valleys occupy much of the central area, while wild steppes in the far north are ill-explored save by nomadic bands of centaurs, cyclopes, and various monsters. Thylea’s recorded history stretches back 2,500 years, when much of the continent was home to fey races such as nymphs and satyrs, and the ur-cyclops race known as gygans* ruled a mighty empire. Two deities, the Titans Sydon and Lutheria, reigned supreme over the land and received worship and sacrifice by mortals. Over time, various refugees, sailors lost at sea, and other people from unknown lands found themselves on Thylea’s shores, where they had complicated relationships with the native races. Sometimes such conflicts were violent, and they beseeched Sydon and Lutheria for protection. Which they received, but not enough that they were capable of building civilizations beyond some meager far-flung villages.

*a smaller yet more intelligent subrace of six-armed cyclops.

This all changed when a group of warriors astride mighty bronze serpents known as the Dragonlords set wing and foot upon Thylea’s coasts. They helped the settler races build great cities and repel the worst of the centaur and gygan raids, and soon the Titans grew jealous at their status. The First War was waged, causing great devastation on both sides. As the last of the Dragonlords fell, a new pantheon of Five Gods came down from heaven to prevent the Titans from destroying all. Eventually an Oath of Peace was brokered between the old and new pantheons; the details were vague, but for 500 years Sydon and Lutheria swore not to take revenge upon Thylea’s mortals and in exchange they would continue to receive honor and tribute in the form of temple maintenance and daily sacrifices.

But as of the campaign’s beginning, it is mere months before the Oath of Peace ends, and the famed Oracle prophecies the Doom of Thylea. Where even the gods die and the mortal races are wiped off the face of the earth. The PCs, notable heroes in their own right, are summoned by her to find ways of averting this dire prediction.

Powers, Factions, & Mortal Kingdoms of Thylea: These next three sections discuss religion and politics of the setting. Beginning with the deities, it is known that the gods and goddesses of Thylea are not the only ones out there, although foreign gods from the wider world leave Thylea largely untouched and their worshipers are few in number beyond some storm-tossed foreigners. The two major pantheons are the Ancient Titans and the Five Gods, although there are Forgotten Gods whose names and power grew few to the point that they are rarely honored outside of specific groups. With a few exceptions the gods do not dwell in separate planes of existence, but live in the Material Plane so as to keep a closer watch on their mortal charges. For example, Sydon spends much of his time in the lighthouse-fortress Praxys, while Pythor and Vallus are the ruler and wife of a ruler, respectively, in two of the larger city-states. Narsus, the God of Beauty, is not technically ‘forgotten’ but is the patron god/prisoner of the city-state of Aresia.

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As you can see by the above, the Titans are the more ‘natural,’ cruel, and tempestuous of the pantheons. Thylea is the oldest titan, for it is said that the very continent is her body, her limbs extending as deep roots throughout the earth. Kentimane is Thylea’s husband, a gigantic being who stands taller than the highest mountain and regularly patrols the seas around the continent so as to guard his wife’s tomb from outside threats. The twins Sydon and Lutheria are the two surviving children of Thylea and Kentimane, their siblings long since murdered or imprisoned at the hands of their wicked kin. Sydon is a tyrannical deity in control of the seas and storms, and he longs for a world where all bow to his feet. He brooks no worship of any other entity besides his sister Lutheria, and even then only grudgingly. Lutheria is a cross between Hades and Dionysus, a harvester of souls and granter of insanity who encourages her followers to care about nothing but themselves and take what they will without consequence. Unsurprisingly the squickier elements of Odyssey shine through involving her or her worshipers; most NPCs who are sexual predators are loyal to her, and the goddess herself is a rapist in the “use enchantment magic to make people have sex with each other” kind of way.

The worship of Sydon and Lutheria is a controversial one among mortal society; people make sacrifices to Sydon more out of fear than loyalty and for safe voyage, and many find Lutheria’s doctrines disgusting. But Lutheria has devotees among some noble houses, her followers control the wine trade, and they host some of the larger public holidays which makes her a tolerated evil.

The Five Gods are the new pantheon, and unlike Sydon and Lutheria their acts of folly extend more to irresponsibility and lapses in judgment than outright sadism or malice. Mytros is the Goddess of Dawn and for whom the largest city-state is named. She is now back in the celestial realms after a battle with Sydon and Lutheria, and is by far the most common deity for clerics among the settler races to worship. Volkan is the God of Craftsmanship and invention, and is also the Santa Claus equivalent of the setting where he travels during the winter solstice as children await his gifts and sweets. Pythor is the God of War and has ruled over the city-state of Estoria for centuries after overthrowing its tyrannical king, and while popular his impulsiveness and alcoholism has dulled his ability to make wise decisions. Vallus, the Goddess of Wisdom, was once a traveler of the world and a collector of lore. Now she serves as the wife to King Acastus of the City of Mytros, and is prayed to for those seeking wisdom in overcoming some dilemma. Finally, Kyrah the Goddess of Music is a cross between Hermes and Apollo, known for being a quick-stepping trickster who provides inspiration to musicians and artists of all stripes.

Thylea has Mortal Kingdoms but no true nation-states or empires in modern times. Generally speaking, society is divided into two groups: the three major city-states and smaller settlements under their protection, and various independent tribes and villages who are scattered yet self-sufficient. The native races largely fall into the latter category barring a few exceptions such as the satyrs who are fond of visiting larger settlements.

The city-state of AthensMytros is a grand metropolis that is the religious, economic, and cultural center of Thylean society. It is home to the great Temple of the Five and ruled over by King Acastus, a descendant of one of the Dragonlords and notable for trying to rebuild said ancient order by somehow reviving the formerly-extinct race of dragons. The city-state of Estoria* is a border stronghold which holds off raids from the northern steppes; the god Pythor sits in a castle on the highest hill where he can survey the land. Finally, the city-state of SpartaAresia is home to some of the most famous warrior societies. While it doesn’t have a reigning god, its founder kidnapped and imprisoned Narsus, the God of Beauty. This act has led to centuries’ of on and off wars with Mytros. Aresian culture takes great pains to appear, well, spartan among the upper classes to separate themselves from the ‘decadent, barbaric Mytrosians.’ In practice its upper class is more elaborate at hiding their wealth and parties while using bread and circuses to keep the loyalty of the common folk. The southern islands are controlled by no large overarching power, with various barbarian tribes reigning supreme. The Amazons are the most well-known by outsiders and live in the largest island of said archipelagos: Themis.

*Apologies for not knowing what Greek City-State it’s based on.

We get a look at the ten major factions of Thylea, organizations who are either tied to a political or religious group or a power in their own right. Many of them check off typical fantasy trope boxes: the Cult of the Snake is a notable Mytrosian thieves’ guild, the Academy of Mytros is the foremost center of learning where philosopher-wizards hang out to share spells, the Order of Sydon is a paramilitary organization taking increasingly violent action against temples of the Five, the Centurions* of Mytros are said city’s standing army, and the Druids of Oldwood worship Thylea and make sacrifices to her to atone for the ‘original sins’ of the settler races’ presence on her land. The Temple of the Five and the Temple of the Oracle are institutions dedicated to the Five Gods and Versi the Oracle respectively, and only the former gets involved in secular politics with the Oracle being more removed from mundane affairs. The last three factions are monstrous in nature: the remnants of gygan tribes band together in small families and seek vengeance against the settler races, the centaurs of the Steppes war upon each other and the city-state of Estoria when they’re not partying and stargazing, and the Raving Ones are maenad worshipers of Lutheria who dwell in caves and shadowed glens, ambushing unlucky travelers to rob, torture, and sacrifice to their patron.

*hey, that’s a Roman term!

The inhabitants of Thylea are collectively referred to as Mortals, even those among the native and fey races to distinguish them from the more monstrous and divine entities. The ‘native races’ include the more classic Greek mythology creatures: centaurs, the various cyclops subraces (who are sadly non-playable), medusae, minotaurs, satyrs, and sirens. The ‘settler races’ include the standard PHB stock, and are pretty much assimilated wholesale into greater Thylean society beyond a few rare exceptions: orcs do not exist on Thylea so the half-orcs are a small community in Mytros, while tieflings are referred to as “Stygeans'' and live in Mytros’ ghettos due to a believed association with Lutheria. Dragonborn are virtually non-existent, and if one were to show up the average Thylean may think them to be either a monster or a scion of the Dragonlords.

The inclusion of the non-human PHB races is perhaps the most obvious case of ‘square peg round hole’ for importing D&D tropes into Odyssey. Most NPCs who aren’t of the native races or monsters are humans, and there’s no real place in the world for elves or dwarves that makes thematic sense. I find that the native races more or less fill most of the PHB races’ roles: centaurs and minotaurs are strong warrior guys, nymphs are nature-loving magical people, medusae are the cursed and shunned outcasts, and satyrs and sirens have Dexterity bonuses and racial features which are good for subtle distractions and/or mobility. The only real thing missing is a half-elf ‘jack of all trades’ or Small-sized races like gnomes and halflings.

We briefly get into the Laws and Oaths of Thylea. They are magically-binding aspects of the world which virtually all native Thyleans know, and even the gods can be limited by them. Generally speaking if a person swears to do or not do something, then they suffer some persistent misfortune should they intentionally break the oath. The Furies, who are not gods but very powerful beings, are three women tasked with interpreting and enforcing said Oaths. They dispatch erinyes to take the more egregious Oathbreakers to their own special hell in the afterlife known as the Island of Oathbreakers.

The most common types of Oaths are Guest Friendship (hospitality to those who invite you into their home) which is used for neutral meeting grounds and periods of peace even between sworn enemies; an Oath of Peace, where the swearer promises to commit no violence against them or their servants; an Oath of Protection, a one-time promise to come to a person or group’s aid in times of crisis; and an Oath of Service, where someone swears to perform one task on behalf of an individual. This last one is the most rare for said task is open-ended and the beneficiary of the Oath can ask them to perform dangerous, suicidal, or even wicked deeds.

We also get a list of sample curses for those who break Oaths, but can also be for those who otherwise anger the gods or commit some other great crime. They are persistent conditions which worsen over time and are typically only cured via powerful magic or rectifying the original misdeed. Curse of the Harpy and Curse of the Medusa transform the victim into the aforementioned monster types, while Curse of the Graverobber makes all food non-nourishing and slowly starves the tomb-robber to death.* Finally, Curse of the Treacherous causes the Furies to dispatch a trio of erinyes devils with special spells and equipment (entangling ropes, plane shift, etc) to kidnap the unfortunate soul and take them to the Island of Oathbreakers.

*this is only inflicted on those who steal from holy sites; otherwise the average adventurer would be in deep naughty word.

Epic Paths
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Epic Paths are one of the larger aspects of Odyssey of the Dragonlords. Added on in addition to standard backgrounds, they are aspects of a PC which tie them into the larger plot. There are certain points in the Adventure Path where a relevant Epic Path will provide an alternative means of solving a task, bonus quests and rewards, fosters a relationship with an existing important NPC, and in some cases explains what the PC was up to before the start of the campaign.

Barring one exception they are all mutually exclusive, so every PC must have a different Epic Path than the rest of the party. Additionally, each Path has a Divine Boon of some sort where the PC can be rescued them from death for free only once in the campaign. It may take the form of a notable NPC coming to resurrect them, fate turning things in their favor at the last moment, the spirit of a loved one possessing their body to bring them back from the brink of death, and so on and so forth. Furthermore, there’s a Divine Blessing which is gained via completion of the Epic Path’s overall story, and some can end earlier than others on the Adventure Path.

The Paths’ entries outline the various milestones encountered during the adventure, but said adventure sections in the appropriate chapters also make callbacks in handy little sidebars for user-friendliness. For said reasons I won’t cover them here but instead during the review of relevant chapters.

Demi-God: The PC is one of Pythor’s many bastard children, and the god feels in his heart that their progeny will succeed where he failed and maybe take his place as the God of War.

Vanished One: The PC is the last surviving Dragonlord, but the Oracle Versi became obsessed with them and jealously took them as a favored pet/implied concubine a la Odysseus and Circe. Her magic helped the Vanished One be virtually ageless, but ephemeral time spent in a secluded cave has dulled their abilities.

Doomed One: Lutheria has a thing for murdering children, and sacrificing babies is one of her cult’s most infamous rites. The PC parents were part of her cult but refused to offer up their only child for slaughter. This earned their death at the hands of the goddess’ many servants. Lutheria’s minions have tormented the PC ever since and making their life hell, the goddess viewing the whole affair as incredibly funny.

Unlike the other Paths, the PC can be resurrected immediately twice upon death, but the third time they remain dead forever unless or until Lutheria is destroyed.

The Haunted One: The PC had a happy idyllic life with a loving family. But a prophecy foretold that the PC will find a way to overcome death itself, thus posing a threat to Lutheria’s dominion. So she used her powers to gather the souls of the PCs’ loved ones in her scythe. But she made one mistake: the PC somehow escaped her clutches thanks to Mytros shielding them and erasing all memories of their legacy from reality. But the PC remembers what they lost, if not necessarily the deities involved.

The Gifted One: Like the Demi-God the PC has a divine bloodline, but as one of Sydon’s grandchildren. The cruel god murdered his mortal wife, but was unaware that she gave birth to a daughter, who is in turn the PC’s mother. Said PC is destined to restore the glory of the Dragonlords and defeat their grandfather.

The Lost One: The PC is the survivor of a shipwreck from a foreign realm outside of Thylea, and more than one PC can choose this Epic Path. This one has the last least ties to the adventure path, and its main goal is to find a way back home.

The Dragonslayer: The PC’s village was wiped out by a dragon raining flaming breath down upon hapless innocents. Said ‘dragon’ is actually Helios the Sun God (something not known immediately), and the Epic Path revolves around hunting down and slaying the one who took everything from them.

The Cursed One: The PC hails from a family or tribe who carry an ancestral curse from the Titans’ wrath. The PC has faced a life of difficulty, and their brethren are fated to die off within a generation if a means of lifting the curse isn’t found.

Guidelines are provided for the DM to make their own Epic Path; the advice focuses mostly on how to ideally space the magic item rewards based on level, making granted special powers equivalent to Epic Boons from the DMG, NPC mounts and companions should be of CR 3 or lower, Divine Blessings follow the guidelines for Supernatural Gifts (Blessings unsurprisingly) under the DMG’s Other Rewards section, and the Divine Boons should involve a key NPC from the plot riding in as the cavalry to save the PC’s now-dead bacon.

The remaining sections are short entries which can be better summed up in future chapters: an Adventure Overview outlining the plot in bite-sized chunks as well as recommended Fame and Experience Levels for the major Chapters, advice on Session 0 prep and how the PCs came together, and sample advice for role-playing the more notable and recurring characters of the Adventure Path (most notably the gods). The last part of our chapter is a picture of the Thylean alphabet which is similar to the one of Ancient Greece’s.

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Thoughts So Far: I feel that this is overall a rather good introduction to the world of Thylea. We didn’t get into any deep detail or new mechanics and rules, and some of the entries feel like they’d be more appropriate in later sections on account that they show up much later in the book. I do find it rather funny how the city-state with the God of War as ruler is not the one ripping off of Sparta, though.

The mechanics-facing aspects of the Epic Paths show up in the appendix, and speaking of which they’re a mixed bag. Some of them have more pertinent ties into the world and larger plot, such as the Demi-God and Haunted One. Others feel more like side-plots at most such as the Cursed One, Lost One, and Dragonslayer. The Vanished One being captive by an incredibly possessive character has quite a few warning bells,* and given that the Oracle is meant to be a major patron and the person who summons the call to adventure for the party in the first place, it is the kind of thing that may require a social contract or Trigger Warning for the gaming group to clear beforehand. Additionally, the Doomed One and Haunted One are too close in concept (Lutheria took away your family) and their relevant plot points are also the same. I understand that trying to make enough potential paths which have differing consequences echoing throughout an entire campaign can be difficult, so my criticism on the sameness front is a bit muted.

*like making the PC swear an oath to return to her cave when all is said and done, trying to murder characters they fall in love with, and also restoring said PC to life via a kiss as the Divine Boon.

All in all, I feel that this is a good introduction, but some things can be ordered better.

Join us next time as we cover new options for PCs: races, class archetypes, spells, equipment, and the rewards and Divine Blessings for the Epic Paths! Read future posts on this book in the comment section below!
 
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I'm combining this and Theros for all my Greek DND needs.

I’ve already put money down on Theros, I’m curious if you can mash both of these together. Right now my idea is to dust off my old Al-Qadim Golden Voyages box and use it as an inspiration for a Odyssey inspired game.
 

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Dire Bare

Legend
It's been mentioned before on other threads about Odyssey of the Dragonlords, but check out Arkadia and Age of Myth for yet other 5E takes on Greek mythology. There's a lot of overlap between the three existing books, but they also all mesh well together. I'm sure the same will be true when the Theros book releases.
 


Dire Bare

Legend
Well between Some kickstarters, Theros, and video games. My fun money budget is fairly thin at the moment, so I gotta pick my targets.

If you are wanted to choose which 5E Greek-inspired setting to pick up . . . I would recommend Odyssey of the Dragonlords over Arkadia and Age of Myth easily. All three are good, IMO, but OotD has amazing production values (beautiful book), an intriguing setting, good design, and a Lvl 1-20 epic adventure path.
 

Libertad

Adventurer
Creating Heroes
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Technically speaking these sections are part of the book’s appendices, but they are featured in a free PDF Player’s Guide meant to help players create characters. It also covers important details for a few of the races which are expanded upon in the adventure path proper, so here I am doing it first!

This part of the book goes over things repeated in the Introduction, but adds that dragonborn are descended from one of the bronze dragons who flew the Dragonlords to Thylea. Thylean names have a predictably Greek flavor, although ones from other cultures may be present such as family lineages from a settler races’ homeland. Recent arrivals to Thylea have trouble fitting in, partially on account that certain cultural expectations are presumed to be common knowledge on par with “don’t throw salt on your farm soil” and thus never really explained to foreigners.

Technology is at a Bronze Age level. Iron, mithral, and adamantine are incredibly rare and typically reserved for making magic weapons and armor, and things like platemail and crossbows are cutting-edge technology made only by the most learned artisans and Volkan the God of Forge. Most of the city-states’ standing armies outfit their soldiers in spears, shields, and shortswords with leather armor and gather them in phalanx formations. The spear is the only common polearm, and other heavy two-handed weapons are looked down upon as something only barbarians use. There’s some new weapons available, such as the kopis and xiphos (shortsword variants), the chakram (can be used in melee and as a thrown weapon), the dorata (thrown spears that come in pairs), and the makhaira (curved longsword with greater stopping power on horseback).

We have rules for Fame which are rated on a scale from 1 to 20 and come with increasing benefits. At lower levels of 1 to 10 they include things such as free service at local establishments, advantage on social skill checks during festivals, and higher chances of being recognized in population centers. 11 to 15 you become a household name in Thylea: people build statues of you, politically powerful figures give you minor magic items, and small shrines bearing your likeness are tended over by priests who can forward wealth to your holdings gathered as tithings. 16 to 20 you have huge temples, rival gods fear your power, and at 20 you become immortal and qualify for the Theogenesis ritual which can turn you into a god!

The Epic Paths’ magical items and Divine Blessings are outlined here. The amount of magic items differs a bit, ranging from 2 to 6, although in the case of the Gifted One and Vanished One they can get a dragon companion and eventual mount as part of reviving the legacy of the Dragonlords. Most of the Divine Blessings are constant defensive boons, such as the Cursed One gaining immunity to all curses, diseases, and poison, the Demi-God gaining +2 Constitution (max 22), or the Lost One gaining a 1/long rest ability to reroll any d20 roll but must keep the new result. Many of the magic items are broadly useful: the player can pick from a small list of items to be the reward for the quest/treasure vault/etc. so they don’t end up ‘locked in’ with an option that is class-restrictive. I rather like this choice, for it encourages player agency and better allows said PC to get useful and thematic rewards.

Playable Races

Greek myths contain some of the most iconic monsters in fantasy gaming, and it’s only appropriate that some are upgraded to PC-worthy material. A few are expected, such as the Centaur, but we get some odder choices such as the Medusa. Unlike their original myths none of them are gender-locked: satyr ladies and siren men exist, and while it’s in the later “monster appendix” the book says that nymphs can also be both or neither gender.*

*no mention of nonbinary identities is made for other races or elsewhere in the book, though.

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Centaurs are proud nomadic people who live in the northern steppes and shrouded woodlands of Thylea. They claim descent from a now-unknown god of war and expect others to give them the proper respect due to this. Centaur tribes are loyal to the titans, preferring Sydon or Lutheria, and bear a grudge against the Dragonlords and Five Gods for the violence inflicted upon them during the First War.

In terms of game stats they emphasize strength and mobility: +2 Strength and +1 Wisdom, speed of 40 feet, a special charge action that grants bonus damage, and the ability to allow a willing bipedal ally to ride upon them for 1 round as a bonus action on the centaurs’ part. They are Medium, and their equine frame means that they treat unfavorable terrain as difficult; they can still climb and walk up stairs, it’s just harder to do so. Overall a fine race, if a bit one-note.

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Medusae are mortals who made a bargain with a dark power or broke an oath, afflicting them with the Curse of the Medusa. Legends speak that the first among their number was a greedy woman who desired wealth and spurned the native races of Thylea during her travels. The Fates granted her wish, to turn all she witnessed to stone so that thieves would not steal from her, her hair became as snakes “to always have company as cold as your own.” Although the circumstances are different for each individual medusa, Thylean society at large distrusts and fears them for their powers and unspoken misdeeds.

Medusa have +2 Dexterity, +1 Intelligence, darkvision 60 feet, and have a natural weapon with snake-hair that can grant the poison condition if the target fails a Constitution save. They have advantage against poison effects of all kinds and at 5th level they gain a paralyzing petrification gaze which can permanently petrify a target if they fail their Constitution save 3 times. Unlike other features the petrification DC is not modified by ability scores or proficiency bonus, starting at a mere DC 8 and growing to a maximum of DC 14. Still, the poison condition is a very useful status effect to inflict upon enemies, and further attempts at petrification on the same target in battle are bonus actions and the save is made at disadvantage, and 3 failed saves even from different medusae cause instant petrification. A party of medusa have a good chance of ‘stun-locking’ an opponent, so they’re a pretty good choice as a race.

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Minotaurs had ancestors that were human once, but it is said that their people became like bulls due to being cursed by Sydon because they chose instead to worship a magical bull on account of said bull tilling the soil with never-ending strength to help them survive a winter. The God of Sea and Storms made them like said draft beast, forced to pull plows which carved labyrinthine canyons until they broke free and could walk upright...yet remained forever changed.

In modern times Thylean society (both native and settler races) view the minotaurs with disdain, as unthinking brutes useful only for manual labor. In Mytros they are victims of a legal slave trade and sometimes used as sacrifices, especially by Sydon’s worshipers. In Aresia things are more tolerant, and they’re given the same rights as citizens of other races.

Minotaurs as a race are geared for pure martial pursuits. They have +2 Strength, +1 Constitution, 40 foot base speed, advantage on Perception checks via smell, traversing maze-like environments, and dealing with maze-like puzzles. They have 60 foot darkvision but are colorblind and can only see in shades of red and grey. At 5th level they can transform into a bull as a bonus action 1/long rest, and a dire bull at 9th level (with handy-dandy stats in a sidebar!). As damage absorbed in Polymorph mode does not carry over unless you drop to 0 HP in said form, minotaurs are another strong option for martial types.

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Nymphs are fey spirits forged from the natural foundations of the world. Although they prefer the wild reaches of Thylea, they are fascinated by the affairs of other races and it’s not uncommon for them to visit villages and cities for short visits. They are a bit hard to get along with, as they’re more prone to seeing non-nymphs as favored pets to be watched over rather than as a friendship of equals.

Legend speaks that the natural features of the land gained questions, wondering what separated them from each other: the snow on the mountains wondered if they were like the rivers and streams, who in turn wondered if their winding paths were like the roots of trees. Thylea granted their questions meaning, allowing them to become the first nymphs and find the answers for themselves.

Statwise nymphs have a base race and five subraces themed after specific natural features. The subraces gain advantage on Survival checks when in such favored terrain and cast certain bonus spells at 3rd and/or 7th level every short or long rest. All nymphs gain +2 Charisma, +1 Wisdom, are proficient in Persuasion, and can cast Charm Person 1/rest. Aurae are spirits of the sky and air, gaining Darkvision 60 feet and the faerie fire and levitate spells. Dryads are people of the forest, can speak with animals and plants at will, and can cast Goodberry and Barkskin. Naiad are river fey bearing a deep bond with rivers and are thus the subrace that is closest to mortal settlements: they can hold their breaths for 1 hour, have a 40 foot swim speed, and can cast Create or Destroy Water and Control Water. Nereid are of the seas and like Naiads adapt easily to civilization but are rarer; they can breathe underwater indefinitely, have a 40 foot swim speed, and can cast fog cloud and water walk. Finally oread were birthed from the mighty mountains and are peerless hunters; they have darkvision 60 feet and can cast the hunter’s mark and misty step spells.

Nymphs gravitate more towards a spellcasting roll, and their spells are useful for a variety of situations. Given that a rather large portion of the campaign takes place at sea and in one case beneath the waves, the naiad and nereid subraces are very good options on account of their swim speed.

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Satyr are fey that come from the woods, but are just as comfortable living in settlements and all the pleasures they bring. They have better relations with the settler races than other native kindred, and can be found in quaint villages and even the great city-states. They are fond of wine, song, and sex, continuously seeking various kinds of emotional heights to avoid boredom.

Satyrs are built to be bards and little else. They have +2 Dexterity, +1 Charisma, advantage on effects which impose charmed and frightened conditions, and cannot be put to sleep. They are proficient in a single musical instrument of choice, gain advantage on all Performance checks with said instrument, and can perfectly memorize and perform any song after hearing it once. They know the minor illusion cantrip, and at 3rd and 5th levels they can cast sleep and suggestion once each per long rest, provided they use an instrument with which they’re proficient in the casting of the spell.

While in line with their mythology tropes, I would have preferred if they gained abilities useful to a broader variety of classes

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Sirens concept-wise are a cross between harpies (who are cursed transformed monsters in Thylea) and the sirens of Greek mythology. Appearing as winged humanoids with bird-like claws and talons, they live among the islands, ports, and coastlands and are famed for their mournful songs which have magical properties. The sirens once lived in a brilliant city whose name is forgotten to time where they sung praises to Sydon. The cruel god was unmoved, viewing every attempt at supplication as a failure: “were they truly grateful, they would not build their towers to rival mine. Were they truly repentant, they would not sing so brazenly but meekly offer the proper sacrifices in place of songs.” The sirens were saddened that their efforts were for naught, and so they became mute, their city crumbling and fading beneath the waters in a great storm conjured by the cruel god. Lutheria found their suffering to be funny, and kidnapped, tortured, and transformed some of them into wicked beings, bringing the first harpies into the world.

The Titans’ injustice and loss of their city dominates siren culture. As a race they suffer from mood swings between sorrow and joy. Sirens find ample work among the races of Thylea as winged scouts and messengers, although the circumstances of their being means that they can only take flight when joyful.

As a race sirens have +2 Charisma, +1 Dexterity, have advantage on Performance and Persuasion checks with their voice, and can hold their breaths for up to 1 hour. Every short or long rest the player (or DM in case of NPCs) chooses whether the siren is filled with joy or sorrow as a dominant emotion. Happy sirens gain a flight speed of 30 feet provided they’re not wearing medium or heavy armor, but when sad they can sing mournful ballads which can cast charm person at 1st level, enthrall at 3rd level, or hold person at 5th level once each per short rest.

The fly speed alone makes sirens a very powerful racial option. Furthermore, they among the native races have the best-role-playing incentives to take part in the adventure path. Unlike the centaurs, medusa, and minotaurs they have roles in settler society and don’t face must systemic discrimination. I can guarantee you that sirens are going to be one of the more common options among Odyssey players for both role-playing and CharOps reasons.
 
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Libertad

Adventurer
Class Archetypes & New Spells
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Every core class has one new thematic archetype, and several of them tie the PC into the world at large in a direct manner. The Demigod Origin for Sorcerer makes the PC the child of one of the gods, while a Ranger who’s an Amazon hails from the island of Themis and belongs/belonged to said society of warrior-women.* The Fates are not just a Warlock Patron, they are characters you can meet in the Adventure Path, work for, and yes even kill! Fortunately none of the class features mandate that the game be set in Thylea, so they can be ported into other settings with suitably Greek themes.

*or is the daughter of a warrior who left said island.

Herculean Path (Barbarian) is for those warriors blessed with seemingly impossible strength. Maybe you have distant divine ancestry, are a member of a naturally powerful race, or the source of your power is unknown but you know for sure that you have HUGE MUSCLES. You are proficient with the Athletics skill, can initiate a grapple as a bonus action, grapple creatures up to 2 size categories larger than yourself, and can attack with a two-handed weapon in one hand while grappling. Later class features include the ability to use weapons regardless of size category, substitute Strength for Dexterity for all ranged attack and damage rolls, cast thunderwave (AoE sonic) on projectiles you throw/shoot, gain increase rage damage bonus the longer you rage, and can smash the ground and generate an earthquake AoE that can break concentration spells and knock targets prone.

I like this archetype, more for the Rule of Cool factor than anything. I kind of wish that it allowed one to grapple opponents regardless of size, but Enlarge/Reduce spell on a Medium target will allow the Barbarian to wrestle even the mighty kraken and Kentimane the Hundred-Handed (Gargantuan, largest size). Generating sonic booms, earthquakes, and using Strength for ranged attacks are all pretty nice features too.

College of Epic Poetry (Bard) are those storytellers obsessed with making a Magnum Opus to live on down the generations. They can add Verses to their Epic Poem over the course of a campaign, reciting prior events to grant boons and banes to allies and enemies. Verses are added in one of four ways and reflect a theme (Comedy is when someone rolls a Natural 1, Tragedy is when someone’s reduced to 0 HP, etc). As the bard gains levels the amount of verses improves their Bardic Inspiration, such as granting a minimum result value on the dice, advantage on certain saving throws, +5 to passive Perception, and the like. Other class features include gaining proficiency with medium armor, regaining a Bardic Inspiration die when you compose a verse about an adjacent ally’s action, and can expend a Bardic Inspiration die to be that number of hit points when an ally is reduced to 0 hit points.

The concept is cool, but it has a lot of book-keeping and the GM needs to approve if a verse is appropriate, which turns the archetype into “Mother May I.”

Prophecy Domain (Cleric) allows a priest or priestess to see into the future via divine insight. Holy water, which is boiled and breathed as fumes,* allow the cleric to enter a trance. The domain grants mostly divination spells as bonus spells, proficiency in Perception, and can restore hit points to allied creatures whenever you cast divination spells. Their Channel Divinity is a trance state lasting 10 minutes, allowing them to replace a d20 result made during this time with one of two stored d20 rolls which are rolled immediately when the trance is entered. Higher-level abilities include the ability to take a reaction to move up and cast a beneficial spell on an ally hit by a harmful effect, restore bonus hit points on healing spells you cast equal to your Wisdom modifier, and a capstone perfect foresight where Channel Divinity can choose a result between 1 to 19 as well as seeing invisible objects and environments in darkness.

*this is flavor text, you don’t need holy water to use your class features.

This is a pretty good domain, especially the reaction-casting which is tailor-made to save the party’s bacon.

Circle of Sacrifice (Druid) represents an order known as the Keepers of the Old Ways, druids who channel magic from the Astral Plane into mistletoes and understand that offerings must be made to keep the universe in balance. Initial class features include learning the Produce Flame cantrip and adding one’s Wisdom modifier to the damage. They can also light a target on fire as a bonus action when reducing them to 0 hit points,* gaining the benefits of a Bless spell as the slain target is offered as a sacrifice to the gods. Later class features include the ability to imbue magic into mistletoes, being able to cast a limited amount of minor spells** (cure wounds, detect magic, etc) without using a spell slot by offering the mistletoes in place, sacrificing mistletoes to do your burning sacrifice when allies slay an opponent, and the capstone ability to create a Teleportation Circle within a ring of standing stones.

*for any attack, not just Produce Flame.

**ones of higher magnitude can be cast as you gain levels.

The Druid is a strong class, although the power of the Moon Druid means that other archetypes have trouble standing out as worthy choices. The Circle of Sacrifice grants you more effective spell slots, but the spells it allows are relatively limited in comparison to the utility of transforming into all kinds of dangerous animals and elementals.

Hoplite Soldier (Fighter) are the backbone of Thylea’s armies. Using heavy shields and one-handed weapons they gather into shieldwalls of phalanx formations, holding strong against encroaching enemies. We have a bonus fighting style (Hoplite) that 1st level fighters can choose, allowing them to make an opportunity attack as a reaction against creatures who attack an adjacent ally. The archetype itself grants a 1/long rest Shield Wall ability, giving a net +3 AC to allies standing adjacent to each other while wielding shields. Further class features include upping the damage die and range increments of spears, tridents, and javelins; adding their proficiency bonus to an adjacent ally’s AC as a reaction; can either disarm an enemy shield or do a bonus d6 damage on a critical hit; and the capstone ability where they can spend one of their Attacks to make a single attack roll against all enemy targets within 5 feet. As a Fighter has bonus attacks, you can do this multiple times a round.

This archetype is situational on most party members and allied minions being proficient with shields. While the AC bonuses are nicethe close grouping the style encourages makes characters vulnerable to AoE effects. The pseudo-Whirlwind Attack* as the capstone ability comes too little, too late to make up for the rest of the archetype’s features.

*A 3.5 feat for you young’uns.

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Thylean monks are hotter and sexier than ones found in other campaign settings.

Way of the Shield (Monk) is one of the fighting styles taught by Aresia’s warrior academies.* Your style encourages the use of shields and polearms over armor to serve as your offense and defense, and billowing red cloaks are your unofficial uniform. You initially gain proficiency with shields, they do not interfere with your Monk class features, can ‘catch’ projectiles with a shield instead of a free hand, and opportunity attacks are made with disadvantage against you as long as you have a shield in hand. Further class features include spending a ki point to vault large distances and make an attack with advantage, using a reaction to attack an opponent who misses you with an opportunity attack, spending a ki point to gain +3 AC, and a capstone ability where you have advantage on attack rolls and immunity to frighten and paralysis effects of Huge and Gargantuan creatures.**

*Fun Fact: the various official Monk archetypes (both OGL and Product Identity) are presumed in Thylea to be an Aresian warrior society and have their own academies in said city-state.

**Who in the adventure path become very, very common at this level and higher.

The Way of the Shield is much more offensive than the default monk archetypes in the PHB, and the shield can add some much-needed AC to this unarmored class (even moreso with a Hoplite Fighter). Several of its abilities are prescient upon triggering opportunity attacks, and the capstone ability is highly situational but very useful if you’re playing the adventure path as is.

Oath of the Dragonlord (Paladin) represents a warrior who seeks to find and bond with a dragon. As such creatures were long-extinct since the First War, and the only person trying to reclaim the Dragonlords’ legacy (King Acastus of Mytros) is a Lawful Evil guy, you more or less have to find a dragon egg of your own. The book also says that PCs with either the Gifted One or Vanished One Epic Paths should not take this archetype as the “gain a dragon companion” major features overlap.

Your bonus paladin spells are themed around air and mobility (fly, haste, freedom of movement, etc), and you can gain a pseudodragon familiar tasked with helping you find an appropriate dragon egg (any metallic save gold). Your Channel Divinity options include mimicking a dragon’s frightful presence or knocking prone and disrupting concentration while intoning the Dragonlord’s Oath.* Later class features include your discovered dragon egg hatching, being able to cast the Dragonlord-related spells upon said dragon (detailed in the next section) without material components, said dragon growing from wyrmling to young age category regardless of their true age, and as a capstone ability said dragon gaining multiattack and having their breath weapon recharge normally** as well as being able to reroll a failed saving throw 1/long rest.

*Dragonlord’s Oath to a bonded dragon said:
I CANNOT POSSESS YOU,
for you belong to yourself.
I CANNOT COMMAND YOU,
for you are a free creature.
WE SHALL SERVE EACH OTHER
in the ways we both require.
WE WILL INCREASE OUR WEALTH
by righteous means.
WE WILL ACHIEVE HAPPINESS
and harmony through knowledge.
WE WILL AID THOSE OF OUR BLOOD
to achieve their great destinies.
WE WILL AVENGE THOSE OF OUR BLOOD
who have been done harm.
I AM BLOOD OF YOUR BLOOD,
and bone of your bone—forever.

Try saying that in six seconds or less (a 5e round)!

**A Dragonlord-bonded dragon loses Multiattack and their breath weapons recharge based on short/long rests.

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Amazonian Conclave (Ranger) is not just a class; it’s a culture from which your PC hails. The Amazons are a matriarchal society who retreated from Thylea’s mainland during the First War after seeing the violence and poor decisions wrought by men on both sides of the conflict.* Most of their number lives on the island of Themis, although smaller bands made ventures to other islands. Men are allowed to live in their society, but in small, easily controlled, and segregated numbers and generally viewed as unsuitable for warfare, rulership, and ‘important occupations.’

*What I find odd is that the setting as a whole doesn’t mention whether or not Thylea was a patriarchal society or not in the past. While Amazons are an iconic Greek trope, they were spawned out of a misogynistic hellworld which initially was “lol wouldn’t it be funny if women ran things?” to a deconstructed “maybe the Amazons retreated from society due to how badly women were treated” in future tales. The Amazons can still make sense as an isolated cultural holdover, but otherwise Odyssey of the Dragonlords is pretty mum in discussing setting gender roles.

The Amazon archetype grants a mixture of bonus spells ranging from mobility (find steed, haste) to wearing at the opponent’s willpower (command, confusion, mislead). They gain a stimfay as an animal companion, clockwork birds which are built by a resident cyclops artisan who is being held prisoner by the Amazons. Stimfay can scout areas in a 1 mile radius, communicate with its companion via a secret code-tongue only its owner understands, adds your proficiency bonus to attacks/saves/damage/ability save DCs, and can be repaired if destroyed. Unlike the terrible Beastmaster Ranger they act on their own turns!

Amazons also start play being able to do a Battle Cry a number of times per long rest equal to their Wisdom modifier, which grants advantage vs favored enemies and against becoming frightened or paralyzed, as well as resistance against bludgeoning/piercing/slashing damage for 1 minute. Further class features include using a pair of bracers Wonder Woman-style to gain +5 Ac as a reaction to an attack, the ability to ricochet a thrown chakram to targets not in your line of sight and/or within 10 feet of the original target, and a capstone ability where a number of times per short/long rest equal to your Wisdom modifier you can make a special melee attack to hit a target’s pressure point and paralyze them for 1 minute on a failed Constitution save.

We get a sidebar stat block for stimfays: they are tiny constructs capable of fast flight (80 feet), gain advantage on Perception checks based on sight, and can carry a single potion to administer to allies and stabilize dying creatures it touches. Creatures attacked by it cannot make opportunity attacks for 1 round, and they can shoot out pins and scream an ear-splitting cry as 2 kinds of ranged attacks. Not exactly a great offensive fighter, but handy for healing allies and battlefield control.

The Amazon archetype is pretty good, containing a nice mixture of offensive, defensive, and utility features. The bracer-block’s AC bonus is very useful given 5th Edition’s bounded accuracy allowing even weak opponents the chance to hit a plate-covered warrior, while the right selection of favored enemies can make the Battle Cry’s advantage attack feature very useful. The resistance against physical attacks effectively doubles your HP in certain circumstances for a battle’s duration, given most fights rarely last longer than 10 rounds. The pressure points are a multi-use save or die, which is pretty powerful given said condition’s rarity in comparison to 3.5, but at 15th level there’s already a lot of spells and abilities (coughholdpersoncough) that can replicate its effects.

The Odyssean (Rogue) is a cunning mortal who appears at first glance to be an ordinary warrior, but whose cleverness pulls them out of many hairy scenarios. Odysseans, by choice or by circumstance of fate, find their way into legends worthy of quill and song as they survive against all odds. The archetype initially grants shield proficiency and proficiency with spears and tridents as finesse weapons, reflecting training as a seeming common soldier. They can also use a bonus action to formulate a clever plan against one target but only 1/encounter: if the Odyssean succeeds on a Deception vs the creature’s Insight, they and their allies gain advantage on all attacks for 1 round. Further class features include shutting down opportunity attacks from enemies who are aware of the Odyssean but cannot see them, imposing disadvantage on concentration rolls to maintain a spell when damaged, adding Charisma to initiative on top of Dexterity, and can spend a bonus action to regain hit points equal to one’s Rogue level via tenacious survival (limited use per short/long rest equal to Charisma modifier). The capstone ability grants the Odyssean a free ranged attack with advantage against a creature if one of their allies makes an opportunity attack against said target. This ranged attack costs no action, so in ideal circumstances they can sling a flurry of projectiles.

This is a pretty good archetype, although it’s highly reliant upon the actions of your allies to be fully effective. This isn’t really a bad thing given the team-focused nature of D&D, and it’s a superior archetype to the pissant Assassin from the core book. The defaults Thief archetype gives it a run for its money with features at later levels, such as Supreme Sneak and Use Magic Device.

Demigod Origin (Sorcerer) means that you have a deity as a distant ancestor or even close parent! Your heritage makes you naturally strong and beautiful, and you can cast 2 spells associated with your ancestor’s Domain* once per short/long rest without using spell slots. You add double your proficiency bonus on Charisma checks when interacting with gods or celestials, are proficient in Strength saving throws, and you add your Charisma modifier to melee and attack damage rolls. Further class features include spending a sorcery point to increase a spell’s level by 1 (non-stackable), choose to succeed on a failed saving throw 1/long rest, and as a capstone ability can spend as many sorcery points as you have when increasing your spell’s level.

*only 2 such spells are available this way per domain: things such as Entangle and Healing Word for Nature, Charm Person and Hideous Laughter for Trickery, etc.

I like the ideal of a naturally strong sorcerer, but the class’ lack of armor and shield proficiency combined with their low Hit Die means that other options are superior for gish types. Auto-succeeding at a saving throw is nice but comes into play rather late. Unfortunately the lack of spell slots used for domain spells means that ones dependent on the level of said slot such as Cure Wounds (Life domain) are in a grey area of the rules for how effective they are when cast this way. I’d rule they’re as powerful as the highest-level slot the Demi-God has access to, given their limited use.

Patron: the Fates (Warlock) are a coven of wicked hags who can see the destiny of all, provided that they weave a person’s future via a magical loom to bear witness. The warlock PC with them as a patron swore service to them in exchange for power. This archetype grants bonus spells of a diverse assortment* and can cast one divination spell at the end of a short or long rest without expending a spell slot, and gain temporary hit points when doing so. Further features include rolling a d20 and being able to replace a future result for themselves or a creature you can see between the next short or long rest, regain an expended spell slot up to two times per long rest whenever you kill or knock out a creature, and a capstone ability where you can compel a creature to move towards another (bound by fate) on a failed Wisdom save while also dealing them psychic damage.

Interestingly it is possible to kill the three Fates** during the adventure path, but the book does not say one way or another how this affects a Warlock with them as their patron

*mostly divination such as detect evil and good and see invisibility, but also ones like levitate, call lightning, and planar binding.

**and possibly some of the gods, which is similarly quiet as to how this would affect cleric spells.

Academy Philosopher (Wizard) hail from the greatest center of learning in Mytros, adhering to a chosen philosophy as a means of understanding their spells and the nature of reality. A wizard with this archetype chooses from one of 8 philosophical schools which grants an appropriate boon: Cynics halve gold and time requirements for copying new spells and can substitute up to 50 gold pieces worth of material components by foraging through junk, Epicureans can impose disadvantage on creatures that attack them a number of times per rest equal to their Intelligence modifier, Hedonists add double their wizard level to hit points restored when they are healed from a spell or ability once per rest, etc. Further class features allow them to change the dimensions of their spells via mathematical equations, such as making ‘safe pockets’ for targets within an AoE, can change an enemy spellcaster’s target to someone else within range once per rest provided they’re a rules-legitimate target, and the capstone ability allows the wizard to automatically avoid losing concentration on a spell a number of times equal to their Intelligence modifier every long rest.

The philosophical schools are versatile and thematic, although the choices in question vary in usefulness. Cynics’ ability to substitute expensive material components has abusive potential, while the Sophist does something a Bard or Rogue can do better with Expertise: double proficiency and becomes proficient in Persuasion, along with learning the friends cantrip. The Eclectic school grants an underwhelming single bonus language, but at 5th level grants the effects of a second school of your choice as a supposed trade-off. But every new wizard PC starting at that level and later will be taking said school, as the waiting period is no weakness at all!

But beyond the imbalanced schools, the Academy Philosopher is optimal for blasters and battlefield controllers, and the ability to change an enemy’s target without a chance for them to resist is amazingly useful.

New Spells: The section on spells is downright quaint in comparison to the wealth of race and class options preceding it. Animal Polymorph turns a creature into a small, harmless being for concentration duration; Bond of the Dragonlords permanently bonds a newly-hatched metallic dragon to the caster, allowing them to act and move on your initiative in battle and are controlled as if they were a PC. In exchange the dragon gives up multiattack and can only use its breath weapon once per long rest. Dirge of the Dragonlords can resurrect a dead bonded dragon (not just your own) to life at the low low price of a 3rd level spell slot. Fatebinding is cast simultaneously on 2 targets and lasts for an hour if both fail their saves, making them take and restore the same damage if one is affected by an ability. Seeds of Death summons three minotaur skeletons who follow the caster’s orders for concentration duration or 10 minutes, whichever comes first; Sleeping Draught is a higher-magnitude Sleep spell equivalent which merely rolls more dice worth of hit points for creatures to be affected; Sword of DamoclesFate summons an illusory sword to hang above a creature’s head for up to 1 hour, and will plunge and hit the target for 10d8 damage based on one of three conditions uttered by the caster: harm the caster or their companions, use a spell, or move more than 30 feet from the sword’s origin point. Finally, Theogenesis is a 9th-level plot device spell meant to be cast as part of a quest during the final chapter of the adventure path. It is a powerful spell requiring three specific artifacts as material components, and if successfully cast the spell allows for a mortal to petition a greater god for the honor of godhood. The percentage chance of said god granting this request is based on the compatibility of their alignment and for how long said target has worshiped said god faithfully. If successful (and the spell can never work again on the same target), the target gains a permanent divine spark which grants a host of benefits.

Said benefits are part of an Appendix all its own, but will show down here for ease of use:

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As you can see, it’s a great spell for story purposes, but not the kind of thing you’re actually going to cast during a real campaign. It’s more the kind of thing that happens at the end of an epic tale, and in Odyssey of the Dragonlords this is one of the potential “Ending Sequences” to use video game terminology.

Thoughts So Far: There are many strong and thematic options for players to choose from here. The races, while highly appropriate for the setting, feel a bit samey in places. The satyr and siren both have magical musical abilities, with the siren gaining a better sense of other features and a history for interesting role-play. Centaurs and minotaurs are geared heavily towards martial classes, and the usefulness of the medusa’s abilities increase the more of them there are in the same party. The class archetypes were overall rather good save for a few underwhelming options (Circle of Sacrifice, Hoplite) and I can see players choosing them rather than just sticking with the PHB and Xanathar’s Guide options. The spells, both in brevity and in some of their plot-centric natures, were the weak point of these sections.

Join us next time as we start this adventure path off with a bang in Chapter 1, Heroes of the Prophecy!
 

Libertad

Adventurer
I like how this is pretty much "Bioware RPG" in a tabletop format for 5E.

When covering the adventures proper I'm going to make shout-outs to BIOWARE TROPES where they appear.

What about the gorgons as PCs, are her racial traits broken?

This franchise could be adapted to a videogame, and later to become D&D canon, as Exandria/Critical Role.

Not broken, but the petrify-gaze is a lot more powerful if you have 2 or more medusa PCs in the party. They are a pretty nice race, but IMO the siren is perhaps the most 'broken' on account of gaining a fly speed. Although later on in the adventure the PCs have the ability to get a pegasus mount as well as dragon companions. Combine this with existing options like a Halfling casting Reduce Person to ride a larger familiar or a Druid with the right Wildshape, it's not exactly OP the more you progress in level.

Great thread! I'd like to note that there is also a thread (created by me) for those who are running it or thinking about running it to share their ideas and experiences:


And here's a link to another "WIR" thread by board member @One Horse town :


Thank you for the links. I'm interested in seeing what other people have to say about it!
 

My suggestion for PCs with fly movement is in the first level can't fly yet, but a psychical effort as jump to avoid damage by fall, and to use the wings for higher jumps. Later they can glade, and in the end they can fly, but if they can use the extended wings.

About PC races with petrifing-gaze my suggestion is only can a cold-poison damage + temporal paralysis, only some seconds to lose innitiative, and the petrifaction only would happen when it is zero hit points, something like a fatality.
 


Libertad

Adventurer
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The first chapter of the adventure path is a sort of “tutorial session” in the sense that you have helpful exposition outlining the basic facts of the setting. Additionally, the PCs have some wiggle room in fights should they mess up. It is here and in further chapters we will see some clear influences of Sky and Ohlen’s prior work in the form of Bioware Trope Alerts.

We also get sample quest-based experience awards and milestone points for each Chapter based on what method the DM prefers best:

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We start our tale with some boxed text telling the players how their heroes have been summoned to the Heartlands as the Oath of Peace nears its end, and how the Oracle fears for the Doom of Thylea. The DM is encouraged to ask the players to write down their PC’s name at the top of three note cards along with rumors about their past deeds. One of them is mostly true, the other two are fabrications or exaggerations but not marked as such. The cards are all given to the DM, who then hands them out to the other players and that’s what their own PCs heard about their traveling companions.

Our first scene literally opens up in a tavern where they meet a bard by the name of Kyrah, who is actually the Goddess of Music in a rather poor disguise. She tells them about how a Titan-corrupted boar is destroying crops and killing villagers and how previous heroes died against it. Should the PCs find and kill it, they can gain fame and power if they offer it to the gods as a sacrifice.

Bioware Trope Alert: Tutorial DMPC: Kyrah tags along as a helpful guide, explaining the basics of Thylean society if necessary while also helping them indirectly in combat via HEROIC SONGS. She’s not the only god who joins the party on the Adventure Path, although due to the Oath of Peace they cannot “assist the PCs in battle” against Sydon, Lutheria, and their allies. However, there are quite a few encounters where the party is fighting monsters and people not loyal to the Titans. This will bring the inevitable question of what happens if the party asks them for aid in such instances. While the book says to not have them overshadow the PCs, her stats are well…

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...godly in comparison to the party. You see, every god in Odyssey of the Dragonlords has one or more ability scores at 30 in reflection of their portfolio, and Kyrah can deal damage with a dagger on par with a greatsword-wielding barbarian. Her 63 HP puts her leagues above the rest of the party, and her Songs are quite clearly meant to alleviate the highly-lethal nature of 1st-level gaming. Her lolrandom Mischief ability, even if generally nonlethal, has the chance of causing the party to drive her off in case something like Stinking Cloud or the blinding lights put a PC in greater danger. She will use a Raise Dead scroll on a PC to bring them back to life, which compounded with the fact that said PC will likely have used their Divine Boon can end up making players feel that they’re being bailed out too easily.

The prelude to the boar fight involves hunting and searching for clues, along with being able to set traps for the boar once it’s found. There are some good rules outlines for things like rope snares, camouflaged pits, and the like to help turn the tide in the party’s favor. When the boar is found, it already is quite injured from many weapons sticking out of it and suffers one exhaustion level a round. This means it will die in 6 turns even if the PCs get nary a scratch. Before it breathes its last, the boar speaks of how the end of Thylea is nigh.

At this point Kyrah suggests that the boar’s body be burned as a sacrifice to one of the gods. Deities are jealous beings and as such you can’t dedicate it to more than one or a pantheon as a whole. There’s a table for different gods and goddesses and their boons, and some are more useful than others. For example, Pythor will swear an Oath of Service to the party and Volkan will grant them one random magic item once the party meets them, and whose usefulness is mostly in the broadness of potential options. Kyrah will confess her identity and swear an Oath of Protection...which given she’s traveling with the PCs for a while, is a bit superfluous. Thylea grants immediate aid in the form of a Charm of Vitality* for every PC and animals in every forest will aid the party to the best of their ability from here on out. Kyrah advises against sacrificing to Sydon or Lutheria given that sacrifices increase a god’s divine power, but choosing to do so will involve staying their wrath in a single one of their predetermined future encounters. Choosing not to sacrifice to any of the gods causes hurricanes and earthquakes to sweep over the land, turning the PCs into goats for 24 hours.

*one-use ability to cure all exhaustion, poison, disease, and roll max value when spending Hit Dice to heal.

Temple of the Oracle
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Now that the PCs got a taste of divinely-flavored roast boar, they must make their way to the Oracle’s temple. Although the party’s already received summons, Kyrah will encourage them onward if they seem to dilly-dally. Nobody’s heard from her otherwise in two weeks, so Kyrah fears the worst.

She is right to be worried, for several of Sydon’s minions invaded the temple, slaying and taking hostage most of its inhabitants. As the Oracle is the god’s daughter,* Sydon wants her taken back to the tower of Praxys alive. The PCs are not so lucky, and his forces will try to kill them before they get too famous and powerful.

*This is public knowledge, and she also acted as the arbiter between the gods for the Oath of Peace.

The Oracle’s temple is a relatively short 8-room, 2-level dungeon located above a series of hot spring caverns. Sydon’s forces are led by the sea hag Heleka and include a mix of monsters* and human soldiers. The rooms part of the natural caverns have boiling steam geysers which deal damage to those crossing or pushed into them, while the surviving acolytes can heal the party with their spells if rescued. Heleka herself is mocking Versi in the final room, who is held hostage in what looks like animated tendrils of water (a water weird which will overwise flee once the sea hag is slain).

*Steam mephits, animated flying swords and rugs disguised as furniture, and a mimic disguised as a door with an ‘animated’ face.

Versi will at first grieve for the dead once rescued, but understands the needs of the PCs and speaks to them of their fate: they must sail the seas in order to face the Titans and bring peace to Thylea, but before this they must accomplish three Great Labors to better ready themselves. The legendary Mithral Forge must be brought to working order again so as to build powerful instruments of magic and war. They must also visit the tombs of the Dragonlords in the Necropolis and claim their weapons, and are given a Burnished Dragonlord Coin to pay a toll of safe passage to the guardian of this dread realm. Finally the party must drink from the Horn of Balmytria, a holy silver dragon horn held in an Estoran shrine, to gain an as-yet unknown vision. These three Labors comprise the next chapter, and can more or less be done in any order. But there is a certain point in the plot where a dilemma can be optimally solved should the PCs bring the Mithral Forge to working order early for a specific magic item.

Kyrah will tell the PCs in a rather unsubtle way about the perks of the Fame system (it can potentially make you immortal), suggest that the party swear an Oath of Fellowship* among each other to encourage good teamwork, and challenges the party bard to a ‘poetry battle’ to see who can make the best Homeric epic once their quest is done.

*an Oath not really outlined in the Introduction. It basically allows the party to share all gains from their Fame equally and to not turn against each other.

Epic Paths: Versi can help point the heroes in the right direction for their individual destinies. The Demi-God is encouraged to meet their father Pythor in Estoria. The Vanished One is asked to meet privately with her and to swear an Oath to return to her cave once the prophecy has been fulfilled, and only then will she tell them to retrieve their famous armor and Crown of the Dragonlords from the Tomb of Xander in the Necropolis. Tthe Doomed and Haunted Ones are told about Versi’s evil sister, Demeteria, in the Mossy Temple who either has knowledge of their fate or a lost family artifact respectively. The Gifted One is given a locket containing the soul of their sorceress grandmother who will speak through it, promising that if they take revenge upon Sydon they can restore the order of Dragonlords. The Lost One is promised a way home should they find the Lost Treasure of the Dragonlords, which is truly Lost and not found in the Necropolis. The Dragonslayer is destined to be the scourge of evil dragons and is told to seek out the Forgekeeper of the Mithral Forge. The Cursed One must seek the Necropolis’ guardian to learn about the nature of their curse.

Once the PCs leave the temple, Lutheria shows up in a collective dream, mocking them as she chops up an unknown old man alive. This forces the party to make a DC 20 Wisdom save or gain a short-term mental illness. Unless they dedicated the boar sacrifice to Lutheria, in which case they don’t need to make the save at all.

Thoughts So Far: There are parts of this chapter I like and don’t like. 1st level is way too low-power and gritty for PCs to begin an Adventure Path when they’re supposedly famous Greek heroes. The adventure tries to rectify this with Kyrah’s aid and neutering the boar monster with exhaustion, which kind of takes the wind out of any high-stakes sails. I do like how the Oracle’s various prophecies all tie into the future quests in some way, and the conceptual power of sacrifices is nice inspiration fodder even if the rewards are not exactly balanced. Sadly there are no future encounters in this style where burning the body of a great foe gives further rewards, which is wasted opportunity.

The Oracle’s Temple is just the right length for a starting dungeon crawl, although given that time appears to be of the essence the PCs may be reluctant to take even a short rest after any battles. Although the sea hag is still in the process of searching for a potential route to the sea within the caverns and thus isn’t going to flee with Versi anytime soon, the party does not have a means of knowing this unless they interrogate one of the minions.

Join us next time as we cover the three Great Labors and their adjoining quests!
 

Dire Bare

Legend
This thread got me excited, and I whipped up a brief comparison of the Greek-inspired 5E books to date.

Arkadia
Odyssey of the Dragonlords
Age of Myth
SettingArkadia
(8 pages)
Thylea
(24 pages)
None (mythic Greece and other Mediterranean cultures)
Class ArchetypesPath of the Hero (Barbarian)
College of the Muse (Bard)
Domain of Fate (Cleric)
Circle of Beasts (Druid)
Hoplite (Fighter)
Way of the Gladiator (Monk)
Oath of Judgement (Paladin)
Amazon (Ranger)
Trickster (Rogue)
Demigod Bloodline (Sorcerer)
Dead King Patron (Warlock)
School of Philosophy (Wizard)
Herculean Path (Barbarian)
College of Epic Poetry (Bard)
Prophecy Domain (Cleric)
Circle of Sacrifice (Druid)
Hoplite Soldier (Fighter)
Way of the Shield (Monk)
Oath of the Dragonlord (Paladin)
Amazonian Conclave (Ranger)
Odyssean (Rogue)
Fates Patron (Warlock)
Academy Philosopher (Wizard)
Path of the Bacchante (Barbarian)
Path of the Lunatic (Barbarian)
College of Engineering (Bard)
College of Poetry (Bard)
Mysteries Domain (Cleric)
Plague Domain (Cleric)
Witchcraft Domain (Cleric)
Circle of Leaves (Druid)
Circle of Salt (Druid)
Hoplite (Fighter)
Immortal (Fighter)
Legionary (Fighter)
Way of the Wrestler (Athlete/Monk)
Oath of the Argonaut (Paladin)
Medjay (Ranger)
Shedim Resh Al Ma’at (Rogue)
Pharaonic Bloodline (Sorcerer)
Fates Patron (Warlock)
School of the Magi (Wizard)
School of the Sibyl (Wizard)
Racial OptionsDwarf (volcano, field)
Elf (Oreyan, Scyllaean, Nyssian)
Human (Arkadian)
Orc (Arkadian)
Phaedran (satyr, siren, gorgon, harpy, centaur)
Centaur (Thylean)
Medusa (Thylean)
Minotaur (Thylean)
Nymph (Thylean)
Satyr (Thylean)
Siren (Thylean)
Autochtone (fire, quicksilver)
Boread (halcyon, neophron, pesmenos)
Centaur (academic, wild, icthyo)
Cynocephali (canus, aureus)
Hyperborean (astral, ethereal, material)
Lupercalian
Minotaur (field, cave)
Myrmidon (coastal, mountain)
Ranii (red-soil, black-soil)
Satyr (satyr, faun)
Rules Optionsfeats (20), equipment, magic items (30), monsters (32)outsiders vs natives, backstories, epic paths, fame, PC dragonlords, PC gods, equipment, spells (8), monsters (67), magic items (40)Backgrounds (10), magic items (50+), monsters (30+)
Adventures (in-book)NoneLvl 1-20 adventure pathMini-adventures (4)
PreviewsClass Archetypes (free)Player’s Guide (free) - race and class optionsSatyr and Bacchante (PWYW)
Supporting ProductsMinotaur Race (free), Music & Ambiance CD, Fate of the Oracle adventure (not yet released)
 

Dire Bare

Legend
This thread got me excited, and I whipped up a brief comparison of the Greek-inspired 5E books to date.

Arkadia
Odyssey of the Dragonlords
Age of Myth
SettingArkadia
(8 pages)
Thylea
(24 pages)
None (mythic Greece and other Mediterranean cultures)
Class ArchetypesPath of the Hero (Barbarian)
College of the Muse (Bard)
Domain of Fate (Cleric)
Circle of Beasts (Druid)
Hoplite (Fighter)
Way of the Gladiator (Monk)
Oath of Judgement (Paladin)
Amazon (Ranger)
Trickster (Rogue)
Demigod Bloodline (Sorcerer)
Dead King Patron (Warlock)
School of Philosophy (Wizard)
Herculean Path (Barbarian)
College of Epic Poetry (Bard)
Prophecy Domain (Cleric)
Circle of Sacrifice (Druid)
Hoplite Soldier (Fighter)
Way of the Shield (Monk)
Oath of the Dragonlord (Paladin)
Amazonian Conclave (Ranger)
Odyssean (Rogue)
Fates Patron (Warlock)
Academy Philosopher (Wizard)
Path of the Bacchante (Barbarian)
Path of the Lunatic (Barbarian)
College of Engineering (Bard)
College of Poetry (Bard)
Mysteries Domain (Cleric)
Plague Domain (Cleric)
Witchcraft Domain (Cleric)
Circle of Leaves (Druid)
Circle of Salt (Druid)
Hoplite (Fighter)
Immortal (Fighter)
Legionary (Fighter)
Way of the Wrestler (Athlete/Monk)
Oath of the Argonaut (Paladin)
Medjay (Ranger)
Shedim Resh Al Ma’at (Rogue)
Pharaonic Bloodline (Sorcerer)
Fates Patron (Warlock)
School of the Magi (Wizard)
School of the Sibyl (Wizard)
Racial OptionsDwarf (volcano, field)
Elf (Oreyan, Scyllaean, Nyssian)
Human (Arkadian)
Orc (Arkadian)
Phaedran (satyr, siren, gorgon, harpy, centaur)
Centaur (Thylean)
Medusa (Thylean)
Minotaur (Thylean)
Nymph (Thylean)
Satyr (Thylean)
Siren (Thylean)
Autochtone (fire, quicksilver)
Boread (halcyon, neophron, pesmenos)
Centaur (academic, wild, icthyo)
Cynocephali (canus, aureus)
Hyperborean (astral, ethereal, material)
Lupercalian
Minotaur (field, cave)
Myrmidon (coastal, mountain)
Ranii (red-soil, black-soil)
Satyr (satyr, faun)
Rules Optionsfeats (20), equipment, magic items (30), monsters (32)outsiders vs natives, backstories, epic paths, fame, PC dragonlords, PC gods, equipment, spells (8), monsters (67), magic items (40)Backgrounds (10), magic items (50+), monsters (30+)
Adventures (in-book)NoneLvl 1-20 adventure pathMini-adventures (4)
PreviewsClass Archetypes (free)Player’s Guide (free) - race and class optionsSatyr and Bacchante (PWYW)
Supporting ProductsMinotaur Race (free), Music & Ambiance CD, Fate of the Oracle adventure (not yet released)

To explain some of the less obvious options from Arkadia . . . .

Races: Classic D&D races such as dwarves, elves, and orcs get somewhat different traits and subraces than in the PHB.
  • Dwarf: Volcano and field dwarves are similar to, but a bit different than the classic mountain and hill dwarves.
  • Elf: Again, similar but different from the classic D&D take on elves, described as a declining race, the first mortals from the Age of Gods. The Oreyan elves are the amazons of the setting, similar to wood/wild elves. Scyllaen elves are similar to high elves, and are the Atlanteans of the setting. Nyssian elves are explicitly drow, and come from an Egyptian-inspired region and are pharaonic necromancers.
  • Humans: Standard humans traits, but some details to make your humans more Arkadian (or Thylean).
  • Orc: Gargaran orcs are also known as giants as they are often over 6 ft tall. Similar to standard D&D orcs of the savage-but-not-evil type.
  • Phaedran: A fey-touched or plane-touched race, a different take on the fey races of Greek myth. Phaedrans are descendants of fey, born to mortal parents, not actual fey themselves. Subraces include satyrs, sirens, gorgons (medusae), centaur (bipedal). Minotaurs are also described as phaedrans, but the Kinosian minotaur race in the free supplement is a separate racial option, not a subrace.
  • Minotaur: Available as a free supplement on drivethrurpg.com.
Classes: There's some obvious overlap, or alternate versions, of archetypes presented in Dragonlords, but a few options that are unique to Arkadia. The Class Archetypes free preview on drivethrurpg.com includes all of the, well, class archetypes!
  • Circle of Beasts: Shapechanging druids.
  • Oath of Judgement: Paladins who emulate kings (Zeus basically), acting as judge, jury & executioners, wielding storm and lightning.
  • The Dead King: This warlock patron is a powerful undead pharaoh from Nys, the not-Egypt of the setting.
Feats: 9 general feats including: arena champion, colossus breaker, myrmidon, oracle, pankratiast, phalanx warrior, and reveler. Also an additional 11 racial feats for everybody except humans. Not sure of the balance, but the feats come across as flavorful, rather than simple power-ups, further describing Greek-inspired heroes.
 

gyor

Legend
The Amazonians are better then in most media, less politicized then most. Many Wonder Woman fans would be shocked when they realize that the Amazonians worshipped Ares according to Greek Myth, and their Queen was Ares daughter, but a lot of folks now adays have a warped view of Ares/Mars from media. Like if a rape victim wished Vengeance against his/her attacker, she'd likely pray to Ares he was one of the only Gods in Greek Myth that neither raped anyone or was an accessory to rape, and he avenged his daughter when she was raped, not Athena or Artemis, just ask Medusa.

Of course one should also not confuse "Greek Myth" with the whole of ancient Greek Religion, because Greek Myths like from Hesiod and Homer were seen as impietous towards Gods by Philosophers like Plato or seen as metaphors for deeper truths about the Gods by later Henadic (late) Platonists.
 

Dire Bare

Legend
This thread got me excited, and I whipped up a brief comparison of the Greek-inspired 5E books to date.

Arkadia
Odyssey of the Dragonlords
Age of Myth
SettingArkadia
(8 pages)
Thylea
(24 pages)
None (mythic Greece and other Mediterranean cultures)
Class ArchetypesPath of the Hero (Barbarian)
College of the Muse (Bard)
Domain of Fate (Cleric)
Circle of Beasts (Druid)
Hoplite (Fighter)
Way of the Gladiator (Monk)
Oath of Judgement (Paladin)
Amazon (Ranger)
Trickster (Rogue)
Demigod Bloodline (Sorcerer)
Dead King Patron (Warlock)
School of Philosophy (Wizard)
Herculean Path (Barbarian)
College of Epic Poetry (Bard)
Prophecy Domain (Cleric)
Circle of Sacrifice (Druid)
Hoplite Soldier (Fighter)
Way of the Shield (Monk)
Oath of the Dragonlord (Paladin)
Amazonian Conclave (Ranger)
Odyssean (Rogue)
Fates Patron (Warlock)
Academy Philosopher (Wizard)
Path of the Bacchante (Barbarian)
Path of the Lunatic (Barbarian)
College of Engineering (Bard)
College of Poetry (Bard)
Mysteries Domain (Cleric)
Plague Domain (Cleric)
Witchcraft Domain (Cleric)
Circle of Leaves (Druid)
Circle of Salt (Druid)
Hoplite (Fighter)
Immortal (Fighter)
Legionary (Fighter)
Way of the Wrestler (Athlete/Monk)
Oath of the Argonaut (Paladin)
Medjay (Ranger)
Shedim Resh Al Ma’at (Rogue)
Pharaonic Bloodline (Sorcerer)
Fates Patron (Warlock)
School of the Magi (Wizard)
School of the Sibyl (Wizard)
Racial OptionsDwarf (volcano, field)
Elf (Oreyan, Scyllaean, Nyssian)
Human (Arkadian)
Orc (Arkadian)
Phaedran (satyr, siren, gorgon, harpy, centaur)
Centaur (Thylean)
Medusa (Thylean)
Minotaur (Thylean)
Nymph (Thylean)
Satyr (Thylean)
Siren (Thylean)
Autochtone (fire, quicksilver)
Boread (halcyon, neophron, pesmenos)
Centaur (academic, wild, icthyo)
Cynocephali (canus, aureus)
Hyperborean (astral, ethereal, material)
Lupercalian
Minotaur (field, cave)
Myrmidon (coastal, mountain)
Ranii (red-soil, black-soil)
Satyr (satyr, faun)
Rules Optionsfeats (20), equipment, magic items (30), monsters (32)outsiders vs natives, backstories, epic paths, fame, PC dragonlords, PC gods, equipment, spells (8), monsters (67), magic items (40)Backgrounds (10), magic items (50+), monsters (30+)
Adventures (in-book)NoneLvl 1-20 adventure pathMini-adventures (4)
PreviewsClass Archetypes (free)Player’s Guide (free) - race and class optionsSatyr and Bacchante (PWYW)
Supporting ProductsMinotaur Race (free), Music & Ambiance CD, Fate of the Oracle adventure (not yet released)

To describe some of the less obvious options from Age of Myth . . .

Age of Myth focuses on Greek-inspired fantasy, but ranges farther into other Mediterranean cultures of the Classical Age. Age of Myth is packed with some really cool options, but isn't as pretty of a book as Arcadia and Dragonlords (and probably Theros). All of the art is public domain classical art, but is well chosen. The book does not include a fantasy Greece setting like Arcadia or Thylea, and doesn't really provide much setting detail at all outside of the character and monster options.

Races: No classic elves, dwarves, and orcs here!
  • Autochthone: A very different take on dwarves. Elemental mortals born of Gaia (earth) and divine/titan blood spilled during the Gods/Titans war of myth. Slender, passionate, polymaths, artists, wanderers . . .
  • Boread: Beautiful, empathic, winged humans descended from the North Wind and nymphs/naiads.
  • Centaur: Descendents of Chiron, born of god and ocean. Centaurs want to know, academics are scholars, wild centaurs are wanderers, all centaurs are egalitarians. Icthyocentaurs are sea horse centaurs that can shapechange into normal centaurs.
  • Cynocephali: Dog and jackal-headed humanoids, cousins to jackal-weres. A former conquering army of humans cursed by the gods. Now prideful merchants based in desert kingdoms. Some reject their cursed forms and seek to emulate other races, such as dragonborn or tritons.
  • Hyperborean: Humans of flexible form, exiles from the paradise demiplane of Hyperborea. Can adopt a ephemeral "joyful form" (ethereal form basically). Mythic Hyperborea is not Conan's Hyperborea!
  • Lupercalian: Expansionist, lupine (wolf-like) legionnaires from not-Rome. Not wolf-headed, but more like shifters from Eberron. Lupercalians breed true, but a ritual can transform another humanoid into a lupercalian to increase their population!
  • Minotaur: Originally cursed by a demon lord (you know who), the gods restored free will to the minotaurs. Now minotaur adventures seek out monstrous minotaurs to free them from demonic influence!
  • Myrmidon: Insects transformed by the god of war into angular human soldiers.
  • Ranii: An empire that rebelled against the gods and were cursed into frog-like humanoids, who have rebuilt their highly stratified empire and enslave other humans.
  • Satyr: Satyrs are hedonistic, carefree, selfish revelers, that when finding someone to truly care about, transform into the wiser and kinder fauns. Available as a free preview.
Classes:
  • Path of the Bacchante: (Barbarian) Maenads, hedonistic followers of the god of wine and vengeance! Available as a free preview.
  • Path of the Lunatic: (Barbarian) Mad, empathic warriors touched with prophecy and dreams.
  • College of Engineering: (Bard) Inventors like Archimedes and Daedalus.
  • Witchcraft Domain: (Cleric) An interesting take on the classical witch, followers of power, magic, death, and subversion.
  • Circle of Leaves: (Druid) Similar to classic D&D druids, can transform into a hamadryad tree form and can create golden apples.
  • Circle of Salt: (Druid) Druids who seek to purge the natural world of all life!
  • Immortal: (Fighter) The elite troops of ancient Persia. Immortals benefit from innate magic that makes them nearly invulnerable to harm.
  • Way of the Wrestler: (Athlete/Monk) The athlete is a variant monk class with one "athletic tradition". Seemingly more appropriate for the setting than the classic D&D monk!
  • Oath of the Argonaut: (Paladin) Heroes committed to a major quest that spans continents, topples kingdoms, or traverses worlds. You know, like Jason!
  • Medjay: (Ranger) Peacekeepers, desert servants of pharaonic lords.
  • Shedim Resh Al Ma'at: (Rogue) "Servants in the Place of Truth", tomb robbers, descendants of those who built the tombs for the pharaohs.
  • Venefica: (Rogue) I missed this one in my comparison a few posts above. Spies, beguilers, masters of magic and poison.
  • Sylvan Bloodline: (Sorcerer) Missed this one too above, oops. Beautiful and beguiling descendant of pastoral fey such as nymphs, dryads, naiads, satyrs, and centaurs.
  • The Gorgons: (Warlock) Damn! Missed this warlock patron too! You serve Euryale, Stheno, or Medusa herself! Gain a petrifying gaze!
  • School of the Magi: (Wizard) An ancient order that dedicated to bearing light, finding truth, and fighting evil and chaos.
  • School of the Sibyl: (Wizard) Sibyllines draw upon the power of language, words, to shape the flow of magic.
Backgrounds: Includes amulet maker, archon (leader), embalmer, gladiator, gymnast, hem-netjer (temple priest), oracle, shepherd, vestal virgin (celibate priest), and vintner (wine-maker).

Overall, both Arkadia and Age of Myth can add a lot of player options (and monsters) to your Dragonlords game. Or vice versa! :)
 

gyor

Legend
I hope they do a sequel book to this based upon the Dionysiaca the way Odyssey of the Dragonlord is inspired by the Odyssey and Illiad.

It's about the invasion of India by Greek Gods and Mythological Creatures, where they go up against East Indian Gods. The Ancient Epic Poem is as big as the Odyssey and Illiad combined, but not as old.

Dionysiaca - Wikipedia
 


Libertad

Adventurer
ryLd1gl.png

Starting at Higher Level: For those pointing out the incongruity of 1st-level PCs being underpowered for the legends they’re famed for, the book suggests that gaming groups unsatisfied with their “famous heroes” starting out at 1st level can begin at 5th. In this case the DM should skip two of the three Great Labors, with the relevant deeds/treasures/etc already performed and retrieved.

The Great Labors are all in different locations, but conveniently the city of Estoria is within reasonable traveling distance of all three. Chances are the PCs may be headed there to speak with the god Pythor for their Epic Paths anyway.

Estoria is not in a good location by the time the PCs arrive. Sydon is extorting farmers to make daily sacrifices of one cow a day, keeping all of it for himself and not doing the “burn the best parts and let the mortals eat the rest” that is typical for more reasonable gods. Even worse, centaur, gygan, and cyclops forces loyal to him are gathering in large war parties across the river. Sydon promised to pull them away from Estoria should Pythor offer his daughter Anora as a sacrifice on the next night of the full moon, else the assembled armies shall invade. A sacrifice her father is unwilling to make.

CVA467D.png

Estoria is a fair-sized city with 14 major sites to explore and 10 potential random encounters: most of the encounters are just set dressing, but a few involve fights or danger such as a bunch of barrels breaking off a cart and heading in the party’s direction.

Bioware Trope Alert: Side Quests: One of Odyssey’s strong points is that while it has a main plot, a lot of encounters and locations are optional or can be found off the beaten path should the PCs go out of their way to explore the cities and islands of the adventure path. As completing said side quests usually nets the party more Experience and material rewards than if they bypassed them, gaming groups of a more completionist mindset will have an advantage in future encounters due to being more powerful.

So what sidequests do we have in Estoria? Well there’s…

...a Wine Festival where the party can watch mythological and historical plays expanding on Thylea’s world-building. One of the actress is a disguised green hag who will try to seduce a PC to meet her alone so she can eat their heart.
...a grave robber who stole a Necklace of Fireballs from the Necropolis and is starving to death due to the curse for his sin. The only way for him to end the curse is to sell the necklace to someone who knows that he stole it from a grave. It will teleport back into his possession otherwise.
...meet some dwarves in the Dragon’s Tooth, a local tavern. They will pay the PCs 10 gp for each dwarven skull retrieved from the Mithral Mines. The skulls are needed to bury their kin, and their race once operated the Mithral Forge. This one’s a subtrope all its own!
...meet a man and his husband in the local vineyards, whose daughter Corinna went missing. She is encountered at the Mossy Temple, one of the many teenagers who joined Demetria’s cult of Lutheria. Returning her safely home nets the PCs a Javelin of Lightning from the grateful fathers.
...convince a simple-minded yet good-intentioned cyclops that a group of poachers he’s running with are bad news, as they’re only his ‘friends’ due to the muscle he provides and nothing else.

The PCs can also visit the local tavern where they can roll on a d8 table to learn of plot-relevant rumors, several of which hint at future chapters or interesting locations in town: the local dwarf artisan Volkan claims to be the God of the Forge, a massive hurricane is approaching Mytros’ coast, etc. PCs who visit the Dragon Shrine to drink from the Horn of Balmytria will learn that some thieves broke in and stole it. Following the trail whether by Survival or Detect Magic (cuz powerful artifact) leads the PCs to the Mossy Temple deep in the Oldwoods. Finally, Volkan’s Hall is home to the God of the Forge, but most of the locals think him to be merely an eccentric dwarf. He’ll give the PCs a magic item if they sacrificed the boar to him, and even if they did not he promises to help them craft magic items if they get the Mithral Forge working again.

The King’s Daughter
gPKt75T.png

But before the PCs can go gallivanting around town, the city guards at the gates will mention that King Pythor is aware of their presence and issued a summons for them. They won’t force them there, but will encourage the party to make haste given that their ruler would not issue this order on a whim.

Pythor’s an alcoholic even on his better days, but given the recent troubles his worse side is out as he’s found smashing statues in the main hall. He’ll gain enough lucidity once Kyrah talks some sense into him, and he explains the above troubles regarding Sydon. Although Pythor has dozens (if not hundreds) of children, Princess Anora is very dear to him. The sacrifice in question demanded by Sydon involves tying the captive to the aptly-named Rock of Sacrifice on the river where they must remain until sunrise. It is known that a pair of basilisks will petrify and consume any offerings left there, so even though the wording does not demand death it will be almost certain. Caught between sacrificing one of his own vs the people of the city, he cannot directly fight Sydon’s forces without violating the Oath of Peace, so he begs the PCs to find a solution. The next full moon is a few weeks away, so the PCs have a generous window open to act and also do any Great Labors and various sidequests to Git Gud to fight the basilisks/centaur chieftain/etc.

How does Anora feel about this? She’s willing to sacrifice herself, but Pythor will not allow it and locked her away in the palace dungeons to prevent her from sneaking out.

One might be asking how Sydon’s forces can raze a city without breaking the Oath of Peace. Well, that’s a good question. In fact, any in-game text of the Oath proper is never revealed, although it’s heavily implied that not attacking Thylea’s major population centers is one of the terms with which the Titans must abide based on later events in the book. Which makes one ask why Estoria’s the exception. While we know that the gods’ devotees can fight each other without breaking the Oath (otherwise this AP would be impossible), the vagueness of the Oath is something the PCs will be asking about in times like this.

The PCs could challenge the centaur chieftain in ritual combat, where he and a number of his best soldiers will face the PCs in equal numbers plus one cyclops. This will be a very difficult battle given these are Centaur Heroes with better stats than the base Monster Manual kind, and Kyrah will advise against this. She will resurrect the PCs in one week’s time at Pythor’s palace rather than wasting their Divine Boons should they lose. The other option is to approach the representatives of the Order of Sydon, led by Commander Gaius who is a bit of a recurring villain in this campaign. Pythor’s offer of fifty oxen to replace Anora will be turned down, for Gaius is a Lawful Evil jerk who wants the Five Gods to suffer. He’ll only accept the PCs as an entire party as a worthy sacrificial substitute.

The PCs can look for the basilisk’s lair and kill them ahead of time, although this will result in an unforeseen yet still manageable complication. Sacrifices, be they the PCs or Anora, will be led to the Rock of Sacrifice and chained by their feet (but still retain their equipment). A dozen centaur will watch the proceedings, as well as three harpies who will use their songs to lure any escapees back to the rock. The chains limit their movement, and the basilisks will attack after twenty minutes...but if the basilisks are dead, then hours will pass and Sydon’s followers will grow increasingly worried and impatient. The harpies will be the first to break down, where they will attack the sacrifice(s) but will not be joined by their landbound comrades should the PCs retaliate. As the terms of the sacrifice do not mandate death (only a certain time limit), the centaur chieftain will grudgingly disband his army should it go awry.

Completing the quest where Anora survives will make Pythor very happy. He will give one of the PCs (ideally the Demi-God) his famous hammer, which in addition to being a great weapon can be used to craft special kinds of weapons at the Mithral Forge. If Anora dies, Pythor will drink himself into unconsciousness and be invalid for a week.

Epic Paths: Pythor has relevant information regarding the destinies of the Demi-God and Lost One, but won’t aid them until they resolve the sacrifice quest. He’ll tell the Demi-God that their mother was kidnapped by the dragon Hexia who is believed to lair in the Forgotten Sea. Volkan will give said PC the blueprints for one of Pythor’s unfinished weapons, which is one of the magic weapons for this Path and must be crafted with his hammer at the Mithral Forge.

For the Lost One, he’ll mention that Estor Arkelander, one of the Dragonlords, knows where the lost treasure of the order is, but he is now an undead captain of a ghost ship which hasn’t been seen in generations.

The Mithral Mines
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The Mithral Forge is interesting in that it’s one of the few aspects of Thylea which directly ties the PHB races to the world’s history. The dwarven settlers found a rich mithral vein with some adamantine extending for miles beneath the mountains; the largest in the world in fact. Most of Thylea’s greatest arms and armor were crafted here, and it was this vaunted fame that made Lutheria unleash a Cerberus hound in the mines to slaughter the dwarves. The infernal beast gave birth to many children known as death dogs, meaning that nobody has yet returned it to operating order.

As can be expected, the Mithral Mines are a classic subterranean dungeon crawl. The PCs can see four massive statues in the shape of hands which are actually one of Kentimane’s many limbs, a bit of foreshadowing to the Titan’s omnipresent nature across Thylea. They can also come upon some wary centaurs who if not attacked will warn the party of a troglodyte band in the mines who kidnapped their companions. Said companions are a Side Quest where the tribe will award the PCs 3 potions of heroism for rescuing them.

The Mithral Mines are a 2-level, 22-room dungeon. Troglodytes from the Underdark sought the mines’ upper reaches as a safe haven from an undefined threat further below the world’s reaches, but ended up involved in a devastating war with the Cerberus’ death dog children. A battle which the troglodytes gained the upper hand in once they bred some cockatrices to petrify the hounds...and in turn the cockatrices started attacking their caretakers, and are thus a third pseudo-faction in the dungeon. The mines have some creepy ambience of multi-headed doglike statues, a few of which come to life shortly after the PCs enter or go on to the next room.

PCs who fall in battle against the troglodytes will not be killed, but imprisoned (granting them a Short Rest) and brought to their king. Said king wears a Headband of Intellect which has made him rather miserable upon realization that he lives among idiots. He will be initially nonviolent to the PCs and offer a game of riddles, and should they win or prove otherwise useful to him he’ll tell them the password to bypass the elevator trap leading to the lower levels.

The way to the second level is an intricate dwarven elevator with a trap. Unless the right password is uttered, dragonhead spouts will pour oil into the elevator while flaming jetstreams farther below come to life. The PCs have 3 rounds to somehow prepare or avoid this before the entire elevator is lit on fire. The damage alone from this trap can result in a TPK. The second level itself is hotter, home to a Salamander kept imprisoned by a cold-generating bronze sphere that douses her with freezing ice should she go a certain distance away from the room’s center. She was a metalsmith who helped maintain the Forge, but can tell the PCs how to restart and upkeep it should they find and give her the contract binding her (also in the dungeon). She will stay in the Forge for one year voluntarily, helping craft items.

But nothing in life is so straightforward. If the trogloydyte king is still alive, he’ll hear the loud sounds of the forge coming to life and lead a war party of 16 of his subjects down the elevator to kill the PCs, the salamander, and any surviving death dogs in order to claim the Forge for himself. The PCs have several rounds to prepare, and can also set up 4 traps in squares of their choice in the forge room to activate when someone enters. Said traps are overhanging cauldrons spilling molten metal, blast vents that shoot out boiling steam, etc.

Although the PCs have traps and a fiery monster to aid them, the potential 17-monster combat is highly lethal to PCs who are likely 2nd to 4th level. But I do like how it’s suitably climactic for the end of a dungeon, and cutting back the troglodyte numbers may be best.

Epic Paths: The Forgekeeper will give the Dragonslayer one of their wish list magic items, and explain that the gygans of Yonder Island once knew the secrets to building an even greater weapon suitable for fighting dragons.

The Mossy Temple
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This one’s another dungeon crawl, this time of the decaying vine-covered ruins kind. A group of goatlings stole the Horn of Balmytria so as to prevent the PCs from opposing the Titans’ plans, although they did not do a good job in covering their tracks. Said goatlings are part of a cult of Lutheria, led by the evil dryad Demetria. The cult has been tricking teenagers into thinking they’re joining a cool secret society but in actuality will become either maenads (for the women) or sacrifices (for the men).

Goatlings and Maenads: With the absence of orcs, goblins, and kobolds, other monsters serve similar thematic roles in Odyssey of the Dragonlords. Centaur and Gygans more or less replace orcs and ogres as the “strong warrior race of raiders” trope. Maenads and goatlings are two new monsters in Thylea. Maenads are evil monstrous women transformed after a loved one tricks or betrays them as part of a ritual to Lutheria. Maenads are more or less always Evil and live to kill: the union of a maenad and satyr produces a goatling, who are Small-sized monsters with goat heads who are fond of taunting people in combat.

The Mossy Temple is slightly shorter than the Mithral Mines, being 16 rooms. The PCs also have more opportunities to encounter potential allies, such as an insane gnome who remains wildshaped in squirrel form whenever possible. There’s also a non-evil pair of satyrs* and a dryad who are ambassadors for the non-evil fey unsuccessfully trying to convince Demetria to stop kidnapping and torturing people. Two of them cannot provide direct aid in combat, but can tell them a bit of the dryad’s backstory: the Dragonlord Estor Arkelander cut down her sister’s tree to help build his ship, which is why she’s now evil. Finally there Corinna, one of the teenage revelers who can talk sense into her friends.

*One of the satyrs, Loreus, is not like others of his kind: he prefers the fanciful fiction of stories and poetry, and happens to be big fans of the PCs thanks to their exploits. He’ll fall in love with the party member who is the nicest to them, and if possible will covertly follow them and use his pan pipes to put to sleep a foe who begins to get the upper hand in combat.

The Temple’s dangers are nicely varied, ranging from animated root traps, camouflaged oozes in a stagnant pool, nonflying gargoyle statues that come to life if an offering is not left in a sacrificial bowl, and violently drunk goatling and maenads. The treasure has some non-standard options: two gardens can be harvested for non-magical Goodberries, truth serum, and poison to those with the proper proficiencies

Demetria and her gygan bodyguard are in one of the temple’s last rooms, hosting a feast for four girls. She is wary of the PCs but will try to engage them in conversation to buy herself some time. In reality the meat of the meal is the flesh of several murdered teenage boys, and she told the four girls that they’re away in the forest to explain their absence. The PCs can convince the girls of the truth if they visited the kitchen and found out what the meat was made of, if the crazy gnome is still with the PCsand will point this out, or if Corinna is with them and trusts the party. Otherwise, the girls will transform into maenads as they dig in, and will attack the PCs along with Demetria and the gygan. If the party convinces the girls of the truth, they’ll automatically pin down Demetria for 3 rounds but will die if the PCs don’t protect them from the gygan.

Also, some of the squickier elements of this chapter: the troglodytes and goatlings have babies among their number who can walk upright, the former case will attack the PCs and which the text explains as a ‘moral dilemma.’ Child-killing is a recurring plot element in this adventure path, albeit in most other cases is a thing done by villains rather than the heroes. Demetria has also been having sex with the teenagers offscreen. Although their ages are never stated, it’s still a creepy and predatory behavior given her intentions and the power differentials even if they all happen to be 18-19 years old.

Once the Horn of Balmytria is recovered and drunk from, the PCs will enter a collective trance where they imagine themselves upon the deck of a trireme ship rowed by undead oarsmen, a strange bronze construct in their hands. PCs skilled in the ways of visions or a suitable NPC can interpret their dream as being on the deck of the Ultros, an infamous ghost ship once commanded by the Dragonlord Estor Arkelander. Only one of his descendants would know the location of the ship: King Acatus, ruler of the city-state of Mytros. Acastus’ ancestral legacy is common knowledge in the setting, so it should be trivial for the PCs to find out about this.

Epic Paths: Demetria recognizes the Doomed One on sight, will tell them that they are destined to die at the grace of Lutheria, and say that only the Fates can say more. If the PCs happen to be the “kill first, ask questions later” this information will be revealed to them once they drink from the Horn.

She also possesses one of the Haunted One’s wish list magical items. Once attuned, they will hear the voice of a family member’s soul, explaining that the other family artifact is in the hands of the Amazon Queen.

The Necropolis at Telamok
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Cave Dungeon? Check. Ruins Dungeon? Check. Graveyard Dungeon? Checkaroony! Rounding out our Great Labors is a place where the party Cleric can go Turn-happy. But unlike the typical graveyard, the Necropolis is located outside any major population center and is forbidden to all but a select few. It is where the Dragonlords’ bodies were laid to rest, presided over by Damon the lich undertaker. This undead archmage is on the lookout for grave-robbers, necromancers, and general-purpose defilers. The PCs will pass more of Kentimane’s arms on the way here and also get accosted by harpies who will try to use their songs to make them fall off the cliffs. The Necropolis itself is a mist-shrouded valley where undead will be endlessly summoned should the PCs try to climb or fly past its edges.

Several bridges (all but one of which are broken) are guarded over by Damon, who will let the PCs pass if they present him the Burnished Dragonlord Coin Kyrah gave to them way back during the boar hunt. He will use nonlethal magic to those who try and pass otherwise at first, becoming lethal should they persist or fight him.

Epic Path: Damon otherwise says nothing, but to the Cursed One he will give a Gem of Brightness, one of their family heirlooms. He will tell them to seek out the Lotus Witch of Scorpion Island, for she knows how to break their family curse.

A generous amount of page space is given over to the tombs of various Dragonlords, which are much greater risk than reward: although a few have some nice magic items, they’re guarded by some nasty traps. Even if the PCs successfully abscond with the goods they’ll be afflicted with the Curse of the Graverobber which will slowly starve them to death. Kyrah is uncharacteristically quiet in the tomb of Estor Arkelander; she has some bad history with the Dragonlord, and regrets the atrocities he committed during the First War but will not wish to speak of it to the PCs. One of the Dragonlord tombs houses one of their number who converted to Sydon as a symbolic gesture of peace: trying to rob it will teleport one of the offending PCs to Sydon’s throne room in Praxys, where he will most assuredly kill the offender.

But there is one tomb they can purloin without (much) negative consequence: the Tomb of Xander, which houses the treasure needed for this Great Labor! It’s a mazelike dungeon patrolled by the insane minotaur Graxis the Butcher, whose tribe were cursed to be the Necropolis’ guardians at the end of the First War. His brethren became skeletons which are one of the more common monsters encountered here, but he managed to not become undead through SHEER WILLPOWER. Graxis can be encountered either at the end of the dungeon or as a random encounter, and the maze has a few traps, such as the classic “spiked walls closing in” that can be disabled via pulling a lever or opening a portcullis.

If Graxis is still alive, he will confront the PCs in the true tomb, getting there via Plotportation. During the battle the resting Dragonlord will raise as a wight and hand one of the PCs his Axe but otherwise not intervene in combat. Once victorious, the PCs can claim the magical breastplate and mundane (but very pretty) shield from the tomb. The Axe and Shield are damaged and thus must be repaired at the Mithral Forge.

Epic Path: Xander will mention that Commander Gaius, the leader of the Order of Sydon, has stolen the Vanished One’s armor and keeps it safe in a fortress at the Isle of Yonder. Xander also has a Crown of the Dragonlords to give to said PC (or the Gifted One) in addition to the existing treasure. If the party includes both the Vanished One and Gifted One, he has TWO CROWNS instead!

Inter-Labor Encounters: The world at large is not docile while the PCs are going out and about. After the first Great Labor is completed, Commander Gaius will track down the party and make a dramatic entrance on his silver dragon mount, gloating at how their quest is a lost cause and call forth a centaur warband to attack the party as he flies off.* After the second Great Labor is completed, Lutheria will give them another spooky dream the next time they rest, where they see a man with stitched-shut eyes, ears, and mouth in a beautiful valley. They must make a Wisdom saving throw or gain a long-term madness that can only be magically healed.

*I do feel that if the party has the Vanished One and the Necropolis was the first Great Labor completed, then they may misread this encounter and try to chase after Gaius even though he’s meant to be a foreshadowing of things to come.

Also after the Second or Third Labor (DM’s discretion) is completed, a trio of Mytrosian soldiers mounted on copper dragons will find the PCs and explain that they bear summons from King Acastus: Sydon has sent a hurricane to the city, and they need the PCs to come to their aid. They will plead for the heroes to come but otherwise not force them, mentioning that Acastus will punish them if they come back empty-handed. Said soldiers are part of Acastus’ attempt at restoring the order of Dragonlords, who are not looked fondly upon by Kyrah and the gods due to being a poor imitation at best.

The relevant quests and city of Mytros is covered in the next chapter all on its own. So yes, the chapters in these cases can be played out of order potentially, which I like for providing a relative sense of freedom.

Thoughts So Far: Overall I like the three Great Labors. Their main weaknesses is that they are quite lethal for such a low-level party, particularly the troglodytes and some of the room traps whose damage can easily lead to a TPK. But I do like how they are tied into aspects of Thylea’s history and grant the PCs several chances to learn of what came before. The addition of sidequests is a neat concept, but the ones here feel a bit simple (retrieve dwarven skulls, rescue these NPCs, etc) in comparison to ones we see later in the adventure path.

The demanded sacrifice of Pythor’s daughter is a bit of a low point, if only due to the fact that it has a rather restrictive expected outcome in that the text presumes the PCs will offer themselves up as sacrifices. It also highlights some of the plot holes in this adventure path regarding the Oath of Peace’s vagueness. Additionally, Pythor feels more like a Thor expy than an Ares: his red hair, the image of a drunken bon vivant, and using a signature hammer as a weapon feels more Norse mythology than Greek mythology.

Join us next time as we visit the Big Olive in Chapter 3: Summoned by the King!
 

Libertad

Adventurer
The Amazonians are better then in most media, less politicized then most. Many Wonder Woman fans would be shocked when they realize that the Amazonians worshipped Ares according to Greek Myth, and their Queen was Ares daughter, but a lot of folks now adays have a warped view of Ares/Mars from media. Like if a rape victim wished Vengeance against his/her attacker, she'd likely pray to Ares he was one of the only Gods in Greek Myth that neither raped anyone or was an accessory to rape, and he avenged his daughter when she was raped, not Athena or Artemis, just ask Medusa.

Of course one should also not confuse "Greek Myth" with the whole of ancient Greek Religion, because Greek Myths like from Hesiod and Homer were seen as impietous towards Gods by Philosophers like Plato or seen as metaphors for deeper truths about the Gods by later Henadic (late) Platonists.

I uh, don't know how much to spoil ahead of time, but Thylea's Amazons and their handling of sex (consensual or otherwise) is probably going to disappoint you.

Posts on other Greek-themed sourcebooks.

Wow, these are some very detailed write-ups! Thank you for this!
 


What if the PCs face a coven of medusaes witches, wouldn't they be power-broken as enemy bosses?

In the past I tried to imagine Amazons as a new PC race, using Wonder Woman's homeland, Themyscira or Paradise island as source of inspiration, but also a new and wicked version, based in the classic mythology about the island of Lemnos, ruled by the queen Hypsipyle, and with some pieces of the lore of the Honored Matres from Frank Herbert's Dunge saga, whose origin is... let's say it is a good example of former slaves becoming slavers. These "wicked Amazons" have got plant-like traits because to breed they use the "lotophagues", the male version of dryads, tainted by a mind-controlling spore to be used as almost-zombi slaves (I am thinking about to use the name Quercusian).
 

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