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5E Mythic Odysseys of Theros Reviews

Did you, or will you, buy Mythic Odysseys of Theros


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Ah, you’re sadly right. I’d forgotten that it is a homebrew that (objectively correctly) moves the divination mechanics of the divination wizard to the cleric.
Odyssey of the Dragonlords' Prophecy Cleric is pretty much exactly what you want (you can get it from the free Player's Guide to Dragonlords). All the subclasses from that are spot-on to Greek Myth-style fantasy (I particularly liked how the convincingly made the Monk into a 300-style Spartan), though their Paladin is setting-specific.

Re: Theros, my overall feeling about the book is positive, though I don't think it's all it could be. The art is pretty near universally fantastic, with some pieces I both loved and which are as memorable as earlier edition art, which has been been rare in 4E and 5E so far (I know it's because it's MtG art, which WotC spend a lot more on, but whatever!).

The Supernatural Gifts are extremely well-done. A straight-up power gain, but that's fine, because they're both interesting and fit with the setting. They also give some good options.

Piety is an interesting mechanic, I need to look at it more but it really seems like it has potential, and maybe not just for this setting.

The races are a bit lacklustre. Centaurs, Minotaurs and Tritons are all rather below PHB races in effectiveness, seemingly because of utterly irrational over-valuing of natural weapons (the stars basically have to align for a Centaur to actually get to use it's supposed "charge"), but races are fairly poorly balanced in 5E generally, so it's not a unique issue. Leonin are okay. Satyrs would be kind of "okay I guess" except random-ass Magic Resistance, which doesn't even really fit the flavour, but er, well, I won't say no. I expect Satyr Bard and Satyr Warlock will be increasingly common over the next few years. They do at least have the interesting "Fey" sub-type (as do Centaurs), which is a double-edged sword. In 5E, you're only one thing at once, so being Fey means you aren't Humanoid. Thus Charm Person, Hold Person, and so on will not work on a Satyr. On the other hand, being Fey means things like Protection from Good and Evil, Oath of Ancients Paladin turn ability and so on do work on them! In fact if you have an Oath of the Ancients Paladin, he can't choose NOT to turn you, if you're within the radius!

Subclasses are also a bit sad. The Eloquence Bard is really good as a "Bard Wot Actually Can Do Bard Stuff Well", because you get Reliable Talent with Persuasion and Deception, which is, in my experience of playing Bards, potentially amazing, because good god the tendency of d20s to roll low, even with Advantage, when you need it, is genuinely shocking. Also being able to nerf saving throws is great for actually landing those Bard spells. Not as optimizable as a Lore Bard, or as Greek Myth-appropriate as the Dragonlords Bard subclass (who composes epic tales based on the deeds of the party, which you need to track), but a solid Bard subclass. Glory Paladin however is just a really bad Paladin. His aura is peak sadness, because not only is inexplicably 5'/10' instead of 10'/30', despite giving a crap bonus, it doesn't even let you do what the lore says it does, unless you're going last on initiative. Monks and Barbarians will be streaking past you from lower levels anyway. And that's it - there are only two subclasses.

The gods, well, I guess. They're fine. They're good in a sense, because they're not mere expys for the Greek gods/Indo-European gods, and some of the lore is fun, but there is also a bit of excessive trope-avoiding, and worse, super-corporate "BUT CAN WE TRADEMARK IT!?" stuff which feels very much like Elf to Aelf, Orc to Orruk, Dwarf to Duardin-type stuff of Age of Sigmar (i.e. Warhammer 2: To Hell With Square Bases). And most of them have kind of dumb names, which doesn't help. Heliod, i.e. Helios with a cold, being the worst offender.

The monsters are pretty great, and there are a lot of them, and I appreciate the short entries for normal D&D monsters which are slightly different here. The Mythic Monsters I'm sure someone else can go into more detail on, I haven't had enough time to look at them properly, but conceptually they seem good.
 
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DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
Odyssey of the Dragonlords' Prophecy Cleric is pretty much exactly what you want (you can get it from the free Player's Guide to Dragonlords). All the subclasses from that are spot-on to Greek Myth-style fantasy (I particularly liked how the convincingly made the Monk into a 300-style Spartan), though their Paladin is setting-specific.
I would not be surprised one bit if the design team went into this project purposefully creating a book that would work with Odyssey of the Dragonlords, rather than try and supercede it. After all, the OofD team now works for WotC itself, so it wouldn't exactly be kosher for Wyatt, Schneider et. al. to copy/replace all of that book's stuff with Theros mimics just because they could. What would be the point? Why muscle other companies out of the market when they can all share the same Greek-inspired space? It would help ALL the companies down the line to each bring their own thing to the table so that all the player base can be inspired by and mix & match all of the options available.
 
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On the other hand, being Fey means things like Protection from Good and Evil, Oath of Ancients Paladin turn ability and so on do work on them! In fact if you have an Oath of the Ancients Paladin, he can't choose NOT to turn you, if you're within the radius!
Additionally, a Satyr or Centaur Ancients Paladin actually can turn themselves, but it's a bit unclear on what would occur if this happens.
 
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jerryrice4949

Explorer
Having spent time looking through all the material it just feels incomplete. A little bit of everything but to really be a complete Greek setting it would need more monsters, sub classes and races as well as magic items and more world development. It is not a terrible product and when paired with the other Greek stuff out there it could be quite good but for a stand-alone product it is lacking. I agree with the earlier post that it just feels like they went for the quick and easy.

But I think that is WOTCs’ MO at this point. I love 5th edition and own a lot of products but mostly 3P material. Last books I was actually excited about by WOTC were Xanthars and ToF.
 

darjr

I crit!
There are also quite a few Theros books on DMSGuild that look very cool.

There is this:
First introduced in Mythic Odyssey's of Theros, a Mythic Encounter is an optional rule you can apply to a creature which increases the difficulty. This takes the form of a Mythic Trait, which triggers most often on reducing the creature to 0 hit points. After which, it transforms, musters its strength, or exposes a new objective—extending the fight and unlocking new powers and abilities for the creature.
In Mythic Encounters, we bring that mechanic to all your old favorite creatures!
Mythic Encounters - Dungeon Masters Guild | Dungeon Masters Guild

Then this:
The Gray Merchant is a unique vendor who trades one of his goods for something of yours. He doesn't care what people pay, but the gods do. Underpay and the item is less powerful. Overpay and maybe the item gains new properties. If your campaign doesn't allow magic items for sale, these scaling attributes are still useful in allowing items to adjust in power based on your party's level, making them useful for longer! And if your characters are cash poor, they can pay a different price—have a family heirloom or a beloved childhood toy? Are they willing to give it up for more power?
The Gray Merchant of Asphodel: 100+ Theros Magic Items - Dungeon Masters Guild | Dungeon Masters Guild

Then this one:
Masks of Theros is an adventure path that takes characters from 1st to 11th level, and across the plane of Theros from the polis of Meletis to the Underworld, via minotaur wargames, a drowned city on the back of a kraken, and the machinations of the god of time.
Masks of Theros - Dungeon Masters Guild | Dungeon Masters Guild

Some or all of them linked here somewhere before. Note those are my affiliate links.
 

Having spent time looking through all the material it just feels incomplete. A little bit of everything but to really be a complete Greek setting it would need more monsters, sub classes and races as well as magic items and more world development. It is not a terrible product and when paired with the other Greek stuff out there it could be quite good but for a stand-alone product it is lacking. I agree with the earlier post that it just feels like they went for the quick and easy.

But I think that is WOTCs’ MO at this point. I love 5th edition and own a lot of products but mostly 3P material. Last books I was actually excited about by WOTC were Xanthars and ToF.
But it is not a Greek setting. It is a Greek-themed, or Greek-flavored, Magic: the Gathering world given D&D rules. If anyone expected this to be more traditional or historical, then this is not the book for them.
 

Li Shenron

Legend
I guess I would have preferred a true greek mythology setting.
Same here.... I also think a true Greek mythology setting would have more educational value from my kids, as they would learn some real-world mythology while playing.

But this is not their intention, since Theros is part of the plan to port already existing mini-settings from MtG to D&D, and when they did this in MtG originally their purpose was certainly not to mix real-world stuff with the card game, AFAIK.
 

I'm confused why people keep asking for just a "true" Greek mythos setting. If you want to teach your kids Greek myths, get them a Greek myths book, or put on Disney, or make use of any of the infinitiude of materials out there.

What would even be new in the book? We have stats already for the various Greek myths. Gods don't need the stats. Its asking for the same thing that already exists but in a new package and with probably worse art (if Eberron's art direction is anything to go by).

Ya'll the same audience who got mad that the Tiamat adventure was released with almost no changes and just a new cover.
 

I said yes because of a couple reasons, namely that I've already ordered it because my girlfriend is excited for it, and because I will find the extra subclasses and mythic boons useful for extrapolating to my other games.

I care frankly nothing for the setting itself and aside from Hades and the all of the mythos surrounding him I have never enjoyed greek/Roman mythology, mostly stemming from not liking the blantent racism of ancient Greco Roman culture (which was albeit common for anyone back then) and finding the greek/roman gods largely unlikable (special shout out here to Apollo, biggest ***hole of practically any mythos) because they had no accountability and were largely worshipped only out of fear. It makes sense given their climate and function of religion in their society, but it doesn't mean I am overly fond of it from an upbringing with it, or blinded by nostalgia. I'm also just not a MTG fan either.

Norse and all of the eastern mythologies were always more my thing.
 

jerryrice4949

Explorer
But it is not a Greek setting. It is a Greek-themed, or Greek-flavored, Magic: the Gathering world given D&D rules. If anyone expected this to be more traditional or historical, then this is not the book for them.
You are missing my point. it still does not feel like a complete project. Even if the goal is to provide “Greek-flavored, Magic: the Gathering world”. there Is just not enough of anything to provide anything more than a taste. I am not saying it is not an authentic Greek setting, just that whatever it is, there is just enough to provide flavor.

It is fine if you like it, I just find it ok, satisfactory, decent....not because it is MTG but because it is sparse and feels half done.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
You are missing my point. it still does not feel like a complete project. Even if the goal is to provide “Greek-flavored, Magic: the Gathering world”. there Is just not enough of anything to provide anything more than a taste. I am not saying it is not an authentic Greek setting, just that whatever it is, there is just enough to provide flavor.

It is fine if you like it, I just find it ok, satisfactory, decent....not because it is MTG but because it is sparse and feels half done.
In the end I think I agree with you. I was thrilled by the previews, and I must say that the book contains a lot of good ideas, but it feels more like a sampler than a full product. Mythic actions are awesome...but there's only 3 creatures using them in the book. Also, in this particular case, I was already using mythic actions in my game without knowing it, as my players and myself are big JRPG fans where those kind of moves are common trope. Same thing for the Piety rules: they are better illustrated in the book, it makes a great example on how to use the DMG variant rule, but it isnt really something new or expanded. The Supernatural gifts are cool, but they are more or less the not uncommon houserule for tables using feats to allow a feat at first level, with some new feats under a different name. Even the gifts that increases with character levels have a lot in common with the ''specialties(?)'' from the playtest. The book talks of nautical campaign (which is expected from a greek-flavoured setting), but only point to the naval rules from Saltmarsh without even an attempt to give a brief overview of the rules, not even one ot two new ''greek-themed'' ship statblocks to use with said rules.

All in all, it a nice book, the art is splendid as always with MTG products, and the it is always useful to see how variant rules modules can be used and what they look like when added to a living, breathing world instead of a bunch of numerical tables in the DMG. But the book itself does not seem to bring many new ideas to the table, sadly.

I would have preferred tables or templates for mythic action that you add to existing creatures. I would have appreciated more Gifts that increased with the character level (oracle, iconoclast etc) taken from the playtest's specialties. I would have appreciated if the book discussed the variant rules in the DMG to make the characters fated mythic heroes even at 1st level (hero points, epic heroism, cleaving through creatures, optional actions etc) or even loyalty rules, since (IMHO) retainers and entourage are a big part of the Hero's life.

Anyway, good book, but it seems to be lacking in therms of tools to create a ''Mythic Odyssey''.
 

In the end I think I agree with you. I was thrilled by the previews, and I must say that the book contains a lot of good ideas, but it feels more like a sampler than a full product. Mythic actions are awesome...but there's only 3 creatures using them in the book. Also, in this particular case, I was already using mythic actions in my game without knowing it, as my players and myself are big JRPG fans where those kind of moves are common trope. Same thing for the Piety rules: they are better illustrated in the book, it makes a great example on how to use the DMG variant rule, but it isnt really something new or expanded. The Supernatural gifts are cool, but they are more or less the not uncommon houserule for tables using feats to allow a feat at first level, with some new feats under a different name. Even the gifts that increases with character levels have a lot in common with the ''specialties(?)'' from the playtest. The book talks of nautical campaign (which is expected from a greek-flavoured setting), but only point to the naval rules from Saltmarsh without even an attempt to give a brief overview of the rules, not even one ot two new ''greek-themed'' ship statblocks to use with said rules.

All in all, it a nice book, the art is splendid as always with MTG products, and the it is always useful to see how variant rules modules can be used and what they look like when added to a living, breathing world instead of a bunch of numerical tables in the DMG. But the book itself does not seem to bring many new ideas to the table, sadly.

I would have preferred tables or templates for mythic action that you add to existing creatures. I would have appreciated more Gifts that increased with the character level (oracle, iconoclast etc) taken from the playtest's specialties. I would have appreciated if the book discussed the variant rules in the DMG to make the characters fated mythic heroes even at 1st level (hero points, epic heroism, cleaving through creatures, optional actions etc) or even loyalty rules, since (IMHO) retainers and entourage are a big part of the Hero's life.

Anyway, good book, but it seems to be lacking in therms of tools to create a ''Mythic Odyssey''.
This encapsulates my thoughts very well......a lot of good stuff, but not as complete a book/setting as I expected.
 

You are missing my point. it still does not feel like a complete project. Even if the goal is to provide “Greek-flavored, Magic: the Gathering world”. there Is just not enough of anything to provide anything more than a taste. I am not saying it is not an authentic Greek setting, just that whatever it is, there is just enough to provide flavor.

It is fine if you like it, I just find it ok, satisfactory, decent....not because it is MTG but because it is sparse and feels half done.
Nothing in Theros feels half-done. It is a well-designed book that is geared towards giving players the chance to run games that are focused on mythic odysseys and doing mythical things. It gives you tools to empower players, adventure guidelines to capture themes and aesthetics, and a very in-depth god-guide, including how to use the gods as both aids and villains. I have never read a book - not Dragonlords, not Arcadia - that teaches players how to play a mythic "greek" game like Theros does.
 

jerryrice4949

Explorer
Nothing in Theros feels half-done. It is a well-designed book that is geared towards giving players the chance to run games that are focused on mythic odysseys and doing mythical things. It gives you tools to empower players, adventure guidelines to capture themes and aesthetics, and a very in-depth god-guide, including how to use the gods as both aids and villains. I have never read a book - not Dragonlords, not Arcadia - that teaches players how to play a mythic "greek" game like Theros does.
I am not going to argue opinions with you. I can see what you are saying. I like to ideas and love the art just feels the content falls short of what it could have been. It is a solid C+.
 

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