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D&D 5E Odyssey of the Dragonlords’ - my next campaign?

ccs

41st lv DM
Ah, it's finally that time. Or very nearly so..... The end of the current campaign is finally upon us!
Wich triggered the usual survey of the group - What do you want next?

Of the responses, I got two concerning the actual overall campaign.
1 player wants a pirate campaign. If we go that route, no problem. I've still got my Skull & Shackles binder/notes/prep from years ago.
A 2nd player said "something based on Greek myth". Hmm. That I don't really have anything for beyond general knowledge + standard D&D resources....
Fortunately I've got about two months to read/create while another player runs something for a bit.

So talk to me about Odyssey of the Dragonlords’.
I've heard of this, but never read it.
*Is it one campaign/AP like the WoTC/PF stuff? Or just the setting book? What kind of work am I looking at?
*How well does it do the Greek theme it's inspired by?
*Looking at it's map, there's alot of ocean/islands. Are there any real ship based sequences?
*I've heard it's got its' own Pantheon. How integral is that? vs say, plugging in the actual Greek gods?
*If anyones played this, was it FUN? Good/bad/etc parts?
 

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Retreater

Legend
I'm at the in-laws today, but I have the hardcover at my house. I'll try to take a look at it tomorrow and get some specific answers to you. Commenting here to remind me. :)
 

vilainn6

Villager
Ah, it's finally that time. Or very nearly so..... The end of the current campaign is finally upon us!
Wich triggered the usual survey of the group - What do you want next?

Of the responses, I got two concerning the actual overall campaign.
1 player wants a pirate campaign. If we go that route, no problem. I've still got my Skull & Shackles binder/notes/prep from years ago.
A 2nd player said "something based on Greek myth". Hmm. That I don't really have anything for beyond general knowledge + standard D&D resources....
Fortunately I've got about two months to read/create while another player runs something for a bit.

So talk to me about Odyssey of the Dragonlords’.
I've heard of this, but never read it.
*Is it one campaign/AP like the WoTC/PF stuff? Or just the setting book? What kind of work am I looking at?
*How well does it do the Greek theme it's inspired by?
*Looking at it's map, there's alot of ocean/islands. Are there any real ship based sequences?
*I've heard it's got its' own Pantheon. How integral is that? vs say, plugging in the actual Greek gods?
*If anyones played this, was it FUN? Good/bad/etc parts?
  • It is a campaing that can go level 1-20 if you run all the book. It's also a setting inspired by greece with Medusa, centaur, satyr, gods, titans, cyclop, curses, oaths etc.
  • I am not an expert but I think they respect the theme if you do abstraction of the dragon riders.
  • Characters travel to a lot of place but there isn't ship sequences like in a pirate game.
  • Very integral.
  • I haven't run it so I won't comment but I remember reviews complaining about encounter balance and too much railroad.
 


dave2008

Legend
Ah, it's finally that time. Or very nearly so..... The end of the current campaign is finally upon us!
Wich triggered the usual survey of the group - What do you want next?

Of the responses, I got two concerning the actual overall campaign.
1 player wants a pirate campaign. If we go that route, no problem. I've still got my Skull & Shackles binder/notes/prep from years ago.
A 2nd player said "something based on Greek myth". Hmm. That I don't really have anything for beyond general knowledge + standard D&D resources....
Fortunately I've got about two months to read/create while another player runs something for a bit.

So talk to me about Odyssey of the Dragonlords’.
I've heard of this, but never read it.
*Is it one campaign/AP like the WoTC/PF stuff? Or just the setting book? What kind of work am I looking at?
*How well does it do the Greek theme it's inspired by?
*Looking at it's map, there's alot of ocean/islands. Are there any real ship based sequences?
*I've heard it's got its' own Pantheon. How integral is that? vs say, plugging in the actual Greek gods?
*If anyones played this, was it FUN? Good/bad/etc parts?
I have the PDF and I have skimmed it and read a bit about it, but I have not run it. Personally I think mixing Dragonlords and Theros will give a better "Mythic Greece" flavor. I got more general ancient greece feel from Theros and how PC can interact with their gods (through champions & piety and supernatural gifts) than I did from DragonLords. However, Dragonlords has more player content that could be helpful (classes). Of course my favorite thing about Theros is mythic monsters which were something 5e sorely needed.

One bonus for OotDL is it includes a complete l-20 adventure. It seemed a bit railroady to me, but I really just glanced at it. I have heard the first half is better than the second half. Evidently it was originally written as a shorter adventure and then it was expanded because of Kickstarter stretch goals and maybe those stretched adventures are not as good?

PS - is fairly easy to reflavor the Theros gods as Greek gods. I don't remember it being quite so explicit in Dragonlords.
 

BloopDS

Villager
I've been wanting to run it myself one day! Alas, my group has the unusual problem of too many DMs, so I'll have to wait a while for my turn...
*Is it one campaign/AP like the WoTC/PF stuff? Or just the setting book? What kind of work am I looking at?


The main feature of the book is its one long campaign, which goes from levels 1-20 (though there's a perfectly good climax and stopping point around level 12). There's a lot of setting information available as well, though. There's a free player's guide that includes a fair chunk of the setting here: Odyssey of the Dragonlords: Player's Guide - Modiphius | Free Products | RPG Quickstarts | Odyssey of the Dragonlords | DriveThruRPG.com


*Looking at it's map, there's alot of ocean/islands. Are there any real ship based sequences?
About 2 or 3 chapters of the adventure take place sailing from island to island, ala the argonauts. However, from what I remember, the ship is mostly used as a means of transportation, and all the actual adventuring takes place on the islands.

*I've heard it's got its' own Pantheon. How integral is that? vs say, plugging in the actual Greek gods?
The gods are very integral to the story. The central conflict is based around them and a mystery involving them. If you end up running the adventure path itself, plugging in the actual Greek gods might end up being a significant amount of work.

I can't answer the fun part as I haven't run it, but there's a large discord community for Dragonlords and I'm sure they'd be able to answer any questions you have (or see if someone else has asked them!) Join the Odyssey of the Dragonlords Discord Server!
 

dave2008

Legend

I complete forgot about the free player's guide! Thank you for the reminder!

@ccs, if I was running my own adventure / campaign I would use Theros and grab the free player's guide for Dragonlords. If I remember correctly it has the player classes in it, which is the primary thing I would want to add to Theros.

If you need an adventure, that might sway me to buy the Dragonlords.
 

TheSword

Legend
I’ve started Odyssey. It is excellent, far more engaging than Theros. I have both products.

A couple of things that I found particularly good.

- The heroes have epic backgrounds that propel them through the story. The backgrounds are tied to the main quest but vary a great deal.

- The Pantheon is both integral and visible. You are interacting with the gods as NPCs substantially... and I mean substantially.

- The world is d&d based but it’s still very Greek in style.

- There are damned cool locations, both early on and throughout the campaign. The maps are colour VTT quality too.

- The Island exploration that makes up the middle third is very sand boxy. If you like assassins creed Odyssey then you’ll get the picture. The islands are really small adventures. Homer would be proud.

- The Greek subclasses are great. One for every class and really well done.

- There is a substantial Greek bestiary that is done well and covers a lot of ground.

- levels 1-17 with an option to take it to 20. It’s a pleasure to reads. The last 3 levels is kinda like a sequel. Not quite as good. Probably for a Kickstarter stretch goal but not bad.

I think the book is well worth getting. Even if you didn’t run it, it’s a lot of fun to read, has a lot of well written 5e supplementary material and good content. I’d go so far as to say it’s the best 3pp product I’ve bought bar none. Better quality even than Tales of the Old Margrave.
 

pukunui

Legend
I ran not quite half of it before we all got a bit burnt out on it.

It doesn’t quite stick to the Greek theme, the island-hopping on the ship bit is very hit-or-miss. I can’t speak to the second half, but a lot of it reads like what it is: stretch goals that needed more development. (Everything post-Battle of Mytros was originally going to be released separately but they decided to incorporate it all into te main book, which means the thing is massive and unfortunately the binding can’t quite handle the heft very well. Mine started to fall apart almost right away.)

As with the WotC 5e adventures, this one requires a ton of work on the part of the DM, not least because it was written by video game guys, so it can be a bit railroady at times.

Personally I wouldn’t recommend it.

Mythic Odysseys of Theros hits the mark with the Greek theme a lot better, in my opinion. The downside is it’s more of a setting than a pre-made campaign, so there’s a lot more DIY. I wish it had come out before I started running Odyssey as I think it may have helped make it more enjoyable.

The Greek theme in Odyssey of the Dragonlords basically just amounts to window dressing. I was very disappointed and couldn’t even bring myself to finish up with the encounter with Lutheria. We just left it hanging.

EDIT: Happy to write more if you’re interested (and when I’m not on my phone).
 
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dave2008

Legend
Well @ccs , did these two review help?!
(FYI: the are about polar opposites)
I’ve started Odyssey. It is excellent, far more engaging than Theros. I have both products.

A couple of things that I found particularly good.

- The heroes have epic backgrounds that propel them through the story. The backgrounds are tied to the main quest but vary a great deal.

- The Pantheon is both integral and visible. You are interacting with the gods as NPCs substantially... and I mean substantially.

- The world is d&d based but it’s still very Greek in style.

- There are damned cool locations, both early on and throughout the campaign. The maps are colour VTT quality too.

- The Island exploration that makes up the middle third is very sand boxy. If you like assassins creed Odyssey then you’ll get the picture. The islands are really small adventures. Homer would be proud.

- The Greek subclasses are great. One for every class and really well done.

- There is a substantial Greek bestiary that is done well and covers a lot of ground.

- levels 1-17 with an option to take it to 20. It’s a pleasure to reads. The last 3 levels is kinda like a sequel. Not quite as good. Probably for a Kickstarter stretch goal but not bad.

I think the book is well worth getting. Even if you didn’t run it, it’s a lot of fun to read, has a lot of well written 5e supplementary material and good content. I’d go so far as to say it’s the best 3pp product I’ve bought bar none. Better quality even than Tales of the Old Margrave.

I ran not quite half of it before we all got a bit burnt out on it.

It doesn’t quite stick to the Greek theme, the island-hopping on the ship bit is very hit-or-miss. I can’t speak to the second half, but a lot of it reads like what it is: stretch goals that needed more development. (Everything post-Battle of Mytros was originally going to be released separately but they decided to incorporate it all into te main book, which means the thing is massive and unfortunately the binding can’t quite handle the heft very well. Mine started to fall apart almost right away.)

As with the WotC 5e adventures, this one requires a ton of work on the part of the DM, not least because it was written by video game guys, so it can be a bit railroady at times.

Personally I wouldn’t recommend it.

Mythic Odysseys of Theros hits the mark with the Greek theme a lot better, in my opinion. The downside is it’s more of a setting than a pre-made campaign, so there’s a lot more DIY. I wish it had come out before I started running Odyssey as I think it may have helped make it more enjoyable.

The Greek theme in Odyssey of the Dragonlords basically just amounts to window dressing. I was very disappointed and couldn’t even bring myself to finish up with the encounter with Lutheria. We just left it hanging.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
The main feature of the book is its one long campaign, which goes from levels 1-20 (though there's a perfectly good climax and stopping point around level 12).
Huh. For some reason I thought it was a setting book. If I'd realised it was an adventure, I'd have backed it!
 

It is perfect for a crossover with Theros, but I suspect the medusa and her racial trait about petrifing gaze could be overpowered. I advice to buy the books, at least to speculate and later to be sold to collectors.
 

It's "pretty much" a Bioware RPG, ala Mass Effect/Dragon Age/Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, in a pen and paper rpg format.

In that regard, you'd have to do some extra prep work if your gonna play that way. Especially if you do it as a duet style of play and with your pc's NPC party since, a number of Epic Quests that you can choose for your character, have some major "plot relevance" in some degree to your PC.

I feel personally feel that combining Odyssey of the Dragonlords+Mythic Odysseys of Theros elements will give you the best bang for your Greek 5E buck.
 

TheSword

Legend
I’m interested to know what elements from Theros people would use?

The Pantheon can’t be imported, as the existing Pantheon is very important to the storyline.

The locations are already in place this is a campaign so locations are already described far better than in a sourcebook.

The rules for piety and the new monster rules could work though it would require some work to change things... but do-able. Though with the epic backgrounds I’m not sure adding more benefits for piety is necessary.

What would people add?
 

I’m interested to know what elements from Theros people would use?

The Pantheon can’t be imported, as the existing Pantheon is very important to the storyline.

The locations are already in place this is a campaign so locations are already described far better than in a sourcebook.

The rules for piety and the new monster rules could work though it would require some work to change things... but do-able. Though with the epic backgrounds I’m not sure adding more benefits for piety is necessary.

What would people add?
You would just cherry pick the crunch. You could add in your own versions of the Mythic Traits/Actions to the really big important fights. The Piety system is a given. Supernatural Gifts could/would also work. Also a number of the monsters, like the Returned, could fit in very well, with some lore changes, in parts of the overall campaign. The Leonin's could be considered more in regards to the aspects of nature or something. Don't forget the Theros Subclasses too.
 

TheSword

Legend
You would just cherry pick the crunch. You could add in your own versions of the Mythic Traits/Actions to the really big important fights. The Piety system is a given. Supernatural Gifts could/would also work. Also a number of the monsters, like the Returned, could fit in very well, with some lore changes, in parts of the overall campaign. The Leonin's could be considered more in regards to the aspects of nature or something. Don't forget the Theros Subclasses too.
Ah that makes sense. So it’s rules more than the background itself.

Regarding the piety rules, for those DMs who haven’t read the book it’s worth noting...

So the five gods of Theros are very specific. They don’t really match up to the gods of Theros. I tried to make some adjustments but it felt quite difficult. It’s worth knowing as well that the Gods of Odyssey are living and breathing... ruling cities or working a forge. You have the opportunity to befriend them and do tasks for them and this comes with it’s own set of rewards. It’s worth noting that they’re not true gods but the original dragons ridden by the Dragonriders that were imbued with a spark of of the Titans power as a result of the bargain that gave the 500 year Oath of Peace. This comes to an end two thirds of the way through the book and the gods loose all their power.
 

Ah that makes sense. So it’s rules more than the background itself.
Yup: when in doubt, just use the crunch.

Like for example there is a part in Odyssey of the Dragonlords, IIRC, where you and your "party" basically visit the setting's version of The Underworld, so you could place the Returned in there as the inhabitants/one of the many encounters once you reach that point

For the gods and the Piety system, you could see if the various Theros god piety rankins/rewards could apply to each of the Odyssey of the Dragonlords gods. I would probably also assign maybe like only two piety branches to each diety.

You could also work that in somehow with the one possible endgame goal/path of Odyssey of the Dragonlords where your PC can ascend to godhood via a series of set steps defined via the Dragonlords Player's guide.
 

Dire Bare

Legend
I too would recommend combining Dragonlords with Theros. But around the same time these books were coming out, a few other Greek Myth inspired 5E gamebooks came out that you might want to raid for more crunch and ideas. Off the top of my head, I'd suggest looking at Arkadia and Age of Myth.

Here's a breakdown post I made about a year ago.

EDIT: Actually, you should check out that entire thread starting from post #1!!! Lots of info on Odyssey of the Dragonlords posted by @Libertad.
 
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