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5E Official D&D Greek-Themed 'Mythic Odysseys of Theros' Setting Coming In May

My inbox just exploded! It looks like Penguin Random House accidentally leaked an upcoming book listing for D&D, before removing the entry. It's dated for May 19th, and it's called Mythic Odysseys of Theros.

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What's Theros? It's a Greek(ish) themed Magic: the Gathering world! This will make it the second, after Ravnica, to make it to an official D&D campaign setting. Here's what the MTG wiki says about it:
"Theros is a plane governed by the gods of Nyx, where heroes face monsters, the sea rages, people offer burnt offerings and adventures take place. It is defined by mankind's struggle against the primal forces of the world, and mankind's conflict with the many other sapient races that populate the world."
Meletis.jpg


In ancient times, the archons of Theros held a massive empire, tyrannizing the world in the belief that they were imposing a strict justice. The most notable of these Archon tyrants was Agnomakhos, who used the leonin as an army. Eventually, the Archon empire fell, being instead replaced by the poleis, and the remaining Archons now lash at these, slighting the "honor" they feel was stripped from them.
There's an enormous list of races, too -- though how many of those will translate from MtG to D&D, I don't know. Some of these are clearly 'monsters' in the D&D sense rather than 'races'. It includes cats, centaurs, gorgons, merfolk, minotaurs, satyrs, spirits, zombies, archons, basilisks, chimeras, cyclopses, demons, dragons, giants, hags, harpies, hounds, hydras, krakens, lamias, manticores, pegasi, phoenixes, spines, and sirens.

There's a whole bunch of Greek-themed or inspired D&D settings, including:
  • Arkadia by Arcana Games. "Arkadia is a combined setting and players handbook for 5e - inspired by the history and myths of Ancient Greece. The book contains 100 pages of densely packed all new Greek themed content for both Players and GMs."
  • Hellenistika from Handiwork Games. "From the Pillars of Herakles in the West to the Silken Cities of the East, from the isle of Hyperborea in the North to the Mountains of the Moon in the South, the world spreads before you, alive with gods and marvels."
  • Odyssey of the Dragonlords from Arcanum Worlds. "Odyssey of the Dragonlords is an epic fantasy campaign for the fifth edition of the world’s greatest roleplaying game. The Player’s Guide is a 28-page companion booklet that will provide you with everything you need to begin your career as a prospective hero in the forgotten land of Thylea."
  • Land of Myth by Seven Thebes. "A Fantasy Setting in Mythical Ancient Greece.A world of Heroes, right after the end of
    the Trojan War, steeped in myth and conflict."
Of course, this all assumes this isn't come kind of epic troll on WotC's part -- they have recently started putting placeholder names on products on Amazon and then changing them at the most minute, although with limited success. This could be a more elaborate attempt at that!
 
Russ Morrissey

Comments

dave2008

Legend
Why Theros?
In no particular order:
  • Greek inspired settings are (apparently) the rage right now. This is the 4th or 5th in the last 1-2 years.
  • MtG is releasing a Theros update and they can share some resources (good business sense) & marketing mojo
  • Evidently Theros is light on lore on the MtG side, so D&D can make its own thing a bit
  • Greek Mythology is one of the most, if not the most, widely known mythologies and inspirations for D&D content.
 
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Asensur

Villager
Things we could expect from this.

1. Ordeals of the Gods (there are 15 gods in this setting, not counting Xenagos).
2. Satyrs, gorgons, minotaurs, leonins, merfolks.
3. A couple of thematic subclasses.
4. Realm of Nyx (gods and Nyxborn realm)
5. Underworld realm (returned, titans)
6. Greek tragedy.
7. Three main cities (Athenas based, Sparta based, Amazon based).
8. Hydras and other greek monsters.

I will pay attention for the kind of content this adds.
 




MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Speaking for just the circle of kids my kid runs with, Percy Jackson fans appear to be the right age to be really into D&D right now.
Didn't think of that, but yeah, the Percy Jackson books are hugely popular with late elementary and middle-school kids.
 

gyor

Legend
This would be the 3rd and 1/2 Greek setting for 5e in last couple of years. (Ken Hite's Hellenistika is hopefully heading to KS soon.)

So am I imagining things or has 5e gotten a lot of Geek mythology love as compared to 3.x and 4e especially in such a short amount of time?
When I asked Ken on twitter he said most likely a Kickstarter in the spring.

Its also important to note that while Hellenistika is heavily Greek themed, its a later more global multicultural era of Greek history, not the classical Greece of Theros, Chessenta, Odyssey of the Dragonlords, Arkadia, ect...

So it has alot more cultures and cultural interactions and religious diversity then Theros including Asia, Middle East, Africa, European cultures and mythologies mixing with the Greek ruling class.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I think it is more about finding an existing IP that will have wider popularity beyond MTG than it is trying to find the most popular MTG setting. Sure, they want to bring in MTG fans, but they also want to bring in youth and also offer something veterans will enjoy.

They are trying to capitalize on what is both a current fad but also a traditional but not well mined source of D&D inspiration. Greek mythology inspired fiction and movies, e.g. Percy Jackson, are very popular with youth and young adults who are of the age when many start playing D&D. D&D is already infused with influences from Greek Myth and many D&D players are fans of Greek myth, so it won't feel as jarring to many veterans as, say, Ravnica. The amount of third-party material in the past couple of years that involves not just greek myth but the classical world in general, indicates that this is likely to be a popular book.

Personally, I'm of the opinion that if I wanted to experience a MTG setting, I would play MTG.

That being said, one thing sticks out to me immediately:

Why Theros?

Like, from what I understand (and MTG players please chime in to tell me I'm right or wrong here), isn't Theros as a setting and the sets that came out featuring it not even close to the most popular MTG settings? Seems like more of a mandated brand synergy thing that got handed down from on high because Theros stuff is coming out on the MTG side.

Or maybe I'm just cynical and the timing is coincidental and the dev team really wanted to show us a world and stories that Theros happened to be best for.

I'm cynical.
 


gyor

Legend
Yeah - I'm hopeful that this doesn't douse the fires of folks putting out mythic greek inspired settings - I've been looking forward to Hellenistika (though I still wish it had been a 13th Age setting instead of me having to do the work to retrofit it myself).



Speaking for just the circle of kids my kid runs with, Percy Jackson fans appear to be the right age to be really into D&D right now.
A 13th age version could still be a stretch goal.
 

gyor

Legend
Things we could expect from this.

1. Ordeals of the Gods (there are 15 gods in this setting, not counting Xenagos).
2. Satyrs, gorgons, minotaurs, leonins, merfolks.
3. A couple of thematic subclasses.
4. Realm of Nyx (gods and Nyxborn realm)
5. Underworld realm (returned, titans)
6. Greek tragedy.
7. Three main cities (Athenas based, Sparta based, Amazon based).
8. Hydras and other greek monsters.

I will pay attention for the kind of content this adds.
They rescently added a few more cities including a hidden Minotaur city.
 

cbwjm

I can add a custom title.
Things we could expect from this.

1. Ordeals of the Gods (there are 15 gods in this setting, not counting Xenagos).
2. Satyrs, gorgons, minotaurs, leonins, merfolks.
3. A couple of thematic subclasses.
4. Realm of Nyx (gods and Nyxborn realm)
5. Underworld realm (returned, titans)
6. Greek tragedy.
7. Three main cities (Athenas based, Sparta based, Amazon based).
8. Hydras and other greek monsters.

I will pay attention for the kind of content this adds.
One thing I'm not sure of is minotaurs as a playable race. In the lore for Theros they're bestial cannibalistic monsters, not really part of the societies living in Theros. I do wonder if they will make returned as a playable race, perhaps with modifiers based on the original race.
 

slobster

Hero
One thing I'm not sure of is minotaurs as a playable race. In the lore for Theros they're bestial cannibalistic monsters, not really part of the societies living in Theros. I do wonder if they will make returned as a playable race, perhaps with modifiers based on the original race.
They'll follow the drow trajectory: a race of bestial person-eating monsters with barely any society in the lore, that seems to be made up entirely of good-hearted iconoclasts seeking to conquer their nature and endure the prejudices of other races when you look at actual PC portrayals of them.
 



vpuigdoller

Explorer
It's funny we got this leaked. With the latest UA there was a second survey about the state of the game, in that survey I got a question if I wanted more Ravnica style MGT books and one for Crossover material like Rick and Morty or Stranger Things.
 


Dire Bare

Hero
Supporter
Personally, I'm of the opinion that if I wanted to experience a MTG setting, I would play MTG.
That's cool. But WotC isn't making this for you.

Why Theros?

Like, from what I understand (and MTG players please chime in to tell me I'm right or wrong here), isn't Theros as a setting and the sets that came out featuring it not even close to the most popular MTG settings? Seems like more of a mandated brand synergy thing that got handed down from on high because Theros stuff is coming out on the MTG side.
Why Theros? Why not?

Theros is awesome! A wonderful Greek-inspired fantasy setting.

Theros is the setting for the current Magic expansion. Just picked up some boosters earlier today.

Ravnica is the most popular Magic setting, and we've already got that. Is Theros the 2nd most popular, or the 100th most popular? Who cares, it's a great setting that Magic fans clearly enjoy, as the current set is the fourth one in the setting.

Greek-inspired D&D seems to be all the rage right now with Arkadia, Hellenistika, and Odyssey of the Dragonlonrds. Bring it on!
 


jayoungr

Hero
Supporter
Why Theros?

Like, from what I understand (and MTG players please chime in to tell me I'm right or wrong here), isn't Theros as a setting and the sets that came out featuring it not even close to the most popular MTG settings?
In addition to the ideas listed above, I would guess that part of it is that some of the more popular MTG settings have already been done as "Plane Shift" documents. In fact, I wonder if it is the popularity of those documents that convinced Wizards to try a full book for the next one.

Also, Theros is probably one of the settings with the greatest potential for extra player-facing crunch. I've recently been studying Ixalan, for example, and most of the races are identical or very similar to stuff in the PHB. The Ravnica book was mostly aimed at DMs, so they probably wanted a more player-oriented book for their next outing.
 
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