Just announced today by Wizards of the Coast is the latest campaign sourcebook for Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), 5th edition: Mythic Odysseys of Theros! The hardcover campaign setting will be added to the D&D library in Summer 2020.
Now, originally a setting from popular trading card game Magic: The Gathering, the lands of Theros is a realm shaped by gods and heroes. Theros will be the second Magic setting to be adapted to D&D since Guildmasters’ Guide to Ravnica in November 2018. Mortals tremble before the fifteen Olympian-like deities of Theros. These deities dwell among the stars in a paranormal realm called Nyx. A mortal can earn the terrible wrath of a god for even the pettiest of reasons. The gods aren’t the only peril in Theros, either. Cave-dwelling Minotaur barbarians prey upon unsuspecting travelers. Giants stalk the land, drawing strength from the terrain itself. At sea, sailors will get dragged to the depths by either a Kraken’s tentacles or a Siren’s lure.
Somehow, mortals survive on this plane. The ones who truly thrive are the mortals who earn the mantle of “hero.” Civilization is protected against the savage monsters that roam Theros by the walled polis. Each polis is an independent city-state, with its own unique culture:
- Meletis is the polis of learning, progress, and magic. A testament to the achievements of civilized humans, Meletis is also utterly devoted to the gods of Theros. Built on the shores of the Siren Sea, Meletis is surrounded on its landward side by vast golden wheat fields. Meletis is defended by the Reverent Army, which augments its forces with spells.
- In the polis of Akros, martial prowess is the highest quality a citizen can possess. The near-mythical skill of the fierce Akroan warriors has earned them high praise (or at least begrudging respect) across Theros. It’s from the mountaintop fortress of Akros that the Akroans manage the network of outposts that protect all Therans traveling by road.
- Setessa is an isolated polis surrounded by the concentric rings of trees that form the Nistos Forest. Inhabitants of Setessa are fiercely independent and matriarchal. Setessa’s women are connected to their children by strong bonds. All citizens of Setessa venerate nature.
Set yourself on the path of destiny by aligning yourself with one of Theros’s gods and carving your own odyssey as a heroic champion of your immortal god. To do so, your Theran hero can choose a supernatural gift. Supernatural gifts are new abilities similar to racial traits that help set your hero apart from the common rabble of Therans. The player can make their character from a familiar race like a brutish Minotaur or a raiding Merfolk (Triton). Or, they can choose a new race such as a festive Satyr.
In addition to the gods themselves, players can encounter other legendary creatures. These are true living myths that pose challenges fit for gods. An example of such creatures is the Returned. A Theran who cheats Erebos, the god of the dead, and escapes the Underworld returns to Theros as a zombie. These gold-masked Returned are undead with no memories, but they retain all of the skills they learned in life. Other such creatures include the shadowy Nyxborn. So named for being created from the same starry sky that the gods dwell in, Nyxborn are wild creations of the gods. Nyxborn do not require food or water. They will spend their entire lives carrying out the wishes of whichever god(s) made them.
Not to mention, Theros also offers new class options for players. The new College of Eloquence allows your Bard to become a master orator like Homer or Pericles. The new Oath of Heroism is an affirmation for the destiny laid out for your Paladin by the gods. Heroes can also claim the god-weapons: signature magic items wielded by Theros’s gods. Did your deity gift the item to your character to aid them in their ordeals? Or perhaps your character instead emulated Prometheus and stole their weapon in a bid for ultimate power? Will your character wield the gold-handled whip of Erebos? Or do you find the legendary short bow of Nylea, goddess of the hunt, to be more to your liking?
This new Greek-inspired setting comes hot on the heels of another widely-acclaimed D&D take on Classical mythology: Odyssey of the Dragonlords by Modiphius Entertainment. There is no official word on whether Odyssey of the Dragonlords influenced Wizards to adapt Theros as a new D&D campaign setting (or vice-versa, for that matter). However, it’s a significant coincidence that this announcement about Theros is made a week before Odyssey of the Dragonlords’ anticipated release on March 10, 2020.
Will your Theran character live up to their inevitable prophecy? Or will the schemes of the gods lead your character to their doom? Let Geek Girl Authority know what you think, and keep an eye on GGA for more news about Dungeons & Dragons, and more!
Mythic Odysseys of Theros releases on June 2, 2020 to your Friendly Neighborhood Game Store, bookstores such as Barnes & Noble, and online retailers such as Amazon.
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