A Nerd Dad’s Review of Mythic Odysseys of Theros

Hi folks,

In addition to my recent adventures in adventure module writing, and gardening, I finally got a belated Father’s Day gift recently:

The Mythic Odysseys of Theros (MOoT) is a cross-over reference guide between Dungeons and Dragons and Magic: The Gathering, specifically the Greek-mythology inspired plane of Theros. Theros is a kind of idealized plane of what Greek mythology would be if taken out of historical context and allowed to run free. It is a world full of gods exerting a direct influence on the world, satyrs, minotaurs, city-states loosely modeled after ancient Greek city states, etc.

This leads to some interesting mechanics in MOoT that are worth sharing here:

  • Many of the typical “high-fantasy” character races that are found in D&D are not in Theros: elves, dwards, gnomes. They didn’t exist in classical Greek mythology (nor Magic the Gathering’s plane of Theros) and do not exist here. They are replaced by centaurs, satyrs, minotaurs, etc.
  • Unlike the usual, somewhat loose, mechanics between clerics and gods, the piety mechanics in MOoT provide clear benefits for characters who explicitly do things to advance their god’s agenda.
  • MOoT elevates the “hero” element1 of D&D by giving each character an extra starting ability totally outside of the standard Player’s Handbook. The ability is something that grows and develops as the hero accomplishes deeds.

All of these things mean that adventures on Theros aren’t always portable to other planes and campaigns (and definitely not Adventurers League legal), unless your DM allowed for such a transfer of abilities and deities. The fact that they even exist though makes a fun and interesting campaign in Theros, and likely one you’d play again with different characters, gods, etc.

Let me take a moment to talk about the book: it is gorgeous, even by the standards of D&D module books. The artwork is truly inspired, and I admit I enjoy thumbing through the book sometimes if nothing else than to just enjoy the art.

Also, the book is really well-organized in terms of getting started on building a character within Theros, and how they will relate to his/her deity of choice. There’s also an option for atheistic characters (some characters races are more inclined to this than others).

Theros as a module and as a plane lends itself more to “save the village, destroy monster” type adventures, than intrigue adventures (a la Eberron), but this also means that as a parent it’s probably easier to make stores for younger kids, which is part of the reason I got the book. I own the Eberron book, and it’s pretty interesting, but also poses some challenges which I’ll cover in a later post.

Also, in my case, as a promo I also received laminated map detailing several places on Theros, such as the Underworld, and so on. I don’t know easily available these are, but it may yet come in handy soon.

Anyhow, I am eager to try this out with the kids, especially my younger son who’s itching to battle monsters again.

1 Interestingly, the ancient Greek notion of a “hero” is not the same as the modern interpretation. Think of them more like obnoxious supermen with questionable moral judgment.

Published by Doug

🎵Toss a coin to your Buddhist-Philhellenic-D&D-playing-Japanese-studying-dad-joke-telling-Trekker, O Valley of Plentyyy!🎵He/him

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