The new book Mythic Odyssey of Theros is the newest D&D book. Inspired by the Magic The Gathering plane, Theros is heavily inspired itself by Greek legends. That means epic heroes, meddling gods, and the tales they lead. Sounds perfect for a Dungeons and Dragons campaign! I’ll be reviewing books in sections from now on, in order to be able to get my thoughts on the book out quickly without sacrificing the depth or review. So let’s take a look at the first section: character creation.
The first part of the character creation section starts with supernatural gifts. These are gifts that characters in Theros start with, with a range of different abilities. There’s some interesting ideas here. The flavor is spot on, from being the hero of the story and gaining what is essentially plot armor, to being someone who rejects the gods themselves. The abilities themselves are mostly rehashes of old ideas, except for those that deal with the new piety system. It brings the general power level of the table up, which can be a lot of fun.
I would definitely run this feature in a meatgrinder style game, where the extra strength will be put to the test. There is one option that feels a bit stronger than the rest, gaining advantage on death saves. Putting that on a paladin would mean that at level 6 they would have to roll a 5 or lower at advantage to fail at a death save. A dm would have to go to particularly vicious lengths to take that character down. That’s the only option that really feels disjointed in power from the rest to me though. Overall, this feature is a fun addition to the game that would lend itself to a high powered campaign. Perfect for a mythological adventure!
The next part of this section details new race options. The first of which being the centaur, which is a reprint from the Ravnica book, but makes perfect sense to add in here as well. The most fun thing that this race brings is its charge attack, which gives you an extra attack from the start. The other great part of the race is the above average movement speed, which would be fun with a monk’s additional movement.
The next race is the leonin. These feline creatures are similar to tabaxi, but lean towards the lion side. They still gain claws to swipe with, but they trade their speediness for a menacing roar. This roar can impose the frightened condition, which makes this the only race that can frighten creatures. It might be fun to try the oath of conquest paladin as a leonin, just to pile on the fear effects.
Up next is the minotaur. This race focuses a lot on the horns. A minotaur character is given a variety of ways to use their horns. Minotaurs are able to add their horn attacks to their charges, lending themselves to mobile classes. They can also use their horns to knock a creature away. A minotaur rogue or battlemaster fighter could be a lot of fun, giving you a variety of options in combat.
The next race is the satyr, another new addition to D&D. Like the other races, satyrs get a natural weapon with their horns. They are the second race to gain magic resistance, after yuan-ti, which is absolutely powerful. I’m actually a bit surprised that they were willing to give another race that trait. That trait alone would make a barbarian satyr a force to be reckoned with. As an added bonus, you’d have a leap with advantage that adds a d8 to its distance.
The final race in Theros is the triton, which is another reprint. They do belong in Theros as well. This race becomes more fun the closer you get to water. All of their abilities are tied to the sea, from water breathing to communicating with beasts of the sea. They also gain a few innate spells that add to the flavor of the race. I would make a triton warlock. The flavor of having your pact be with a kraken is something Gordon Ramsay would salivate over. Even better, you can really play up the alien nature of this species and give them a trident as a pact weapon, then turn them into a Thor like entity.
The final part of character creation in Theros is the Subclass section. This adds two subclasses fitting of a Greek odyssey. The first is the bard’s college of eloquence. This subclass works very well off the Greek theme, taking inspiration from famous philosophers of the time. This takes the value of the bard being a “face class” and runs with it. This subclass does some cool things with inspiration, giving it the ability to stick until it succeeds, and later letting it spread to another player when it succeeds at later levels. The idea of a bard inspiring others by pointing out how they are logically better than their opponent is also some flavor that tickles me. This looks like it could be my favorite bard subclass, topping the whispers bard.
The other subclass introduced in Theros is the paladin’s oath of glory. This oath focuses on accomplishing herculean tasks, and the glory that comes with it. This subclass is… alright. The features granted are good both in mechanics and flavor, focusing on bolstering your party’s physical prowess, but they seem rather bland. The 15th level ability is cool, giving you a way to protect others, but since it comes so late I’m afraid it would feel clunky by changing the playstyle of the class after getting into the habit of another style. The capstone ability is great however, and adds that option to spend a spell slot to recharge the ability that I love so much.
Mythic Odyssey of Theros is off to a strong start with its character options. The new character option is insanely strong, but can lead to some great high powered games. The races added in this book lead a bit towards the martial side, but can be a great jumping off point for any character. The subclasses fill out the Greek adventure niche very nicely, and have a variety of cool abilities. Join me next time as we take a look into the next section of Theros: the gods.