DMs Guild Review – Mythic Encounters

The most powerful monsters in D&D are made even stronger with new Mythic traits and abilities.

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A review copy of “Mythic Encounters” was provided by the publisher. Find more DMs Guild Reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

Support my work by using affiliate links for shopping and pledging via Patreon.

Designed by: Steve FidlerBryan HolmesE. R. F. Jordan

With the majority of my D&D experience coming from Fifth Edition, and most 5e campaigns ending around the low teens, I have precious little knowledge of truly high-level threats. Ancient dragons, eldritch horrors, and titanic monstrosities can be found across several officially published sourcebooks.

Mythic Encounters takes over 30 of these CR21+ monsters, granting them a second-stage self-renewal and new Mythic Actions to challenge even the most badass of high level adventuring parties.

With over 130 pages, an attractive layout, and original artwork, Mythic Encounters’ lovely design makes up for its lack of new creatures. Instead of providing new creatures like every other monster supplement, the same high-level threats from previous 5e supplements are reprinted here, such as the Tarrasque, Orcus, Slarkrethel the Kraken, and several Ancient Dragons.

So what’s the point, besides putting all these top baddies in one place? Each monster is given a new Mythic Trait, along with Mythic Actions that act as additional Legendary Actions.

Unfortunately each monster is assigned a similarly-functioning Mythic Trait that acts as a total HP reset. The flavor text may be different, but most involve a monster regaining all their hit points once they reach 0 HP the first time. In other words, the classic second-stage boss fight that is the bane of every video game boss battle, demanding that (presumably) high-level parties take on these world-ending threats twice in a row.

For some monsters this second wind represents an awesome, climactic transformation, accompanied by equally evocative flavor text. Acererak’s body crumbles to dust, revealing his true demilich form. When Eco the Solar is defeated, her body becomes possessed by an even more powerful angel.

Hutijin the pit lord becomes blessed by Mephistopholes, Icingdeath the Ancient White Dragon becomes a Dracolich, and Irymith the Blue Dragon becomes wreathed in arcane fire.

When the monsters go Super-Saiyan Mythic mode, they unlock new Legendary Actions called Mythic Actions. Often these Mythic Actions reflect their transformation. Itzira-tz the Illithlich summons the ghosts of his destroyed illithid colony, Ygorl, Lord of Entropy can attack with his summoned dragon mount, while the felled Mother Tarrasque periodically summons her mini-tarrasque children revealed from the broken pieces of her body.

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Those are all neat ideas, though I’m not entirely sold on the concept of every Mythic boss simply getting double the hit points. And while at least half of them do feature interesting, fun, and cinematic transformations when they reach Mythic mode, others are a real stretch.

When the Mythic Demogorgon drops to 0 hit points, for example, “his twin minds come to an agreement; they are in danger and must work together to overcome this threat.” Then he gains all his hit points, and while he has more than half, he’s under the effects of the Hast spell. His new Mythic Actions involve making a tentacle attack and regaining one of his spells if he succeeds on a saving throw.

Claugiyliamatar the Green Dragon has one of the more egregious Mythic transformations, or lack thereof. When she reaches 0 hit points, her dying form is revealed to be an illusion, and the real dragon simply appears nearby. Some of the monsters just become generically more powerful during their transformation, instead of more interesting, with many of the Mythic Actions granting them extra recharges of abilities they already posses, such as Breath Weapons.

Thankfully Mythic Encounters includes two appendices full of new content, in the form of spells and magic items. These incredibly high-level lootables are tied to each of the monsters. Orcus’ Voice of the Undead charms and commands around the spellcaster, while Fire Wings allow you to burn and fly like Brassheart the phoenix.

The items are all top tier loot, as benefitting the rewards you’d get from felling such a titanic threat: +3 weapons, horns that summon a dozen minotaurs, spell-reflecting armors, and a choker with slots for different dragon heart gems that grants multiple powers.

Like the statblocks, these appendices are concise, detailed, and filled with fantastic artwork. Even if I’m not a big fan of re-using the same Full-Heal Super-Mythic mode for every single baddie, there’s no denying its professional quality and large amount of content.

Pros:

  • Some monsters fit the second-stage Mythic mode perfectly, with compelling transformations and interesting new Mythic actions.
  • Mythic Ascendant player background.
  • New original artwork for every entry, and helpful sidebars on where to learn more about certain monsters.
  • Over a dozen unique spells and over 50 magic items as rewards for defeating Mythic monsters.
  • Hyperlinks.

Cons:

  • No original statblocks.
  • Adopts the exact same second-stage boss fight mechanic to every monster.

The Verdict: From Acererak to Zuthnagoti, Mythic Encounters upgrades the Baddest of the Baddies with powerful new abilities and tantalizing new loot.

A review copy of “Mythic Encounters” was provided by the publisher. Find more DMs Guild Reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

Support my work by using affiliate links for shopping and pledging via Patreon.

Author: roguewatson

Freelance Writer

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