DMs Guild Review – Gorgons & Oracles

12 subclasses inspired by Ancient Greece.

DMs Guild

A review copy of “Gorgons & Oracles: Subclasses for the Ancient World” 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: Jeff Linehan

Mythic Odysseys of Theros brought the Greek Mythology-inspired world from Magic: The Gathering into Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition. Between that and games like Immortals Fenyx Rising, Hades, and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, we’ve been awash with that classic era that’s so rife with adventure.

Gorgons & Oracles adds 12 new subclasses, one for each class, inspired by Ancient Greece.

There are so many ideas to choose from when designing subclasses based on such a recognizable theme. We could draw inspiration from famous heroes such as Herakles and Perseus, familiar monsters such as medusa and cyclops, or the gods and goddesses themselves.

Gorgons & Oracles takes a scattered approach, but mostly focuses on more realistic soldiers and warriors, like the Rogue Argonaut, the Phalanx Fighter, and the Paladin Oath of the Chainbreaker.

Most of the new subclasses include barely half a page of new features. The other half is filled with lovely art and pictures depicting scenes, items, characters, and wars of the era, greatly enhancing the product’s presentation. 

But the actual subclasses are minimal, with no extra tables adding flavor or role-playing enhancements. The mechanics themselves have to carry the subclasses, and I’m sad to say I was interested in less than half of them.

The Path of the Marthonian Barbarian is better at moving and running, the Bard College of Homerid can use Bardic Inspiration with multiple allies (which should frankly be a baseline Bard feature) and the Monk Way of the Destroyer can deal some extra damage or effects when hitting with unarmed strikes. None of them are terribly designed, but neither are they very exciting or unique compared to the many other subclasses we have to choose from.

DMs Guild

There are a few stand-out favorites. The Druid Circle of the Spheres seems hilariously overpowered with gaining Dimension Door as movement at 6th level (uses per WIS modifier), but the Astral Form in place of Wild Shape sounds very cool, flinging energy spheres at enemies or using them to grant advantage on saves to allies.

The Phalanx Fighter is a bit boring, but at least based on a very classic Ancient soldier, wielding a spear and shield and bestowing protective bonuses to nearby allies. The Rogue Argonaut gains Deed points they can spend, along with skill checks, for various bonuses, and I like the way they can get additional uses whenever they use Evasion or Uncanny Dodge starting at 9th level.

The Moon Hunter Ranger and Oneiros Sorcerer have neat ideas but needed some redesigning around their core features. The Moon Hunter can Imbue Arrows with different effects based on the eight schools of magic, but not until 11th level, while the Sorcerer (based on Morpheus, god of dreams) is better at casting Sleep (5d12 instead of 5d8), but fails to capitalize on manipulating sleeping foes to make the subclass more unique and interesting.

Gorgons & Oracles is a great-looking product with a solid theme, but I found only a handful of subclasses worth considering.

Pros:

  • Great use of classic art and paintings from the Ancient era.
  • Several stand-out new class features and abilities, like the Argonaut’s Deeds.

Cons:

  • Most of the subclasses are boring.
  • Bare minimum content (no extra flavor tables, for example).

The Verdict: Gorgons & Oracles takes a low-magic, more realistic approach to Ancient Greek subclasses, resulting in mostly lackluster new options.

A review copy of “Gorgons & Oracles: Subclasses for the Ancient World” 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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