I’ll start this review by first saying what Olympian Breed is not. It’s not a complete mythic Greece setting for Savage Worlds. Rather, Olympian Breed is a series of short adventures that are set in mythic Greece. You don’t have to be a scholar of ancient Greece to use these adventures, however. Everything you really need to know about the setting is contained in the free Primer and the adventures themselves, from maps to pertinent background information to game stats.
Olympian Breed is a licensed PDF product for Savage Worlds, requires at least the Savage Worlds rules and the Super Powers Companion (SPC) to play. The versatility of the SPC lets you build characters from the mighty Heracles to the sly and cunning Odysseus, depending on where you put your points. The free Primer gives a general overview of mythic Greece and explains the new Blessing of the Gods AB. It also provides a new major hindrance: Destiny. Basically that hindrance means that bad things will come your way because you’re blessed by the gods. Your life will never be ‘normal.’ The Primer goes on to gives some specifics about the weapons and armor of the day, and rounds out with a series of questions to help a player come up with a character background, and a character sheet. The other free document contains four sample Seasoned characters: Alastor a son of Zeus, Straton a son of Ares, Ayranae a daughter of Poseidon, and Seraphine a daughter of Apollo.
As for the adventure itself, it is a rescue mission. The crown princess of the city of Argos is kidnapped, and heroes from across Greece (the player-characters, of course) must face their destiny and rescue her. Like many of the Greek heroes, they venture forth with a small band of sailors and a sturdy ship and go island-hopping in the Aegean Sea. Also like the heroes of myth, the heroes of Olympian Breed encounter some difficulty on every island they visit.
I only have the two free PDFs and the first two adventures (of a proposed six). Each adventure is fairly short, about five pages each, and contain role-playing and combat encounters equally. So far the encounters seem to be well-balanced for Seasoned heroes, but there’s one encounter where the characters really need to pull together and use their wits as well as their powers if they hope to succeed. Each adventure has interesting little touches that help bring home the feeling of mythic Greece. If you pray to a particular god at a particular time, your character could get a benefit that would help them in the following encounter. The PDFs provide enough information to run the encounters and doesn’t bog you down with details that won’t be pertinent to the adventure as a whole.
With my editing eye, I spotted a few typos here and there, but there’s nothing game-breaking about them. The only one that might cause some confusion regards the new Destiny hindrance. All of the sample characters have the Destiny hindrance in addition to the usual one major and two minor hindrances, so it’s apparent that it’s an extra required hindrance for all characters with the Blessing of the Gods AB. That is hinted at in the Primer that introduces the new hindrance, but it’s not explicitly stated to be the case.
From what I’ve seen of it so far, Olympian Breed would be a fun one-shot campaign and would take only a few sessions to complete. If you’re nostalgic for the old films featuring Ray Harryhausen’s stop-motion animation, or just want to run a mythic story in a familiar setting, you’ll probably enjoy Olympian Breed.