Arkadia is a third-party setting for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, created by Arcana Games. Inspired by Classical Mythology, it is a "Heroic Bronze Age Fantasy", set in a world inspired by the myths of Bronze Age Greece and its neighbors, but with more overtly fantastical than your typical Bronze Age setting that, say, TSR would have put out. It basically attempts to cast a Classical Mythology slant on traditional D&D, with the following "setting statements" explaining how this setting was made and how it's intended to be used:
- Fantasy Over History. Arkadia is inspired by the history and myths of ancient Greece and the classical world, but it is not a historical setting. Arkadia blends historical elements with those of myth and traditional fantasy to create something new.
- An Age, Not a Time. Arkadia is not rooted in a year or bound to a chronology of events. The world is painted in broad strokes that depict a sweeping age defined in relation to its mythic past.
- Bronze Before Iron. Arkadia exists in an age of bronze. Many weapons, armor, and items are different than those you would find in traditional fantasy. Instead of finding rapiers and crossbows in Arkadia you will and take up the spear and sling.
- Ancient Magic. Though the spells you will be casting in Arkadia are familiar, the style of magic is mythical rather than medieval. To this end, we encourage you to instil your spells with mythic flavor; instead of the spell spirit guardians conjuring angelic figures, it could instead summon a host of spectral hoplites, the spirits of your ancestors or fallen comrades, their arms and armor still scarred and pitted from their final battle.
- Age of Heroes. Though the presence of the gods can be felt throughout Arkadia, they are distant in a world shaped by the reverberations of their myths. Though their presence and the echoes of their deeds can be felt throughout the world, they are no longer physical beings walking among mortals. It falls to mortal heroes to take up the torch and decide the future of Arkadia.
- Many Gods. Though certain races, places, and classes in Arkadia are connected to specific gods, all gods are worshiped in all places. An Illyrian sailor might pray to Thessa for fair winds and calm seas before embarking on a voyage, just as an Ithean youth might pray to Lyria for their affections to be returned.
- Gods at the Source. All magic in Arkadia flows from the age of gods. As in Greek mythology, all supernatural or fantastical elements in Arkadia — monsters, magic items, and even your heroic powers — are believed to ultimately stem from the gods or the titans.
- If it Exists in 5e. If it exists in another source book, it might exist in Arkadia. Many races and classes from the basic game would be at home in Arkadia, while others might challenge the tone or themes of the setting. Ultimately it is up to your Game Master to decide what is appropriate for the version of Arkadia that is played at your table
Arkadia uses custom versions of the standard Human, Dwarf, Elf and Orc races as its primary PC races. It also is home to a unique race; the Half-Fey collectively known as the Phaedran, who are essentially playable versions of "classic" Greco-Roman monsters who descend from those self-same monsters; Satyrs, Sirens, Gorgons, Harpys and Centaurs.
The one exception to both Phaedran ancestry and playable races as a whole from 5e is called out as the Minotaur race; in Arkadia, these only exist as a dark race of fey created by divine curses, and are too savage, stupid and bestial to become adventurers... at least, this is the case in the corebook; the presence of minotaurs as a PC in 5e canon thanks to the Ravnica splatbook resulted in a free PDF being released to provide lore and stats for playable Arkadian minotaurs.
Arkadians, as the name implies, are the unique human civilizations native to Arkadia. Inspired by a blending of heroic fantasy, classical mythology and Bronze Age Greece, the Arkadians inhabit the continent of Arkadia, the only continent where the gods are worshipped and their titanic foes do not hold dominion; thusly, at least in their eyes, they are the only civilized human race. Arkadians vary widely in appearance. Their skin tones range from dark to fair, often falling in between as shades of tan or olive. Their hair and eyes are generally dark, black, brown, or hazel. Golden hair and blue eyes are more common in Ithea but can be found throughout all the great cities.
Humans see themselves as the keepers of reason, freedom, and mortal life. They are the keepers of the flame of knowledge, given them by their gods, both a gift and a sacred charge they hold with utmost reverence. Arkadians see their gods as both parents and liberators, and the boldest aspire to heroism in their name, that Arkadia may remain free through their actions. At their best, Arkadian humans value honor and excellence, striving to embody the heroic virtues of their gods. At their worst, their drive for power and renown can sour, turning to hubris. The will of mortals, that sacred flame, is both their greatest gift and most fatal flaw.
Arkadian civilization is centered around the five great city-states, which often compete with each other, but ultimately pull together in the face of the myriad threats they face from beyond their walls. The five city-states consist of the follow:
- Ithea is built on the western shore, a center of knowledge and exploration of the natural and arcane. It boasts a mighty navy and is as a democracy, headed by a council of philosophers, powerful wielders of magic.
- Crixos, once a hallowed, sacred place on the black river, where great heroes and kings were laid to rest, is now ravaged by an inscrutable plague of undeath from the south.
- Illyria is a lavish and lawless free city, a center of art and cultural exchange, filled with all the decadent pleasures that gold can bring.
- Kryta is a city of mighty warriors. Its citadels are the shield that protects Arkadia from the constant threat of Psysserian invasion from across the sea.
- Hyperium is the seat of kings, the first city of men and home to the gods. Its marble columns and temples stand proudly atop the mountain at the heart of Arkadia, overseeing all the land. Its shining armies and mighty consuls strive to keep peace and bring justice to the land.
Mechanically, Arkadians just use the "official" Human stats from D&D 5e (+1 to all ability scores, Medium, 30 feet speed), with a bonus language. This is really weird considering that both the Arkadian Elf and Arkadian Dwarf get their own unique set of core racial traits to reflect the different world they inhabit, to say nothing of the unique racial feats they have access to.
Arkadia has one new subclass for each of the twelve core 5e classes:
- Barbarian: Path of the Hero - Based on heroes like the mighty Hercules and Ajax, this is a barbarian which combines a dash of the Warlord, allowing it to bolster allies, with a focus on achieving feats of superhuman strength.
- Bard: College of the Muse - Inspired by the Muses, Orpheus, and myths of Satyr and Siren, this is a bard specialized in inspiring allies and lulling foes into docility.
- Cleric: Domain of Fate - Recalling on ancient Oracles and the Three Fates, this is a clerical version of the Diviner.
- Druid: Circle of Beasts - These druids represent "enchanters" in the image of Dionysus, Circe, and Pan, which basically means they have the unique ability to turn others into animals, voluntarily or otherwise.
- Fighter: Hoplite - Made in the mold of classic Greek heroes like Achilles, Leonidas, and Perseus, this is a fighter specialized in group combat, so they can get bonuses when fighting alongside allies and in turn pass bonuses on to them.
- Monk: Way of the Gladiator - Drawing on Roman Gladiators wielding exotic weapons like a trident and net, this is a weapon-focused monk style with some minor bonuses to Acrobatics, Athletics and Performance.
- Paladin: Oath of Judgement - A tribute to thunderbolt hurling Zeus and kings of old, the Paladin of Judgment wields a lot of lightning-based spells and effects. Their tenets are Temper Strength With Wisdom, Uphold Your Majesty, and Your Wrath is Absolute.
- Ranger: Amazon - Inspired by fierce female warriors such as Artemis and the Amazons, these rangers specialize in taking down monstrous foes hard.
- Rogue: Trickster - Sparked by Odysseus, Prometheus, and other archetypal tricksters who spurn the gods. They double down on the rogue's Skill Monkey aspect and can share some bonuses with allies, representing how much luck is on their side.
- Sorcerer: Demigod Bloodline - Created from the demigods of Greek legend. Has a grab bag of abilities loosely based on common Greco-Roman deific motifs; using Charisma for any ability check, staggering foes with their force of will, becoming invisible, and assuming a radiant form that impedes enemies.
- Warlock: Dead King Patron - Servants of the titans, themed on Ancient Egyptian pharaohs and mummies. It's basically an alternative to the Undying patron if you want a warlock Necromancer.
- Wizard: School of Philosophy - A twist on ancient Philosophers such as Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates, these wizards have increased aptitude for casting, dispelling and counterspelling, and can also "loan out" spell-scrolls that their allies can use to cast spells.
As in the Greco-Roman mythology that inspires it, Arkadia's pantheon is divided between Gods and Titans.
- Hyperius - God of Strength & Wisdom
- Krytos - God of War
- Thessa - Goddess of Knowledge and the Sea
- Crixys - God of Death and the Underworld
- Lyria - Goddess of Beauty and Wealth
- Oreya - Goddess of the Hunt
- Erebos - God of Fire and Crafting
- Phaedrus - God of Revelry and Fae
- The Great Hydra
- The Mother of Monsters
- The Maw
- The Worm
As in the Bronze Age, the world of Arkadia revolves more around great city-states than any geographically bounded form of nation. The corebook covers the city states of Hyperium, Kryta, Ithea, Crixos and Illyria.