Even in the most advanced civilizations, blood, money, and violence are the perfect means to satisfy the lowest instincts of crowds and keep the subjects happy, and easy to rule over. The Talon Coast is no exception, and the sorcerers of Talon used their most powerful spells to create a legendary arena, a magical place you can reach from any place by using a Rune of Recalling.

Myths of the Arena: new expansion is compatible both with Immortal Souls and Ancient Chronicles.

Gladiators, captives, and creatures of every type are summoned to the Arena of Aegis from everywhere in the realms to fight for the enjoyment of the spectators. In Myths of the Arena, Heroes are challenged to battle the unspeakable dangers and lethal creatures of the arena and survive the final fight against the legendary champions – Cerberus and the Nemean Lion – to finally become Gods of the Arena. Myths of the Arena is the latest expansion for Sword & Sorcery. If you are not familiar with the game, read on!

Sword & Sorcery has been acclaimed one of the best cooperative dungeon-crawlers on the market. In the game, one to five players fight together, as legendary Heroes with unique powers against the forces of evil, which are controlled by the game system itself. Recalled from the dead and made immortal by the will of the Three Gods, the Heroes embark on a series of quests and recovery the long-lost memory of their powerful abilities. Heroes grow stronger during their story-driven quests, and the outcome of the adventure changes depending on the character/Hero and its alignment (Lawful/Neutral/Chaotic) and choices.

The first campaign using the game system, Immortal Souls debuted in 2017 with a core set, followed by three expansions (Arcane Portal, Darkness Falls, and Vastaryous’ Lair) and eight Hero Packs introducing new Heroes, each with unique abilities and gameplay. In 2021, a new cycle started with Ancient Chronicles, a campaign set in the distant past of the events narrated in Immortal Souls and suitable both as a new starting point and for players who already played through the Immortal Souls campaign.

Three different game modes

Myths of the Arena provides a new and original approach to Sword & Sorcery. It is playable as a campaign expansion, offering new quests with a storyline revolving around the Arena of Aegis. However, it is also playable as a “survival” game or even in player-vs-player mode! Let’s look in detail at these three game modes.

  • Gods of the Arena is a story composed of four “side quests”: a series of connected missions/challenges of increasing difficulty, ending in the fight with the Legends of the Arena, to win epic treasures. These four scenarios can run parallel to the main plot of the Heroes’ saga, which can be either Immortal Souls or Ancient Chronicles.
  • Lords of Endless Pain is a survival game presented as two side quest, playable both by low level Heroes (that is, during the first of the two “Acts” of a campaign) or high-level Heroes (that is, during the second Act). These quests are going to be a real test for the Heroes – they feature very challenging, almost endless waves of random Enemies, and surviving these waves can grant mythic prizes to the Heroes.
  • The third game mode, Clash of the Heroes introduces a competitive contest, something completely new to the Sword & Sorcery game experience. It’s a Player-versus-Player (PvP) competitive game mode where teams of Heroes face each other in a lethal fight to discover who is the real “god” of the sands.

So, where should I start?

The great feature of Myths of the Arena is that players can pick it up and use it, with the game mode they prefer (or all of them!) no matter which core set they own – it is compatible both with Immortal Souls and Ancient Chronicles, and you can start playing Sword & Sorcery with either of these core sets, before adding Myths - whether your choice is to play the side quests, or just fight to become the greatest Hero of the Arena, Myths is guaranteed to add fun and replayability to the game. It's by no means the only S&S product which is cross-compatible with both campaigns, though!

New expansion is playable in three game modes: new quests, “survival” or player-vs-player.

Only Sword & Sorcery campaign sets are linked to each other. When you play Immortal Souls, you should continue with Arcane Portal, Darkness Falls, and Vastaryous’ Lair. When you play Ancient Chronicles, you need to continue play with the upcoming second Act – Northwind Tales, due for release in Summer of 2024.

Many other S&S products, however, can be used with both sagas. You can get any of the eight Immortal Souls Hero Packs, such as the druid Samyria or the necromancer Onamor, and play them in Ancient Chronicles. Or you can get one of the special Ancient Chronicles Hero Packs, like the martial artists Genryu and Shakiko, or the Norse warriors Sigrid and Sigurd, and use them in Immortal Souls.

You can also add other gameplay expansions to both Immortal Souls and Ancient Chronicles: the Alternate Hero and Ghost Souls set, including alternate versions of the five Heroes included in Ancient Chronicles; the Nemeses expansion set, which introduces a new type of Enemies which emulate the Heroes' own dark side; the Lawful or Chaotic Familiars, a new type of faithful “pets”, intelligent little creatures to help the Heroes during their adventures.

A variety of official Sword & Sorcery accessories are also available and can be used with both campaigns, replacing the regular components included in the core sets to enhance the game experience: “dungeon dressing” miniatures such as doors, chests, altars; metal coins; cloth bags; extra sets of dice.

Seven years after its launch on the market, Sword & Sorcery is still the dungeon crawler of choice for expert players looking for a challenging experience. If you have not tried it yet, it’s time you do!

This article was originally published by Game Trade Magazine (issue 287 - January 2024).

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