View Full Version : Ptolus

July 20th, 2006, 23:55
Has anyone been following the progress of Monte Cook's Ptolus? Comes out in August. I downloaded the Player's Guide today and read it. It reads like it is going to be an awsome setting.

July 21st, 2006, 00:08
Yes, many of us have been. It does look like an amazing product, but it's (imho) extremely high price I think will limit it's sales. Last I looked I think it was $119 for the book, and while I am sure it is worth every darn penny, I don't know many gamers (or their wives) that will part with a gaming product that costs that much. I have a good amount of expendible cash and, well, I wouldn't pay that much for any gaming product, so some will though. Sure that given enough time, this will become a hot commodity on the file sharing networks though. ;-)
Oh and while I am on the subject, can anyone say market saturation? My god, there are 4 billion Ptolus related items popping up all over the net..

July 21st, 2006, 00:26
For something that hasn't even hit the shelves yet, there really are a great number of products out for it. I downloaded the Player's Guide from DriveThruRPG and they has about 4-5 Ptolus sources for sale already, think alot of them where electronic books though.

I am thinking hard about getting it, but I agree; the price truly is up there...

July 21st, 2006, 00:44
I see they are going to release portions of the book via pdf, that will definately help, and they did have the prepay monthly thing. And don't get me wrong, I am sure it has a massive amount of details that everyone will find extremely valuable. I just cannot stomach the price...ouch. Yeah most I have seen are pdf format.

July 22nd, 2006, 20:54
If I do get it, after I have read up on everything I may host a campaign on FG.:D

July 23rd, 2006, 01:44
By the time I finish with The Worlds Largest Dungeon (probably about 2 years from now) I should be able to get Ptolus cheap from somewhere. :)


July 23rd, 2006, 04:43
Yeah, I will pick it up a year or so from now on sale at B&N for half off or something.

July 24th, 2006, 05:09
Looks like I will do the same. No one in my gaming group seems to have interest in it at the moment. Would be a waster of my $ to get it now. lol

July 25th, 2006, 23:37
I got it, paid through the pre-pay layaway plan so it didn't impact my pocketbook much. Just waiting for it to show up now.

July 26th, 2006, 01:34

July 26th, 2006, 14:14
I'm interested in this setting. I ran a large city scape a few years back, where I let the characters free roam about the city. It was fun to run, but I had to keep track of all the NPC's I built so they would be doing logical things when the players returned.

The city was much like ancient Rome and one of the key aspects was the Arena. When the PC's were caught by guards they were thrown in the Arena where they had to fight for their freedom. They ended up loving that part of the campaign more than any other, which suprised me, because one of them died in the arena.

This setting promises to help me run something like that again, with less prep time, by having a host of recurring NPCs and areas. I'll probably be getting it soon.

August 8th, 2006, 00:53
My copy arrived Friday. It's a VERY impressive book, same form factor as standard in the gaming undustry, but a little less than two inches thick with covers. It was bundled with my pre-order bonus item (the print version of the full-sized adventure The Night of Dissolution), and came with a thick envelope tucked in the back cover full of full-color maps and player hand-outs as well the a CD with PDF versions of several Ptolus books such as Banewarrens. The book has three cloth bookmark ribbons bound into it, and also includes a page with perforated paper bookmarks at the end in case you need more.

The book itself is overwhelming; every page has three to five pieces of high-quality artwork, some high-gloss color, and some just normal two color standard pictures. It's set up kinda like a school textbook, with each page having a sidebar margin with pertinent additions to the information on it. Each page has colorized words that refer to items in the margin that have the page number where you can find more info on the word or phrase in question, allowing the information on each page to remain pertinent while still giving you the ability to easily find information on the items you might not understand. For example, when talking about an NPC, they'll mention they're a member of a certain organization. Rather than go off topic explaining what that is, they simply color the org name blue, and have the org name in blue and the page its explained in detail on in the margin.

I haven't had time to delve into the book in tremendous detail, but I can tell you that you'll NEVER have to make up a major NPC in Ptolus if you don't want to. There are literally hundreds of them listed, in detail, with pictures for most of them even. Basic outlines of various businesses are provided, as are details of temples, dungeons, and everything else you'd expect in a massive D&D city.

I'll be spending the next few weeks browsing through the book, so if anyone has any questions, go ahead and ask and I'll do my best to provide answers in a timely manner (as work and family time allows).

August 8th, 2006, 02:50
Just one question. Gonna be hosting a Ptolus camapaign once you've read up on it?:D
If so,let me know as I am very interested in this setting.:cool:

August 8th, 2006, 07:49
My copy arrived Friday.
Now I'm jealous - ordered mine a while ago but I guess the UK are lagging slightly. You know ... if you have Ptolus ... you might as well get hold of the AE ruleset and run a Ptolus centered game ;)


August 8th, 2006, 08:13
It'll be a long while before I would be ready to run anything from the setting, it's an incredibly massive amount of info to dig into. It's nearly 700 pages, and only about 100 of them are "mechanical" info (feats, spells, monsters, items, etc). Think about the size of the PHB, double it, and fill it with nothing but background info, NPCs, organizations, and locations for a campaign. It's a LOT to become immersed in, but at the same time, it's a pretty much bottomless vault of potential all there waiting for you.

Ah, and Stuart - it's not an AE setting, it's straight D20/RSRD. And while I've asked Thore about doing a dataset for it in the past, I'm having trouble picturing how it could possibly be done now that I have it in front of me. It would probably be better to just use the RSRD set and recrate the maps and NPCs you need for a session in advance - there's just too much there to hve it all in FG all at once.

August 8th, 2006, 09:59
[QUOTE=Illrigger]it's not an AE setting, it's straight D20/RSRD.[QUOTE]
True ... but it works nicely with the AE setting. I've run a couple of pen-and-paper sessions using some of the pre release stuff to test it out. Worked ok but admittedly involved a fair amount of work. Guess I just prefer the AE classes to SRD ...

The only other urban setting I have come across was the TSR 2nd Edition Fafhred and Greymouser (Lankmar) set of modules (4 I think), based on that I think FG does offer a potentially useful means of jumping around houses, calling up NPC's and running a game. I'd like to have a go anyway.

[QUOTE=Illrigger]It'll be a long while before I would be ready to run anything from the setting.[QUOTE]

So ... when you are ready ... you'll run and ... let me know ;)

I'm a DM without a game to play in as opposed to run :(

August 9th, 2006, 03:15
I'm a DM without a game to play in as opposed to run:(

I'll bet you do miss playing, if you DM alot.

August 9th, 2006, 07:09
I'll bet you do miss playing, if you DM alot.

I've been DM-ing rpg games for about 29 years (Advanced D&D came out in '77, Tunnels and Trolls and "basic" D&D in '74 ... I think) now but only ever played three times. :eek:

Possibly says something about my playing ...:o

August 9th, 2006, 18:56
Wow.:eek: You must be one hell of a DM though:D

August 11th, 2006, 16:16
My copy of Ptolus arrived today ... the current strength of the pound vs the dollar (mysteriously NOT reflected by PayPal's conversion rate :mad: ) means that for us UK people it is a little cheaper ;) 57 vs $119.

Having skimmed through it - well worth it IF you intend to run an urban adventure (the cd bundles pdf's of Chaositech and Banewarrens) such as Nights of Dissolution (included).

I like it - it is pricey and I'm sure over time it may drop in price but as it stands I think it's worth the money I forked over.

August 12th, 2006, 00:29
Ptolus is flying off the shelf here, and everyone is loving it. The product is hands down the most stylish and fact filled RPG you are ever going to buy. The whole $100 barrier for RPGs was desolved years ago when the SJG guys did the GURPS leather bound 4th Edition (which sold over 900 copies at $150 a piece through pre-order), and before that the Worlds Largest Dungeon. Ptolus is by far the best product I've ever seen at any price, and if you think it is too much for the book do yourself a favor and get the PDFs.

Also, AEG finally has the ACCORDLANDS product done and here at the show, and those four books retail for more than Ptolus (around $35 a book each). I walked buy their booth today and saw that they discounted them to $100 for all four, probably because Monte just shot them through the heart with his book.

... oh, and Stuart ... we need to talk about your next ruleset .... ::wink,wink::


August 12th, 2006, 01:05
Good to hear it's selling so well. Once you lay hands on it, it just sits there in your brain wanting to be bought. I'll be taking mine down to our group this weekend; I just hope the drool doesn't damage it.

August 12th, 2006, 03:19
Yea I was dying to buy a copy,but no one else in my gaming group showed an interest in it, so I didn't think it would do me much good. So I am hoping that it won't take too long before those of us that are interested in it can get a game going. Great to hear that you guys are enjoying it:cool:

August 12th, 2006, 07:26
I have had more time to look at it since my last post and can only come up with one very minor criticism. The only other urban setting I know in any detail is the older TSR Lankmar series (Fafhred & The Grey Mouser). The city book came with a number of blank player handouts so the DM could customize city blocks (not needed in Ptolus since so much of the city is keyed) but these were also very useful as combat battlemaps.

The artwork in Ptolus is very very good but it is a shame that there are no "battlemap" handouts - this is true of the "Nights of Dissolution" adventure that comes with it (suggestions are included on how to wrap this adventure with the Banewarrens adventure included on the cd) as well.

See ? Silly quibble aint it !:o

Given that it comes bundled with two pdf's each retailing at about $5.00 and issue 1 of the Ptolus comic ($2.00 I think) plus other stuff on the cd of less immediate "wow" factor IF you have the disposable cash AND you want a detailed city setting then I would recommend it. Of course rpg's are my only vice now that I am no longer a student so ... for those of you who I dare say lead a more exciting and diverse but pecuniarily-challenged life-style at University then perhaps it is a bit pricey.

'Nuff said - I have to steer my three groups towards Ptolus somehow.

August 12th, 2006, 14:55
I think you can buy large Ptolus maps from... Firey Dragon.

August 12th, 2006, 23:42
I think you can buy large Ptolus maps from... Firey Dragon.

Yep ... and they're cloth too. Bad news is they sold out of them the first day here. They have mentioned that they are making more very soon. ;)

August 14th, 2006, 02:57
I think you can get them in pdf too which would be great for FG.


August 14th, 2006, 05:00
Skeleton Key seems to have some tactical maps in pdf:

August 14th, 2006, 09:17
I've seen the cloth map (no use for FG but a nice product) by Fiery Dragons and have snagged some of the Skeleton Key maps already. Nice stuff.

August 14th, 2006, 12:42
Actually, I found out is isn't cloth, but vinyl like they use for mega-mats and such. I happen to get the last one at the show, the demo unit Fiery Dragon was using. I'll get a picture of it up on my site soon. The $#%& wireless connection in the hotel is so bad I can't upload to my website, so I'll do it when I get home.

Leaving Indy in an hour .... ;)

August 16th, 2006, 08:18
If this 120 page book is the one I think you guys are talking about, they had a contest give away at gencon to get one for free. The contestants had to hold this 16lb book out in front of them elbows locked outward. The one remaining got it. I heard the lady say 2 guys tied at 13 minutes. They both got one.

August 16th, 2006, 08:34
Ptolus is 670 pages ... 13 minutes ... not bad !
I believe sections of Ptolus are being released gradually in pdf form; drivethru has the first couple of chapters.

August 29th, 2006, 01:01
My only beef (and this is really just for FG users) is that I have to scan all the artwork I want to use in game. For better or worse, there's no cut and paste text to be dragged in (for better in my opinion), but its really nice to have premade artwork to work with. I will admit to having downloaded bootleg copies of things in the past (that I already paid for in print) solely to save time on the scanner.

August 29th, 2006, 19:08
My only beef (and this is really just for FG users) is that I have to scan all the artwork I want to use in game. For better or worse, there's no cut and paste text to be dragged in (for better in my opinion), but its really nice to have premade artwork to work with. I will admit to having downloaded bootleg copies of things in the past (that I already paid for in print) solely to save time on the scanner.
The PDF versions of the book have completely exportable artwork. I've bought both, since I work off my laptop even when running tabletop games but I prefer print books when planning them.

August 30th, 2006, 16:19
....I've bought both....

Wow, win the lottery? ;)

August 30th, 2006, 17:54
Wow, win the lottery? ;)
Wouldn't have been able to afford the book at all if I hadn't paid via layaway, and I've only got the first part of the pdf versions so far. I have a strict budget for my RPG addiction. :P

August 30th, 2006, 18:00
Ya me too, wife limits that silliness...tho she sure has a crap load of shoes....

August 30th, 2006, 18:37
Ya me too, wife limits that silliness...tho she sure has a crap load of shoes....

Luckily my better half encourages me to spend money on my silliness...when I have the money ;)

September 11th, 2006, 18:05
My better half is ok with me playing quite often. She knows that its not involved with drinking, ugly jokes and dirty talks, doesn't she ? ;)

February 7th, 2007, 14:54
I just got my copy of Ptolus a few days ago. I must say that this is an awesome book. It was written with DMs in mind, everything is cross-indexed, the sidebars on each page have very useful information.

There is tons of art in the book, the CD-Rom contains lots of player handouts, maps, adventures, and even other books!

I bought it from a games shop online trying to get rid of their inventory so all of this for $75 bucks was a steal IMO. Have a campaign starting this Sunday (actually did the creation/intro session 1.5 weeks ago).

I hope to start multiple campaigns going in this city so look on the Guildhouse forum in the future.

April 29th, 2007, 08:22
I was wondering why there were only a few Ptolus games being offered in the forums. That much money means only a few people bought it lol. It does look like it is an awesome setting and I hope to get invited into a game group thats running it.