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D&D 3E
Ptolus 
9th-May-2007 12:06 pm
Monte Cook's Ptolus. Does anyone know anything about it?

It's a 110$ sourcebook, 84$ if I buy it from some Amazon.com affiliate.

On the plus side, you can get players guides for basically free (it's 15$, but you can get either 1 for 15$, or 5 for 15..) and the sourcebook includes everything you need to run a campaign from 1st to 20th level.

Thoughts?
Comments 
9th-May-2007 09:07 pm (UTC)
This is my personal opinion - and it is conflicted by at least one person I know, so "Your Mileage May Vary" - but Ptolus is brilliant.

There is so much depth and breadth in Ptolus to give any GM a lifetime full of plots, NPC's, locations, and flavor. Even if you don't use the actual city itself, the book is a gold mine of material just waiting to be dropped into other games, adventures, or campaigns. I often flip through it for an idea or game piece when thinking through my own adventures. In that way, the book just screams to be bought.

Now, at $80+ bucks (I got mine right after it had been released at DragonCon in GA which was a poor idea given that I had to lug what is essentially an encyclopedia set in my backpack through the day), there's is some price comparison and weight you have to put behind investing in that book or buying other things. Personally, I would say that if you are the constant GM and almost never a player and you have the extra money to spend, definitely look into it. See if you can find a copy to flip through and decide if it's for you.

When I'm GM'ing I don't have much more than an hour or two a week to prepare for the game, so books like Ptolus are extremely useful giving me source material to mine for my game. The hardest part of preperation, afterall, is statting out those NPC's or thinking up a decent and quick backstory beyond "He's a guy from the next town...Just, look, he's probably not going to be alive long enough for me to justify giving him a backstory."

Also, the book makes an amazingly efficient paper-weight and dinner tray. ;-)

My main complaint would be the obvious one: The book as a single unit is entirely too damn big! You feel like you need a podium or a bookstand and your legs will definitely go numb after about the third hour of this sitting on them. Do not attempt to impersonate me and lug this around in your backpack for 5+ hours at a convention. You will suffer.
10th-May-2007 12:57 am (UTC) - Awesome.
Yeah, bookstands... After I move, instead of buying an actual table, I'm going to buy 4 U shaped desks.

And statting NPCs sucks, and the backstory... yeah, I understand that bit. But if you walk into a game with that, your players are disappointed :/

5 hours at a convention? I couldn't stand being at a convention for 5 hours, encumbranced or not. Yay for living in AK where we don't have conventions and don't have big crowds - okay, have to inturrupt myself here.

My cat just opened my door. This requires turning a door knob. I am amazed, he's never done that before. *ahem* back on topic:

I like the idea of having one huge book with everything in it versus 400 books at 160 pages each. I'd much rather deal with having 8 bookmarks than having 8 books.
10th-May-2007 05:05 am (UTC) - Re: Awesome.
Best. Interruption. Ever.
9th-May-2007 09:48 pm (UTC)
Anonymous
what exactly does it have to make a 110$ pricetag. If i ever paid 110 for a sourcebook, it better be made out of solid gold.
9th-May-2007 09:49 pm (UTC)
That was me.
9th-May-2007 11:52 pm (UTC)
To start with: It's about 700 pages of material. Plus, a prewritten adventure, some handouts, and (if you get the right version) a free Player's Guide for playing in Ptolus.

For comparison, the Player's Handbook II is 224 pages at around $30. So, yeah, multiply by 3 and you get the price of Ptolus.
10th-May-2007 12:25 am (UTC) - Ptolus
Hello there :) New member to your community, I been trying to get back into writing Live Journal's again so here I am. I own the Ptolus book myself, I pre-ordered it before it came out so I got all the cool freebies along with the book. I am very impressed with it, and I already know quite a bit about the setting so if you would like I could answer any questions you have with it.
10th-May-2007 12:58 am (UTC) - Awesome!
I don't know enough about Ptolus to even know what questions to start asking. I know the marketing "hype" (if you will), where it has everything I should need for the next 20 levels.
10th-May-2007 01:05 am (UTC) - Re: Awesome!
Yes you could very easily run a game from 1st level to 20th level with the stuff in there. The adventure chapter will get you to about level 3 or so, then if you have the CD you can play the Night of Dissolution which is from 4 to...6 I think I don't have my books with me so I don't know offhand.

From there, you have a number of adventure sites throughout the book from the lowest level (Temple of the Rat Lord) to the highest (the Towers on top of the Spire). If you want a competently done adventure path Ptolus isn't your thing.

I assure you there is more than enough to have many campaigns from 1st to 20th level in there. All of them however require a little work to bring everything together (IE it isn't like Shackled City or Age of Worms). I am very happy with it, and I am running a Ptolus game in the real world as well.

Also you can download a free version of the Players Guide if you haven’t already done that, I suggest you read that before you decide if you wanted to get it or not. The setting is wonderful, but it isn’t for everyone. Anyways hoped that helped some!
10th-May-2007 04:08 am (UTC)
I have it and it is easily the best gaming book I've ever bought. each "chapter" is basically what would normally be a seperate sourcebook or boxed set. very high quality and super usefull. I think at rpg drive throught they have it where you can buy each chapter seperately as a download if you don't want to pluk down the cash all at once
10th-May-2007 04:50 am (UTC)
I've never even heard of it until now... but I'm very out of the D&D loop. It sounds very interesting. I'll have to look into that 0.o



~Ray
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