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Monte Cook Games’ Next Kickstarter Is Ptolus (for 5E and Cypher)

Monte Cook Games’ February Kickstarter (they tend to operate on about two per year) is Monte Cook’s massive city setting Ptolus. It will be available for both D&D 5E and for their own Cypher System.

The original was a nearly 700-page book which came out in 2006.

“The critically-acclaimed Ptolus: Monte Cook’s City by the Spire is a 672-page hardcover with additional physical and digital content and premium production values. It details the fantasy city of Ptolus, an adventurer’s haven built atop vast underground dungeons and adjacent to a massive, mysterious spire. The book is lavishly illustrated and contains scores of detailed maps, along with uncountable NPCs, creatures, locations, and items. The original printing sold out upon release, and is one of the most highly sought-after RPG titles on the collector’s market. It has since been available as a print-on-demand title, but in a two-book format that lacks premium features.

The new Ptolus will release in two versions: one for 5e, and another for the Cypher System. The book will follow the format of the original as closely as possible, and retain all of its premium design features. The Ptolus Kickstarter campaign launches in February.”

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Russ Morrissey

Comments


Scrivener of Doom

Adventurer
Interesting. I remember searching a few years ago for whether they planned to make a 5e version, and there was only terse statements that they had no intention of. I guess that they've decided that the profit-to-work ratio was too good to ignore!
I think the continued success of 5E has also made them realise that the profit-to-work ratio will be even better than it was a couple of years ago.
 

dalisprime

Explorer
Interesting. I remember searching a few years ago for whether they planned to make a 5e version, and there was only terse statements that they had no intention of. I guess that they've decided that the profit-to-work ratio was too good to ignore!
Makes me wonder how much of this will be simply a reprint of old material (art, lore) and how much is going to be written anew.
 

dalisprime

Explorer
Okay this is strange. No idea why my phone decided to split my post in two... don't see the delete option so feel free to remove this post.
 




jhilahd

Explorer
As much as I love the Ptolus campaign, I would have rather seen an updated Arcana Unearthed setting/ruleset for either the Cypher system or 5e. My favorite setting for 3.x, only because it was a unique take on the fantasy genre, magic and races. Sigh... I just need to do myself, don't I?
 

Dahak

Explorer
Interesting. I remember searching a few years ago for whether they planned to make a 5e version, and there was only terse statements that they had no intention of. I guess that they've decided that the profit-to-work ratio was too good to ignore!
Monte also said they were no plans to do a Cypher version, because he preferred to go forward, not look back. Never say never in business, though.
 

Makes me wonder how much of this will be simply a reprint of old material (art, lore) and how much is going to be written anew.
I think the original hardbound was about $100 USD and pre-ordered through Malhavoc Press. Pretty sure that included shipping too. IIRC correct mine arrived in 2006 so being 14 years ago my guess is itll be about $125-$150 USD. I read the book but never ran it. Sold my copy a few years back so Im definitely going to back this as long as the price isnt too steep. Hope theres new material too.
 

Reposting my comment from the other thread:


I've been running a Ptolus/Praemal (the larger world) campaign since preordering the original edition and I've been a player in a Ptolus game for about a decade (to Retreater's point above, our group in that game is a special division of the city watch tasked with dealing with adventurer-level threats that ordinary watchmen can't handle).

It's a great, great setting.

In addition to being one of the main 3E internal playtest settings, where everything that was in 3E at release appears in Ptolus, it's also a steampunk Roman Empire that's in the first years of collapse. There's a three-way succession crisis, the knowledge of how technology works is rapidly fading, and that's to say nothing of the supernatural threats the players likely won't be aware of for quite some time.

You can play it as a strict dungeoneering setting -- that's what I do in my home game, where I typically play with my 12-year-old son, my 76-year old dad, my wife, and some friends -- or as an urban setting where three different crime families are at war. Or you can tackle the big cosmic-level threats to the world, where the machinations of a fallen demigod, devils, the undead and Cthulhu-esque threats all conspire to rip the world apart.

It's a lot, to be sure, but I don't think any one campaign is realistically going to do all of it. My dungeoneers will almost certainly never scratch the surface of the deep cosmic mysteries and threats, but will likely just do dungeon delving and have run-ins with the various thieves guilds when they cross paths. The online campaign I've been running for years is moving into the political realm as a way to let the cosmic stuff sneak up on them, but aren't likely to even notice the thieves wars or use the dungeons as anything other than something to travel through on their way to a drow city deep beneath Ptolus.

This book is going to be crazy expensive, but given how many years I've gotten out of the 3E version, I have no hesitation about backing the 5E one. (What my wife will say about a second one of these bricks, which will likely cost well above $100, remains to be seen.)
 

It sounds like there's not any new material coming for it, at least at the moment, which makes sense, since Monte doesn't use the setting any more himself, and asking him to unpack 20-year-old memories to write up new stuff might be a bit much.

That said, there's a lot of Ptolus material scattered through other Malhavoc material, including stuff that's allegedly not set in Praemal, but fits together awfully well, like the Arcana Unearthed stuff. If we're lucky, they might adapt that stuff to 5E/Cypher and/or bundle it together in one place, instead of requiring people to go looking through 3E sourcebooks for more setting material.
 

I think the original hardbound was about $100 USD and pre-ordered through Malhavoc Press. Pretty sure that included shipping too. IIRC correct mine arrived in 2006 so being 14 years ago my guess is itll be about $125-$150 USD. I read the book but never ran it. Sold my copy a few years back so Im definitely going to back this as long as the price isnt too steep. Hope theres new material too.
It was originally sold for $120, which was pretty much an outrageous price tag back them, though totally worth it, as never before had such a product been made until then. I remember the product page advising fans groups to pool together the money to purchase it. Oh, how far have we come since then... 😜
 

And a link to the announcement, in case anyone is looking for it:

 

Okay this is strange. No idea why my phone decided to split my post in two... don't see the delete option so feel free to remove this post.
Ive noticed my phone acts strange while typing posts on this website too. Might just be my phone but this is the only place Ive seen it happen.
It was originally sold for $120, which was pretty much an outrageous price tag back them, though totally worth it, as never before had such a product been made until then. I remember the product page advising fans groups to pool together the money to purchase it. Oh, how far have we come since then... 😜
Will probably be $175+ then maybe.

I remember a city book called Windhaven was announced by a 3PP in the early 3E days 2000-2001. It touted great things but never came out. I wonder whatever happened to it, sounded really cool.
 


I hope there are changes. The idea was that Ptolus reflected the assumptions in 3e. There are different assumptions in 5e......

Based on the scant info in the announcement, I'm guessing that some content from other products will be added in, and this thing will be better as 3 books, than 1, but will come in 1 book.

Either way, I'm probably in this time, we'll see.
 

I hope there are changes. The idea was that Ptolus reflected the assumptions in 3e. There are different assumptions in 5e......

Based on the scant info in the announcement, I'm guessing that some content from other products will be added in, and this thing will be better as 3 books, than 1, but will come in 1 book.

Either way, I'm probably in this time, we'll see.
I wouldn't count on it. Changes would be a massive undertaking.

At most, I'd guess some of the supplemental material from the Might books or the Secrets of the Delvers Guild book (itself a collection of purchaser-only blog posts back in the day) might get integrated. But it'd be a lot easier to put those in a separate companion volume as an optional add-on.

I'm also not sure how many changes would be needed, beyond stats, to update the setting from 3E to 5E. No, there's no warlocks in the setting, but there are plenty of spellcasters making deals with bad entities; it would be trivial to make subclasses for them in 5E. There's no dragonborn in the setting, but that's true for plenty of others. And given how little is sketched out about the lands to the west of Ptolus -- which I always say is, eventually, the Lands of the Diamond Throne -- it would be easy to say dragonborn characters come from a previously unvisited land beyond Cherubar.
 

I wouldn't count on it. Changes would be a massive undertaking.

At most, I'd guess some of the supplemental material from the Might books or the Secrets of the Delvers Guild book (itself a collection of purchaser-only blog posts back in the day) might get integrated. But it'd be a lot easier to put those in a separate companion volume as an optional add-on.
Oh, I agree. Hope is very different than expect.

raising the question of how much I'm willing to pay to have a hard copy, or for it to be 5e.......because I have the PDFs. I have almost every Malhavic (sp?) product in PDF.
 

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