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

DaveMage

Slumbering in Tsar
The Ptolus product set the standard for me on useful settings. Not only does it tell you all of the cool places adventurers can visit - it details a lot of them (like mini-modules) so the GM doesn't have to do it themselves! I really wish more setting books would have done this, but sadly, most do not.
 
The Ptolus product set the standard for me on useful settings. Not only does it tell you all of the cool places adventurers can visit - it details a lot of them (like mini-modules) so the GM doesn't have to do it themselves! I really wish more setting books would have done this, but sadly, most do not.
That was a big surprise for me -- content aside, Ptolus showed how to organize a roleplaying setting book and what sort of stuff to put in it. More than a decade later, the big innovation I see copied from it is ... bound-in bookmarks. (Which are nice, don't get me wrong, but hardly the biggest thing.)

Every time I'm flipping back and forth in a 5E book, trying to find something I want, I wonder why page edges aren't color-coded like they are in Ptolus. Surely WotC's art team has copies of the book on hand.
 

Sunsword

Adventurer
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?

I think if Ptolus is successful enough they will think about Arcana Unearthed and perhaps even Iron Heroes. I know the Arcana of the Ancients was successful and I know there are Cyphers fans who have been waiting on Ptolus.
 

imagineGod

Explorer
The Ptolus product set the standard for me on useful settings. Not only does it tell you all of the cool places adventurers can visit - it details a lot of them (like mini-modules) so the GM doesn't have to do it themselves! I really wish more setting books would have done this, but sadly, most do not.
I feel a little sad with my circumstances being unable to afford both.

Ideally, the D&Dc5th edition is the logical choice. But the Cypher System is also something I enjoy immensely, and there is no classical fantasy Campaign for Cypher yet, so Ptolus vmay be the perfect fit.

Alas, I cannot afford both 600 page books, looking back at how Monte Cook prices products on Kickstarter.
 

Erekose

Adventurer
Well I just don't know how much rewriting will be needed to make it fit into the 5E or Cypher systems but I remember Monte marketing this originally as the definitive 3E campaign . . . so that implies all sorts of default assumptions that may well not hold true for other systems (presumably most acutely Cypher?) . . .
 
On Twitter, he's shown a magic item that I'm unfamiliar with from Ptolus (Sword of the Dragonkings, held by one of the noble houses), so it sounds like there's at least some new stuff being created.

EDIT: I'm told this sword is actually in a sidebar in the Big Book already. So not new content.

I actually hope he doesn't change how the setting works. I don't want the Inverted Pyramid to suddenly change how they do things because the assumptions of how magic fits into the world is different in 5E and Cypher. (Their services are just much more expensive in 5E, under the RAW, which works fine, IMO.)
 
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Schmoe

Explorer
That was a big surprise for me -- content aside, Ptolus showed how to organize a roleplaying setting book and what sort of stuff to put in it. More than a decade later, the big innovation I see copied from it is ... bound-in bookmarks. (Which are nice, don't get me wrong, but hardly the biggest thing.)

Every time I'm flipping back and forth in a 5E book, trying to find something I want, I wonder why page edges aren't color-coded like they are in Ptolus. Surely WotC's art team has copies of the book on hand.
That was an explicit goal for Monte at the time. He had multiple blog posts detailing how he wanted to book to be useful, not just as a reference, but as a sort of travel guide. He compared it to a Fodor's for the setting, with cross-references and all. It is really hands-down the best setting guide I've ever seen.

I own the original, and while I've not played a Ptolus game per-se, it has inspired me in many ways. I would definitely back this if I didn't already have Ptolus and not play 5e :D
 

DragonBelow

Explorer
Arcana Evolved was amazing, I really did enjoy that, although it was way too complex at later levels like anything 3.x
My group played several AU/AE games, and we really liked everything about it. We never got to high levels though. My favorite characters to play were a Mohj Mageblade and a Ritual Warrior :D
 
I bought the orignial book back in 2006 preorder. For 120 dollars which was and outrageous sum for a game book back then.

But it was totally worth it. Played in a 5 year campaign that was well worth the price tag.

I want it. But its all going to depend on price. I would pay the orginal price for an updated 5e version with no other changes. But not sure i am willing to spend 150 or 175 for a new one
 
The Ptolus product set the standard for me on useful settings. Not only does it tell you all of the cool places adventurers can visit - it details a lot of them (like mini-modules) so the GM doesn't have to do it themselves! I really wish more setting books would have done this, but sadly, most do not.

Yeah. All those side bars and adventure hooks, you see that idea of heres a couple adventure hooks for this place used in various 5e books and beyond- mutants and masterminds for example
 

Connorsrpg

Adventurer
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?
I loved that setting, but more so just the alternate PHB. Arcana Unearthed is still one of my favourite RPG books. If interested, we have converted some of the races at least on our Races Page to 5E.
 
It might be tiers, like just the book is one tier and then a higher tier is Luxury Tier.
I am expecting this myself. There was just so much stuff with the original Ptolus that it would be easily to separate some of it out into other tiers. Alternately, it would also work well as add-ons, for the people who don't want, say, Night of Dissolution or the Banewarrens.
 

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