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D&D 5E Monte Cook's Ptolus Kickstarter Has Launched

This is one of MCG's luxury products - at nearly 700 pages depicting a massive, detailed fantasy city, we're looking at $150 for the book, or $40 for the PDF, either for D&D 5E or Cypher System.

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"Monte Cook’s legendary campaign setting, Ptolus, is being updated for both Fifth Edition and the Cypher System.

At 672 beautiful pages, Ptolus: Monte Cook’s City by the Spire isn’t just huge. Top-notch art and abundant cartography grace virtually every page. Innovative features make the premium-quality book uniquely easy to navigate and use. Physical and digital extras include handouts, player maps, and posters, totaling hundreds of pages. Nearly 1,000 pages in all!

And that’s not all: Most backer levels include a massive library of every single existing Ptolus product. Get the original version of Ptolus plus 26 additional PDF titles—2100 pages of content worth over $250—so you can explore the city and plan for your adventures right away."

You can also download a free 32-page introductory Player's Guide.
 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

For those looking for a physical copy of Ptolus for less than $150, I'm probably going to trade mine in at Noble Knight soon-ish and just using PDFs for the next year or so. I bet I'm not alone.

They're currently selling their copies for more than $200 a pop, but the Kickstarter will probably lead to a number of people putting their 3E editions on the market and upping supply while demand is simultaneously chipped away at by the 5E and Cypher versions coming.
 

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I've been cutting back on Kickstarter and RPG materials in general, but I've long been interested in this book. For someone who has already sunk a lot of money into FGG's various Lost Lands materials, I'm not sure I have a need or use for another massive city setting. For fans of Ptolus, what do you think sets it apart? Even if I don't rune games in it, is it a fun read?
You could run 5 or so campaigns from 1st to 20 and not use the same material twice. Maybe more. It has so much room to run almost anything.

Yes. If nothing else it is a great read
 

seankreynolds

Adventurer
We're in the last 2.5 hours of the Kickstarter campaign and we've unlocked some cool stuff (including a new adventure by Bruce Cordell and a new adventure by me). Definitely worth checking out, even if you just feel like backing for a dollar so you can decide later in BackerKit if you want it!
 


Falarose

Villager
Hi guys, this is just to let you know that the Ptolus campaign is coming to an end and I encourage you to check it out with all the stretch goals. They are putting the 5e adventures in print and the book is going to be amazing on top of all the bonus stuff from 3e

 

We're going to deliver the 2100 pages of existing content within a few weeks--so if you're housebound and looking for a great read, it's a fantastic deal. That includes the original 3e version, so you can really explore the setting and start planning your campaign!
I own everything from the 3.5 release, including a pod of delvers guide that was released later on.

Take him up on the offer folks....worth it
 

mach1.9pants

Adventurer
Excitingly the PDFs are available to backers, and shipping is starting. I've downloaded and I'm starting to read, don't expect a report for a while, it's a 674 page monster! I'm lucky enough to have an original, one of my favourite settings, and I'm excited to see what's new in the the 5e version well over a decade on
 

My first impression of the pdf is that beside a very slight change to layout, it seems like the same book with the same text and same art.

I wasn't expecting a complete rewrite of the setting, but not a complete reprint either.

I'm sure there are differences, but they are hard to spot.
 

Making it all hyper-linked is a big step up for me. I had gotten used to just using the search function, but in a book this size, that still meant going past a lot of references to get to what I want.

The 5E Ptolus races aren't subraces, not even the elves. Everyone has stats that, if not identical to the Tasha's method, are very similar. Playable lizardfolk are new, I think, as are centaurs. Each is different than the WotC version. The litorians are kind of ... basic, although keen scent is a solid ability. I'll probably use them as the default cat people race in my campaign, and just have Rakasta be a tribe of them. (If WotC can make 99% of the bird people one will encounter in a game be aaracokra, I can make most cat people be litorians.)

I'd have to compare my PDFs side by side (I told my 3E Ptolus book to Noble Knight a few months ago), but it looks like we've got some new spells.

Lots of new domains. The technology domain in particular looks great, although I had to laugh about the note about cannons -- someone tried to abuse the domain abilities during playtesting, I suspect.

Not sure I agree with the Inverted Pyramid membership giving out abilities instead of being a subclass, but that probably reflects that PC wizards will likely enter the class later on, and that warlocks and sorcerers might sneak in there, too.

I do like that warlocks were integrated in the setting, as they fit in well.

I disagree with the idea that there are no dragonborn on Praemal, especially since I've always read Ptolus as lying far to the east of the Lands of the Diamond Throne, which certainly can have them. (Once you start looking, there's a ton of things in the Ptolus book that match up with the lore of Arcana Unearthed, especially stuff about giants.)
 

seankreynolds

Adventurer
My first impression of the pdf is that beside a very slight change to layout, it seems like the same book with the same text and same art.

I wasn't expecting a complete rewrite of the setting, but not a complete reprint either.

I'm sure there are differences, but they are hard to spot.

We pulled the layout text from the 3e version of the book, stripped it down to plain text, re-styled all of it, made all of the running text system-neutral, moved rules-specific stuff to the callouts (the margin notes), had the text edited again, and then it was all laid out from scratch. You probably won't see significant changes in the first chapters (frex, the player's guide, world, and history chapters) because they were mostly system-neutral already; the later chapters (particularly magic, chaositech, and monsters) have a LOTTTT of updates compared to the original version.

It was not our intent to rewrite the book except as needed to make it work with 5e and the Cypher System. So you won't see changes to locations and events in Oldtown, but you will see that NPCs have their stats updated to the new systems.
 

There look to be a few other changes to the text, although I don't know how many there are. I don't remember the reference to non-binary dwarves on page 49, for instance.

@seankreynolds, since you're here: We get a note that says that mountain and hill dwarves don't exist in Praemal, but then we aren't told what to use for Grailwarden and Stonelost dwarves that I can see. In my own campaign, I've just mapped them to mountain and hill dwarves already, but is that's what's intended? Ditto what stats to use for shoal elves: Are they PHB wood elves? High elves? Do players get to choose? (I am in the "choose" camp as a DM.)
 

seankreynolds

Adventurer
It's a weird quirk of how the game has changed a bit since 3e.

In the 3e PH, there weren't hill dwarves and mountain dwarves, there were just dwarves (I don't think the other dwarf types were in the SRD, so third-party publishers couldn't use them). And likewise there weren't wood elves and high elves and such, there were just elves.

So 3e Ptolus didn't differentiate between Grailwarden and Stonelost dwarves with stats, it was all cultural, so either type just used the regular dwarf entry in the PH. Likewise, Shoal elves just used the regular elf entry in the PH. So that's what we did with 5e Ptolus: Grailwarden and Stonelost dwarves both use the regular "dwarf" entry in the 5e PH, and Shoal elves use the regular "elf" entry.

The 5e dwarf entry does say to choose hill or mountain, so yeah, your players can choose which one they want. And the 5e elf entry does say to choose high or wood elf*, so your players should choose there as well. Unless you as GM want these named kinds of Ptolus dwarves and elves to be mapped to specific 5e subspecies.

* Or dark elf, but those are pushed into the NPC-only category unless the GM allows them as PCs, with all the caveats at the top of 5e Ptolus page 60.
 




Aldarc

Legend
I disagree with the idea that there are no dragonborn on Praemal, especially since I've always read Ptolus as lying far to the east of the Lands of the Diamond Throne, which certainly can have them. (Once you start looking, there's a ton of things in the Ptolus book that match up with the lore of Arcana Unearthed, especially stuff about giants.)
Well those are "dracha" and "mojh" for starters. I seem to recall that dracha also have wings that can be used for gliding (and later flying). So apart from both being "dragon humanoids," they seem different enough from dragonborn. And if dragonborn are in the far east on the giants' continent on Praemal, then wouldn't that also be as much of a breach of the ancient pact with the giants as the giants in the lands of the Diamond Throne?
 

R_J_K75

Hero
Downloaded my PDFs
How did you get a pdf? Did you back the KS? I ordered $149 print version at the beginning of Feb from Monte Cooks website. I just realized I either didn't buy the pdf (unlikely) or just wasnt offered, ICR. I just checked my account on the website and theres no options to DL the pdf.
 

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