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Ptolus Cover
This article is based on material by:
Monte Cook

What is Ptolus? Imagine a cosmopolitan fantasy city where humans, elves, and dwarves rub elbows with orcs, ratmen, and stranger creatures. A city built upon the ruins of two previous settlements, creating a mazelike undercity full of dangerous (but lucrative) chambers just waiting to be discovered. A frontier port ruled by a power-mad theocracy amid the decay of a collapsing Empire.

A place where crime families war openly and noble houses battle discreetly—with equally deadly results. A city where magic is familiar, adventurers are welcome, and thousands of residents dwell beneath the shadow of a Spire crowned with a citadel of evil so strong that the very earth thrust it away from itself untold ages ago.

Welcome to Ptolus.

--{{{author}}}. Ptolus. Malhavoc Press.


Campaign Setting

Ptolus is a campaign setting created by Monte Cook. The word is the name of the city which is central to the campaign setting.

Unlike typical campaign settings, Ptolus focuses on the city of Ptolus instead of an entire land. While some details about outlying areas and politics are included, the bulk of the book is dedicated to the streets, people and intrigue of Ptolus itself.

Ptolus was used as the earmark to the creation of D&D's 3rd Edition. It was the QA test bed for rules, the supplication of NPCs and the creation of tales that would help shape 3rd edition in to what it is.[1]

Comparison to D&D Core Rules

Ptolus attempts to utilize the core rules as they are written with little changes, as noted by the lack of house rules or exceptions to the rules.

The most notable differences are:

  • Changes to the core races[2]
    • Elves include a Cherubim style that has wings and can fly
    • Centaurs are an included player race
    • Dark elves are also included, but capable of functioning normally in bright light
  • Addition of campaign-specific prestige classes[3]
  • Use of technology[4]
    • Guns
    • Techno-gadgets

While Ptolus includes guns and technology in the campaign setting, it also takes the stance that technology is a left over from years past and thus, more myterious than a fact of life.[5]

Chapters

Ptolus includes the following chapters[6]:

  1. A Player's Guide to Ptolus
  2. The World
  3. Races
  4. Cosmology and Religion
  5. History
  6. Organizations
  7. The City by the Spire
  8. Docks
  9. Guildsman District
  10. Midtown
  11. Necropolis
  12. Noble's Quarter
  13. North Market
  14. Old Town
  15. Rivergate District
  16. South Market
  17. Temple District
  18. Warrens
  19. What's Down There?
  20. The Undercity
  21. The Sewers
  22. The Caverns
  23. Dwarvenhearth
  24. Goth Gulgamel
  25. Jabel Shammar
  26. On Being a Resident
  27. On Being a Delver
  28. Crime and the Law
  29. Technology
  30. Chaositech
  31. Campaign Advice
  32. Urban Campaigns
  33. Adventures
  34. Monsters
  35. Magic
  36. Prestige Classes

References

  1. Ptolus Campaign Setting page 10
  2. Ptolus Campaign Setting Chapter 3: Races
  3. Ptolus Campaign Setting Chapter 36: Prestige Classes
  4. Ptolus Campaign Setting Chapter 29: Technology
  5. Ptolus Campaign Setting Chapter 29: Technology
  6. Ptolus Campaign Setting Table of Contents

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