Monday, May 29, 2006

Treasure Tables Reviews Ptolus Player's Guide

Martin Ralya has a review of the Ptolus Player’s Guide over at Treasure Tables and I think, maybe, he kinda liked it:

The idea is that once a player has read this book, they’ll have a good feel for the campaign world, know what it looks like — and most importantly, be able to create a character that has ties to the setting, connections within the city, etc.

As a GM, I love this idea. (Not just love, but italicized love, baby. ;) )


Me, I’m a touch skeptical that players are dying for a 28 page read before jumping into a new campaign. I love that kind of background work, but will most players really take the time to go through it all? I could be wrong, and if I am, then I completely agree with Martin: this is a wonderful idea, and I hope it catches on. I think this is one of those products where art is of the utmost importance. Brevity is key, and art can convey the look and feel of a setting much more succinctly than text. I think others might offer such products for free as a piece of marketing. I imagine many people will base their decision to buy Ptolus upon their reactions to the player’s guide. I also think DMs trying to sell their groups on a setting other than Forgotten Realms or Eberron wouldn’t mind a little help from the publisher or designer.

2 comments:

Martin Ralya said...

One nice thing about the PG is that players don't have to read the whole thing -- it skims well.

A player looking for character concepts will find plenty of interesting material in there, particularly the section on organizations in Ptolus.

A player who already has an idea of what they want to play can just poke around for tidbits to add to their background. It looks like it'd work well either way. :)

trollsmyth said...

Very cool. I've downloaded it now, but I've only skimmed it myself so far. Yeah, I'm thinking this would be a great idea for other campaign settings to emulate.

I’m also thinking about the sort of monster this makes Monte Cook as a freelancer. Did he lay out Ptolus himself? If so, his skills in that regard are probably unearthly. The clean design I’ve seen in the PG, combined with the cross-referencing in the margins of the stuff he’s sneak-peaked hint at a high level of organization. A project the size of Ptolus needs that sort of thing to be useful. I’m not the world’s biggest Monte fan, but my respect for the man has risen considerably.