Monte’s still pushing what’s neat and cool about Ptolus on his webpage. Can’t blame him in the least. It looks like some neat stuff, and he’s got to be concerned about his ability to move books. Printing that monster can’t have been cheap.
And while I’m not sold on my need for the book (I’m not playing 3rd edition D&D these days, and I almost always run my own settings), I adore that Monte has taken a whole chapter to describe the sights, sounds, smells, textures, and tastes of the setting:
But in Part VI, it's all about feel and flavor. This section is filled with concrete details about daily life for a typical Ptolus resident as well as an adventurer. The first two chapters in this part are "On Being a Resident" and "On Being a Delver." In order to really get the point across, I wrote both of these chapters in second person. The resident chapter has sections like "Where You Live," "What You Eat," and "What You Wear."
Folks, I just eat this stuff up. I love creating adventures where showing up at Dame Movane’s home with star asters means that, not only does she tell you Lord Prill is illegitimate, but she also presents you with a bottle of Old Gravmey Tawny Port, 452 B.E., which just happens to be Duke Olba’s favorite after dinner indulgence. And 452 was an excellent year…
I hope other designers notice the little extras that Monte is putting into this book. The exceptional cross-referencing, the attention to detail, the numerous adventure hooks all indicate that Ptolus is an exceptional product. Of course, we won’t really know until the book gets out and players who didn’t design the setting actually try to run it. Amazing detail is a double-edged tool. Either DMs will be able to create incredibly evocative and textured games, or they’ll drown in the minutiae. We’ll be keeping our fingers crossed for Monte.