Ptolus

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Ptolus: City by The Spire is a 3rd party, Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition setting, released by Malhavoc Press. This was the setting for Monte Cook's home games.

Setting in a nutshell[edit]

The lands of the empire. Ptolus is a bit towards the upper left from the center.

The world is called Praemal. It was created by Praemus and its purpose was to act as a prison for The Galchutt, who are basically the Chaos Gods and their minions, so they couldn't go around corrupting and destroying worlds. Because of this people can't access any of the planes other than the Ethereal Plane, and anything you might summon from other planes is going to most likely be very angry at you once it realizes it's trapped here.

The city of Ptolus, the main location of the setting, lies at the edges of the empire of Tarsis, which is currently crumbling. The city was built around the eponymous Spire, which is what the party will be exploring and climbing. Go up for long enough and you eventually reach the former fortress of the local equivelant of Sauron, and above that the single largest stockpile of evil artifacts in the world, and the one way for PCs to become gods. Go down you find the city sewers, the lost, and sealed, city of Dwarvenhearth, and finally the cities of the dark elves (no Lolth, so no drow).

Races of Ptolus[edit]

  • Aasimar: They exist here, but relegated to being NPCs.
  • Centaurs: Also called Aram. Originally plains-dwelling nomads, they've started settling down in Ptolus. Hate having to sit still for long periods.
  • Dwarves: Divided to two, actually three but the last ones gone, overclans
    • Grailwarden: Found an artifact called the White Grail, and declared themselves its stewards. More proper than Stonelost and focused on engineering, mechanics, and alchemy.
    • Stonelost: Your standard dwarves. Descendants of Overclan Stonemight, they lost their fabled city and now have spread out across Tarsis.
  • Elves: Largely your standard elves, except they don't have a trance they enter, so they sleep like other races.
    • Cherubim elves: Winged elves, self-absorbed and timid, and like actual birds have frail bones, manifesting as a -4 to constitution. Largely hang around in their mountain homeland of Cherubar.
    • Dark elves: Your drow-equivelant. Originally shoal elves that got corrupted by a minion of the Galchutt. Born with a corruption that they can overcome, but they almost never do because of their culture. Relegated to NPCs, as being a dark elf in Ptolus is illegal.
    • Harrow elves: Corrupted descendants of shoal and elder elves, created by Sauron Ghul. Tend to have horrible looking birthmarks, scars, and/or deformities, and a lifespan close to that of humans due to the corruption in them. Nobody really likes them.
    • Shoal elves: The most common elves, usually when talking about elves they refer to these. Love the sea, ships, and sailing.
  • Gnomes: Distant decsendants of elves, often confused with halfings. Love songs and magic.
  • Half-elves & Half-orcs: Rare, but they exist. Half-elves are always half-shoal elf, and half-orcs are always half-Ornu-Nom orcs.
  • Halflings: Also distant descendants of elves. Split into various tribal caravans.
  • Humans: Your standard fare, youngest of races, most prevalent, etc.
  • Litorians: Lionfolk with the whole "noble savage"-thing going on. Get along well with halflings.
  • Lizardfolk: Also called Assarai. Most think they're thieves, liars, and/or lazy, but they are just satisfied with having the bare necessities to live.
  • Minotaurs: Vary from your standard D&D minotaur to the civilized outcasts, though still savage to most. Relegated to NPCs.
  • Orcs: Divided to three clans, all relegated to NPCs.
    • Ornu-Nom (Howling axe): Most common orcs. Untouched by Ghul, and also have the "noble savage"-thing going on, but still largely like most D&D orcs.
    • Sorn-Ulth (Bleeding breath): First of the tribes created by Ghul. Smaller and dark-skinned, with a specialization in stealth and evil magic.
    • Toruk-Rul (Closing fist): The other tribe created by Ghul. Large, ferocious, and savage. Exactly what most think when they hear "orc".
  • Tieflings: Much like the aasimar above, relegated to NPCs.

Religion in Ptolus[edit]

Religion in Ptolus can be divided to two categories. You have church of Lothian, and then you have the churches of all the other gods.

Lothian is, to loan a term from our frenemies, a Crystal Dragon Jesus and his church is the roman catholic church. They used to have an Inquisition, a lot of political power (the emperors used to be the heads of the church of Lothian, until a separate position was made for that), and most people are part of the church (in Ptolus, around 60% belong to the church, while in other lands of the empire it's around 99%).

Then you have the New Gods, as they are referred to, an ever-shifting pantheon of deities that are, intentionally, extremely specific and a little off-the-wall. The church cracked down on them when the empire was established, and only in the 200 years have they started returning to mainstream society, though this has more to do with the church losing power than people becoming more tolerant.

The deities of Ptolus
Lawful Neutral Chaotic
Good Castain - Frega - Gaen
Kirhist - Locharit - Lothian
Mocharum - Tardeshou - Torskal
Aldinach - Ardaen - Celestan - Hannan
Melann - Mirresh - Navashtrom
Taeshandra - Thamus
Ahaar - Blurrah - Herkan - Jode
Myliesha - Raddashin's Eye
Neutral The Iron God - Morachon
The Old Man - Teun - Tevra
Unnah - Ynchabolos - Yurabbos
Asche - Engelan - Harredda
Kharos - The Lady - Ni-Gorth
Niveral - Rajek - Sylvanae
The 24 Gods of the Hours
Unnom - Watcher of the Skies
Charlathan - The 53 Gods of Chance
Inurath - Juranis - Ollom - Phoeboul
Evil Danace - Heiran Kran - Maleskari Baalhazor - The Demon Gods
Destor - Father Claw - The Galchutt
Gorgoth-Lol - Nareis - Ravvan
Dungeons & Dragons Campaign Settings
Basic D&D: Mystara (Blackmoor) - Pelinore
AD&D: Birthright - Council of Wyrms - Dark Sun - Dragonlance
Forgotten Realms (Al-Qadim - The Horde - Icewind Dale - Kara-Tur - Maztica)
Greyhawk - Jakandor - Mystara (Hollow World - Red Steel - Savage Coast)
Planescape - Ravenloft (Masque of the Red Death) - Spelljammer
3rd/3.5 Edition: Blackmoor - Dragonlance - Eberron - Forgotten Realms
Ghostwalk - Greyhawk (Sundered Empire) - Ravenloft
4th Edition: Blackmoor - Dark Sun - Eberron - Forgotten Realms - Nentir Vale
5th Edition: Dragonlance - Eberron - Forgotten Realms - Greyhawk
Nentir Vale - Ravenloft - Ravnica - Spelljammer
Third Party: Dragonmech (3E) - Dragonstar (3E) - Kingdoms of Kalamar (2E/3E/4E)
Midnight (3E/4E) - Ptolus (3E) - Scarred Lands (3E/5E) - Spellslinger (3E)
Wilderlands of High Fantasy (Basic)