This game is going to be somewhat different than most games I've tried to start, in part due to most of those games not quite working out how they were intended to. First off, the setting is in Monte Cook's Ptolus. If you don't known anything about Ptolus, you can download the free Player's Guide
. It should be stated that while Ptolus was made for the 3.0/3.5 Edition of Dungeons & Dragons, this game will not be using those rules. Explaining Ptolus in its entirety would be difficult, as the setting book proper is over 600 pages alone, but there are
some ways that it can be explained. Although it's a semi-mideval city, magic is common in Ptolus. The people might be surprised to see a mage turn into a troll and charge into the street after a thief, but they won't be shocked
because that simply is how the world is. Although its in decline, there are steam engines and basic firearms in the city, as well as specacles and other mechanical marvels. Certainly, you have to carry citizenship papers with you, which are required for owning firearms, but such is the nature of the Empire. Demons live furtively in some districts, while angels live in the Tower of Pale, ancient ruins filled with treasure and danger are below the city while two ancient dread fortresses are built on the spire rising into the heavens above the city. This is Ptolus, the City on the Spire and one of the bastions of civilization in the declining Empire of Tarsis. But even here things are eroding, and no one is certain what the next year will bring.The Game
One thing that will be different is that the Game Master (or Game Masters) will not be the one running the game for everyone. Rather, the GM will be approving character sheets and adjucating character advancement, but more on that later. Instead of having the GM run things, it is up to the Players
to come up with plots and challenges. There are many ways that this can be done, from one player building challenges for several others to simply building challenges for yourself to go through, and which others might be allowed to tag along through. This is more of collaborative storytelling than a structured game, and one can simply spend all of their time socializing if that is what one wishes. So in this case, the game truly
is what one makes of it. However, there are some vague rules for conflict resolution.
As an example of the Storytelling: Antreana, a drow disguised as a surface elf, has been looking about the city for a time. Deciding that she wants to have Antreana explore the Dungeon below Ptolus, the player considers things and decides to have Antreana come across a smashed shop. The injured owner, controlled by Antreana's player, explains that a group of kobolds burst out of the connections to the sewer in the back of his shop and stole the valuable shipment of jewels he just received, as well as most of his jewelry before fleeing back into the sewers. At this point, Antreana is intrigued, if only for the reward. The player may choose to write up the encounters over time, or the player may choose to get others involved who might add their own elements to the plot, or simply set up the situation for the entire group.Threat RatingAs a disclaimer, this is almost solely for Players to use when up against Non-Player Characters. Player vs. Player conflicts can be resolved in the following manner, but only with the permission of both players. If one player has created something, you may NOT change it without their permission. The same goes for their characters.
Every character and NPC has a Threat Rating (TR). Player Characters may start with a character that has a TR of no more than 5. Threat Ratings range from 1-10, with 1 being the weakest and 10 being the strongest. Note that there is no true upper limit to TR 10. Examples of each will follow, but first I will discuss conflict resolution. A creature with a given threat rating can usually defeat any creature with a lower threat rating than themselves. Thus, a TR 5 creature can likely mop the floor with a TR 4 creature. When creatures have the same TR, the result is usually too close to tell, and the winner will likely be injured (most likely temporarily lowering their TR by 1). PCs can choose whether or not they win an equal fight, though unless they're extremely clever they will be injured by such encounters. If fighting a creature of one TR above you, you may win (if you're a PC), but it will require luck and you almost certainly will be injured in the process. Anything more than two TRs above your own TR will defeat you handily.
Now, there is a way to raise your TR to a degree. When grouping with others of the same TR, your group effectively raises your total TR by 1. However, the same goes for other creatures that you might encounter. The following Threat Ratings are just examples, feel free to use your own within limits.
TR 0: A puppy, child, or older person who is unable to defend themselves effectively.
TR 1: Drunkard, punk, zombie, skeleton, rabid dog, or newly recruited guard.
TR 2: Thug, city guard, new adventurer, apprentice mage, common orc, warhorse.
TR 3: Minor demon, adventurer, courtier, panther, priest, ogre, gnoll, dark elf recruit.
TR 4: Experienced adventurer, troll, just-turned vampire, tiger, dark elf soldier, duergar soldier.
TR 5: Potent adventurer or mage, mid-rank demon, high-rank guard, lich, vampire, assassin.
TR 6: Young dragon, mutant trolls, ranked dark elf or duergar, genies.
TR 7: Master mage, elite guard, master adventurer, elite assassin.
TR 8: Adult Dragon, high-rank demon, dark elf matron, greater elemental.
TR 9: Archmage, Elder Dragon, Swordmaster, Demon Lieutenant.
TR 10: Demigods, Ancient Wyrm Dragons, Demon Lords and up.Characters
Characters can run the gamut of what one can imagine inside of the genre, though I will ask that no one try to bring in high tech characters. Realize, while you can bring in an exotic character, that doesn't prevent those in the city from having predjudice toward you, nor would it keep the guard from sending their elite members to get rid of a demon trying to operate in the open. The guard is extremely
competant in Ptolus, but they can't be everywhere at once. The following code is what I use for my own characters, just to give something of an idea for how to format a character. After you've finished a character, you simply PM it to a GM for approval. If they approve it, you may post it in the Character thread
and get started.
[b]Height & Weight:[/b]
Additionally, a character may have Minions. Yes, I capitalized it. I will say that it is best to err on the side of caution with this. However, that said, there is no hard limit on the number of minions one can have, save for those of TR 3 to 5. Like PCs, these characters may not be higher than TR 5. If your character is TR 5, you may not have a minion of TR 5. You may have no more than 1 minion of TR 4 or 5, and no more than 4 of TR 3. An example of using this is for a competant lieutenant, bodyguards, or other such uses. I also have put up some advice for players Here
and advice for GMing Here
. I have placed my own character in the Character Thread as an example, and so that I can play as well.Advancement
A character can still grow beyond the starting limit of TR 5. In fact, its possible for a character to grow from TR 1 on, should a player wish to try for it. The key to this is going out and doing things that make sense and push the limits of the character. Each step up the TR chart is harder than the last, requiring more work to gain a further step. When your character has done a lot that you feel would qualify to raise you a TR, simply PM one of the GMs. Include details of what your character has done to stretch their limits and why you think they should grow in power. The GM will discuss the submission with any other GMs, which may take several days, and then they will PM in return, telling you their decision. If they feel that your character has not done enough to grow, they will inform you of this and what sort of things would help with this.
The OOC Thread
, where you can ask questions.Game Masters: