Bound between thin plates of orichalcum on a hinged spine, this book contains [[ Wyr'palja]]' s notes on artifact design, manse construction and similar projects. Carved into the cover, a complex arrangement of a multitude of small gears appear to move as one looks at them. The book is about eight inches tall and twice as wide. The book is organized into loose chapters, mostly written by hand in Old Realm, along with many diagrams. It is unclear from the notes if the items in this book were invented by Wyr'palja, or merely constructed by her.
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Designs for the following Rating 1 artifacts:
*Aegis-Inset Amulets ( wola.71) - A set of surgically implanted amulets that allow mortals to wear magical armor, in exchange for accelerated aging.
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*[http://patternspider.net/lore5/show.php?class=Artifact&id=2 Jade Salary] - A jade jar that produces salt each day.
*[[exalted:Artifacts/DarlothLiquidBlade|Liquid Blade]] - A sword hilt that any can use which collects water into a blade. Skilled users can control the solidity of the blade to subtract 2 successes from attempts to block it.
*[[exalted:Artifacts/HarenArtifactOne|Bracers of the Shapeless Wardrobe]] - Bracers allowing the storage and instant exchange of various sets of clothing to and from Elsewhere.
== Trinkets ==
Designs for the following Rating 2 artifacts:
*Discreet Essence Amor (wola.80) - A set of wrist and ankle guards that generate a glowing force field.
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*Portable Geomantic Recharging Module (wola.61) - A device that allows artifacts to be recharged from a hearthstone.
*Prayer Transceiver Module (wola.61) - A small disk that allows messages to be left and played back for people with the same type of artifact.
*Wall Eater (wola. 130) - A skull-sized beetle-like seige device that can slowly eat through walls or ship hulls.
Designs for the following Rating 3 artifacts:
*Blood Seed (bo3c.94) - Plant this metal seed to grow five armored troops for a scene.
*[[exalted:FrivYeti/DauntlessBracers|Dauntless Bracers]] - An advanced set of hearthstone bracers that add the rating of the hearthstone used to soak and subtract the hearthstone rating in dice from attacks against you.
*Essence Twister (wola.132) - An area-effect riot control weapon that causes nausea in targets, though less effective against non-mortals.
*Fire Lance (wola.77) - A spear that can shoot fire.
*Golden Bird of Sunlight (cult.69) - A bird that can carry messages at 100 miles per hour.
*[[exalted:Artifacts/HyperionSphere|Hyperion Sphere]] - A crystal ball used as a throwing weapon that returns to the attackers hands after each toss. Each time the ball hits, it's damage bonus increases by +1L, to a max of +12L. The bonus resets on a miss. The magical material used in construction also provides a bonus, depending on material.
*Omniscient Literary Advisor (wola.64) - A sheet of blue jade that can memorize and summarize books.
*Quagmire Perimeter Mine (wola.91) - A device that can be buried and will turn the ground to quicksand under the feet of targets with specific characteristics.
*Sentinel Defense Force Armor (wola.81) - Armor intended to enhance local security forces.
*Sky Mantis Tower (wola.65) - A large weather control machine.
*Silken Armor (cb_e.80) - Silk enchanted to provide soak, without interfering with Martial Arts.
*[[exalted:ArtifactRelay/Circles|Sunshine Walking Anklets]] - Brightly glowing anklets that allow the user to walk on air and increase their movement rate.
*[[exalted:Artifact/TelgarTravelFish|''Whale-Belly Carp''-class water transport]] - A foot long metal fish containing a pocket of Elsewhere, allowing it to carry 1000 pounds of people and luggage on an underwater voyage to a specified location, traveling 300 miles per hour.
== Keepsakes ==
Designs for the following Rating 4 artifacts:
*Armor of Elemental Inurement (wola.83) - Five different types of armor, each built to withstand one of the five elements.
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*[http://patternspider. net/lore5/show.php?class=Artifact&id=125 Eternally Sepulchered Warden] - A collection of chain and blades into which a demon can be bound.
*Iron Horse (cb_e.81) - A tireless, extremely sturdy, mount automaton.
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*[[exalted:Artifacts/TheMyriadOfShades|Spirit- Focusing Regalia]] - For purposes of charm and spell effects, your Essence rating is considered to be 6.
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*[[exalted:Artifacts/IkselamFourDot|Stepping Stones]] - When a stone is stepped on, the user will be teleported to the next nearest stepping stone.
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Warbird (ruin. 88) - A bird-shaped flying mount automaton.
Warstrider Firelance (wola.159) - Large, vehcile or warstrider mounted weapons that spew fire. Two different designs are shown. One uses a built-in essence battery and is meant for use in warstriders. The other uses tanks of alchemical fuel called '' vim vitae'', intended for mounting on warbirds.
*Wings of the Raptor (wola.54) - Cloaks that can sprout wings.
Designs for the following Rating 5 artifacts:
* Crucible of Tarim (bo3c) - A pot into which spells can be distilled into liquid.
* [[exalted:ArtifactRelay/Medicine|Mother's Call]] - A collection of 101 jade rods that accelerates the healing of shadowlands.
* Storm Hammer (wola.135) - A hearthstone-powered weapon allowing the controller to call down lightning on any within two miles.
== Projects ==
This chapter holds a hodge podge of notes about various large projects, scattered in no particular order. These are:
*Fifteen pages detail a rating 5 solar manse, obviously the central palace of [[Q'in Sanizaj]]. The manse features a large, four- sided tower tapering smoothly to a point roughly 300 feet off the ground. The middle third of each face, running vertically the entire length, is a clear transparent sheet, allowing light inside the tower. At intervals, the corners contain open balconies. At the base, each corner holds a large door leading from the courtyard on which the tower rests. Orbiting around the tower are three, floating ancillary towers. These are constructed of glass (one green, one blue, one clear) and have triangular cross-sections, tapering to a point at both the top and bottom. The top and bottom fourths of these towers are polished mirrors, sculpted to reflect light to the top of the central tower. The hearthstone room there collects the light and distills it.
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Twelve pages detail a manse built on a solar demesne and then altered into rating 4 lunar manse. The end result is a large courtyard dominated by a reflecting pool. Surrounding the courtyard are large marble trees, with sections cut into their trunks in which mirrors have been set. Looking in these mirrors shows your reflection in a large hall, and by thinking about it, you can be transported there. The large feasting hall is actually under the pool, which forms the room' s ceiling.
*Two pages describe a rating 3 wood manse designed as a tangle of vines, with rooms built inside within a maze of three- dimensional vine tunnels.
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Twenty pages supply fine details of the construction of a moonsilver noble warstrider called '' [[Molt-Defying Plumage]]'', including all of its components. These include a system that allows it to fly, and a gauntlet that can transmute into any type of weapon.
*Six pages describe a rating 3 solar manse constructed as a torus of stained glass floating fifty feet off the ground. The drawings show how light that comes through the windows is directed into mirrored tunnel that loops the entirety of the structure, guiding the light around and around. Eventually, a small portion of it gets reflected onto a narrow 75 foot tall tower standing in the center of the torus, concentrating the light into the hearth at the top of the tower.
*Four pages illustrate without comment the construction of a spherical metal framework, like a geodesic sphere with tines of orichalcum. The last of these page illustrates the sphere set within the center of mass of a large pyramidal structure labeled the "Pyramid of the Sun". Sunlight comes down a long shaft in the pyramid to hit a object labeled a "breath lens" suspended within the sphere above the figure of a prone man.
*Five pages show the transformation of a waterfall into a level 3 water manse, with the water cascading over the buildings and running through channels in the rooms. The water also runs over a series of waterwheels that are harnessed to run equipment within the manse.
Thirty pages labeled "Arainthu" detail a series of devices with difficult to discern purposes. One is clearly some kind of telescope. One is some kind of large clockwork with gears of wood and stone, powered by a waterwheel, a windmill and fire. One has a nest of crystal gears and a series of 25 arms with labels like "The Mask", "The Ewer" and the "The Haywain". Others are even more obscure.
*Seven pages give precise schematics for a series of strangely shaped tunnels carved into rock to form a rating 3 earth manse. From top view drawings, the tunnels suggest a strange, insectoid appearance.
*Two pages outline a fairly large garden complex, dedicated to growing plants that thrive in bright light, acting as a rating 2 solar manse. The emphasis of the design seems to be tranquility.
Twenty pages supply fine details of the construction of an orichalcum noble warstrider called '' [[Luminous Talon Rain]]'', including all of its components. These include a system that allows it to fly.
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Plans of an ornate manor house on a single page conceal the nature of a rating 2 wood manse, which gets its power from the alignment of the trees on the grounds.
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This page details how we converted some of the basics from the 3.5-based Ptolus to the Dungeon World system. It is colored by having done this to support an existing campaign, switching to Dungeon World after the characters had already reached the upper-mid levels. At these levels, 3.5 tends to be about "you saved the city!", whereas Dungeon World is designed more towards a "you might starve while hiding from the rat men" sort of aesthetic. Ptolus is a bit more high energy and optimistic than the default of Dungeon World. Still, Dungeon World works very nicely in a big urban setting with lots of factions and obligation, but where dungeon crawling is still the focus of play.
We opted to use the alternative character creation system spelled out in Class Warfare, as this allowed creation of characters that more readily matched the PCs from our existing campaign. But, even had we started with new first level characters, we still would have done this. The playbooks in Dungeon World were built with an "old school" feel, and that feel isn't a great match to the more cosmopolitan Ptolus. For characters we converted, we adapted them from 3.5's 20-level system to Dungeon World's 10-level system by cutting their 3.5 levels in half.
Some characters required custom moves or even custom specialties (in Class Warfare terms), some of which are detailed below. Most received one or two faction moves (see below), though most starting characters probably would not.
Ptolus contains many races beyond those in Dungeon World. We just built custom race moves that sounded good, tailored to the characters.
The basic moves remain as is, as do most of the special moves from the book. While in Ptolus, some additional special moves are available.
The trigger for this special move changes to "when you return to a neighborhood or establishment in which you have caused trouble before".
Talk to the Press
When you conduct an interview with the press, say what you are trying to accomplish with the interview and roll+CHA. On a 12+, the resulting article conveys what you intended to convey. On a 10+, the article mostly matches what you wanted, but choose one. On a 7-9, the article is close to what you wanted, but you choose one and the GM chooses one.
- The story slants heavily toward the paper's bias.
- You are significantly misquoted.
- The author embellishes details far beyond reality.
- You are also made to appear to be supporting or opposing something not actually covered in the interview.
Cast From a Wand
When you release a spell from a wand, roll+DEX. Take -2 if you lack spell casting ability. Take +1 if the spell is from your schools, spheres or repertoire, or you are otherwise familiar with casting it. Take -1 if the level of the spell equals your level. Take -2 if the level of the spell exceeds your level. On a 10+, the spell is cast. On a 7-9, the spell is cast, but choose one:
- The wand cannot be used again for a day.
- The spell generates feedback. You take 1d6 damage.
- You draw unwelcome attention or put yourself in a spot. The GM will tell you how.
On a miss, the wand likely loses its magic, becoming a glorified stick.
Copy a Spell
When you copy a spell in a school you know from one spellbook into your own, roll+INT. On a 10+, the spell is copied perfectly. On a 7-9, the spell is copied, but the GM chooses one:
- You stumble over a booby-trap in the original. You gain a random debility.
- You introduce a flaw into your copy, which you will not notice until you first cast the spell (at which point, you can correct the book). Take -3 forward to casting this spell.
- You run out of room in your spellbook, and must carry an additional book to hold this spell.
- The spell vanishes from the original spellbook.
- The act of copying the spell causes it to go off, affecting a random target.
On a miss, the original spellbook suffers some kind of calamity, ruining its contents.
When you activate a chaositech device, roll+nothing. On a 10+, the device works and you take +2 forward using the device. On a 7-9, the device works, but choose one. On a 3-6, the device doesn't work, and the GM chooses one. On a 2-, the device may seriously malfunction, you might gain a mutation, become vulnerable to the influence of chaos, or some other malady, the GM will tell you which.
- Afterwords, the device is drained of power.
- Roll 1d6. On a 1-2, the device overloads, melts down, or explodes, dealing 1d10 damage to you.
- Roll 1d6. On a 1-3, you gain a random debility.
Factions & Faction Moves
While Ptolus, as written, contains factions and politics and such, it still remains largely about dungeon-delving, with the factions probably influencing the hows and whys of such exploration. And, while you could set a game entirely about political intrigue in Ptolus, that game wouldn't be Dungeon World, which is significantly more focused on dungeon-delving than politics. Even importing more political tech from other Powered-by-Apocalypse games (such as replacing Bonds with Strings from Monsterhearts) strays too far. So, how to mine the rich factions and politics of the setting in a way that plays to Dungeon World's strengths? We went with adding "faction moves" to the game.
If you get involved with some faction within the city, the GM may decide to represent your membership in or associate with that faction with a faction move reflecting the advantages and costs of dealing with that faction. The term "faction" casts an intentionally wide net, and might represent a particular guild, noble house, political affiliation, neighborhood, organization, society, or even race. Generally, faction moves involve a roll that exchanges possible obligation or other cost for assistance, information, matériel, bonuses or some other advantage. Most such moves will be tailored to the character. Some might be available to any character willing to pay membership dues. Joining some factions may be so involved that doing so opens up a new specialization rather than supplying faction moves. Some example factions and associated moves:
Anyone who willing to pay dues may join the Delver's Guild (Ptolus, pg. 108-110) as an Associate Guildsman or Guildsman. The latter gain the following move:
When you research an expedition under the city in the Delver's Guild maproom, roll+INT. On a 10+, hold 3. On a 7-9, hold 2, but other guildsmen get wind of your expedition. On a miss, hold 1, but some of the information you find will turn out to be dangerously misleading (the GM will tell you when). Spend hold while on the expedition to choose one of the following:
- Take +1 to spout lore, discern realities or undertake a perilous journey.
- Recognize a landmark when lost.
- Find a guild waystation.
Membership in the inverted Pyramid is a path to personal arcane power. As such, it is more appropriately represented by a custom specialty/compendium class (see below). On the other hand, anyone who can gain access to the Inverted Pyramid's library may use this move:
An Unparalleled Collection
When you spout lore about the workings of arcane magic within the library in the Inverted Pyramid, take +3. On a 12+, the GM will also tell you something tangential but of use to an ally that you happen across.
Order of Iron Might
Members of this martial order who stand out from the ranks as particularly reliable, brave or otherwise notable may gain the following move:
Bonds of Iron Might
When you recruit from the Order of the Iron Might, you have a useful reputation and treat any miss as if you had rolled a 7-9 instead. Any recruits you gain have at least loyalty +1 and warrior +2. In addition, you take +2 loyalty forward.
Faction moves for noble houses work better when tailored to the character and their relationship to their family. Some examples:
Adopted Black Sheep
When you manipulate a family member, roll+INT. On a 10+, choose two. On a 7-9, you choose one and the GM chooses one:
- Your family gives you coin.
- You extract a favor from the family.
- You or one of your family is tarnished in the tabloids.
- The family extracts a favor from you.
All in the Family
When you discern realities about House Erthuo or its members, take +2 and add the following choices to the list of available questions:
- If the public knew about this, how would they react?
- If the press knew about this, how would it be reported?
When you oppose your family's neutral political stance, take +2 forward to parley with a family member.
While it would be possible to create Ptolus as a steading, the city is so large that it would have nearly every tag. In addition, since nearly all play in a Ptolus game happens within the city, steading moves don't work as well if you are always inside one (moves often trigger upon entering a steading). Instead, treat each district of the city as it is own steading. When you do this, tags for defenses have to change meaning a little. While the city can easily call on 3,500+ soldiers for defense (not to mention the Commissar's guns), it is more likely to matter in a game what level of law enforcement can be expected. In the steadings that follow, consider the defense tag to measure the presence and effectiveness of the city watch against crime and unrest.
Similarly, the prosperity tag changes to reflect the standard of living and economic class of the residents, rather than the commerce-centric definitions given in the book. For example, the noble district is given the rich tag, even though almost no commerce or labor happens in that district. The Ptolus book should tell you everything you want to know about commerce within a given district.
Lastly, you can pretty much assume the history and personage tags for all of these districts. They will not be listed. District tags are as follows:
- The Docks: poor, steady, guard, exotic (slaves)
- Guildsman District: poor, shrinking, watch, guild (all varieties), craft (metalwork), resource (most raw materials), trade (North Market, South Market), religion (Iron God)
- Midtown: middle, steady, guard, safe, exotic (magic items), resource (fish)
- Necropolis: dirt, exodus, militia, lawless, power (death, infernal)
- Noble's Quarter: rich, steady, garrison, safe, divine (Lothian), exotic (luxury goods), power (political), power (divine)
- North Market: moderate, steady, guard, trade (outside farms), resource (food), market
- Oldtown: weathly, steady, garrison, power (Imperial, arcane, celestial), safe, guild (martial), arcane
- Rivergate District: moderate, growing, guard, safe, exotic (drugs)
- South Market: moderate, growing, guard, safe, market, resource (commodities, craftwork), exotic (bloodsports, books, spices, perfume)
- Tent CIty: low, growing, none, lawless
- Temple District: moderate, growing, guard, religion (most)
- Warrens: dirt, growing, none, lawless, power (organized crime)
Purpose and flavor can be added to various locations by making moves available will in a specific location. Some examples:
Blessing of Engelan
When you abandon concerns about the past and future at the Temple of Engelan, gain 1 preparation. If you do not use that preparation by the end of the day, loose all preparation.
When you pay a suitable bribe to the dockmaster, roll+CHA. On a 10+, the dockmaster cooperates fully, then forgets all about it. On a 7-9, the dockmaster cooperates fully, but later sells information about your activity to interested parties.
Observatory of the Watcher of the Skies
When you pay homage to the Watcher of the Skies on a clear day and peer through the temple's telescope, you see the future of some person, place, object or institution written in the stars. Roll+WIS. On a 10+, the GM will tell you three things from the list below. On a 7-9, only two. On a miss, the GM will tell you one anyway, but also something else that is not true (though you will have to discover which is which).
- The identity of the subject of the prophecy.
- The nature of a danger that threatens the subject or that the subject is part of.
- What may prevent this danger before it happens.
- What may avert this danger after it happens.
- One grim portent, related to the subject, that is yet to occur.
- One stakes question related to the subject.
Other Situational Moves
Some other setting-specific moves can also be added when useful, such as:
The following are some additional specialties for use with the Class Warfare character creation concept. Most of these exist to better match some d20 or Pathfinder concepts.
Alchemists mix strange reagents to alter their forms and blow stuff up. This specialty is a loose approximation of the parts of Pathfinder's alchemist class that ever saw play at our table.
The blood of a dragon courses through the veins of a dragon heir, gifting the character with innate magical ability and some of the traits of their sire. We added this to handle Pathfinder's draconic sorcerer bloodline, but breaking it into a specialty makes more open ended than just for sorcerers.
A hierophant forms the basis of characters who can cast both arcane and divine magic. These are a type of Vancian caster that can use spheres of influence as well as schools of magic, though limited to casting spells below their own level.
Characters invited into the Inverted Pyramid and who successfully complete their rites of initiation gain access to the Inverted Magus Specialty.
Knight of the Pale
A spontaneous caster connects to magic on an intimate, personal level, naturally manifesting spell-casting ability. This specialty exists to match d20-style sorcerers and other spontaneous casters, casting a more limited selection of spells, more often.
horde, small, stealthy, cautious, intelligent, organized
Sword (close, d6 damage), 3 HP, 1 Armor
The government offers a bounty on these degenerate, conniving, repulsive rats that walk upright and use tools. They eat almost anything organic but, though ferocious when cornered, are cowardly otherwise and avoid fights in which they lack a clear upper hand. Ratmen revere disease but fear light and dislike fire. Instinct: to scavenge
- Bum rush
- Disappear into the garbage
- Spread disease and filth
solitary, stealthy, cautious, intelligent, organized
Pistol (near, d10 damage), 12 HP, 2 armor
Albino ratmen always lead their groups (though not all ratmen leaders are albino), blessed with both greater intelligence and ambition. Favored among their own kind, they also carry the best gear. Instinct: to revel in the misery of others
- Stir the nest to fight
- Infect with a bite
- Use other ratmen as shields
solitary, large, intelligent, organized
Greatsword (close, reach, d10+1 damage), 14 HP, 3 armor
Albino ratmen always lead their groups (though not all ratmen leaders are albino), blessed with both greater intelligence and ambition. Favored among their own kind, they also carry the best gear. Instinct: to ruin
- Rip something apart
- Infect with a bite
- Defend the nest
group, intelligent, magical
Battleaxe (close, d8 damage), 12 HP, 3 armor
As creations of the Galchutt, rhodintor are not true demons, though they are every bit as devious and brutal. Instinct: to further the goals of chaos
- Dispel magic
- Operate chaositech