Races/Character Creation

posted by Punting Original SA post

Seeing all these reviews has inspired me to do one of my own. And it should be a....doozy. Not entirely sure which end of the spectrum {Obscure/mockable) this system sits on, but that's for you to judge. I present to you, this:

Get ready everybody, shit's about to get real.

Our book opens with fairly standard RPG book formatting: Index of Contents, What Is This Book About, What Is Roleplaying, blah blah blah you've seen all this before, nothing new. It continues into an actually decent section on gaming courtesy (don't hog the spotlight, find stuff to accomplish without being disruptive, etc.) and has these gems for sidebars:


Nothing we haven't seen before in books, but none-the-less something I found amusing.

As we move in, we run into character creation advice, advising players not to fret about min-maxing, reminding readers that the system includes ways for character abilities to grow and expand, and points out that characters that are built to try and do everything often end up not being very good at anything. Again, nothing too unusual here, this is starting to get boring. Let's move onto character creation!

Step 1: Choosing Your Race

We have four options here - Earth Pony, Pegasus Pony, Unicorn Pony, and Dragon.

Earth Ponies have a +2 bonus to their Heart Attribute, +1 Bonus to their Mind Attribute, and a unique racial ability called "The Earth Pony Way".

At this point, I will point out that Attributes have not been explained yet, and this racial ability is not explained in this section, but further on. Like a few of the other books reviewed in this thread, this one has made the mistake of declaring that "[X] receives the following [Mechanics]" without explaining the mechanics or subsystems of the game first. For Shame.

Pegasus Ponies can fly, receive a +2 bonus to their Body Attribute (And yet Earth Ponies do not, ), a +1 bonus to their Heart Attribute, and the racial ability "Sky-Bound Soars and Daring Dives".

Unicorn Ponies can cast magic spells, receive a +2 bonus to their Mind Attribute, a +1 bonus to the Body Attribute (wtf wizard ponies get Con buffs?), and the racial ability "Magic Makes it all Complete".

Dragons have a +1 bonus to all Attributes (Heart, Body, and Mind) and the unique racial ability "King of the Hoard".

Step 2: Act Your Age

Your character's starting abilities are adjusted by the age of the character, as defined by three categories of age for Ponies (Foal, Filly/Colt, Mare/Stallion) and two categories for dragons (Hatchling & Drake).

Pony Ages-

Foal: Characters in this age category have a single Attribute point to assign between their three attributes, the "Tireless" talent (no explanation on what talents are yet, of course), and the option to be a "Blank Flank" that lacks a Special Purpose and Cutie Mark (This option affect certain rolls, and both choices have benefits and shortcomings, which are explained further along.). If you're an Earth Pony, you get 10 bonus XP (with again, no explanation of the XP system) to spend here, because "Hard Workin' Blue-Collar Salt of the Earth Folk". Pegasus and Unicorn foals have limited and unique uses of their racial abilities.

It is also pointed out that as foals in the show are subject to less strict oversight, it's not uncommon for them to adventure, and that such adventures tend to relatively light and low-powered.

Colt/Filly: Effectively Teens/Young Adults. Characters that are old enough to support themselves and work for a living. Characters at this stage automatically have their Special Purpose and Cutie Mark by default, and can use their racial abilities normally. Characters at this age have two Attribute points to assign, and also have an extra 25 XP to spend on character creation (Except for Earth Ponies, who get 35, BECAUSE).

Mare/Stallion: Full adults. Three Attribute points to assign, 50 bonus XP (except for Earth Ponies, who get 60), and the 'Toast of the Town' advancement (no, still nothing explained yet) for free.

Dragon Ages-

Hatchling: Dragon ages are something of a misnomer, as young dragons can mystically reach full adulthood within moments if the circumstances are right (and revert as well), or stay "young" for extended amounts of time, but for mechanical purposes the book counts the young and inexperienced state of being as an age category. Hatchlings have two attribute point to assign, and 15 XP to spend.

Drake: Roughly equivalent to a teenager or young adult in terms of experience and capability. Still at risk of ballooning up into a rampaging monster, but gains considerable power compared to a Hatchling character to make up for that risk. Drakes have three attribute points to assign, 35 XP to spend, and an additional +1 bonus to their Body Attribute.

There's more to character creation (including an explanation for these modifiers) but we will pause here as the next bit might be a little long-winded.

Character Creation, Continued

posted by Punting Original SA post

My Little Pony: Roleplaying is Magic Part 2 - Character Creation, continued!

Welcome back weary travelers. I broke character into two posts since these few bits might be somewhat long-winded, and I didn't want to turn the review into a thread-scrolling wall of text.

Step 3-A: Special Purpose & Cutie Mark (Ponies Only)

A Cutie Mark is a visual manifestation of a character's unique talent and ability; it relates in some way or another to a pony's Special Purpose. A Special Purpose should be able to be condensed into a single phrase or sentence - anything longer than that is probably too complex and specific to be an effective Purpose.

Example - "To Bring out the Beauty in the World" is an acceptable purpose, since it encompasses a reasonable spread of actions while also being relatively brief. "To own a successful boutique and find gems and make clothes and be refined and sophisticated and beautiful" is not an acceptable purpose, being wordy, overly-complex and rather narrow in scope.

The benefit of having a Special Purpose is that, when making a roll for an action that is in line with your character's Purpose, you receive a bonus equal to one-half the number rolled on the die (rounded-up), added to the roll before other modifiers. This allows a pony to excel at their personal talents without making them too good at it, leaving room for failure. It also allows for the pursuit of specialized niche skills without requiring players to funnel excessive amounts of points and XP, which I rather like.

You may recall earlier in the first post, that Foal characters had the option to forgo starting with a Cutie Mark and remain a "Blank Flank" during play. The benefit of doing so is that, during play, a player may choose a roll to receive this bonus, whenever they wish (giving them a lot of flexibility). However, they may only do so once a scene; unlike a pony with a Special Purpose, they lose to ability to gain the bonus often in exchange for being able to use it for anything .

Every time a character uses this ability and succeeds on their roll, they gain a Crusade Point; every time they fail, they lose one. If they critically succeed, they gain ten such points. Whenever one of these points is gained, note what event triggered the gain and what action had been attempted. When a Foal-aged character gains ten Crusade Points, they discover their Special Purpose and gain their Cutie Mark.

Don't Cutie Mark Crusade while on the drugs, kids!

Step 3-B: Dragonheart (Dragons only)

Dragon PCs lack the Special Purpose that Pony PCs gain; instead, their drive and motivation comes from an instinctual wellspring of inner passion. Dragons are magical and driven creatures, which is good...but in some ways, is also bad , since this inner strength is shackled to a sometimes selfish and greedy nature.

Dragon PCs begin play with a number of Dragonheart Points equal to their Heart Attribute; these points can be spent to enhance rolls or to regain spent points of Willpower (oh look, another Attribute that hasn't been explained yet!). To use points of Dragonheart to enhance rolls, a character spends a point of Willpower, then spends up a number of points; these point become a bonus to all rolls made within that scene, but once the scene has past, the bonus is gone. To use points of Dragonheart to restore Willpower, you simply expend them; however, you cannot expend points to restore Willpower if doing so would bring the number of points in your Dragonheart Pool under your Heart Attribute score.

Example: If you have a Heart score of 4, and seven points of Dragonheart, you can't restore more than 3 points of Willpower.

Dragonheart points can be bought for XP on a one-to-one basis, and are gained whenever a Dragon PC is sufficiently tempted to give in to its greedy nature. Points gained through XP buy cannot raises your Dragonheart pool above your Willpower score - and thus cannot trigger ascencion to adulthood - but points gained through temptation can , which leads to becoming Godzilla.

Or to becoming Sean Connery.

To reiterate the bonus situation; Blank Flanks get the bonus on any one roll in a scene as they choose, other Ponies get the bonus on all rolls within a certain range of activity, and Dragons can get bonuses on all rolls within a scene, but their bonuses are smaller and only last a short time.

Godzilla Mode Activated:

So your Dragon is becoming a ravenous monster, and why would you want to prevent that? Let us examine the process.

When your Dragonheart pool first exceeds your maximum Willpower score, you enter Stage One, aka Kender Mode (you steal shit sneaky style and lie to get valuable stuff for your hoard).

When your Dragonheart pool exceeds your maximum Willpower score + your Heart Attribute, you enter Stage Two (Kender Mode except bigger and less subtle), growing to the size of an adult pony and gaining a bonus to your Body Attribute equal to half your normal score, rounded up (Track this enhancement separately, since you lose it when/if you return to normal).

When your Dragonheart pool exceeds (Max. Willpower x2) + your Heart Attribute, you enter Stage Three. They become triple the size of an adult pony, and they gain a bonus to their Body Attribute equal to their normal Body score x3 (this replaces, rather than stacking with, the Stage Two Bonus). At this point you are in danger of becoming a monstrous NPC. The GM controls the Dragon, but the player can spend Willpower to retake control (and presumably fight the slide into monstrousness). At this point, without drastic intervention, the only way to save the character is to 'sideline' (aka knock out/incapacitate) the character. Should this be done successfully, the Dragon PC returns to normal, a little bruised, but no longer a giant monster.

Stages Four and Five are effectively by GM fiat; characters can still be redeemed , but it is difficult and costly, and they are hard to oppose, as they are essentially statless, diceless plot devices. Still, while in Stage Four, a Dragon PC can elect to spend all of their Willpower, if they have any remaining, when confronted by a friend or party member, to give them a bonus on attempts to talk them down and redeem them - this expenditure represents the last flicker of friendliness and self-control the character has. If successful, they return to normal. If not...well, this is as close to character death as the game allows, though it still does not deny the possibility of redeeming a Stage Five Dragon.

So I heard ice is the new big thing in bling.

A Dragon PC who is returned to normal loses all current Dragonheart Points and all but one Willpower point.

Next time: We finally get to Attribute scores, skills, occupations, and talents!

Character Creation Tres

posted by Punting Original SA post

My Little Pony: Roleplaying is Magic Part 3 - Characted Creation Tres, aka Finally Some Explanations For Some of this Bullshit

Welcome back, lets continue running this thread into the ground, shall we?

Now, one of the major issues that I've pointed out throughout the review is the weird organizational style of the book. We've been given rules and modifiers and adjustments and subsystems for various Attributes for some time now. Furthermore, we're 50 pages into this thing, out of 164, and we are just now reaching the part of the book where Attributes are explained to us .

Needless to say, I am less than impressed by the editing work (On the other hand, none of the rules are left out, just in weird spots, so at least they're doing better than White Wolf).

Step 4 - Attributes

Primary Attributes:

These Attributes represent your character's inherent talent and capabilities, their raw capacity to perform tasks and endure hardship. All Primary Attributes begin with one point. Every character has three Primary Attributes;

Body: A character's resistance to fatigue and injury, their strength, their coordination, and their agility and speed. Essentially Strength/Constitution/Dexterity rolled into one.

Heart: A character's will, compassion, charisma, and determination. Essentially a combo-pack of Wisdom and Charisma.

Also, you may have noticed in the previous post that Dragon characters have a special relationship with this Attribute. Since this trait represents a character's force of personality, it determines starting Dragonheart and acts as a hard limit on how much Dragonheart someone can burn to recover Willpower (since the higher the Heart Attribute, the more powerful your inner nature is, and thus the harder it is to suppress).

Mind: A character's intellect, memory, knowledge, perception, and artistic creativity. Basically Intelligence with crumbs of Wisdom and Charisma.

Eh, not too bad. Rather simplistic and not exactly realistic, but that's not the focus of the game. I've seen worse.

Secondary Attributes:

These are formed by addition of Primary Attributes together to form pools of lesser points. Most of these are not 'spent', per se (except for Willpower, holy shit we finally get this Attribute explained!) but instead act as bonuses to certain tasks as well as pools of hit points (sort of).

Energy: A character's stamina and vigor. Points of Energy are lost as characters experience events that tax their physical reserves - thirst, starvation, exhaustion, cockatrice staring contests - and are regained when characters replenish themselves through resting, eating, drinking, or any other relaxing activity, such as meditating. A character's maximum Energy is determined by combining the Mind and Body Attributes, and is increased when those traits are raised.

Courage: A character's resistance to intimidation; their stout-heartedness and bravery. Points of Courage are drained whenever a character is exposed a frightening, intimidating, or humiliating situation, and are regained by triumphing over challenges, receiving encouragement from friends or simply resting somewhere safe and secure. Courage is calculated by adding a character's Mind and Heart Attributes together, and is increased when those traits are raised.

Fortitude: A character's resistance to injury; their wellness and health. This is the most traditionally 'hit-point-esque' of the Secondary Attributes. Fortitude is lost as characters receive injuries, contract sicknesses or even suffer poisoning(!). Fortitude is restored through medical care, natural healing and rest, or other mystical means of rejuvenating the body. It is calculated by adding a character's Heart and Body scores together, and is increased when those traits are raised.

Willpower: Drive, determination, grit, etc. Spent to gain bonuses on rolls; Unicorns can 'risk' Willpower when spellcasting in certain ways(not that the mechanics for spell use have been explained yet), and Dragons can use Willpower to take advantage of their racial abilities, and have unique options for regaining Willpower points. All Willpower is restored at the end of a session (or "episode", as it were), and single points of Willpower can be restored when characters take actions in line with their "Guiding Element of Harmony" (goddammit more unexplained mechanics you know what I ain't even mad anymore). Willpower is determined by adding ALL the Primary Attributes (Body, Heart, & Mind) together.

Mechanically speaking, each Secondary Attribute provides its rating as a bonus to resist situations that would logically tax them - for example, you would add Energy when rolling to resist the effects of exhaustion during a long hike. On a success, you take no damage, or at least minimal damage. On a failure, you take the full brunt of the inclement condition.

Step 5 - Talents:

Talents represent either specific areas in which a character has outstanding capability (such as a character with a high Body Attribute and the Strong Talent), or capabilities that a character possesses that are not apparent from their Attribute scores (such as a character with low Heart and the Sensitive Talent; they're weak of will and drive, but nonetheless very empathic). Talents allow a player to roll twice on a task if it falls within the Talent's sphere of influence and take the better of the two rolls. Note that multiple applicable Talents do not stack. Characters receive two talents during character creation, and mercifully, there's not a huge amount of them to wade through.

The Talents are: Strong, Tough, Fast, Agile, Wary, Smart, Adaptable, Creative, Charismatic, Sensitive, Willful, and Tireless (presented in the order listed in the book - go Team Lack of Alphabetization!). There's more detail in the book, but honestly these really aren't hard to figure out.

Step 6 - Jobs & Skills:

Jobs represent broad areas of training, generally on a professional level. They provide bonuses to rolls that can logically take advantage of that training, and that bonus is represented mechanically by the Job's Level. Jobs are things like 'Head Chef' or 'Scientist' - descriptive, but broad and relatively vague traits. Characters start with one Job Point (is this Final Fantasy now?) to spend, except for Earth Ponies, who get two. The book also suggests that when designing a Job, you should come up with about five general responsibilities that the Job covers, to give it some focus.

Skills work the same mechanically, except they represent specific areas of knowledge. To use the book's example, you couldn't have 'Science' as a skill, but if you had the 'Scientist' Job, you might have 'Chemistry' as a skill. Note that despite that example, Skills and Jobs do not need to be explicitly linked. Characters start with a number of Skill Points equal to their Mind Attribute; these points can either create a new Skill at Level one, or raise a pre-existing skill by one Level. Earth Ponies, as always, get a boost; they start with Skill Points equal to one-and-a-half times their Mind Attribute.

Next Time: Racial Traits (except for Unicorns, because the magic system is like 16 goddamn pages long and I'm not gonna try and summarize that shit along with all the other stuff)

Character Creation is Hell

posted by Punting Original SA post

My Little Pony: Roleplaying is Magic Part 4 - Character Creation is Hell.

Alright kiddies, lets keep this trainwreck chuggin' along shall we?

Last time we had finally covered Attributes, and learned what Talents and Skills are and how they work (PROGRESS!). Now let's take a look at how the racial abilities of each type of character work.

Step Seven: It don't matter if you're Black or White

The Earth Pony Way:

As the name implies, this is the Earth Pony racial ability. Truly an inspiring name. Essentially it mostly comes down to XP and roll-banking shenanigans; they spend one less XP when buying advancements or bonuses, gain one extra XP at the end-of-session "What Did We Learn Today" segment, and start with the additional Skill Points/Job Points/XP that was noted during the earlier sections of character creation.

In between the explanation of the XP discounts and the explanation of their roll-banking shenanigans, we are introduced to the Rule of 1 (critical failures) and the Rule of 20 (critical successes). While the book does mention earlier that the game uses a D20, this is the first time we are introduced to these concepts.


Earth pony characters can bank critical successes (and just gain a normal success on their roll, rather than the benefits of a critical one), and use it to circumvent a future critical failure and make it just a regular one, owing to their hard working, talented, and generally lucky nature. They can also only bank one success at a time, so some level of intelligent use of this ability is recommended.

Sky-Bound Soars and Daring Dives:

The Pegasus racial ability, which covers their flight and weather control capabilities. It's a big clunky mouthful but at least its descriptive, so its got that going for it at least.

Pegasi characters can fly, hover, glide and otherwise move through the air as easily as they walk, even to the point of holding whole conversations while hovering upside with little concentration required; they can also manipulate clouds, smoke, and mist as though it were either gaseous or solid, whichever is more convenient.

However, if complex maneuvering or especially complicated weather manipulation is called for, Pegasi have two additional Attributes that can be rolled to cover those abilities; Aerobatics and Weathercraft. These attributes are based on the character's Primary Attributes - but unlike other derived Attributes, like Energy or Courage, raising the other Primary Attributes does not alter a character's Aerobatics and Weathercraft scores. Essentially, after character creation these scores become independently tracked and raised Primary Attributes.

Aerobatics: Your skill and speed while maneuvering through the air. Aerobatics uses Body as its base Attribute.

Weathercraft: Your skill as sculpting cloud formations and influencing the weather. Weathercraft uses Mind as its base Attribute.

Additionally, a Pegasus receives points equal to its Heart Attribute to spread, as they choose, between their Aerobatics and Weathercraft scores (Note that the book says 'may'; you're not actually required to do so, though I can't think of my reasons why you wouldn't, unless you were giving yourself a character flaw to roleplay).

Pegasus Foals:

Waaaaaay back in the beginning of the review I noted that Foal-aged characters have limited use of their racial abilities. For Pegasi characters, this means they have no Weathercraft Attribute at all (Until they discover their Special Purpose and gain their Cutie Mark) though they can still walk on clouds and push very small ones with some difficulty. They also have a crippled Aerobatics score; it starts identical to their Body Attribute and does not gain bonus points from their Heart Attribute. Furthermore, they cannot actually fly, though they may be able to glide and use their Aerobatics for other purposes.

Unless, of course, the character is a declared a prodigy. A Prodigy still has a reduced Aerobatics score, but they may fly as an adult Pegasus does. However, this does come with a cost; when they gain their Cutie Mark and gain the full measure of their Pegasus abilities, the number of bonus points they gain from their Heart Attribute is reduced by 2, to a minimum of one. Essentially, they gain utility now by sacrificing power later.

Magic Makes it all Complete:

I know I said I wasn't gonna lump this in with the rest but whatev. This post can be the one long-ass one.

I'm to preface this by saying that I really the magic system here - instead of great big honkin' lists, spells are created by combining aspects and spheres of influence to generate unique effects.

Unicorn characters automatically start with the spell Telekinesis at Level One(spells are leveled like Jobs and Skills, and it is possible to become extremely proficient at signature/unique spells), which gives them the Prime Effect "Telekinesis" (prime effects aren't explained yet but it's literally on the next page so it's fine). They also start with knowledge of the "Animate" aspect.
Additionally, a Unicorn character may know a number of additional Aspects equal to their Mind score.

They also begin with a number of Spell Points that can be used to either create new spells at the Level One or raise the level of an already known spell; Unicorns start with a number of such points equal to their Mind Attribute x2.

Spells are generated by linking aspects together - for example, combining 'Diminish' with 'Heat' can create a spell that provides a gentle cooling breeze; or freezes a bowl of water solid; or snuffs out every fire within sight. Complicated spells can also be generated by linking multiple Aspects - 'Animate Body Earth Mind' could conceivably brings golems and statues to life, for example.

The 25 Aspects:

Magical Aspects are generally broken down into two major categories - Effects, which describe what a spell does, and Subjects, which describe the sorts of things a spell can target.


Animate: Governs the movement of objects, whether by direction manipulation by the spellcaster or by giving an object the ability to self-propel in accordance with its design (such as making a self-propelled wagon).

Combine: The fusion of multiple elements into a singular whole, with a rather large number of possibilities. For example, a Combine effect could be used for assembly, by 'combining' all the ingredients of a foodstuff together. A Combine effect stitched to a Separate effect could even be used to teleport through a medium such as fire.

Deceive: The effect of obscuring information from detection or granting it false characteristics; essentially illusion magic.

Diminish: Destructive effects that reduce, damage, or otherwise mar and destroy.

Forge: The opposite of Diminish, Forge allows for the enhancement of a target effect or the creation of something from nothing; magical healing most commonly falls under this effect.

Modify: Grants a subject abilities it does not normally have according to its function and standard capabilities - or remove those capabilities.

Reveal: Divination abilities, and essentially the reverse of Deceive, this effect reveals information and imparts knowledge.

Separate: The reversal of Combine, the Separate effect allows the breaking down of a target into it's components based on chosen levels of specificity.


Air: Atmosphere, gases, smoke, etc. Vapor and mist fall under this category but are also shared with Water.

Animal: Lower-order animals such as cats, birds, and dogs; any creature that lacks speech and sapience.

Body: Manipulation of the bodies of sapient creatures, such as ponies, griffons, and buffalo.

Construct: Manufactured objects such as clothing, doors, machinery, etc.

Earth: Stone, soil, sand, gemstones, magma, and so on.

Energy: Pure mana and other exotic energetic effects like lightning and plasma, but not Fire.

Force: Barriers and walls of arcane force.

Heat: Thermal matters such as warmth and coldness, which includes Fire and combustion effects along with freezing effects.

Light: Pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Light, darkness, shadows, etc.

Magic: Metamagic effect that allows for interaction with pre-existing spells. Does not allow for the creation of new effects, but can allow alteration of already existing ones.

Mind: Allows for mental effects to be cast of sapient critters.

Plant: Encompasses natural plants and flora, as well as fungi, as well as plant-based magical creatures and entities, such as Timberwolves.

Sound: Interactions with sound, including silencing, amplifying, and generating noise at a distance.

Space: Interactions with locations at a distance.

Time: Interactions with the persistence and passage of time.

Water: All non-solid fluids and liquids, not just pure water.

Weather: Encompasses natural weather effects, such as snow, wind, rain, hail, and lightning.

The Prime Effects:

These are not learned as normal Aspects are, and generally are only available as GM fiat as part of the storyline, with one exception. Prime Effects are not created through the combination of other Aspects, nor can they themselves be combined with lesser Aspects. They are unique, powerful, and primal expressions of magic.

Channel Friendship: Allows a Unicorn to achieve massive, monumental, and unique expressions of magic by tapping into the power of such artifacts as the Elements of Harmony, or by conjuring the Fires of Friendship.

Move the Heavens: Allows multiple Unicorns to combine their magic to steer the Sun and Moon through the sky; common in the ancient days, all but unknown now.

Telekinesis: The one exception to the restrictions against acquisition; ALL unicorns have access to some level of Telekinesis, allowing them to lift and interact with objects as easily as they could with their own hooves.

Creating & Learning Spells:

In general, a Unicorn's spell knowledge is in some way in line with their Special Purpose. While it's possible for a Unicorn to learn just about any spell, in theory, most only know magics that are directly in line with their unique talents; for example, it's wholly appropriate to for a chef to know spells for heating and cooling, but it's significantly less appropriate to have a deep mastery of illusions and golem creation spells.

Each spell has a Difficulty rating associated with it; this rating determines several thing, including how expensive a spell is to acquire, how expensive it is to enhance (raise the Level of) and how difficult it is to cast. Each Aspect included increases the difficulty of the spell by 1. Other factors, such as Range and Duration, also affect the Difficulty, as described below. It should be note that each spell has a minimum of one Range and one Duration selection, but each spell can have any and all selections; doing so enable the caster to have multiple manifestations of a spell, but each selection beyond the minimum adds another +1 to the Difficulty of the spell.


Contact: The unicorn must physically touch the target with her horn. No Difficulty adjustment.

Amniomorphic: The unicorn must be able to directly perceive the target of the spell and have a clear line of effect to it. +1 Difficulty.

Spectacle: Denotes an area where a spell manifests across a range - such as field of lights stretches across a patch of sky. +2 Difficulty.


Instant: A spell that happens and ends within a single action; a flash freeze, a clap of thunder, a teleportation, and so forth. No Difficulty adjustment.

Concentration: Requires the Unicorn to spend her turn concentrating on maintaining the spell. If it is the only Duration selected, it reduces the Difficulty by one; otherwise, it has no individual adjustment to Difficulty.

Temporary: A spell that can persist under its own power for the entirety of the scene, adds +1 Difficulty to the spell. With GM approval, a Temporary spell can persist across multiple scenes, but each additional scene raises the Difficulty by 1.

Persistent: Permanency. Adds +2 to a spell's Difficulty.

Spell Difficulty:

Spell Difficulty has many effects. Foremost, a spell's Difficulty determine's how much XP must be spent to raise its Level; a unicorn spends a number of XP equal to the Difficulty of the spell until its level equals its difficulty, and after that, they spend XP equal to the new spell Level when raising it(Exception; during character creation, the Difficulty of a spell is not reflected in the cost of spell points needed to upgrade it - at that point, it's a one-for-one adjustment). Additionally, the Difficulty represents the minimum Mind Attribute score needed to cast the spell without risking magical mishaps (ie Critical Failures). Finally, a created spell cannot have a Difficulty of less than 1.

Improvised Spells:

Sometimes you need to take an action and you just don't have the spell at hand. You can cast improved spells by assembling them using the same method as you do for making learned spells, except improvised spells are not automatically learned afterward, unless you spend XP to learn them. Improvised spells have an effective Level of 0 - providing no bonus - and always cause a Magical Mishap if they fail. Casting an Improvised spell drains a point of Willpower, reflecting the effort required to work magic in this manner.

Go Team Unicorn!:

Friendly characters can spend points of Willpower to assist a Unicorn spellcaster; for each character that does so, the Unicorn can cast improvised spells - or spells from a spellbook - as though she had access to one additional Aspect that she doesn't normally know. With GM permission, this can include Prime Effects, though that should be rare. Knowledge of these aspects is not permanent; once the spellcasting is resolved, access to them is removed.

Unicorn Foals:

Like Pegasi, Unicorn foals are restricted in their abilities, and heavily so. Unless they've discovered their Special Purpose and Cutie Mark, they receive no Aspects for free - not even Telekinesis - and must purchase everything from scratch if they wish to master magic at a young age. On the other hand, Unicorn foals are subject to Magic Surges; at the start of a session, the player rolls a D20. On a 10 or less, nothing happens, but on a roll of 11+, the player can choose a scene in which to invoke a Magical Surge. The Surge lasts for a single scene, and is not saved from session to session.

When a Magical Surge is invoked, the Unicorn may improvise spells for the duration of the scene as though she had access to EVERY ASPECT , with the exception of the Prime Effects.

Holy fuck, that was long as shit. We're going to break here for now.

Next time: Dragons, The Elements, Flaws, Possessions, and XP Expenditure! Also, Jeet Swesus, we're still in character creation.

Trapped in Chargen, Please Send Soup & Money

posted by Punting Original SA post

My Little Pony: Roleplaying is Magic Part 5 - Trapped in Chargen, Please Send Soup & Money.

All right, let's dive into the next and final choice of race in the book: Dragons! It's somewhat downhill from the last bit; the dragon stuff is honestly the weakest part of the section since it's kinda...unfocused. Not bad, per se, but bleh, and not particularly engaging.


King of the Hoard:

The Draconic Racial ability...which I covered about three posts back discussing the Dragonheart stuff. Moving on!


Essentially, where did your dragon grow up? Did they come from a draconic society or from within Equestrian society? Each choice applies some modifications to the character, as follows;

Equestrian: Dragon characters with this Heritage were hatched in Equestria as members of pony society, and gain a 'pseudo-Special Purpose' when they come of age. They gain it in the same way as pony characters do, but since they are dragons, the bonus is dimished to half of normal (essentially, one-quarter of the number rolled on the die, rather than one-half). Of course, this does stack with the roll bonuses from spending Dragonheart, so there's that. And no, they don't get a Cutie Mark.

Draconic: Dragons characters with this Heritage were primarily raised within the confines of Draconic society. Because this more...rough lifestyle, they learn the benefits of aggression, relentless determination and survival. Whenever they would be sidelined due to having Energy, Courage, or Fortitude reduced to zero, they can spend Willpower to instantly restore one point to the Attribute that was just so reduced. Effectively, this means that as long a Dragon has Willpower to burn, they cannot be sidelined .

Tail Type:

A Dragon's tail counts as an Appropriate Tool (tool bonuses and types are explained in another section of the book, because) whenever it could be conceivably used to perform an action. There are three types to choose from:

Club: A big heavy-ass mace/hammer/bludgeon.

Spade: A shovel-like tail tip with a sharp edge.

Spikes: Retractable piercing spines.

That's...all rather quite dangerous. But, then again, DRAGONS.

Immune To Fire:

Except for Phoenix flames, another Dragon's flames, and magic flames. Though if I was running it I'd probably make it Immune to [Energy] so we can have ice dragons and stuff but meh.

Fire Breath:

Counts as an Appropriate Tool for any task that "BREATHES FIRE" could help out with.

Dragon Magic:

Bargain-basement version of Unicorn spellcasting. You just straight-up learn spells (not Aspects), spells you cast must be able to be used via Fire Breath, somehow, and you don't start the game with any unless you buy them or the GM is nice. Kiiiiiinda laaaaaaaaame. Also, you can't cast spells with a Difficulty higher than your Mind Attribute (unlike Unicorns) and you can only know a number of spells equal to your Mind score, though you can replace your 'Spells Known' sorceror-style.

Thick Scales:

Counts as an Appropriate Tool for the purposes of resisting harm.

Dragon Migration:

Characters in the Drake age category grow wings. This provides flight only, though - they can't interact with clouds or weather the same way Pegasi can, nor do they gain the Aerobatics Attribute, being slower and less graceful in the air than Pegasi.

Big, Bad Dragon:

Drake-aged characters also gain a free talent; their choice among the Strong, Tough, Fast, or Agile talents. If they have all four already, they get nothing.

Dragons are...sort of a mixed bag. Some bits are really strong, some are kinda lame and weak, and a few are just weird. They work though, I suppose.

Your Element of Harmony:

Oh noes alignments!...well, no, not quite. More of a Primary Virtue type thing. Each character is aligned with one Element; while a character might be Honest, and Generous, and Kind, one of those traits is probably present in greater amounts than the rest, which is the character's Guiding Element. There are some mechanical changes that are incorporated into your choice of Element, as follows:

Kindness: When you use your 'second wind' to recover from being Sidelined or spend Willpower to inspire another character to recover, if you are restoring Fortitude, you restore additional points equal to the target's Body or Heart score, whichever is higher.

Laughter: When you use your 'second wind' to recover from being Sidelined or spend Willpower to inspire another character to recover, if you are restoring Energy, you restore additional points equal to the target's Body or Mind score, whichever is higher.

Generosity: When you use your 'second wind' to recover from being Sidelined or spend Willpower to inspire another character to recover, if you are restoring Fortitude, you restore additional points equal to the target's Body or Heart score, whichever is higher.

Honesty: When you use your 'second wind' to recover from being Sidelined or spend Willpower to inspire another character to recover, if you are restoring Courage, you restore additional points equal to the target's Mind or Heart score, whichever is higher.

Loyalty: When you use your 'second wind' to recover from being Sidelined or spend Willpower to inspire another character to recover, if you are restoring Courage, you restore additional points equal to the target's Mind or Heart score, whichever is higher.

Magic: When you use your 'second wind' to recover from being Sidelined or spend Willpower to inspire another character to recover, if you are restoring Energy, you restore additional points equal to the target's Body or Mind score, whichever is higher.

Also, at the end of each scene where you and the GM agree that you behaved in accordance with your guiding element, you regain 1 point of spent Willpower.


Besides the book's editing, it comes stocked with 10 pre-made flaws that can be used if need, and are intended to serve as templates and guides for making your own. Flaws here work nWoD-style, where instead of giving bonus points to build your character with, you get the occasional dollop of XP for dealing with situations where your flaw becomes relevant to play. The premade flaws are as follows:

Fraidy-Pony: When you lose points of Courage, lose another one.

Plum Tuckered: When you lose points of Energy, lose another one.

Delicate: When you lose points of Fortirude, lose another one.

Shy: No Heart Attribute bonuses on social rolls.

Clumsy: No Body Attribute bonuses on rolls involving acrobatics and coordination.

Dense: No Mind Attribute bonuses on rolls involving academics and scholarly pursuits.

Phobia: When around the subject of your phobia, make a Courage check; each failure saps a point of Courage.

DO NOT FEAR US!: Due to your heritage, past behavior, or rumor-mongering, characters initially react to your character with fear and distrust until they've come to know you better.

You Are So Random: See above flaw, replace 'fear' and 'distrust' with 'Doesn't take seriously'.

Low Society: As DO NOT FEAR US!, except it's because they're high-class and you're a foppish commoner.

Possessions & Assets:

Whatever everyone can agree is fair. No, seriously , those are the rules. Wealth level, housing, gear - if its logical it's fine. Have a Job as a carpenter? Workshop and tools. Dressmaker? Boutique and sewing kit. Rich Motherfucker? Mansion and Rich Motherfucker Accoutrements. The game takes an extreme hands-off approach to wealth and equipment and basically says, "Look, you're old enough and mature enough not to be a bunch of shitheads, you guys and the GM can come to a reasonable agreement here." Which...frankly, I kinda like. It's abusable, but on the other hand it reduces the other overall amount of book-keeping to be done.

And besides, if you're playing this game to minmax your gearscore or whatever, you're missing the point harder than humanly possible.

XP Expenditure:

Alright, here we go, fina-...wait, what? What do you mean, the XP tables aren't here? What do you mean, this is just to remind you that this is the step where you spend XP and the actual prices are in the middle of the back half of the book?


Anyway, here are the XP expenditures so you can spend all the points you've been clutching in a deathgrip since Step One:


On-the-Job Training: (New Job Level+2) XP. Increases a single Job's Level by 1.

Skill-Up: (New Skill Level) XP. Increases a single Skill's Level by 1.

Arcane Advancement: (New Spell Level, or Spell's Difficulty, whichever is higher) XP. Choose a single Spell you know and raise its Level by 1.

Awesome Aerobatics: 5 XP. Increase your Aerobatics score by 1.

Wondrous Weathercraft: 5 XP. Increase Weathercraft by 1. The book says increase Aerobatics by 1, but I'm going to be kind and assume it to be a typo.

Egghead: 10 XP. Increase Mind by 1.

Iron Pony: 10 XP. Increase Body by 1.

Stout Heart: 10 XP. Increase Heart by 1.


New Magic Trick: 5 XP. Pick a new Magical Aspect and add it to the ones you know.

New Skill: 5 XP. Gain a new Skill at Level 1.

New Line of Work: 10 XP. Gain a new Job at Level 1.

Hidden Talent: 15 XP. Gain a new Talent.

Special Abilities:

The Perfect Pet: 5 XP. You gain a pet of your choice, with GM approval. It is friendly and loyal, and may follow basic commands if trained.

Extra Talented: 5 XP. Choose a known Talent and gain +1 bonus to any rolls affected by this talent. If you take this multiple times, they don't stack, and must be applied to a new Talent each time.

Hoof-to-hoof Combat: 5 XP. Your character's hooves now count as an Appropriate Tool for fightin' purposes.

Horn Hocus Pocus: 5 XP. Your character's horn now counts as an Appropriate Tool for spellcasting purposes.

Winged Victory: 5 XP. Your character's wings now count as an Appropriate Tool for the purposes of flying (but not weather manipulation).

Fearless Filly: 5 XP. Ignore the first point of Intimidation damage (courage loss) in a scene.

Tough as Horseshoes: 5 XP. Ignore the first point of Injury damage (fortitude loss) in a scene.

Boundless Energy: 5 XP. Ignore the first point of Fatigue damage (energy loss) in a scene.

Bounce Back: 5 XP. During a Second Wind, remove an additional point of damage from any category.

Uplifting Attitude: 5 XP. Once per Scene, you may Restore Faith at no cost.

Squirrel-Speak: 5 XP. You can communicate with and understand animals.

Tail Proficiency: 5 XP. You may treat you Dragon Tail as a Superior Tool rather than an appropriate one.

Dragon Mage: 10 XP. Double the number of spells you can know according to your Mind Score.

Iron Hide: 10 XP. Your Thick Scales count as a Superior Tool rather than an Appropriate Tool.

Inferno Breath: 10 XP. Your Flame Breath counts a Superior Tool rather than an Appropriate Tool.

Toast of the Town: 10 XP. Pick a location. Within that location, you get a bonus equal to your Heart on all rolls where your status as a known individual would grant a benefit.

Capable Companion: 10 XP. You gain a companion who will assist you to the best of your ability. LEADERSHIP FEAT AHOY~

Pony Grit: 10 XP. Once per scene, double the Attribute bonus you gain on a single Courage-based resistance check.

Equine Endurance: 10 XP. Once per scene, you may make a single reroll of a Fortitude-based resistance check.

Energy Rush: Once per scene, when you fail an Energy-based resistance check, you may reroll to immediately regain half the Energy you just lost, rounded up.

Third Wind: 10 XP. Once per scene, and after taking a Second Wind, if the character is sidelined they make recover 1 point of damage from each category and take a 'Third Wind'.

Down But Not Out: 10 XP. You do not lose your action during the turn you are sidelined.

Give a Smile, Get a Smile: 10 XP. When you use Restore Faith to help a friend recover from being Sidelines, you regain two points of Courage and a point of Energy.

Proud as Pink Punch: 10 XP. When you assist a friend in a task, granting them a Harmony Bonus (arrrrgh more unexplained mechanics whyyyyyyyy? ), you may 'risk' a point of Willpower. If the action succeeds, you regain 2 points of Willpower, but if it fails, you lose the risked Willpower.

Doormat to Dynamo: 15 XP. Once per play session, when you recover from being sidelined, you gain a bonus equal to your Heart score to all rolls you make until the end of the scene.

Number One Assistant: 15 XP. Identical to Companion/Pet, but can follow complex orders, communicate, and can take initiative to assist you on an independent basis.

Second Wind Hurricane: 15 XP. When using Second Wind, first remove 2 points of damage from each attribute, then follow the normal rules for Second Wind.

Flash of Insight: 15 XP. When you purchase a temporary bonus with XP, increase the bonus granted by +2 for the same price.

Handy Pony: 15 XP. Treat all Tools as though they were one level of effectiveness higher (max. Superior).

Bolster with Bravery: 15 XP. Spend 1 point of Courage to remove up to 3 Intimidation damage from a friend.

Restore with Resolve: 15 XP. Spend 1 point of Energy to remove up to 3 Fatigue damage from a friend.

Cure with Courage: 15 XP. Spend 1 point of Courage to remove up to 3 Injury damage from a friend.

Ever Faithful: 15 XP. Whenever you spend XP to restore spent Willpower, you may restore yourself to full Willpower with a single point of XP.

Forward Fortune: 15 XP. A banked critical success may be used on a normal success (your's or another's) to make it a critical success. Earth Pony Only.

Dodge Destiny: 15 XP. You may choose to count the first critical failure in a scene as a normal failure. However, the next normal failure in the same scene is counted as a critical failure.

Last Chance: 20 XP. Once per play session, if you would be defeated (all characters are sidelined), you are instead immediately restored to full Courage, Energy, Fortitude, and Willpower. This lasts for 3 rounds, and at the end of the third round these scores return to zero and you are sidelined.

Situational XP Bonuses:

Minor Bonus: 2 XP. +3 bonus to all rolls during a scene.

Major Bonus: 3 XP. +6 bonus to all rolls during a scene.

Only one temporary bonus may active in a given scene, and all bonuses end at the end of a scene.

Willpower Restoration:

You can spend a point of XP to restore points of Willpower equal to one-half your maximum Willpower score, allowing you to completely refresh your Willpower for 2 XP.

Bonus Round: Tools!:

Since a whole bunch of abilities here make use of the Tool Bonus rules, here's a quick overview:

Useless Tools: Inappropriate for the task at hand; provide no bonuses, and may actually make the task harder by raising the Difficulty of the action (no negative modifiers here.).

Makeshift Tools: Can perform an action, but not the best choice. Provides a +1 bonus.

Appropriate Tools: A Tool that is designed for the specific action being taken; provides a +2 bonus.

Superior Tools: Exceptionally well-crafted or otherwise high-quality tools; provides a +4 bonus.

Oh my god that's way too many goddamn words. On the other hand, character generation is finally over! Now we can actually move on to mechanics. Or what's left of them.

Next Time: Whatever my poor abused brain and keyboard can handle.

For the love of God, Montressor, the Mechanics!

posted by Punting Original SA post

My Little Pony: Roleplaying is Magic part 6 - For the love of God, Montressor, the Mechanics!

And we're back with yet another installment of polychromatic sugar rush diabetes goodness. Since we have slain the character creation monster, we shall move on to the actual meat of the system: the mechanics!

There's very little of actual hard rules; the game definitely has a lot more focus on character development and interaction, and storytelling, so the rules are short and fairly flexible.

In other words, even if it wasn't about pastel ponies, the Pundit would still decry it as a Satanic Storygame for Swine. So there's that.

The core mechanic is something we're all familiar with; roll D20, add modifiers, check against the DC, receive bacon. One notable aspect, that I mentioned earlier, is that there are no negative modifiers to rolls, only additive ones. Any situations or effects that would impose a penalty are instead applied to raising the Difficulty. Pretty simple, right? Technically, yes. In the same sense that Exalted has a simple 10-step task resolution process (this game stretches it out to twelve possible points where a roll might be modified).


1 - Harmony Bonus:

The equivalent of the aid another action, with a twist. A character can assist another, adding a cumulative bonus to the roll. One assistant adds a +1 to the roll, two assistants add a +3 (+1, +2), three assistants add plus +6 (+1, +2, +3), and so forth, with each new helper adding a bonus 1 point larger than the previous one. The maximum number of assistants on a roll is five, for a total bonus of +15 . More characters than that can work on a project, of course, but bonuses to the roll do not continue to compound.

2 - Spending Willpower:

When you spend Willpower to enhance a roll - and you may only spend a single point of Willpower on a roll - you gain a bonus to your roll equal to the number of points of Willpower you had before you spent the point. For example, if you had 7 points of Willpower available and spent on to enhance a roll, you would gain a +7 bonus to the roll.

3 - Situational Experience Bonus:

If you've spent XP to stockpile some spendable bonuses, this is the point at which you add the bonus if you used one for the scene. Please refer to Part 5 of the review for more information on these bonuses.

4 - Tool Bonus:

If you have a Tool usable for the task, add the appropriate bonus for it's Quality here.

5 - Attribute Bonus:

Add the score of the Attribute that forms the basis of the check to the roll here; if two attributes are applicable, reduce each score by one-half, rounding up, and add them together before applying the modifiers to the roll.

6 - Job Bonus:

If you have an applicable Job, apply its Level as a bonus to the roll. Multiple Jobs do not stack; use the highest bonus from among your Jobs.

7 - Skill Bonus:

If you have an applicable Skill, apply its Level as a bonus to the roll. Multiple Skills do not stack; use the highest bonus from among your Skills.

8 - Spell Level Bonus:

If the task involves the casting of a spell you know, add the Spell's Level to the roll as a bonus. Presumably, this requires a roll to cast the spell in the first place, but there is no clarification, so YMMV.

9 - Dice Roll:

Roll the dice, apply your modifiers to the result.

10 - Talent Re-roll:

If you have an applicable Talent, you roll again and take the higher of the two rolls - or just roll two dice. Multiple applicable talents do not generate multiple throws of the dice; only one re-roll per task.

11 - Special Purpose Bonus:

If the task you are attempting is related to your Special Purpose, take the result on the die and add half of the number to your roll as a bonus. Dragons with the Equestrian heritage, who have a pseudo-Special Purpose, add one quarter of their die result to their roll as a bonus.

12 - Dragonheart Bonus:

If you are a Dragon, this is where you apply the bonus from any Dragonheart spending for the scene.

Damn. Especially dat Harmony Bonus, goddamn. A lot of emphasis on not only training and talent, but also teamwork - which I like.

Task Difficulty:

Task resolution is handled very similarly to other D20 systems - roll and beat/match the DC. For ease of play, though, instead of great big charts of DCs and modifiers, we a ten-tier list of Difficulties, each one representing +/-5 to the DC.

Difficulty 1:

Only Grognards Roll For This. Eating, breathing, walking, picking up a small item, etc. Some extremely minor and weak spells might be at this level, but they'd be rare enough to be rather notable.

Difficulty 2:

Stuff that might give a younger/older/sickly character trouble, but not anyone else. Painting a wall, making a sandwich, walking a pet, and so on. DC 5 if a roll is called for.

Difficulty 3:

Basic challenge for an average character. Moving a cloud, baking a cake, light housework/repair, etc. DC 10.

Difficulty 4:

Basic challenge for special characters (PCs, famous NPCs), hard challenge for average ones. Complex dance moves, casting low-level spells, common tailoring, applebuckin', and so on. DC 15.

Difficulty 5:

Moderate challenge for most PCs and powerful NPCs, almost impossible for other characters. Inspiring a crowd with an impassioned speech, casting a new/mid-level spell, out-flying birds, etc. DC 20 Casual / 20 Standard / 25 Hardcore.

To explain; at Difficulty 5 and higher, DCs are split into three categories: Casual, for games and events that are relaxed and more focused on fun than challenge, typically with low stakes; Standard, which is more of a mix, and is generally the default for most games and situations; and Hardcore, for high-stakes events and campaigns focused around pushing and challenging the players.

Difficulty 6:

Challenging for even PCs and powerful NPCs. Negotiating with an adult dragon, complex aerobatics maneuvers, casting powerful spells. DC 25 Casual / 30 Standard / 35 Hardcore.

Difficulty 7:

Average task for legendary characters, brutally hard for special characters. Dispelling a mass enchantment, conjuring an unbreakable ward, creating a sonic rainboom, and so on. DC 30 Casual / Standard 40 / Hardcore 45.

Difficulty 8:

Moderate challenge for legendary characters, nigh-impossible for others. Raise/Lower the sun & moon, teleport across a continent, instantly cure a plague, and onwards. DC 35 Casual / 50 Standard / Hardcore 65.

Difficulty 9:

Even legendary characters would struggle here. Turning Discord to stone, Banishing Nightmare Moon for a thousand years. DC 40 Casual / 70 Standard / 85 Hardcore.

Difficulty 10:

Beyond even legends; Discord only. Total World Domination. DC Impossible, No Check Required (or 20 Only).

This chart is part of what helps rein in caster supremacy; casting something like, say, Genesis, would be hard as hell in this system, and would actually be a huge and monumental task to overcome rather than just using up a spell slot.

Roll Results:

Natural 1's are critical failures, not only ruining the task but possibly having other consequences afterward (though considering the system and setting, it's more "Your hammer breaks and you must find a new set of tools" and less "Your character dies and leaves behind seven orphans, roll to see if you cry and if so how hard"). If you have an applicable talent, instead getting a re-roll, you negate the failure and simply treat it as a roll of 1 - this may still cause the roll to fail, but it cannot be a critical failure.

Natural 20's are critical successes, granting you something a little above and beyond what you would get for accomplishing a task. In addition to any extras granted by the GM, you regain a point of spent Willpower when you critically succeed at a task.

Nothing we haven't seen before, though I'm sure the inclusion of critical successes and failures will rustle some jimmies.

Next time: Injury and Healing & some GM Advice as we near the end of the review!

Cutie Pox Drains 1d4 Energy Points

posted by Punting Original SA post

My Little Pony: Roleplaying is Magic, part 7: Cutie Pox Drains 1d4 Energy Points.

It's been a while since I threw down any words on pretend ponygames, so lets get down to it; we're nearly done here!

This time, we'll cover Harm & Healing, as well as a few words on turn order and initiative, and the Lesson of the Day, completing the overview of the mechanical systems present in the game.

Suffering Harm:

Just like in almost any other roleplaying system, your characters might be exposed to situation where they could suffer harm. Such harm comes in three minty-fresh flavors; Intimidation, Fatigue, and Injury. When resisting a potentially harmful situation, you roll a resistance check - d20 + the appropriate Secondary Attribute (huh, it's been a bit since we talked about THOSE, hasn't it?).


Whenever you would suffer mental harm from fear, cruelty, mockery, or any other loss of confidence, you may lose points of Courage. Examples include such things as being frightened by a dragon's roar, being stalked by Timber Wolves, being humiliated by classmates, and so on.


Whenever you would suffer harm from exhaustion, starvation, dehydration, or some other draining condition, you may lose points of Energy. Examples of such situations would include going a full night without rest, working while fasting the full day, being exposed to the petrifying gaze of a Cockatrice (Would've thought that would've been Injury and resisted by Fortitude, but whatever), etc.


Straight-up hit point style damage, from wounds, burns, illnesses, poisons, and so on; this entails possible loss of points of Fortitude. Examples include stepping on hot coals, falling off a roof, eating spoiled food, and having an anvil dropped on your head.

If any one of your Secondary Attributes is reduced to zero, your character is sidelined until they can be restored. If all characters in the group are sidelined with no ability to restore themselves, the group as a whole is 'defeated'. What that means is dependent on GM interpretation and the circumstances surrounding the character's removal from play.


There are a few ways to restore oneself from an unplayable condition:

Second Wind:

Once per scene in Cinematic Mode (we'll get to that when we discuss initiative and turn order shenanigans), a sidelined character can use a 'second wind' to restore themselves to active condition, though they must be able to justify why the character wants and is able to push on (though something as simple as 'helping my friends/the group' is generally considered acceptable).

When a character uses their second wind, they choose the attribute that has been lowered to zero, and restore to it a number of points equal to the LOWER of the pair of Primary Attributes used to determine it (unless they are allowed to do otherwise by virtue of possessing an Advancement or a guiding Element of Harmony that alters their second wind usage). For example, a character restoring Courage gains points equal to their Heart or Mind score, whichever is lower.

Additionally, if there is more than one Secondary Attribute at zero, you choose one to restore normally, and the rest gain a single point. If you are restoring Willpower in this manner, you gain a flat two points of Willpower.

Restore Faith:

Friendly characters can also restore character's attributes by taking an action to assist and spending a point of Willpower; doing so enables the character to restore themselves as though they had used their second wind, and does not count against their limit of one second wind per scene. The key difference is that when restoring points, they follow the rules and restrictions of the assisting character's Element of Harmony, rather than their own.

Additionally, at the end of a Cinematic Mode scene, all characters recover points in their Secondary Attributes equal to the absolute minimum necessary to take actions again (so as to allow gameplay to continue without waiting for the most basic healing).

In Narrative Mode (again, covering this in a little bit when we get to turn order stuff), recovery is even easier. Each appropriate action taken during a Narrative Mode scene recovers all the points in a single attribute; visiting friends and loved ones can restore Courage, seeing a doctor can recover Fortitude, and so on. The only exception is Willpower, which can only restored one point at a time, reflecting how powerful, useful, and hard to muster it is.

Taking the Initiative (Away):

There is no Rolling For Initiative. That is all.

Narrative Mode:

The general "doing stuff" mode of the game; most of the game is played in Narrative Mode, where players simply describe their actions and the GM makes rulings based on roleplay and dice-rolling. No hard and fast rules for turn order except the usual "Don't let someone hog the spotlight", "Don't let players metagame/godmode/powergame by making excessively complex actions that assume no possibility of failure", and "Don't hold the game up".

Cinematic Mode:

When some semblance of turn order, organization, and timeliness is called for, the game enters Cinematic Mode. While there is still no set initiative, its generally assumed that in Cinematic Mode, each player takes a turn acting, while the GM responds. Traditional initiative is optional but not necessarily recommended, as the book trusts the players are mature enough not to be dicks about it (this a recurring theme throughout the book, by the way; this whole 'trusting players' thing. Quite refreshing).

Letter To The Princess(es):

At the end of a session of play, describe what lessons you and the group learned today/this week/however long it took, gain your 1 end-of-session XP (unless you're an Earth Pony, then you gain 2 XP, you bastards ).

Aaaaaand...that's pretty much it. All the gribbly little mechanical bits.


Pick a character concept and I will build it, as others have done with their reviews. Bring forth thy most deviously complex creations, I fear thee not!