Page 147 - Bridging the Gap

12th Jul 2012, 6:00 AM in Dragonshy
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Bridging the Gap
Average Rating: 4.75 (8 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 12th Jul 2012, 6:00 AM edit delete
Judging by the state of the comments the past couple of weeks, we've got at least a couple of pony RPGs running amongst Friendship is Dragons readers.

One of them, run by my good friend Stairc, has been using a sort of homebrew RPG system specifically tailored for roleplaying via voice chat. It's called Pony Tales, and I've been asked to tell you that the Player's Handbook is now available for public use.

I joined in on the Pony Tales game earlier this week - and I hope to be a regular player in that campaign - so I've got my impressions of the system. Suffice to say, I think it's 1) simple enough to be played online without a hitch, 2) deep enough to make its combat encounters tactically complex, and 3) flavorful enough to really get those creative character-building juices flowing. I highly recommend that you take a look.

On Saturday, I should have a more in-depth opinion to share on Pony Tales. I've also been promised that a DM guide of sorts will have been released by then, so stay tuned.

If you have any questions, I have no doubt Stairc will be more than willing to field them in the comments.

Notice: Guest comic submissions are open! Guidelines here. Deadline: January 27th, 2023.



Zarhon 12th Jul 2012, 6:03 AM edit delete reply
Wouldn't she need to roll another balance check now, though?

DM edits are fun, aren't they? Let's hear some stories about it! Tell a story of when your DM had to "retcon" or alter something in the campaign due to a mistake, irregularity, or a player observation screwing up his carefully placed rails.
MirrorImage 12th Jul 2012, 6:47 AM edit delete reply
I've given the "Divine Intervention" story before, haven't I? Oh well, here it is again:

DnD4e - Party reaches a hole in the ground and climbs down it to fight the local goblin boss. Shortly after combat begins, a few goblins at the top of the hole create a rockslide, which KOs 2 players (including the cleric) and does a knock-up job of a third (in a 5 man party). I tell the cleric to roll a Religion check just for kicks, and he lands a natural 20. "Oh hey, you just set up a plot point for me! The Raven Queen appears to you in a vision and says 'It is not yet your time,' time rewinds, and instead of 'Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies,' you get 'Goblins Fall, They Die.'"
LoganAura 12th Jul 2012, 8:52 AM edit delete reply
Our Cleric in my game ended up leaving a MacGuffin behind in his post, and forgetting to officially read it -_-'. So basically they had no official hint to one of the current goals.
Oh the joys of a play by post game! I had him edit it when I caught the blunder.
kriss1989 12th Jul 2012, 12:48 PM edit delete reply
I didn't read my clue either, as it was a diary and I am a paladin. However, I did take it with me as a last resort in case we couldn't find enough clues.
PipeDream 12th Jul 2012, 4:31 PM edit delete reply
well, it's not that i forgot about it, i just forgot to write it.. damn PbP.. but it's nice to be able to backtrack
Nighzmarquls 13th Jul 2012, 7:41 AM edit delete reply
Not quite a GM fiat but was reminded of it by your post.

I had a character that was a hatchling green dragon in faerun.

They started out being a classic lawful evil critter.

But for whatever reason every single time that I died some one of a good or chaotic faith always rolled a critical on their prayer check and that green dragon kept getting brought back by divine intervention.

That and a deck of many things?

Well by the time the session ended it had lost its hoard seven times (so much platinum) been converted to chaotic good and grown to young adult by being left in a variable time plane.

Then it got captured and taken to Gehenna after the second deck of many things lead to a triple level up combo...

good times!

Bronymous 12th Jul 2012, 9:58 AM edit delete reply
There was that time in that one game where there was a dead chick on the floor, and we were supposed to investigate her to find a bomb, but instead we kept looking all over the place, ignoring her, so the DM had to keep making up clues that kept pointing us back to her.
Digo 12th Jul 2012, 11:13 AM edit delete reply
Would a loud "Tick Tick Tick" sound help?
kingkirby 12th Jul 2012, 10:16 AM edit delete reply
Hm. Well, not quite a retcon, but I do remember during the first campaign I ever DM'd I had to purposefully get the boss of a dungeon killed. The fight had been going on for almost 5 hours (the creature could turn itself invisible at will, and could fly), so I finally just had the creature attempt to fly out of the door, which I promptly made only 6 feet in height so my players could reach the boss as it attempted to fly overhead to the door :P
Technomantic 13th Jul 2012, 12:46 PM edit delete reply
Was playing in a Starwars game as a mechanic. The main plot of the game was that the jedi and the sith were being hunted down and having their force connection removed (long story). We showed up at an abandoned jedi enclave on dantoine and hung out for about a day or so when this small band of sith show up. We have 3 jedi in the party and they want to fight the sith because there is a light saber forge here, one of like only 4 left anywhere or something. I tell them that there's no reason to fight and with a 40+ on my mechanics roll take the thing with us, much to the surprise of the GM
DCHorror 23rd Jul 2012, 7:26 AM edit delete reply
I think I've told this one before, but it's just so much fun.

In one game I had, I made a ruling that critical misses make you fumble your weapon. I didn't realize how often 1's would be rolled at the time, but that's not quite the story.

My group of players(Lv 2) were going up against a Blue Dragon, and an Ogre and Goblin. Wouldn't you know it, it's the Goblin who's doing the most damage too, cause while the dragon and ogre are in the middle of the fray with an almost entirely melee party, the little snot is over in the corner laying down suppressing fire with a bow and arrow.

So the party's bard uses Mage Hand to toss a discarded mace in the room at the dragon. Critical miss. I ruled that he could roll a second combat roll for it, as the goblin was right in the line that he had thrown it in. Critical Hit, smashes the goblins head in and takes him out of the game.
darkwulf23 12th Jul 2012, 6:05 AM edit delete reply
darkwulf23 12th Jul 2012, 2:53 PM edit delete reply
You know you're going to have to show me how to create a link like that.

Anyway here is more Boss Fluttershy
Digo 12th Jul 2012, 6:12 AM edit delete reply
Well, I'm usually the DM so... I know sometimes with premade modules they may not properly measure out cavern width or height so I have to refudge the numbers to make them useable. Um, not a very funny or interesting story out of those though...

Does retconning four player deaths because they stupidly jumped down into a Sphere of Annihilation count?
Zarhon 12th Jul 2012, 6:17 AM edit delete reply
Let me guess... Tomb of Horrors?

And yes, it does, since it's hilarious. Describe it in detail please. :)
Digo 12th Jul 2012, 11:20 AM edit delete reply
Not Tomb of Horrors actually! :D

It was a modified "Vault of the Dragon Kings" module. I edited it to where the party was in a race against three other factions to reach the Pool of Dreams where legend says one can access the knowledge of the gods.

At one point deep in the vault, the party found a hallway where the ceiling was enchanted to show an illusionary image of the night sky (complete with stars, consteleations, etc). At the end of the hall was a shaft straight down where the stars all seemed to funnel into.

Without a second thought the party rogue jumped down the shaft, followed by the party Warlock, cleric, and monk. While they did have magic like "Feather Fall" and "Fly" at their disposal to not hit the ground hard, the ground was essentially a Sphere of Annihilation.

*POOF!* 2/3rds of the party gone. They looked at me like my second head grew a second head. The Warlock said that it was a pretty mean trick to use. I countered that "Intelligent adventurers don't jump down shafts in trap-laiden vaults without testing them first. XD

They begged for a do-over and I gave it to them. Didn't seem to matter much as they ended the module by camping out for 8 hours and missing the final encounter. So one of the villains now has all the secrets of the pool.

They just don't know which one.
Lyntermas 12th Jul 2012, 11:38 AM edit delete reply
Anybody else looking over these stories and getting a running theme of "camping right before the final boss is a VERY bad thing"?
Tria 12th Jul 2012, 2:44 PM edit delete reply
Works well enough in console games. :P
Kaleopolitus 12th Jul 2012, 3:52 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, I noticed that. Can't imagine why they'd think that's a good idea, considering it's obvious what the DM will do in retaliation.
Digo 13th Jul 2012, 4:45 AM edit delete reply
I can't imagine it either. I always remind my players that I try to keep the world active even when the party isn't there, so villains won't wait around for the party to rest for spells. :p
The Guest 13th Jul 2012, 6:18 PM edit delete reply
A dark hole that stars appear to be funneling into? None of your players know a thing about astronomy or astrophysics, do they?
LooeyQ 12th Jul 2012, 6:28 AM edit delete reply
This art is awesome, is it all in vector?! In my comic mad dog I just ink it regular style.
Zarhon 12th Jul 2012, 6:30 AM edit delete reply
Those are screen captures from the actual show. Those are mostly vectors though, yeah.
Stairc 12th Jul 2012, 8:30 AM edit delete reply
If you're talking about Newbiespud's awesome comic, I believe it's all screencaps.

If you're talking about the player's handbook, some of it's original and some of it would be screen captures. Naturally, the cover page kicks things off with original art too.

If anyone would like to contribute art or logo-design for Pony Tales, let me know. After Newbiespud's logo design contest, there's clearly a ton of wicked talented folks out there. We'd be thrilled to add you to our artists.
PrincessSpectra 12th Jul 2012, 11:46 PM edit delete reply
I'd love to contribute art, especially since I got bored and already drew one of the characters. ^_^

Heat Wave:
Inky Quills:

Edit: Added names and link to Inky. ^_^
Stairc 13th Jul 2012, 11:15 AM edit delete reply
Those look fantastic. PM sent to you with options. :)

EDIT - Fun fact, your art of Heat Wave is now the official art for her character sheet.
MirrorImage 12th Jul 2012, 6:50 AM edit delete reply
Ah, that Handbook looks like it will do wonders... Some of you should consider making characters for that just in case. I do plan to be hosting some kind of Pony-RPG campaign one of these days myself based on the Equestria Divided pictures, and this looks like it would work out well as a ruleset.

EDIT: Ehh... "template" ruleset anyways. I suspect I'll be house-ruling those rules quite a bit, probably in the form of additional trait options.
Ramsus 12th Jul 2012, 9:48 AM edit delete reply
Wow, ok, I sooooo want in on that.
Stairc 12th Jul 2012, 1:50 PM edit delete reply
Awesome. I so want to see this happen.

EDIT - I'd love to hear what you're thinking of for house rules. I'm planning a trait system for level-ups already and it'd be great to hear your ideas.
MirrorImage 13th Jul 2012, 1:22 PM edit delete reply
Well #1, I can't say I'm in 100% agreement with the "always hit" rule with combat, or the idea that the various combat maneuvers are all generic. I'd probably assign each ability a stat and combine it with the concept below:

You have your 4 stats - Athletics, Precision, Knowledge, and HorseSense - and you can perform combat with each of them. You gain a bonus to damage dice rolls made with a given stat equal to that Stat minus 7 (ex: You'd gain +2 to an Athletics attack with an Athletics score of 9, or -1 with a score of 6). In addition, You gain resistance to attacks against you of the same amount (as above, you'd take 2 less damage or 1 more damage when hit with an Athletics attack). You still only crit on maximum rolls, but there's the potential that if you roll 0 damage, you missed.

As for traits, I simply think the pool is too small (I may hijack one of these threads one of these days for trait ideas). For example, there's no trait that accounts for Rarity's ability to levitate a large number of items (a la Art of the Dress). So one Trait that I thought of was something like this:

Precise Ponykinesis (req: 9 Precision, Unicorn): With your Ponykinesis powers, you can manipulate up to 10 items whose combined weight do not exceed the power's weight limit. Each power's weight limit is reduced by 5% for each item you levitate.

(So with base Ponykinesis, you can levitate 10 items weighing no more than 12.5lbs, 5 items weighing no more than 20lbs, etc - or with Mind over Matter, you could levitate 10 items weighing up to 500lbs).
Stairc 13th Jul 2012, 1:40 PM edit delete reply
1) Yep - the always-hit rule of combat is really unusual, but it's also nice to play in. You save time on die rolls and you don't go through that frustrating miss feeling, especially when you miss multiple times. There's still heavy variance in the combat system what with wide variance on damage dealt and the presence of specials - but dealing even 1 damage feels a lot better than missing entirely. It's a nice change.

2) Um... If you assign stats to combat abilities, not only is that probably going to be hard to balance - it'll heavily encourage min/maxing and reduce the amount of builds you can put together by a lot. If it works, great but... I kind of cringe at the thought.

3) Great idea on more utility talents. The system can definitely use more. If you come up with some more like that, I'll gladly add them to the system. I already added Precise Ponykinesis in and listed it under your name. :)

If anyone comes up with cool new talents, I'll be happy to add them to the system and credit the designer.
MirrorImage 13th Jul 2012, 3:13 PM edit delete reply
Herp. Didn't realize you were one of the creators on that <_<

In no way was my system going to prevent people from picking certain maneuvers ("Healing" actions I probably would've put under Knowledge, and a character could pick it all the same with either 5 or 10 Knowledge), and you can't deny that MinMaxing is a part of every game, the question is merely to what extent.

Course, it could just be my inexperience with the PiP system of combat. First couple of sessions would be beta-testing any of these rules anyways. As for how I would divide up the powers, it would probably go something like this:

Athletics: "Strong" attacks. More likely to use d10s or d12s for damage and cause physical affects, like trips or pushing. (Warrior)
Precision: "Accurate" attacks. More likely to use d8s or multiple d6s for damage and cause dazzling effects, like blind or dizzy. (Rogue)
Knowledge: "Magic" attacks (alt. "Support" Attacks). May use any damage dice and are likely to aid your allies directly in some way, such as through damage buffs or additional actions. (Wizard/Cleric)
Horse-Sense: "Reactive" attacks (alt. "Distracting" attacks). May use any damage dice and are likely to aid your allies indirectly in some way, such as by interrupting an opponent's action or moving them to a better place. (Psion)
Ramsus 13th Jul 2012, 3:28 PM edit delete reply
Personally I favor having the stats divorced from the combat mechanics. It allows the characters to be more about what they do outside of combat than trying to balance how you build them between the two (which almost always results in either just being poor in one non-combat or combat or being generally not great in both).

Though, honestly I really like the system mostly as it is. I like the always hitting and PiPs and not having to worry about what your stats are to create the kind of combat/non-combat builds you want. (Tying the stats to the "kinds" of attack will really really limit what people can do. I think it's just a bad plan.)

Heck, even stat dependencies for Utilities strikes me as against the point of the system.
Stairc 13th Jul 2012, 3:34 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, I think you're right on that Ramsus. It's a really big shift to keep combat and non-combat separate like this, but it's been working really - really well in playtesting. And, just as you say, it gives the players more freedom to play with varying character concepts when you don't need to tie your roleplaying actions to your combat abilities. Nice points.

You're also right MirrorImage, min-maxing is part of every game. But what's nice about Pony Tales is that it doesn't tell players, "If you're not min/maxing, you're going to be much weaker than everyone else". And for me, that's a real breath of fresh air. =)
MirrorImage 13th Jul 2012, 4:45 PM edit delete reply
Alright, Combat separated as a goal. Got it. Still might look into something about missing though; otherwise you end up with scenarios that are hard to convey otherwise. The implication that Featherweight could "hit" Rainbow Dash, even if the damage is paltry, is a questionable concept. Heck, Rainbow Dash would probably have this as a power(s) if we're going along that line:

[-2] Dodge - Immediate Interrupt
Trigger - An enemy attacks you with an attack that targets a single creature.
(You take no damage from the Attack | Treat the damage roll as a 0 | Reduce the damage roll by 6) and move 5 feet.
(ex Rainbow Dash ducking away from Derpy's lightning)
[-4] Close Call - Immediate Interrupt
Trigger - An enemy attacks you with an attack that affects multiple creatures.
(Move to a location where you are not affected by the attack. The attack targets where you were instead. | You take 12 less damage from the attack and move 10 feet)
(ex, you dodge the Fireball but it explodes where you were)

Also looking at things like limited range attacks or Line of Sight, but then I'm just nitpicking. I think I'm looking at things too much like a DM and not enough like a player...
Stairc 13th Jul 2012, 4:55 PM edit delete reply
"Still might look into something about missing though; otherwise you end up with scenarios that are hard to convey otherwise. The implication that Featherweight could "hit" Rainbow Dash, even if the damage is paltry, is a questionable concept."

Aha! Now I see where you're coming from. Let me explain what hitpoints actually are in the system and it should make some more sense.

Hitpoints are *not* your health. They are your ability to resist the killing blow.

No matter how skilled a fighter, an axe-to-the-neck will decapitate him. When a creature takes damage, they aren't actually losing a chunk of flesh. They're bringing up their shield and blocking the attack - the blow numbing their arm - or they're dodging desperately out of the way and spending energy in the process. It's not till they're finally reduced to 0 hp that the enemy finally gets in that clean blow that can knock them out.

This take on HP makes a lot more sense of abilities like inspiring word. Your motivational speech doesn't knit flesh back together, it just inspires your allies to get back in the game and get those shields up. Heck, 4e creatures aren't even "bloodied" until they've lost half their health!

So, always dealing damage actually can make a lot of sense. In this system, Featherweight can't hit Rainbow Dash until Dash is absolutely exhausted.

Does that make more sense?
MirrorImage 13th Jul 2012, 5:19 PM edit delete reply
Ah, yep, now I'm getting a better understanding. I think now I was just thinking of RD as a first level character, to which the implication of 1d8 being a "miss" against 30hp was an issue of scale. Just to clarify, what would you imagine the Mane 6's Level to be? Say, after Nightmare Moon and separately after A Canterlot Wedding? That's probably a critical thinking step in deciding how leveling up should work for the ideas bouncing around my head.
Stairc 13th Jul 2012, 5:43 PM edit delete reply
Awesome. Happy to help translate the ideas whirling in my head.

On a 1-30 level scale, like in dnd 4e, I'd say that the party was in late heroic tier after defeating nightmare moon (about level 9) and mid paragon tier after a canterlot wedding (around level 15-16). That's just me making wild estimations though.
Bronymous 13th Jul 2012, 10:50 PM edit delete reply
I think one mistake you guys are making is trying to compare/contrast it with DnD. If you continue to extrapolate on how certain aspects of the game make sense when compared to the mechanics of another system, then every explanation will at some level lead to the normalizing of the mechanics along the lines of the other system: You'll essentially change the new system into the old system, simply because its familiar and you think its the best way to describe it.

Then again, I've never done anything of the sort and have no idea what I'm going on about. I think it's time for bed.
MirrorImage 13th Jul 2012, 11:05 PM edit delete reply
Won't deny the point, but sometimes using familiar as a reference point helps.

For example, I perfectly understand the concept of the "1-30" scale from that reference: Level 1 refers to roughly just out of Boot Camp while Level 30 refers to doing a Leeroy Jenkins against a god and succeeding. Late Heroic tier implies that they're able to defeat "mortal" major bosses, whereas mid paragon tier means they can stand up to minor supernatural bosses. Discord on his first run through would be an early paragon tier boss, and if he comes up again, it would be the equivalent of a late paragon tier boss as he won't be as stupid this time.
Ramsus 13th Jul 2012, 11:13 PM edit delete reply
Really, I think figuring out what the range of levels are should wait until it's figured out what is gained by leveling up. I'm not sure what's already in mind but, access to more talents wouldn't be bad (maybe even another trained skill or two somewhere along the way).

But, I'm betting the way things work out with these mechanics, leveling up might be less frequent than in D&D. If it was you'd see really drastic differences in what the ponies could do from the start of season 1 to the end of season 2 and that really didn't happen.
vcrmaster 12th Jul 2012, 6:52 AM edit delete reply
Hm, I can really only think of one campaign edit that I have witnessed (while I was not DM'ing, too many to mention for those times) of the top of my head.

We were playing a Fallout-themed campaign, and for some reason, everybody but me had chosen melee, hand-to-hand, or energy handguns as their main weapon proficiency, and I was the only one who even had the skills to use a rifle, and the only one who could accurately hit an enemy more than five squares away (keep in mind, the rest of the party hadn't played the pre Bethesda Fallout games, which the campaign was based on).

Now, it turned out that the destroyed city we needed to search for a quest had a very large chameleon population in its zoo before the war, and had become the biggest deathclaw nest in the state after. As soon as we had made our way into downtown, we were ambushed. Of course, everybody but me (I was the ranger/rogue that protected our flank and acted as our sniper) was killed in a few turns, and I got all the experience, gaining six levels (that DM assigns a set amount of experience to each encounter and splits it up between the members of the party who are not incapacitated by the end). To avoid being gutted by the rest of the group, the DM and I both agreed to replace the deathclaws with ghouls and the pre-war zoo with a prison.

In the end, half of the party got killed in the new version of the encounter, but they sucked up their pride and made new characters. The new characters all had at least some proficiency with handguns or rifles, and two of the guys decided to focus on ranged weapons. One became a super mutant two-hand ranger with levels in barbarian, wielding a Gatling laser in one hand and a minigun in the other (our resident munchkin), and the other ended up taking nothing but shotgun-related feats.
ThousandYearSunrise 12th Jul 2012, 7:28 AM edit delete reply
I'm really excited about Pony Tales. While I haven't made a character or anything, I am going to be a spectator and occasional illustrator for the series.

It occurs to me that I might as well make a character, maybe give them to StairC to use as an NPC.
Stairc 12th Jul 2012, 8:41 AM edit delete reply
Sounds great. And your illustrations are awesome.

Again, if you haven't checked out ThousandYearSunrise's work yet - do yourself a favor and look it up already. ;)
ThousandYearSunrise 12th Jul 2012, 12:18 PM edit delete reply
My work, for those who are curious, may be found here
Demonu 12th Jul 2012, 8:08 AM edit delete reply
Pony Tales is awesome!
It's nice and simple and it took me only one read-through and 30 minutes to come up with a character.

At first, I ended up making a master thief but considering MLP has almost no crime nor does the situation to call for spying/infiltration come up that often, I went a different route.

For those interested, here's my character Clue Seeker

EDIT: forgot to make the doc public access. Should be fixed now.
Stairc 12th Jul 2012, 8:33 AM edit delete reply
Glad to hear you like it Demonu. :)

I'd like to check out Clue Seeker too, but right now I think it's set on private access. If you shift that, I'll definitely look him up.

EDIT - Sweet, now that it's public I've included it in the sample-character page near the end of the player's handbook.
deeman45 12th Jul 2012, 8:22 AM edit delete reply
This actually happened a few weeks ago in a homebrew campaign I'm DMing.

The players were scaling a massive, "Tree-Of-Life" style tree. They reached the top, which was hundreds of feet from the ground; I'd intended the top to be used as a vantage point to determine the proper path through a nearby labyrinth.

One player decided to explore the boughs at the top to see if he could find any hidden items. There weren't any, but for fun I said the branches up there were hazardous and required a Reflexes check. He totally bombed it with a two; I allowed him to grip one of the branches and another player came to rescue him.

He also rolled a two.

A few minutes and some really unlucky dice rolls later, and the whole party were hanging for their life from various tree branches hundreds of feet in the air; even one of the characters using their Daily Powers to re-roll any die roll they wished didn't help, as the second roll was lower than the original.

Everyone's attempts to pull themselves up were equally horrible (I'd previously told myself that if a single player got up, I'd let them rescue the others and leave the branches with no problem.) Fall damage from that height would have more-or-less guaranteed a TPK, excepting our psychic character who had a psychic version of Featherfall going for him. I obviously didn't want dead party members now--that's what the labyrinth was for--and decided to just pull stuff out my ass.

"The branches snap under your combined weight, sending you plummeting!"

*Players gasp in shock, Psychic readies himself*

"...however, you land safely on a particularly leafy branch right below, and the snapped foliage crashes around you, miraculously missing everyone. You're all fine."

Everyone shared a good laugh, and two players switched to their backup dice.
Kaleopolitus 12th Jul 2012, 11:12 AM edit delete reply
Yeah... Burn that first die set with fire... Or napalm if you have it o.o'
deeman45 13th Jul 2012, 9:49 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, the highest roll anyone in the party got was a 7; ironically, for three members that would have been just enough to pass the Reflexes check, but the person who rolled said 7 had the worst Reflexes in the party.

Funnily enough, the players who didn't have backup dice kept using the same ones for the rest of the session. And everything went more-or-less fine. I guess the gaming gods just really wanted them to fall to their deaths...
Digo 12th Jul 2012, 11:22 AM edit delete reply
Hehee. That is funny.
Zuche 13th Jul 2012, 6:44 AM edit delete reply
Well handled. You da man, deeman45.
Qin the Kirin 12th Jul 2012, 8:50 AM edit delete reply
i will use this system if i find enought people, that whant to paly XD.
DB 12th Jul 2012, 9:18 AM edit delete reply
The Pony Tales you’re playing—is that my Open D6-derived rules set or is there another game out there using the same title? (It’s not like the title is a terribly original one; I hadn’t realized when I used it that there actually is a previous-generation pony video by that name.)
Guest 12th Jul 2012, 9:43 AM edit delete reply
There's a link to the system in Newbiespud's author's note. Check it out. :)
DB 12th Jul 2012, 10:10 AM edit delete reply
Yes, and of course I didn’t notice until immediately after posting my query!
Newbiespud 12th Jul 2012, 9:47 AM edit delete reply
Ah, no, it's different. Technically, there's a subtitle... Pony Tales: Aspirations of Harmony, but yeah, same name.

Just to be clear:
This Pony Tales is yours.
THIS Pony Tales: Aspirations of Harmony is Stairc's.
DB 12th Jul 2012, 10:16 AM edit delete reply
Ah so! Thanks for providing links to both; that was above and beyond the call of duty. I may have to take a gander at that—there seems to be a slew of PRPGs out there, but too many of them just seem to slap a coat of paint on a rules set and call it done, without tailoring the rules to the setting (or the possible new-to-RPGs young audience). Stairc seems to share my ethos, which is nice to see.
Stairc 12th Jul 2012, 10:25 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, we had a lot of fun challenging all the conventions we could and examining every aspect of the game design.

We actually spent two hours just going over, "Why is it good to have a combat system? We don't have mountain-climbing systems, we resolve those through skill checks, so why do we have a combat system? What purpose does the system serve?"

We knew the whole time that we wanted one, but we wanted to know why before we started designing. We hit everything this way and it was tons of fun.
DB 12th Jul 2012, 11:56 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, a combat system is necessary, but as much as possible it should tie into the rest of the rules—using a derivation of task resolution for attacking and so on. Mostly the necessity arises out of the fact that combat is much more focused on timing and fairness, I think.

Stairc, would you like me to post a link to your rulebook to accommodate folks shopping for pony rules?
Stairc 12th Jul 2012, 12:06 PM edit delete reply
Sure, I'd love that. I'm definitely going to check out your system too. :)

By the way, we came up with twin reasons that a combat system is valuable.

1) They let you experience in depth what are often the most climactic and direct conflicts of the adventure - letting you live and contribute to them in a personal way.

2) They cleanse your palate between long sessions of roleplaying, refreshing you so you can get back into the adventure.

We built the system with those two elements in mind. I'm thrilled with how it ended up.
DB 12th Jul 2012, 12:17 PM edit delete reply
Will do! It should go up in the next few minutes on the Deviantart gallery page; if you get a Web site for the game, let me know and I’ll switch the link.

Those are interesting points. I have to agree with both, albeit with minor reservations—and I’d add that it’s equally necessary to role-play as a break from combat as well. Exactly how to balance the two certainly would differ from group to group, but only the most extreme would eliminate one or the other.

We had no combat at all for quite a while in my game. When it did happen a couple of times, the weaknesses in my adaptation of Open D6 became apparent pretty quickly, and I had to issue a new revision conforming more closely to the stock rules, despite the slight increase in complexity. Live and learn.
DB 12th Jul 2012, 12:25 PM edit delete reply
Posted! It’s on the gallery main page at the bottom of the sidebar text. I plan to post links to any games I come across for which I can get permission.
kriss1989 12th Jul 2012, 1:09 PM edit delete reply
I got your game a while ago. Unfortunately, the bronies I know IRL aren't gamers, and the gamers aren't bronies, so I've never gotten a chance to try it out.
Stairc 12th Jul 2012, 3:06 PM edit delete reply
Awesome. I'm looking forward to hearing what you think of our take on pony RPG. :)
kriss1989 12th Jul 2012, 5:26 PM edit delete reply
Oh I was talking to DB, I downloaded his months ago. Yours looks very interesting too, I got to see the beta after all. The current ponyfinder game is the closest I've gotten to mixing my love of ponies and RPGs. I'd love a chance to try out any of the 5 Pony RPG systems I have.
Stairc 12th Jul 2012, 5:44 PM edit delete reply
*laughs* I was talking to DB too.
DB 12th Jul 2012, 9:43 PM edit delete reply
Heh! Kriss, be sure to get the most recent revision—it’s quite a bit different than the earlier versions, as I noted earlier.
kriss1989 13th Jul 2012, 10:02 AM edit delete reply
Right, my last version was from January apparently.
DB 12th Jul 2012, 9:45 PM edit delete reply
Stairc, I dunno how much value my opinions may hold, but I’ll try to take a look at it when I’m able.
Bronymous 12th Jul 2012, 10:03 AM edit delete reply
Oh good, now I can make yet another pony character sheet that I'll probably never use.

Is no one playing the Unknown Ponies system anymore? I was really excited about that.
XandZero2 12th Jul 2012, 10:03 AM edit delete reply
Yo Stairc!

I looked over the Neo Pony Tales, and it looks like a fun system.

I wish you had a word doc or something I could download and save for later.

The only thing that might get messy is the idea of changing the names of combat abilities. It's a cool idea to be able to customize your abilities to suit your pony's theme, but the players need to be very clear on what does what - and when two ponies have the same ability, each by a different name, it could get confusing.

Still, I really like the look of the system - and I'd love to play it sometime if I could find a group.

-Of course, I'd play a Rorschach Pony (:
Stairc 12th Jul 2012, 10:12 AM edit delete reply
Great, glad you're looking to try it out. There's so many people wanting to join my game, I'm hoping we can get a lot more people willing to run adventures. If anyone wants any help setting up an adventure of their own, feel free to contact me at

1) Renaming abilities was a little confusing at first, but we figured out ways to make it smooth. All you do is put the real name in brackets right after your custom name, so you can still talk strategy easily.

2) Rorschach pony sounds amazing. I want to see this character sheet.
Karilyn 12th Jul 2012, 11:53 AM edit delete reply
The biggest effect of changing the move names is that you alter what your character does in terms of the roleplay in combat.

For example, my character has never been magically inclined, and now she's extremely physically oriented in combat, a regular Applejack. I wanted to take the Fireball ability, with it dealing damage to an enemy, and all adjacent enemies. But it thematically didn't fit her at all. So I renamed it "Collateral Damage," which is something that can be creatively used with the idea of her striking or tackling one enemy, and knocking into into another, damaging both, or something to that effect.

Another character changed the same move from a fireball to Ball Lightning, because he thought that was more refined and noble than a simple fireball.
Heat Wave 12th Jul 2012, 4:22 PM edit delete reply
Poor Heat Wave. She's never going to be the same again!

So far, she's been physically and Psychologically tortured past the breaking point; she was turned into a Nightmare-infused creature now named Conflagria; then she's having a 'romantic' and possibly sexual attachment to FREAKIN PONY SATAN. Let's just wait to see if she ever wakes up and everything comes crashing down on her!
Stairc 12th Jul 2012, 4:28 PM edit delete reply
And that folks is why you never split the party.
Heat Wave 12th Jul 2012, 4:35 PM edit delete reply
Heat Wave
Oh pfffft, I'm having a freakin ball with this! I get to be an evil alicorn that beats up the friends that never treated her well! I can't say Conflagria's going to have the same fun.
Zuche 13th Jul 2012, 6:53 AM edit delete reply
Every reference to FREAKIN PONY SATAN makes my day, with a bonus for mentioning it on Friday the 13th.
Pandora's Homeobox 12th Jul 2012, 10:03 AM edit delete reply
I had a GM once announce that, "I didn't expect you to beat the boss that quickly so I'm just going to say that last role was actually an 18." We weren't impressed.
Ranubis 12th Jul 2012, 10:09 AM edit delete reply
Now that's just poor DMing.
Digo 12th Jul 2012, 11:25 AM edit delete reply
I've known a DM like that. He gets so attached to his villains that when the party gets the upper hand to defeat him, he breaks game rules just to ensure the villain gets away.

Quite unfair! At least I would use the "fair" method by giving the villain a teleport spell that could be countered by a party.
Cain 12th Jul 2012, 8:52 PM edit delete reply
@Ranubis remember the cursed crown? finished one session early cause you decided to knock it off the enemies head
Kaleopolitus 12th Jul 2012, 10:21 AM edit delete reply
Wow... Sad. I've not experience DMing and I could come up with something better.
Lyntermas 12th Jul 2012, 10:32 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, even I could come up with something better right now.

Paladin: Alright, we beat the boss with time to spare. Now let's destroy the MacGuffin before it envelops the kingdom in eternal darkness.
DM:...You open the door behind the dragon to find a long corridor leading to a pedestal, upon which rest the Chalice of Night. Next to it is a small goblin, surprised at your entrance. The goblin looks at the chalice, then at you, then at the chalice, snatches it, and runs off into the catacombs.
Goblin: Woopwoopwoopwoopwooopwooopwoop (like Zoidberg).
Paladin:...Oh, that goblin is so dead.
Kaleopolitus 12th Jul 2012, 11:14 AM edit delete reply
I'd (*) nail that goblin with my crossbow, first chance given XD

Edit: Actually, that requires you pull an entire new area you PROBABLY didn't have planned right out of your ass. Which is probably not easy at all.
Raxon 13th Jul 2012, 2:09 AM edit delete reply
Wasn't there something from Mr. Welch's list? I'm pretty sure it said that if you beat the boss in the first round of combat, the DM will have the boss's twin brother standing by.

Also, I have a useful trick for pulling a new, unplanned area out of your ass. If you need a few extra seconds to think of something, tell them the room is totally dark, but they hear the sounds of metal being dragged against stone, or high pitched laughter. Good luck after that, because you know someone's stupid enough to charge in and trip over the kobolds. When in doubt, throw some low level enemies at them to give you time to think.

I may never have DMed before, but there are two skills I'm very good at; stalling for time, and distracting people.
Digo 13th Jul 2012, 4:51 AM edit delete reply
OMG, this just gave me a brilliant idea for an interesting dungeon crawl-- A modular dungeon built by a large group of creatures (dwarves, kobolds, whatever). As the party explores it they occasionally hear the sounds of metal, stone, and wood being dragged around behind them.

The sound is from the builders changing the layout of the dungeon to prevent them from mapping the place.
Successfully navagating the dungeon is to hide and wait for the builders to go by and then ambush them as they reset the area you're hiding in.
Digo 13th Jul 2012, 4:48 AM edit delete reply
Well, maybe. Some DMs are good at impromtu dungeon constuction. I'm okay at it, usually I lack impromtu trap construction.
Panoptes 12th Jul 2012, 9:37 PM edit delete reply
I'm lucky enough that my first few experiences with RPGs was with a GM/DM/whatever who reacted to us beating his mid-boss with nothing more than an immediate flying tackle and some ridiculously lucky grapple rolls by actually giving us some unplanned interrogation time with the baddie. And then I killed him because we were all just wasting time trying to think of good questions to ask him. Fun times.
Goblin Scribe 12th Jul 2012, 10:08 AM edit delete reply
Wow. That white pony in the front on the Pony Tales cover has the same cutie mark as a character in my fanfic (a fanfic which was, incidentally, invented while thinking about a Pathfinder pony game).
Ranubis 12th Jul 2012, 12:29 PM edit delete reply
Really? That's neat, what's the character like? (As long as they aren't a gruff Lunaphobe I'll chalk it up to coincidence. Otherwise I'm checking for Pinkie Pie messing with the universe)
XandZero2 12th Jul 2012, 10:13 AM edit delete reply
Also, on the subject of DM Intervention - I've done that before a couple times when I realized I went overboard as the GM.

Best example for me?

When I had my Dragon Age party facing off against a powerful abomination (demonically possessed elf). I feared the battle would be too easy, so I threw in three skeletons for every PC (and NPC). I also had the skeletons erupt from the ground at the party's feet before the battle started - holding each PC at sword point while the abomination had his say.

-Well, at first it worked well, creating a very cinematic and tense scene - but then when the fighting broke out, the party started getting swarmed (partly because I decided to give the skeletons full HP, not minion HP).

I had to make the party's McGuffin a -LOT- more powerful than I'd originally planned, just to give the party a chance.

My thought process -

"Oh, I really f***ed this encounter up.

Let's see... How to fix this... Well, the McG is supposed to give a crit bonus against the demon to the player holding it? Well, let's just make it also be able to one-hit-kill every skeleton that the player hits... That sounds fair..."
Thud 12th Jul 2012, 10:24 AM edit delete reply
Um is there an official site for that RPG, I found a few sites promising similar but none of them look right.
Stairc 12th Jul 2012, 10:27 AM edit delete reply
If you're talking about Pony Tales; nope, there isn't yet. Really should make one, but I have no idea how to make a website. *laughs*

If anyone wants to help with that, it'd be great to hear.
Joe England 12th Jul 2012, 10:37 AM edit delete reply
I'm starting to think Fluttershy might be one of "those" players. The kind of borderline, emotionally fragile gamer who can't quite keep fantasy and reality separate, the nutcase stereotype who you don't think really exists but gives role-players in general a bad name, like Tom Hanks in Mazes and Monsters or Marcie from Dark Dungeons.
Any minute now she'll squeal "No, not Fluttershy! NO, NO! I'm going to die!" Then next thing you know she's in a phone booth in New York calling Twilight's player in the middle of the night all panicky and weepy. "There's fur on my hands! I think I adopted a baby chipmunk! I know I adopted a baby chipmunk!"
Kaleopolitus 12th Jul 2012, 11:17 AM edit delete reply
... I'm worried you might have missed your seventeen daily tea times, considering how little sense that made to me.
Stairc 12th Jul 2012, 11:18 AM edit delete reply
Tis a bad-movie-reference. Not that the reference is bad, the movie is bad. Joe England is probably fine.

... Probably.
Demonu 12th Jul 2012, 11:35 AM edit delete reply
Reminded me of the Chick Tracts regarding Dungeons and Dragons

To Stairc and anyone else, I've made my character sheet public access for those who want to see it.

Also, I am interested in playing a Pony Tales adventure with likeminded people if they want.
Stairc 12th Jul 2012, 11:42 AM edit delete reply
Looks great. In fact, it's been added to the list of sample characters in the Player's Handbook. :)

AlicornPriest 12th Jul 2012, 12:33 PM edit delete reply
I've been a lurker around here for who knows how long, but you've finally convinced me to comment. I would totally be into this. I desperately want more roleplaying experience, and what better place than with you fine people?
I've been reading the Pony Tales campaign, and it's been inspiring. Please, don't think me too much of a weirdo, but I had literally just thought, "Man, if another Pony Tales game opens up, I am there!"
So, uh, yeah. Sounds like fun.
Guest 12th Jul 2012, 1:06 PM edit delete reply
That's awesome. Hope another Pony Tales game opens soon. Who's willing to take the reigns and run it?
AlicornPriest 12th Jul 2012, 1:15 PM edit delete reply
And now I have a face.
Stairc 12th Jul 2012, 1:45 PM edit delete reply
Fantastic, it's great to see so many people excited by our antics!

Hope another game or two starts up. And anyone who likes can listen in as a spectator in our skype adventures (as well as commenting via our chat-stream). It's a lot of fun.
Bronymous 12th Jul 2012, 11:32 AM edit delete reply
"Seventeen daily tea-times"

Implying Joe England is a Hobbit? Or just a psychopath?
ThousandYearSunrise 12th Jul 2012, 12:34 PM edit delete reply
Joe, you're a fan of the Spoony Experiment, aren't you.
Joe England 12th Jul 2012, 11:18 PM edit delete reply
Destrustor 12th Jul 2012, 1:44 PM edit delete reply
Joe England? THE Joe England from zebragirl?
If so, I love your comic!
Joe England 12th Jul 2012, 11:19 PM edit delete reply
Hey, thanks!
Raxon 13th Jul 2012, 2:13 AM edit delete reply
Neat! I love that comic! Oh, but I'm not good at keeping with updates, so I tend to archive binge. 'Tis a good comic for binging!
Joe England 13th Jul 2012, 8:17 AM edit delete reply
Well I hope so. Heck, I'm not so good at keeping with updates either.
Kitty Petro 12th Jul 2012, 11:37 AM edit delete reply
First time I actually comment on this. Probably have nothing to do with the comic, but I have started playing pathfinder and have decided that my next figure will be an Illusjonist wizard named Trixie, with a zebra familiar named Zecora... it needs to be done
Lyntermas 12th Jul 2012, 11:42 AM edit delete reply
Well, do your friends know you're a brony?

Fellow teammate: I wonder why that guy always refers to his character in the first person. "The Great and Powerful Trixie"! Man, is that a reference or something? I wonder what happens if I just Google it and...what? WHAT?
Bronymous 12th Jul 2012, 11:55 AM edit delete reply
And then he becomes a Brony, and then the rest of them follow suit. That's how it goes.
Kitty Petro 12th Jul 2012, 12:15 PM edit delete reply
I have a Rainbow Dash keychain on my keys, I cosplayed RD on the last con I was at and I keep singing Pony songs at all times when I play Magic... yes they know
Zarhon 12th Jul 2012, 12:44 PM edit delete reply
Campaign continuation

Episode Pinkie Pie: "What makes me a good demoman?"


Int -> 13 + 8 = 21

Hmmm... You *are* a wizard... Maybe one of your spells could help with the smoke or the cylinder. Might need a bit of modification or improvisation though. You could try fixing the cylinder somehow as well... Or if worst comes to worst, you might have to "dispose" of the source with a bit riskier method...


You run through to the source of the smoke. It burns your eyes, but your vampiric heritage keeps you from being completely blinded by it.

Perception -> 13 - 5 = 8

The combination of thick smoke and hindered eyesight make it barely possible to find the container. You waste time stumbling around in the smoke, until you eventually find it, as the gas appears out of thin air from a small seam. You apply the wet rags onto the cylinder using the amulet, temporarily keeping it closed. The rag slowly starts changing color, dripping purple liquid as it does so. You're not sure how long this will help, as you have to apply pressure onto the rag to keep it sealed. The smoke starts to clear slowly, spreading over the backstage and crowd areas, flying upwards or settling.


Following Rolf's advice, you quickly go to seal off the carriage Horizon, the cleric and the prop wizard are in (the other actors ran away already). It's not perfect, but it should keep your safe, as long as the whole area isn't flooded with smoke.
Kris_The_Guest 12th Jul 2012, 1:14 PM edit delete reply
Tiffany sat down and closed her eyes, hoping and praying that everything would be okay.
Lyntermas 12th Jul 2012, 1:21 PM edit delete reply
Rolf stopped waving around the dry cloth and looked at Skitter. The plan was working, the smoke was starting to clear. Rolf took a look through his amulet and saw Skitter covering a small seam with the wet rags. He'd have to think of a better long term solution, though.

He tried to remember back to Nester's lessons. "You'll never learn all the spells in the world, boy. In most cases you have to use what you got and tweak it a bit. The most effective method: change your perception. You'd be surprised how wizards can fool themselves into getting stuff done."

Alright, let's see. There was a broken seam that needed to be closed and sealed. That seam was part of a square panel, surrounded by panels on other sides.

It was essentially like locking a door.

Rolf dropped the dry cloth and ran to where Skitter was holding down the rags. He pulled out his amulet and wrapped the chain around his skull so he was wearing it like a monocle. With both hands free, he built up his energies, and cast Hold Portal at the seam.

(Roll for Hold Portal. I considered having Rolf "know" Mending from Nester, but this seemed more fun. Also, anyone else think the episode title is a bit ominous?)
Zarhon 12th Jul 2012, 1:47 PM edit delete reply
Hold Portal -> 17 + 8 = 25

You tell Skitter to get ready to move the rag, so you can cast a spell on it instead. You do a short countdown and let loose your spel. Luckily, your alterations worked: The seam is now completely sealed by an invisible magical force.

Perception -> 19

Now that the source was cut off, and the smoke is no longer obscuring everything, inspect the cylinder more closely through the opening, using the amulet to gaze thrhough it. You can see that the smoke is swirling around a bit and that occupying about half of the cylinder's volume is a liquid of similar color. The smoke must be an evaporated version of that liquid.

With the lack of smoke covering everything, you also note something worrying.

The stabbed woman's body is gone.

Not just the body, in fact: The blood that was pooling here before appears to be missing as well. The only trace of it you can find is slight red coloring of the surface it was pooling on.
Lyntermas 12th Jul 2012, 2:15 PM edit delete reply
Rolf stared at the spot where the woman was and started to sputter. "Wh...where's the blood gone? I mean, the woman's fine, zombified or just carted off, that's relatively reasonable. But how did they get rid of the blood? Why did they get rid of the blood? We were here not five minutes ago, how could they do it so fast? Not to mention the smoke was shooting out right over her body, did they have breathing apparatus? WHY CAN'T ANYTHING JUST GO OUR WAY WITHOUT MORE COMPLICATIONS?"

He turned to Skitter, who was shrinking back a bit from the scary angry magic man. Rolf calmed down, he had to think about this rationally.

"Sorry about that outburst, Skitter. Alright, the smoke's been fixed, so we can tell the others to get out of the carriage. As I see it, we've got two jobs right now. One is trying to drain the liquid out of the cylinder without releasing any more gas, but I think that can wait. The first is trying to figure out if the woman's body is nearby. I, uh, don't suppose kobolds are good at sniffing for blood, are they?"
Ramsus 12th Jul 2012, 2:30 PM edit delete reply
"Dang, humans don't know anything about other 'lesser' races at all do they? Do I look like a blood hound or something? Sheesh" Thought Skitter but, what he said was, "Mmm. I can try. Though, I think you're overlooking something. If this is a job, who is paying me?"

(Because that was totally the right time to ask about the paycheck.)
Lyntermas 12th Jul 2012, 2:54 PM edit delete reply
Rolf looked down at Skitter. Well, it was a bit too much to ask for the little klepto to be doing this out of the goodness of his heart. Rolf tried to imagine what Skitter would think of different rewards.

The satisfaction of helping your fellow man?
"Not MY fellow man. And I already stole from a "fellow" kobold; I don't care about them."
Stopping the city from being taken over by a lich?
"I'll just leave then. There are other cities."
A shiny medal from the mayor?
"If I can't eat it or sell it, why would I want it?"
A "magic" pebble that turns rocks to gold that only works in a field far, FAR away from town? (It had worked once)
"You know I can rip you apart with shadows, right?"
A jar of dragon tee-
No. Not unless it was a last resort.

Rolf finally spoke to Skitter. "Tiffany is offering a reward for finding her brother, and these cultists are the best lead for it. The mayor will surely reward you handsomely for saving the city, but ONLY if we save the city. And if our mission takes us away from this blasted temple, I know a butcher shop where we might...requisition supplies. How about it, then?"
Ramsus 12th Jul 2012, 3:13 PM edit delete reply
"Hmmm. Those are acceptable terms. I'll hold you to them." With financial matters taken care of, Skitter saw if he could find any trace of what happened to the woman, using the amulet when applicable.

(Lol, yeah dragon teeth would be a really bad thing to offer a Kobold I'd think.)
Bronymous 12th Jul 2012, 2:42 PM edit delete reply
Sorry I'm late, was building a Pony Tales character, though I see I haven't missed much. Not much else to do, so I'll just comment for now.

1)The title's not the bad. i like it much better than "Horizon Dies Horribly".

2)Oh. My God. My FACE!. That shit ate her whole body and it GOT ON MY FACE!
Or, you know, something else.
Lyntermas 12th Jul 2012, 3:01 PM edit delete reply
I got the impression that the gas was more toxic than acidic. Otherwise my robes would be in tatters by now and Skitter would be melting. Not to mention said cloud would also have to evaporate the whole liquefied mess.
Bronymous 12th Jul 2012, 3:18 PM edit delete reply
Just a thought. Still waiting on my situation over here.
Zarhon 12th Jul 2012, 3:43 PM edit delete reply

Bloodbold check -> 3 + 3 = 6

You try to "sniff" out the blood. It doesn't work very well. Looks like you'll have to check it the old fashioned way.

Search -> 12

You think logically... Wherever the body went, it couldn't have gone far. Maybe the crowd...

You search through the remains of the crowds chaos again, for good measure. Eventually, you luck out, and find a set of footprints. The footprints are rather odd though... It looks as though they were left by bloodied shoes, but there isn't any actual blood: Just the faint red discoloring on the floor. Looking at the footprints, you see that they trail rather randomly, before eventually going to the stage, and into the backstage.

As you head off to notify Rolf, you find another set of footprints. You follow it until you reach the crowd entrance. No point going any further. As you retrace those steps, you find they suddenly end in a large red-tinted patch of soil. You recall searching this spot: There was some dead human here, one of the people killed in the chaos.
Ramsus 12th Jul 2012, 4:06 PM edit delete reply
Skitter goes to find Rolf. "I think we have a problem." He explains what he's found. "I could probably continue tracking but....I think. Maybe. We might not have much longer to be concerned with the little problems in" he smirks, "un-life."
Lyntermas 12th Jul 2012, 3:24 PM edit delete reply
Rolf watched as Skitter headed off. The kobold could be very useful if given direction. Rolf had neglected to mention that his "deal" was actually mostly out of his hands. He would bring Skitter to the butcher shop (if it was along the way they were going), but any other reward would have to be given by Tiffany and the mayor. At least he hadn't had to bargain with the-

Rolf had a realization, then smacked his skull. He had read that kobolds usually were the servants of dragons and were considered distant relatives of them. Dodged a magic missle there.

Rolf shook his head. He shouldn't want to try and just "use" people, not even Skitter. He decided that he would do his best to make sure Skitter got what was owed him.

Rolf stood up and started to head backstage to let his allies out, looking around through his amulet eyepatch.

edit: Well, I think we all know what to expect.
Bronymous 12th Jul 2012, 4:18 PM edit delete reply
Dafuq did you just make me watch
Lyntermas 12th Jul 2012, 4:22 PM edit delete reply
Rolf listened to Skitter's story about the non-bloody footprints and another missing body. He agreed that it was zombies, but wondered how they could have been raised without a necromancer nearby. The blood was the trick, he knew it. The blood of the recently dead was used to revive them and get them moving all by themselves. Would that mean that the graveyard was actually relatively safe?

What it most definitely meant was that the former location of the bar would soon be crawling with zombies. Zombies who used to be adventurers and heroes. That's not gonna be good at all.

Rolf finally remembered Skitter saying that one set of footprints was headed backstage. "We best go fetch our friends before they have a visitor." He rushed off toward the backstage area.
Zarhon 12th Jul 2012, 5:03 PM edit delete reply
Rolf & Skitter

You both head on over to the backstage area. As you do so, you suddenly see the tied up necromancer, hopping about, whilst still tied up. Something must have scared him. He clumsily falls to the ground, then attempts to roll/crawl away. Once he sees you, he starts mumbling very loudly (you had him gagged). You notice the footprints lead towards the carriages.

Tiffany & Horizon

Someone is banging on the door of the carriage.
Kris_The_Guest 12th Jul 2012, 5:10 PM edit delete reply
Tiffany looked up, hearing the banging.

(Blah, had to do yard work. Also, Tiffany doesn't have a lot of money but she's going to give up a family heirloom that's basically a red teardrop pendant on a silver chain. It may be magic but Tiffany has no idea how to activate it.)
Lyntermas 12th Jul 2012, 5:38 PM edit delete reply
Rolf quickly ran forward and grabbed the necromancer, keeping him in place. "You go ahead and help the others, I'll secure him." he said to Skitter. "There's only one, so you should be fine. Try using those shadow tricks you're good at. Oh, and whatever you do, don't set it on fire!"

He turned to the necromancer. "Hello there. Do I remind you of someone? Yes, well, your master does have a bit of a reputation. Part of which is that he doesn't tolerate failure. And you most certainly have failed, haven't you? The temple's still standing, the audience escaped, and you didn't even manage to blow yourself up with the scroll. Now you are to suffer a "fool's end", if I remember correctly. Now I'm not sure why a necromancer is afraid of a zombie, but I'm sure that my friends can keep it alive, or undead, rather, long enough so I can drag you over and find out. Or you could tell me everything I would ever want to know about your little organization. The choice is yours. Now I'm going to take this gag off, and if I hear a hint of a spell, I'll slap you with this bony hand of mine. So tell, sir," he asked, pulling off the gag, "what do you wish to share with me today?"

(Roll for Diplomacy. If it doesn't work, I can drag him back over and let Horizon have a crack at him.)

Speaking of, you might want to let Horizon know if he's in good enough condition to fight now.

@Bronymous: Glad you liked it.
Zarhon 12th Jul 2012, 6:07 PM edit delete reply
Horizon can fight in a pinch, but he'd be half blind doing so: One of his eyes is blurry, the other was covered to prevent permanent damage. His shoulder and arm are still hurt, but partially treated as well.


Diplomacy (Shouldn't it be intimidate?) -> nat1 -> Critical success (On account of boon from earlier)

The man swears that he'll tell you everything he knows if you get him the hell away from here. You ask him why. He just starts panicking some more.
"It's not just a zombie I'm running from. I barely woke up in time. I saw that thing come up to my partner... I don't want to think about it! Just get me out!"

Tiffany & Horizon

The banging is coming randomly, all around the carriage now.
Ramsus 12th Jul 2012, 6:15 PM edit delete reply
Skitter, cautiously, heads to where the other two are to see if they are in need of aid or just looting.
Kris_The_Guest 12th Jul 2012, 6:17 PM edit delete reply
"Okay, that's not normal." Tiffany muttered.
Bronymous 12th Jul 2012, 6:16 PM edit delete reply
So what all could this thing be, anyway? It doesn't seem like a regular zombie (what with the blood trick), so I have a few theories.

First (and most likely), the gas from the bomb is a reanimation agent, using blood as a medium. that might explain why Rolf felt that tingling, but nothing else. However, it seems to be out of the control of the cultists for some reason leading to my next theory:

Flesh Golem. The gas uses blood as a binding agent (same as above) in order to create a construct out of the dead host body- not technically a zombie, just a shell for some false life host.

Third theory is Blood Bending. Probably not, but hey, it explains the nature of the bodies and the need for the blood to be there. And who knows, there could be something like it going on.

EDIT: Whatever it is, its absorbing or assimilating the other dead bodies. Probably fairly gruesomely, too. Whether it came from a reaction of the gas with dead bodies or just used it for cover remains to be seen.

Another Edit: Possibly resurrecting multiple bodies (banging around the carriage), or it is just one entity in some form that can be all over the place at once (many limbs? gaseous? Really damn fast?)
Bronymous 12th Jul 2012, 6:56 PM edit delete reply
Horizon, now much more cognizant of his surroundings, sits against the wall away from the door. Still unable to see straight, and missing his helmet and kukri-seriously, you guys forgot to grab them- he knows he'll be less than effective in a fight. Luckily, there's a small, shaky girl there to protect him. Fantastic. Horizon stares at the door, awaiting whatever nightmarish thing might be about to force its way through.
Lyntermas 12th Jul 2012, 7:01 PM edit delete reply
(You're probably right about the gas being the means of change. I had originally thought that there was some sort of spell over the entire city that used the recently dead, but the timing of the gas and the "blood monster" confirms your theory. This means that the only monster sources are the bar and a few from the audience. I'm thinking flesh golem, because I think it doesn't need the gas to make more).

(Man, the wizards of the coast must not like me at all. I think I've gotten at least 4 nat 1's in this campaign so far. And you're probably right, Zarhon, it probably was Intimidate I should have used.)

Rolf was confused. The necromancer had seemed genuinely scared of what he had seen. If it wasn't a zombie, then what was it?

Rolf considered whether to go straight to the backstage or question the necromancer now. He'd have to move distance away from backstage to get any information out of this guy. On the other hand, if he just left the necromancer, he might just crawl away again.

Rolf made his decision. He'd question the cultist and then run back to help. He hoped that Skitter and the others would hold out until he got some information that could potential make that...thing easier to take down.

He dragged the cultist until they were about halfway down the crowd area. He then propped the cultist against one of the market stalls.

"This is as far as I'm willing to go. If you want to go further, than talk."
Ramsus 12th Jul 2012, 7:05 PM edit delete reply
I'm running a D&D game elsewhere and I'm doing all the rolls for it myself. So, we're still on the first combat of the game (since it's a full combat rules 4th ed game) and I've rolled over 15 nat 1's (I stopped counting at that point) and only 1 nat 20 (and that was on initiative). Fortunately for the players most of those nat 1's went to the monsters (though they certainly had their share).
Edit: Also the last three attacks by PCs in a row hit enemy defenses exactly at the defense value they were attacking.
Zarhon 12th Jul 2012, 7:14 PM edit delete reply

The cultist starts muttering, terrified:
"The gas... It reacts to death... Normally it just raises them... But master did something special to it... Made it unstable... Unpredicable..."

Before he can continue, you hear Skitter running like a maniac. He's yelling at you to come over, pronto...

Tiffany & Horizon

The rags that have been placed on the openings have started to turn red. The wizard and cleric are starting to get worried.

"What in blazes is going on?"


You carelessly move along to the carriage. Something is making a lot of noise there.

You turn round a corner of one of the carriages, coming into full view of the source of the sound.

You can scarcely describe the horror of what came next. Oh, sure, you can vaguely identify some features: One of them has slight feminine features and a dagger still lodged inside, another is wearing shredded pieces of a purple robe, and the third is mostly naked, as you took most of those whilst looting.
The rest of... it... is mostly unrecognizable, apart from the vibrant red colors. You're pretty certain you know what that is. The... whatever-that-is... is beating on the carriage like a mob of disgruntled kobold peasants.

Yeaaaaaaah. Time to fetch mr. smart-bones. And get a better agreement.

Big thanks to Romantically Apocalyptic for the picture source.

Lyntermas 12th Jul 2012, 8:00 PM edit delete reply
Rolf heard Skitter running toward him, screaming bloody murder. He turned to the cultist, who had started crying and blubbering. He couldn't get more information out of him like this.

"Let's finish this conversation later, shall we?" Rolf said, and pushed the cultist to the ground. There was a chance the cultist would crawl away by the time he got back, but it sounded like the situation backstage was more...pressing.

He caught a glimpse of Knife-Guy's helmet and knife near where the woman was. Yeah, we might need these. He picked them up and rushed over to where Skitter was frantically motioning for him to arrive. They moved quickly toward the carriages as Rolf tried to figure out what the cultist was talking aboOOOOOO GREAT GODS WHAT WAS THAT?

Rolf hid back behind the carriage they had just turned the corner of. What was he supposed to do against THAT? Okay, Rolf, think, think, don't panic, think.

"Okay," Rolf said in a wavering voice. "Here's the plan. You stay here. I'm going around to one of the other carriages that's not surrounded by blood monsters. I'm going to cast a Flare spell at, this is important, at the opposite corner of YOUR carriage. If we're lucky, the monsters will turn around and focus on you."

Skitter stared at Rolf for a moment, then started to turn away. Rolf quickly grabbed him and held him in place.

"Now, listen to me, i-it'll all be good. Because I hit the OPPOSITE corner from where you are, YOUR corner will be in shadow. Now, when the monsters start charging you, you just jump to another shadow. They're just dumb monsters, so they'll just stare where you were for a few seconds like idiots, heh, won't that be a laugh? Meanwhile, I'll run to the carriage where everyone is, let them out, and give Knife-Guy his knife and helmet back. And then...and then...we'll work from there. So what do you think?"
Ramsus 12th Jul 2012, 8:22 PM edit delete reply
You's considered polite to let other party members comment on a plan before you start carrying it out. For example Skitter could have said "Right, buys you time to get those alchemeists' fires." or "Hells no!"

Or suggest a better plan like let the guy who can teleport go into the carriage and tell the other two what's going on.

Well, now I guess we'll have to see how GM has the monsters react to this. Probably involves us all dying.

Edit: *sigh* And of course now I thought up a plan that would probably have killed all the monsters that we now can't carry out.
Lyntermas 12th Jul 2012, 8:29 PM edit delete reply
Dang it all. Sorry about that. Think I can edit before Zarhon comes back?

Hang it, I'll save the original text and try to rewind to let you say something. Hang on.

edit: I don't know how many laws of play by post etiquette I've broken at this point. Sorry everyone. Zarhon, let me know if you want the original text back up, but I'd like to see the others contribute. Your call.
Ramsus 12th Jul 2012, 9:43 PM edit delete reply
I don't know that there are too many pbp rules of etiquette. I think there's mainly on the two. 1) Don't control other people's characters (and there's exceptions to this like if they allowed you to or there's just absolutely nothing else they could be doing anyway). 2) Make sure when there would be time for another character to say/do something you leave them it.
Bronymous 12th Jul 2012, 8:31 PM edit delete reply
Ha. ha ha. Holy Dumb Fuck. Good luck with that. I think Ima have Horizon fail a fort save and pass out for this one.

Then again, it could be time to have him go full badass. We shall see.

Oh, and try to keep that cultist close by. I have plans for him.
Ramsus 12th Jul 2012, 9:34 PM edit delete reply
"I think that will get us both killed. Lemme think a sec..." *pause* *pause pause* *another pause for good measure* "So, OtherGuy and girl are in there. And OtherGuy has alchemist fire. I know that with burning certainty." He said the last with a grimace. "Even if you run over there, EVEN if those things are distracted as long as you want them to be that might not be enough time to get all three of you out of there with OtherGuy injured. It looks like those things are taking a bit of time to break in. With a bit of time in there and those alchemist fires and some wires I've collected from some of those things you made me put back...what? Stop looking at me like that. You didn't say put them back the way I found them did you? No. Right. And it helps now see? What was I saying?" *pause* "Right, wires and fires. So, I go in and prepare a trap. Tiffany knocks a hole out of the ceiling or something. Maybe you make a distraction so those horrible things don't notice those two run for it, then I open the door and ring the dinner bell. Then when they come in I vanish and....Boom!"

*pause* "What ya think?"
Lyntermas 12th Jul 2012, 9:46 PM edit delete reply
" actually a lot better thought out than my plan. Sorry, I just kept trying to be the hero, I guess. So, to recap, I stay here, you go in there, rig up the alchemist fire to explode when you leave, I distract the blood monsters for a second, the others leave, you open the door, monsters rush in, boom. Sounds promising...wait, if you can teleport in, why can't you just bring them out to, say, right here before you lure the monsters in?"

(Thanks for responding. I was freaking out a bit over here.)
Ramsus 12th Jul 2012, 9:55 PM edit delete reply
"I can't take others through the shadows with me." He says the following in a clearly over-dramatic fashion so it's unclear if he's at all serious of if he's just screwing with Rolf. "They are untrained in the Path of Shadows and it would rend their souls in twain."
Lyntermas 12th Jul 2012, 10:02 PM edit delete reply
"...Alriiight. Well, I can't think of anything better at the moment, so let's go with it. As for the wires...well, I'll put it down as "borrowing of non-essentials". That's usually how my Thieves' Guild friends justify it. I'll stay here and wait for someone to try breaking out of the roof, and then swing some Dancing Lights around to try and distract them. Good luck, Skitter."
Ramsus 12th Jul 2012, 10:09 PM edit delete reply
"You as well." With that, Skitter snuck his way around to the carriage as best he could without being spotted (roll: 15+8= hopefully success) and when he was as close as he could get he sunk through the shadows into the carriage.

(I'm just going to assume he managed to do that so we don't hold things up waiting on just "yes, you did that" from the GM. And even if he failed he can just run straight at it and teleport inside anyway.)

"Hello. Oh good, you're both still alive and this isn't yet full of horrible things. That's what's out there banging in case you were wondering. Lots and lots of horrible." He barely let that sink in before continuing. "So, guy, I'm going to need all the alchemist fires you got. Also any other explosives, alchohol, or anything else flamable, like...all these clothes. Tiffany, as soon as we're done setting up, and we have to be quick, knock a hole in the ceiling the two of you can climb out of. Then when I say, jump and run like you're being chased by angry Beholders."

(Reminder because Rolf is a smart guy: Re-gag the necromancer.)
Lyntermas 12th Jul 2012, 10:26 PM edit delete reply
Good work everyone. Now, as I believe I posted before, I have work and a camping trip coming up, so I won't be able to post until Sunday afternoonish. If you guys continue without me, I'll just have Zarhon roll for Dancing Lights once Rolf sees a hammer bursting out of the roof. The intended effect will be to have the four lights spin slowly and move back and forth, back and forth in front of the entrance of the carriage. Once everyone's out and the monsters are all dead, he'll give Horizon his helmet and kukri back, and rush back to the audience area to see if he can find that cultist (and regag him). Good night and good luck.

Oh, and Skitter, there are also the props wizard and the cleric inside the carriage as well.
Ramsus 12th Jul 2012, 10:28 PM edit delete reply
Ramsus, we have live bait? =P
Lyntermas 12th Jul 2012, 10:30 PM edit delete reply
Skitter, if you throw the cleric and the prop wizard to the monsters, bony Rolf will cry.

And then he'll chase you with magic missles because you'll have gotten him stuck looking like a lich for the next two horrible days.
Kris_The_Guest 13th Jul 2012, 4:06 AM edit delete reply
"O-okay..." Tiffany really did not want to question what was out there and went over to Horizon to help him up.

(Blaaaaaaaaaaah. Stupid sleep and yard work. My arms are so sore now because I had to lift stone blocks.)
Zarhon 13th Jul 2012, 5:58 AM edit delete reply
@ Lynt: Well I was asleep when you posted the original text so didn't see it. This one looks ok though. Maybe PM me the original if you wish. Generally yeah, no deciding actions for each other, unless it's something very minor.


7 + 8 = 15

You successfully cast your dancing lights out of sight of the monster. You watch carefully from a safe spot, waiting for the others to start escaping, before sending in the lights as a distraction.

Skitter, Horizon, Tiffany and co.

You start to prepare the trap. You set up the vial of alchemists fire on top of some rags. The wizard offers a flask of booze, which you use to further drench the rags and make them more flammable. The cleric decides to assist you by placing a few vials of holy water around. He also says he can help one person with a "Hide from Undead" spell.
The prop wizard says he can give three people a "levitate" spell (He uses the spell often as part of his job, as an alternative to holding actors up with wires). The door is starting to splinter at this point, whatever you plan on doing, do it fast.

[ One more action for preparing traps/deciding on what gets cast on who. Horizon, you're fully mobile as normal, but your vision is blurred. The wizard has trouble with walking/running though. Tiffany may or may not have a penalty climbing up, depending on how good her armor is for climbing. I assume by "alchemist fire" you mean just the one vial Horizon has? Or do you mean the volatile vials from the sack as well? Describe what exactly goes into the trap and how: You have several things to work with. You didn't specify who has which item, so I'll let you work with them all: I'll assume Skitter took the items from Rolf. ]
Kris_The_Guest 13th Jul 2012, 6:32 AM edit delete reply
Well, I think the hide from undead spell should go to the wizard and the cleric, Horizon, and Tiffany shroud get the levitate so the Tiffany and the cleric can help the wizard and Skitter can ride on Horizon.
Lyntermas 13th Jul 2012, 7:16 AM edit delete reply
Zarhon, I sent you a PM. See you all Sunday, and good luck.
Ramsus 13th Jul 2012, 10:15 AM edit delete reply
Ok, I think the Hide Undead spell should go on the Cleric and the other three should get levitated (hopefully they'll pause to help him up). Kris, Skitter is staying behind as bait so no need to worry about him.

As for the trap, skitter will use whatever that will explode or add extra flammability that they happen to have. He'll also line the walls, ceiling (except for the part of the ceiling the others are going to bust out of) and floor with clothes or flammable props. If he finds any sharp objects they don't need he'll place them around the bomb (yay shrapnel!).

The trigger mechanism will be a simple trip wire set on the far side away from the bomb (which will be on the side closer to the door). Basically he wants to ensure as many of the things get inside the carriage before it explodes, so he'll open the door and race over to the far side (hopping over the trip wire) and presumably being chased will teleport out and run as fast as he can away (he's not going to spend any time trying to go whichever direction the others are, just away from the coming explosion whichever way is fastest).

Edit: Zarhon, I have also sent you a PM.
Zarhon 13th Jul 2012, 10:47 AM edit delete reply
Still waiting on Horizon's vote on spell use / methods and plans.
Bronymous 13th Jul 2012, 11:28 AM edit delete reply
Aww thanks. You guys post way too fast at the weirdest times.

The plan is solid and we're too far in for me to have any reason not to do it. I will say this: He can have two- because I still have three left- of my Alchemist's Fires, but I'm holding onto the last one. Same goes for the volatile chemical vials. I'm planning something cool and I need one of each to do it properly.

The Hide from Undead spell goes to whoever isn't levitating us (the wizard). We can pull him out with us until we're clear of the... thing. He won't need to run once he's a safe distance, so he should be fine, so long as it's distracted.

I still can't see, so I will need some direction until that clears up.
Ramsus 13th Jul 2012, 11:49 AM edit delete reply
You know that the wizard can choose himself as a target for levitate right?

The reason I chose the cleric for the Hide Undead was because Horizon is blindish, Tiffany wears heavy armor and is therefore probably slower, and the GM said the wizard isn't going to do well climbing/running.
Bronymous 13th Jul 2012, 11:58 AM edit delete reply
Well whoever doesn't levitate still will have to be lifted out. It's not like they can just walk out the front door, Hide from Undead or not.
Zarhon 13th Jul 2012, 1:02 PM edit delete reply
So, from what I gather, you want the wizard hidden, and Tiffany, the Cleric and Horizon levitating.

The spells are quickly cast and traps set. The cleric makes the wizard impossible to perceive by the monstrosity, while the wizard makes Tiffany, Horizon and the cleric levitate. Skitter stands near the door, while the others move to the farthest side of the carriage, making sure not to trip the wire. Tiffany starts hitting the roof with her hammer in an attempt to break it.

6 + 5 = 11

The boards on the roof shatter fairly quickly, thanks to the added height. You expand the hole enough for a single person to squeeze through.

Meanwhile, the door now has splintered enough to have several large holes in it. Tendrils of blood matter are starting to extend through them, whilst skeletal hands grip on the edges of the holes, trying to break them open further.

Rolf sees the roof of the carriage breaking, and sends in his orbs as a distraction.

(What order are you going through the hole? The wizard needs 1-2 people outside to help him climb.)
Bronymous 13th Jul 2012, 1:54 PM edit delete reply
Kinda figured someone would have answered by now. Let's do, Tiffany first, most capable and can secure the gap. Cleric is next, they help pull the wizard, and Horizon brings up the rear.

Edit: waiting...waiting...loading...waiting...
Zarhon 13th Jul 2012, 3:10 PM edit delete reply
DISCLAIMER: This update was postponed by season 3 spoiler giddyness. :p


You can see through the hole that the dancing lights are flying about. Despite this, one of the monstrosities is still attempting to barge into the carriage. Its tendrils start lashing out and attempt to grab you.

Tendrils roll -> 2

Luckily, you avoid getting gripped by them, allowing you a chance to counter-attack.


Tiffany floats up first and gets her first good look at the monster. This situation may not the be most unfortunate one in her life, but it sure is the most terrifying.

Stealth - Tiffany
11 + 5 = 16

She crouches down, in an attempt to keep her presence unknown from the monster(s). You're pretty sure the things will be able to reach you with those icky tendrils if they notice you. Luckily, so far they're simply distracted by some shiny floating balls flying around, and none of you are directly in their view enough to be noticed straight away.

Stealth - Cleric
9 + 5 = 14

The cleric silently floats up next and positions himself next to the hole. The monsters still haven't noticed either of you.

Pull up
13 - 5 + 3 + 3 = 14

Together, you pull up the wizard onto the roof. He groans painfully as his rib presses onto the side of the carriage. Luckily, the spell made him inaudible to the monsters.


Stealth - Horizon
6 + 8 - 5 = 9

You rise up through the hole. However, due to your blurry vision and general inability to judge distance, you misjudge your height, and end up levitating a bit too high over the carriage, causing one of the monstrosities to notice you on the carriage, and in extension, the rest of you. It starts clawing towards the roof, tendrils spreading along with it.
Ramsus 13th Jul 2012, 3:20 PM edit delete reply
Skitter tries to slice away the tendril (roll: 8. Uh...probably not but, who knows?) and waits to make sure the others are clear of the carriage. He certainly wouldn't want to get them all caught right in the blast.
Bronymous 13th Jul 2012, 3:30 PM edit delete reply
YOU SAW THAT TOO?! I can't wait. I wonder what Fluttershy Dragon means? Also, Songs. Also, Trixie.

So yeah, this is why I said I need some direction earlier.

Through his blurry vision, he can see only a wriggling mass of red surrounding the carriage. Quietly, but loud enough that the others can hear he laughs. "Heh. that's funny. I'm certain if I could see straight, I would be kind of scared of that." He remains confident, unaware that he has been spotted, and of the approaching danger. He hesitates, waiting for a cue and direction from the blob that must be Tiffany.
Kris_The_Guest 13th Jul 2012, 3:32 PM edit delete reply
2 guesses on Flutter-gon.
1. Messed up spell.
2. Part of a dream sequence.

Also, I showed my brother a picture of the blood-skeleton monster and he said, "Kill it with fire. If it's obviously not on fine, use fire first."

Tiffany yelped slightly, ready to hit at them with her hammer.
Bronymous 13th Jul 2012, 3:56 PM edit delete reply
I'm pretty sure everyone who saw that picture immediately thought "kill it with fire". I know I did. Obviously so did Ramsus, hence the fire-bomb trap.

Just saw the footage of the Twilight/Spike Duet.
Zarhon 13th Jul 2012, 4:47 PM edit delete reply

You strike out at the tendril, but miss. The monster continues breaking the door, and sends another tendril at you.

Tendril -> 16

It grabs a hold of you and is starting to pull you towards the half-broken door.


The tendrils start trailing over the roof of the carriage, towards you, as you see a red bony arm gripping the edge of the roof, further supported by the tendrils. Tiffany quickly tries to smash it before it can try anything.

Tiffany -> Nat 20 (HAMMERTIME!)

A red skull raises over the roof just in time to be impacted by the full force of Tiffany's hammer, crushing it like a wallnut. It crashes down like a ragdoll, knocking down another skeleton along with it.


The grip on the tendril suddenly loosens as you hear a loud crash. Something fell on top of the monster trying to break the door. This actually severed the bony hand that the tendril was attached to. Despite this, the tendril is still trying to uselessly "pull" you closer towards it's source (which is lying motionless on the floor of the carriage).
Bronymous 13th Jul 2012, 5:10 PM edit delete reply
Upon hearing the crash, Horizon spins around in the air, but to little effect; He can't see anything except one of the blobs resuming a standing position. He rubs his eyes for good measure, and then called out. "Let's go! We need to light this thing!". He then grabs the only blob that is definitely stuck standing on the roof and lifts off, moving towards what must be the temple wall.
Kris_The_Guest 13th Jul 2012, 5:13 PM edit delete reply
Tiffany panted slightly, smiling a little.

Woo! Hammer time!
Hammerton (a Cranidos): Cran?
Not you, silly.
Zarhon 13th Jul 2012, 5:48 PM edit delete reply

Daring rescue -> 10 - 5 = 5

You swoop in and quickly grab the standing blob. Judging from the unexpected weight, you must have grabbed Tiffany. You're having a bit of trouble keeping holding onto her on account of her heavy armor. You proceed to then fly straight towards what you assume are the temple walls.


Horizon suddenly swoops in and picks you up. You are now being carried by a near-blind man with zero depth perception. Meanwhile, the cleric picks up the wizard and lifts him away from the carriage, shouting to Skitter that everyone is off.
Ramsus 13th Jul 2012, 5:46 PM edit delete reply
Well, I think Skitter's waiting till the others are clear still stands. *shrug* Just making sure the GM isn't waiting on me or something.
Zarhon 13th Jul 2012, 5:52 PM edit delete reply
Now I am :p

edit: Ninja'd. The "all clear" was given.
Kris_The_Guest 13th Jul 2012, 5:54 PM edit delete reply
"UPUPUPUPUPUPUP!" Tiffany screamed, thinking that were getting close to the blood skeletons.
Ramsus 13th Jul 2012, 6:21 PM edit delete reply
(Ok, all clear? Right then.)

Skitter throws open the door and shouts, "BLOODY MURDER!" because this is a thing he has heard that humans shout for some reason. It certainly seemed like an appropriate time for it if there would ever be one.

After he notes he has the frothing attention of the blood skeletons, he races back to the other side of the carriage, hopping over the trip wire, and wait until they're almost upon him to teleport outside. Then he runs for it as fast as he can.
Bronymous 13th Jul 2012, 6:34 PM edit delete reply
"Oh, it's you. I thought I grabbed the one who couldn't fly." Horizon ascends a few feet before letting go of Tiffany, and was rewarded with a terrified yelp, shortly before she remembered she was also levitating. "Now will someone please point me in the right direction?" The blurred vision in conjunction with the lack of gravity gave him a slight sense of vertigo, and he had to focus to remain upright.

Sorry, took a little liberty with Tiffany. I figured that might be how she would have responded to being dropped.
Kris_The_Guest 13th Jul 2012, 7:39 PM edit delete reply
Tiffany tried to assist Horizion.
Zarhon 13th Jul 2012, 7:46 PM edit delete reply
Continued later. Off to bed.
Bronymous 13th Jul 2012, 8:10 PM edit delete reply
I doubt we're gonna get very far in the next few days, what with being a man down unless:

1- Lynt sent Zarhon a comprehensive list of everything he plans to do, every response, and every conceivable back up in case something plays out differently. Not likely.

2-Rolf gets caught in the explosion, dies, and then we don't have to worry about what he wants to do. More likely, though a total dick move, unless he suggested it (less likely).
Zarhon 13th Jul 2012, 8:26 PM edit delete reply
1- Well, actually, he kinda did do that.

2- That's more likely to happen to people who shove a kukri into a potentially explosive device. Or throw vials of alchemist's fire onto crowds.
Bronymous 13th Jul 2012, 8:34 PM edit delete reply
We had determined that it wouldn't explode, and we were right. Besides, it advanced the story.

And there were safety precautions in place when I threw it at that crowd, even if I didn't technically know about it- and again, it advanced the story (it damn near opened the story).
Ramsus 13th Jul 2012, 9:12 PM edit delete reply
Could have opened a very different kind of story, lol.
Kris_The_Guest 14th Jul 2012, 5:11 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, Horizon could have met Tiffany's hammer before she met Tiffany.
Zarhon 14th Jul 2012, 6:20 AM edit delete reply
New page up, continuing there laterz. Tune in as Tiffany leads Horizon straight into his fiery demise!
Kris_The_Guest 14th Jul 2012, 6:48 AM edit delete reply
Me : Yay!
Tiffany : Hey! I'm not going to kill him!
Hammerton : Mrr? *is sitting on Horizon's head.
Jason Shadow 12th Jul 2012, 1:02 PM edit delete reply
Jason Shadow
Well, I'm really liking the look of this Handbook, Stairc. I've already started to formulate a list of character concepts; I doubt I'll actually do anything with them, but it'll be fun to make their character sheets.

Just a couple of questions, though. First off, how does one know how many hit points one has in the first place? I looked, but I couldn't find that anywhere. Also, are you planning to release other sourcebook-type things like, say, a Monster Manual? Or are things like, for instance, gryphons or buffalo pretty much "reskinned" pegasi and earth ponies, respectively?
Stairc 12th Jul 2012, 1:14 PM edit delete reply
Sweet. Glad you're having fun.

Now answers...

1) In the combat section, it lists that everypony has 30hp. It's just one line, easy to miss. I considered giving earth ponies more and unicorns less, but that would make earth ponies strictly better at combat - and I wanted the racial selection to be a purely roleplaying choice.

2) Yep! Definitely going to be more sourcebooks and the player's handbook will expand too. You can definitely reskin a pegasus and call it a gryphon, but I'm planning on coming out with additional race options anyway.

3) There will be a selection of basic monsters and some instructions on how to craft your own custom critters in the upcoming DM's guide. And expanded Monster Manual might come out too given enough time, especially if somepony wants to contribute to the system and make a bunch of monster designs.

4) Level-Ups, additional combat talents and equipment options are all eventually going to be part of the system. I'm looking forward to adding those parts.
masterofgames 12th Jul 2012, 1:19 PM edit delete reply
Is there by any chance a starting level game starting soon I could join?
Stairc 12th Jul 2012, 1:42 PM edit delete reply
Frankly, it looks like there's every chance of that. Scanning the comments here it seems a ton of people want to give the system a try. I count Demonu, AlicornPriest, XandZero2, Qin the Kirin, Ramsus, Dreamer, Azureink and MirrorImage at a glance... And I know there's a lot more, since I got a ton of applications for the original game.

I hope some brave pony will step up and run an adventure. DMing is really not hard at all.
masterofgames 12th Jul 2012, 1:57 PM edit delete reply
Well, as soon as someone starts a group and I look over the rules a bit more closely I'd be more than willing to join. I'd do it myself but sadly I have no actual experience behind the wheel save for a planned campaign for a different system that never really got more than half finished and never actually started.
Stairc 12th Jul 2012, 2:03 PM edit delete reply
DMing is lots of fun. If you want help putting together some adventures, I'd be happy to provide it.
Shiva 13th Jul 2012, 4:33 PM Monsters edit delete reply
Been lurking for a while, but wanted to comment here. I love drawing critters. Maybe I could help with the monster manuel?
Stairc 13th Jul 2012, 4:47 PM edit delete reply
That sounds great! We could always use more artists. Why don't you email me at It's getting impossible to keep track of all these comments. =)
Jason Shadow 12th Jul 2012, 1:33 PM edit delete reply
Jason Shadow
Ah, thanks! I look forward to future content.
Demonu 12th Jul 2012, 2:37 PM edit delete reply
Speaking of DM's, is there a DM handbook or some guidelines?

Roleplaying content I could wing with just skill rolls but say the group suddenly got face to face with a manticore. How would one go about that?
(I probably could wing this too but just asking)
Stairc 12th Jul 2012, 2:46 PM edit delete reply
Absolutely Demonu, the DM's guide will be posted on the Saturday Comic. I'm finishing up the section on combat now. =)

I hope you run an adventure of this Demonu. What with your Five Fathers stories, you're probably perfect for bringing adventure to Equestria.
Bronymous 12th Jul 2012, 2:51 PM edit delete reply
OK. Made mine, just a question: How does attacking work? Is it just those Combat Talents, or is it a separate Standard Action?

Also, my Special Talent bonus didn't seem to neatly fit into any of those skills (working with fire), so I put it into Mechanical. Is there probably a better skill to put that with, since my Special Talent doesn't actually have to do with anything mechanical?
Stairc 12th Jul 2012, 2:59 PM edit delete reply
1) Attacking means using a combat talent. Using one takes a Standard Action, unless it's an immediate action or a free action. Simple and slick.

2) If it's magical working-with-fire, Arcana might be great. If it involves precise skill, acrobatics could be good. If it's physically taxing, athletics could work. If you just know a heckuva-lot about working with fire, history might fit. If working with fire has made you tough, you could choose endurance.

There's a whole lot of options. :)
Bronymous 12th Jul 2012, 3:06 PM edit delete reply

Reworking. Kthnx.

Reedit: Nevermind
AlicornPriest 12th Jul 2012, 6:47 PM edit delete reply
So, can you just kick people in the face? Or can you only attack with a talent?
Guest 12th Jul 2012, 7:11 PM edit delete reply
Attacking with a talent is kind of kicking them in the face. If you just want a RP smack though, athletics or acrobatics will do.
LoganAura 12th Jul 2012, 8:05 PM edit delete reply
Proof is that when Soaring bucked Al in the face (That will not have context :P) He rolled stunts. I think that was a 28 or something that sent Al Flying.
Oblivious 13th Jul 2012, 12:06 PM edit delete reply
Actually, it was 35(18 for the roll itself, 12 for stunts, and the +5 for the Aerial Ace talent, since I was in the air when I kicked).
Cain 12th Jul 2012, 8:54 PM edit delete reply
I could DM, if I get more free time... we'll see later I guess
Dreamer 12th Jul 2012, 1:52 PM edit delete reply
Great comic series so far. And I'm loving the Pony Tales rulebook that was linked. I'd definitely be interested in playing in a pony game if it started up.
Appkes 12th Jul 2012, 2:07 PM edit delete reply
The Earth pony stuff is a leeeetle pinky-focussed I reckon, but the Rod Of Wonder brings back memories...

Aerdith, my grouchy elvish rogue was given a ring that resisted all attempts to find out what it was, although the wizard hazarded that it might be a 'wishing ring'. Much later, Cthuloid monstrosities are almost TPKing is, just me left alive, lost my last weapon, so, hoping it was a Wishing ring, I put it on. Uh-oh. DMs rolling loads of dice. Not good!

"The abominations... Turn into pink painted balloons and fly away, streamers and bubbles fizzling off them."

It was the Creators Ring, which crystallises pure creation out of nothingness. THE mcGuffin. Effects: roll on the Table of Tables.
That was basically a table that decided whether to roll on the grit table, the damage table, the Rod of Wonder table, or the Creation table.
Stairc 12th Jul 2012, 3:05 PM edit delete reply
1) Yep, the only earth-pony-specific skills tend to be pinky-flavored; since I want everypony to have access to the other things. Earth pony racials are what really make them who they are, and they're very flexible.

2) Rods of Wonder are amazing. You should have seen Newbiespud's delighted laughter when he saw the Tons of Fun ability.

I remember a +6 dancing blade that was enchanted to attack anyone who tried to pick it up. The party figured this out (it was my Summer D&D Campers) but they didn't want to just leave such a powerful item... So they pointed their rod of wonder at it for kicks.

They rolled a 36 and I read the effect.

"Target is transformed into a chicken".

So the party got a +6 dancing chicken at level 2, and the druid proceeded to use it to beat the crap out of all their enemies for the rest of the camp.

Panoptes 12th Jul 2012, 9:51 PM edit delete reply
Maybe some stuff about growing things for earth ponies? As in not just knowing how to grow them, but in the "all ponies can use some magic" sense. Poison Ivy character, anyone?

I can see no possibility for abuse of this talent! None whatsoever! MOVE ALONG QUIETLY!
Stairc 12th Jul 2012, 10:01 PM edit delete reply
That's a sweet idea. If I add something like that though, I'll probably want to make it available for Everypony. I'm a fan of giving Everypony options and allowing a lot of unusual character concepts. The brilliant barbarian or rustic unicorn are more interesting than the more stereotypical options by definition.

That's why I feel like Earth Ponies are made special by their awesome racials. But if people can come up with some great ideas for talents only earth ponies would have - I'll happily add them. :)
Raxon 13th Jul 2012, 2:37 AM edit delete reply
Rock farming. Earth ponies would have a special racial affinity for rock farming, because they have a special connection to the earth, and they're better at growing things. What could be earthier than rocks, which the earth is made of?

A fabulously wealthy rock farmer who grows decorative stone, such as fine marble, or granite. After the mishap at the gala, they had to replace those marble pillars somehow. It's so utterly ridiculous that I could make a good, solid character based around this concept. A real salt of the earth type... Who happens to grow decorative cooking salts as a hobby.
Jason Shadow 13th Jul 2012, 12:05 PM edit delete reply
Jason Shadow
I second this motion. Rock farming sounds like a great idea.

Additionally, I noticed a sort of issue for options, utility-talent-wise. As far as racials go, they tend to be pretty centered towards one member of the species - as mentioned before, Pinkie Pie for earth ponies most obviously, but there's a definite slant towards Rainbow Dash in the pegasus talents. Even the unicorn list seems a little Twilight-focused, though this is probably due to Twi's magical jack-of-all-trades status. I suppose the unicorn list is more or less fine, but the others could definitely use some tweaking - especially because the earth pony list is shorter than the pegasus one, which is in turn shorter than the unicorns'.

As for how these lists could be beefed up, I have a few ideas, which - since this is getting a little long - I shall elaborate on in the next comment.
Stairc 13th Jul 2012, 12:26 PM edit delete reply
I'd definitely like to hear your ideas. =)
Jason Shadow 13th Jul 2012, 12:52 PM edit delete reply
Jason Shadow
Earth Ponies - Their type of inherent magic seems to be the most subtle and internalized, so their utility talents would most likely tend towards options less "flashy" than the other races', except for the case of the "crazy awesome" ones for exceptional individuals like Pinkie Pie. As such, they would probably be more passive options like increased stamina, a health bonus, or something of that ilk. Maybe an option for offering greater aid to fellow team-members could help. Additionally, they seem to be of the more naturalistic slant, so the aforementioned plant growth options would probably be a good option for them - maybe minor talent-things along those lines could go for Everypony, while more advanced ones could be reserved for earth ponies?
Here's a sample earth pony talents that I just came up with off the top of my head, as an example...
"Fruits of Our Labor: Pick two specific types of action that could result in a quantitatively-measured gain, like crop-harvesting, architectural building, panhandling, or gathering an angry mob. Whenever you take a considerable amount of time pursuing this course of action, roll a d20. The number that comes up is the percentage of extra items gained (say, 20% more apples, 5% more square footage, 8% more bits, or 17% more rioters, respectively)."

Pegasi: As far as I can see, the flight aspect for pegasi is pretty well-covered, but maybe more options for weather manipulation could be a good idea - talents geared towards changing the weather faster, or with more potent results. Perhaps this could be split into specialist groups, like rain, wind, snow, clear weather, etc... Also, pegasi come from a strongly militaristic background, and maybe this could also be reflected here. A greater chance to resist fear? More potent leadership skills in the face of natural disaster? A greater ability to shrug off certain types of damage (at the very least, falling damage... if that's even an issue)?

Unicorns - Don't touch this, at least not until the others catch up in terms of options.

Additionally, there was one choice that I viewed with concern - namely, "Create Crazy Contraption". While earth ponies right now seem to need all the help they can get, I can't help but feel that this particular skill seems to pidgeonhole most bungling inventors, mad scientists, and other gizmo-related archtypes into the earth pony race. While we know this isn't the case (Flim and Flam, anyone?), and the Mechanics skill offsets this somewhat, it still strikes me as the sort of thing that shouldn't be so restricted - after all, if we can have a pegasus animal specialist, why not a pegasus inventor? Personally, I can see two solutions for this:
A) Move that talent into the "Everypony" group. (However, for the love of Celestia, DON'T do this - at least not until the earth ponies get more options! Like I said before, every edge...)
B) Create a variant type of skill along the same lines for the "Everypony" group with narrower applications - say, for instance, the object in question has to relate to the character's cutie mark, or it has to run on a particular pony-supplied fuel (like magic for a unicorn or steam-power for a pegasus). This opens up the inventor archtype for all races while still giving earth ponies the advantage in terms of variety.

Well, that's all I have to say on the matter for now. If I come up with something else, I'll be sure to bring it up.
Stairc 13th Jul 2012, 1:11 PM edit delete reply
Great to hear your thoughts.

Interestingly, you've kind of hit on the main design challenge in your post. Every time I make a cool earth pony talent, players tend to want it open to all ponies. Just like your bringing up Create Crazy Contraption, and others have brought up talents like Twitchy Tail and Fracture the Fourth Wall - asking that those be Everypony talents (while at the same time saying Earth Ponies need more talents). Their reasoning? Because they don't want specific character concepts to be pidgeonholed into one race or another - like how you bring up the bungling inventor pony.

Frankly, I'd like to put every talent under Everypony - but that wouldn't make any sense with the series. People can accept that Unicorns have magic-specific powers and Pegasai have flight and weather specific powers... But talents that are clearly and solely belonging to earth ponies? Those are much harder for people to pin down - simply because earth ponies don't have any distinct abilities like their kin.

My response has been to make Earth Ponies have simply insane racial boosts. Applejack might not be able to fly, but when the contest is something she can handle - she's very good at it. Earth ponies also are great in communities and seem to be great at pickign up all sorts of trades. This led to the free Freaky Knowledge slot, the incredible boost to supporting allies and, of course, the Epic Pwny trait.

Right now the approach seems to be that Unicorns and Pegasai have more options, but the earth ponies have the coolest racial boosts. Is that necessarily a bad thing?

I'd be happy to make more talents for every category, but we just need to keep these issues in mind. :)
Jason Shadow 13th Jul 2012, 1:41 PM edit delete reply
Jason Shadow
While it can be a little restricting for the earth ponies, I can definitely see your point. Really, the problem with earth ponies in the show is that their racial boosts AREN'T the coolest - when the other races have wings or "wizard" magic, it's kind of hard to keep up. Perhaps a few really good crazy-awsome options ARE the best fit for the earth ponies.

Of course, the less options the race has, the more each member of that race is going to resemble the others. Sure, you could have an earth pony who gets the benefits of Twitchy-Tail and Fracture the Fourth Wall from detective skills instead of medium awareness, but however you portray a character, they'll tend to play the same way outside of pure roleplaying. So far, it seems like except for the unicorns, one kind of has to rely on Everypony traits to differentiate their character from every other or their race.

Then again, maybe that's a good thing. After all, the less one is restricted by character options, the more flexibility is allowed. Of course, take it too far, and it starts to beg the question of why there are races in the first place.

I dunno. Ultimately, you have the final say, and I'm starting to feel very conflicted about this whole issue. All I can say is that you should proceed in the way you think is best.
Stairc 13th Jul 2012, 1:50 PM edit delete reply
Thanks for your thoughts. And that's definitely the way I've been heading, most ponies are meant to take lots of Everypony talents to differentiate themselves. The racial-only ones are only there when you absolutely have to have something be race-specific for flavor purposes.

As more Everypony talents are added to the system, the issue should get smaller and smaller.

If anyone can brew up more talents, whether for Everypony or a race in particular, let me know. If they're awesome, and I'm sure many will be, I'd be thrilled to include your ideas in the Pony Tales handbook and give you credit as the designer.

MirrorImage's first talent has already been included. =)
LoganAura 13th Jul 2012, 2:05 PM edit delete reply
For Earth Ponies, I think "Variety" Could be a good talent, whether racial or just a chosen one. "Bring one extra talent into combat."
Simple, but it fits the idea that Earth Ponies are much more versatile.
Stairc 13th Jul 2012, 2:25 PM edit delete reply
Great idea. I'll pencil that in as a concept for the upcoming Traits supplement (which will likely form the backbone of leveling up!).

There's a slight issue with including it as a utility talent though. I really don't want utility-talents to have anything to do with combat for a key reason... I need to protect the system from myself. Though I love roleplaying a lot more than combat, when I'm building a character I always try to make a real badass.

When systems give you resources that can be spent on either combat *or* non-combat, some party members choose more combat-focused things while others choose more utility things. And then everyone comes together, wanting to show off how cool they are, but since they're cool at different things - you get ponies like Rainbow Dash upset that the group as a whole doesn't want to play in a way that'll show off how cool their character is.

Whew, that was long-winded. But basically, while something like Variety would be great for the upcoming Traits supplement (which is going to be designed to give even more options for combat), we can't include it in the utility talents.
LoganAura 13th Jul 2012, 2:29 PM edit delete reply
Ok Stairc.
Hm... I'm gonna think up more talents and post them in the Skype chat.
Stairc 13th Jul 2012, 2:32 PM edit delete reply
Sounds great. And again, a version of Variety will almost definitely be added to the upcoming Traits supplement.

Would you mind emailing your ideas to me at the moment though? I can't check skype right now, so I might miss them.
Stairc 13th Jul 2012, 2:07 PM edit delete reply
I love the idea of rock-farming, but hasn't the series kind of firmly established gem collection as Rarity's thing? Seems odd to make a rock-farming talent for earth ponies when gems seem to be gathered by magic unicorns.
Jason Shadow 13th Jul 2012, 2:24 PM edit delete reply
Jason Shadow
Well, no one said that Rarity grew the gems herself. It's sort of a difference between normal farming and the whole hunter-gatherer thing - any old fool can go and pick an apple if they can find the right tree, but actually growing one is a whole different matter entirely.

Of course, this begs the question if any one with the proper skill and dispositon can grow minerals... Argh, it's right back to where we started!
Stairc 13th Jul 2012, 2:27 PM edit delete reply
True. And I really like the idea of growing gems. It just seems odd to make gem-growing an earth pony thing, when