View Full Version : Friendship is Magic, the Tabletop RPG

2011-03-26, 08:17 AM
hi hi

I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this, if not, i can remove it. Hopefully it all works out.

When I first started watching My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, I was inspired by the elements of harmony to make a social oriented game that was based on the concept of character strengths as the elements that define a character. I haven't had much in the way of playtesting, so there are some things that might not be balanced, but I am expecting to revise some things as I go. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

In any case, without further ado, I give you: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, the Tabletop RPG.

Part 1: Basics.

The purpose of this game is to strike a balance between narrative vision and fair gameplay elements.

1a: Mechanics.
The game is played with one or more decks of (standard 52) playing cards. ((For 2-3 people, you might be able to get away with just having one deck, but for more people it might be better if everyone has their own. I don't know exactly what this will mean for card math and probabilities, but hopefully it will become apparent with playtesting.))
Normally the game master and the players will simply describe what their characters are doing in order to move the story along. However, whenever there is a disagreement about what should happen, the players involved will get into conflict. Most of the time, it will be the game master making things challenging or the players taking ownership of the story.
When conflict starts players draw a number of cards based on their relevant attribute and a special characteristic that their character possesses. The players narrate what their character is doing and back that action up with a hand of cards. Whoever can play the best hand -as though playing poker- will win that turn. When one player folds the conflict or can no longer continue, the game resumes its normal mode.

1b: Character Definitions.
Talent: The one special talent that defines your character. (i.e. butt symbol stuff)
Type: What kind of pony the character is.
Attribute: A set of basic strengths/weaknesses that every character possesses. (see below)
TRR: Trait-Relationship-Resource, typically one of the three is chosen.
Trait: A set of personal talents that help define your character.
Relationship: The individuals and groups that are important to your character.
Resource: Physical things that your character possesses.

1c: Character Attributes
Every Character has a rank in four physical attributes, six virtues, six corresponding opposites and one special attribute.

Physical Attributes:
Strength: The ability to push, pull, jump, buck, kick and go fast.

Grace: The ability to dance, balance, operate tools, twist and turn.

Stamina: The ability to go the extra mile, to take a hit and get back up.

Reaction: The ability to see danger coming and step out of the way.

Virtues and Opposites:
Honesty: Bravery, perseverance and courage to face the truth and whatever consequences it may bring.
Honesty is used whenever the character makes an truthful, plain argument, tries to overcome fear, or reduce the danger level.
Anxiety: Fear, worry and doubt hinder honesty, but sometimes can save you from danger.
Anxiety is used whenever the character defends against negotiation and big-complicated/confusing arguments or unexpected dangers.

Kindness: Empathy, self-control and prudence to understand the hearts of others.
Kindness is used whenever the character attempts to defend against lies, determine intent or reduce hostility/anger.
Ferocity: Anger, rage and intensity can hurt others, but sometimes it can break through apathy.
Ferocity is used to intimidate or defend against intimidation, as well as overcoming apathy, or increasing the danger level.

Laughter: Love, enjoyment and an understanding of social situations can disarm even the most tense situation.
Laughter is used to distract, change the topic, or reduce the danger level.
Suspicion: Cynicism, mistrust and skepticism can prevent positive relationships, but can also uncover the truth.
Suspicion is used to defend against trickery and attempts to gain trust.

Loyalty: Dependability, Fairness and a sense of Justice, it can keep you on the right path no matter the odds.
Loyalty is used to defend against charm and appeals to self-interest, inspiration and manipulation.
Pride: Hubris, vanity and self-importance can cause recklessness, but sometimes you need to stand up for yourself and your friends.
Pride is used to defend against distraction, changing topics, and can always be used to increase danger level.

Generosity: Respect, gratitude and hope can transcend the harshness of reality and inspire.
Generosity is used to charm and appeal to an opponent's self interests, manipulate or inspire.
Desire: Greed, narcissism and ambition can cause you to ignore or hurt others, either on purpose or by accident, but sometimes you need help in handling your own problems.
Desire is used when attempting trickery or when trying to gain someone's trust for ill gains.

Wisdom: Creativity, curiosity and perspective can help you understand new things and put a new spin on the old.
Wisdom is used when attempting negotiation, a big complicated/confusing argument, or when learning something new.
Obstinate: Stubbornness, and unyielding certainty can keep you from learning from your mistakes, but sometimes the truth needs more than one data point.
Obstinate is used to defend against truthful, plain arguments.

Special Attributes:
Magic: The ability to do specific things with naught but a thought and some effort. Magic tricks only work at the character's full magic rating if they relate to their special talent, otherwise they use half their magic attribute (round up)

Flight: The ability to fly through the air, walk on clouds, effect the weather and all that jazz.

Life-Sense: For lack of a better word, an intuitive understanding of the land and everything living on it. Plants, animals or even the overarching ebb and flow of life in general is covered by this ability.

1d: Emotional States.
During the course of the game, your character may take on different emotional states, these emotions will effect the rating of various attributes, either positively or negatively.

1e: Traits, Relationships and Resources.
These will help round out the character as it exists on paper. While there is no substitute for a well imagined character and inspired ideas, these should help such ideas be reflected within the rules.

Traits: These are what define your character's abilities, values, ideals, personality, special quirks and basically anything that is specific to the character. Traits can be described as just a single word such as: "math, freedom, or parties!" or as short sayings that describe something important to the character or a commonly used catch phrase used in specific situations such as: "Nobody hurts my friends, or It needs to be about 20% cooler."

Relationships: These represent how your character relates to others. A relationship involves a connection that is shared between two or more individuals. Where a trait could be considered a monologue, a relationship is a dialogue.

Resources: These are the physical objects, items and things that the character possesses or has access to. The rating of a resource is an abstraction of both its usefulness and its importance to the character.

1e.i: Scope of TRRs.
Imagination is the limit when it comes to TRRs, they can be anything you can think of, but try not to make them too broad or too specific, at least when starting out. The general idea is that the more general the trait or relationship, the less specialized its uses will be. So if you had a relationship with "everyone," it might represent your characters deep respect others as a whole, and might help them make a good first impression or resist manipulation, but wouldn't be particularly useful if said character was trying to ask a stranger for a favor. (You would need a good explanation for why everyone knows of your character) Where on the other hand, someone with a specific relationship with a specific individual could easily ask for a big favor, get invited to exclusive events, ask for forgiveness, etc.

Part 2: Character Creation.
2a: Step One.
The first thing you will do when making your character is to choose a special talent that is your character's defining ability and perhaps even purpose in life. Your character will probably have other things that they are good at as well, but this talent goes above and beyond. Any action that supports this talent gets an extra 2 cards, in addition, if you succeed at a challenge when risk is involved that relates to your talent, you get an extra character point.

2b: Step Two.
The second thing you will do when making a character is to choose which "type" it will be. Unicorn, Pegasi or Earth Pony. This will determine what your special attribute is, Magic, Flight or Life-Sense. Remember though, anypony can have a talent for something that is outside of their type. A unicorn might be talented at flying and use all sorts of flying machines for example.

2c: Step Three.
The third thing you will do when making a character is to determine which attributes it has, maximum 6. All characters get 13 points to distribute between their physical attributes and special attribute. Characters get 16 points to distribute between Virtues, and 12 points to distribute between opposites. (for antagonists, it is 12 for virtues and 16 for opposites) All Characters get 4 bonus points to spend in any attribute they choose. These will be the values for your character's normal state.

2d: Step Four.
The fourth thing you will do when making a character is to determine their Traits, Relationships and Resources. 25 points between traits, 20 points between relationships and 10 points for resources. ((I may need to revise these starting numbers)) These are used in conjunction with attributes to determine how many cards you draw during a conflict, max 6 at character generation. You may choose to save unspent points to use whenever an important situation appears during gameplay.

2e. Step Five
All characters start with 2 character points.

Part 3: Conflict.
So, you're going along just dandy when someone says "Nu-uh, no way, not gonna happen," or something to that effect. Looks like it is time to draw some cards and resolve the conflict. Conflict is a back and fourth contest between players and/or the Game Master for control of the narrative. Players and the GM take turns initiating a narrative piece and defending against opposing narrative pieces until the conflict is resolved.

Conflict Definitions:
Hand: These are the cards that you have in your hand during a turn
Hand Size: This number determines how many cards you may have in your hand, it may go up or down during conflict.
Wagered Attribute/TRR: The Attributes and/or TRRs that the player uses to determine their hand size and draw extra cards for that throw.
Throw: These are the cards you play as part of your action (maximum 5)
Draw: When you pull cards from the top of your deck, up to your hand size.
Discard: When cards leave your hand, they are discarded.
Discard Pile: This is where discarded cards end up. When the deck runs out, the discard pile is shuffled becomes the deck.
Deck: This is the pile of cards that are ready to be drawn.
Turn: When a player gets to initiate and their opponent or opponents respond.
Initiate: When a player starts a turn.
Respond: When a player reacts to a player's initiation.
Round: A unit of measurement made up of turns.
Character Point: A wild card that can be played at any time.
Adventure: Think of it like an episode. When the goal is reached, that adventure is over, though a new one may start immediately.

3a: Rounds, Turns and Teams.
During conflict, the players and the GM are divided up into two or more teams depending on how many sides there are in the conflict. The conflict is divided up into rounds, during which each player gets a turn to initiate once, while the Game Master must initiate once -and only once- for each player or group of players. A single initiation can effect more than one player simultaneously, these players must choose to defend separately or together.

3b: Determine Conflict Type.
Before the first turn, the players and the GM should determine what the conflict type is. The conflict type can change as the conflict progresses, but it needs to start somewhere. There are two components to a conflict type, the danger level and whether the conflict is conversational or physical.

3b.i: Conversational/Physical.
If the character decides to use a Physical Attribute during conversation or a Virtue/Opposite during physical conflict, they do so at a -2 card penalty.
Conversational: If characters are just talking, thinking or observing. Use Virtues/Opposites.
Physical: If characters are moving around, running, baking cupcakes etc. Use Physical Attributes.

3b.ii: Danger Level.
Safe: The majority of conflicts will start out safe, without significant risks involved with failure.
(Example: Talking about the weather, searching for a book, running across town)
In safe conflict, you simply draw your attribute and TRR.
If you lose a throw, your wagered TRR is temporarily locked out and you take damage upon drawing a spade
Risky: This action involves some risk to the character's health, reputation, relationships or general well being.
(Negotiating for release from a dusty cave, climbing a steep cliff, getting in a tussle, proving who's the ironpony)
In risky conflict, you draw your attribute and TRR. You may then choose another TRR or Virtue/Opposite and discard up to that number, and draw an equal number of cards.
If you lose a throw, all wagered TRRs are temporarily locked out and you take damage upon drawing a spade or club.
Dangerous: This action involves a great deal of risk to the character's reputation, relationships or general well being. This type of conflict is likely to be rare and decisive.
(Persuading somepony who's trust you've betrayed not to hate you forever, performing a sonic rainboom to save your plummeting friend.)
In dangerous conflict, you draw your attribute and TRR. You may then take two draws, one from another TRR and one from a related Virtue/Opposite.
If you lose a throw, all wagered TRRs are temporarly locked out and you take damage upon drawing a spade, club or diamond.

3c: Draw Opening Hand.
At the start of the first round, everyone draws their primary attribute as their opening hand.

3d: Initiative.
At the start of every round the players must decide who's turn is first. Usually it will be obvious who should initiate first in a conflict. However, if there is no easy answer, each player who is vying for first place lays one card from their hand face up. Whoever has the highest card goes first. Ties are settled by rematch. These cards are not discarded and may be returned to your hand.

3e: Turns, Initiate/Respond.
A round is comprised of turns, each of which has two phases, initiate and respond. The person who initiates starts the turn, and one or more players must respond.

3e.i: Choose Stats.
When you initiate, you first think about what kind of action you are going to take and choose an appropriate Attribute and TRR, this will determine your hand size.

3e.ii: Draw Cards.
After determining your hand size, draw or discard until you reach that number of cards.

3e.iii: Throw.
Choose a number of cards to play (1 through 5). The strength of that hand will help determine your success or failure.

3e.iv: Narrate.
Tell everyone what your character is trying to do.

3e.v: Respond.
The effected players follow steps i, ii, iii and iv as well in response to the initial action.

3e.vi: Damage/experience.
The losing player draws one card from their deck and checks its suit. Depending on the danger level, the character may take damage or gain experience.

3e.vii: Final Narration.
After everyone's throw is known and any/all damage taken, the player who won the turn gets to narrate the results of what actually happens, including changes in background scenery if appropriate.

3e.viii: Choose who's turn is next.
Usually it will be obvious who goes next, but if there is no easy answer, use the same rules as initiative.

3f. Throws:
Success or failure is determined by comparing each player's throw against their opponent's. The strength of a throw follows standard poker hands, from weakest to strongest:
High Card
One Pair
Two Pair
Three of a Kind
Straight: five cards in sequence
Flush: five cards of same suit
Full House: three of a kind plus two of a kind
Four of a Kind
Straight Flush: five cards in sequence of the same suit

A player may choose to throw any number of cards from 1 to 5.

3f.i: Face down.
Normally throws are played face down until both sides have all played their throw, at which point the cards are revealed.

3f.ii: Face up.
In some circumstances, the player may throw their cards face up as an added risk in order to accomplish certain goals.

If a player wins the turn while playing their throw face up, they can choose to change the conflict type and danger level. The player must declare which direction they intend to change the conflict type to before the throw, as sometimes the opposition will want to change it in the same direction.

A player may instead choose to change their emotional state. If they win a throw with the cards face up, they may alter their emotional state to remove or gain a single emotion. Each emotion causes a +3/-3 modifier to their respective Virtues/Opposites. (Example: Anger causes a +3 to Ferocity, but a -3 to Kindness)

A player may instead choose to change the emotional state of their opponent. The player must declare which emotion they are attempting to provoke in their opponent when they play their throw.

A player may instead choose to heal any single injury, either one of their own or one of another character's. (example, bind a leg in a split, or throw a party to lighten up someone's spirits.)

In addition, if a player plays their throw face up, the responder does not get the normal -1 danger level to damage if they choose to hold.

3f.iii: Holding.
A responder may choose to hold their hand and not play any cards. In this case they immediately draw one card for damage, at one less effective danger level, but they cannot gain experience.

3f.iv: Assisting.
A player may choose to assist another player in winning a throw. At any time, they may choose to increase another player's hand size by wagering one of their own TRRs. However, on the assisting player's next turn they draw one fewer TRR than the danger level would normally allow. Also, if the Assisted Player draws damage, the Assisting player's TRR is injured as well.

3g: Using Character Points.
If a player has any remaining Character Points, they may be spent at any time to give the player one of several bonuses.
A wild card. That is a card that can be any desired number and suit.
Automatically change the conflict type.
Re-draw their entire hand.

3h: Folding.
A side may at any point decide to fold. Doing so concedes the conflict to the opposing side and allows that side to narrate the outcome of the conflict.

Part 4: Damage and Experience.
4a: Damage.
When a player loses a throw, they immediately draw a card from the top of their deck. Depending on the danger level they may take damage. If damage is taken, it will effect the Attributes and/or TRRs that the player wagered during that conflict turn.
Safe: Spade
Risky: Spade, Club
Dangerous: Spade, Club, Diamond

The type of card drawn determines the type of damage.
Each wagered TRR take a Moderate injury.
Injured TRRs receive a cumulative -3 penalty which is reduced by 1 every conflict until it reaches 0, the end of an adventure, or until healed whichever comes first.
Drawing the Ace of Spades causes damage as though it were a club.

Each wagered Attribute and TRR takes a Hard injury.
Injured Attributes receive a cumulative -1 penalty which is reduced by 1 every conflict until it reaches 0, the end of the adventure or healed whichever comes first.
In addition, each effected TRR suffers a permanent -1 penalty, which must be recovered with experience points.
Drawing the Ace of Clubs causes damage as though it were a Diamond.

Each effected Attribute and TRR takes a Difficult injury.
Injured Attributes receive a cumulative -3 penalty which is reduced by 1 every conflict until it reaches 0, the end of the adventure, or until healed whichever comes first.
Injured TRRs remain locked out until healed.
In addition, effected attribute and TRR receives a permanent -1 penalty, which must be recovered with experience points.
Drawing the Ace of Diamonds causes the character to be knocked out of the conflict as well.

4a.i: Relationships and Damage.
When a relationship takes damage, those relationship points return to the unspent relationships pool. However, no additional relationship points may be spent on an injured relationship until it is restored to its previous value with experience points.

4b. Gaining Character Points.
There are three basic conditions in which a character gains character points.
Winning a conflict that is relevant to their special talent.
Taking Dangerous damage.
Finishing an adventure.

The GM gains one character point per hour, so best keep the story moving. Also, I better not hear about any GMs holding things up to get extra character points, you should know better!

4b. Experience.
If the player draws a heart while making a damage check, their character gains a number of experience points equal to the danger rating.

Players may spend experience to increase their attributes, traits, relationships or resources at the following costs.
Attributes: 4 exp per point.
TRR: 1 exp per point.

At the end of every adventure each character gains 5 experience and a character point.

Part 5: Game Master Stuff.
Game masters have the primary responsibility of moving the story along, setting up challenges for the players to overcome and in general organizing things. In conflict, game masters will usually have characters of their own with stats to determine their hand size. However, sometimes the Game Master will be taking the role of world or a player character's flaws. These two instances require a little bit of special consideration. The Game Master may choose to make a special character sheet for the environment, otherwise the Game Master may choose to determine their hand size based on a difficulty level. In these cases, the GM may draw half that number again during risky conflict and twice again during dangerous conflict. If the GM takes damage in mode, simply reduce hand size by the danger level. (For example, injury types have their own corresponding difficulty level.)

4 cards: Easy
6 cards: Moderate
8 cards: Hard
10 cards: Difficult
12 cards: Heroic
14 cards: Nigh Impossible

Part 6: Character Sheets.
I made some very basic character sheets for this, I'll probably prettify them later. I could use some suggestions on how to make the main six character sheets better. They should probably have up to twice as many traits to start with I think...

blank sheet (http://knhauber.phpwebhosting.com/roleplay/socialcards/mlp_sheet.jpg)
Applejack (http://knhauber.phpwebhosting.com/roleplay/socialcards/applejack_sheet.jpg)
Fluttershy (http://knhauber.phpwebhosting.com/roleplay/socialcards/fluttershy_sheet.jpg)
Pinkie Pie (http://knhauber.phpwebhosting.com/roleplay/socialcards/pinkiepie_sheet.jpg)
Rainbow Dash (http://knhauber.phpwebhosting.com/roleplay/socialcards/rainbowdash_sheet.jpg)
Rarity (http://knhauber.phpwebhosting.com/roleplay/socialcards/rarity_sheet.jpg)
Twilight Sparkle (http://knhauber.phpwebhosting.com/roleplay/socialcards/twilight_sheet.jpg)

Part 7: Example of Play.
((In this example, every player has their own deck of cards))
The group is walking along the side of the mountain on their journey towards the top. The GM knows that simply walking up to the top wont be very exciting, so the GM says: "Hold up just a second, you are entering an avalanche zone! The smallest peep could cause a huge rockslide." This could be a moderate challenge with some amount of risk, and since they are walking, the GM decides that it will be physical action. The GM says that because she started the conflict, she should initiate first. However, the other players think they should get a chance to get across to safety before the rocks start falling, hoping they can force the GM to draw enough damage to end things early.

Because everypony is trying to move carefully, they draw their starting hand from Grace. The GM draws 6 cards for moderate difficulty.

The GM draws: Jh 10h 9d Js 2d Jd
Applejack draws: 8d Qs 6h
Fluttershy draws: 5c 7d 2c 10s 9c
Rainbow Dash draws: 4d 8d
Twilight draws: 6d 3s Jd

The GM lays down a Jack, Applejack lays down the Queen and that settles the debate. Players go first, and since they don't mind who starts off, they decide to just go around the table alphabetically.

Applejack wagers her Rodeo Pony trait and draws 4 more cards: 4h, 10s, 5c, 10c. She now has 10s and 10c, 1 pair. Not too bad. She plays those 2 cards and narrates:

"Well, I reckon as a Rodeo Pony, I can just skedaddle over all these here rocks no problem!"

Right now the GM has a pretty decent hand with a high 3 of a kind, but she wants to lull everyone into a false sense of security first, so she decides to hold onto those three and do something small to start. Because it is risky conflict, the GM can choose to discard up to half of her hand and draw again. The GM decides to discard the 2d and draws another card: 6d, not much better. Not wanting to tip her hand early, the GM plays the 9d and the 6d. Who knows, maybe Applejack is bluffing?

They each turn their cards face up and see that Applejack has won -high fives all around. The GM draws a card for damage/experience: Kh, an experience point! She decides to save that away for later in case she needs to restore damage.

Taking into account that the GM got some small benefit from the loss, Applejack finishes up with a Narration: "I move silently across the uneven ground, careful to step over roots and things, but unfortunately my hooves kick up a bit of dust."

Fluttershy doesn't have any trait to use in this situation, normally she'd use her "Meep!" trait to indicate her extra caution, but she has to remain silent. However, since it is risky conflict, she chooses her Anxiety attribute to discard and draw again. Her anxiety is 4, so she discards her 4 lowest cards and draws four more: Qc 6d 10h 4s. Now she has 1 pair, which she plays, then narrates:

"Oh, um... I'm really super nervous about this so I keep my mouth shut and follow right behind someone else so I don't trip and fall or anything...b, but not Applejack!"

The GM played two cards last turn and needs to draw two more: 7c, 2h. She still doesn't want to tip her hand, but is finding it harder to stick to the plan. She plays the 7c and 2h anyway.

They both flip their cards over and find out that Fluttershy wins. (yay) The GM draws another card for damage: Qh, another experience point! The team's plan isn't turning out very well, but nobody wants to risk going to dangerous conflict.

Fluttershy finishes the Narration: "I manage to stay silent without holding my breath and passing out, a remarkable achievement! But I get a little bit separated from the group."

Rainbow Dash is up next. She looks at her traits, there's nothing in there about being careful! With a little creative thinking, she wagers her relationship with Fluttershy and draws 2 more cards: Qc 7c -Not a great hand, but the queen is a reasonably high card. She plays the Qc and her 8d, then narrates:

"I know Fluttershy has been really nervous this whole time, so I try to create a good example as I fly ahead bravely!"

The GM needs to draw two more cards: Ks and 4c, a high card but still not very good. The GM is getting a little bit frustrated from hanging on to those Jacks, so she decides to risk taking double damage and wagers another half of a hand. Discarding the 2c and the 10h, she is hoping to get another King, instead she gets a 6c and a 9h. She doesn't want to lose this one but there's not much she can do but lay down the King see. She plays the Ks and the 6c, wanting to get rid of the 6 anyway.

They both flip over their cards and Rainbow Dash's eyes go wide in horror. She lost the throw! She draws a 6d and breathes a sigh of relief while the GM narrates:

"Flying around doesn't cause any appreciable noise, but in your haste, you brush up against a tree branch and knock something loose."

Twilight doesn't have much to go on here either, but she doesn't want to fall off a cliff again, so she draws her "falling off cliffs," trait and hopes for the best: she draws a 4s, no help there! She figures she'll need at least 1 pair, so she wagers her anxiety as well, discarding her 2 lowest cards and drawing 2 more: 2c and Ks. Not quite what she was hoping for, but the King is a high card. She plays the Ks and the 2c, then Narrates:

"I stay away from the cliffside where the ground is more stable, and I keep alert for any movement that might cause problems."

The GM draws another 2 cards: 3h and 6h. Since this is the last turn before she gets to make her move, she decides to use up all her single cards and see if she can get something better. The GM plays the 3h, 6h and 9h. Everyone holds their breath as the two flip over their cards.

Twilight wins with the Ks and the GM draws for damage: 9c. The GMs hand size is reduced, but not enough to get rid of the three of a kind.

Twilight finishes up the player's turn with a Narration: "I keep an eye out for any danger, ready at a moments notice to use my magic. Luckily, the thing Rainbow Dash knocked out of the tree was just a few harmless leaves."

Now it is the GM's turn, and she is ready to spring her trap, but first she must draw another card: Jc -whoa, she now has four of a kind! Time to kick the danger level up a notch.

The GM plays the four Jacks face up on the table and Narrates: "The little leaf falls on Fluttershy's back causing her to startle! (If I win, the danger level goes up!)" The rest of the table looks on in horror, knowing that none of them stand much of a chance from preventing the avalanche now.
Edit: Version 1.01

2011-03-26, 09:04 AM
Creating/modifying game mechanics or even creating your own games all go here, so you're fine.

Looks like a solid system that could be extrapolated for other games of similar style, well done :smallsmile:. Not my interest for the setting, neither for the type of game so I'm sorry I can't be of much use in critique. The conflict resolution mechanics look solid from my point though :smallwink:.

2011-03-26, 02:56 PM
hi hi

I originally came up with the idea of using playing cards like this for another setting, but I never finished it because my RP group voted on something else. When I saw FiM, I knew it would be a good match, so I made a few tweaks and finished it up. Shouldn't be too hard to re-tweak it back into another setting. :smallsmile:

2011-03-26, 03:47 PM
It's good. Very good. Like "I would actually play this" good, which is something I can't say about quite a few games. A few of the numbers might be off, but that's something that can only really be resolved with extensive playtesting. I'm very interested in what inspirations you drew from other systems.

At this point, there're only a few non-positive things I can say, one of which would be that I'd like more definition and more examples as to what TRRs are. There are some in the example character sheets, but some guidelines and an easily accessible list of examples in the main body of the rules would be nice. "Relationship" is kind of vague, for instance. Can it apply to objects? Or events? Or ideas? Or is it just other ponies/animals? Exactly how broad can it be? (You say "groups" but what qualifies as a "group"? Is "All Ponies" a group?)

And you might think about letting characters reserve some trait points and resources in a similar fashion to relationships. At least for the first session or second session, letting them fill in as they go. Sometimes we don't learn everything about a pony immediately - and a chaotic session may end up sculpting a character in interesting ways.

For example, a situation may arise where the party needs someone to play a musical instrument, and well, whaddya know, Pinkie just happens to be able to play musical instruments even though nothing to that effect has been shown before. In reality, her player just threw some reserved trait points in "I can play musical instruments" on the fly.

2011-03-26, 05:47 PM
Wow, nice! However, the rules are vague in some parts of the text, but nothing to major.

2011-03-26, 07:25 PM
hi hi

Thank you most sincerely. The biggest inspirations for this were Dogs in the Vineyard, and Poker (obviously). Strangely enough, I also drew some inspiration from the board game Arkham Horror. A couple big non-game related inspirations were the Virtues in Action Institute's "big six" and Nicomachean Ethics -even though I don't subscribe to virtue ethics as a useful moral philosophy, it was helpful for figuring out character attributes.

I don't have very strong rules lawyer skills, which I realize would have helped make the text more concise, but I really appreciate the help in identifying weak spots.

As for traits and relationships, I agree that there should be some better guidelines. I'm not entirely sure yet how to do that. The general idea is that the more general the relationship, the less involved the uses. So if you had a relationship with "everyone," it might represent your characters deep respect others as a whole, and might help them make a good first impression or resist manipulation, but wouldn't be particularly useful if said character was trying to ask a stranger for a favor. Where on the other hand, someone with a specific relationship with a specific individual could easily ask for a pretty big favor, get invited to exclusive events, etc.

So I'm not sure if I should make that a hard rule like: three levels of specialization, Specific (Individual), Normal (small group) and General (large group); where if you try to use it for an out of category purpose you get a penalty.

In theory, there should be some overlap, so that if you have a relationship with your family and your brother, even if you embarrass yourself at the family reunion, you know you can still count on your brother to back you up... Maybe I should add that as an example to the rules?

As for reserve points, I think you are right. All the categories should allow for unspent points.

2011-03-26, 10:39 PM
Nice to see someone making something original. I can't vote on balance, as I've never played poker before.

...I wonder how my little pony would work with GURPS?

2011-03-27, 06:09 PM
hi hi

It was refreshing to work on something original, now if only I could find a group to play it with. :smallsmile:

GURPs is rather universal, but I have a feeling that some of the crunchier bits might get in the way of social interactions... of course, it all depends on the theme of the game. A dangerous expedition into the Everfree forest would be very different from trying to settle a dispute between two shopkeepers.

I added in a section about Traits, Relationships and Resources, hopefully that will help clarify things a bit.

2011-03-27, 08:59 PM
hi hi
GURPs is rather universal, but I have a feeling that some of the crunchier bits might get in the way of social interactions... of course, it all depends on the theme of the game. A dangerous expedition into the Everfree forest would be very different from trying to settle a dispute between two shopkeepers.

I was thinking something a bit like this (http://www.somethingpositive.net/sp05282008.shtml). :smallwink:

2011-04-27, 04:42 PM
So TRR's just act like bonuses to your hand size in conflicts?
You choose one that's relevant and use that along with the relevant attribute?

Do you have to use a TRR in a conflict; what if you don't have one that applies?
If you don't use one in such a case, how do Moderate injuries work?

Sorry about all the questions, but I am interested in running a game of this soon, and I wanted to be as clear on your rules as possible.

2011-04-27, 08:23 PM
Seems like a cool system. Hoping to try it out soon. Is there any chance you could make a PDF of the rules? Also, hi 38VW.

2011-05-18, 07:14 AM
So all my questions were answered by more careful reading.
Sorry 'bout that.

Anyway, I had an idea, but I'm not at all a designer.
I'm just a gamer.
But as a player, I think a cool element to add somehow would be some sort of Anti-personality mode.
Maybe it engages when a character has been damaged a certain number of times in one encounter?
Or damage related to their specialty?
Maybe it'd temporarily swap their Virtues and Opposites?
I dunno; I cannot design.

Anyway, it would be like the occasions that the ponies go completely bonkers and out of their normal character.


The Best Night Ever, where Fluttershy goes crazy trying to get the animals to be her friends.

Sonic Rainboom, where Dash becomes so nervous she flies like crap and is no longer confident or brave until Rarity 'Icarus's.

Party of One, where Pinkie reverts to sad/insane mode super-schizophrenic psycho pony.

Applebuck Season, where AJ is sleep deprived and no longer capable of anything she normally is.

The two occasions where Twilight, however briefly, became Rapidash (debatable).

Rarity's harder. I can't think of a specific example where she became her own antithesis.

Anyway anyway, I just thought that since it's featured enough in the show to include most of the main cast having such an experience, that it'd be cool to work it into the game somehow.