Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Arcane's Tabletop Spotlight: Fallout Equestria: PnP

Game Link:

This week's spotlight is a game I have some experience as I am currently playing a campaign in this game on the Ohio Bronies Forum. Fallout is an interesting case as the original games were originally to be based upon the GURPS (Generic Universal Role Playing System) system. In fact the original title for the first Fallout PC game was going to be entitled "Fallout: A GURPS Post-Nuclear Adventure" (as seen in the original trailer for the game). Interplay then modified the GURPS base and turned it into the iconic SPECIAL system due to licensing issues and changes for better mechanics. So what we have here is a PNP system based upon a fanfic based upon a PC game based upon the GURPS system.

For those of you not in the know Fallout Equestria is a massively popular Fan Fic by Kkat that created it's own sub-fandom within the MLP community with additional stories taking place in it's universe. It's a really good fan fic IMHO and does a good blending of the lore - though some may not be as satisfied with it as it isn't a straight mix of Fallout & MLP instead it's got a good blend where a devastated Equestria slowly evolves into a world that slightly resembles the Fallout Universe on the surface although goals and motivations may be very different. Ex. the Pegasus Enclave who are more or less isolationists having abandoned Equestria to save themselves and not taking much notice of the surface unless they are dragged down by a threat.

Some Lore/Community Links:
FoE Resource
EQD Fic Link 

FoE Wiki

The game itself was developed by Sunrise and then massive revised by Kkat (yes, that Kkat) into an immensely enjoyable game. It's rather easy to play, all you need is a set of two d10s or a dice roller for the percentage tests and since the system was based on a system based on GURPS it has a nice balance and actually is pretty decent with non combat tasks as well as combat. Combat while not as deep as say the d20 system does the job decently and you can do some interesting things with it. There is also a lot of items and thought given how ponies would fight and do things without hands and I really appreciate that.

Game Manual

If you would like to see an example of this game in play here is the thread where the campaign that I am playing is being waged (enjoy laughing at the massive streak of critical fails in one bit of combat):

Here is an example of the character sheet we're using featuring my character Falling Star:

Art Sauce:

*Note this art was commissioned by me showing my character for the RP Falling Star in her hometown of Phosphoria which was founded by her ancestor Morning Star (a character I played in another one of RPGs). In the background is her lover Lightning Fly.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Table Top Tuesday (err Wensday): Ponyfiner

Since I've been pouring over Pony Tabletop systems and found tons of them for a Pony PnP RPG Panel at TrotCon last year I thought I would highlight some of them every so often.

First up is Ponyfinder. This was a Kickstarted project to make a 'Ponies for Pathfinder' supplement usable with Pathfinder, D&D 3.5, and other games using the D20 system.

Right now the campaign book is in it's final stages and the print edition is going to be available soon-ish. The campaign book is rather detailed and show cases the land of Everglow, a realm inhabited with magical talking ponies who have 'Brands of Destiny' on their flanks along with other races including intelligent felines, griffins, humans, and the standard D&D races.

Personally while I like a lot of the original touches like clockwork ponies and other things there is one major flaw in the flavor content - it feels too much like they are straddling the line between something original and FiM with almost transparent chraming in of FiM stuff - like the Sun Queen/Celestia, Moon Princess/Luna, Night Mare/Nightmare Moon, Princess Luminescence/Twilight, Unspoken/Discord. Personally it feels kind of jarring to go from this mostly original setting with a history all it's own and other races and then suddenly there is clear FiM stuff. It's kind of like watching a Game of Thrones and then someone walks to bar and starts talking about 'Aslanus the Mighty Lion' and a weird lamp post. Not to say they shouldn't include FiM homages I imagine a number of the backers are just going to ignore a lot of the flavor text and use Equestria as their setting and retranslate the FiM elements but a lot of the FiM stuff just seems almost out of place in Everglow's setting - which is kind of a shame. Personally, I would have gone totally original or just have done something 100% inspired by MLP's Lore over its franchise history.

As an older gen fan I kind of appreciate that they include the Flutter Ponies who are ridiculously awesome (here listen to them sing how awesome they are while curb stomping a freaking demon ). Though I have to say they missed a great opportunity for quests and what not by not taking more account of G1 lore like the Empire of Tambelon an extra dimensional empire headed by a demonic immortal ram which conquers and enslaves whole realms and who could only be temporarily stopped. Grogar (Ruler of Tambelon) had freaking heads on pikes in his throne room - one of which looked like a pony skull.

It also suffers from an issue of the d20 system eg the system is designed with combat in mind so other more peaceful elements might be lacking and less than suitable for more peaceful campaigns.

On the more positive side I appreciate that thought was given to the fact that ponies don't have hands/opposable thumbs with 'Fingerless Rules' and some special items such as shields that are meant to be held in the mouth and Saddle Racks to which weapons can be attached. However the equipment seems to be lacking in terms of original weapons. If I may go on a mini tangent one reason why I love 'Fallout: Equestria' so much is that the author Kkat sat down and actually thought about how ponies would fight with mouth operated guns, battle saddles with mounted weapons, wing baldes, hoof claws, special swords, scorpion-like tail mounted weapons, and other things. Ponyfinder seems to have little of this unless I missed it an it kind of saddens me that there is little of that here and is also a bit of a major flaw since as I said the d20 system favors combat heavily. (If you want more of Pony Weapons I did an entire blog post about it including examples in various gens)

Overall I am happy that this exists and endorse it since D20 and Pathfinder are rather popular this book allows you to easily bring in pony characters or drop your party into an MLP pony dominated land rather easily and I think that this is its greatest strength.

Ponyfinder's FB Page:
Ponyfinder's Mane Forum:
Drive-Thru RPG Product Page: