My Little House Rules

Why not just use the book?

In my opinion, Ponies for Pathfinder is an incredibly light and flimsy resource both as a guide and as a reference. The best thing that can be said about it is that it inspired this session to happen in the first place. It appears to have been intended as a mechanism for inserting a FiM fan character into existing Pathfinder sessions never intended to support them.

Welcome to Equestria

This particular session takes place in the setting from the show. Equestria, a fantasy land populated primarily by magical talking ponies. By default there aren't humans or humanoid races running around, though mythological creatures like griffons, hippogriffs and dragons are known to exist. Watching the show is helpful if you want to get into the lore, but here is a summary of the main ways in which Equestria differs from your typical Pathfinder setting:

  • Talking ponies are the norm. There are other quadruped talking animals, too. Even animals that can't speak are assumed to be intelligent. When in doubt: Check and see if it talks first.
  • Magic is everywhere! Except for the Everfree Forest, a dark and mysterious place where it is whispered the plants grow on their own, it rains whenever it wants to, and animals are wild and fend for themselves! This is a weird and scary concept for a typical pony to try and wrap their head around. (Note that although the environment within the Everfree Forest is not magical, many of the creatures that have taken up residence in the forest are.) When in doubt: Assume a Unicorn did it.
  • Tech level is entirely arbitrary Ponies have spellcasters, blacksmiths, spears, castles, and horse-drawn carriages. They also have cannons, trains, artificial lighting, telephones, sound systems, dams, and fashion magazines. When in doubt: Ask the GM if such-and-such a device exists.
  • The concept of war is a historical footnote Although danger and high-adventure are not unheard of, and ponies will band together to protect their homes, there hasn't been an actual pony war for hundreds of years. Although individuals do argue and get angry from time to time, the idea of banding together in a big group to go fight another big group seems bizarre and alien. This is partly due to the fact that the land is so well-protected and resources are so plentiful, and partly due to cultural factors. The largest-scale battle in recent memory occurred when the Queen of the Changelings attempted a political coup, first by marrying into the royal family, and then when that failed, via land invasion of the capitol city. After a large skirmish consisting mostly of kicks, powerful magic was utilized to physically expel the shape-shifters from the kingdom. When in doubt: Violence is a last resort. Bloodshed is a bad plan.
  • Society is Matriarchal You call the ruler a Princess. No, they're not a Queen. Yes, they are the head of state and have no living ancestors. Yes, you can have multiple princesses at once. Who said you can't? Common household objects like shutters and weather vanes are usually manufactured with hearts on them by default. You want it in black? It comes in pink, so you'll have to repaint it by hoof. This doesn't mean you can't be as macho and as badass as you want to be. It just means you have to spend more to pull it off. When in doubt: Ask if they have it in brown.
  • The matriarchy is benign It is said that in ancient times, Alicorns, larger-than-life ponies with wings *and* a horn, controlled the sun and the moon. We know this creation myth to be true because they are still around and living in the royal palace. A god of Chaos encased in stone is displayed prominently in the royal garden, which is open to the public on Fridays. Make no mistake, the gods are not only REAL, they are HERE. They not only meddle in the affairs of mortal ponies, they run the freaking country! Some say they were even once mortal ponies themselves. Why isn't anypony panicking? Well, partly because they are so *nice,* and partly because we've never known anything else. When in doubt: Write a polite but emotionally honest letter to the Sun God. Mail it.
  • Friendship is Magic It's there in the title for a reason. Love conquers all isn't just a cliche in this universe: it's the basis of unicorn Magical Theory. Many ancient rituals and magical artifacts draw upon the power of the pony heart to change the world for the better. This doesn't mean that anypony with a good heart can just hope for the best and stare down a raging dragon. But it does mean that the spark of friendship that draws us together is a force to be reckoned with. The power of Friendship is REAL. It is all around us. Our cities are literally built upon it. It powers our most brilliant spells, and is at the root of all of our society's ideals. When in doubt: Work together with your friends.
  • The Rule of Cool and the Rule of Funny (Warning: Clicking on links to TVTropes will take you to TVTropes!) On the show, there are lots of awesome and funny moments of cartoon logic that, without killing the drama stone dead or unbalancing the fundamental laws of nature, provide bursts of levity and Crowning Moments of Awesome. Players are encouraged to try and get into this spirit. It is probably the easiest way to talk the GM into something. When in doubt: Attempt crazy stunts. You'll either look like a boss or else fail in the most spectacular way possible, and the group wins in both scenarios.

Custom Feats

Most feats from D&D/Pathfinder are allowed, as long as they are not tied to another campaign setting, but check with the GM if you have any questions. Here are some new feats, either not covered in Ponies for Pathfinder, or else modified from that book or another D&D resource in order to make it possible to build the characters on the show. Note: these have not been balanced yet. Some of them may be intentionally unbalanced because a character on the show did something insanely powerful with them. Instead of saying "this is broken," tell the GM, "hey, you know what would be equally broken, but work great for my class…?"

Swift Kick (Feat)

Prerequisite: Dex 13
Effect: After bucking an enemy, you may choose which direction you face.
Normal: By default, after making any buck attack, you are assumed to be facing away from the enemy you struck. Re-orienting after a buck attack requires a "5-foot-step" move action, taken after the attack.

Apple Jack (Feat)

Prerequisites: Dex 13, Swift Kick - OR - Apple Buck
Effect: Instead of attacking, you can toss an apple, softball, or other projectile into the air and then buck it on the way down, sending it towards an enemy of your choice as a ranged attack, range increment of 30 ft. This attack strikes with the full force of your typical buck, using your dex bonus to attack but your str bonus to hit. Apples make a great choice for ammunition, as they are easily acquired, several of them fit in a typical saddlebag, and you can use them for provisions if you need to. Bucking small rocks deals 1d4 damage to the attacking pony per rock, regardless of whether the rocks hit or not, and an additional 1d8 damage on impact.

We should probably playtest this one - it's sort of similar to the "throw anything" feat (whose real name I can't remember)

Double Jack (Feat)

Prerequisites: Apple Jack
Effect: You can Apple Jack two projectiles simultaneously on your turn. Both must be directed towards the same target. Each attack roll is done at a -2 penalty to hit.

Apple Rain (Feat)

Prerequisites: Double Jack
Effect: You can Apple Jack one projectile per attack you would normally get this round. Attacks of Opportunity are taken normally and do not increase the number of projectiles. However, the feats Cleave and Great Cleave do grant additional projectiles. These projectiles can each be directed at a different target. This can be doubled with Double Buck, but each pair of apples must be directed towards the same target.

Apple Buck (Feat)

Prerequisites: Earth Pony
Effect: When you buck a fruit tree, you can cause it to release all of its fruit at once. If buckets or other appropriate containers are set up ahead of time, the fruit falls directly into them. If done as a combat maneuver, this instead deals 1D6 to all targets standing under the tree except the bucker, Reflex saving throw negates.
Normal: Bucking a fruit tree causes some of the fruit to fall. It lands on the ground and must be collected. Several bucks might be required to get most of the fruit. Fruit may be bruised. Using a tree for an attack is ridiculous and you're a silly pony for even suggesting it.

Draft Pony (Feat)

Prerequisites: Earth Pony, Str 13
Effect: You are especially adept at dragging plows, carts, buggies, and other such heavy burdens designed to be pulled. When pulling such a load, treat it as one size category smaller than its actual size. In addition, you can pull plows at your typical walking speed and carts at up to your maximum movement rate. When pulling a load with friends, simply add your movement rates together.
Normal: Use Encumbrance size categories for heavy horse or light horse as appropriate. You must make a successful WIS check, DC 15 in order to help pull as a team; if you fail, it looks like you're helping but you actually count as part of the load… and everyone else pulling knows it! Maximum speed is Double Move while pulling a cart or a 5 foot step while pulling a plow.

Flying Buck (Feat)

Effect: Your Charge or Dive attacks deal damage as if you were kicking the opponent right in the face with both rear legs, because that's exactly what happens! In addition to normal damage, you deal an additional point of damage for each space you moved prior to the attack. You do not need to stop moving when you deliver this attack, but you can only attack multiple targets if your BAB would normally grant you multiple melee attacks, and these targets lie along the trajectory of your charge. If you also have the Swift Kick feat, you gain a +2 synergy Bonus to hit on all such attacks.

Improved Maneuverability (Feat)

Prerequisites: Fly Speed
Effect: Improve your Maneuverability rating by one rank.

I think there are a variety of similar feats to this in Savage Species or something

Speed Demon (Feat)

Prerequisites: Dex 13
Effect: When Running, your movement speed increases by 5 feet per point of Dex over 10. Pegasi gain this bonus while flying, not while running. Seaponies gain this feat while Swimming. This feat can be taken multiple times.

Ditto Improved Maneuverability

Mage Horn (Unicorn "Mage Hand" Spell-Like Ability, reprinted here for clarification.)

Level: Brd 0, Sor/Wiz 0
Components: S, Special
Casting time: 1 standard action
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Target: One nonmagical, unattended object weighing up to 5 lb.
Duration: Concentration
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No
Special: No verbal component. Your horn glows softly while this spell is in effect, as do the manipulated objects.
Effects: You point your horn at an object and can lift it and move it at will from a distance. As a move action, you can propel the object as far as 15 feet in any direction, though the spell ends if the distance between you and the object ever exceeds the spell’s range.
Note: Mage Hand typically requires a Verbal Component to activate; Mage Horn does not.

Adept Mage Horn (Feat)

Prerequisites: Unicorn
You can manipulate up to two objects at a time with your Mage Horn ability, and can use it up to 6 times per day instead of the usual 3. In addition, you can "scoop" any number of small objects together so that they "count" as one object, as long as the total weight of all lifted objects remains under five pounds. This effectively means you can use Mage Hand to perform basically any activity that could normally be performed with your hooves, including the continued operation of machines or other devices designed to perform a simple repetitive task. Skill checks involving fine manual dexterity such as Crafting checks gain a +4 bonus when performed with the assistance of Adept Mage Horn.

Mage Horn Mastery (Feat)

Prerequisites: Adept Mage Horn
Effects:
- You can now use Mage Horn At Will.
- The maximum amount of weight you can manipulate is equal to 10 pounds times your level.
- You can now manipulate a living creature. If they consent to being moved by you, treat as normal. Otherwise, Will save to resist, DC 15 + Wisdom modifier.
- You can manipulate magical objects as you would with your hooves, up to and including Activating the item in their usual way. (Note that if the magical item requires a Verbal component to activate, you must supply this to activate the item even though Mage Horn does not usually require a verbal component.)
- For all non-magical, non-living, unattended objects and devices, you can manipulate them with greater precision and skill than you normally could with your hooves. Collections of assorted small objects can be lifted simultaneously, sorted, organized, and otherwise arranged.
- Powders or liquids can be collected and manipulated with a DC 10 spellcraft check.
- A spell check can be made to increase the maximum allowed weight even further. The DC of this spell check is 1 for every additional 20 pounds. (At level 20, the average unicorn can lift their own body weight of around 200 pounds with no spell check. A spell check of DC 10 would let them lift themselves and one friend simultaneously.)
- At DM's discretion, this feat may lower the DC of certain spellcraft checks, or make it easier to cast certain spells or complete certain rituals. When in doubt, ask. :)

Sixth Sense (Feat)

Prerequisites: Special
Effects: Sometimes, you get these little twinges, like you know what's going to happen before it happens. The universe is openly mocking all rationality and reason. Your friends might openly mock you if you try to tell them about this ability… until you're right the first 20 or 30 times. Then they'll probably learn to take your worked for it!

HammerSpace (Feat)

Effects: You may access your inventory as a free action. At DM's discretion, this might even include objects in your house or otherwise not present at the scene. (It is assumed that you dragged these items along with you and they were there the whole time, just out of sight.) The caveat is that bringing these items into the scene must serve the Rule of Funny.

Master Planner (Feat)

Prerequisites: Int +13 ; a scroll, quill, and ink.
Effects: You are an expert at organization and planning. If you come up with a plan and ponies go along with it, everyone participating in the plan gets a +2 circumstance bonus to succeed in their individual efforts. You must be able to describe your plan in detail to the GM, including how you are best using existing resources and leveraging the unique talents of your friends.


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