Ponification And You

Type of Pony

Pegasus, Unicorn, or Earth Pony?

These are the three mane types of ponies one encounters in Equestria. Note that the descriptions of abilities and personalities are the BASELINE, and players are encouraged to play against type if their character concept calls for it.

  • Earth Ponies are experts at working the land. This is extremely important, because without food, everypony starves. They also tend to be the most inventive, devising clever machines and improvising when plans fail. Earth Ponies prize resourcefulness, teamwork, and dogged determination when the going gets tough.
  • Pegasi can fly using their wings. They use innate Pegasus Magic to control the Weather. They prize individual skill, accomplishment, and bravery.
  • Unicorns can use the magic of their horn to manipulate objects and cast spells. They prize beauty, grace, and intellect, and tend to be at the center of pony culture.

Rare pony breeds

  • Crystal Ponies
  • Seaponies
  • Changelings

Ponylike Races

Zebras, Buffalo, Donkeys, etc. Non-pony races that act more or less like ponies. Treat as Earth Pony, with some minor tweaks.

Alicorns, Ponylike Races, and Non-Pony Races

Generally these races are reserved for NPCs, either because they're extremely overpowered, extremely underpowered, or they don't lend themselves to social interaction. Rare exceptions at GM's discretion.

  • Alicorns are ponies with a unicorn's horn and the wings of a pegasus. They are so rare that they are usually referred to by the name of the individual alicorn in question. Two notable Alicorns are Princess Celestia and Princess Luna.
  • Cows, sheep, etc. Non-pony animal races that can talk, but don't tend to live in houses, use tools, or do much with their lives when left to their own devices.
  • Birds, Dogs, Rabbits, etc. Non-pony animal races that can't talk, but do appear to be intelligent.
  • Sphinxes, Griffons, Minotuars, Dragons, etc. Pretty much any non-humanoid mythological creature can be found here. In general, most can talk, although a Dragon speaking to a pony is rare.

Name, Destiny, and Mark

"Nopony talks about it, but we all do it, when we're young and in school. Everything's fine up until a certian age, until one of us gets our Mark. Then before you know it, the other kids start calling you a "blankflank" until you get yours. I got mine for writing terrible but true things in my diary about my classmates. It looks like a quill. I told the teachers I got it for doing homework. I don't think they believed me, but what were they going to do, call me a liar?"

- from The Catcher in the Hay, by J.D. Salingmare

In everypony's life, there comes a time when their true colors are revealed for the first time. It can be as humble and personal as noticing the colors in a soap bubble, or as dramatic as discovering that you have an innate magical power no other pony possesses. At this moment, your Cutie Mark appears on your flank.

Whether it alludes to your Special Talent, sums up your personality, or simply symbolizes your connection to your family, your Cutie Mark is a symbol of your destiny. It shows the world who you are— who you became at that pivotal, life-changing moment.

Sometimes there seems to be an implied link between a pony's name and their Cutie Mark, but only sometimes.

Coloration: Coat, Mane, and Eyes

Like your Cutie Mark, your coloring says a lot about you. Also like your Cutie-Mark, one's coloring sometimes seems to reflect a pony's name or personality. Of course, this isn't always the case. Some fashion-conscious ponies have even been known to dye their coats and manes! But most ponies simply walk around in the colors they were born with.

While ponies come in every color in the rainbow, up to and including the entire rainbow itself, most other equines tend towards a single color or predominately earth tones. It is not understood why this is the case. Most just assume ponies are special! :)

Clothing? You could go naked. Some choose not to.

Fashion, protection, utility, armor. There are many reasons one might choose to wear clothing. Social taboos are not among them.

Personality: What's inside the package?

So you've got your pony character design all figured out. Thunderhooves Von Buckingstein is a mighty grey pegasus stallion with a shock of white in his yellow mane and a booming voice! Well, not so fast there, you need to know what makes him tick. All the usual 20 Questions apply. In addition, you should have some idea of who your character's friends are and how they interact with your character. This can easily snowball into creating an entire mini-cast, even more so than usual, since you can't just say "my family and all my friends are dead." Contact the GM if you need help, and if all else fails, consider working with characters from the show.

Chris's go-to technique of picking a single trait or theme or emotional state and embellishing it until it's fleshed-out enough works particularly well with this setting. The way a character's name, visual design and capabilities tend to be linked means that once you have the emotional core of your character in place, the rest can all reflect this, if you want it to. The 6 mane characters of Friendship Is Magic are a great example of this principle in action. (No, Applejack's main thing is not that she likes apples. Dig deeper. Hint: Check out her family's Cutie Marks. Yep. Apple = Family.)

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