Pathfinder Second Edition Releases Unveiled!

Paizo Inc. has announced the launch of the second edition of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game on August 1st, 2019! With over nine releases in August and more to come the following month, Pathfinder Second Edition is scheduled to launch with a BANG!

“The launch slate provides everything you need to set out on a world of limitless fantasy adventure,” said Paizo Publisher Erik Mona. “With more than 20 years of active development and playtest feedback from more than 125,000 gamers, the new Pathfinder rules are easy to learn and exciting to master. We can’t wait to see the diverse and deeply customized characters the RPG community will create!”

Pathfinder Second Edition Core Rulebook
Pathfinder 2e: Core Rulebook

Pathfinder Second Edition is releasing three major hardcover rulebooks right from the start: Core Rulebook, Bestiary, and Lost Omens World Guide. The Core Rulebook is THE BOOK. The one you need no matter who you are and what role you take at a gaming table. Packed full of all the rules players and Game Masters need to play Pathfinder Second Edition, create characters, and run games, the Core Rulebook is a must have. Said to contain streamlined rules and intuitive presentation, Pathfinder Second Edition features the same deep character customizations we all love, allowing for unique characters and boundless creativity. Weighing in at an impressive 640 pages, the Core Rulebook contains game rules, advice, characters options, treasure, and more. There’s six ancestries to choose from (elf, dwarf, gnome, goblin, halfling, and human, as well as the variant human half-elf and half-orc), twelve classes (alchemist, barbarian, bard, champion, cleric, druid, fighter, monk, ranger, rogue, sorcerer, and wizard), thirty backgrounds (such as apprentice, bartender, and soldier), and hundred of spells, feats, and other character options. The hardcover will sell for $59.99 American, while the deluxe hardcover (bound in faux leather with metallic deboss cover elements and a bound-in ribbon bookmark) will sell for $79.99 American.

Pathfinder Second Edition Bestiary
Pathfinder 2e: Bestiary

Bestiary is packed with around 400 monsters spread over 360 pages. This means that not every monster will get its own page and artwork, although there’s said to be full-colour illustrations on nearly every page. While statistics will fill the pages, sidebars are going to contain lore. In Bestiary you’ll also find the always handy Universal Monster Rules, guidelines for awarding treasure, and a variety of monster lists sorted by different qualities (like level, type, and rarity). Many of the creatures in the Bestiary will be familiar, but new creatures are also included (like the “living-nightmare nilith and the three-headed mutoli”). The hardcover Bestiary will sell for $49.99 while the Deluxe Hardcover will sell for $69.99 (bound in faux leather with metallic deboss cover elements and a bound-in ribbon bookmark).

Pathfinder Second Edition Lost Omens World Guide
Pathfinder 2e: Lost Omens World Guide

Lost Omens World Guide is basically the new Inner Sea World Guide, with ‘Lost Omens’ being the new name for the Golarion campaign setting. This 136-page hardcover book sorts the Inner Sea into ten regions, and talks about each one. ‘The Saga Lands,’ for example, is a region which encompasses the Lands of the Linnorm Kings, Varisia, New Thassilon, Irrisen, and the Realm of the Mammoth Lords. Each region also contains backgrounds and archetypes thematically tied to the region. Finally, the Lost Omens World Guide contains a giant, two-sided, fully-detailed, poster map of Golarion. Let me repeat that: of Golarion, not the Inner Sea. Awesome! Want to know more about Tian Xia, Casmaron, and other areas outside the Inner Sea? You’ll have to wait — but hopefully not for too long. Lost Omens World Guide is the first book in the Pathfinder World Guide line, which will continue to release region specific books (like those currently in the Pathfinder Campaign Setting line) in a larger, hardcover format, to allow for greater exploration of the world of Golarion. Lost Omens World Guide is $36.99.

In addition to important rulebooks, Paizo is releasing two print adventures: Hellknight Hill, and The Fall of Plaguestone.

Pathfinder Second Edition - Hellknight Hill (Ages of Ashes 1 of 6)
Pathfinder 2e Adventure Path: Hellknight Hill (Age of Ashes 1 of 6)

Age of Ashes is a six-part, monthly adventure path that begins with book one: Hellknight Hill. Said to contain “continent-spanning conflict against cultists, slavers, and a fiery draconic devastation that could unleash an Age of Ashes upon the world,” this is sure to be an exciting campaign! Set in Isger, Hellknight Hill begins when your PCs investigate mysterious fires which burn atop “the towers of a nearby citadel long ago abandoned by an order of Hellknights.” Written by Amanda Hamon for first level characters, Hellknight Hill will also contain a gazetteer on the town of Breechill (the starting location for this campaign), a GM guide Age of Ashes, new magic items, and over six new monsters. Hellknight Hill (and presumably all the follow-up adventure path volumes) will sell for $24.99.

The Fall of Plaguestone is a 64-page standalone adventure for first-level characters written by Paizo Director of Game Design Jason Bulmahn. Beginning with the PCs attempting to solve the murder of a friend, this adventure soon spirals out of control with the “discovery of forbidden alchemy, mutant animals, and a nearby forest rotting away due to a mysterious blight.” Ominous! The Fall of Plaguestone features wilderness exploration, dungeon encounters, and urban mystery. In addition to the adventure itself, The Fall of Plaguestone (and every Pathfinder Adventure to follow) includes new monsters, treasures, and player options. The Fall of Plaguestone is $24.99. Launching alongside this adventure is Pathfinder Flip-Mat: The Fall of Plaguestone which depicts the “hillside hideout of an evil alchemist.” The Flip-Mat measures 24″ x 30″ unfolded, 8″ x 10″ folded, and can handle dry erase, wet erase, and permanent marker. It costs $14.99.

Paizo is partnering with the awesome folks over at Dwarven Forge to release a deluxe set of pieces which will allow you to create encounter areas from The Fall of Plaguestone! Which is amazing, by the way. If you haven’t seen any of the Dwarven Forge terrain you should definitely check it out. They make gorgeous 3D terrain and map components, although be warned: it’s expensive!

Finally, Paizo is releasing five other accessories for Second Edition. First up? A GM screen! Featuring beautiful artwork on one side and handy charts, tables, and information on the other side, these high-quality screens are really useful. Available in a landscape style with art by Ekaterina Burmak, or in a portrait style with art of the Iconics by Wayne Reynolds, GM Screens are $19.99.

Up next? Pathfinder Combat Pad, which is basically a double-sided, magnetic, dry and wet erase board that functions as an initiative tracker. It comes with two sheets of magnets, which break down into 13 blue player character magnets, 13 red enemy magnets, 9 green NPC magnets, two round arrows, two turn arrows, and two next round magnets. Pathfinder Combat Pad sells for $24.99.

Pathfinder Character Sheet Pack is a set of class-specific, double sided, black and white character sheets. This set contains one character sheet for each of the twelve classes, as well as extra sheets for equipment and spells. The character sheets come in a folder and costs $14.99.

Finally, my favourite of the accessories, Pathfinder Condition Card Deck! I adore condition cards. I use them all the time in both Pathfinder and Starfinder, so I’m thrilled that they’re releasing a set for Pathfinder Second Edition right out of the gate. This 110 card deck of full-colour cards contains details and rules on the many Conditions in Pathfinder Second Edition, with the most common conditions having multiple cards. Pathfinder Condition Card Deck costs $22.99.

In addition to these awesome products, the Pathfinder Society Organized Play program will release two scenarios and a short quest every month!

For more information on Pathfinder Second Edition, it’s products, and to preorder, head over to PathfinderSecondEdition.com

I can’t wait to see how Pathfinder Second Edition turns out! (Now, if only I had the funds to buy some of it…). What are you most excited for about Pathfinder Second Edition? Let me know in the comments.

Jessica


UPDATE: Pathfinder Second Edition is now out! Click here for more information!

Tails of Equestria: The Storytelling Game

Quite a few months ago a fellow gamer recommended my family give Tails of Equestria: Storytelling Game a try. I looked into the game, and told my daughter and son all about it. They were extremely excited. The problem?

Finding it.

Although I was able to find a copy of the rulebook on some American and European retailers websites, I could not find this RPG in Canada. None of the local game shops had it, Amazon had only German language copies in stock, and Indigo was sold out completely. We’ve been keeping our eyes open in the months since and, although I did see a copy turn up once or twice, it was never for long (or affordable!).

And then Christmas came. My daughter, in a stroke of brilliance, asked our only relatives that live in the States for My Little Pony: Tails of Equestria: Storytelling Game for Christmas. She typed out the title of the book she needed to play, and then all of the other supplement books she wanted, and assured me that YES, she would definitely be happy with a big pile of books as a Christmas gift, and YES, she was sure that’s what she wanted.

Grandma and Grandpa came to the rescue. This past Christmas my daughter opened up not one, but three RPG books. My Little Pony: Tails of Equestria: Storytelling Game (which is the Core Rulebook and essentially all you need to play), Tails of Equestria: The Festival of Lights (which is a published adventure), and Tails of Equestria: The Storytelling Game Starter Set (which contains an adventure, dice, and all kinds of accessories).

My daughter was thrilled. So was my son. And honestly? So was I. I had heard wonderful things about this game and, although it wouldn’t become my favourite game anytime soon, it looked like a ton of fun. Definitely something my kids would enjoy.

After squealing in glee and obsessing over some of the cool pictures inside she put down the books and moved on with the rest of the holidays. She tried out new toys and video games. We learned how to play our new board games. And at the end of that first weekend after Christmas she held up her books and gave me a big grin.

“Will you read this with me now, Momma?”

I was about to head out for a trip to the laundromat, so it wasn’t exactly the ideal time. But, I’ve never been one to say no to a kid with a book, so I put aside all the work I was going to bring with me and packed up my kids and our hardcover book instead. Clothes in the wash and water bottle in hand — reading an entire RPG core rulebook aloud is thirsty work! — we settled in to learn a new d20 game together.

my litte pony tails of equestria storytelling game

The book is bright, colourful, and engaging. It’s simple to understand but doesn’t talk down to you. It is perfectly written for its audience. Seriously. My daughter is in grade one and not only did she follow along with everything I was reading to her (and pay attention!), she understood the game and its rules immediately. I never had to stop and explain anything further than the book already had. I never had to give her an easy example to illustrate a rule. Nothing. She listened and understood. My son, who is only a year older than her, could have read the entire book by himself and understood it. In fact, my daughter probably could have read it herself too, but that’s not typical for kids her age (both of my kids are very strong readers). We weren’t done the rulebook by the time we were done at the laundromat, but after we got home my daughter sat down beside me on the couch and we finished it. Cover to cover in few hours. She was practically bouncing in excitement.

“Can we make our characters now?”

So we printed off some fancy character sheets, called over my son, and got creating! The entire process took us around an hour, which included drawing and colouring our ponies. Follow-up ponies we made took much less. About fifteen minutes from start to finish.

We were ready to play!

…sort of. We still had to convince my husband to make a character so he could join in on the game. Haha. I’ll share more details about our first gameplay experience in an upcoming blog post later this month, but for now, we’re going to talk about the rulebook itself. Interested? Read on!

Tails of Equestria: Storytelling Game is an easy to understand pen and paper roleplaying game featuring the world and characters of the hit TV show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. The game is aimed at children, but is definitely fun for the whole family. A hardcover book 151 pages in length, this tome is packed full of artwork, and is written in an easy to read font (and font size). Licensed by Hasbro, published by River Horse Games (in Europe) and Shinobi 7 (in the USA and Canada), and written by Alessio Cavatore, Dylan Owen, and Jack Caesar, this book’s suggested retail price is 25 pounds, 30 Euros, 35 American dollars, or 40 Canadian dollars. Of course, that cost will vary a lot depending where you pick it up. I found forty five is more typical online in Canada (if you manage to find a copy in stock at all). The book is sturdy and well made — a must have for kids books! The front cover features an image of the three iconic Tails of Equestria ponies navigating the wilds with a castle in the background. Firebrand, the iconic unicorn takes the lead, with Thrilly Filly the pegasus flying above, and Strong Oak the armoured earth pony alert at the back of the group. My kids love the art, which is drawn by Amy Mebberson, but its the back of the book that really shines for me.

I remember when I was in junior high there was a Chapters nearby that I went to constantly. On one visit I passed by the Dungeons & Dragons Player’s Handbook and stopped in my tracks. I picked it up and flipped through it. I knew in my gut I wanted it, but I had no idea what it was. None. Eventually I put it back and moved on. Every visit afterwards I passed by that book and picked it up. But I never bought it. Not until many years later when someone actually explained to me what the heck D&D was. By then the book store wasn’t even open anymore. I would have liked to buy it from there. But this? This book doesn’t have that problem. Right there on the back cover it explains what this book is, how you use it, and what it’s for. It’s written in simple language that any kid or parent (or grandparent!) can understand. It’s simple, clear, and concise. I love it.

Seriously.

I love it so much I’m going to let you read it for yourself.

What is this book?

Hey there! So I imagine you’ve picked up this book knowing a little bit about My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. You’ve probably had a quick flick through the book and are wondering exactly what it is.

This book is a manual for a storytelling game, which allows you and your friends to create your very own pony characters to explore the amazing and magical world of Equestria — will you be a dynamic adventurer like Daring Do or a bold treasure hunter like Rarity?

Wait, wait, wait! You said this is a game, but this is clearly a book!

You’re right, but it’s actually both a book and a game. This book contains rules and a story. Rules that will tell you how to make a strong, clever, or charming pony. A story that you and your friends will enjoy, where the choices you make will change the story itself until you are telling the story as much as the book or the GM.

GM… what is that?

A GM (gamemaster) is a player at the table, but instead of playing as a pony, he or she will play as a storyteller, impersonating all of the ponies you meet, the beasts you face, and the challenges you have to overcome. Think of the GM as a narrator in a movie — it is his or her role to tell the players exactly what is happening in the story and what the outcomes of their actions are, depending on their choices.

Cool! How do I win?

Winning a storytelling game is very easy; you just need to have fun! Tails of Equestria is not about getting to the end of the board or having the most points, but all about having fantastical adventures and using the magic of friendship to overcome any obstacle that stands in your way, You and your friends, including the GM, are all on the same team — as long as everypony is having fun, everybody wins!

So open up Tails of Equestria and be prepared to enter a world of magic and friendship.”

See what I mean? Simple, approachable, and understandable. This isn’t just a book for RPG gamers. In fact, most of the kids who pick up this book won’t have played a pen and paper RPG at all. This is a book that can guide kids to becoming RPG gamers in a way that’s fun, cool, and tailored to them. It’s really well done.

Tails of Equestria: Storytelling Game is split into fourteen sections: twelve chapters, an adventure module, and the appendix. The chapters are each colour coded, which makes the book super easy to navigate and has the added bonus of making it look like a pleasant rainbow. Even better, the chapters are well ordered. One naturally progresses into the other in a way that just makes sense. It’s perfect.

The book starts off by explaining what a roleplaying game is, how to play them, what you need to play, what kind of dice the game uses, and some other supplemental material that some people like to use but isn’t mandatory. It mentions other Tails of Equestria products (like dice sets, gaming screens, and ‘tokens of friendship’), but also offers free solutions. It suggests using beads, buttons, and other small objects as ‘tokens of friendship’ and recommends free dice rolling apps. It also has dice charts in the back of the book so that all you need to do is flip to the proper chart, close your eyes, and point, to figure out what you’ve rolled. Offering these free alternative options in a way that makes it seem normal and acceptable is really important. Parents don’t want to be shelling out a ton of money after already having paid for a rulebook. Also, kids who do use buttons and the dice chart don’t need to feel like they’re left out or ‘making due.’ It makes it clear that you don’t need fancy supplies. You just need this one book. There’s also a short section intended for parents, which explains some of the benefits of roleplaying games.

Tails of Equestria: The Storytelling Game then moves on to character creation, which takes up the majority of the book. The first thing you need is a character sheet. One is provided in the back of the book, which you can photocopy. You can also go here to download a variety of character sheets for free. They have blank sheets and ones with male and female ponies, pegasus, and unicorns pre-outlined. My whole family loves those ones, so I highly suggest you give them a gander. Once you’ve got your pony sheet ready you need to choose your pony type.

my litte pony tails of equestria the storytelling game character sheet

Players can choose to be an earth pony, pegasus, or unicorn. Earth ponies are hardy and strong. They gain the stout heart trait, which allows them to really push themselves to accomplish a physical task once a day. They also have higher Stamina (which is your hp) than the other pony types. Pegasus and Unicorns are less hardy than earth ponies, but have special abilities of their own. Unicorns can use magic. They begin the game with telekinesis and can make their horns glow. As they level up you can select more magical powers with them (if you want) such as force fields, stun rays, and teleportation. Pegasus can fly and walk on clouds. As they level up you can even learn to control the weather. There is a fourth type of pony in My Little Pony, the alicorn, but it’s off limits to players. Although kids will likely be a bit sad about that, the book explains quite clearly why, which was more than enough reason for my kids. After all, only Princesses of Equestria can be alicorns, and those thrones are all currently taken.

Once you know what kind of pony you want to use you write down your level, which is one. Then you select your Element of Harmony. This doesn’t have a mechanical effect. It acts more like a a guide to help you and your fellow players know what personality trait your character is most tied to. The Elements of Harmony are generosity, honesty, kindness, laughter, loyalty, and magic (which is a balance of all of the others). Once you’ve chosen your Element of Harmony you allocate your statistics.

Before we get into that, though, let me give you a little context about how this game works. Every pony has three main statistics: Body, Mind, and Charm. Each of these statistics will have a dice type associated with it. In this game your lowest statistic and traits will use a d4, but will increase as you level up, moving on to a d6, d8, d10, and so on. Low dice are bad, and high dice are good. Simple.

If you come across an obstacle — things like kicking down a door, untying a knot, or climbing a cliff — this is called a Test. Your GM selects the Test’s difficulty from a simple chart. Then the players roll a dice for the stat most applicable. Kicking down a door or climbing a cliff would be a Body check, discovering a clue or solving a riddle would be a Mind check, and making friends or telling a joke would be a Charm check. If you beat the DC you pass and if you’re under the DC you fail.

If you happen to have a skill that could also apply to whatever you’re trying to do, like bucking to kick down a door, or keen knowledge (geography) to find your way in the wilds, you get to roll that dice also and keep the better result. For example, if a pony with a Body d4 and Bucking d6 wants to kick down a door, they roll both a d4 and a d6, then they choose which die result they want to keep.

If you’re making a check against a different pony or an opponent, this is instead a Challenge. Examples of this include a baking competition, a race, or a debate. In this case the ponies and opponents involved roll the appropriate dice and the highest outcome is the winner.

Battles are a special type of challenge called a Scuffle. This works just like a regular challenge, except that the loser loses an amount of Stamina equal to the score rolled by the winner. So, if a pegasus and a timberwolf get into a scuffle, they each roll a Body check. If either of them has an additional trait that would be useful they roll that as well and keep the better of their rolls. If the pegasus rolled a 4 and the timber wolf rolled a 6, the timberwolf has won the round and the pegasus loses six Stamina. When you start the game your ponies will have either 10 or 12 Stamina, so battles tend to pass quick. Its a fun and simple way to handle combat. However, it should be noted that scuffles aren’t a major part of Tails of Equestria. Its much more likely ponies will avoid combat with clever roleplaying, creative thinking, and teamwork.

There’s a bit more to rolling than that. Rolling a 1 results in an automatic fail and is called Bad Luck. Beating a Test by double its difficulty is called an Amazing Success, and means something wonderful happens. Rolling maximum on your dice is called an Exploding Hoof and allows you to immediately roll on a dice one step higher (from d4, to d6, to d8, and so on). If you roll higher than your previous roll you can use the higher result, otherwise you keep your previous die roll. And if you roll maximum again? You go up another dice step and keep going. These all turned out to be fun additions to the game. My kids particularly enjoyed the Exploding Hooves. Haha.

Now that we’ve got the basics covered we can jump back into character creation.

All ponies begin with a d6 in Charm (which is your social statistic). Then you get to allocate a d4 and a d6 to the other two stats, which are Body (the physical trait) and Mind (your mental stat). Smart and clever ponies will want to put their d6 into Mind and their d4 into Body, while tough or nimble ponies will want to put the d6 into Body and the d4 into Mind. Earth ponies are a special exception and instead count their Body as one dice type higher, meaning an earth pony’s starting statistics will either be Body (d8), Mind (d4), Charm (d6) for strong ponies, or Body (d6), Mind (d6), Charm (d6) for brainy ponies.

Once you’ve chosen your statistics you calculate your Stamina. This acts as your hp, and is the sum of your Body and Mind stats. This means that pegasus and unicorns will have 10 Stamina to start with, while earth ponies will have 12. Failing Tests, Challenges, and Scuffles can lower your Stamina, as can lack of sleep or a poor diet. You can recover Stamina by resting, eating a good meal, or using Ponybalm (which is like a healing potion).

Now its time to select your Talents, which are sort of feats, special abilities, and skills all rolled into one. Each pony type starts with their own Talent. Earth ponies have Stout Heart (d6), pegasus have Fly (d6), and unicorns have Telekinesis (d6). At level one you also get to select one other Talent from a list, which is tied to your Cutie Mark and is your specialty. This Talent should be a huge part of your character and shape their outlook, personality, name, and so on. There’s a decent sized list of Talents to choose from, many of which have an unlimited number of subtypes. Keen Knowledge, for example, is knowing a lot about a specific topic, but what topic is entirely up to you. Similarly, Creative Flair is something creative that you’re particularly good at, such as baking, comedy, or painting, and Special Skill is something physical that you’re talented in, like bucking, gymnastics, or sneaking. Other Talents are more specific. Healing Touch, which was my personal favourite, allows you to heal an ally, while the Stare allows you to fascinate or command someone to do something. Finally, some talents can only be taken by a specific type of pony. Only unicorns can use magic, for example, and only pegasus can fly. Although the list is nice and allows for a lot of variance between characters, I found myself wishing it was a little longer. Fortunately it’s mentioned that players hoping to create something not on the list can do so with approval from their GM. Although my family has made a few ponies already, we haven’t had the need to do this yet. So far the written Talents have been more than enough.

Whichever Talent you select at level one begins at a d6. Throughout the game you’ll have the chance to upgrade the dice types of your various Talents, and learn more. Any Talents learned later begin as d4s though, so choose wisely.

Once you’ve decided on your Talents you get to pick out a Quirk, which is a character flaw. Again, there’s a decent array of options and, again, I found myself wishing there were more. Fortunately, some of them can be incredibly varied. Fear, for example, is a fear of a specific thing (like spiders or heights). Allergies and Oooohhh… Shiny! are equally variable. The others, such as asthma, blunt, messy, and overconfident are much more specific. Again, as with Talents, players have the freedom to create their own Quirks with GM approval. So why would your pony want a flaw, anyway? Quirks will influence your character’s personality and make them unique. It gives kids something fun and often comical to role-play, and teaches us that no one is perfect. But it has an in game effect as well. Every time your ponies face their fears they get rewarded by the GM. My kids loved this and really embraced their ponies Quirks. It turned out to be a lot of fun.

By now your pony is nearly complete. You’ll need to design their Cutie Mark, draw your pony, and give them a name. Some of the ponies my family created included Soothing Heart the over-prepared earth pony mother, Flying Recall the mystery solving pegasus with a sixth sense for trouble, Bunna the stuffed animal seamstress unicorn who can talk to animals, Nugget the unicorn artist who hopes to draw every magical creature in existence, and Thunderhoof the kung-fu fighting earth pony who wants to be an action star. All in all, this game allows you to make unique ponies with only a short amount of work. It’s a fun, streamlined process that everyone enjoyed.

What’s left? Gear. Now, most ponies don’t need to pick up any gear to start. But some, such as adventuresome ponies or those who have a goal or job in mind, will want to spend some of their money — called Bits — on gear before they begin the game. There’s a solid list of equipment you can purchase in the game, with enough variability that nearly all characters should find the things they need (or a similar item whose cost they can use). Whether you decide to spend your bits or not, each pony begins with 400 bits. In between adventures your ponies can earn 200 bits per month plus or minus d20 bits, as determined by the GM. All in all we found that bits and gear were a nice and important addition, but not integral to gameplay.

Finally, players determine how many ‘Tokens of Friendship’ they begin the game with. These are special crystals (or beads, buttons, and so on) which you can use to reroll dice, automatically pass a failed roll, or slightly change the storyline (depending on how many you spend). You begin the game with Tokens of Friendship equal to the number of people you are playing with (including the GM). You also gain more at each level up. If you decide to use your tokens to help out someone else, you reduce the cost of spending Tokens of Friendship. In very rare circumstances, players and characters who are particularly kind can also be gifted a bonus Token of Friendship by the GM. We found that this was a really fun aspect of gameplay that everyone got into the spirit of.

As you adventure your characters will learn and grow. Tails of Equestria does away with experience points, instead allowing ponies to level up after every adventure — or in between sessions if an adventure is particularly long. When a pony gains a level they increase one of their Statistics (Body, Mind, or Charm) by one die type (a d4 becomes a d6, a d6 becomes a d8, and so on). If they choose to increase Body or Mind this also creases their Stamina accordingly. For every Talent that you used in the previous adventure you increase it by one die type as well. Then you either select one Talent you didn’t have a chance to use and increase it by one die type, or you select a new Talent to gain at d4. Finally, your characters gain a number of Tokens of Friendship equal to the number of players (including the GM) who participated in the last adventure. very rarely you can select a new Quirk if you want, but it has to be for something that happened during your adventure, and each pony should do this only once or twice. For example, if your earth pony fell in a pit full of snakes and you role-played them being horrified by the events they might take the Quirk fear (snakes). This approach is simple and easy to understand, but you’ll soon see your PCs all branching off in different directions the more they level up.

With character creation and the basics of the game out of the way, Tails of Equestria: The Storytelling Game goes on to further explain gameplay for players and GMs. Which should bring us to the end.

Only it’s not the end!

This book also comes with an adventure for first level characters called The Pet Predicament. I cannot express how happy I was to discover this. Particularly after I read it! It is honestly the perfect start adventure for this game. And, it’s not a short or cheap adventure, either! It’s forty pages in length if you count the stat blocks it comes with. It took my family two sessions to play through, though my kids were so engrossed they wanted to play it in one. But, alas! It was bedtime. Haha.

my litte pony tails of equestria the storytelling game in game

In a practical sense, this adventure is incredibly important. It provides a first adventure for players to use, and teaches them how a game should be run by example. For experienced players it also serves to alter our preconceptions about RPGs, and really shake things up. That’s because Tails of Equestria isn’t the same kind of RPG as Pathfinder or D&D. It downplays battle, and really encourages players to use creative thinking, kindness, teamwork, and roleplaying to overcome obstacles. This game requires a different mindset than other RPGs. Happily it’s a mindset that kids and young players will naturally settle into and flourish. I honestly cannot be happier with how this game played.

So what is the Pet Predicament? I mentioned it was the perfect starter adventure for this game and I meant it. It’s well written, engaging, and fun. There’s plenty of opportunity for Scuffles, but just as many chances for players to completely avoid Scuffles with Tests an Challenges. It features the Mane Six (main characters) from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic as initial NPCs, and leaves the PCs as their pet-sitters. Any kids who has seen the show will be absolutely thrilled at this turn of events. Getting to meet such famous characters is enough to make many kids squeal in glee, and finding themselves the caretakers of all six of their pets? I’ve never met a kid who doesn’t love animals! Both my son and daughter got super into this adventure. They did their best to take care of the animals, feed them their favourite things, pamper and play with them, and so on. Unfortunately for your pet-sitters, not all of the pets are well behaved. Fluttershy’s rabbit, Angel, is a menace (as fans of the show will know!). My daughter, who adores rabbits, had a ton of fun dealing with the fluffy little terror. But, like all good adventures, something goes wrong. And this time? There’s definitely a rabbit to blame! The pets soon get lost in the dangerous and spooky Everfree Forest, and its up to your PCs to rescue all the pets, brings them back to Fluttershy’s cottage, and clean up. Their adventures will present them with all kinds of obstacles, Tests, and Challenges. Rescuing each pet will take creative thinking and teamwork. How each task is accomplished is incredibly open ended, which really allows your group of PCs to use their own unique approach to get things done. I’ll refrain for spoiling any more of the adventure, but I will say that it’s a delight to read, GM, and play. Everyone in my family had a blast (including my husband).  The ending also had my kids hooked, as it leads directly into the Tails of Equestria: The Curse of the Statuettes adventure (although the book also encourages kids to create their own adventure with the cliff hanger ending as an opening plot hook).

In the end, my entire family loved Tails of Equestria: The Storytelling Game. It’s fun, fast-paced, and simple, but offers everyone at the table plenty of opportunities to role-play and work together. I had a blast sharing this game with my kids. And my kids? They couldn’t be happier. In fact, my daughter is sitting in her bed with a little notebook and her rabbit pen creating another character as we speak.

Absolutely a wonderful game.

 Jessica

 

Character Focus: “Scaredy” Sir Lansle Eine

My kids have grown to love play-by-post gaming over the last few months. They created their first Pathfinder Society characters back in December so they could play a scenario my brother wrote. Scenario #9-10: Signs in Senghor was a ton of fun. Mr. Ice, Bunny Paras, Paras and Enzo Jeggare accomplished their goals, made allies, and escaped the clutches of a dangerous monster. So when OutPost was announced they made the decision to move their characters online so they could play some more. In addition, they made their second characters. Lady Naysha and her beloved stuffed animal Miss Whiskers, the ever forgetful Fuzzzy and his clever owl Bobby joined the ranks of the Pathfinders.


Note: For more information on Mr. Ice, Bunny Paras, Paras and Enzo, check out the following posts: Joining the Pathfinder Society, Signs in Senghor Part One, Signs in Senghor Part Two, Farewell to OutPost, and The Many Fortunes of Grandmaster Torch. For more information on Fuzzzy and Lady Naysha, check out these posts: Outpost 2018 and Farewell to OutPost.


Recently, they decided they wanted to do more. They each took some time to think, and registered their third Pathfinder Society characters. Today, we’re going to take a look at my son’s.

He wanted to make a paladin. He also wanted to make someone from Fuzzzy’s past. Someone who knew Fuzzzy before he was a forgetful old man. Someone who knew he was a hero. He’s a big fan of demons in his d20 games, which worked well with his concept. In no time at all, on the way to school, he announced suddenly:

“Mom, I am going to make Fuzzzy’s brother. He died too. But when he came back, he didn’t get to forget. He remembers. And it makes him really scared.”

Immediately, I smiled. “That’s a great idea! Do you think he’s going to give in to his fear?”

My son thought for a moment. “He will be very scared. He will shake and stuff and hide behind his shield. But he is a paladin, Mom. Even though he is scared, he will try to protect other people. He will be a hero even if he wants to pee himself in fear and run away.”

“That sounds like he is very brave.” I pointed out.

My son nodded. “The bravest!”

By then we were at school, so he waved at his friends and handed me his backpack. I reminded him not to talk about ‘demons’ too much in school — unsurprisingly a touchy topic for a grade one classroom — and off he went to play.

After school he did his homework (with only mild complaints), and slowly typed his way though his play-by-posts. He pulled out our Pathfinder books and began to look at the pictures. After dinner we say down to make his character.

Choosing a race, class, and religion was easy. Fuzzzy had been a human in life, and his brother would be one as well. He worshipped Iomedae, and was a paladin. We quickly discovered a favoured class bonus for humans that he loved: “Add +1 to the paladin’s energy resistance to one kind of energy (maximum +10).” He chose to go with Fire Resistance 1 to start with, due to his unfortunate past with demons. He knew he wanted to fight with a longsword and a shield. Dented ones! And some big heavy armour that was scratched. The same gear he wore in his battles in the Worldwound. He chose improved shield bash, and weapon focus longsword for his feats.

He also chose his stats quite easily: Str 18, Dex 10, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 12, Cha 8. Strong and healthy. A little smart and a little wise from his time in the military. But not very nimble — his armour is too hard to move in for that. And not charismatic at all! He’s so nervous and scared that it bugs people. Also, he’s used to friends turning out to be traitors and demons and things! So he doesn’t trust people very easily. He is too scared they might be demons in disguise to be good at making friends! He knew that the low charisma could be a problem for a paladin, but he decided he was fine with that.

Then something wonderful happened. As we were browsing through archetypes we came across two that he wanted: torturer crusader and warrior of holy light.

Tortured Crusader is an archetype from Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Horror Adventures that represents a paladin who has lived through more terrifying and horrifying experiences than most. These events have left a scar on him. Perfect! It uses Wisdom instead of Charisma — even better! It gives him access to more skills per level than a normal paladin, and new skills. He gives up diplomacy and handle animal (fine with him!) and he gains access to survival skills, and a bunch of skills that would be super useful to a guy who tries to battle demons everyday. They can’t detect evil. Seeing the evil all around them only reminds them of how horrible life is. This could also help keep his new character scared all the time, since he has no idea where evil might strike from next! Their smite evil is also a little different. It’s less effective at level one, but later becomes more effective. My son thought this was alright with him. They can’t use their healing powers to heal others, instead he can only heal himself with them. This is because they want to protect others from evil so much, that they can’t ask others to fight beside them. Even though this is quite a downside for his healing powers, my son liked it. He decided that his character wanted to protect everyone from the pain and trauma that the demons caused him, so he would fight them all on his own. Also, this ability would give him extra uses of smite evil, which he thought was pretty cool. Soon he’ll also gain the ability to set conditions that could cause his healing powers to automatically trigger on himself. My son loved this idea, deciding that it was Iomedae herself, still granting him some extra help now and then.

The second archetype he liked is the Warrior of the Holy Light from Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Advanced Player’s Guide. This archetype made him give up his spell casting. Instead, he can make a magical aura of light that makes himself and his allies a little bit better at fighting. Later, it can do other things, like healing ability damage, providing energy resistance, and even harming evil creatures. He immediately decided to give himself this archetype along with the trait, birthmark. His paladin would have a birthmark on his left palm that looked like a glowing sword. It works as his holy symbol, and helps him shake off charms and compulsions, which is really helpful against demons! When he gets access to his light abilities, it will be his holy birthmark that glows with light. When this happens, his scared paladin will turn into the man he used to be. Iomedae’s holy light will help him remember what its like to be brave.

From there, filling in the rest of his character was easy. He chose ‘a sure thing’ as his second trait, gave himself ranks in Knowledge (planes), Knowledge (religion), Perception, Profession (soldier), Sense Motive and Survival. He chose abyssal as his bonus language. And he spent his money on some good gear. A longsword, heavy steel shield, scale mail and some javelins. He also invested in holy water. He made sure to pick up a wooden holy symbol of Iomedae and a battered old copy of her holy text. His, from before his death. He also invested in a shield sconce and some torches. The rest of his gear was pretty basic: backpack, bedroll, so on and such. With a bit more tweaking, he was ready!

We painstakingly typed up his character sheet on our computer, registered him online. My son browsed through character images and quickly found one he liked. Then we spent some time writing his character biography.

He was ready!


So, on behalf of my son, we’re introducing Sir Lansle Eine. Brother of Fuzzzy. Paladin of Iomedae. Known to most as Sir ‘Scaredy.’


Sir Lansle Eine and his brother Sir Palad Eine were holy paladins in the service of Iomedae. They battled together in the Worldwound and saw many horrors. In the end, at twenty-four and twenty-five years of age, they died. But as the demon tore apart their bodies, Iomedae plucked their souls from the Boneyard and placed them in new bodies. They were brought back to life by their faith and devotion and self-sacrifice. But when they came back they were not the same. Death changes everyone.

Palad came back in the body of an old man, with no memory of his past life. He calls himself Fuzzzy now, and doesn’t remember Lansle at all. Fuzzzy has a pet owl who is very smart—a gift from Iomedae—who keeps Fuzzzy safe and on track. Lansle visits his brother often, but it always makes him both happy and sad. It hurts being forgotten.

Lansle didn’t change as much as Palad. He looks the same, and he remembers everything. That’s the problem. Dying at the hands of demons was terrifying and it left a deep scar on Lansle’s soul. He is scared of dying, and all the things that might make him die. But, he is still a paladin in his heart.

He can’t stand on the sidelines when evil is in the world. He won’t waste his second life.

Sir Lansle decided to do some good. He takes care of his brother, even though Palad/Fuzzzy doesn’t remember him. And he joined the Pathfinders. More specifically, the Silver Crusade. Through his missions he is going to make the world a better place. Even though it makes his knees shake, and his arms turn to jelly. He is a scared, but very brave, guy.

Lansle is a young man in his twenties, with brown hair that is starting to go gray on the sides from worrying too much. He wears heavy armour and carries a big shield. They both have Iomedae’s holy symbol on them—a glowing sword—but they are also both dented and scratched as if they have seen a lot of use in battle. Lansle was probably handsome once, but he has big bags under his eyes he never smiles. He always looks very scared and nervous. His knees shake and his eyes look back and forth nervously all the time. He has a longsword on his hip, and a holy symbol of Iomedae around his neck. He carries an old, worn out holy text of Iomedae in his bag, and in the back he writes his own prayers and poems. He has a birthmark on his palm that is in the shape of his holy symbol, and once in a while, when he is in very deep trouble, it glows, and then Lansle remembers what it’s like to be brave.

Luckily, my son had no trouble finding a game for him to play in. Sir Lansle is currently working his way through Scenario #7-10: The Consortium Compact. Stopping a shipment of horrible drugs from being spread across the Inner Sea? Definitely a good start!

I hope you enjoyed taking a look at my son’s new character. I know I enjoyed helping him make it.

Thanks for stopping by!

Jessica