Tails of Equestria: Plenty More Adventure

Tails of Equestria, a family friendly RPG based on the incredibly popular My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, recently announced the release of two new adventures.

The Haunting of Equestria is the fourth adventure in the Tails of Equestria line. This spooky adventure is intended for characters between levels 5 and 10, and is the most difficult adventure they’ve published. Already out in the UK, this book is scheduled for release in North America in August.

Filly Sized Follys is the fifth adventure in the Tails of Equestria line though its release date is currently unannounced. This adventure contains three separate short adventures that focus on helping ponies in need and embracing the magic of friendship. The stories in this volume are intended for characters between levels 2 and 5.

My kids adore Tails of Equestria, and I’ve constantly been impressed with their well written, creative, enjoyable adventures. It’s a really great, high-quality kids RPG and we are thrilled to hear there’s more adventures coming this year.

For more information on Tails of Equestria check out this blog post, or read about our experiences playing through another Tails of Equestria adventure the Pet Predicament.

Jessica

Tails of Equestria: The Pet Predicament

A few weeks ago I wrote a review on a delightful kids RPG called Tails of Equestria: The Storytelling Game. We delved into game mechanics, character creation, and general fun factor. I also touched on an adventure — The Pet Predicament — and promised that I would share further details on the adventure in the future.

Well buckle in folks, cause the future is now!

Today, much to my daughter’s delight, we’re talking The Pet Predicament!

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. For more details on the game and how it works, click here!

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At the back of Tails of Equestria: The Storytelling Game you’ll find a starter adventure called The Pet Predicament. Intended for level 1 ponies, its the perfect first adventure for this game. Yes, seriously. 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. My family played through the adventure in two short sessions, though my kids were so engrossed they wanted to play it in one.

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. 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.

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, easy to GM, engaging, and fun. There’s plenty of opportunity for Scuffles, but just as many chances for players to completely avoid Scuffles with Tests and Challenges. It features the Mane Six (main characters) from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic as initial NPCs, and features plenty of other cameos along the way.

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Our adventure begins, innocently enough, in Ponyville’s market. There your PCs (short for Pony Characters in Tails of Equestria) are grocery shopping and have a chance to describe all the things they’ve been buying. This is a great opportunity for your players to talk about their characters, and decide how they know each other.

My family decided to play a strange family of ponies. I played Soothing Heart, an over-prepared earth pony mother who carries saddlebags filled with everything her little fillies might need (including snacks, first aid supplies, cleaning supplies, and protective gear for a wide variety of weather). She’s tough, caring, loyal, and determined, with the Healing Touch talent. But, her vision is poor, and she needs glasses to see. Also, since I was also going to be the Storyteller, Soothing Heart is a bit of a follower, allowing her little fillies to explore the world while she minds them from afar. My/her husband is Nugget, a unicorn with a spectacular hairdo and the beginnings of a beard. He’s clever,  charming, and a talented magic-user. More than anything, Nugget is an artist with an obsession for magical creatures. If he sees one he can’t resist stopping to draw it — a dangerous habit! My daughter created a pegasus called Bunna who is kind, happy, and adores animals. She can even speak to mammals! Bunna is a seamstress who specializes in hand sewing stuffed animals. She particularly adores rabbits. Unfortunately, she has a terrible fear of… caterpillars! Eeeek! The horror! Finally, my son created Flying Recall, a mystery loving pegasus with special pony senses who always trusts his gut. He’s a friendly, funny fellow, who is a little bit too silly.

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My kids had great fun describing their many, many purchases in the market, with my son buying healthy snacks and my daughter buying a massive rabbit shaped cake. Soon, my daughter (the PC who bought the tastiest treats or, in my case, loves rabbits the most) felt her grocery bag getting heavier and heavier… Bunna looked down to realize there was an adorable little rabbit in her bag eating all of her cake! My daughter squealed in absolute delight while my son looked at the picture of the rabbit and exclaimed: “Oh, no! Not THAT rabbit! THAT rabbit is trouble!”

And my son couldn’t have been more right! Angel is Fluttershy’s rabbit, and he’s horribly behaved. Kids are sure to have a blast roleplaying with this little guy. My daughter’s attempts to befriend the rabbit led to it growling, glaring at her, and crossing his arms in irritation. Soon she just decided to let him enjoy the cake which is when my kids (and I’m sure many more) let out their second squeal of glee: Fluttershy herself appears looking for her ‘little Angel.’ Impressed with your ability to handle the rabbit — cue my daughter’s proud smile — Fluttershy asks your PCs for a favour. She and her friends (yes, those friends) have to go on an important trip, but they promised they would give their pets a pampering party! They really can’t delay their mission, but they don’t want to let their pets down, either. They need someone really special to come over and pet-sit!

My kids literally threw their arms up into the air and were begging to be the petsitters before Fluttershy could even get the offer out. They were SO in. Haha. Not a surprise! It’s likely that 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 don’t think I’ve ever met a kid who doesn’t love animals!

Fluttershy asks the PCs to show up at her house the next morning and trots away leaving your PCs with the rest of the day to spend as they see fit. It’s assumed that you finish checking out the market and then skip to the scene at Fluttershy’s house, but both of my kids play a lot of complex RPGs, so they had other plans. Especially when you take into account that Flying Recall loves a good mystery! The pair of them spent time investigating the identities of the Mane Six and their pets, figuring out what each animal enjoyed doing, and what each loved to eat. My kids were counting on fingers, trying to remember the pets from the tv show, guessing what those kinds of animals would like in real life, and rolling dice to ask around for gossip, and recall obscure bits of information. They had a blast! I rewarded their efforts with lots of helpful information and they spent time picking up items in the market that they thought would be of use in petsitting. A juicy bone and a ball for Applejack’s dog, the fanciest and most expensive cat treats they could find for Rarity’s spoiled cat, and so on.

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When they were ready to move on our PCs headed over to Fluttershy’s house — with my kids wearing incredibly proud smiles on their faces. They got to meet each member of the Mane Six, each of the pets they would be babysitting, and ask any questions they had. I casually dropped a lot of information on my kids in this scene while roleplaying, most importantly about all the pets and what they like or don’t like. The information is easy to come by for GMs, but players will need to rely on their memories, note-taking, or rolling a Mind Check to get everything down. Surprisingly my kids were obsessively dedicated petsitters, and remembered every little detail all on their own. My husband was more concerned with matters like: ‘Where’s the food?’ ‘Where are you going?’ and ‘When will you be back?’

Nugget learned that the Mane Six were off to solve a mystery. Ponies throughout Equestria were being magically turned into statuettes! They always turned back to normal after a while, but it was very jarring. So the Mane Six were heading out to investigate. Their mission would take them into the dangerous Badlands to the south.

Nugget decided that sounded very dangerous, and he would much rather stay behind and pet-sit. My kids agreed.

The Mane Six bid everyone farewell and left. We were alone in Fluttershy’s house with a whopping six pets to care for. All very different. Some easy to tend to and some not. Both my son and daughter got super into this part of the adventure. They did their best to take care of the animals, find and feed them their favourite things, pamper and play with them, and so on. They carefully decided who would be best suited to caring for each pet, and excitedly tried to recall every bit of information they could. They fed Owlowiscious (Twilight Sparkle’s wise owl) chocolate mice and tickled him just behind his ear feathers. They gave Winona (Applejack’s playful dog) the bone they had bought for her, played ball, and patted her tummy. They were absurdly happy to see Winona enjoy the bone they bought him. They gave Gummy (Pinkie Pie’s toothless baby alligator) fish cakes and played Snaps. They brushed and groomed Opalescence (Rarity’s fat, spoiled cat) while feeding her the most expensive cat treats money could buy (which they had already bought a lot of!). They took Tank (Rainbow Dash’s helicopter flying turtle) out for a fly and fed him lettuce. My kids had such a blast with this part of the adventure! They were exchanging high fives and shouting out ‘great job’ and other congratulations at the table. It was just a giant ball of feel-good fun.

And then my daughter tried to handle Angel, the fluffy little rabbit menace. They knew it would be tough. They got him the perfect carrots, gently fluffed his tail, and offered him cuddles. Shockingly, my daughter managed to control the rabbit for a while, but in time he got out of hand. Carrots were met with growls, tail fluffing with glares, and cuddles with fierce little punches from fluffy paws. He was a terror!

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Which is the point!

Angel causes such a commotion he knocks all the books off the bookshelf, some of which land on Tank. Tank’s helicopter motor starts up and shoots him right through a window and into the sky. Worried for Tank, Winona hops through the broken window after him. Owolwiscious screeches in panic at the commotion — he had previously been napping — and flies up the chimney in a cloud of soot. Gummy starts to sneeze and ends up biting Opalescence, who leaps into the air, clings to the curtains with her claws, and brings the whole curtain rod down at you! Your PCs have a chance to dodge the curtains, but fate is not with them. If they fail a Body Check they get tangled in the curtains, and if they pass they instead get knocked into a cupboard as it falls over.

“AHHH!” My kids shrieked. “The pets!”

“Tank flew right out the window!” my son exclaimed with wide eyes.

“And the cat got bit by a crocodile!” my daughter added. “That bunny is so naughty! Oh… but he is very cute… I forgive him!”

“We need to save them!” my son pointed out.

Only then did they realize they were stuck. Really stuck.

By the time we all extricated ourselves with our skills from curtains and cupboards, the pets were gone. All of them.

We headed outside to investigate. Flying Recall searched around for clues — he loves a good mystery — while Bunna asked around for eye-witness accounts from the nearby mammals. In time they discovered that each pet had wandered off on their own — most into the nearby Everfree Forest. They immediately decided we had to get them back. But who was most in need of rescue? And which clues should they follow first?

From here we get to the bulk of the adventure: finding and rescuing all six pets. This will present your players with all kinds of obstacles, Tests, and Challenges. Following the trails and clues in some cases is difficult, with failure causing new challenges and mishaps that range from falling into a marshy pool or getting tangled in clinging thorns, to stepping on a cragadile, getting surrounded by timberwolves, and even meeting the mysterious zebra mystic known as Zecora. Surprisingly, my kids didn’t fail a single tracking Check, and never faced any of the mishaps. Rescuing each pet will take creative thinking and teamwork but exactly 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. The order they choose to rescue the pets in is entirely up to them.

Once your players manage to rescue a pet they need to keep it happy. Each animal has a few paragraphs written about how they act after being rescued, and how your players can affect their behaviour. Some pets are helpful, others silly, and some (here’s looking at you Angel) are a giant pain in the butt! Managing these rescued pets becomes a fun part of the rest of the adventure, even as they distract you from (or help to) rescue the others.

My kids decided that finding Gummy was most important. They had tracked his footprints to a fast-moving stream and easily determined that the alligator was so small he wouldn’t be able to fight the current. Knowing that if they didn’t follow him right away they might never find him at all, they raced off downstream. They discovered a boat nearby, which some of us rode in, but my son didn’t trust the boat. Instead he insisted on racing along the riverbank. The stream leads to a large lake where they spotted a big bird flying through the air with a baby alligator clamped onto his tail feathers. Gummy is at risk of falling, and the bird looks in pain. There’s plenty of ways to go about rescuing the alligator, but with two pegasus in the party my kids decided to fly up there and get the job done themselves. Bunna held onto Gummy, and Flying Recall tried to pry his mouth open while telling him silly jokes. From the ground, Nugget steadied Gummy with his telekinesis, and Soothing Heart prepped a snack and some first aid supplies. They freed the bird without harm, and got Gummy down safe. …only to have him chomp onto Flying Recall! (Gummy sure does love to bite!). Soothing Heart fed Gummy food (thus freeing Flying Recall) while Bunna made Gummy a special stuffed animal. When it was ready she gave it to him to chew on, and then Flying Recall carried Gummy back to the cottage.

After a few minutes of checking the trails and clues again, its clear that all the rest of the pets entered the spooky Everfree Forest. Spotting a plume of smoke that they were sure would dissipate if they delayed any longer, they hurried into the forest after it. But, the forest is dense and travel through it is hard. Flying Recall flew up above the canopy to keep an eye on the smoke and lead the team toward their goal.

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Tank had crash landed in a canyon dotted with caves and got his aviation goggles tangled on a tree branch. When my kids saw him dangling from a stick halfway down a canyon with a clearly broken helicopter rotor on his back they panicked! After much shrieks Bunna and Flying Recall flew to the rescue — only to discover that this canyon was home to a massive quarray eel that swallowed Flying Recall whole. My son panicked. Seriously. We reminded him that there’s no such thing as death in Tails of Equestria, and I described the strange soft squishy insides of the eel he finds himself in. That’s when my son exclaimed: “I USE MY TOKENS OF FRIENDSHIP TO REROLL SO I DODGE!!! NOW!!” My daughter decided this was a great plan, so the group gave up some Tokens of Friendship, we rewound the action, and Flying Recall managed to dodge the jaws of the quarray eel.

Now, this wasn’t necessary. PCs who find themselves swallowed whole only need wait on their friends to come up with a plan to rescue them. Jokes, smoke, sneezing, and many other options could work, all depending on what Talents your PCs have and what they come up with. Even if they all get too close to the eel and get swallowed, gameplay doesn’t end. In this case Tank’s rotor puffs up once more, sending him careening relatively safely to the cave ground. There the little loyal turtle waddles up to the eel — he’s much too small for the eel to care about eating — and gives the eel’s tail a solid chomp. The eel reels in pain and spits out any swallowed ponies, leaving Tank to slowly wander back out of the cave to give a proud little nod to the ponies he’s saved. Coolest turtle ever.

In my game, our heroic pegasi both carefully stayed out of the quarray eel’s way after the timely dodge, and delicately untangled Tank with some steadying help from Nugget’s telekinesis.

With Tank safe we headed out after Winona, whose barks and whimpers we could hear from afar. We found her tied up outside the den of some diamond dogs, which my kids knew (from watching the show) like to capture ponies and force them to work in their diamond mines. The goal here is to rescue Winona without getting noticed by the diamond dogs. For most groups its incredibly unlikely to happen, and you’ll then need to parley or otherwise deal with the diamond dogs themselves once they arrive on the scene to investigate the noise. But, super paranoid, Bunna snuck close to Winona and used her ability to speak with mammals and her Charm to good use, telling Winona to stay silent. After a few checks she rescued Winona and we all snuck off without the diamond dogs any wiser.

Next we followed a trail of sooty feathers which lead us to Owlowiscious. Much to my kids surprise they found him flying over and over again into a tree, which was right in the middle of a patch of blue flowers. My kids, who are avid RPG players, were immediately suspicious. They both looked at each other and said: “Trap.”

Both deduced it had something to do with the flowers, with one deciding they were cursed and the other insisting their pollen or smell must make you stupid. Turns out they were both right. The flower’s pollen puts a curse on anyone who sniffs it, which makes something happen that the victim would hate. For Owlowiscious that turned out to be losing his intelligence. Now dumb as a post, the poor owl was smashing himself silly by flying into the same tree over and over.

With no knowledge of the flowers abilities but feeling like they were to blame my kids gave this one a bit of a think. Unbeknownst to them the key here is teamwork. You can solve this any way your group wants, as long as everyone helps. Everyone. In the end Soothing Heart gave Bunna and Flying Recall some protective clothing, Nugget steadied the owl with telekinesis, and both Pegasus flew up there to grab him, being careful not to breathe at all. Mission accomplished!

Unfortunately, even after rescue the bird was still stupid. Luckily, Soothing Heart’s first aid training came in handy. She figured to what was wrong and used her ponlybalm to take away the harmful effects of the curse. But, that wouldn’t be permanent. They’d need to find a way to cure her for good, which would require a visit to the zebra mystic Zecora. Deciding that rescuing the pets was more important, they treated the owl as best as they could and moved on, determined to rescue Opalescence, the pampered cat next.

The cat we found stuck at the bottom of a magic well. Poor Opalescence was yowling in fear, shivering cold, and exhausted. As they approached words appeared on the well, a poem that hinted that if you threw what you loved and would miss into the well, it would return the cat. My kids did not like this. But, they wanted the cat. So my son threw in something he would miss — not his magnifying glass! He would miss that too much, but something else. His notepad. The water in the well rose and the cat floated closer. Following his lead my husband tossed in his art book, which caused the water level to rise a lot. Bunna made a new stuffed animal and threw it into the well, causing the water to rise. But there was a lot of way left to go, and my son soon discovered that no one could give something twice. Soothing Heart would have to throw in something she would really miss. So she took off her necklace — one of a pair which Nugget had given to his wife and daughter — and threw it into the well.

And my daughter freaked out. Holy cow! She suddenly broke down in tears shouting “We don’t match!!”

Did not see that coming. Apparently this necklace meant a lot to her. So, I told her to explain that to the well, and maybe it would make you another deal. Meanwhile, my son grumbled it was just a necklace and saved the cat, which was way more important that jewelry.

Now, it is expected that some folks might not want to give up some of their favourite items forever. The adventure has a few ways in it for your PCs to convince the well to return their items to them. In the end my daughter befriended it, and promised to visit the lonely well once a week. Satisfied, the well returned everything the gang had given it. Bunna let it keep the stuffed animal for company.

Relieved (and no longer sad), my daughter led the group away from the magic well.

We had one pet left to save: Angel.

My kids had decided to save her for last knowing that she would be a handful to manage. They didn’t want her messing up their other rescue missions! But, with all the pets free and safe (in varying degrees of happiness), they set out after the troublesome rabbit.

“I’ve got this!” My daughter told us. “Bunny, prepare to be cuddled!”

The trail led them to a dark cave.

“Trap,” my kids decided.

“Dangerous monster!” my son guessed.

“Spider webs,” my daughter guessed.

“Oh, wait! Please no more cave eels….” my son remarked with a groan.

Nugget made his unicorn horn glow a pleasant green colour and led the way inside. There we found a monstrous magical bear called an Ursa that was cuddling and rocking Angel like a baby. And… cooing at her? My kids were pretty sure the Ursa was singing Angel a lullaby. Angel, for his part, was wearing a diaper and struggling as much as he could for freedom. He glared, he flailed, he punched, and he nibbled. But still, the Ursa would not let it go.

For most groups this will be the most challenging pet to rescue. If they attempt to take Angel by force or trickery the Ursa will cry and wail, drawing its mother home from her hunting trip early. (Yup! This massive bear is actually a baby called an Ursa Minor). The Ursa mother (Ursa Major) will also return if your PCs take too long to rescue Angel or make too much noice. Clever PCs will choose that moment to flee, while adventurous souls might get into a Scuffle which is sure to end with the Ursa Minor (or Major) the victor. Any ponies knocked unconscious from such a Scuffle will likely find themselves the Ursa Minor’s new toy, and will then need to come up with a clever plan to escape.

The best way to free Angel is with kindness. Luckily for us, my daughter found another amazing use for her stuffed-animal-crafting Talent. She headed outside, made up a beautiful new rabbit stuffed animal and offered it to the Ursa in place of angel. She even described how she would give it a little voice box so the new stuffed animal made happy noises. In order to ensure maximum success she used some Tokens of Friendship to automatically pass the Check. The Ursa Minor was delighted.

The real trouble came with Nugget.

Nugget who can’t help but draw magical beasts. Luckily they had charmed the Ursa Minor enough that Nugget got in a quick sketch before Ursa Major came home.

Once your players have rescued all the pets they can head back to Fluttershy’s cottage and clean up. But, my ponies had other plans. They headed deeper into the forest and used all their knowledge to find Zecora. A zebra healer who talks in rhyme. Rhyme! Oh, so hard to role-play! Haha. But, I did a pretty good job. My kids enjoyed it, anyway.

Now, Zecora is written into the adventure as one of the mishaps that can occur if your PCs get lost in the Everfree Forest, so rules for how to utilize her already appear in this adventure. First give your PCs a chance to Charm her — which mine all failed horribly at. Usually, this would mean she sends you away with some cryptic words of farewell, or your players use some Tokens of Friendship to reroll or auto-pass their failed Charm Check. But, my family had already used up all of their Tokens of Friendship. Instead they tried to reason with her. They explained whose pets they were caring for and presented the poor, incredibly dumb, Owlowiscious to Zecora. Being friends of the Mane Six, Zecora recognized the pets and offered to break the owl’s curse. If the PCs repaid her with two future favours. (Hello, future plot hooks!). My family all agreed and Owlowiscious was cured — and grateful! Everyone traded farewells and then headed back to Fluttershy’s cottage.

Which was a mess!

Everyone hurried to get it clean, worried that the Mane Six would come home to find the place trashed. Then they cleaned the pets, fed everyone, and got back to pampering them. Just as the pets settled down for a nap there was a knock at the door. Nugget opened it to find a little purple dragon. It was Spike, the devoted companion to Princess Twilight Sparkle. He looked really hurt.

“You’ve gotta help, guys! Twilight Sparkle and the other ponies are in big trouble! I’m the only one who escaped! They need help right now!” Spike exclaimed, right before falling over unconscious.

Which is where the adventure ends.

Sort of. After this there’s information on how your players can continue the adventure. If you want you can buy the official sequel, Tails of Equestria: The Curse of the Statuettes. But, the book also encourages GMs to make their own adventures, with the cliffhanger ending as the opening plothook. It offers plenty of questions and suggestions, then reminds GMs to tell their players to level up! Everypony is now level 2.

After the ending of The Pet Predicament there’s stat blocks for every creature featured in this adventure. The stat blocks are easy to read, with colourful pictures, descriptions, and tactics. Stat blocks included are the cragadile, diamond dog, mohawk, quarray eel, timberwolf, Ursa Minor, and Zecora. There’s also statistics for each of the Mane Six — cause you know one day kids are going to want those! Its nice of them to include official stat blocks for the show’s main characters right in the rulebook. Finally, there’s my favourite stat blocks: typical ponies. Here you’ll find one stat block for a typical earth pony, pegasus, and unicorn. There’s a description, stats, and a reminder to select one talent and one quirk for each pony you have your players run into. That’s what makes every pony special, after all! These three little stat blocks are super useful, since your players will often find themselves engaging in social interactions with other NPCs.

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And with that, The Pet Predicament comes to an end.

We found that this adventure was a delight to read, GM, and play. Everyone in my family had a blast (including my husband).  My kids adored getting to hang out with the pets, and were really invested in the story. The ending also had my kids hooked, as it leads directly into the Tails of Equestria: The Curse of the Statuettes adventure (which I may admit to having bought my daughter for her upcoming birthday).

If you’ve got kids who enjoy light-hearted RPGs or who love My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, I highly recommend picking up Tails of Equestria: The Storytelling Game and giving The Pet Predicament a try. Roleplaying Games of all kinds are really educational (teaching math, probability, reading, writing, problem solving, teamwork, kindness, empathy, and how to handle failure). In addition, they’re just really enjoyable for kids to play — either with friends or family. And this one plays so smoothly. It truly is a wonderful game.

Thanks for joining us today!

Enjoy!

Jessica

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Shackled City: Part Three: Jzadirune

Wow, it has been AGES since we’ve have a chance to write a new campaign update! Fear not, fellow readers, our campaigns haven’t come to an unfortunate end. They’re trekking along slowly, in between school, work, and everyday life. So where are we heading today?

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The Shackled City Adventure Path is a 3.5 Dungeons and Dragons Adventure originally printed in Dungeon Magazine by Paizo Publishing.

Cauldron, home of the The Shackled City Adventure Path!

When we last left off our heroic musicians were investigating a series of missing person cases which recently culminated in the abduction of four children from a local orphanage. Fate led to our characters taking the rescue of these people upon themselves! If none of this sounds familiar you can read this blog post first, which details our characters, or continue on with this article to jump right into the action! You can also check out our previous adventures in Shackled City: Part One and Shackled City: Part Two: A Mystery!

The Shackled City Adventure Path is available for purchase in its entirety here. The first volume, Life’s Bazaar, is available for purchase here.


The Heroes

Our eccentric heroes are all members of ‘Dinorabbit,’ a musical band that changes its name frequently and was most previously known as ‘Boople Snoot.’ The band’s lead singer and song-writer is Falco Rhiavadi, a foppish noble bastard of mixed Tien descent whose father was devoured by a dragon when he was just a boy. A well-groomed, handsome man with an easy smile and a winning personality, Falco’s a black sheep among his family. Mechanically Falco is an oracle of life whose familiar is a jealous and demanding thrush named Ruby. Falco is played by my husband.

Mick Frimfrocket is a gnome with dark blue skin, bright pink hair that stands straight up on his head, and light blue eyes with flecks of red around his pupils. He’s energetic, bold, and loves nothing more than a good laugh! Mick acts as the band’s pianist and creative director. He’s the driving force behind the bands constant name changes, and over-the-top performances. Mick was born in Jzadirune but was brought to the city of Cauldron to escape the Vanishing. Orphaned by the mysterious events and with few memories of those early years, Mick was raised in the Lantern Street Orphanage — the very same orphanage that recently had four children kidnpapped right from their beds! Determined to save those little scamps, Mick was very excited to take up this missing person’s case and follow it to its conclusion — particularly when he realized that it led to his one-time home. Mechanically Mick is a monk / bard (prankster) who attacks with wild kicks while playing his piano in battle. He’s played by my seven-year old son.

Rabbity Castalle is a rabbitfolk waitress who works at the Tipped Tankard Tavern. A dancer and singer for the band Dinorabbit, Rabbity also has a pet panther named Panthy. She’s lucky, nimble, and quick, but a little skittish. One of her co-workers is one of the people who was recently abducted, so she’s very keen to solve this mystery and return him home. Rabbity is a hydrokineticist played by my six-year old daughter, using the rabbitfolk race. Rabbitfolk are a Pathfinder Compatible race created by my daughter (with some help) which will soon be published in the upcoming Realms of Atrothia: Primary Expansion by Sunburst Games (Kickstarter coming in February!)

The final member of our party is Aeris Caldyra, a local locksmith who was cajoled by her roommate, Rabbity, to join the band as a percussionist and set designer. With few friends to call her own, Aeris relented to the rabbitfolk’s request and is the least talented member of the band. The last worshipper of Alseta in Cauldron, with more than a few secrets and regrets, Aeris is a suli bloodrager with a chip on her shoulder. Always one to lend a hand, like her Grandfather Marzio once would have done, Aeris is determined to rescue the missing citizens of Cauldron. Aeris is my character for the Shackled City Adventure Path.

Although that’s the last of our PCs, that’s not the last of our party. The members of Dinorabbit are also travelling with two NPCs: Patch, the half-orc janitor, and Keygan Ghelve, a local locksmith.

Patch is a big, stuttering, fool who works at the Lantern Street Orphanage — the very same place he was raised. Patch recently got recruited to the Last Laugh Thieve’s Guild and was asked to watch over an orphan named Terrem. Unfortunately, Terrem was kidnapped on the very evening that Patch went out to meet with with the guild. Distraught over the boy’s disappearance, Patch was pressured by Falco and Mick into helping them rescue the kids. And so, the poor one-eyed janitor finds himself heading into danger.

Keygan Ghelve is a gnome locksmith and competitor of Aeris’. He’s also the reason people are going missing! Months ago strange creatures came up from Keygan’s basement — which leads to the abandoned gnomish enclave of Jzadirune — and kidnapped his rat familiar! They forced Keygan to forge them a set of skeleton keys that can open the locks he’d installed in Cauldron, and a list of all his customers. In the months since, skulks and dark creepers have used his home as a way station, heading out into the city, abducting people from their homes, and dragging them back underground through his basement. Keygan feel guilty, but he’s more worried over his rat than anything! The members of Dinorabbit followed clues that led to Keygan’s shop and discovered his role in the abductions. Although Aeris wanted to turn him in to the guard, the Falco and Mick insisted he come with them if he wanted to save his rat. He’d need to help rescue the kidnapped citizens of Cauldron and undo the damage he’s facilitated.

Aeris decided that after that she’d still have him arrested. She’s a stickler for the rules. …Usually.

And so our eclectic team of musicians, janitors, and locksmiths, descends through hidden passageways into the long-abandoned gnomish enclave of Jzadirune, on the trail of subterranean kidnappers!

shackled city jzadirune group
The team!

Aeris and Falco led the way, with Mick, Rabbity, and Panthy travelling in the middle of the group. Patch and Keygan took up the rear, while the cowardly locksmith strongly debating running away when no one was looking.

They stepped foot into Jzadirune and explored a strange room where they heard birds chirping, gnomes laughing, and felt a breeze blowing on their skin. Massive masks hung on the walls. As they moved into to illusion-draped room to look around they discovered two strange doors –- like giant gears that roll into the walls, these were the ‘Doors with Teeth’ divinations had led them to! (See the riddle for more information). My children were thrilled! Beyond thrilled. They had obsessed over that riddle for days. But, seeing a glimmer of light coming from the cracks around one of the doors, Aeris and Mick went to peek inside, while Falco moved deeper into the room.

Suddenly the masks on the wall began to sing, welcoming them to Jzadirune and warning them against pilfering. Although my kids loved it, and asked me to sing the song to them over and over and over, it wasn’t so great for their characters. The illusory song caused the figures beyond the lit door to notice the heroes. Quickly camouflaging themselves, the skulks vanished. They lay in wait to ambush the PCs, but after only one round of battle they ran off, deeper into Jzadirune through makeshift, rough tunnels that had been drilled through the walls.

Our heroes gave chase, engaging in a series of skirmishes against a pair of skulks. Eventually they came to a room with a strange mechanical construct in it, clearly the source of the roughly drilled tunnels. There a dark creeper ordered the construct to attack the intruders, in gnome. Mick laughed and told it to stop. The pair argued and bickered, giving the construct contrary orders until the creeper gave up and fled. Mick was thrilled with his new, neat, half-broken construct, and the group was off again, charging blindly through the tunnels, deeper into Jzadirune.

One battle into this place and they were already super lost! Haha.

Our explorations continued over a whopping eight play sessions and over fifteen hours of gameplay! That’s a LOT, particularly when you take into account that half of our party is children under eight years old. I find that my kids are easily bored by long encounter-heavy dungeons, so I did my best to make it interesting. I combined multiple similar battles into one encounter, turning them into dynamic, constantly moving skirmishes. Other encounters we skipped completely, removing many of the extra enemies that served no immediate story purpose, like vermin. Those encounters that remained were a lot of fun, typically taking place in the most exciting and dynamic of Jzadirune’s rooms. Favourite locations included the previously mentioned giggling masks room, the theatre where you can watch illusory plays, the throne room where you could interact with an illusory gnomish king and learn hints as to what befell Jzadirune, and the underground forest. Since my son’s character spent his early years living in Jzadirune, I made sure to give him plenty of information and history he could discover. No empty room was just empty, there were hints to the room’s purpose and inhabitants, memories he might distantly recall, and places he’s been. His favourite discoveries included a door that had his family’s name on it, and a bedroom that contained a child’s bed and a long-discarded stuffed animal he’s pretty sure was once his. Finally, we played up the personalities and interactions of the NPCs Keygan and Patch, which everyone really enjoyed. Even Aeris was happy to see Keygan reunited with his beloved rat familiar, Starbrow.

My kids had a great time uncovering the mystery of Jzadirune and determining what caused it to become abandoned. And, while my daughter is happy that we’re finally leaving that spooky place behind, my son is a little sad about it. He’s decided that Mick Frimfrocket will reclaim this place once its done. He has big plans to clean it up, make it safe, and use it as a home and base of operations. Maybe he’ll even turn it into an orphanage. Whatever he decides to do, he’s loath to hide the signs of its previous inhabitants. He wants to keep every mural, nameplate, and bed. Preserve every memory he can of the gnomes who once lived and died here. It’s all he has left of his family.

jzadirune mech construct shackled city d20diaries
The map of Jzadirune and my son’s new construct.

In the end our characters discovered that Jzadirune was laid low by a curse that affected their magical objects, causing their users to vanish completely. Those few gnomes who survived the terrifying experience were children. The kidnappers had been using Jzadirune’s ruins as a base of operations, digging tunnels with old broken constructs through the walls to avoid traps and complex doors. And, although they battled the skulks and their dark creeper minions, my players never found any signs of the kidnapped citizens of Cauldron. What they did find was a door. The door led to a platform that, with the flick of a switch, descended down a shaft into the darkness. When the doors opened they found themselves someplace else. Someplace new. A place of dwarven construction, made from malachite.

My son and daughter gasped in shock!

“MOM! MOM! The riddle! The riddle says something about that mal-kite! We are almost there!”

My son read the riddle a few more times and double checked the notes that he keeps in his detective’s notebook (which is a copy of Detective Murdoch’s notebook from Murdoch Mysteries). “Hmmm… Yup! Those kidnappers must have been working for a duergar! He’s the true culprit!”

My daughter clapped her hands in glee. “Yes! We are almost there! I have to save my good friend Griffin who I work with! He was supposed to be married! His girlfriend is so sad she cries everyday! We must hurry! He could DIE!” She says the word ‘die’ with such drama. It’s adorable.

“And think of the children!” I joked.

My kids nodded. “YEAH! THE CHILDREN!” They were not joking. In fact, they were very, very, serious.

But, by then the weekend was over. It was time to get ready for bed, and prepare for the next week of school. The children would have to wait. But, you can bet that we’ll be playing again next weekend, when we begin our exploration of the Malachite Fortress.

Thanks for joining us, everyone! I hope you enjoyed getting to hear a bit about our crazy adventures. We’ll see you again soon!

Jessica

life's bazaar d20diaries shackled city beholder
Life’s Bazaar is the first adventure in the Shackled City Adventure Path.

Behind the Screen

The Shackled City Adventure Path is a difficult to get your hands on adventure path published in eleven separate Dungeon Magazines, or available in hardcover from Amazon here or from Paizo Publishing’s website here. The first adventure, Life’s Bazaar is available in Dungeon Magazine Number 97 from Paizo Publishing’s website here.

The shaman and the bloodrager classes, as well as the bloodrager archetype spelleater, can all be found in the Advanced Class Guide. The urban bloodrager archetype can be found in Heroes of the Streets. The Kineticist class can be found in Occult Adventures. The monk and bard are base classes found in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Core Rulebook (or in a convenient travel-sized edition: Core Rulebook (Pocket Edition)  while the prankster archetype for bards can be found in the Advanced Race Guide.

 

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

 

Our Favourite Things of 2018

To celebrate the New Year we’re taking one last look back at our favourite things of 2018! So what made the cut? Read on and see!

Favourite d20 Bestiary: Alien Archive
(for more information check out this blog post)

Favourite Dungeons and Dragons Book: Dungeons and Dragons: Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica
(Dungeons and Dragons meets Magic: The Gathering!!)

Favourite Pathfinder Book: Ultimate Wilderness
(for more information check out this blog post)

Favourite Starfinder Book: Pact Worlds
(for more information check out this blog post)

Favourite d20 Book (Other): Realms of Atrothia: Legacy Races Revisited
(for more information check out this blog post)

Favourite d20 Adventure: Skitter Shot
(for more information check out this blog post)

Favourite d20 Campaign: Return of the Runelords Adventure Path
(for more information check out this blog post and be on the look out for another blog post early this year)

Favourite Pathfinder Society Scenario: #9-10: Signs in Senghor
(for more information check out this blog post as well as this one)

Favourite Starfinder Society Scenario: #1-14: Star Sugar Heartlove!!!
(for more information check out this blog post)

Favourite Kid’s Game: Tails of Equestria: The Storytelling Game
(for more information be on the lookout for a new blog post later this month!)

Favourite Board Game: Dinosaur Island
(for more information check out this blog post)

Favourite Family Movie: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse
(now playing in a theatre near you!)

Favourite Movie: Ready Player One
(if you haven’t seen this movie or read this book yet, you REALLY SHOULD!)

Favourite Upcoming Kickstarter: Realms of Atrothia: Primary Expansion
(Kickstarter coming in February 2019!)

I can’t wait to see what 2019 brings!

Jessica

3… 2… 1… HAPPY NEW YEAR!

3…

2…

1…

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

My family and I want to wish each and every one of you a wonderful, amazing, SPECTACULAR, New Year.

I mean that. Truly.

We wish you all the best in the coming year, and every day afterwards.

Thank you for visiting d20 Diaries. And thank you for sharing this past year with us. I hope you join us for another one.

Jessica
(and family!)

Dragon Dice Tree - NEW YEAR.jpeg

Happy Anniversary!

One year ago today d20 Diaries was born.

Just one year.

It’s been a whirlwind! d20 Diaries has become something bigger and grander than I could have ever imagined. I’ve clocked an impressive 150 posts, gathered fans throughout the world, and our page views increase every month. The future’s looking bright!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: we’re still new around here. d20 Diaries is still in it’s infancy. There’s plenty more features we hope to add in the future, and more stories we hope to share. There’s a pile of articles waiting to be fleshed out, and many, many more adventures to be had.

So today I’m sending out a heartfelt thank you to each and every one of you! Thank you for visiting my blog today. I appreciate it more than you know!

Here’s to another year! I hope you stick around for the ride.

Jessica

d20diairies.com

Happy Holidays!

Snow is falling, lights are twinkling, there’s a chill in the air, and a pile of torn up gift wrap all over my floor. My kids are running around the house testing out new toys, reading new books, playing new video games, and shrieking in glee over the letter Santa left them last night.

It’s Christmas morning.

Some people say this is a magic time of year. A time for reaching out to loved ones and old friends. A time for reflection. For gratefulness. For spreading joy and cheer. For some people it’s a time of faith and prayers. For others it’s just another day. For me it’s always been about family.

It’s that one time of year we always make the time to visit our extended family, even though we don’t really have the time. It’s the time we share meals, and hugs, and showers gifts on the kids. It’s the time to say ‘I love you,’ and to tell your friends and family how much you appreciate them.

And so, in spirit of the holidays, we here at d20diaries would like to take the time to say to each and every one of you: thank you.

Thank you for your time and your attention. Thank you for your feedback and kind words. Thank you, thank you, and a thousand more times, thank you. It means the world to us that so many of you choose to spend some of your precious time with us.

Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukah! Happy Kwanzaa! Happy Yule! Happy Holidays! And if you’re currently celebrating a holiday I haven’t mentioned, then happy that, too!

We wish you all the best today, tomorrow, and every day afterwards.

Best wishes,

Jessica
(and family!)

Holiday Dragon

A Whirlwind Week!

Whoooo! It’s been a busy week.

My kids had their school holiday concert this week. They were supremely excited for it. My daughter’s been practising her holiday songs and dancing around every day since they first started practising two months ago. She would give me a mischievous smile every time I saw her practising, then shut the door in my face. Haha. Anyway, the concert was a lot of fun. They sang Hanukah, Kwanza, Christmas, and holiday songs, and had a ton of fun. I had my niece and nephew with me for both shows (they do an afternoon and an evening show) which I suppose might make some people nervous. What two and four year old want to sit nice through a concert, never mind the same one twice? But they’re usually pretty good for me, and I bring them with me every year, so they were pretty excited to see their cousins put on a show for them. They had a lot of fun and were actually really, really good. Which was nice. I got to enjoy the show too, haha. I parked my niece in her stroller at the edge of an aisle so she could see, but other parents kept getting up and standing in front of her and blocking her view. I suppose they figured she was ‘just a baby’ and wouldn’t mind. Ha! She’s two and at that age where she’s using new words every day. So, every time someone purposely stood in front of her she’d shake her little fist and exclaim, “HEY! CAN’T SEE! YOU! GO! I CAN’T SEE!”

So many parents jumped and looked around shocked to see it was this tiny, cute little chubby toddler giving them a scolding. Some moved, some ignored her, some scowled at her, some jumped a foot like we were on some gag show, but either way I had a laugh. She’s adorable. Haha.

Later in the show Santa made an appearance and went through the crowd greeting kids so my niece and nephew were just AMAZED. “SANTA! ITS SANTA! LOOK AUNTIE! SANTA!!” My kids up on stage were pretty excited about it to. Apparently Santa had made a few visits to their rehearsal ahead of time to say he was coming and greet all the kids. My daughter explained to me later that night that someone from her class had written him an email to invite him to the concert, so OF COURSE he came. It was cute.


Last night we went to a fancy gala for my husband’s work. Princess Auto is celebrating its 85th year in business. Not only that, it’s a small Winnipeg-based, family owned, Canadian business that stretches from coast to coast. Many of you won’t have ever heard of Princess Auto before, but let me start by saying: no, they don’t sell cars. Haha. They were originally an auto wrecking business based on Princess Street here in Winnipeg, but as the years went on their owners were always adapting to the current and future retail market. They got into army surplus at the end of the war, mail order catalogs, and later stores. They kept changing with the times and now they have 43 stores across Canada and are opening one more that I know of this year, with a few more in 2019. They sell products in all kinds of categories: hand tools, outdoor, farm, trailer, driveline, hydraulics, and surplus (where you can find good deals on just a bunch of.. stuff. Haha). Where I live people either have never heard of Princess Auto, or LOVE IT. Like, OBSESSIVELY love it. Their customers are absurdly loyal. I suppose it’s mostly due to their ethos. Princess Auto has made it their mission, and always has, to treat their customers and employees with kindness and respect. They’re one of those businesses where the regulars come in and hang out all day, chatting and visiting and browsing. Staff probably knows them by name, what they do for a living, and about their family. Like at an independent coffee shop, or your local gaming store. A little community where everyone’s welcome. I’m just some employees wife, and I’ve had the pleasure of meeting the owners, CEO, and all kinds of other wonderful people plenty of times. A lot of customers bring in gifts for the staff and store, just because. I have some smoked fish and pepperoni sticks made by some happy customers sitting in my fridge right now.

Anyway, the folks over at Princess Auto are super nice, and they always throw a great party, so it’s one of those work get-togethers that is always fun to go to. For the 85th Anniversary Gala they hosted a big dinner and dance, with a live brass band, free food and drinks, prizes, gifts for everyone, and (very important) free cab vouchers to get home. There were staff in from all over the country, and guests of honour from the early days of Princess Auto. It was a lot of fun.

My kids went for a sleepover to my Mom’s house for the evening, so I’m sitting in my living room as I type this with a hot cup of tea and… silence. There’s just the tap of the keyboard as I type, a distant drip in my sink — I really should get up and turn that off — and my husband’s snoring from the other side of the apartment. It’s so… still.

I’m not used to that. Being still.

Even when my kids are at school I’m watching other young children and trying to stop them from tearing my modest apartment apart. Life is never quiet for me. And certainly never still.

It’s weird. But nice. Give me another few hours and I’ll miss my kids. Haha. But, for now, it’s the first quiet break I’ve had in a long time.


Later this week it’s my birthday. I’ll be turning… (pardon me while I count) … 33! Yes, I literally had to count. Honestly, once I turned 18 (which is the year you’re an adult where I live in Canada) I just stopped counting. I’m an adult! That’s all I need to know. Haha. I don’t do much for my birthday. I’m not one of those people who has a big party, or even family over really. I usually just take a day off from babysitting and spend the day with my husband. My birthday wishes? Same as always! Hugs from my kids, a day free from chores and cooking, and a slurpee for a treat.

I’m a fan of the simple things. Haha.

Not sure what I’ll be doing this year. Taking my kids to school. Probably cleaning my house and cooking. Haha. But, my husband booked the day off (he’s a sweetheart), so maybe I’ll make him do all my chores for me.

Hey! A girl can dream!

So, from me and mine to you and yours, here’s wishing you all happy birthdays throughout the year. I value every one of you that comes by to visit our little corner of the internet.

A thousand thanks!


In other news, PaizoCon registration has officially begun!

PaizoCon will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in SeaTac, Washington over Memorial Day weekend (which is May 24–27). I may admit that I’m a little jealous of all you folks who are going to attend. Haha. At PaizoCon you can meet your favorite Paizo artists, authors, designers, developers, editors, and personalities. You can also play games at the Pathfinder and Starfinder Society organized play tables, attend panels and workshops, get some snazzy sneak-peeks, and (of course) buy stuff! This PaizoCon will also mark the relaunch of the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game (which has been getting an overhaul) and their new Adventure Path: Curse of the Crimson Throne. The Starfinder team  apparently has some secrets to share, and Pathfinder Second Edition is sure to be a hot topic, as well.

The Guests of Honor for PaizoCon 2019 are Liane Merciel (author Pathfinder Tales: Hellknight), Wayne Reynolds (freelance illustrator whose work includes every Pathfinder RPG hardcover release and the Pathfinder Iconics), and The Glass Cannon Podcast (weekly live-play podcasters who play Pathfinder and Starfinder. I’ve previously written about them here.).

Curious about pricing? Look no further!

  • 4-Day Badges are $75.00
  • 4-Day Kid’s Badges are $40.00
  • PaizoCon Preview Banquet Tickets are $45.00 and include an exclusive commemorative item available only to attendees at the Preview Banquet and through auctions or prizes at select charity events.
  • Purchasing a 4-Day Badge (regular) and a Preview Banquet ticket together are $110 ($10 savings)

For more information on PaizoCon 2019 and to register head over to PaizoCon.com. Want to learn more about the special guests? Check out LianeMerciel.com, WayneReynolds.com, and GlassCannonPodcast.com.


In other news, Wayfinder is announcing their accepted authors this week. Wayfinder is a free Paizo magazine written by fans, for fans, which features a ton of new content for the Pathfinder RPG. The issues are always a free download on Paizo’s website, and are always a treat to read. Usually they follow a theme and this year it’s not about Pathfinder at all! It’s about Starfinder! Absalom Station to be exact. They’ve been accepting entries from fans since the summer, and reading through them for another two months, and now this weekend they’re supposed to announce everyone who’s articles and submissions they’re going to use. My kids each created a creature for Wayfinder this year, and I submitted a Weal and Woe article and two themes. We’re all excited to see if any of us made the cut. My kids, particularly, are on the edge of their seats. It’s adorable. We’ve got our fingers crossed.

Wish us luck!


Finally, I want to talk about Pathfinder Friday. This past week’s episode was AWESOME! Erik Mona, Chief Creative Officer and Publisher of Paizo, was on the show and was an amazing guest. Erik has been with the team at Paizo the whole time. From back in the Dungeon and Dragon Magazine days, when Pathfinder wasn’t even born yet. This marked his first time on the show since they got they’re snazzy, comfy set for the twitch stream, and wow! They should really get him on more often!

Erik shared a ton of information with us about the Starstone! From behind the scenes inspirations, to the history and lore of the Starstone, how it arrived on Golarion, it’s effect on the world, its powers, and how you can use it. Just a ton of interesting information. Some of it was even new to me (exciting!).

For those of you who don’t know, the Starstone is part of a giant meteorite that was called down from outer space by some ticked off aboleths in order to put those uppity humans back in their place. The meteorite was slowed and detoxified by two Azlanti gods, Acavna and Amazden, which prevented much of the devastation that could have been caused at the expense of their lives. But, the impact still shook up the world. Civilzations ended, the sun was blocked from the sky, the terrain was literally reshaped, some races fled to different locations, which even created new races. In short, it was a BIG DEAL. A long time later a survivor by the name of Aroden found the stone, raised it up from the oceans, created the isle of Kortos, became a god, and made a city for his worshippers called Absalom. Thanks Aroden! When you interact with the Starstone you undergo a series of phantasmagoric visions and experiences that is different for everyone. This is known as the Test of the Starstone, and it sort of pits yourself against yourself. This inner test determines if you’re worthy to be a god, and if so, what you’ll be god of. If you pass you can become a living god, which is sort of like a demigod and is the most available method for ordinary people to become divine. Some people managed (Norgorber, Iomedae, and Cayden Cailean), while many more died in the attempt. Around the Startsone Aroden built a temple and filled it with dangerous tests, traps, and guardians.

“The first part of the Test of the Starstone, the dungeon part, tests your character sheet, but the second part tests your character,” said Erik Mona.

The Starstone is an artifact which had a huge historical impact on Golarion, it’s people, and the Pathfinder Campaign Setting as a whole. It even has a role to play in the Starfinder universe. Which is why this episode was such a neat one to get to see. Because, despite its importance, the Starstone isn’t really something that Pathfinder has focused on. It set the stage for the game and the world, but then it’s been sort of… idle. Nothing’s really happened with it lately, in and out of game. This is something that they hope to remedy in Pathfinder Second Edition. Erik explained that they’re going to do the Test of the Starstone one day, but the question is when and how. Is it better served as an Adventure Path or a high level deluxe adventure? He also mentioned that the team at Paizo is putting in a lot of thought into some central themes which may have been neglected over the last few years. This includes Absalom (which only PFS has focused on), Aroden, the Starstone, and much more.

If you haven’t seen the most recent Pathfinder Friday episode, I highly suggest you give it a watch. You can watch it and other previous episodes on Paizo’s Twitch stream, as well as on youtube. Although, I highly recommend watching it on Twitch so you can see the Q&A portion of the episode as well.

Enjoy!

Have a great week everyone,

Jessica

Snow, Colds, and Falling Behind

Do you ever have those weeks when you feel totally and completely busy, but by the time the week’s over and someone asks you what you’ve done you realize there’s nothing much to say?

That’s me this week. Heck, that’s me this month. The past two months, even.

I’m constantly busy with… nothing. Stuff. Just everyday life. It’s normal for most people, I suppose. And totally fine. Just hectic! (Yes, it deserved that exclamation point!).

Winter’s here to stay. It’s cold, but not really cold. There’s snow, but it’s not really snowy. It’s a strange sort of in between. It’s cold enough that everyone in my house needs to wear full winter gear, but it’s also much warmer than it should be. We’ll get way colder yet this winter. We’ve got a bit of snow, but not a enough to make snowmen or go tobogganing (that’s sledding to those of you outside Canada).

With the cold came colds. My son’s been slowly fighting off a sickness for over two weeks. He finally took a sick day for it, and went back to school just the other day. And of course he came home sick again already. Poor thing. My daughter’s getting sick now, too. Not surprising, of course. But, unfortunate. Luckily it’s not a horrible cold. They’re not nauseous or anything. It’s just one of those lingering ones where you just have a sore throat, cough, sniffly nose, and a some mild fatigue. THAT. That’s what they’re trying to power through. For weeks.

My kids are getting excited for Christmas. They’re practising a ton of songs for their Winter Concert at school, which means I get to hear them sing and dance each day. My daughter’s particularly excited. She loves to sing. They’ve also made their wish lists, and decided who they’re going to ask for what gifts. Top of their list? A bunk bed and a Nintendo Switch. Also, my son wants to raise two hundred dollars to donate to help save the Piping Plovers (adorable little shore birds) of the Great Lakes. I’ve told him he needs to set his goals a little lower there, but he’s a dreamer. My little environmentalist. I guess I need to ask for a winning lottery ticket for Christmas. Haha.

We’ve got swimming lessons once a week to squish in amongst chores and trips to the laundromat. My kids adore swimming, but they’re about as graceful as a moose. They get the job done, but it does not look pretty. Haha. My daughter’s particularly adorable to watch. Even when she sinks and is clearly the worst swimmer in her class she’s got this humungous grin on her face. She’s just so damned happy to be there. She’s got such a great attitude.

In other news, I’m about to have two fewer kids on my hands. My sister-in-law is off on a trip with her sister to Egypt — she’s obsessed with Egyptology — which means my brother took some time off to spend with his kids and I find myself without them for two weeks. What the heck am I going to do with myself when my own kids are at school? I’ll be ALONE. That’s like… unheard of! It’s also awesome! I’m so behind on everything it’s my well-deserved chance to catch up. I’ve got chores to do, errands to run, a blog *cough cough* to pay some much deserved attention to, the rules to Traveller to learn, hundreds of surveys sitting in my inbox, and campaigns to prep and GM. Perhaps most importantly I have a ton of work to do on a special project I’m working on with my brother.

Special project? How intriguing!

Yes! It is!

It’s called Realms of Atrothia, and you can expect to hear more about that in the very near future!

In similar (but not quite related news), the call for Wayfinder Issue #19 submissions ended on Halloween, and both myself and my children submitted articles for consideration. Wayfinder is a free fanzine you can download on Paizo’s website. Issue #19 is going to be a Starfinder issue that focuses on Absalom Station! My kids each put together an Alien Archive entry, while I wrote a ‘Weal or Woe’ article, and two new Themes. Although I’m nervous, my kids are literally bouncing with excitement. They can’t wait to hear if their submissions will be accepted. Unfortunately, they have a bit longer to wait. Authors won’t be informed until early December if their creations will be used. Yes, that’s at least two more weeks of hearing “Mom, do we know yet?”, “Mom, how much longer do I have to wait?”, “Mom, how much longer NOW?”, and “What’s taking so long?”

Man, I hope they both get in. I can imagine the tears if only one of their articles gets accepted. I’m sure if their articles get accepted and mine don’t I’ll never hear the end of it. Haha. That’s alright. I’m sure my pride in them would far surpass my personal disappointment. I hope.

Wish us luck! (And best of luck to any of you who submitted an article to Wayfinder!)

On the Pathfinder Playtest front I have to admit, I am playtested out! Thankfully no more rules updates are coming. But, I honestly just want to go back to the warm comfort of regular Pathfinder for a while. Preferably a long while. Unfortunately, that’s not in the cards, as I’m still involved in a play by post run of Doomsday Dawn and another of the Pathfinder Society Playtest Scenarios. Oh, well. C’est la vie! I’ll enjoy the experience while I still can.

You know what I AM enjoying? Starfinder Wednesdays on Paizo’s Twitch Channel! If you’re not watching them you really should!

All the best everyone!

Jessica

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