June New Releases

June is here and plethora of new gaming products are hitting shelves! Check out this month’s new d20 releases!


Dungeons & Dragons

Highlights from last month’s releases include the Stranger Things D&D Roleplaying Game Starter Set and Ghosts of Saltmarsh. This month Ghosts of Salmarsh gets the deluxe treatment with Beadle & Grimm’s Sinister Silver Edition for Ghosts of Saltmarsh! The Sinister Silver Edition contains twelve high quality player handouts, a detailed ship map, a reusable ship map, two large scale battle maps, a map of the Styes, 30 encounter cards (which are designed to be hung over a DM screen so players can see images of the monsters they fight while the DM sees it’s statistics), custom DM screen, two objects, bonus encounters, and characters! Also coming out this month is Dungeons & Dragons: Acquisitions Incorporated, a perfect supplement for fans who like a bit of comedy in their RPGs.


Pathfinder

Highlights from last month’s releases include Pathfinder Adventure Path 142: Gardens of Gallowspire (Tyrant’s Grasp 4 of 6) by Crystal Frasier and Pathfinder Player Companion: Chronicle of Legends, which is the last Pathfinder Player Companion being released for Pathfinder First Edition. This month’s new releases include Pathfinder Adventure Path 143: Borne by the Sun’s Grace (Tyrant’s Grasp 5 of 6) by Luis Loza and Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Druma: Profit and Prophecy.

This month’s Pathfinder Society Scenario is #10-22—Passing the Torch, Part 1: Who Wears the Mask, a Tier 12–18 scenario written by Cole Kronewitter that takes place at the same time as Pathfinder Society Special #10-98: Siege of Gallowspire. #10-22 is part of a two-part story arc that concludes with #10-23—Passing the Torch, Part 2: Who Speaks for the Ten next month. All three scenarios are the grand finale to Pathfinder Society Organized Play for Pathfinder First Edition.

Other Pathfinder releases include Pathfinder Pawns: Enemy Encounters Pawn Collection, Pathfinder Flip-Tiles: Forest Highlands Expansion, and Pathfinder Flip-Mat Classics: Dragon’s Lair.


Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Although it technically launched just at the end of May it’s worth noting that the new Pathfinder Adventure Card Game has been unveiled. Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Core Set is the base game, which include all the rules, the Dragons Demand adventure series, and a ton of cards. They’re also releasing Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Curse of the Crimson Throne Adventure Path which is designed to be mixed into the Core Set to create a whole new series of adventures. Those of you who want to read the rules before investing can find the rulebook as a free download here.


Starfinder 

Highlights from last month’s Starfinder releases include Starfinder Adventure Path 16: The Blind City (Dawn of Flame 4 of 6). This month there’s Starfinder Adventure Path: Solar Strike (Dawn of Flame 5 of 6) by Mark Moreland and the Starfinder Rules Reference Cards Deck.

Starfinder Society Scenarios for this month include #2-01: The Pact World Warriors, a Tier 1–4 scenario written by Jenny Jarzabski which brings back Zo! and launches the Year of a Thousand Bites storyline. There’s also #2-02: Waking the Past, a Tier 3–6 scenario written by Tom Philips that sounds like it’s got a bit of a horror vibe to it. June is also when Starfinder Society Scenario #1-99: The Scoured Stars Invasion is available for sale.


Tails of Equestria

Riverhorse just released Filly Sized Follies, a Tails of Equestria book filled with three adventures for ponies between levels 2 and 5. My kids adore the Tails of Equestria RPG, so we’re thrilled to see this one hit shelves!

Filly Sized Follys
Filly Sized Follies

And finally, we’d like to mention some FREE releases that you may or may not have had a chance to pick up…

Wayfinder #19: Destination: Absalom Station, is a free Starfinder fanzine you can read more about here; and Abattoir 8, a fantastic free horror adventure for Grimmerspace, which is a Starfinder Compatible RPG currently on Kickstarter. This adventure is written by Richard Pett and is for mature audiences only. You can also read more about Grimmerspace here.

Finally, Free RPG Day is just around the corner. On Saturday, June 15th be sure to swing by your local game store and pick up a free copy of some RPGs! My family’s most anticipated releases are We Be Heroes? and Skitter Crash, both from Paizo Inc. For more information on Free RPG Day 2019 you can head to their website or read this blog post.


And that’s it for this month! Got a favourite release? I’d love to hear about it!

Happy shopping!

Jessica

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!

my litte pony tails of equestria storytelling game

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.

adventure - the pet predicament - d20diaries

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.

characters - tails of equestria - d20diaires

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.

ponyville market - tails of equestria - d20diaries

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!

pets - pet predicament - tails of equestria

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.

pony statistics - tails of equestria - d20diaires

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

equestria - d20diaries

 

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

Tails of Equestria

My children love d20 games. My son’s favourite is Pathfinder, while my daughter’s is Starfinder. They love to make characters, craft adventures, play online via play-by-post, and play as a family at our dining room table. But, they need help. The rulebooks use a lot of complicated jargon, and, even though my son reads well above his grade level, they’re still only six and seven. The books aren’t really geared at kids that young.

There are other games out there, of course. Easier games we could invest in, learn, and play, but that’s always a gamble. Besides, who says they’ll be a better fit for a young kid?

Recently a fellow gamer, who happened to be playing alongside both of my children via play-by-post, suggested that I give a game called Tails of Equestria a try. She and her daughter had recently played it at Origins and had enjoyed it.

My first thought was: My Little Pony? My kids love my little pony!

Followed closely by: My Little Pony? I love my my little pony!

There were plenty of other thoughts that followed.

For those of you who don’t know My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is a super popular kids show. It’s aimed at girls, but I know just as many boys who enjoy it as much as girls. As a bonus, it’s hilarious. My husband and I both enjoy the show immensely. Its one of those shows that typically Mom and Dad don’t mind being on while they’re in the room. I know I certainly enjoy it more than a lot of other shows my kids like.

Even if you don’t have kids of your own, or young relatives who have watched it, the stores are filled with movies, toys, and games featuring the characters.

But, what the heck is Tails of Equestria?

I looked it up. For starters it’s full name is Tails of Equestria: The Storytelling Game. It’s a nice thick hardcover book, and on the back it explains simply and plainly that it is a cooperative storytelling game, where multiple players and a GM forge a tale together. Then it goes on to clearly and simply explain what a Game Master is, and how the game works.

pony__30773.1501248493Right there, on the back is a clear, concise, easy to understand description of what the heck a d20 game is. And it revolves around a world my kids already know and love. The whole book is like that. It does away with jargon, and presents a streamlined, easy to understand game. At the same time, it doesn’t talk down to you. An awesome introductory d20 game that looks like a ton of fun. Light-hearted, family friendly, fun.

A lot of the book is devoted to creating your very own pony. The character sheets looks fun and even have a little template for a blank pony, so your kids (and you) can draw in your own pony details and appearance and still come out with a decent looking horse.

Perhaps the best part? It has a strong focus on teamwork, and overcoming obstacles together. In fact, parts of the game are built specifically to reward players for cooperating and being generous. Although battle is a component of the game, it’s not the focus. ‘Scuffles’ are short and rare. More often, you’ll be aiming to avoid, befriend, calm, or trick an enemy. It’s a nice change of pace, but definitely means that games are going to be structured differently that I’m used to. Luckily, the book itself has a sample adventure right in it. And a relatively involved one, at that.

The only problem? Getting my hands on it!

Tails of Equestria: The Storytelling Game is available on amazon.ca. As is Tails of Equestria Expansion – The Festival of Lights and Tails of Equestria Expansion: The Curse of the Statuettes, although they are very expensive. Both expansions are actually long adventures, some of which come with extra material, like a GM screen, dice, character sheets, and so on. The Bestiary of Equestria is available, but not in stock. Amazon.com has all of the products in stock and available, although then I would have shipping, duty fees, and the exchange rate to worry about. I also found the main book available on paizo’s website, although the others aren’t. There is a local game shop or two in my city that might have it. I’ll have to check.

Unfortunately, while I scoured the internet for information, my children peeked over my shoulder and saw exactly what I was looking for.

“My Little Pony RPG?!? AWESOME!” exclaimed my daughter.

“That looks fun, Mom!” added my son.

They then immediately proceed to ask when we could get it. Could they have it as an early Christmas gift? How about a graduating from Kindergarten and Grade 1 gift? Just because I love them? But, they’ll do chores!

“You know, Mom. You promised we each could get one book after school was over, but it had to be a tough one that we would work at reading this summer. You said we could pick it out ourselves. I think that book looks pretty tough…”

Yeah, Mommy had a much smaller budget in mind for that book, kids…

The conversation soon evolved into discussing what I had learned about the game system, followed by my kids contemplating what kind of characters they’ll make.

I honestly cannot express how excited they are. They’re just…

Man, they look so happy. Haha.

Now, if only I had an excuse (and the funds) to buy it for my children…

Jessica