Tuesday, January 24, 2012

and now for something completely different...

So Erin over at Lurking Rhythmically has whipped up a My Little Pony rpg based on the mechanics of Unknown Armies.  No foolin'.  And it's pretty great.  Her "Failure is Awesome" skill improvement mechanic makes more sense to me than pretty much any other approach I've seen and the method for tracking and expending virtues is very nicely done.  And the whole thing is only six pages long, so even if you have no interest whatsoever in magical ponies it won't take long to skim for mechanical goodies.

Go here to check it out.

All I did here was put "my little pony vader" into google
 image search, confident that I would get some sort of result.


  1. Sweet. I've been looking for a decent MLP game, and never even thought of using UA.

  2. That's the thing about MLP fanart... it is expansive, pervasive, and often terrifying.

    Thanks so much for the link! :D

  3. That game looks like a great one-shot to play! Nice ideas in there. I also like the Failure is Awesome, although 1% at a time on the skills improvement seems like it might take a while to improve. Wow, this community sure comes up with some creative stuff.

  4. I've considered doing "fail=skill improves" in Call of Cthulhu but it makes this curve where skill improves very fast and then slows as you get better and I wasn't sure I wanted that.

    Plus it seemed like it was an easy system to game (buy terrible stats and constantly try them out in hopeless situations) but it seems like the 1% kiboshes that. Plus if you play in the proper pony spirit it might not be a problem.

  5. My home group actually used such a system for a while, but as our engine had the same skill system cover both combat, and well, everything else... So, practically everyone'd have their sword and axe skills at max in half a dozen sessions, but the more rarely used things (seduction, sleight-of-hand, lore skills, whathaveyou) lagging far behind. Tried using different amounts of failures per level of skill, but ditched the system in favour of a point-buy one.

    The approach, if properly balanced, would be quite realistic to me, as when you have a decent level in a skill, normal use of the skill no longer makes it rise. Harder and harder tasks have to be accomplished in order to improve it.

  6. @Zak - One of my teenage heartbreakers used that type of mechanic. My awkward "solution" was to require training of some sort at every 30,40,50,60,70 points crossed.

  7. Yes, it's potentially quite easy to skyrocket from nothing to surprising competence with this system (not a surprise, really, it's a game about magical cartoon horses), which is why I included the caveat that the PM can restrict this gain to once a session if desired.

    After a while, though, skills will but up against the limiting factors of the stats they are under, and raising stats takes a bit longer.

    It's not perfect, but I like it. :)