Explore Friendship, Magic And Ponies In Tails Of Equestria Role-Playing Game
  • Explore Friendship, Magic And Ponies In Tails Of Equestria Role-Playing Game

    Here at EN World, I'm looking at all-ages tabletop role-playing games, board games, and card games. Do they engage the players at the kids' gaming table? Would they cut it at the adults' table? Are they genuinely fun for every age? My Little Pony: Tails of Equestria is an officially licensed RPG designed to let fans immerse themselves in MLP.

    Co-produced by Ninja Division/Shinobi7 (US/Canada) and River Horse Games (Europe) under license from Hasbro, this is a multi-national effort to recreate the toyline/TV-series/movies/comics/books/video games/CCGs/board games/brony community experience for role-playing games. This 152-page hardcover discusses role-playing for first timers, and provides rules for character creation, combat and other actions, spells, creatures, an adventure, a character sheet, and friendship, which is magic.

    You play a pony in Equestria, and you can choose to role-play as an Earth, Pegasus, or Unicorn type, but not an alicorn (think uni-pegasus) since they are broken. Earth ponies have higher starting dice in their Strong and Brainy stats than their magical counterparts. HP is called Stamina and, again, Earth ponies start with a higher maximum. The last stat is Charm, which is equal for all starting ponies. Despite strong starting dice for Earth ponies, unicorns get Telekinesis and Pegasi can Fly.

    Other character details include your Element of Harmony, Quirks, Talents, Cutie Mark (a tattoo reflective of your main Talent), equipment, and Tokens of Friendship. Tokens of Friendship let you re-roll a die, or, in exchange for more tokens, pass a test, alter a story element, or make other changes as you require.

    The system uses dice ranging from d4s to d20s. That is a bold, and fun, choice compared to utilizing the more common d6 (most homes have those in abundance). This game opts for RPG-centric dice, or optional number charts in the back of the book that let you close your eyes and pick a number at random. Tests require rolls against difficulties ranging from 2 to 20. Since your 1st level ponies have stats ranging from d4 to d8, you’re limited in task difficulty. To overcome this, ToE has a teamwork mechanic I appreciate for an all-ages game. In most games, if I opt to help another character accomplish a task, instead of a gain, most likely the effort costs the helper another opportunity that round. In ToE, cooperating pays dividends. First, for every pony involved in the test, the Difficulty generally lowers by one. Second, every pony rolls their die to see if they succeeded (one success is all that’s required), so every player is genuinely involved in the outcome. This also applies to Scuffles where ganging up gives the larger side a statistical advantage over the other.

    Does My Little Pony: Tails of Equestria win the kids' table? Yes, assuming your table loves MLP and has a set of RPG dice. It’s a great game that focuses on friendship with cooperation mechanics as well as the Tokens of Friendship. ToFs are given out by the GM based on the number of players, or when a PC – Pony Character – performs a great act of friendship. The focus on working together makes this an excellent game for children as it teaches all of the lessons worth imparting to the next generation.

    Would My Little Pony: Tails of Equestria work at the adults' table? Yes, assuming your table loves MLP. The mechanics are excellent as they simulate group task completion. Tails of Equestria does a fantastic job in recreating the MLP experience and immersing the player in that world.

    contributed by Egg Embry
    Comments 7 Comments
    1. Ath-kethin's Avatar
      Ath-kethin -
      It would be worth your while to look at the Bestiary of Equestria as well as part of this review; it is a substantial supplement and expansion of the game. In addition to having a bunch of creatures - including a flumph and a mimic (!) - it provides additional character options as well as rules for playing creature besides ponies.
    1. LordNightwinter's Avatar
      LordNightwinter -
      Read it cover-to-cover because I have a little girl interested in RPGs. It's simple and easy to understand.
    1. Alzrius's Avatar
      Alzrius -
      I'm really looking forward to the supplement based on the recent movie.
    1. Egg Embry's Avatar
      Egg Embry -

      Thank you for the kind words and suggestions. I'm interested in both the bestiary and the movie supplement because the core rules spoke to me.

      Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer
      Interested in reading other EN World reviews of all-ages games? Check out:
      The FirstFable RPG, Monster Slayers, Mouse Tails, Little Wizards, Hero Kids, Little Heroes, Dagger, Pip System, The Basic Hack, Medusa's Guide For Gamer Girls: Gaming With Kids, and Adventures in Wonderland.
      If you're a publisher and have an all-ages RPG that you'd like to have reviewed, please contact me
    1. VGmaster9's Avatar
      VGmaster9 -
      Would love to see people able to make their own homebrew settings, like Equestria being a steampunk world where steam technology has replaced magic. Another setting could basically be Fallout: Equestria!
    1. Alzrius's Avatar
      Alzrius -
      Quote Originally Posted by Egg Embry View Post

      Thank you for the kind words and suggestions. I'm interested in both the bestiary and the movie supplement because the core rules spoke to me.

      Don't forget to check out the mini-scenario titled "The Gift Horse" that the publisher put out on their website a little while ago. This is in the same format as the two-page adventures that come with each of the Tails of Equestria dice sets.
    1. Polyhedral Columbia's Avatar
      Polyhedral Columbia -
      I hereby beseech Mike Mearls, WotC, Hasbro, and River Horse Games, to adapt the Tales of Equestria system for D&D! This is exactly the kind of D&D Lite that I've been looking for. No math! Yet it still has the D&D aesthetic through using all the polyhedral dice.

      I realize that WotC policy has been to refrain from splitting the D&D community again via a Basic D&D versus Advanced D&D divide. That's understandable. Yet, on the other hand, the policy is also to expand the D&D brand to include other kinds of games besides the Tabletop RPG, such as the series of five (and growing) D&D Adventure System Cooperative Board Games, the D&D Dragonfire deckbuilder game, D&D Rock Paper Wizards card game, D&D Dice Masters game, the D&D adaptation of Clue, Avalon Hill's new D&D-themed adaptation of the Betrayal at House on the Hill boardgame, and so forth.

      I suggest there's room for a different kind of D&D. As long as it's labelled clearly, and distinct enough in form and focus, it will serve a different niche, and will be complementary to the existing suite of D&D games. Call it Essential D&D: The Storytelling Game (ED&D), or Tales of D&D: The Storytelling Game (TD&D), or Simply D&D! The Storytelling Game (SD&D).

      Here are some of the details:

      • Only 3 Ability Scores (Traits): Body, Mind, and Charm. That's plenty!
      • The classes might be like in BECMI (where races are classes too): Cleric, Fighter, Rogue, Wizard, Elf, Dwarf, Halfling. Start with only one Talent. Not so much to keep track of.
      • All racial abilities, class powers, skills, feats, and spells are turned into Talents. Sorta like what Green Ronin did with True20, but super streamlined.
      • Stamina > Hit Points
      • Element of Harmony > nine Alignments?
      • Quirks are retained, and grant Tokens of Adventure (basically "hero points")
      • No experience points. All characters simply go up a level after each adventure. (I suppose long adventures would need to be broken up into episodes/milestones which count for leveling up.)
      • Levelling up means choosing to increase a die or to add a new Talent. Could still "multiclass" by choosing Talents which are associated with other Classes.
      • Even at 20th level, even if a character chose breadth in Talent rather than depth, they would only have 20 talents (and probably much fewer) - that includes class powers, spells, skills and everything! That's my kind of game!

      That's about it.

      As an aside: this would be an opportunity to replace modern militaristic word "combat" with something else. Not quite "scuffles", but something other than "combat." I'm a US veteran (though not a combat veteran), and the word, for me, is a bit too close to modern-day stressors. Even "fight" or "battle" is better.

      There could be expansion packs which boil down the other 5E PC races and classes, such as those in Xanathar's Guide.

      One key selling point is that, though ultra-streamlined, this D&D Storytelling Game would be a full-fledged, robust RPG. There'd be a conversion guide for how to convert and simplify all D&D monsters and NPCs to their essentials. And the system would be immediately opened up to the Open Game License, and to the DM's Guild, so that enthusiasts could convert the vast catalogue of D&D adventures into TD&D versions. That's what I want - to explore the D&D Multiverse, with all its iconic locales and worlds - but through a streamlined vehicle, which requires no math. Call me dull-witted, but even the 5E Basic D&D is too complicated for me. I just can't bring myself to delve in to anything that reminds me of filling out taxes.

      Tales of D&D: The Storytelling Game would be my kind o' game.
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