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Monday, May 7, 2012

Monday Bronyday: Mike Pondsmith plays Unknown Ponies

Yes, that Mike Pondsmith. He's a brony, and he friended me on Facebook (usually it's the other way around) and then told me he'd be running a game of Unknown Ponies for his friends.

Naturally, I asked for a game report. This is what transpired:
Dear Princess Erin,

Okay, here's the game report. Cody played a Russian/Soviet pony from Stalliongrad (it's on the map) who set out from his snowed in city to Canterlot to ask Princess Celestia for “flour to make bread for starving ponies”. Meanwhile, Jacob played a heroic pony from Germaney who wants to join the Palace Guard (but who doesn't have the fighting skills yet). Emili played a studious young unicorn who wants to find a way to fly like a pegasi, and who has been sent to Canterlot by Twilight to find some books on the subject. Finally, Lisa played a unicorn archeologist who lives on the Zebra continent and studies lost civilizations. We started with Lisa (Forest Moon), who found herself in the hoof-prints of Derring Do, in a lost city covered in dragon-shaped statues. She was trapped by a horde of nasty shadow creatures with glowing eyes, and only escaped by touching a mysterious emerald that teleported her to Equestria. Meanwhile, Cody (Winter Mane) was sent to Ponyville to recover from his arduous journey. Jacob (Tyrael B. Hooves) was sent to Ponyville to train his fighting skills under Rainbow Dash. Emili (Pepper Sprint, the cousin of the police pony (casual) Pepper Spray), was returning via train to Ponyville after getting a book on flight from the Royal Library.

Meanwhile, the teleport spell deposited Forest Moon 3,000 feet up over Equestria, only to be rescued at the last moment by Rainbow Dash. On the train to Ponyville, Winter Mane was harassed by Pinky Pie who tried to throw him a “Welcome to Ponyville” party; poor Pepper Sprint got caught up in the cake-slinging confetti madness. Hilarity further ensued when Winter Mane decided that the starchy and overly Teutonic Tyrael had to be a member of Princess Celestia's Secret Police sent to watch him. He tried to escape with Pepper Sprint in tow (“saving her from Secret Police Pony!”) but was blocked as Rainbow Dash dropped Forest Moon off on the top of the moving train. Things got steadily more chaotic until the train pulled into Ponyville and Winter tried to flee Tyrael dragging Pepper along. Big, silly battle in the town square till Applejack, Twilight and Fluttershy got everyone restrained in magical bubbles and rolled them to the Library. Pepper was reading a book she had borrowed from Forest, who had found it among the ruins of the ancient city; it turned out that it was the field notes of Derring Do, who was tracking down a legend of an evil Temple of Shadows. As everyone got settled, Pinky showed up with Derring Do's old luggage that had come through the gate with Forest Moon. Inside among the various artifacts was a glowing green egg holding a REALLY EVIL embryonic shape.

At that point, things got serious. Triggered by Tyrael's prodding, a Changeling broke out of the egg and tried to possess Tyrael. It then tried to take over the rest of the party. Twilight attempted to restrain it, while Forest Moon and Pepper helped. Eventually, Pepper realized that the Changeling was trying to focus on one mind and take that shape—she called Pinky Pie in, and the Pink One totally confused to to death by bombarding it with conflicting requests (“Oh! Oh! Do Discord! Now Celestia! Now me!”). It blew up, but the ensuing wave of PURE EVIL summoned the Princesses, who recognized the entity as an Ancient Threat to Equestria. Now our heroes are becoming the nucleus of a new Elemental Team (Bravery, Purity, Wisdom, Honesty) although they don't know that yet.

Overall, everyone had a great time! YOUR rules worked out pretty well, but midway I ditched the existing resolution system (too complex for speedy play IMHO) and went to a modified TFOS system using the same stats. Resolution also has some problems dealing with PVP situations and is really a bear for multiple axis combats. But the game went great and no one's ever going to laugh at a game with pink ponies ever again (LOL).

Wow! Sounds like everypony had a bucking great time!


Following up on this, we exchanged a series of FB messages where he said the following:

1) He used the Italian Opening of the show in order to get players into the mood. I think it has a very anime-ish sound:



2) "I knew we were on the right track when my pony hating son said, "you know, I just realized that Ponyville is a border town like in Skyrim..." then asked to join the game."

3) He's going to get back to me on suggested rules changes, as he's waiting for player feedback. If I like these suggestions I'm going to incorporate them into Version 3 of UP:FiA.

4) "Right now, I'd say my players would kill me if I didn't run again. Both my wife and son were impressed, and they've been playing for years."


So in conclusion...


AN ACTUAL FAMOUS GAME DESIGNER PLAYED MY GAME AND LOVES IT AND THINKS I HAVE REAL TALENT AT THIS!

This is my OMGWTFBBQ Happy Face.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey! I'm the chick who played Pepper Sprint (Mike directed me to this page to show me that this was getting blogged--I OMGWTFBBQ faced too!), and I gotta say that I had the TIME OF MY LIFE during this roleplay! Having big, manly Mike pitch his voice up to play the likes of Celestia and Pinky Pie sent me into hysterical laughter, and the battle was just as epic as any D&D game battle. Thank you so much for making the RP I had been hoping for!

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