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Hasbro 2" Pony Adventurers (Conversion)

Jordan Peacock

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Okay, now that my zombie apocalypse campaign is officially wrapped up, we've actually set a date for my pony "one-shot" (which might or might not last only a single session, depending on how long it takes to get through the dungeon, and on player interest): Saturday, April 6th. I put together a "player guide" for the players, since a couple of them actually wanted to write their own PCs (Pony Characters? Personal Creatures?) rather than relying on the pre-gens.


One player came up with this concept:

Cappuccino, the (Over-)Caffeinated Unicorn Scout





He's going to be a rogue/scout type with a bit of hyperactivity thrown in for good measure. The mark is supposed to be a coffee cup. I made the eyes wider and pupils/irises smaller to try to convey a "wired" look, but not to far as to convey "deranged," I hope.


Since this isn't really about "roleplaying in the world of a cartoon none of my players has ever watched (or at least, that they'll ever admit)" and more about "roleplaying in a traditional dungeon-bash, but with cartoony monsters and with ponies/unicorns/pegasi/gryphons/dragons instead of elves/dwarves/halflings/half-orcs/humans," my player guide back-story is geared differently. I basically spun a yarn about how this takes place in a realm where all those creatures live who get summoned by paladins (for loyal warsteeds) or by wizards or druids (as conjured creature allies). Alas, the evil-nasty-chaotic critters live in this realm, too. Rather than just sitting around munching grass and waiting to either get summoned by an adventurer or turned into chaotic-demonic-dire-badger-chow by a monster stuck in queue, a few creatures have decided to explore some of the ancient stables that have been taken over by the monsters, for gold and glory (and the promise of fresh apples and sugar cubes).


As for the reason why there's such a high ratio of horse-types ... well, hey, paladins go through a lot of warhorses? And wizards need horses for that "riding horse" spell, too.


If this was going to be an ongoing campaign, I'd have the perfect excuse to explain away the odd party member who's absent because the player didn't show up: He GOT SUMMONED! (And if he shows up again, well, he must have survived the ordeal. ;) )

Edited by Jordan Peacock
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I finally ran my "Stables & Staremanders" adventure this past weekend, and had a decently-sized group:


* Zippo the Dragon (miniature provided by player)

* Zigzag the Zebra Barbarian (PVC custom)

* Teatime the Unicorn Butler (PVC custom)

* Doll-y the Llama Monk (PVC custom)

* Meadow Canter the Pony Ranger (one of my pre-gen characters that a late-arriving player picked)


Since only one of my players (Wendy) was a follower of the TV show, I went with the background story premise that this was all taking place in a realm where the creatures dwell who are conjured up by adventurers for "Summon Nature's Ally" or "Summon Monster" or "Mount" spells, and the occasional familiar or warhorse conjured up as a class feature by a wizard, paladin, etc. A few of these creatures, having survived their summons to the Realm of Heroes, have gotten it into their heads to go adventuring on their own. From there, however, it's all tongue-in-cheek, as I really didn't concern myself with matters of anachronism, let alone seriousness. The players kept a "pun meter," originally with a d20, but had to abandon that eventually. By the end of the night, the "official pun count" was at 76. (It's not that they were VERY GOOD puns.)



It all started innocently enough. Outside the dreaded Castle Clovenhoof, there was a shopkeeper who was conveniently selling potions and "slightly used adventuring gear" alongside the road. However, there was also a well nearby with a sign that said "WARNING: WISHING WELL." I warned the players that there might be completely unfair deaths in this campaign, and not to take it too personally, as I was trying to do this in the "old school" dungeon style. Anyway, the dragon couldn't resist the urge to try out the well, and tossed in a gold bit (the standard coin of the realm), declaring:


"I wish to be showered in gold bits!"



his turned out as horribly as one might imagine, as the dragon exploded in a shower of gold bits. He was indeed showered -- just showered on everyone else, that is. On the up-side, everyone else now actually had some MONEY, and could go hog-wild (pony-wild?) and stock up on magic potions at the vendor. (The trouble was, however, they didn't really read the fine print on the descriptions. The various properties described for these potions were POSSIBLE RANDOM EFFECTS that wouldn't be determined/revealed until you took a swig, hence why they were fairly cheap for such potent items. Ah well! Not that this stopped them; that only encouraged them to buy more and keep trying to see what else interesting would happen.)


The dragon, incidentally, was promptly replaced by his "cousin" who just happened upon the scene at this moment. No, that wasn't Zippo who died. That was Drippo, his dopey cousin, see?




got to use more Play-Doh for special gore effects, when the barbarian went up to the portcullis to face a wave of "bogeys" that attacked, and the dragon hid right behind him, rather than falling back to where he could contribute at range. (Even if he'd survived the initial onslaught, it would have been problematic as soon as the barbarian had gotten to act, as the barbarian was a BERSERKER who specialized in SWEEP attacks that would hit EVERYONE adjacent, friend or foe ... so it really WAS NOT a good idea to stand right next to him in a fight.)




We were soon introduced to dragon cousin #3 (this time, the REAL Zippo, we're assured), who promptly ran up to the shiniest, most obviously-trapped object in the courtyard. At least we'd finally gotten into the "dungeon" before losing any more PCs. He actually survived this one, but only by directing the guardian water elemental's attention to the barbarian.


"Oh! No, don't attack ME! I don't mean to harm you at all! It's that dirty BARBARIAN over there you should watch out for. Why, he just got out of prison. He's still wearing his STRIPES!"




eah, there was a lot of this sort of thing going on. It was one of THOSE games. :D Also, I ended up switching from Play-Doh to brightly-colored pipe cleaners, since the Play-Doh was getting to be a bit messy. I had put drops of water in the Play-Doh containers the last time I'd used them, on the theory of keeping the Play-Doh moist, but had discovered that the actual end effect was just to make some murky "day-glo dye soup" sitting on top of the otherwise hydration-deficient Play-Doh that was just waiting to make a MESS as soon as I popped the cap. Oops.



he most popular potion, the "energy drink," had a chart of different "elements" that would come up, each one with different effects -- most beneficial, some with side effects, and some outright destructive (though even THAT could theoretically be used to one's own advantage, if you happened to be standing in the middle of a bunch of enemies at the time). The poor butler unicorn ended up taking a potion imbued with the element of "Air," which granted flight for a time, but by very embarrassing means. After his first accidental flight, he ended up keeping his hooves firmly on the ground and petitioning the others to never speak of it again. (You can guess how well they stuck to THAT plan!)




Seeing as our heroes were going after the dreaded Necroprancer, it was perhaps not surprising that looting through piles of bones sometimes resulted in said bones "waking up" and causing trouble. But then, trouble WAS what our heroes were looking for, so that was perfectly fine (as long as there was some loot in the end).




I found excuses to use even the most strangely-colored day-glo pipe cleaners in my collection. Most of this involved traps. The barbarian kept very, very busy smashing magical things and environmental features that might (possibly) be magical. Best to be on the safe side, just in case. Plus, it was fun to smash things.




At last, our heroes finally made it into the dungeon proper. They had their choice of multiple levels to explore, and they chose to go down to the mid-point: the CANTERCOMBS!




Right at the first landing, there was an evil-looking skull shrine with a big wide open mouth that looked shadowy inside ... or was that a glitter of something shiny in there? Keeping the dragon from offing himself (and subsequently being replaced by YET ANOTHER conveniently-arriving dragon) was something of a full-time job.




Poor butler. All he was trying to do was to tidy up the place, as it was so very musty and dusty, while everyone else was arguing over the pros and cons of just letting the dragon go get himself killed off by the next trap so they could see where it was. He ended up meeting the Ponygeist "Pink-a-Boo," who was positively DELIGHTED when she actually scared him (but quite not so much that her "scare attack" scored any actual damage) -- so much so that she volunteered that if he ever wanted someone scared, he should give her a call -- and then she just bounced away.




The only thing more convenient than having a wagon merchant outside the dungeon is to have an infernal pony shopkeeper INSIDE the dungeon, ready to buy or trade magic items and potions and such. All such of puns were spawned by this, including references that the shopkeeper was "hot to trot," or inquiries into whether she was hosting a "fire sale."




When it looked like the next room was likely to be plagued by fire traps (judging from the open fires and the ashen outlines of former adventurers), the group decided to send in the dragon. The dragon was met by a giant fire bug who, when impressed by the dragon's ability to blow smoke rings, immediately swept up the little dragon to give him a BIG CRUSHING HUG.


"I will hug him and squeeze him, and name him Scourge!"


Fortunately, among the butler unicorn's various elemental "clean-up" cantrip abilities was the ability to conjure up a bucket's worth of water ... in this case, right over the fire-bug's head. This quickly put a damper on things.




Things got even more interesting when the party SPLIT UP. First we get most of the PCs venturing through a trap-rigged door (setting off the trap when it's opened) and getting trapped inside (fighting monsters). Then we get the dragon coming to check on them, and opening up the door, SETTING OFF THE TRAP AGAIN while everyone's pretty much lined up to get hit by it. Then, we have the ranger off with the infernal shopkeeper, looking up the "Boo Book" value for a dragon's soul, and accidentally getting charmed by the shopkeeper into selling his own -- whereupon we had an undead ranger going and turning his very lethal arrows on the others.


Best creative problem-solving of the encounter: To deal with skeletons that kept getting back up and reassembling themselves after being "killed" by weapon attacks, the unicorn butler used the element of earth to create piles of dirt to drop on their heads (one at a time) while the llama monk gave them last rites. This counted as "a proper burial" to put their spirits to rest, proving far more effective than just whacking them with swords.


Also, of course, once the Evil Ranger was destroyed, we learned that it was merely an IMPOSTOR and the REAL ranger character had been knocked out while nobody was looking, and replaced with a doppelganger. Yeah. That's how it goes. It was either that, or have another "cousin" just happen to show up.




There were more fire traps. Orange pipe cleaners were GREAT for marking who was still on fire and in need of being extinguished.




Blue pipe cleaners, on the other hand, were great for marking frost/ice/cold effects.




At last, our heroes reached the door leading to the lair of the Necroprancer!




Alas, they couldn't pick the lock, and before they could get the butler to do the honors (with his ring of "skeleton keys"), the whole place was swarming with Coltergeists and Ponygeists. Someone used a Savage Worlds Adventure Card ("Here Comes the Cavalry!") to summon help in the form of another band of adventurers who'd mistakenly gotten here before this group was done yet. (I used the various pre-gen heroes, one per player, treating it as a Henchman Extra.)




With all the potion-chugging, the zebra ended up with an "Air" potion as well. The ghostly pegasi ended up focusing on him.




Finally, the dread Level Boss himself showed up, with a loud booming voice stating, "I AM MISTER DEAD!"




The butler remembered Pink-a-Boo's offer to scare someone for him, so he ended up persuading her to go DOWN a level to the fire caves to try scaring the Staremander. She ended up annoying it more than scaring it ... and then, bored of the attempt, started wandering her way back upstairs, with the Staremander chasing her. (For the Staremander, I used an incomplete Heroscape dragon -- sans wings -- that a local game store owner gave me to see what I could do with. I used epoxy putty to fill in the wing gaps and make some replacement scales to blend in, then made big googly eyes for a more cartoonish appearance, and painted the whole thing in cartoony colors.)




Finally, one of the spellcasters directed a highly-damaging spell at the CEILING of the room, right over the Necroprancer's head. The ceiling came crashing down, and while everyone ran for the exits, the Necroprancer was large enough to suffer penalties. Hence, he didn't make it.


So, our heroes finally ... BEAT A DEAD HORSE!




Unfortunately, not everyone got out. Two of the fleeing adventurers ran into the crypt room that had been cleared out earlier ... but the trouble was that it was a DEAD END, and with the main chamber collapsed, there was no way back out. Oops!




And so, with the load-bearing level boss defeated (?), our heroes ... went shopping! It was HASTY shopping, of course, since things were getting late, and there was the lingering threat that Pink-a-Boo would kite a Staremander up from the fire caves if people stuck around for too long.



The players were actually interested in exploring more of the dungeon, so we'll be continuing in a couple of weeks. (That gives me a little more time to prepare for my Interface Zero cyberpunk campaign, and lets me get some more mileage out of my pony preparations. Hurrah!)

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Love beating a dead horse and the dead end and all the other puns.


Absolutely great that they had a good time and want more - I'm very glad you get to ride the wild pony some more! Can't wait for the next adventure post up.


Your Staremander is also really cool :D

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Love beating a dead horse and the dead end and all the other puns.


Absolutely great that they had a good time and want more - I'm very glad you get to ride the wild pony some more! Can't wait for the next adventure post up.


Your Staremander is also really cool :D


I'm very happy that they're eager to stick to the trail, rather than just riding off into the sunset. I really didn't know what to expect. I mean, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it ...


Bah! Trying too hard there. ;)


Anyway, more seriously, I've been prepping for a more serious cyberpunk campaign (a strange adventure that was technically spawned by my IMEF project ... but not a single player was interested in playing a space-marine type, so it ended up mutating into something else entirely). I have a recurring problem with too much silliness and weirdness creeping into my games. While that's just fine for, say, a game of "Savage Ghostbusters," or "Wonderland No More," it can be a bit mood-breaking if it works its way into a "serious" zombie-apocalypse campaign. My excuse here is that I'm getting all the puns and such out of my system.


When I first mentioned the idea of running a pony game, I mostly got a few "Uhms" and "Mehs" and other inarticulate responses from the players as a whole, with the sole exception of Wendy (who has adored ponies of the little variety since she was a kid) and of one of my more enthusiastic players (who took on the role of the frequently-exploding dragon clan of Zippo/Drippo/Blippo/etc.). My initial reasoning was that while I was prepping to shift to a new genre, I needed a bit of a breather in between, so I might run some "one-shots," but most of the suggestions for "one-shots" ended up being completely new campaign settings -- and putting together the work for a "one-shot" in my house ends up being comparable to the work that gets put into a new *campaign* -- at least initially.


So, yeah. I'm very glad I can get a little more mileage out of this one. :) I will likely generate a few more treasure cards (since I went all "Monty Haul" this time around and ended up using most of them -- either as loot, or as shopkeeper offerings that the players passed up) just for variety, but otherwise I've still got enough minis and terrain to use for quite a few more encounters. I've got a bunch of "lava cavern" Mage-Knight-scaled tiles for the lava caves, and assorted 1.5"-square Hirst Arts floor tiles I'd originally created for use with Warhammer Quest games in order to represent the upper castle/stables level. I could probably easily keep the group occupied for 3 sessions or more, if they're interested in exploring the whole dungeon layout. And if for some reason THAT wasn't enough, I've also got a multi-level wizard's tower -- with pull-out furnished floors based on insulation board -- that I originally created for an Advanced HeroQuest convention game, and which I could probably refurbish for use here.


I won't hold my breath on that one, though. I think the novelty is bound to wear off quickly. Still, I'm happy with how it turned out, and I'm likely to revise it and boil it down a bit for a scenario at Necronomicon later this year. (I usually run 3 game sessions at Necro, doing a different game setting for each session ... but I could probably fill all my time slots with ponies alone, given the material I've got to work with here. ;) )

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For a nice fluffy zombie-free breather, there sure are an awful lot of undead ponies in this game... But they look adorable, so I guess it's still Wendy-proof! :P


I made sure to double-check with Wendy to make sure everything along the way was okay -- even the Play-Doh "gore." (I confess that I was pushing the boundaries there. I don't USUALLY use Play-Doh to represent gore on my miniatures tables -- not even in a zombie apocalypse campaign, which might have buckets of the stuff in any given battle, if judging by the typical narrative -- but it just seemed insane enough to give it a try.) I personally think I could even make some cute ZOMBIE ponies, but I suspect that she'd object as soon as something had the "zombie" label no it.


I'm tempted to paint up some zombie ponies to use for convention games (where Wendy won't be playing, and hence it won't be an issue), but I think I have enough monsters already to fill a game slot (and certainly to fill up three or four BLU foam trays and the better part of a Portable Warfare case), and I *really* ought to be focusing more on prepping for my next campaign (and assorted other projects), so I shouldn't let myself get distracted. :D


Maybe I could get by with making a "Frankensteed" or two. You know, with pale-green-grey skin, little bolts on the neck, "stitch" lines randomly across the body, etc.


Ooo! Ooo! I could turn it all steampunk! I mean, sure, that's outside the realm of normal fantasy, but I could give it a couple of buzzsaw attachments ... and then call it a SAWHORSE!

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