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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game

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Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Ponyfinder Campaign Setting (PFRPG)

****½ (based on 6 ratings)
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Adventure in the world of Everglow, nestled in delicate balance between the elemental planes. It is a world of magic and mystery, where the fey are in control and the humanoid races are secondary. Foremost of the fey are Ponykind, who rallied behind their Queen to form the greatest empire Everglow had ever seen.

We've brought ponies, griffons, felines, and other strange creatures to life in a world all of their own, where they are the primary PCs. Don't want to run a game all about ponies? That's alright! Use our post-empire suggestions to add ponies to any other existing world. Many spells, archetypes, and bloodlines are also usable by non ponies or other settings.

  • New gods
  • New spells
  • New class archetypes
  • New equipment
  • New bloodlines
  • New races

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Product Reviews (6)
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****½ (based on 6 ratings)

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An Endzeitgeist.com review

****( )

The campaign setting and freshman offering for Ponyfinder clocks in at 122 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of editorial, 1 page ToC, 3 pages of SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 115 pages of content, so let's take a look!

Wait. before we do, I have to go on a brief tangent: I'm not the best guy to review Ponyfinder-material. I'm only doing this due to requests continuously piling up. The first couple of those, I pretty much asked my groups and both refused. (Yep, my kiddies want to play Red Sonja, not ponies...go figure...) I told David Silver of Silver Games the whole story and now I'm telling you. I'm not a brony or particularly enamored with ponies. I tried watching MLP and it neither elicited joy, nor a negative response. I get what people like it in, but it's not made for me. I learned some important facts from the author in that regard: While this does feature ponies, it is decisively NOT MLP.

Okay, I got that. Secondly, he was okay with me not going the usual in-depth playtesting route due to my parties' refusal. So here I am. The dark fantasy/horror-aficionado reviewing ponyfinder. It's what you, my patreons, wanted - and I'm not one to refuse you, at least not for long. Hence, I'll put on my reviewer's hat, put my own predilections aside and take you on a journey to the lands of Everglow and analyze the mechanics of Ponyfinder. Cue insert Robot Unicorn Attack, Blind Guardian's Battlefield Metal-edition in the background. Don't say I didn't warn you! ;P

Okay, the first thing we notice after a brief piece of introductory prose, would be the general ponykind racial traits. Ponykind are fey, medium-sized and gain +2 Con and Wis. They have a quadruped speed of 40 ft., 20 ft. when walking on two legs. They get low-light vision, +2 to saves vs. poison, spells and SPs and Endurance as a bonus feat. Being quadrupeds, they get +4 to CMD versus trips and +50% carrying capacity and they get a Unique Destiny bonus feat at first level. All in all, the total race is strong. So, how does the setting handle being fingerless - pretty smoothly. Components of spells, unarmed attacks, touch attacks, wielding items - all covered. Basically, as envisioned here, ponies don't really suffer from any penalties of require complex modifications - no barding restrictions, they still have hand and ring slots, etc. So if you're a fan of simulationalist approaches, that may potentially dissatisfy you, though it makes integration of ponies in a given context very easy. Pegasi and Unicorns are covered as pretty common alternate racial trait-packages, with pegasi gaining fly speed 30 ft at clumsy maneuverability - which can potentially cause issues in grim, low-magic settings that...wait. Sorry. Force of habit. We're talking about a magical setting where talking ponies that wield wands and weapons in their mouths garner a shrug at best. Ignore that. Kidding aside - you should be aware of many a module not taking flight into account until 5th-6th level. Still, generally no issue there and the formatting of the race is according to the specifications established in Pathfinder books - kudos!

Beyond these more common of alternate pony-breeds, we are introduced to chaos hunters, clockwork ponies (a template you can basically apply to other pony-subtypes), doppelgänger ponies, gem ponies that can deflect rays 1/day as via Deflect Arrow, leather wings, sea horses and zebras - If I'm skimming over these, then mainly since they represent relative smooth modifications of teh base chassis - and fluff-wise, the Tribes of Everglow-book (review coming very soon) covers them in more detail. After covering thus the base ponykind racial framework, we address the question of class options and ponykind's relation with classes next - beginning with two sorceror bloodlines: The unification bloodline is all about gaining some traits from ponykind subtypes -from canines to wings and horns, this one basically codifies an über-pony as a progression of the bloodline and features some player-agenda, which is always nice to see in the otherwise linear bloodlines - and yes, including multiple capstones.

The second one would be the vampiric bloodline that gain vampire-themed abilities - generally solid with the usual suspect like children of the night, gaseous form and similar options providing what you'd expect, theme-wise. Solid. The take of ponies on the respective classes and favored class options for the classic paizo-classes (Core + APG) are covered before we get racial archetypes: Aerial Warriors (barbarian) are about aerial mobility, artifact tender rogues can UMD items with charges to use two charges in activation instead, increasing the CL of the effect by +2. Slightly problematic at 10th level with this one - an option to use UMD to prevent the loss of charges when activating items. While the action required is a massive full-round, this can still be abused pretty badly and should be carefully contemplated - a more complex formula for the DC would have helped here...perhaps increasing the DC on consecutive uses per day? Elemental Savant druids get an elemental-themed domain and can call forth elementals. Okay, so far, so common. Know what has a rather awesome visual? The mobile cannon gunslinger. These quadrupeds can utilize guns on their back and may, at later levels, use Large two-handed firearms; at higher levels even two! Pretty damn cool...I can see ponies with friggin' huge guns strapped to their backs and sides wrecking havoc...Wait. Damn. Did I just write this?

Mystic Prancer bards basically are faces that can modify their fascinate effect to also include a pied piper of Hamelin-style effect. Natural Magi gain no armor proficiency, but may expend SPs with 3/day uses to refill their arcane pool and they get the options to perform melee attacks at range, though these cost arcane pool points. However, they pay for this flexibility by gaining a stunted armor proficiency progression. And this archetype would be well a place as any to remark upon one particular facet of this book: While, for the most part, the editing is more than solid on a rules-language level, there are quite a few instances where e.g. attributes are not capitalized and a couple of instances where the rules-language deviates from the established standard. Now, in favor of this book: The rules-language generally does work, even if it is not always particularly elegant - which is more than one could say about quite a few freshman offerings.

The Pony Scholar is an interesting wizard archetype at higher levels, when he can elect to become fatigued/exhausted/etc. instead of losing a prepared spell - the daily cap prevents bad abuse, though a caveat to prevent the ability use for characters immune to fatigue would have been appreciated. The scholar of the tribes wizard, finally, is all about the tribes and emulating them. Tribal thieves are alchemists that have mutagens that can feature tribal peculiarities (the mage hand spell isn't properly italicized here). Wardens of the Night paladins can make for an interesting exercise in illustrating what I mean by wonky wording: "When they channel to harm, it manifests in a bright glow of silvery moonlight as per daylight with a duration of 1 round per paladin level. It is effective against shapeshifters and aberrations, but only half damage to undead. Wardens may not channel to heal." It is pretty apparent how this ability works, but it does offer a couple of deviations from standardized wording. It can't be abused and isn't problematic, but the rules language aesthetes among you may cringe a bit. That being said, other than that, the archetype, as well as the witch doctor witch, are solid, though the latter does sport an instance of missing italicization.

The pdf also provides an array of eidolon evolutions, some of which are tribe-exclusive - they generally are solid, though having eidolons healed by heat can be pretty easily abused. Then again, 7th level prereq and tribe-exclusivity render that one still feasible. The pdf also sports a ton of racial feats that range from better Disguise for Doppelgänger-ponies to the Gunnery Squad teamwork feat that allows adjacent allies to reload your gun. Similarly, action-economy powered blindsense that can be upgraded via follow-up feats and the like is interesting. Gaining a gore attack is evocative, but specification on how it behaves regarding primary/secondary attacks and damage type would have been appreciated here. Half-constructs can net themselves light fortification (non-stackable caveat included!) and a couple of SPs that thematically fit are also included.

*Takes a deep breath* This, however, is NOT where the book stops - the goat-like cloven, quadruped fey, gain +2 to one ability score of their choice, 40 feet movement rate (20 feet on two legs), low-light vision, immunity to altitude sickness and retain Dex-mod while Climbing/Acrobatics-using on narrow/slippery surfaces. They get a 1d4 gore attack (see above - no primary/secondary/damage type included, though that can be looked up) and "Cloven get a bonus against poison equal to their hit dice." We know what's meant, but this still makes me cringe. Bonus-type? I assume racial. It's also "bonus to saves against..." *sigh* Anyways, they also get +2 to Perception and Appraise for certain checks and are, obviously, fingerless. Their racial feats allow them to eat basically anything, jump better, get better horns and FCOs are provided.

Flutterponies gain +2 Dex and Cha, -2 Str, are medium, have a base speed of 30 ft. (bipedal: 20 ft.), a fly speed of 30 ft (average maneuverability) and may reduce person themselves 1/day. They are treated as ponykind and can, at will, emit light from their antennae. They are, obviously, fingerless and quadruped. These strange ponies began as basically pony-shaped swarms of aggressive, vermin-like nuisances, but evolved to increase in size and intelligence and become more agreeable - but they still are considered to be somewhat alien. Conversely, their racial feats reflect the somewhat fey-ish theme. Their agility allows them, with the right feat, to 1/round use Fly via an immediate action as their AC, which, while it may be cheesed, is limited enough to not become problematic. Pretty impressive - there is a "share the same space"-teamwork-feat that actually works. I've seen a lot designers fail at these.

Griffons get +2 Str and Wis, -2 Cha, have a fly speed of 400 ft. (poor maneuverability), base speed 30 ft. (20 ft. bipedal), a 1d6 bite attack (again, yaddayadda primary/secondary...), low-light vision and...they may treat clouds, mist or fog as solid. This last ability, flavor-wise, is gold - though I wished it specified how exactly that interacts with e.g. stinking cloud, cloudkill, etc. - can these guys walk on these clouds? If so, are the affected by the negative effects of the spells or unharmed? Now before you start asking these questions yourself - there is a racial feat, Cloud Surfing, that addresses these questions and makes you capable of being pushed away by them, which is awesome...but the info should not be hidden in a feat, but part of the damn cool, evocative base ability. And yes, FCOs, once again, are provided for a couple of classes.

Phoenix Wolves get +2 Dex and Wis, -2 Int, have a base speed of 40 ft, 20 ft bipedal, geta 1d6 bite attack, fire resistance 5, increase CL of fire-descriptor spells, fire domain, fire bloodline, flame mystery...you get the idea. Phoenix wolves with Cha of 11+ also get some nice SPs and they get +2 to feints and against being feinted as well as low-light vision. Bred from hellhounds purged of evil, these creatures feast on ash, cinders and coal and make for interesting creatures. They can use racial feats to gain wings, increase their fire resistance, etc. and even get a 1/day breath weapon. Once again, favored class options included.

Purrsians would be the winged cats of Everglow and gain +2 Dex and Cha, -2 Wis, base speed 40 ft. (half bipedal), fly speed at 3o ft with clumsy maneuverability, a weak 1d3 bite, can retry not too horribly botched attempts to change a creature's attitude and +10 ft. when charging, running or withdrawing. They gain low-light vision as well. Nomadic and driven to amass wealth, they represent an interesting blending of tropes and can gain claw attacks, which can be upgraded to allow them to steal objects when hitting with both. The FCOs provided are solid. Nice for simulationalists - the option to replace costly components for spells sans level-increase, but via money -

Steelhearts would be half-construct fey that have a base speed of 30 ft, bipedal speed 20 ft, get +2 to saves vs. disease, mind-affecting effects, poison, fatigue and exhaustion, can't be resurrected and do not need to eat, breathe, sleep. They get electricity resistance 5 and low-light vision. These pony-shaped horses are pretty much an enigma - they guard their origins with zeal and hence, once a war with ponykind resulted...now, relations are a bit strained and part of the deal was that ponykind would refrain from trying to unearth their origins. Unique: A racial feat that lets you ground electricity, lessening the effect for all affected.

After the steelheart's favored class options, the sun cats are next: They gain +2 Str and Wis, -2 Int, base speed 40 ft., bipedal speed 20 ft, always treat Perception and Stealth as class skills, +10 ft when charging, withdrawing or running, a 1d3 bite, 2 1d4 claws (both lacking primary/secondary classification and damage types), scent and low-light vision. Proud, nomadic predators, sun cats can use racial feats to AoE-demoralizes that can also deal channel damage. Pretty OP: When you make a save, you can grant all allies within 30 ft a reroll....that one overshoots the target a bit for a relatively easy to get feat. Still, overall, an interesting race. To nitpick, one of the feats is based on a 75% of maximum hp threshold to work, which can be a bit clunky.

Beyond all of these races, which generally are well-balanced internally, a full-blown pantheon of gods is provided and the pdf sports extensive age, height and weight tables. As for balancing with other races, the relative easy means of acquiring flight does change the dynamics of low-level gameplay in particular, so that's something to look out for. Still, as a whole and within its own context, the races are generally well-balanced among themselves - slightly above PFRPG-core races, with an increased emphasis on mobility. The number of problematic options here is very small and overall, the chapter can be considered to be pretty impressive.

But perhaps you are not that interested in going full-blown Everglow? Fret not -the pdf provides stats for earth-bound ponykind animal companions and familiars. The pdf also suggests optional rules for more realistic deficiencies or more relaxed takes on fingerless characters - in case you're not like me and don't get an aneurysm trying to picture ponies using hooves for fine manipulation - mind you, I don't judge - it's certainly cool that the options are here! But this is a campaign setting and thus, after a brief history of Everglow, we get an in-depth background story of these lands...including notes of diverse factions with associated faction traits. And yes, they get trait type and bonuses right AND matter for the most part! While this iteration of the base setting of Ponyfinder assumes an age wherein the grand empire has fallen, there are some notes on alternate era ponies, including a Large alternative race, the anteans and ghost ponies. And yes, these do receive their own array of racial feats, though they do not gain any unique FCOs.

Part II of my review is in the product discussion. See you there!


Ponies of Everglow

*****

Ponyfinder
Campaign Setting
by Dave Silver

Reviewed by Scott Holmes

Layout
The layout made the pdf easy to read, no obvious errors I could find.

Art
Full color artwork ranging from fair to good, overall it helped the feel of the product.

Playability
This has the potential to be a great gateway to get younger players into Roleplaying. Pony themed races, traits, feats and archetypes were all well thought out and fun to read. There are optional rules for pony themed Companions and Familiars that may be usefull in any game. Fully pathfinder compatible, at over 120 pages in length a sizable tome.

Final Thoughts
I thought the setting was well thought out, the campaign history and mythos was a very good read. As a gate to roleplaying this is a very good to to get younger players into roleplaying as a hobby. The look feel and rules balanced out very well to me.

4.5 out of 5 stars rounded up to 5 out of 5.
A little something for everyone, overall nice job.


*****

This is a weird product. Its weird on a lot of levels too. Its weird that I can't play ponies in D&D despite it being a Hasbro property but the OGL somehow allows for this product, which bends over backwards to not violate copyright, to get ponies in Pathfinder. The weirdest part though is that by bending over backwards to avoid copyright problems this product does generate quite a bit of interesting lore to explain why the heck we're playing with ponies in the first place.

This book introduces a new ponykind race which is a kind of fey that get marks on their flanks that divine their destiny. They come in a ton of subraces, including Pegasi and Unicorns and robots (huh...). And they're not alone. there are goats, cats, griffons and a ton of fluff to explain all of this. Detailed are games Deities, and rules to put this all together. And we have crunch in the form of new familiars, spells, feats, magic items, and even archetypes and alternate rules to make a fully functioning magical pony campaign.

Look I know that the concept of ponies will drive people away. I had players walk right out the door when we decided to have a session of Ponyfinder. But if this setting was not inspired by a show about anthropomorphic pony cartoons for little girls this would be a vibrant, detailed and interesting feywild setting, and honestly it still is. And if your girlfriend is the type to buy My Little Pony tshirts and dolls (mine is) this the best Pathfinder product you will ever buy.

I'm giving this five stars. Ignoring brony and little girl pony stigma this is quite fey setting and gives you a lot of tools and ideas for your own adventures using the options inside.


Full-blown Campaign Setting with same high quality as last year's race book

*****

Having been very impressed by his first Pony project for Pathfinder, I decided to take a chance on this newest installment. Right off the bat I was glad I did!

My PDF version comes in at a hefty 122 pages, and very high quality artistically. This is not just an expansion of material, but in quality; it's a very good sign of things to come. The pages themselves have a very high production value to them, with a pleasant watermark along the borders. I was laughing immediately at the map of the world, clearly having been written from the perspective of a Pony! Good start!

They mention it in the intro, but it bears repeating, because it was what attracted me to the previous incarnation of Ponies for Pathfinders - balance. I am a giant foe of third party materials that seek to create must-have expansions or materials. I found the first iteration to be solid and fair, and something I'd allow as a picky GM. This latest version is no exception, I'm glad to say!

The addition of a Clockwork Pony was quite a treat, especially when I saw some of the balance issues addressed - they cannot be raised from the dead! It's this kind of forethought that makes me trust material from this organization - you can tell it is being written by no-nonsense GMs who wouldn't put up with nonsense in their games, and are not about to write it. Another example is the lack of Gunslinger ponies for obvious reasons - no attempts to stammer or wriggle them in somehow, the no-nonsense approach prevails and simply states "This is a troubling combination." Well played.

My favorite from the first version, the Gem pony, is back, and all of the ponies now have excellent full color art. It all has a certain... dream-like quality to it that starts to create a mood as you read. The style of the art does not just illustrate but enhances the material.

The archetypes are all good, except the Tribal Thief - it's fantastic. It's actually an ingenious take on the Alchemist! Honestly the majority of this particular archetype is not pony-centric, and I'd consider allowing a humanoid player to take it!

I am really glad to see this product is very similar to the first one - it is a unique creation, and not just copying and pasting Pathfinder basics and squeezing them into forced Pony equivalents. It is original, unique content.

The addition of Griffons, Cloven races, Butterfly-like, Wolves, Cat-like racial types... all are equally well done as the Ponies. Especially due to the art and maps, the world is really starting to come alive as a unique creation and setting, not just a supplement for Pathfinder.

And that's just the basics. There are sixty more pages of lore, history, gods, nations and towns, all to bring the setting to life as its own unique setting. This is a fantastic product. What also sets it apart for me, and adds to the list of things I might borrow for other projects, are recurring themes of unity, commitment, and sort of a group versus individual thing - you have to read it to get what I mean, but you'll thank me. It's not quite a new take on Alignment, nor is it restrictive or preachy, but it does raise questions - questions that add to the roleplay value of the characters one builds.

This product did not disappoint a fan of the first Ponies for Pathfinders work. It is more than an expansion of material alone, but it has birthed itself as a full-blown, independent Campaign Setting.


An excellent take on bringing MLP into Pathfinder, but there could've been more

****( )

Crossovers are something I’ve always enjoyed, and that’s doubly true for bringing characters from my favorite media into role-playing games. There’s an undeniable joy in being able to represent your favorite characters from comics, movies, and television in your campaign.

Said characters usually tend to be superheroes or the cast of various anime, in my experience. While I knew that there were plenty of fans of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic who fell outside of the show’s target demographic, I wouldn’t have thought that there’d be many Pathfinder fans among them, let alone enough to warrant an attempt to bring the former into the latter.

The existence of Silver Games’s Ponyfinder Campaign Setting is a testament to just how wrong I was. While unofficial (in that it doesn’t reference any of MLP:FiM’s intellectual property), this is still THE book for playing ponies in Pathfinder. Let’s take a look and see how well it brings the show to your tabletop.

Before we go any further though, a disclaimer: at the time of this writing, I’ve seen just over a dozen episodes of MLP:FiM (and read the show’s Wikipedia entry). As such, while I have a basic grasp on what it is this book is trying to showcase, there’s a good chance that I’m missing some of the finer points; if you’re a hardcore pony fan, then keep in mind that I may be overlooking something notable from later in the show.

I also need to take a moment to talk about the book’s artwork. I’ve seen plenty of first-offerings from new companies that were clearly operating on a shoe-string art budget, and wow was that not the case here. Ponyfinder is a book that’s resplendent with full-color art! Immediately after the colorful covers is a two-page map of the Everglow campaign world, drawn in a very bright style that makes it pop off the page. Moreover, the interior pages are all set on backgrounds reminiscent of the main Pathfinder books, being lightly-colored in the center of each page but slightly darkening towards the edges, where there are subtle designs in the background.

But far more notable than that are the character illustrations. The book is absolutely stuffed with colorful images of ponies (and other races). These illustrations are remarkably talented, and more than once I found myself smiling at the adorable pictures. Visually, this book knows exactly what to show to its fans.

Of course, all of this art means that the book is about 80 megabytes in size for 120 pages. Personally, my computer had no issues with displaying the images or scrolling through, but that might be an issue for some readers. Moreover, that makes the lack of a printer-friendly version all the more notable. This is similarly true with the book’s lack of search options – the table of contents isn’t hyperlinked, for example, nor are there any PDF bookmarks for ease of navigation. Still, the text is copy-and-paste enabled, so overall the book’s technical achievements are something of a mixed bag.

But enough about that, what about the ponies? Very cogently, the book opens with the first thing most readers will want to see: rules for pony characters.

Presented as a type of fey, full PC racial information is given for standard earth ponies. Smartly, the book doesn’t retread the same ground for other pony types, presenting breeds such as unicorns and pegasi with alternate racial traits, rather than presenting full stat racial stat blocks again and again.

If it had stopped with just the basic three types of ponies, that probably would have been enough for many, if not most, fans. But I have to give Ponyfinder props here – it went the extra mile and then some: there are over a half-dozen other pony breeds presented next, ranging from gem ponies to sea horses to zebras and more!

It doesn’t stop at just mechanics either, there’s a good page and a half of descriptive text regarding the pony race, and each breed has several paragraphs of description. Humorously, the book also discusses the mechanics of a race that can use their forelegs in a somewhat arm-like manner, but lacks fingers (hint: it’s not nearly as burdensome as it sounds – after all, the ponies on the show get along without fingers just fine). There’s also several paragraphs given to describing pony members of each class (although sub-classes such as ninja and samurai are ignored, as is the inquisitor, rather oddly).

A series of pony-specific mechanics follow, including two bloodlines (e.g. Unification, which is focused around bringing the pony tribes together), several class archetypes (ever wondered how a pony would be a gunslinger?), pony-specific evolutions for an eidolon, and quite a few feats for ponies. The last section is of specific note, as it’s here that we see a lot of the more notable aspects of the show brought into game form: a unicorn levitating items with her horn, for example, is a short feat-chain here, as is the way pegasi physically push clouds around, etc.

That’s not the end of it, as the book then moves on to seven other non-pony races that live in the world, such as griffons, sun cats, phoenix wolves, and others. Again, full racial information is presented alongside a discussion of their society, alignment, relationships, etc. Each even has a few (usually just under a half-dozen) race-specific feats presented.

That was the book’s first major section. While it was largely mechanics with a generous dose of expository writing, the second takes a more balanced approach between fluff and crunch. It opens, for example, with the eight gods of the pony pantheon. Deities such as the Sun Queen, the Night Mare, and Princess Luminance are all familiar shout-outs here. We also receive the height/weight and aging tables for the races in the previous chapter (information that I thought for sure would have been overlooked – kudos to the authors there).

I was quite pleased to see rules for ponies as animal companions and familiars presented next. That’s because having ponies as prominent, PC-focused NPCs like these is a great gateway to seeing how well ponies can work in your party if your group is unsure about the idea. Finally, a few optional rules (mostly in regards to how much realism you want regarding how well ponies can manipulate objects) are given.

Everything so far has been high-quality work, but it was the next chapter that truly sold me on Ponyfinder. This section, which highlights the timeline of Everglow, the campaign world, is where the book truly comes into its own.

A relatively young world (it’s entire recorded history spans less than 750 years), Everglow’s history is covered in three broad sections. These are the early days when the Pony Empire was just beginning, the height of the Empire, and after its fall (the latter presented as the default option). After giving us a timeline, each era’s major events are overviewed. Interestingly, the book then presents major factions active in each era (including faction traits) and several era-exclusive rules, such as breeds that are found primarily during that era and no other.

What grabbed me about this section was the tone that it presented. Rather than rigidly sticking to the (almost naively) optimistic tenor of the show, Ponyfinder does a truly excellent job of presenting the ponies as living in a more nuanced world. This isn’t a setting that pretends that everything can be solved with friendship – there are differences of opinion with no clear resolution (e.g. was the early expansion of the Empire the work of a unifier or a conqueror?), wars with evil ponies, and an overall sense of poignancy as the ponies have realized that their best days are behind them with the death of their great Empire, with no clear idea about what that means for them or what they should do about it.

For that alone, I admit that I’m very impressed with Ponyfinder. It’s can be tough to admit that the tenor of the source material needs to changed when changing how it’s presented; actually pulling off such a change without completely alienating the original feeling it evoked is even trickier. But this book pulled it off. I think that the best example of this is the Denial of Destiny feat found in this chapter, which represents a pony that has voluntarily scarred her Brand of Destiny (e.g. her cutie mark) off of her flank, representing her rejection of the role in life that the gods have chosen for her in favor of one she’s chosen for herself. That’s the sort of mature take on a familiar subject that elevates Ponyfinder above simply aping the conventions of MLP:FiM.

Following this are roughly twenty pages that outline the various locations of Everglow, along with several ponies (and groups of ponies) of note. I do wish we’d seen some stat blocks here, as there are no NPC listings to be found, and this would have been a perfect place for them. While I can see the advantage of not setting levels for specific NPCs (such as the Imperial Queen), it’s better to have them and decide not to use them, than to want them and find that you need to make them from scratch.

Several pages of adventure hooks (covering each of the world’s eras) are presented before we are given a chapter full of new mechanics. Here’s where you’ll find equipment meant specifically to be held in the mouth, for example, along with things like the “elements of destiny” magic items, a spell to make hooves sticky (and so grip things better), and quite a few starting traits (including ones specific to certain times and locations).

The book closes out with a bestiary, and while nothing here was bad it felt like something of an afterthought. The deeptide horse has no descriptive text, for instance, and the vanguard inevitable, with its emphasis on punishing liars and oathbreakers, doesn’t feel like its breaking any new ground. It’s a slightly weak ending for the book, though one that’s easy enough to overlook.

I should also take a moment to mention that a few errors did crop up throughout the book, though they were rarely anything more than minor. For example, the alternate racial traits for zebra ponies didn’t have a -2 ability modifier (which every other race had and so I assume was an oversight), or that the deity entries had their domains and subdomains all listed in the same line, rather than separating them.

What was more notable were several areas that a Pathfinder aficionado would likely look at as a missed opportunity. While nothing was lost, per se, by not doing so, there were several areas that could have benefited from additional Pathfinder rules. The various pony racial stats don’t have costs in Race Points (from the Advanced Race Guide) for example, nor do the gods have inquisitions listed (from Ultimate Magic). While the factions do have faction traits, I wonder if they could have benefited from full faction rules (from the Faction Guide), or if the towns listed could have had – rather than just their alignment, government type, and population breakdown – full community stat blocks (from the GameMastery Guide or Ultimate Campaign). Certainly, the fact that the Imperial Queen was an earth pony who became an alicorn is reason enough to create an alicorn mythic path (from Mythic Adventures).

I want to reiterate that I don’t hold any of these exclusions against the book; it’s just that I’m cognizant that it could have presented more than it did. Still, when the worst thing you can say about a book is that it left you wanting more, that’s not too bad a criticism.

The material that is in here though is excellent for what it presents; enough so that I’d call this a 4.5-star book (rounded down). The coverage of the source material is not only thorough, but is evocative of what’s presented in MLP:FiM while still being suitable for a Pathfinder campaign setting. While it seems like a stretch to bridge that gap, Ponyfinder successfully straddles the divide and keeps one hoof planted firmly in each world. That’s something that anypony, er, anybody can appreciate.


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