Tabletop Game: Twilight Sparkle's Secret Shipfic Folder
"Shipping is what happens when I decide two ponies love each other very much."Twilight Sparkle's Secret Shipfic Folder
is a tongue in cheek tile/card game that pokes fun at Shipping
in general and My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
Shipping specifically. The premise is simple: Twilight Sparkle is secretly an avid shipper of everypony and nonpony she meets. It's up to you to help her write her ships to her satisfaction; you do this by expanding the Shipping Grid, comprised of ponies linked by ships, and completing shipping goals before any of your opponents can. The winner (or, perhaps, shameful loser), is the one that can reach a pre-set number of points first.
Developed by Horrible People Productions, TSSSF not only references almost every shipping trope in the book, but also a number of fanfic and soap opera tropes (with a little time travel thrown in to spice the flavor). Half the fun is plotting your plays strategically in order to block other players and earn goals yourself; the other half is cracking up at the Flavor Text
and the unusual situations that the shipping grid can portray at any time. And if the basic game, with a hundred and fifty nine cards, just isn't enough for you, two expansions have been released and six more are planned, along with three mini expansions.
A campaign has been launched
on Indiegogo to get the game a booth at BronyCon and print official card decks. There is also a patreon
The first update, "Objectified!"
, can be found here.
Twilight Sparkle's Secret Shipfic Folder provides examples of:
- Alternate Universe Fic: Is a card.
- Animate Inanimate Object: Tom the rock and Bloomberg the tree, as of the first update.
- Smarty Pants in the original set. Even featured on two ship cards (well, one as herself, one as a changeling impersonating her). Note that as an earth pony doll, she's treated as an earth pony ...
- Apocalypse How: The Fic The Last Days of Ponyville involves a love poison outbreak.
- Apocalypse Wow: The card "Worldwide Threat of Destruction" involves a Cthulu-esque one, while it's flavor text implies another apocalypse at the same time...
- Armored Closet Gay: "I Swear I'm Not Gay!" and "Just Experimenting".
- Beach Episode: It's a card.
- Black Widow: Is a card. Specifically, Black Widow Rarity.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Cheerilee is very aware she is in a shipping card game, and she wants out.
- Pinkie Pie attacks the background in one goal card. Derpy accidentally rearranges hers on one of her cards.
- Cargo Ship: Any ship with Smarty Pants.
- Crack Fic: Some of the quote source material could arguably qualify, especially the one about Crackle.
- Crack Pairing: Aside from the potential ships that can be made by the players, there is a card called "Nothing in Common, Perfect Anyway." The image? Iron Will and Crackle the dragon. (Iron Crack?)
- Crossover Fic: Is a card.
- Dark Fic: The apparent Of Ponies And Peril fic is the most common example, but there's also Blood Becomes Her and Faceless Butterfly...
- Detectives Follow Footprints: Lyra. Bonus points: they're the stereotypical human formal male shoe prints. You know, the style of shoe ponies generally don't wear.
- Deus Sex Machina: There is literally a card called Divine Intervention.
- Die for Our Ship: In universe, a number of special abilities imply that one character is murdering another.
- Door Stopper: According to various flavor texts, Of Ponies and Peril has at least ninety three chapters (plus a prologue and an Omake flowchart) and involves some degree of time travel. And a sequel.
- The "Of Ponies and Peril: The Magnum Opus" goal card from the Extra Credit expansion has an excerpt from Chapter 128.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: There's a card for that. The quote shows that it was even invoked on Caramel by Lotus and Aloe. Only the former feels bad about it.
- Everyone Is Bi: Cards can be shipped no matter what the gender.
- Expansion Pack: Two so far. Extra Credit adds new goals and ships to the game, while Ponyville University (Formerly High School Romance and Summer Lovin') is centered around college age versions of the foal characters. More are planned for the future.
- Foe Romance Subtext: There are cards marked Villain. Make of that what you will.
- Gender Bender: In the "Oops, Wrong Spell", "Dude Looks Like a Lady", "Rule 63", "Budding Curiosity", and "You're a Princess, Harry!" cards, among others. The "Charity Auction" card, featuring male!Rarity and female!Blueblood, doubles down on the idea.
- Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: The goal card "Shining Armor Approves Of This Experiment!" gives points for shipping Princess Cadance with a female card... and has a very happy Shining Armor in the background.
- Guy-on-Guy Is Hot: Of course, Shining Armor and Big Mac show up in the image for "My First Slash".
- Gotta Ship Em All: Heavily implied.
- Het Is Ew: Apparently the opinion of Twilight, although there are a number of Het goals so it's more likely she has a meh reaction.
I don't know, I just think het couples are boring... — Twilight's Secret Diary
- Homosexual Reproduction: On the 'Unexpected Pregnancy' card; the image is Bon Bon struggling to comprehend Lyra's ... well ...
- Hot for Teacher: There's a goal for that. Also, see Mentor Ship, down below.
- Ho Yay Shipping: There's a goal for that.
- Hurt/Comfort Fic: There are "broken" versions of Rainbow and Rarity, as well as a few ships that set up painful situations.
- Incest Yay Shipping: There's a goal for that.
- Irrelevant Sidequest: The goal cards "Charity Auction" and "Help! I'm In A shipping Card Game!" give literally no goal points for completing. Instead, they give you the ability to redraw once per turn, and a bigger hand size, respectively.
- Charity Auction had its redraw power removed and a point value assigned after only one update because the difficulty/reward balance was so heavily skewed that it would always be sent to the discard pile the moment it came up.
- Launcher of a Thousand Ships: There's a goal for that. Specifically, for Rainbow Dash.
- Love Dodecahedron: The shipping grid can get complicated fast. Lampshaded with the card "Wait, Let Me Make A Flow Chart!", which also invokes it by asking the players to switch around 6 ponies on the shipping grid in one turn.
- Love Poison: Multiple cards use it.
- The Matchmaker: A few ship cards provide this, and there's the overarching gameplay too.
- Mentor Ship: Twilight apparently has a serious crush on Celestia, to the point where three goal cards portray her dressing up other ponies as Celestia.
- Manly Gay: "Quite", the (very difficult) Goal for playing three male-male ships :
Braeburn looked around the Stallion's Lodge, at the monocles and moustaches. Sure, there was tea and doilies and an inexplicable portrait of a dog, but it was very MANLY.
- Moe: Moe Fluttershy is a card.
- Oh Horsapples Twilight's Writing Fanfics Of Us!: Some cards imply that the characters are extremely uncomfortable with the situation. Some. A few.
- Original Character: Kefentse, the neon-colored dragon/zebra hybrid with cybernetic wings. Her gameplay power is Mary Sue.
- Period Fic: Hearthswarming: A Detailed Account.
- Power Copying: Some cards can copy the powers of other characters on the grid.
- Power Perversion Potential: Plenty of it. In-game, the very inclusion of the alicorn class, changelings, and time travel ponies all count, as well as the inclusion of love poison. Gameplay-wise, literally every pony card has some sort of ability, plus there are shipping cards that change the species, gender, and point in time a pony is from, as well as where they are located on the shipping grid.
- Screw Yourself: One Goal for each of the Mane Cast, and a genderbent version in "Budding Curiosity". This is of course facilitated by having three of each of the Mane 6 (plus the starting Twilight, so four of her), as well as two of many other ponies.
- Self Insert: Yep. Unlike the other Screw Yourself goals, this one requires three Twilights. (The game always starts with one.)
- Shipper on Deck: The player characters. Twilight is the admiral.
- Shipping: It's right there in the name.
- Shipping Goggles: Suspiciously Romantic Random Pinic... and a few other cards.
- Ship-to-Ship Combat: Actually encouraged by the game rules.
- Ships That Pass in the Night: Some characters haven't even heard of others, much less met them.
- Shotgun Wedding: "My Little Shotgun Wedding" features a very startled Cadance and Shining Armor.
- Shoujo Demographic: Cherry Blossoms Underhoof seems to be set in a Japanese school for pegasi of some sort.... with Derpy as a Magical Girl.
- Shout-Out: Several cards reference Friendship is Witchcraft. Ditto for Cupcakes.
- A couple cards reference Frozen.
- Bon Bon, meanwhile, sounds more like she's met the Scout.
Bats fly, monkeys climb, and filly, I make candy.
- Slap-Slap-Kiss: There's a card for that.
- Slash Fic: There's a goal for that.
- Take That / Never Live It Down: In-universe. Hank the guard is not fondly remembered by Twilight.
- Teen Super Spy: Super Spy Twilight Sparkle has elements of this.
- Theme Pairing: There are multiple goals for that. Alicorns, Changelings, Unicorns, Lesbians...
- Troperiffic: Several cards are directly named after their respective tropes.
- WAFF: Some ships set this up. Others... not so much.
- Wandering the Earth: The "Leaving on a Personal Crusade" ship.
- War Fic: Ponies in Peril, by implication.
- War Ship: Implied by the Slap Slap Kiss card to be going on between Heartless Dictator Rarity and Freedom Fighter Pinkie Pie.
- What Did I Do Last Night?: There's a card for that.
- Yaoi Fangirl: Twilight Sparkle, apparently.
- Yuri Fan: Twilight Sparkle, apparently.