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Tabletop Game / Ponyfinder

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Ponyfinder is a fanmade roleplaying game campaign setting created by David Silver, head of the indy RPG company Silver Games LLC and published through the DriveThruRPG website. As the name implies, it originally used Pathfinder rules; a version for the 5th edition of Dungeons & Dragons was later released hearing the subtitle Dawn of the Fifth Age. (A free conversion document for 4th edition D&D was also released.)

The game is set in the Equestria expy of Everglow, a particularly magic-rich world where, in addition to the standard array of humans, orcs, elves, dwarves, etcetera, a vast number of sapient fey animals have developed. The ponies of this world, under the reign of Queen Iliana, the first Alicorn, have founded the first and mightiest empire of the world. But this empire will not last forever... unless the PCs say otherwise.


The author of the game has started a series of crossover fanfics between Ponyfinder and Friendship is Magic, beginning with A Dangerous Sparkle.

This setting includes examples of the following tropes:

  • After the End: The expansion book From The Ashes provides several additional rules as well as a vision of what is, essentially, the Everglow's version of Fallout: Equestria. The original rulebook also makes much emphasis in the state of the world once the Empire falls.
  • All Your Powers Combined: Invoked, to reference Twilight Sparkle's ascension to Alicornhood. The Unification sorcerer bloodline allows a pony to develop powers and physical traits from other pony tribes. However, it's Averted in that it only grants the powers of two of the nine major tribes (earth pony, unicorn, pegasus, leatherwing, sun pony, gem pony, sea horse, antean, ghost pony); this explains why Alicorns in the setting are Winged Unicorns and not Mix And Match Creatures of the various pony tribes.
  • Artificial Human:
    • The Clockwork sub-tribe are cursed ponies whose bodies are living clockwork machinery, though they still age, love and die like flesh and blood ponies.
    • The Steelhearts are living constructs, metallic pony bodies over a core of magically animated living wood, created in strange magical factories by unknown forces.
  • Captain Ersatz:
    • Most of the deities of the corebook are clearly based on the fan-accepted "gods" of the G4 cast; Sun Queen (Princess Celestia), Moon Princess (Princess Luna), Princess Luminace (alicorn!Twilight Sparkle), the Night Mare (Nightmare Moon), the Unspoken (Discord), and Kara (Queen Chrysalis — though Queen Chrysalis's insectile appearance is applied to Kara's agent, Temptation, instead).
    • The Steelheart race are basically Eberron's Warforged in pony shape.
    • Doppelgangers are based more off of Eberron's Changelings than the show's, though the Doppelganger mini-splatbook makes them more like their show counterparts, including noting that Kara devotees turned into doppelgangers resemble the insecto-equines of the show.
  • Cat Girl: Purrsian/Human crossbreeds are a variant, being visually human (though sometimes possessed of cat ears) from the waist up and a bipedal cat from the waist down. Unlike most catgirls and catboys, though, they have wings.
  • Charm Person: Short Legs and their Satyr descendants have the ability to do this through the sheer power of their cuteness, via the Shield of Innocence racial trait.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Everglow may look shiny and happy, but there's a layer of grimdark beneath the surface. The setting explicitly includes most if not all of the various monsters from Pathfinder, the beloved queen is a Well-Intentioned Extremist responsible for the deaths of two pony tribes that we know of, humanoids in the "present" are subtly discriminated against, and the Empire is explicitly power-hungry and doomed to succumb to its own corruption.
  • Dark Is Not Evil:
    • The Tribe of Bones, although now demonized In-Universe as evil necromancers, were in fact a sub-tribe of peaceful shamans who revered the spirits of their ancestors and followed the teachings of Soft Whisper (Madame Tris’do, as they called her), seeking only to ensure that the souls of the dead went peacefully on their way to the afterlife.
    • Soft Whisper, Goddess of the Dead, is a gentle-natured deity who only wants to make sure that souls pass on peacefully to the afterlife. She has been forgotten since ponies hate and fear her for her connection with death, and because of the demonization of her former primary worshippers.
    • Leatherwings, though being carnivorous bat-like pegasi, are actually a very shy and timid people who prefer to hide rather than fight.
  • Everybody Hates Hades:
    • The ponykind death goddess, Soft Whisper, has been almost forgotten since her primary worshippers, the Tribe of Bones, were wiped out, and continues to exist only because pony souls still need someone to send them on and no other deity has arisen to usurp her role. Despite this, she's a world-weary, gentle yet firm goddess who only wants to make sure that the spirits of the dead go on to their proper place in the afterlife, and who abhors necromancy.
    • Averted with Koidon/White Talon, the griffon death goddess; she's not a nice goddess, but she's not as actively shunned as Soft Whisper is.
  • Götterdämmerung: It is canonical that the Everglow Empire will collapse in upon itself with the death of Queen Iliana, eventually taking with it all ponykind's former power and glory.
  • Going Cosmic: The expansion book Beyond Everglow provides the stat-work necessary to add the setting to a Starfinder campaign.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: "Satyrs" in this setting are the result of a pony, a purrsian or even a ruminant having a child with a human. The result is a being who is human from the waist up and a bipedal non-human from the waist down, with extra traits like wings or horns depending on their precise ancestry.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: Two In-Universe examples.
    • The Tribe of Bones are depicted in the corebook as a depraved and power hungry tribe of evil necromancers whom Queen Iliana destroyed because they attempted to enslave ponykind, which reflects the opinion of "modern ponies". The e-book splats on Forgotten Gods and The Tribe of Bones reveals they were actually a gentle and good-natured tribe of ancestor-worshipping, ghost-quelling shamans who were suspicious of Queen Iliana's bloody methods for forging her empire and requested she come to them for ceremonial cleansing, to prove she was not a powerhungry tyrant, before they would surrender to her leadership. In response, she destroyed the tribe, erected her central kingdom upon the ruins of their lands, and demonized them as evil amongst the other ponies.
    • The Seekers of the One Herd receive this after the fall of the Empire, in part because their desperate efforts to find a new ruler to take Queen Iliana's place fueled the wars of succession that ultimately killed the Empire.
  • Hot Skitty-on-Wailord Action: Intertribal romance is common, explaining the flexibility of the tribe/sub-tribe ruleset. Interspecies Romance is rare, but not unheard of; Pony Satyrs (human/pony) are statted in the Forgotten Gods of Everglow sourcebook, and the same sourcebook also mentions Hippogriffs (griffon/pony), who get stats of their own in the griffon sourcebook. The Forgotten Past sourcebook adds "Purrsian Satyrs", which come in purrsian/human and purrsian/pony formats.
  • How Do I Shot Web?:
    • Sea Horses can't actually breathe water unless they take the feat "Return to the Sea".
    • In-Universe, this is actually a problem that the Ghost Ponies have to deal with; they have adapted to live in the Ethereal Plane, but they have no innate magical ability to step between worlds and it's not safe for their foals to live or grow in the Ethereal. So they create magical items to allow them to walk between.
  • Lady Land: A subtle variant. Ponykind are explicitly called out as being matriarchal in the corebook, which explains why their divine pantheon is based around goddesses rather than gods. This causes some Cross Cultural Kerfuffle with Sun Cats, who are patriarchal and, among other things, worship the Sun King rather than the Sun Queen.
  • Loads and Loads of Races: A huge amount, especially when one takes into accounts that the standard D&D/Pathfinder humanoids (humans, elves, dwarves, gnomes and halflings, at the least) also exist in Everglow.
    • Ponies, to begin with, are split between numerous tribes and sub tribes. As the subtribes are technically originally normal ponies who underwent some sort of alterations in the past, it's possible to mix just about any sub-tribe with any tribe, allowing for oddities like Clockwork Unicorns, Antean Pegasi and Sun Zebras.
      • Pony Tribes: Earth-bound, Unicorn, and Pegasus are obvious enough. There are also Sea Horses (aquatic ponies), Leatherwings (bat-winged cave-dwelling pegasi), Ghost Ponies (mystic ponies adapted to live in the Ethereal Plane), Zebras (striped, shamanistic ponies) and the lost/extinct tribe of Short Legs (chibi ponies who worshipped Lashtada and were wiped out by gnolls)
      • Pony Subtribes: these are more spiritual/mystical offshoots to the "main" tribes. The current subtribes statted are Chaos Hunters (born with the power and compulsion to fight Chaotic creatures), Clockworks (cursed ponies transformed into beings of living clockwork mechanisms), Doppelgangers (equine shapeshifters), Gem Ponies (crystal-pelted heirs to a lost kingdom), Anteans (giant ponies who reach 14-16 feet in length), Sun Ponies (heat-tolerant desert-dwelling ponies) and Bones (necroticially infused ponies with a connection to the dead).
    • Pony Satyrs, a pony/human crossbreed. These come in basic (Earth-bound/Zebra), winged (Pegasus/Leatherwing), Unicorn, Sea Horse and Short Leg variants, and can belong to any of the pony subtribes.
    • Griffons, a race of avian/feline hybrid quadrapeds. They received a basic profile in the corebook, and then a splatbook of their own, which reveals they divide themselves between a number of different aspects, which affect their avian traits, feline traits, or both. Default griffons are Predator aspects, whilst other aspects include Cheetah (more ground focused, faster running speed), Cursed (crystaline growths across the body that cause great pain and weakness, but enhance endurance and psionic ability), Prey (less adept in melee, but better spellcasters and more charismatic), Pride (more socially focused and diplomatic), Scavenger (more focused on cunning), Sea (otter back half, adept in water as well as land and air) and Snow (adapted for cold environments). Unlike ponykind, griffons can only have one aspect.
    • Hippogriffs, the halfbreed spawn of griffons and ponies. They can belong to any of the griffon aspects, and also be part of any of the subtribes as well.
    • Cloven, quiet and gentle-natured sapient goats.
    • Sun Cats, a race of arrogant fire-worshipping felines.
    • Purrsians, a race of winged cats whose love of gems and other treasures makes them greedy merchants found across the world.
      • Purrsian Satyrs, the result of crossbreeding with either humans (winged Catgirls) or ponies (winged cat forequarters, pony hindquarters)
    • Phoenix Wolves, fiery wolves descended from magically redeemed hellhounds.
    • Steelhearts, artificial beings in pony shape.
    • Flutterponies, colorful butterfly-winged ponies who evolved from smaller, almost mindless "pony fairies" called Flutters.
    • Ruminants, elf-like mystical deer who are literally the ancestors of the cloven and possibly of ponies as well.
    • Luminous Dragons are descendants of a draconic servitor of Luminace, the Pony Goddess of Knowledge, making for smaller and far more sociable dragons.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters:
    • Griffons, obviously. It's actually noted in the griffon splatbook that even in families, it's rare that two griffons will look alike, they are that prone to diversity in which avian or feline they resemble. Certain aspects do have certain species associated with them (snow owls and snow leopards for the Snow aspect, vultures and ravens for the Carrion aspect, lions for Pride aspect, sea eagles and otters for the Sea aspect, etc), but even then it's not guaranteed.
    • Hippogriffs are slightly more stable, in that their rear half is always clearly an equine, but their forehalves are just as variable as their griffon parents.
    • Purrsians look like cats with wings, so they're a less drastic version of this trope.
    • Purrsian/Pony hybrids have the forequarters of a purrsian and the hindquarters of a pony.
    • Famous historical figure Shifting Wind is a magically transformed hybrid of pegasus and kitsune, leading to a somewhat vulpine-looking pegasus with multiple lashing fox tails.
    • Satyrs, as mentioned above, are human with some extra traits from the waist up and a pony, purrsian or ruminant from the waist down.
    • It's unclear if certain ruminants are either partially cloven or pony, or if their blood bears mystical impurities that will lead them to evolving into either race. But either way, ruminants with the Cloven Creator or Pony-Touched impurities are visually a blend of deer with either goat or pony, so much so that they can actually pass themselves off as members of the other race to a casual observer.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Two of the playable races are Sea Horses and Flutterponies, based upon creatures from the G1 era.
    • Though the doppelganger subtribe are portrayed as ordinary ponies with unusual grey and white coloration, a racial feat allows for ponies to have the more insectile appearance associated with G4's changelings.
    • Luminous Dragons, introduced in Princess Luminace's Guide to the Pony Pantheon, are clearly based on the continuity-spanning character of Spike, most blatantly the G4 version, to the point that he is instantly identifiable as a Luminous Librarian Dragon by the game's rules.
  • Nice Is Not Good: This is why neither Soft Whisper (Death Goddess) nor Lashtada (Love Goddess) from Forgotten Gods of Everglow is Good in alignment. Soft Whisper is a gentle deity, but she will also brook no arguments; a soul must accept that their time is up and move on, lest they become an undead monster. Lashtada, meanwhile, values love over all things and so cares only that it is allowed to bloom; the sourcebook explicitly notes that Lashtada will support a tyrant who at least allows their people to love freely over a kind ruler who nonetheless insists upon enforcing the policy of Arranged Marriages, as the concept of "forcing love" in such a way offends her.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The Seekers of the One Herd are directly responsible for the Empire's collapse after Queen Iliana died, as their desperate and disorganized efforts to find a true heir to the throne promoted civil conflicts that devastated the empire's infrastructure and scattered its populace.
  • Our Gryphons Are Different: Griffons and hippogriffs are playable races:
    • Griffons are divided between several aspects, which affect their avian traits, feline traits, or both. These are the Predator aspect (basic griffons), Cheetah aspect (more ground focused, faster running speed), Cursed aspect (crystaline growths across the body that cause great pain and weakness, but enhance endurance and psionic ability), Prey aspect (less adept in melee, but better spellcasters and more charismatic), Pride aspect (lion feline traits, more socially focused and diplomatic), Scavenger aspect (vulture and raven avian half, more focused on cunning), Sea aspect (otter back half, sea eagle front half, adept in water as well as land and air) and Snow aspect (usually resembling snow owls and snow leopards, adapted for cold environments).
    • Hippogriffs are the hybrid children of griffons and ponies. They can belong to any of the griffon aspects and have the associated avian traits, and can have the hindquarters and nature of any kind of pony (regular pony, zebra, crystal pony, etcetera).
  • Puny Humans:
    • Played straight during the Empire's age, when humans were either wandering tribes or squabbling, pitiful villages beyond the Empire's reach, with the most civilised being those human settlements co-opted into the Empire. Averted with the Empire's collapse, when they expanded to fill the Empire's place.
    • Averted with the dwarves, who taught ponies how to use technology, and with the elves, who were the second race to form major kingdoms of their own.
  • Resurrective Immortality: Earth Ponies get a racial feat that allows them to reincarnate into a new Earth Pony body one week after dying, so long as their body is on the Material Plane when they die, or is brought back to it at some point afterwards.
  • Shout-Out:
    • To Eberron; Steelhearts, as mentioned above, are basically "pony Warforged", whilst the doppelganger sub-tribe is visually styled after Eberron's changelings.
    • The griffon splatbook mentions a "paladin" named Lord Rust the Arrogant, infamous for his inability to change his mind upon deciding a course of action, his complete and utter disregard for the lives of those under his command, and his unfailing ability to pick the plan of attack so bloody and costly that other military leaders considered him an arrogant idiot. As if further proof of the connection is needed, the same article explains how he always led from the front, had an uncanny ability to avoid ranged attacks and spells, and managed to actually win several (costly) important victories by surprising enemy commanders who truly believed nobody that stupid or reckless with the lives of their soldiers would be given command.
    • The expansion book From The Ashes provides an alternate vision of how Everglow falls and how the world keeps going after such a bloody prologue — it's pretty clear from the get-go that it's an homage to Fallout: Equestria.
  • Vestigial Empire: After Queen Iliana's death, the Empire quickly decayed into this, expending itself on numerous futile internal conflicts and power grabs, before utterly collapsing in on itself, to the point that the humans who took its place mostly don't believe it ever existed.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Queen Iliana was one. On the one hand, she did unite the formerly scattered pony tribes and forge them into a mighty Empire. On the other hand, she destroyed the Tribe of Bones for questioning that her intentions were less than noble and who asked she prove her good intentions by being ceremonially cleansed for all the deaths she had ordered before they surrendered to her leadership, and when the Short Leg ponies politely turned down the idea of joining her empire, she stood back and allowed them to be wiped out by an army of gnolls.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: It's a commercial game without Hasbro's authorization, so Everglow isn't quite Equestria, but the rules are designed to make it easy for fans who so choose to use it to play My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.


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