Friendship is Dragons is a Campaign Comic that follows that story of six girls as they play through a new Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting, one that just happens to closely resemble My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. The girls behind the ponies range from a The Roleplayer to a Psychopath and from experienced gamers to a pair of Newbs. The players themselves have not been named, and of particular note is the fact that the comic is explicitly set in the Dungeons & Dragons universe, using 4e rules.
The players are:
- Twilight Sparkle, a Lawful Goodnote Wizard
- Pinkie Pie, an Unaligned Bard
- Applejack, a Lawful Good Ranger
- Rainbow Dash, a Chaotic Evil Barbarian
- Rarity, an Unalignednote Rogue
- Fluttershy, a Good Druid
The website includes a Shout Box popularly used by readers to recite and discuss moments from their own games related to the topic of the day's strip.
The author of the comic also hosts a semi-weekly livestream role-play podcast known as Fallout Is Dragons, which also involves ponies and tabletop roleplaying.
Also has a voiced-reading of the comic found here.
On October 12, 2023, it was announced that the comic would being ending mid-2024.
This comic contains examples of:
- Adaptational Jerkass: Cheese Sandwich, due to being played by Gilda's player trying to prove her min-maxing is better than Pinkie's... whatever. Instead of being a party planner who let his spirit of competition get out of hand, he just comes off as a jerk.
- All There in the Manual: In-universe: the GM sent Dash's player a ten-page email explaining her character. She barely skimmed enough to pick up the term 'weatherpony', and misunderstood that as being able to predict the weather instead of controlling it.
- GM: Campaign! Opening!
- Alternative Character Interpretation:
- Art Shift: While most of the main-plot art is taken from screencaps of first season episodes, a lot of side stories and incidental shots come from later seasons with more developed character models. And of course, there's the times when the IDW comics get their word bubbles rewritten. And the time when the episode simply didn't have a big boss fight in it, so another webcomic artist was called in to make fake screenshots.
- Backstory: All the characters have some backstory, Applejack most of all.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Near the end of "Dragonshy", the players told the GM they were interested in meeting more pony NPCs and learning more about the world they'd created. Their very next session is a Very Special Session introducing Zecora.
- Big "WHAT?!":
- From Twilight's teammates and the GM when she announces the Elements of Harmony are within her friends.
- Rarity's player gets the same reaction from everyone else after declaring Rarity's currently unplayable.
- The entirety of issue 1295 is Twilight's player reacting to finding out the GM's plans for her character.
- Boring, but Practical: When the players reach the Paragon Path in levels, Twilight and Applejack note that what they chose aren't the most exciting, but still get the job done.Twilight: Boring-but-functional Paragon Paths, unite!
- Brick Joke: During Twilight's introduction, Pinkie's player mentions that ponies can't get drunk. Later, during her introduction, she brings it back up.
- Near the beginning of the session that would reintroduce Luna, Twilight laments that she had better not get visited by the spirits of Nightmare Night past, present and future. Much later on...Twilight: Oh god. And Luna IS the spirit of Nighmare Night past...
GM: Yyyep. Welcome to the joke. Glad you could join us.
- NewbieSpud has commented that he enjoys doing these on purpose.
- Near the beginning of the session that would reintroduce Luna, Twilight laments that she had better not get visited by the spirits of Nightmare Night past, present and future. Much later on...
- Broad Strokes: While the basic events of the episodes remain the same, the author has thrown in some extra scenes (such as Twilight writing another letter to Celestia just before NightMare Moon's arrival or talking to the more experienced players after their first session wraps up) or changed how they play out (like Fluttershy botching her roll and Rarity going over the cliff).
- Dragonshy has the drakes from Dragon Quest introduced as a random encounter Applejack and Fluttershy ran into while taking the long way around to explain their exhaustion upon meeting back up with the team.
- The Swarm of the Century arc was completely derailed, leading into a combined session based off the events of A Bird in the Hoof and A Dog and Pony Show.
- The latter of the above has gone askew several times, with a complete reversal of the "This is whining!" scene and the attempted rescue nearly getting derailed by Twilight deciding it simply wouldn't be in-character for her Lawful Good wizard to spend any time with the Rogue Rarity.
- Feeling Pinkie Keen also involved bits of It's About Time, Castle Mane-ia, and Spike at your Service due to Pinkie's player as the GM using a lot of planned minor encounters to build up to the main problem.
- Luna Eclipsed has Rarity's player playing as Luna due to Rarity getting blacklisted by the Thieves Guild. However, someone is trying to deliberately sabotage Luna's public image, and the players suspect it to be the work of the Thieves Guild.
- The Ticket Master arc is actually comprised of several different arcs, specifically Running of the Leaves, The Last Roundup, Hurricane Fluttershy, Griffon the Brush-Off, Pinkie Pride, and Sonic Rainboom.
- "The Best Night Ever" session becomes this to the extreme, by making Blueblood the session's Big Bad, and extremely competent.
- School Raze has been merged with What Lies Beneath.
- Brutal Honesty: During Dash's temptation, Rarity and Applejack's players state she's not very good at roleplaying and was probably the worst choice for the solo scene, leading her to take both scene and offer more seriously.
- When Twilight states that Applejack represents the Element of Honesty, AJ's player is honestly surprised at how she classes her behavior:AJ's Player: Honesty…huh, never looked at it that way. Everyone else calls it annoying.
GM: That's because it IS, sometimes.
- When Twilight states that Applejack represents the Element of Honesty, AJ's player is honestly surprised at how she classes her behavior:
- Chekhov's Skill: The site includes a Cast List with stat sheets for the players, which are updated after every campaign. This includes information on their skills which can come into play in the strip, such as Fluttershy having a 15 in Intimidate.
- Before embarking on the Dragonshy arc, the players outlined how they'd upgraded their characters. Among these, AJ mentions how she took Alertness and Evade Ambush, meaning that she can't ever be surprised and can keep her allies from being surprised. Several arcs later, she reminds the GM about this during the Diamond Dog's attempted ambush.
- The cast page was updated with Angel Bunny's stat block before the Feeling Pinkie Keen arc. It's annoying abilities later caused Pinkie to blow up the King Timberwolf.
- Classy Cat-Burglar: Rarity, who describes herself as a 'social rogue'.
- Conflict Ball: The GM deliberately Invoked this during Zecora's introduction by giving Pinkie Pie's player just enough information about her beforehand to make her assume she's evil.
- Cool, but Stupid: Invoked, in dialogue, during the team's ride down the Diamond Dog hole.
- Crapsaccharine World: Equestria, given how much corruption there is.
- Crash-Into Hello: Rainbow Dash introducing herself to Twilight by attacking her, mostly due to severe boredom.
- Critical Failure: Nature checks are required to navigate the Everfree Forest. Fluttershy's first two rolls come up short; her third is a natural 1.
- When Pinkie's player is the game master, the hydra she uses rolls a 1 twice.
- With One Piece: Grand Line 3.5, wherein Applejack's player is revealed to be another of Cory's cousins, and he, Luke and Nat try designing their own characters for the pony campaign. Starts here, with a follow-up here.
- Another strip has the gang doing a campaign based on Star Mares, with a follow up seeing the gang doing a game based on Dark Forces Saga
- Culture Blind: Fluttershy's player has a fair number of blind spots when it comes to 'geek culture', not getting the other players' comparisons of the parasprites to other fictional animals with extreme reproductive rates.
- Similarly, Rainbow Dash's player has no idea who David Bowie is.
- Death Glare: Fluttershy's player, after overcoming her fear. Scares the hell out of the GM.
- Didn't Think This Through: Twilight counters Nightmare Moon's seizing of the Elements by fast talking up a claim that her friends represent five of the six elements. Unfortunately she doesn't immediately have a justification of how the sixth element is in the party's possession.
- Luna was so curious about Nightmare Night that she didn't think to ask Celestia about the details, and thus was totally unprepared for the reception she would receive when crashing the party.
- Drama Queen: Philomena. Rainbow Dash as well, at least according to Applejack.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: They saved the world, but that's not good enough to get them tickets to the Gala. This turns out to be invoked as someone is trying to prevent them from attending.
- Elephant in the Living Room: After the "Bridle Gossip" campaign, the GM decides to directly address this by asking the players if they weren't satisfied with how the session turned out. Though they have several gripes, AJ points out that perhaps the biggest elephant in the room is how the GM manipulated Pinkie's player.
- Enforced Method Acting: Played for Laughs In-Universe in the "Bridle Gossip" campaign: the GM refuses to let Fluttershy take a different curse, but wasn't expecting her player to try and actually speak her lines in a "deep, manly voice". The GM then suggests the others act out their curses, which isn't received well.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: How Dash's player justifies having the Element of Loyalty. Just because she's Chaotic Evil doesn't mean she won't stick by her friends no matter what others (or the GM) say.
- Face Your Fears: During the School Raze/What Lies Beneath arc, the GM puts the player characters in tests designed to make them face the biggest fears of their species. But the fears of the characters' species don't necessarily cross over to the players- for instance, Yona's playernote isn't arachnophobic, and Ocellus' playernote is completely fine with being changed into Chrysalis, as she thinks she'll get new abilities as a result. Also, while Gallus' playernote is genuinely freaked out by the crystal trap, it's not because of claustrophobia- it's because her fear is getting crushed by a puzzle she's too dumb to solve.
- Failed a Spot Check:GM: Forgot to ask beforehand - what's everypony's Passive Perception?Applejack: …Aw, heck no.
- Celestia in regards to Rarity's rather obvious criminality. Maybe.
- Familiar: Spike is now Twilight's familiar.
- Fantastic Racism: Naturally appears in the adaptation of "Bridle Gossip"; as in the original episode, the main reason for the distrust isn't her appearance, but the fact she lives in the Everfree Forest and acts like a witch.
- Friend to All Living Things: Fluttershy, naturally. She is very enthusiastic about it as well, going from soft-spoken to gushing when asked to describe her character's special talent.
- Forgot I Could Fly: Dash keeps reminding everyone that she and 'the Druid' can fly. Including the Druid.
- Get Out!: Variation: After the GM's friend (as Discord) gloats about how he won and how chaos reigns, the GM forces a break by taking back control of the game:Discord: Why, what's all the rush? The fun's just getting started! Oooh, are you going to huddle up somewhere and think of a grand new strategy for defeating me? Can I come?!Discord: Aha... Uh, I highly doubt Discord's going to let them go juuuust yet. He's having a moment of triumph, yes, but he's not blind and deaf.Discord: But you said I could–Discord: ...Very well. This is your show.
- Giving Up on Logic: The GM's response to Rainbow pulling off the Sonic Rainboom?GM: So, all in all... the laws of physics are dead and Rainbow Dash murdered them.
- Gold Digger: Rarity's ultimate goal is to marry into nobility.
- Gone Horribly Right: The Return of Harmony session: Because the GM was still harboring resentment over how badly the first campaign went Off the Rails, he decided to recruit a friend of his, the one who got the GM into tabletop gaming in the first place, to make a challenging campaign for the others, with a proper villain and all, in order to be a more "impressive" DM. The end result is... well... Return of Harmony.Twilight Sparkle: What in the world are YOU upset about? Hasn't everything, for once, gone according to your "master plan?"GM: That's just it. My old friend did exactly what I asked him. What I wanted. He put his own flair on it, but I'm the one who wrote the outline. So... this is me transitioning from "bargaining" to "depression."
- Good Cop/Bad Cop: Rarity's enhanced negotiation with the Diamond Dogs casts Rainbow Dash as the 'bad cop', though it takes her a minute to realize this.
- Heel Realization: Not in-story, but after the cast of One Piece: Grand Line 3.5 makes a guest appearance and demonstrates their tricked-out pony characters, Twilight's player worries that she's becoming a munchkin of the same kind (since Twilight is very much written to be a powerful magic user). Applejack assures her that she's not in trouble at all and keeping herself in line just fine.
- Heroic BSoD: Twilight and her player suffer one in the first arc when Nightmare Moon shatters the Elements.
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Rainbow's player, after a long period of roleplaying, decided to spice things up by attacking Twilight.
- Hoist by His Own Petard:
GM: I like to think I know you pretty well. Just duking it out in a final battle wouldn't be good enough for you. You'd want some kind of new X-factor to throw the heroes off-balance. You'd be constantly on the lookout for clever traps, but you'd dismiss any possibility that was too "obvious." The rest was just improvisation. And more that a little luck.
- The GM allows the players to shape the game world as they're playing, and railroaded the party through a series of challenges in Everfree Forest. Twilight then uses those experiences to justify their gaining the Elements of Harmony.
- Twilight's player (unwittingly) Metagamed Rarity into admitting she was a Rogue rather than letting her stick to her cover story of being a humble dressmaker. This has caused her considerable grief since then due to knowing that one of her friends is a member of the Thieves Guild that her royal mentor has been hunting for generations.
- Rainbow Dash tricks Applejack into thinking that she messed with the sign pointing the way in the Running of the Leaves race, when she hadn't. Twilight then points out that Rainbow Dash, who was previously in first place, not only waited to make sure that AJ went down the wrong path, but is now explaining all of it, in character, to Twilight... who's in last place.
- The GM catches his mentor, Discord, of all people, by this in the "What About Discord" arc by throwing the curveball from "Twilight's Kingdom" at him. He goes into a Villainous Breakdown before the GM explains in detail:
- Hopeless Boss Fight: Nightmare Moon was intended to be this.
- Hulk Speak: Rainbow Dash forces the Shadowbolts to reduce their offer to this. She's really sick of all the speeches.Shadowbolt: We, Shadowbolts. You, captain…Accept?Rainbow Dash: Much better.
- Hypocritical Humor: Lampshaded.Rarity: As someone who routinely acts suspiciously and dislikes having it scrutinized...
Rarity: ...this is highly suspicious behavior and deserves scrutiny!
- I Need a Freaking Drink: Four times so far:
- Twilight Sparkle in the Nightmare Moon story arc at Pinkie's surprise party:Twilight: Well, yes, but… Why…? Ugh, I need a drink!
GM: In-character or out-of-character?
- The Dungeon Master in the Dragonshy story arc when a major plot hole is pointed out by the players.
- Both Applejack and Twilight Sparkle when confronted by Pinkie Sense in the Feeling Pinkie Keen story arc.
- Later in the same arc, Applejack gets another drink with Fluttershy while Twilight and Pinkie try to hammer out the origin of Pinkie Sense.
- Twilight Sparkle in the Nightmare Moon story arc at Pinkie's surprise party:
- I Shall Taunt You: Dash tries to goad the Shadowbolts into showing aggression so she can attack.
- Improbably Female Cast: All the players are implied to be female. All the PCs are female (matching the characters in the source material). The gender of the GM is unknown.
- Info Dump: Fluttershy's gushing over Spike leads to him relating how dragons first came to Equestria. Most of it is off-panel, though, with the reader only getting to hear the lead-in and tail end.
- Irony: As the GM eventually points out, the events of their second campaign have a parallel to what they wanted to happen in the first campaign: mainly, the players be rendered "beaten, helpless, fearing for (their) lives..."
- The GM keeps trying to get the players to learn friendship lessons, but they're more focused on combat. The one time (s)he wants them to focus on combat, they end up learning a lesson on friendship instead.
- It Will Never Catch On: Rainbow's player does this:Rainbow Dash (as RD): Yeah, but it's PONIES. Cute, girly ponies. Nothing awesome could ever come out of ponies.
- Jerkass Realization: Sort of. Twilight's player realizes that she'd been playing like a Munchkin after seeing Luke and Cory serve out ridiculous character ideas. Applejack's player reassures her that she's not as bad as them.
- Killer Game Master: Zigzagged. The GM is fond of giving the players enough rope to hang themselves with, and when their plans get completely derailed, they flip out. However, they're also willing to recognize and reward the players' hard work… but nearly ends the campaign after their first session because Twilight scuttled all their original plans.
- Killer Rabbit: Being based on an imp assassin who nearly wiped the party three times in a past campaign, Angel Bunny is a literal example of this trope. When it fights the King Timberwolf, Pinkie just decides that it explodes because she doesn't want to deal with its annoying abilities.
- Kleptomaniac Hero: Being a social rogue, Rarity naturally has some inclination towards this, as seen in the "Dragonshy" arc. Dash is also a big fan of looting.
- Large Ham: Rarity's player busts out the ham when she realizes what Twilight's trying to do with the Elements of Harmony.
- The Legend of Chekhov: The tale of the two Alicorn sisters that opens the first campaign tells the history of Celestia, Luna and Nightmare Moon…and was completely ignored by the players, leading to confusion and surprise when they found out that was meant to be relevant.
- Similarly, Spike told Fluttershy and Twilight the legend of how dragons came to Equestria. This turns out to be relevant during the "Dragonshy" arc because dragons migrated there from another world, meaning Fluttershy's druid powers won't work on them.
- Lethal Joke Character: During the One Piece: Grand Line 3.5 Crossover, Luke tries to play Owlowisicious like this.
- Literal-Minded: When Twilight asks what her character's like, Fluttershy's player begins reciting her name, class, alignment and stats.
- Long Lost Sibling: Played for Laughs: The Reveal that Luna was Celestia's sister wasn't meant to be as shocking as it was to the players…but nobody paid attention to the prologue.
- Magitek: The DM insists that anything that looks like technology is actually powered by magic.
- Meta Game: Twilight gets caught in a conundrum when the player knows something about Rarity, but the character does not.
- Dash's "Leave Your Quest" Test leads to a brief discussion about this, as the rest of the group presumes she'll use OOC knowledge to her benefit. She doesn't.
- During the A Dog and Pony Show arc, Rarity's player cites this as a reason why she didn't want to involve the others on her side quest: according to her, AJ would be constantly making checks and trying to determine her true motives, rather than simply helping her out.
- Min-Maxing: Twilight's player chose 'Magic' as her special talent specifically for the gameplay benefits. Similarly, Applejack's player established her talent as 'running Sweet Apple Acres' in order to justify a steady income.
- Fluttershy is the only pony who doesn't have some shade of this, her player's inexperience leading to her focusing on charisma, which is mostly wasted on a druid. However, she mentions that she couldn't decide on just one animal companion, leading to her focus on Animal Empathy. The GM actually steps in and builds her an utterly broken animal companion (based on an earlier campaign's recurring villain) to make up the difference.
- Naturally appears in the One Piece: Grand Line 3.5 Crossover. Cory's first character is Snips, with his scissors mark symbolizing a talent for 'cutting'. Meaning he's the fastest when it comes to cutting, and every cut deals massive damage. When that doesn't pass, his second attempt's the Mysterious Mare-Do-Well... with ALL their talents.
- Even Nat, who's the reasonable role player in Grand Line 3.5, seems like a min-maxing power gamer next to the regulars when she plays Trixie.
- Still present in the second Grand Line 3.5 crossover. Luke is now playing as Dr. Whooves, complete with traits such as Immortality. Cory seems to have at least toned it down a little, but given that he's depicted as Big Mac, this can easily go the way of Zoro.
- The third crossover has Twilight and Fluttershy's players getting in on the act, with Twilight playing Boa Hancock complete with multitudinous followers and Taken for Granite skills, and Fluttershy (with Grand Line 3.5's GM's assistance) playing a twinked-out master grappler Captain Hina.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Played for Laughs when Rarity's player makes her overreact to Twilight's pointing out how she helped the sea serpent in this fashion.
- Mythology Gag: In this strip, Fluttershy talks one of Elusive's elite soldiers into being nice. He's even crying as she comforts him. This is just like what she did with a minion My Little Pony: The Movie (2017).
- Never Split the Party: Pinkie Pie reacts badly when AJ suggests this.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: At the end of the Nightmare Moon arc, the GM invokes this by telling Twilight's player that they can't play anymore because she utterly demolished all of the original plans. Fortunately, the others call them on this.
- Twilight's player does it again, this time taking out the parasprites before they become a problem.
- Twilight's meta-gaming when she first met Rarity, where she acted on what her player knew about her profession despite how Twilight should've had no idea whatsoever, has had long-standing consequences for the group. Since the rest of the Mane Six know that Rarity's a Rogue, there's a level of distrust there leading to several complications, with some of the largest so far coming during the A Dog and Pony Show arc.
- The Nicknamer: Dash is the 'can't be bothered learning your real name' variety, calling the others by their classes. Notably, this happens less and less as Rainbow Dash's player gets more into the roleplaying aspect of the game.
- Noob: Both Twilight and Fluttershy's players are new to roleplaying. Twilight is well versed in the rules of Dungeons & Dragons, while Fluttershy is less interested in the rules than she is in the setting itself.
- Noodle Implements: Rarity's player, in the midst of boredom resulting from a party split, decided to try and see how lockpicking works in the real world. Something involving a banana later, the GM returns and finds her grimy for a reason s/he would rather not know.
- Noodle Incident: Rarity's player has run at least one campaign of her own. Details are sparse, but apparently she would never drop the party into a grove of magical fear trees…that didn't talk.
- Again much later when a very brief foray into the world of Equestria Girls (It Makes Sense in Context) results in the recounting of the players' actual High School experiences. Apparently Pinkie's player quit the cheer team because of "the incident."
- Rainbow Dash's player was a guest GM once in a previous campaign; she notes that that session was written off as non-canon. Applejack's player's response was simply "Good times."
- Not His Sled: Rainbow doesn't get Discorded during the Return of Harmony campaign; rather than abandon her friends to go and save "Cloudsdale", she stays and punches Discord in the face.note
- Not Worth Killing: Nightmare Moon's original impression of the Main Six. She changes her tune after they start awakening the elements, though.
- NPC: Spike's dialogue is naturally provided by the GM, along with many other minor characters.
- Off the Rails: The GM didn't foresee the possibility of Twilight successfully assigning her party all the Elements of Harmony.
- The CMC's make a darn good attempt at this in objection to Fluttershy's request to find her rabbits; they accuse her of being evil instead and attack her. This turns out to be a very bad idea; see Total Party Kill, Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies and Oh, Crap!.
- Twilight does it again, this time taking out the parasprites before they become a problem. Luckily, the GM thinks fast, and creates a new storyline, this one based on "A Dog and Pony Show" and "A Bird in the Hoof" and quite possibly "Fall Weather Friends" as well.
- The climax of the Grand Galloping Gala arc features the author himself going Off the Rails. His plot ending up diverging so far from the show that he could not illustrate it with actual screencaps, and was forced to get a friend to make many pages of fake screencaps to allow him to show his final battle.
- Oh, Crap!: The CMC's reaction to realizing that the pony they just attacked was a 15th level druid.
- Passive Aggressive Combat: After Twilight derails the Swarm of the Century plotline, the GM uses Celestia to engage in this.Celestia: ...but Ponyville seems to be perfectly safe! Looks like my visit will be completely casual and uneventful.
* Beat Panel*
Twilight: *uneasy smile* Oh. I did it again, didn't I?
- Player Archetypes:
- The Role Player: Played with through Applejack: her player created an extensive history for her, including the Apple Clan and Sweet Apple Acres. However, this was at least partly so that she could exploit the advantages they provided. Rarity and Fluttershy are straighter examples.
- The Real Man: Dash's player.
- The Munchkin: Twilight, a bit. She decided to make magic her special talent to make her character stronger, but she's new to the tabletop and didn't know that power-gaming like that is frowned upon. Nat (Twi's player) slips into it a few more times while playing and in building other characters. She's not so much out to "win" the game or compete as she finds schoolwork and tests fun and her ideal game might derive from that - each session a laundry list of difficult but purely intellectual and mostly solo challenges. From that perspective, a starting ability set which can do anything with enough ingenuity isn't overpowered, it's an entry ticket. She's learned this isn't what the group enjoys, but can forget at times.
- The Loonie: Pinkie Pie; Rarity's player expects as much once she finds out she's an Unaligned Bard.
- The imaginary players Pinkie makes up on Page 415 represent all four archetypes.
- Poor Communication Kills: Averted in "Bridle Gossip", which is how Twilight derails the GM's plans.
- Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure:
- Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: "Roll for initiative, jerkwad!"
- Precision F-Strike: When the GM tries to get AJ's player to provide justfication for using one of her skills:Applejack: No. I just don't give a damn about yer ambush.
- Precocious Crush: Spike still has a crush on Rarity in this setting.
- Prolonged Prologue: An early Running Gag is how the character introductions are regarded as such.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: When Fluttershy's player is intimidating the dragon/GM.Fluttershy: You do Not! Hurt! My! Friends! You got that?
- The Quiet One: Fluttershy's player, appropriately enough.
- Rage Against the Mentor: After the party, Twilight surprisingly contacts Celestia again to call her out over acting like she didn't know the legend of the Mare in the Moon. Celestia's response is basically telling her flat-out that the fate of the world does, in fact, rely on her ability to make good friends.
- Railroading: The GM does this occasionally, with Twilight immediately recognizing it the first time it happens. However, thus far the cast seems more or less content to follow the plot.
- In Bridle Gossip, the GM uses the NPC Apple Bloom to drive the plot, until Twilight derails everything by deciding to simply go and explain everything to the citizens of Ponyville to enlist their help.
- Judging from the GM's reaction when AJ uses a feat to prevent the Diamond Dog's ambush, they fully expected to be able to railroad the player ponies that way.
- When Pinkie's player takes a turn as PM, she quickly shows signs of being a horrible railroader. Twilight makes a save? Spike fails it to get the same result. Twilight doesn't want to see what Pinkie's up to? The PM implies she's a horrible friend.
- "Reason You Suck" Speech: Dog-and-Pony Show has the Diamond Dogs leader ranting about how ponies always say Equestria is the best place to live, but it's rather not. Pony society is (at least to an outside observer) based on institutionalized hypocrisy, and since Celestia controls the sun, by extension she rules the entire world (and makes a subtle reference to the Celestia-is-a-tyrant meme). Therefore, he feels completely justified in taking Rarity as a slave. Cue the comment sections being mostly how something similar happened to one's RP group.
- Refuge in Audacity: Rarity indulges in this by stealing from a dragon's hoard while trying to convince him to leave by pointing out how he could be targeted by thieves.
- Retroactive Wish: After Pinkie finds the reference guide:Rainbow Dash: Oh, great. Is this book just gonna TELL us the information?GM: As soon as you open the book you hear: "Hey! How about a little respect for the R.G?!"Rainbow Dash: Really? You're gonna take everything I say and…? Oh gee, I wonder if…Applejack: Stop talkin'!!
- Required Secondary Powers: Applejack's player establishes this about Cutie Marks. Essentially, if a pony's Cutie Mark symbolizes what they're best at, they have to know everything about that particular subject, and barring obscenely specific talents, there's bound to be some skills that overlap with other fields. So even though, for example, Applejack is an apple farmer, there are plenty of skills and aptitudes that cross over into her player class as a ranger.
- Rhymes on a Dime: Pinkie Pie at least once an arc, and also the GM during the Bridle Gossip arc. To Pinkie's disappointment, he's cheating.
- Road-Sign Reversal: Subverted and defied. During the Running Off The Leaves race Rainbow Dash doesn't flip the sign, but makes Applejack think she did. Applejack, trying to defy the trope, takes the path opposite to the one pointed by an arrow and ends up going the wrong way.
- Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies: When Twilight threatens to derail the GM's planned plot completely, they respond by threatening a Total Party Kill courtesy of Nightmare Moon.
- Actually happens in one of the bonus strips when the CMCs try to derail the plot by accusing Fluttershy of being evil when she sets them a fetch quest, promptly attacking her familiar, Angel. Fluttershy promptly reveals herself to be a 15th level druid and wipes them out.
- Then is announced when the GM is 'subtly' informed that the dragon's snores would probably cause avalanches on their own, regardless of how loud the players are.
- Rousing Speech: While the players go off to find what's keeping Applejack away, the Pegasi will be training for the upcoming rain tornado flight. The DM asks Rainbow Dash if she will give them a pep talk.
- Schrödinger's Gun: The GM has this in their arsenal, and Applejack's player warns the GM against turning an idle comment by Twilight into a plot twist.
- Schrödinger's Suggestion Box: As the GM is still creating the game world, they're open to ideas from the players. For instance, Applejack gets all the benefits of the money Sweet Apple Acres brings in because her player put a lot of hard work into her background and family tree.
- Screw You, Elves!: The head Diamond Dog's rant in "Subversion."
- Sequence Breaking: Nightmare Moon was supposed to take up the entire campaign, and they got through it in a night.
- Done again when Twilight just takes out the parasprites.
- During the Dragonshy arc, Twilight decides to go in and try Diplomacy on the dragon...on her own. While the others wait outside.
- To Calvin and Hobbes. Pinkie uses the word "Transmogrify" a lot in the space of a few minutes. Fluttershy wonders if she should fetch a cardboard box.
- Pinkie's extended parody of The Spanish Inquistion.
- At the end of the mini arc based on the Return of Queen Chrysalis arc from the IDW comic, the enchanted Pinkie costume asks a certain three questions.
- "We're not heckling, we're riffing."
- The backstory of Fancy Pants and Fleur de Lis's relationship is taken from The Diary of an Evil Pony.
- This comic: "You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike."
- To Spaceballs in this comic:Twilight: How many talking books does this library have, anyhow?
Several scattered talking books: YO!
Twilight: ...I knew it; I'm surrounded by know-it-alls.
- Show Within a Show: Meta-example; It's common (at this point every strip) for the commenters to tell stories of their own role playing exploits that relate the current strip, more than just anecdotes, most are longer than the strips themselves.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: Rarity shuts down another rant from the head Diamond Dog with one sentence:Rarity: You tried to enslave me.
Diamond Dog: Uh... It was supposed to be ironic?
- Simpleton Voice: Subverted, the Diamond Dogs might sound dumb (Comic Sans speech bubbles), but they know what they're doing.
- Spanner in the Works: The GM always seems to have some specific, exact plan for how the players are supposed to handle a given situation. Very rarely do things play out as intended. Twilight's often the cause of this.
- Spoony Bard: Rarity's player immediately expects this once she learns what class Pinkie Pie is.
- Suckiness Is Painful: Rarity's player says that Pinkie's pun was so bad, everyone ought to take 1d4 damage from it.
- Talking the Monster to Death: Dash's pet peeve. She's not too thrilled whenever an encounter ends without violence.
- Team Mom: Applejack's player encourages the others and is more than willing to help the newbies get accustomed to the game. She also uses this to justify a little metagaming here and there, such as being familiar enough with both Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie that she's ready to run damage control when they start being themselves.
- Tempting Fate: When they first learn about the Elements of Harmony, the party decides that, while they don't know how to use them, they should collect the Elements anyway, if only to prevent Nightmare Moon from using them. Applejack's player immediately tells the GM that if they hadn't come up with that idea on their own, they can't use it now.
- Just before the Manticore encounter, Dash comments that she'd like to face something that isn't a cliff or cloud. She's rather pleased when it shows up.
- Twice in rapid succession during the "Dragonshy" session. First, Twilight's player prepared a speech to convince the dragon to leave in advance…but didn't write it down, stating when asked that she memorized it. Naturally, she blanks out under pressure. Next, Rarity's player delivers an off-the-cuff speech…but tempts fate by secretly rolling to steal from his hoard the whole time she's talking.
- In the "Bridle Gossip" session, Twilight's player rolls Arcana to examine the Poison Joke flower.GM: After a couple hours of study, you figure out that the flower has some kind of natural enchantment built into it. But the effect of the enchantment eludes you.
Twilight: Really? That's it for a 29?
GM: A bit lower and you wouldn't have learned anything at all. The dormant enchantment was extremely tough to spot.
Twilight: Well then. I guess nothing else is going to happen tonight. I go to sleep.
GM: While you're asleep, something happens...
- This Is Gonna Suck: Rarity's player reacts this way when she hears Pinkie Pie's about to use a Glib Limerick.
- Title Drop: The phrase "my little pony" is dropped twice in the first session, first by Twilight's player when introducing her character, and again at the end of the session:GM: Really? You actually want to keep playing my little pony game?
- Token Evil Teammate: Rainbow Dash and Rarity. Ironically, though the latter has shifted to Unaligned through Character Development, she tends to cop more of this treatment from the other players simply due to her profession.
- Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth: A variant. Even Nightmare Moon is terrified of Pinkie Pie.
- Total Party Kill: Happens to the CMC's due to them derailing the Game Master's plot and attacking Fluttershy as evil, when she was just trying to set them a fetch quest. She turns out to be a 15th level druid.
- Video Game Caring Potential: the 300th Strip Celebratory Motion Comic recounts a group of players destroying a mountain's worth of Phat Lewt so they could keep the girl taking said lewt would have killed as a surrogate daughter, and they now pick up toys for her in addition to adventuring sundries with their rewards.
- Viewer Gender Confusion: Twilight isn't quite sure if the sea serpent is a 'sir' or not.GM: Would you like to roll an Insight Check?
- Wham Line:
- Regarding the timberwolves: "Look at your minis. Now back to me. Now back at your minis. Now back to me! This is how big the timberwolf is... IN SCALE."
- "From the Invisible Desk of Elusive, to the thief known as Rarity, yadda yadda..."Blacklisted"?"
- Rarity: Oh, there's simply nothing to be done. Rarity is unplayable in this state.
- "Oh for the love of- Would you just roll initiative against the Wizard and her 12 Minions so that we can get this over with and I can quit already?!"
- Wham Shot: At the end of the "Sweet and Elite" arc (right after the above Wham Line), Rarity's player has an idea for how she can continue playing. Cue screenshots from Luna Eclipsed, suggesting that she will take over the role of Princess Luna.
- What Could Have Been: Newbiespud detailed how the Swarm of the Century arc would have played out if Twilight hadn't completely derailed it: the Parasprites wouldn't deal much damage to the PCs, but drain their ability to heal while gobbling up all the food and keeping them from resting. Pinkie Pie's search for instruments would be her 'taking 20' on her Streetwise task, with the others trying a shorter, more direct approach.
Twilight: So we indirectly prevented Equestria from becoming a pony police state. Good to hear.
- In-universe, the Jack Pine Party, a "special interest" group that feels the best way for Equestria to move forward is the pursuit of more agressiva agendas. Nightmare Moon's reign would have been their launching-off point to push their agenda with the citizens... if Twilight hadn't awakened the Elements far earlier than intended, and worked to reintegrate Luna on Nightmare Night.
- What the Hell, Player?: This exchange during the Nightmare Night arc:Rainbow Dash: Since I'm a pegasus, I can use a cloud to make thunder and lightning and zap people! Mwahahahahaaaa! Fear the vengeful thunder god!
GM: Excuse me?! Are you seriously going to zap little kids with lightning?!
Rainbow Dash: Of course not. Geez. I'm gonna zap the ADULTS so that the KIDS run screaming! And it's only like a few volts. The thunder boom's doing most of the work.
GM: ...Still morally objectionable, but... slightly less so. (sigh) You may proceed, for now.
- World of Pun: The amount of pony puns gets Lampshaded early on, by Pinkie Pie's happy player. Dash's player is much less pleased, and Rarity's player mentions that if she were running the campaign, such puns would be an executable offense (or all characters who hear the pun take damage, at least).
- You All Meet in an Inn: Referenced and avoided, much to the consternation of Dash's player.
- You Answered Your Own Question: When the Mane Six enters the ruins where the Elements of Harmony are kept:AJ: Then what the heck is Nightmare Moon up to anyhow? Is she waitin' outside or somethin'?
AJ: .. Aw, shoot, I just answered my own question.
- You Can't Thwart Stage One:
- In the first arc, this is averted, to the GM's misfortune and ire.
- TWICE. The second time is Twilight taking out the parasprites.