Tails of Equestria – Suggested Errata

So I imagine that my longtime readers (all four of them) are wondering why I haven’t had anything to say about the official My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic RPG, Tails of Equestria, up until now. After all, I’ve made quite a few posts about ponies in RPGs up until now, so why not a peep about the game since it released a few weeks ago?

In fact, I’ve been eagerly anticipating the game since it was first announced, and have already gotten a copy and reviewed it on various other websites. I haven’t mentioned it here simply because I use this blog for making more substantive posts than simple reviews, such as posting sample builds, suggesting variant rules, or mentioning some changes that I think should be made. This post is one of the latter, as there’s a (somewhat minor) issue that I noticed:

There seems to be an error in Twilight Sparkle’s stat block.

Before going any further, I should note that – as with all RPG systems that I talk about here – familiarity with the game rules is assumed. Use the link to the aforementioned review for an explanation of how the Tails of Equestria game rules work.

Pages 24-29 lay out the characteristics of each of the three pony types, noting that each has a racial talent at a D6 value: Fly for pegasi, Telekinesis for unicorns, and Stout Heart for earth ponies. Page 30, which briefly covers alicorns (and flat-out says that you can’t play one) says that they combine the characteristics of all three types of ponies: “Alicorn magic is not fully understood, but it is known that Alicorns have the magical powers of the Unicorns, the flying abilities of the Pegasi, and the strength of the good, true-hearted Earth ponies.” That seems to suggest, in other words, that alicorns should have the talents of each type of pony.

On page 137, however, Twilight only has two of them: Telekinesis (D20) and Fly (D6).

“She is Twilight Sparkle. Equestrian. She will not complain, so I complain for her.”

While it’s a bit odd that her Fly talent is so low – that would mean that, since becoming an alicorn (presuming that she gained her Fly talent as a D6 and not a D4, which seems like a reasonable assumption), her ability to fly has never been “used” during an adventure, since every talent you use is automatically bumped up by one die value when gaining a level (see page 87) – that she doesn’t have Stout Heart at all is a notable oversight.

That’s because, as outlined on page 25, the Stout Heart talent represents the only time in the entire game where you modify a die roll via elementary arithmetic: in addition to bumping your Body trait up by one die size, Stout Heart lets you roll the die associated with it (that is, the die associated with the Stout Heart talent itself) and add the result to any test that uses your Body trait. That’s the only time addition or subtraction are used in the game; all other mechanical interfaces with the rules rely on changing the number of rolls you get, how many dice are rolled, or the size of the dice being used.

This means that Twilight not having Stout Heart listed among her talents isn’t a purely academic notation; she’s actually (albeit slightly) reduced in what she can accomplish under the game rules. Most likely, she should have this at a D6 value, the same as for her Fly talent. Hopefully this will be corrected in future printings.

EDIT (01/01/18): Twilight’s stats are reprinted in The Bestiary of Equestria, and I’m quite pleased to note that they’ve added the Stout Heart talent for her (at a D6 value), neatly fixing this problem. Kudos to the writers for addressing this!

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9 Responses to “Tails of Equestria – Suggested Errata”

  1. krackothunder Says:

    “That’s because, as outlined on page 25, the Sout Heart talent represents the only time in the entire game where you modify a die roll via elementary arithmetic”
    Shouldn’t that be “Stout Heart” too?

    Either way, I don’t really see the point: If you can’t play an alicorn, they are DM territory anyway, probably with dice pumped to d20 (as seen for Twilights Telekinesis), so it really doesn’t hinder you and there appearance equals a Rocks fall – Everyone dies either way (otherwise, why even have them in the first place). Not a good design decision, but if it’s already made, a lost ability or two or ten aren’t really a problem.

    • krackothunder Says:

      Sorry for the typos, btw… I’m a bit sleepy

    • alzrius Says:

      Thanks for catching that typo! It’s fixed now.

      The point is that, if the GM is using Twilight in a game, then this might be relevant if they find themselves rolling dice for her. Obviously, as an NPC, they can just hand-wave (hoof-wave?) the entire encounter, but I know plenty of GMs who don’t care to do that (and even roll the dice in the open). In that case, what is or is not there might make a difference.

      That and I just can’t stand the error anyway, since earth pony abilities are already so invisible as to be nearly nonexistent. Having them not be present in Twilight’s write-up just bugs me.

      Also, bear in mind that Twilight has a power that’s related to the tokens of friendship meta-mechanic as well, so she’s clearly not meant to be entirely run via GM fiat. After all, why give her stats in the first place if they’re not intended to be used?

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  4. James Walker Says:

    found here while looking for official errata – good catch on the stat block!

    More seriously, the movie sourcebook (which is full of useful locations, monsters and PC classes) includes a lot of new Talents, but does not say which are restricted to the new races and which are freely available. This is a major consideration given PCs can acquire a new Talent every level.

    • alzrius Says:

      I’m glad you found this post helpful! There are a few other instances of errata I’ve noticed in the Tails of Equestria books that I haven’t mentioned so far. Specifically, a few entries in the Bestiary of Equestria have incorrect Stamina Points listed (e.g. Tirek’s second form), which is rather odd considering how easily you find those (i.e. maximum Body and Mind Trait values). The second is that, in the Tails of Equestria Starter Set (which is not, to be clear, The Curse of the Statuettes, but the actual Starter Set), the example characters are expressly stated to be level 0, but have Trait die sizes of 1st-level characters.

      Insofar as the Talents in The Official Movie Sourcebook go, I’d have to review it, but my suspicion is that they’re all meant to be freely available. I say that because, if I recall correctly, the main (mane?) rulebook says something about taking a deft touch with disallowing stuff; that you should instead try and find a way to make a character picking an unusual Trait work. That certainly fits the theme of the show, for the most part (though not always; just look at Scootaloo).

      • James Walker Says:

        cool, thanks for that; I’m hoping to run a game in the near future, and am a firm believer in giving the PCs as much rope as possible.Given the lack of online support, be well worth putting all the errata we can find together, so if you don’t mind, may I add anything else I find here?

      • alzrius Says:

        Please do! I think gathering all the errata in one place is a good idea, and I’m quite happy to have it be here.

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