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Ponyfinder - Campaign Setting
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Ponyfinder - Campaign Setting
Publisher: Silver Games LLC
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/02/2016 04:37:16

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.

Wait, wait, wait - what? Iteration? Era? Well, yeah - and this is pretty intriguing: The campaign setting proceeds to grant us glimpses into the respective eras of the empire and Everglow, with faction advantages and liabilities, traits and alternate ponykind-versions and associated racial feats for the associated era. One result is that the GM has some control over tones and themes, can still blend the topics at hand...and the pdf, ultimately, thus already has a bare-bones set-up for an era-spanning type of campaign ingrained in its DNA.

But settings are more than just timelines and factions - they require locales and the book does not disappoint: This book sports basically a gazillion of well-crafted settlement entries with ample of intriguing hooks and cool ideas included. The one thing I was missing here would be the settlement statblocks - none are provided with only basic breakdown of the bare minimum of demographics provided. Apart from that, prose-wise, this chapter was a surprisingly well-crafted and easy to read section. Beyond these notes, the movers and shakers, famous and infamous among ponykind, from the cool rebel to the legendary scholar, are provided with detailed fluff-only write-ups - so no, the statblocks for these guys will have to wait for a later book. Still, once again, a significantly more nuanced array of characters than I expected, since some of the names and artworks do point a bit towards "this is the cliché-XYZ-guy"; instead, most have some component that sets them somewhat apart. The chapter also includes an array of adventure hooks and groupings to provide more subject matter for the GM to develop.

Beyond this massive chapter, the pdf also sports an assortment of items, mundane and magical for your perusal - crystalline slippers fit for a queen, enchanted spectacles and a small assortment of spells, including a stunning lightning wall, is nice, though e.g. non-italicized saves and the like can prove to be a bit galling for the rules-language sticklers like yours truly. Oh, and a spell to temporarily grant you hands? Covered. So if you really want ponies with hands - here is the tool for just that.

Beyond even more nice, properly codified traits, we arrive at the brief Everglow bestiary in the back of the book, where creatures illustrated in full color, from the CR 1/3 flutters to the CR 12 inevitable vanguard and a ghost variant await. These monsters are okay and generally pretty neat, though there are some minor hiccups here and there in the math and formatting.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are the weak spots of this pdf - while pretty impressive on a formal level, the rules-language does show that this book is the work of a then inexperienced company and sports some deviations from the default. On the plus-side, the pdf, most intriguingly, in spite of this, manages to work mostly sans ambiguities or issues. While there are some issues that extend into the rules, they are few and far in between - as a whole, this is an impressive freshman offering. Layout adheres to a two-column full-color standard with a solid background and generally nice artworks, though at the end of some racial entries and chapters, there are a couple of pages that are mostly blank and feature only a bit of text - not a big fan of those. I don't have the print-version of this one, but if the other Silver Games print copies are any indicator, print would be the way to go here. Why? Simple. Unfortunately, the pdf has no bookmarks, which is pretty annoying for a book of this density and size. Artworks range from superb to okay and are generally original pieces, which is nice. The cartography of the continent of Everglow is colorful and nice.

Stephen Ritterbush, David Silver and Anthony McKaskle's Ponyfinder...is much better than I expected it to be. In fact, while suffused with a spirit of cheerfulness, you won't find the level of saccharine "Friendship solves everything"-approach in this book: And that's a good thing, even if you are an MLP-fan. Why? Because, let's be honest - that simply does not make for that interesting fantasy gaming. That being said, this still is the antithesis of the grimdark setting - this is cheerful, positive high-fantasy. Surprisingly, the tight racial balancing is consistent throughout in its valuing of racial abilities. The basic premise of assumed flight as relatively widely available means that other narratives can be crafted and are supported. The presentation is surprisingly professional, in particular for a freshman offering...and. Wait.

Okay, imagine jaded, cynical grimdark-loving me sitting in front of the screen with a black metal corpse paint for maximum comedic effect, gnashing his teeth and blurting out...I actually kind of liked the setting. No, seriously. I am so not the target audience of this campaign setting and I still managed to take some cool ideas out of this pdf. At the same time, I should emphasize that this is not a hyper-detailed campaign setting - this should instead be considered to be basically the Ponyfinder core-rules, with a bunch of setting information...but if you're looking for in-depth information, that will have to wait for future books. Still, this setting is significantly better and more evocative than quite a few I have read. It's not for everyone and if you hate the very idea of ponies, you probably won't be convinced anyways. But if you're like me and indifferent to the concept, you'll probably find quite a few cool tricks in this book and be just as surprised by a well-crafted, unique setting with ample potential.

Rules-language purists may shudder sometimes while reading this, get annoyed by e.g. how natural weapons are treated, etc., but as a whole, significantly less often than one would expect from the baseline - the majority of content herein is solid.

How to rate this, then? Well, while there are a couple of rules/balance-hiccups and issues, they are pretty few and far in-between. While the rules-language is wobbly, it generally maintains an unambiguous functionality and, more importantly, establishes a solid balance baseline for the setting regarding the options it provides. This may not be perfect, but it is an impressive first book and well worth a final verdict of 3.5 stars, rounded up due to the freshman offering bonus. See you around next time, when I'll pick apart the Tribes of Everglow hardcover...

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Ponyfinder - Campaign Setting
Publisher: Silver Games LLC
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/27/2016 10:18:05

I was never really a fan of "ponies," but I backed Ponyfinder for a couple of reasons originally 1) my late wife wanted to play ponies (as she was a fan of some tv show :D) and 2) I thought what a great way to get young girls to play (along with their parents, as I think it should be showed that it is an all inclusive hobby) at conventions. I run Ponyfinder at local conventions most of the time (unless I am just going for the day and then Im just in an out). I also have a regular game I play at home. This setting has gotten me to back my currently one and only Patreon, the one being run by David Silver. I continue to play this setting because not only am I having fun with it, but so are the players. We laugh and have a good time, like a game should be in my opinion. This is definately one of the better settings out there, even though I was reluctant at first, David Silver has totally drawn me into the world of Everglow.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ponyfinder - Campaign Setting
Publisher: Silver Games LLC
by Aaron B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/22/2016 20:34:06

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.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ponyfinder - Campaign Setting
Publisher: Silver Games LLC
by Rob B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/06/2016 07:40:07

I backed this when it was on kickstarter because it thought it could be really interesting. It doesn't hurt that I like MLP too. When the book finally came out, it was filled with imagination and great ideas. It sparked my interest in roleplaying again, and it got me interested in pathfinder.

The races are diverse and each of the races has a great backstory. There is good information to for making great characters. The lore behind the setting has lots of hooks to drive an adventure. There are notable characters to fill out the world and for your characters to intereact with.

If there was anything that could be better it would be the gods list, it is very short and could use more diversity.

It has been an excellent book and definitely worth the money.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ponyfinder - Campaign Setting
Publisher: Silver Games LLC
by Crystal M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/12/2015 11:24:19

My Little Ponies meets Pathfinder. What's not to love?



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ponyfinder - Campaign Setting
Publisher: Silver Games LLC
by Skjalg K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/26/2015 20:15:06

I bought this book expecting nothing much. I'm not a brony, or even particularly fond of the MLP tv-show. I thought I'd maybe find some small piece of material that I liked, and could use for something else.

Instead, what I found was an exellent campaign setting lovingly crafted by talented people.

Ponyfinder is good. Its surprisingly good. The world is alive and exciting, the rules are solid and mostly well balanced, and the whole book oozes style and wonder. This is a campaign setting unlike any other, and is quickly becoming one of my favourite 3rd party lines for the Pathfinder roleplaying game. If you are not a part of the My Little Pony fandom, don't be put off by the looks of this book. There is real depth and maturity to this setting. It's not a book for children (though children would no doubt love it), but for all fantasy fans who like wonder and magic in their roleplaying games. The world of Everglow is a magical place, and contains a certain childlike wonder seen through adult eyes. There is darkness there, monsters and villains and malevolent gods, but there is hope and light in equal measure. If you like fairy-tales and fantastical stories, then this book might be for you! Certainly take a look at it, and don't dismiss it simply because it's about talking ponies.

If you are like me, then Ponyfinder will resonate with you in a meaningful way. I am excited for this setting, and am eagerly awaiting new updates and publications for this wonderful world.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ponyfinder - Campaign Setting
Publisher: Silver Games LLC
by Rob T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/02/2015 19:25:44

Ya know, in full disclosure, I backed this as a joke. Really, I thought I'd get the pdf, show it to my usual group, we'd laugh about yet another easy cash in on a popular thing using the D&D system and that'd be that.

Here my group is finishing up our campaign of Ponyfinder and legitimately feeling it's one of our favorite third party campaign settings.

I think most any veteran gamer has had experiences with fan games. It's great that fans are so into a thing they want to pay homage to it, but really let's be honest, most are not good. Clunky shoehorning of a world that doesn't fit into the system, poorly written rules and guides, a focus on 'hey you like this character YOU CAN PLAY WITH THIS CHARACTER OMG' rather than anything else. It's not a good time either as a fan or as a gamer. Now I see this game, a 25 dollar campaign setting clearly inspired by the big MLP craze and I was bracing for yet another cringeworthy book.

What a treat it is, then, when it can take me from one of the most hostile audiences possible to a big fan.

The fact is this is a rare fan inspired campaign setting that takes time and care to respect both the setting and the system, and the product is an excellent blending. The world and races, while obviously based on the popular MLP foundation (including some nods to older generations, which is nice), is handled in a distinct way to make it feel like a product that can stand on it's own two legs. The inclusion of non-pony races makes the world feel more alive, and the world is broken up in such a why that, while it still has the 'cartoony' geography of things like 'this is the bad dark scary kingdom' and 'here's the not-Arabian desert style area', the places themselves feel organic and functional within the realm of D&D high fantasy.

There's thought given to how the assorted classes 'work' in this kind of setting, it doesn't take much work to go for the typical 'unicorns are magic-inclined' type stuff but they provide a reasonable explanation for all all the core Pathfinder classes came to be and function within this setting. There is the rather awkward bit of 'the horse cavalier rides a horse' but to be honest that can be side stepped well enough that it's hardly a determent, just kinda something to chuckle at the mental image of.

There's lots of breadcrumbs in this book to spark campaigns, not just within the pony filled setting, but in games that take place beyond the lands of Everglow, including settlements and the like within its borders where ponies and other such creatures are in the minority as the 'outside world' pushes in.

The best part is the game itself takes a very open tone. By that I mean, with very little rejiggering, this campaign setting can be light and and cheery for a younger crowd, or you can take a few different dangling hooks and add some more dark elements. Best of all it does this without the always just plain boring and awkward shoving in of 'grim dark' in a setting based on a kid's show. Oh yes how original what if all these happy characters actually were sad and died, brilliant. Thankfully this setting avoids that, and even at its darkest there's elements of whimsy and light behind it. It's a setting for all ages that neither coddles or panders to, and that's a rarity in this hobby. Our only real complaints in the campaign were issues we had with Pathfinder as a whole (not our favorite system) but really it feels unfair to blame the setting for those. Ponyfinder did nothing to make those existing problems WORSE, so I can't really knock points off for them not taking it upon themselves to 'fix' the core system.

In my group we're all grown people, but after a couple sessions a friend of mine with a little girl bought herself a copy and ran a few little one-shots for her and her friends who like MLP. She was happy to say that the kids loved what she ran, and hoped that in the future if they become interested in RPGs they'll be able to remember that experience to avoid the feeling of it not being 'for girls' and such. I think a setting that can both entertain adults and give a fun time to kids should be praised in this hobby, and that, at its core, is what this is.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ponyfinder - Campaign Setting
Publisher: Silver Games LLC
by Ian G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/15/2015 11:40:40

Full disclosure, though this game I've become friends with the good folks at Silver Games. With that out of the way, let's talk about the book itself, and I'll be talking primarily about the first run print copy that I have. The setting is quite unique, with a bevy of four-legged, quite refreshing after 15 years of the same Tolkien inspired worlds. For as different as Everglow is though, it is also a familiar place in many ways, it is a world of danger and ancient secrets, terrible deeds and glorious heroes. There is a focus on elemental forces, as the planes are "closer to the material plane" of the world, influencing the various racial subtypes and gives rise to races such as the phoenix wolves. The ponies of Everglow also has a nice selection of gods, all culturally acceptable in the pony empire, ranging from the warm and compassionate Sun Queen to The Unspoken lord of chaos, and the distant Author, of whom little is known. The new spells, feats, and items are interesting and cool, but not unbalancing. If there is one problem I've had with the book, it's a small number of typos, usually a sentence fragment being repeated, but the content itself is spot on in my view.

To sum up, Ponyfinder's Everglow campaign setting is a rich world of magic and mystery, if you're looking for something a little different to spark your wonder once more, buy this book.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ponyfinder - Campaign Setting
Publisher: Silver Games LLC
by Susan B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/15/2015 11:10:21

Not for the Pathfinder novice. I'm writing from the point of view of someone with a lot of interest in Pathfinder and other RPGs, but little experience. I've done a lot reading, but little playing from lack of company. I hoped Ponyfinder would catch my daughter's interest.

The book itself is very attractive and imaginative. My daughter, who reads the Pathfinder Bestiary books cover to cover, gives it a thumbs up. I'm sure that if you understand Pathfinder and see how things relate, it's great work.

Unfortunately, we weren't even able to get through character creation. I've got the Beginner book, Core Rulebook, and this book spread out on the table, the Beginner character sheet and the Ponyfinder character sheets, and I can't figure out what goes where, or how and where to look up the information I need. In short, I need a Pathfinder tutor to walk me through.

As a girl who was discouraged from the gaming table, I love the idea of RPGs that would encourage today's girls from joining in. Some dads have left reviews about playing with their daughters. I think that's great. Unless you have that guide, however, I don't think this is it. I'm sure there are licensing complications, and also that a more step-by-step introduction to Pathfinder wasn't intended to be within the scope of this book. So while my review may come across as critical, it's really just to share my experience with others at my level of experience.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher Reply:
Hello there, Sorry to hear you had issues with making a character. Perhaps this may help: http://www.d20pfsrd.com/basics-ability-scores/character-creation Pathfinder is, indeed, a dense game to get into without someone else around to give a helping hand, or hoof as the case may be. We also enjoy the Hero Lab program(not free). There\'s also PCGen(free) for making characters much more easily. We do hope you get past this first hurdle and get to having fun with Ponyfinder!
Ponyfinder - Campaign Setting
Publisher: Silver Games LLC
by Chris F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/25/2015 22:10:40

You know how many Pseudo-Europe there are for Pathfinder? About 12,000 by my last count, three of four of which actually rock. It's great to see a company doing something different, which Silver Games does very adroitly with Ponyfinder. I love cartoon and comics based settings rather than endless iterations of Tolkien-esque fantasy, and Ponyfinder is nicely imaginative, has great art, which obviously attracted and involved a lot of talented fan-artists, and might help get young girls more interested in D20 based gaming. Awesome on all fronts, and thanks for doing something different, mechanically sound, and just off kilter enough to be truly fun. CHRIS



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ponyfinder - Campaign Setting
Publisher: Silver Games LLC
by Michael A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/25/2014 03:46:32

A thousand time better than the original book that came out. This time you hit the mark perfectly with the layout and art which was sorely missing from the first book. I am glad that much of the material was expanded on, additional race other than ponies have been given, as well as info making this a full blown campaign setting.

With things going in the write direction I am hoping to see some additional material for Ponyfinder, expanding upon spells and the other races mentioned. Great Job and well worth the money this time around!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ponyfinder - Campaign Setting
Publisher: Silver Games LLC
by Stefan K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/11/2014 14:17:38

Free you inner Pony.

When I first heard of the Ponyfinder Campaign Setting I thought it would be amusing to get to know since I have 3 daughters and hence a lot of, yeah - you guessed correct - plastic ponies strewn around in my house. I thought it might be a good introduction to roleplaying and thus was lucky to get a copy for review.

It actualy delivers all the pony magic and atmosphere I could've dreamed of, and more! It's not just a funny sidetrecking using Pathfinder rules, but actualy a well thought, and very complete campaign setting. Although I haven't played it yet, I'm not only looking forward to convince my daughters to play, but also my regular tt rpg group of fathers aged 38-49 perhaps as an exiting interlude from our regular RotR PF campaigning...

The top number of horseshoes to this volume is in particular because:

  • It's very detailed and complete, both as a rule compendium, as a storyline and universe feel, and even the art is well placed and diverse throughout the book

  • It has that special pony feeling you would expect from a campaign setting with that name!!

  • I kind'a envy that I didn't think of such a setting myself, it's obviously a good idea.

  • The rules seem balanced yet open in a way that allows players to create their own amazing ponies inspired from the many templates and examples.

  • The naming scheme is consistent throughout the world creation, from the inner-covers beatiful map to NPC names.

The bad: really nothing, or perhaps this single small/minor detail that I didn't like in particular: Ponies riding horses. I could've done without that and left it to the imagination of gamemasters and players on how to interpret such a situation. I dunno exactly why this tricks me, and it's nothing compared to the overall feel, so ....

I'm happy to ride along the Ponyfinder wave, 5 horseshoes from me! Looking forward to see more Pony accessories



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ponyfinder - Campaign Setting
Publisher: Silver Games LLC
by Matthew P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/22/2014 14:51:34

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.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ponyfinder - Campaign Setting
Publisher: Silver Games LLC
by Thiago T. M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/12/2014 12:37:54

Pardon the bad English but is not my mother tongue.

After reading the book I realized q is a very good book, a book that certainly deserves to be on the list of fans, the affection with the editing. My only resalva with the book is the interior art, which is very jarring with the scenario that served as inspiration for the book.

Art imitates art Pathfinder, but deviates much from the simplest designs that comprise the MLP FiM. Maybe a different artist would have valued more the content. The case that best illustrates this is the map, which is very colorful and simple, without much added realism.

In the rule book is very well written, although I still believe that the lineage of unification is not a good design choice. I find it very hard to see Twilight and Candece with 20 levels of sorcerer, a model would be a more logical choice.

Still worth the purchase.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher Reply:
Thanks for the positive review and for reading the book. I just felt I should point out that you only need 3 levels of sorcerer to become a basic alicorn. A unicorn that gains wings is, for all artistic purposes, an alicorn, being a pony with wings and horn. Going all 20 levels gets you far more above and beyond just that. For non-sorcerers, there is the eldritch heritage feat line that can let you snatch up the bloodline power without taking any sorcerer levels. For the art style, we went with our own direction, and actively choose to edge far closer to Pathfinder than the show you speak of. I hope you enjoyed it for what it is! Thanks again for the review, we love hearing back from our readers!
Ponyfinder - Campaign Setting
Publisher: Silver Games LLC
by JP C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/06/2014 20:41:12

A while ago, David Silver posted on the Pathfinder Online Collective that he was looking for reviewers for his Pathfinder setting, Ponyfinder. Now I am not interested in My Little Pony in any way and I took this as a "let's see how stupid this can be." I expected a product designed for fanboys wanting to play ponies. Next, it is a pathfinder product. So the basic tropes exists: levels, alignment, race, class, etc. In that Ponyfinder is very easy to adapt to any campaign setting. A Pathfinder player would be at home if given a character made with these rules.

Pony Creation Rules Races Let me start by saying that when I really expected it to be fairly terrible. However, I what I read surprised me greatly. First, ponies are fey. This really surprised me (I expected magical beasts). The more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea. The ponykind race and their rules are pretty tight and well-written. I actually had a number of idea about how to import some of the ideas into other settings. This could make a very interesting encounter. One little gem: the fingerless rule. Yes, ponies are fingerless! The rules here are well-written, tight and allows for ponies to actually be playable in any setting! From this point on (page 9), my initial apprehension turned to excitement. I wanted to read more and see how I could use these rules in my own game. As a curmudgeon, getting me to want to read more is a huge win for Dave and his Silver Games crew. Next come the alternate race traits, presented as "packages". Nine alternative ponies allow you to play a unicorn, pegasus or a zebra. There are a few traits that can be used to create a truly "super" pony. Some of these could really cause game balance issue, but a quick "no" by the GM should address most of these issues. Each of the alternate ponies are flavorful in their descriptions. The sea horse being the one I see with fewer usage, but mostly for the same reason sea elves are not the most common elven race encountered. Perhaps the biggest issue I have with some of the races is their ability to fly, from level one. This is something that is common in Pathfinder: flying at low-level is a game winner.

New Rules options We are presented with a new bloodline: Unification which is very pony-like and allows the pony sorcerer to gain abilities from other breeds of ponies. The second one I have more issues with and would outright prevent its selection. The writing here is not as crisp, which is a shame because the fluff was really great: one of your ancestor "got it on" with vampires. The 1st level ability allows the sorcerer to inflict negative levels with a touch attack. However, it cannot be used to kill someone. The other ability, Vampire's Gift is written as follows: Vampire’s Gift (Ex): DR 5/magic or silver DR 1 per 2 levels(maximum 5). It seems to be missing something. Does the pony get DR 5/magic at lvl1 and DR (1/2 levels, up to 5)/silver? That is extremely powerful. After these two entries, is a list of "Ponies as ..." which gives some information on the classes and the recommended breed for each of them. While I am not naturally drawn to these sections, I made an effort to go through. The writing is good and interesting. Definitely something to guide a new player build a better pony. Then we are shown a number of racial class archetypes. One that particular drew my eye was the Elemental Savant for Druid replaces all the animal ability with elemental-related powers. I really think this one was a stroke of genius. LOVE IT. Next comes the section on the new feats. The feats presented herein all add or improve ponies' abilities and racial traits. I think this was a very good move by the team.

Other races come next: I found them less interesting to tell the truth: you can play a cloven (goat), flutterpony (pony-butterfly), griffons (well... griffons), phoenix wolf (fire wolf), purrsian (winged cats), steelheart (construct ponies), sun cats (fey lion). These are interesting, but I wasn't sold on the steelheart (too much like the clockwork pony racial archetype).

Extended options The deity section is interesting, presenting a small but working pantheon. However, the art of the deities is one step above. One element I liked were the "revelations" and "visitation" entries. Revelation tells the GM how the deity provides its followers with insight or guidance while Visitation gives the basics of how the deity would appear to a worshipper. These two make the god very usable, particularly in a campaign where they interfere frequently with the world. The Games and sports is interesting because it gives insight into pony society. I read this with interest. The height/ weight/ age section comes next. It is fine, but not something I really care about. Next section is Ponykind as companions or familiars. These two are particularly interesting and, I suspect could be the one section that will find its way into most games. This section has some minor stat block formatting issues, but the rules elements are present. I like the rules for those who may want to use their pony as a mount. I am not so sure about the pony as familiar. Not because of the pony stats, but because they gain additional abilities. This part is not as clear as the rest, it seems to indicate that the pony is also a full-on wizard, that is pretty powerful. The optional rules are some of the most important part of how to incorporate them into the rest of the rules: options to remove the type (fey) advantage vs humanoid, Options on how to use ponies as ponies, etc. These rules are interesting and will give the prospective Pony-GM some food for thought in preparing for their game.

History of Everglow We are then presented with a history of Everglow. The writing is fine, but the real gems in there is in the breakdown of the history. Each era has a number of factions that would allow a GM to create organizations. These are presented in a clean format, with each group having an advantage and a liability. In addition to that, faction traits - much like other Paizo products are present. As usual, the traits have some that are WAY too good and others not so much. These eras include alternative pony traits and rule options. I am almost disappointed that some of these options are not part of the main rules.

Notable NPCs, groups Next is a gazetteer, in a format consistent with classic products. These vary in interest, but the writing is solid. Next we have a section on famous ponies. The art here, like in the deity section is nice. The NPCs are interesting. The element I was greatly pleased with is in the GM notes. After the "public" history, we are given a something for the GM to use them. Giving ideas on how to use the Pony, with his/ her motivations goals and how to integrate that pony in your game. Then we are given three notable groups. After the interesting groups from the eras, these fell flat to me. They just weren't exciting. I guess my main gripe has to do with them not being as good as the previous ones.

Plot Hooks The plot hooks here are simple, but effective. I read them a few times and could see myself expanding most of them into adventures.

Pony ingenuity and Magic This is the section for new goodies. The big flaw equipment is costs and weights are not easy to find, some referring to the CRB for prices and weight. A simple issue, but just a tad nagging. The formatting for the magic items is more problematic, a lot of blank spaces makes the start/ end of items difficult to find. It resembles Pathfinder format, but it isn't. Too bad, because the items are interesting and flavorful. I love the queen's slippers in particular. The spells are fine. I found a few minor editing issues, but they don't feel overpowered and are flavorful. Next come the new traits.

Bestiary The bestiary section has a few creatures that range from CR 1/3 to 12. The creatures are flavorful and I did not find any issue with them. Their potential for reusability is limited but in an Everglow campaign, I would expect to see them rather regularly.

Finally Art The maps is simple, but effective. Its colors fit the overall theme and I did not find any names that made me go "WTF?" The ponies within are well-drawn merging My Little Pony imagery, while outfitting them like regular adventurers. Some parts of the book like the deities and NPCs are particularly nice. Surprisingly, some of the chapter headers aren't as good. It is not bad, but it is not as enjoyable as the rest of the book. I will go for a 4/5 Highlights & Organization Some of the color used for highlight clash with the rest of the document. The Cyan and yellow pastels for the feats and special powers really clash, and not in a way that make me want to read them. The colors are very "poniesque", but they do not draw my eye the way they should and I found myself looking at the text right after them. Interesting since that is where most of the crunch is. When you scroll and reach these pages it breaks the flow of reading. Races then racial bloodlines and feats, then more races with their bloodlines and feats was reminicent of the Advanced Race Guide, an organization I did not like at all. Another thing I found difficult to follow were the headers. More important titles are difficult to find in the text. For example, on page 57, a page dedicated to "Optional Rules". The main header is the same size as the rules themselves.
The setting information is not together and requires a lot of flipping back and forth. For example the campaign traits are all at the end, many of which are era-related. Racial traits similarly appear at the end. I would really have preferred to see everything together, much like the Core Rule Book.
The organization of the book is perhaps its greatest failing. I am a big fan of trying to keep everything together for ease of reference. The magic items formatting was bad. I have to rate this 2/5 Writing Now in spite of the organization, I really found myself reading stuff everywhere in the book. The writing is good. As I stated previously, I came into this expecting to laugh myself silly and throw this out as mental masturbatory fanfic. While the fanfic part is obvious, I became engrossed in the story, the world, pretty much everything. This product is one I actually enjoyed. The rules, for the most part (the only major flaw is the vampiric bloodline), but that can be GM-errata'd fairly easily. The feats have flavor and present a game balance that works. The spells, the traits, the history, the world, all around, I found myself enjoying the read, almost like a guilty pleasure. I would say 4.5/5 which I will round up to 5, because most of the issues won't bother many other people.

Overall My daughters (9 and 7) LOVED the idea of playing ponies and they both loved the art. They have been asking me to play ponies in Pathfinder Society... That would be interesting... I don't seriously expect to run a full-blown campaign of it, but one-shots with the girls are a definite possibility. This is a solid product, with good writing, solid art, and a decent setting. The flaw is its organization, but in spite of that, everything is there. I could see one-shots filling up very quickly at Gencon. Overall, I must say this is a solid 4 out of 5 (a 5/5 for fans of ponies). Reusability of the product, without having ponies is limited. I would like to see an adventure published in Everglow, see how they plan on using everything together. I will look for more from Silver Games in the future.

For full disclosure, I received a free copy in return for providing a fair and honest review.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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