For those of you who just stepped out of a stable, a roleplaying game is any game where you take on the persona of anyone other than yourself in order to do… well, anything, really. To use an appropriate cliché, the only limit is your imagination, and those of the players and game master with whom you play. There are roleplaying games that exist is nearly any genre or setting. In this particular roleplaying game, players assume the role of a small group of the many and varied Ponies, Zebras, or Griffins trying to eke out an existence in the dangers of the Equestrian wasteland, a post-apocalyptic world set a little more than 200 years after the universe of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Knowledge of the source material fan-fiction may aid in your understanding.
Roleplaying games (RPGs) are generally a combination of a set of rules with a specific setting that helps allow a game master (GM) to structure an adventure or a story within which players can have their characters act, usually to fulfill a specific goal, have an adventure, or just do ridiculous things in a universe or world not our own. The ultimate goal, of course, is having fun.
In this setting, I generally refer to the person who creates the story as the GM. I use this shorthand a lot, so don’t forget what I’m talking about!
Now that you have a basic understanding of what a roleplaying game is, all you need to know is how to play it. Every game is different, and the following pages comprise an extensive run-down on how to play your very own game of Fallout: Equestria with yourself and a few friends. I’ve made an effort to make everything done within the fan fiction and its spin-off stories possible within this system, but this is probably not the final revision of this document. If you have any suggestions, leave a comment for me someplace!
Playing the Game
The first thing you’ll need to play this game is a set of dice. For characters level 1-5, a single set of dice containing 2d10, 1d4, 1d6, 1d8, 1d12 and 1d20 should be all you’ll need. Sets of dice like this should be available at your local gaming supplies store. As your character gets stronger though, be warned: you may need to invest in some more dice, or be prepared to re-roll dice frequently. (For those of you who are new to tabletop RPGs, XdY is generally interpreted to mean X number of Y-sided dice-- 4d6, for example, means four, six-sided dice. So you should have at least two differently marked or colored ten sided dice, one four sided die, one six sided die, one eight sided die, one twelve sided die, and one twenty sided die). Dice-roller programs that can emulate the required dice are available for free for both iPhone and Android devices.
1-5 – Insanely Difficult – Nearly Impossible
-> Treating a near-lethal multiple-drug interaction, without knowing the drugs involved.
-> Repairing a 200 year old gyrocopter in two hours with only basic tools.
-> Disarming a Balefire bomb while under grenade bombardment.
-> Hitting a dime-sized button with a .32 pistol from 500 feet.
-> Causing a Sonic Rainboom (or Sonic Radboom) without ever having done so before.
1/10 – Extraordinarily Difficult
-> Reassembling a pipbuck by hoof from memory
-> Sniping the pilot out of a moving vertibuck (without SATS).
-> Treating a near-lethal multiple-drug interaction, knowing the drugs involved.
¼ – Frustratingly Difficult
-> Blind-firing over a barricade and hitting.
-> Hacking a very difficult computer/picking a very difficult lock.
-> Hitting a dime-sized button with a .32 pistol from 20 feet.
->Repairing a completely destroyed weapon from scratch without blueprints.
½ – Very Difficult
-> Sniping the pilot out of a moving vertibuck (with SATS).
-> Hacking a difficult terminal/picking a difficult lock.
-> Noticing that the “poorly concealed landmine” will rearm if picked up.
-> Quadrupling the output of a normal spell
-> Getting a fair price trading goods and supplies with a neutral merchant.
-> Hacking an average terminal/picking an average lock.
-> Cooking a good meal using 300 year old food.
-> Casting a well-known spell beyond its normal limit (may cause burnout)
In the Fallout: Equestria RPG system, most rolls are made using your set of 2d10, or as I will refer to them from here on in, d%. When rolling, assign one of the d10s to be the tens place, and the other the ones place; the resulting rolls will always thus read as a number between one and 100, with double tens being 100. Many sets come with one of these dice already labeled in tens, but use whichever is easiest for you to recognize quickly after rolling.
Your other sets of dice are used mostly for dealing damage with weapons, which I’ll explain later.
All skill and attribute rolls are made using d%, as are the majority of the rolls made during combat. For more explicit rules on how to interpret dice rolls, please look ahead to the section about whatever roll it is you’re trying to succeed on. That being said, the rest of this section will hopefully clarify some things about dice rolls that apply across the board within this system.
The main objective of dice rolls using d% in this system is to roll low, lower than a target number. In order to be successful on a ‘to hit’ or a skill roll, players must roll at or below a specific number, which I refer to from here on in as the Target Number, or TN. This number will vary depending on the difficulty of the action that the roll represents. Actions with a low TN are more difficult for a character to accomplish than those with a higher TN. The specific TNs, at least for skill rolls, can be determined by the following equation:
Your character sheet has spaces provided for you to write out what the target numbers for different skills are as you improve your character.
Example MFDs (cont’d)
1 – Normal
->Noticing a poorly concealed landmine.
->Hitting an unconcealed target within normal engagement range on any weapon.
->Performing basic maintenance on guns and equipment.
->Casting a well-known spell (such as cutie mark spells, or major telekinesis)
->Getting a fair price trading goods and supplies with a friendly merchant.
->Picking an easy lock/hacking an easy terminal.
1 ½ –Easy
->Tracking a rather un-stealthy pony across the wastes.
->Performing an easy cutie-mark skill task (such as casting a cutie-mark spell under non-stressful conditions).
->Sneaking past sleeping guards
2– Very Easy
->Noticing a Sonic Radboom from less than 50 miles away.
->Burning your cooking (if you intend to).
->Most dialogue with a friendly NPC.
->Hitting a target at point blank with a shotgun, using buckshot.
Note: Even 1/10 MFDs should still be possible, just extremely difficult. If your characters want to break the laws of magic and the space-time continuum, have them try for critical successes instead.
Note that the relevant skill or attribute score may be a combination of two numbers. Most skill rolls use a TN value equal to the skill rank added to half the governing attribute of that skill. While this involves a little more math, it makes rolling a success much more possible at lower levels.
The “Modifier for Difficulty” (abbreviated MFD) term represents the simple fact that, no matter how good you are at something, that doesn’t make it easy (and conversely, the fact that you’re terrible at something doesn’t make it impossible for you to succeed, fantastically and against all odds). Your character may be a master at lockpicking, but picking a lock while suspended upside down in a room steadily filling with water is no mean feat, regardless of your prowess with a bobby pin and screwdriver.
For example, say Lil’pip is engaged in combat. Lil’pip is very proficient with her sniper rifle, and because the target is far away, she uses her scope.
Let’s say Lil’pip’s Small Guns skill rank is 50, and her agility is 6 (for a converted value of 60, of which we can add half to her skill for this roll – this process will be explained later in more detail, in the skills section). We now have a base TN, MFD 1, of 80. Because of both her scope and the fact that she is using S.A.T.S., she suffers no penalty or bonus when shooting at her opponent’s torso (the default targeting location) that might otherwise result from inadequate equipment.
Her opponent is moderately intelligent and has managed to gain partial cover behind a crumbling concrete structure. 25% of the target’s torso is concealed, so the total penalty to her roll is -25. The shot itself is not particularly hard, and she has quite a bit of combat experience, so we’ll say that the modifier for difficulty is 1 (a table of some common examples of modifiers for difficulty – or as we like to call them, MFDs-- is to the right). This makes the final roll TN for Lil’pip’s shot to hit a 55.
So now that we’ve determined what Lil’pip’s player needs to roll under, we have her roll the dice. If she rolls 55 or below, that poor bugger in her sights will have a new scar to show off to his buddies – if he survives the bullet, anyway.
Note that under perfectly normal circumstances there will not be a need for a modifier for difficulty, and that penalties or bonuses are the only thing that will need to be applied to rolls. Good luck trying to find perfectly normal circumstances out in the Equestrian Wasteland.
Oh no! She not only rolled above a 55, but she rolled a 97! In this system, that is a critical failure. Not only did she miss her target, but something went horribly awry!