Skill Based and General Character Knowledge 1 page
What does your character know? That is a question that is difficult to answer in most cases. So we’ll put it this way – if you, as a player, don’t know if your character knows something, ask your GM if it’s possible they might know it. If your GM says you do or don’t, then that’s that – no further reason to fuss about it. If they say there’s a chance, but it’s not certain, keep reading – that’s what this section is all about.
When it’s uncertain if your character would or would not know something, you as a player can iron this out with either an Intelligence roll (for general knowledge) or a skill roll (if the fact is related to a skill). The MFD for this roll is determined by the obscurity of the fact in question. How do you determine the obscurity of a fact? Ultimately your GM should decide (because their campaign setting is what determines how obscure it is), but to help guide their decision we’ve provided a table of levels of obscurity and associated tidbits about Fallout: Equestria and Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons below. It contains some sizable spoilers for Project Horizons and for Fallout Equestria, so you might not want to look down there if you haven’t finished both fictions just yet.Critical hits give no extra benefit on rolls to determine if a character has knowledge of something, but there are a number of traits that can give bonuses on these rolls.
Once the obscurity MFD is determined, the player has two options. If the knowledge in question is related to a skill in some way, they may roll that skill to determine if their character knows.
The second option, and the only option if the knowledge in question is general knowledge or otherwise isn’t related to a skill, is to roll intelligence at the relevant MFD level. If the character’s background would suggest that the character had the knowledge, then they receive a +10 bonus on the roll. (If their background would suggest that they already know the information or that there’s no chance that they’d know, then don’t bother rolling!) The Formal Education trait gives characters an additional bonus to this roll.
Some GMs may wish to totally ignore this table, particularly if many of their players haven’t read several (or any) of the works this system is based off of, or if their setting is relatively far away from the Hoofington and capital wasteland regions. In that case, treat all knowledge as though it would require a role-playing reason for the character to know this. This works particularly well for games with all stable-dweller characters.
Table III: Obscurity of Knowledge Relative MFDs - CONTAINS SPOILERS, so I’ve intentionally made the text difficult to read.
(DEAR SWEET CELESTIA DOES THIS TABLE EVER CONTAIN SPOILERS!)
Level of Obscurity
The apocalypse was the logical and inevitable conclusion of the great war, fought between the zebras and the ponies. It was fought over coal and gems.
Luna’s wartime government was split up into six ministries, each governed by one of the six mares that wielded the elements of harmony.
Equestria only began developing firearms and higher level magical technologies in the decades immediately preceding the war. These technologies created the demand for coal and other natural resources.
The ministries were, alphabetically: Arcane Science, Awesome, Image, Morale, Peace, and Wartime Technology. They were headed by Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, Rarity (Belle), Pinkie Pie, and Applejack (Apple), respectively.
The great ivory towers that still adorn the landscape were part of the Ministry of Awesome’s SPP. They were designed by Applebloom (Apple).
Luna took charge of Equestria when Celestia stepped down from power as a direct consequence of the death of Big Macintosh, whose sacrifice prevented an assassination attempt. She created the ministries to assist her rule.
‘Taint’ is actually the result of magical byproducts from the Maripony facility leeching into the water supply.
Scootaloo was the head of Stable-Tec, and left a recording detailing the mission of each stable in the hooves of its overmare (or overstallion, as the case may be).
All of the stables were designed to model new social ideas in the hope that a new social paradigm would help to prevent future pony societies from succumbing to the problems that led to the great war.
The OIA existed to foster cooperation between and work as an intermediary for the six ministries and their subsidiaries.
The Grand Pegasus Enclave arose out of a sentiment that pegasi were being called upon more heavily to fight in the war effort than earth ponies and unicorns.
Knowledge of what transpired at Crescent Moon Canyon
Watcher is actually Spike, the late Twilight Sparkle’s assistant.
Goldenblood was the head of the OIA, and was ultimately responsible for much of the organization of Luna’s new government
Rainbow Dash’s ministry outwardly appeared to do very little, but was actually responsible for espionage and subterfuge within the zebra government, including multiple assassinations.
The six most powerful factions in Hoofington (Reapers, Collegiate, Society, Rangers, Finders, and EVC) are each connected to members of a group of six ponies that originally came to the region together to try and stabilize it.
Knowledge about local gangs.
Zebra myths and legends, particularly those pertaining to the stars (for non-zebras)
The Ministry of Arcane Science completed research on a spell to purge the body of taint, and the occupants of Tenpony Tower still possess knowledge of it.
Stable 1 was actually a death trap, designed to punish the Canterlot nobility for bringing about a war that destroyed Equestria and the world.
Gems in Equestria are unusual in that they appear and can be grown in forms that are pre-cut and polished. Gems of the same type that originate in other nations do not possess magical energy.
Fluttershy was responsible for giving megaspells to the zebras. She hoped that mutually assured destruction would lead to a diplomatic solution, saving countless lives.
The stories of Macintosh’s Marauders
Taint is a byproduct of the magi-chemical process used to create alicorns. It was researched and created by Twilight Sparkle and her ministry.
Twilight Sparkle, her two seconds in command of the MAS, and Trixie were all combined into The Great and Powerful Goddess.
The names of any of the OIA’s projects.
The OIA’s true function was not to unite the ministries, but rather to divide their individual leaders and set them against each other.
Any specific knowledge about the Enclave and its organization (for non-enclave characters)
Any and all knowledge about Star Blasters.
Any and all knowledge about the Gardens of Equestria.
Homage is DJ PON-3
Fluttershy is not dead – she was transformed into a tree by killing joke.
Any and all knowledge about Soul Jars and the Black Book.
The 42 statuettes of the ministry mares each contain pieces of Rarity’s soul
Any and all knowledge about the OIA’s projects and their individual goals.
Taint and flux are both functionally the same thing: distilled chaos, harvested from Discord himself.
Enervation is caused by starmetal from the fallen star.
Critical – requires roleplaying reasons for knowing.
Hey, down here!
Background knowledge rolls to determine what a character knows should only be made once per topic, either when that character is being created or is initially introduced, or when a topic or subject of interest is being introduced that a character may already know about. Aside from that, a character shouldn’t know anything they haven’t learned through roleplaying. As always, the GM has the final say in what a character can or cannot have known prior to the campaign’s start or that character’s introduction. Hindrances
Let’s face it: No pony’s perfect. Even if they’re not a pony, your waster probably isn’t either. If they were, that would be boring! Giving your pony hindrances serves two purposes: it makes them more interesting to roleplay (by preventing them from being a complete “Mary Sue,” for those familiar with the term), and it gives them back valuable creation points. Each hindrance from the list below that your pony takes on gives them back one creation point to spend on their attribute scores, or to buy traits. A list of traits (and their requirements and point costs) is in the section immediately after hindrances. Remember – unless your GM gives you the green light (or you’re playing an alicorn or hellhound), you can’t take more than 6 hindrances at character creation!
Oh! Before you go on and read through all the hindrances, note that hindrances are not necessarily permanent. Certain hindrances are much more difficult to get rid of than others (i.e. Elderly is much harder to get rid of than Crippled, a single Addiction is easier to cure than an Addictive Personality, etc.), but all hindrances except virtues can be removed as long as there is a sufficient roleplaying reason for being able to do so. Some of the hindrances list the conditions required for their removal, but most do not – in those cases, the conditions for the hindrance’s removal are highly situational and differ from character to character. Virtues can become corrupted, but once a character has figured out what theirs is it doesn’t ever go away. See the “Removing Hindrances” heading in the Leveling up your Character section for more information on the subject.
Traits and hindrances can give or take away several kinds of bonuses and penalties. For your convenience and increased understanding of the hindrances and traits displayed in the rest of this section, we’ve made a table for you to look through before picking your character’s flaws.
Table IV: Bonuses and Penalties, a System-Wide Type Breakdown
What it does for your character:
Skill or Attribute Bonus/Penalty
(AKA “Roll Bonus/Penalty”)
Direct + or – to be added or subtracted from the indicated dice rolls – We recommend compiling these values into the “+ column.” These bonuses or penalties stack with each other unless explicitly mentioned otherwise, so if you have more than one, add them all together to find your total bonus or penalty.
Direct + or – to be added only to rolls made to target enemies during combat. Similarly to roll bonuses and penalties, these stack.
Permanent Attribute Bonus/Penalty
(these will usually be single digit penalties, i.e. +1 or -2)
These bonuses or penalties can change your attribute scores, permanently. Permanent bonuses or penalties will alter the values you must roll to succeed at each MFD level for both the attribute and all of the dependent skills. Increasing the governing attribute also increases the rank of the governed skills by two. Luck will increase the rank of all skills by one for every two points it is increased.
Temporary Attribute Bonus/Penalty
(these will usually be single digit penalties, i.e. +1 or -2)
Temporary bonuses or penalties to attributes only require you to recalculate the MFD success ranges for the affected attribute (a table for this is provided on the second page of the character sheet). They also affect calculated values for characters, like wounds to cripple and maim, movement speeds, and SATS and Strain pools. They don’t affect attributes for the purpose of perk requirements. Dependent skills don’t need to be recalculated; they receive a roll bonus or penalty equal to 5x the attribute bonus or penalty.
Skill Rank Bonus/Penalty
Your character gains or loses ranks in one or more skills. No skill can start at below rank 5 or exceed rank 100. There is only one exception to this rule, the trait Touched by the Sun, which can lower starting skill ranks to a minimum rank of 0. Even after character creation, a character’s skill rank cannot exceed 100.
As a general rule, most traits and hindrances will grant your character skill rank bonuses.Most (though not all) normal perks – the sort your character gets from leveling up -- grant bonuses or penalties to rolls.
Table V: Hindrances Summary Table
Character begins play alone, and with reduced starting funds (200 caps versus 300), but reduces cost of the Animal Companion and Wasteland Weirdo traits. Cannot start with Pipbuck, barring special circumstances.
Situational penalty to Speechcraft and attack accuracy versus the abusing party. Tends to have trust issues.
Your character is chemically or otherwise physically addicted to a substance, as though they had failed an addiction roll.
Automatically fail all INT rolls made to resist addiction, dramatically increasing your chance of becoming addicted to substances.
Your character is violently allergic to some substance and takes penalties on all rolls when exposed to it. -5 in close proximity of it, -25 when in immediate contact with it.
Character has forgotten a long span of time out of their life.
Expands critical failure range by 5. One less luck card per session.
Bad Luck Charm
Force an ally to reroll a single successful roll per session. Additional effects with Live by Luck.
+10 on auditory perception rolls, and such rolls are 1 MFD step easier for you. END roll MFD ½ or be stunned and deafened by loud noises within 10 feet.
Your character suffers a 3 MFD step accuracy penalty to ranged attacks, a 1 step accuracy penalty to Unarmed or Melee attacks, and requires assistance to perform tasks with visual components.
Character must eat meat daily or make an INT roll MFD ¾ Penalty -10 to avoid cannibalizing a corpse as soon as one becomes available, onlookers be damned.
-15 penalty to initiative, +3 bonus to the Explosives skill.
-5 penalty on tasks requiring delicate actions or precision. Also increases critical failure range by 5 for such tasks.
Code of Honor
Forces characters to handle situations honorably.
Characters can’t tell the difference between two distinct colors on opposite sides of the spectrum. (Hilarity ensues)
The MFD on Fear and Horror rolls is always one step higher for you.
Your character is permanently crippled in a limb, reducing their movement speed.
Your character can’t resist hitting the big red button.
-15 penalty to Mercantile, Speechcraft, and Sneak. Cannot make auditory perception checks.
-2 INT, +1 Luck, permanently. +5 to Explosives or Melee Weapons skills Intelligence penalty may increase with physical trauma.
-1 to AGI and STR, +1 INT or CHA and -1 to one other attribute of your choice, excluding Luck. +3 rank bonus to every skill, and gain a fourth tag skill.
Your character pissed off something terrifying, and it’s chasing them across the wasteland.
-5 speechcraft penalty towards ponies that still dare to hope.
Your character receives roleplaying benefits or impediments when they encounter their family.
Your character is highly focused on retrieving a specific item, being near a specific person or achieving a specific goal.
Your character has the Flight racial skill but has lost the ability to fly.
Flight School Dropout
Your flyer can only learn half as many flight maneuvers at each tier.
-1 PER, +2PER when wearing prescription glasses.
-10 ranks to all offensive skills, +5 ranks to speechcraft, repair, science, medicine, and mercantile.
-10 penalty on all rolls if a subject over which a character feels guilt is broached.
Character cannot use guns, or suffers a 4 MFD step accuracy penalty.
INT roll MFD 1/2 every session or when put under stress to avoid ‘zoning out’.
+3 Accuracy roll bonus, +25 Fear roll bonus. -10 speechcraft roll penalty. Much easier to become Suicidal.
INT and PER rolls MFD ¾ every session to determine the nature of your character’s regular hallucinations.
Hard of Hearing
-10 on Speechcraft and mercantile in areas where you must talk normally or softly. -50 penalty to sneak while talking. -25 penalty to auditory perception.
+5 Damage, -2 AGI & PER when crippled in the head or torso.
Your wastelander cannot read. This hindrance precludes many traits, primarily having to do with educational background.
Your character absolutely hates waiting, generally to their detriment.
Targeting all spells is 1 MFD step harder, -10 roll penalty on Repair, Science, Lockpicking and Medicine if using Telekinesis. Telekinetic Force as a free spell.
Character can be forced to reroll a success or critical success once per session. One less luck card per session.
-10 roll penalty to Speechcraft. You take everything, metaphorical language included, at face value.
Your character is missing something, and suffers accordingly. They also take a -5 on speechcraft, unless attempting to be intimidating.
Reduced penalties when crippled; Healing items and magic heal one less wound per location, and they take twice as long to recover via bed rest (natural healing).
Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD)
Your character has multiple personality disorder; as any good pony psychologist could tell you, this is far too complex to describe here. Go check out the full description.
You gain some semi-beneficial mutation, frequently of the sort found most commonly on feral Ghouls. -5 on all CHA based rolls if mutation is visible.
Your character cannot talk, and must communicate by other means.
Your character does not realize or expect the world to be as bad as it is.
Specific triggers cause your character to immediately go to sleep.
Possible -10 roll penalty on all Sneak rolls; -5 penalties to all CHA based rolls.
+1 END, -1 AGI. -5 penalty to dodge. Your character eats at least 1.5x as much as most others do.
Your character is obligated to perform a regular service for another pony or an organization.
You take a -15 penalty on all PER rolls.
Your character exhibits signs of obsessive-compulsive disorder.
One Trick Pony
For unicorns, severely reduced spell availability, but can channel 4 layers of overglow. For zebra, either know only survival stew and receive skill bonuses or only know one spell at each spell level at a time.
-5’ thrown range increment, but throwing an item costs 5 less AP in SATS.
-5 Speechcraft versus those not living in secure settlements. Your character tends to be a bit grating.
Your character tends to speculate on what may be and what could have been, usually unnecessarily creating anxiety for themselves.
Your character won’t shoot first. Ever. Preferably they won’t shoot at all, and will try to resolve conflict peaceably.
Your character is horribly afraid of something, and takes -10 to all skill checks while around it. They also take -20 on fear checks towards their fear or while near it.
You are selective about what you carry, and won’t pick up low value, high weight items without explicit reasoning. Also precludes an omnivorous diet.
+5 bonus to rolls made to dodge, but Damage/Wound is reduced by 2 due to reduced size. This effect stacks with Young.
+10 Max AP for SATS, +5’ movement per action. 10% penalty to dodge and reduces effective DT by 5 for you.
-30 Speechcraft and Mercantile versus a specific group.
Your character absolutely hates being treated as less than an equal and has a problem admitting their faults and mistakes.
Your wastelander is bucking insane.
Your character enjoys causing pain to others.
-10 roll penalty on all CHA based rolls, except those made to intimidate enemies. +5 bonus on rolls made to intimidate enemies using speechcraft.
Your character has a strong urge to pick up anything and everything of even moderate value at a location.
Shadow of the Moon
+5% critical hit chance, but offensive spells cost 2 additional strain and weapons decay twice as fast for you.
A chronic ailment that causes your character to suffer from temporary -2 penalties to END and one other attribute. An END roll MFD ½ can be made each session to prevent this effect. -10 roll penalty vs. poisons, diseases, etc.
Skinny as a Rail
-1 STR and END, +3 bonus to dodge.
Your character was a slave for so long that they’ve been conditioned to perform certain tasks without thinking.
Spirit of the Security Mare
When your luck cards equal 21, you receive roll bonuses. If they don’t, you suffer roll penalties.
Spray and Pray
-10 Accuracy penalty with single shot ranged weapons. Burst fire weapons fire twice as many bullets per shot, deal 1 die extra of damage. -5 AP cost for all ranged weapons.
Stubby Little Horn/Wings
Unicorns begin play with only Telekinesis (and their Cutie Mark spell if they have one), and their racial Magic skill rank bonus decreases to +0 from +10. Pegasi cannot fly more than a dozen or so feet above the ground.
-5 skill ranks (minimum of 5) to Small Guns, Big Guns, and either three other skills, or -3 skill ranks to five other skills at character creation, but you can learn any spell or recipe you get your hooves on and get +1 skill point from books.
Unicorns or zebra also get one extra level 1 spell or recipe.
-5 skill rank penalty and a -5 roll penalty on Mercantile and Speechcraft.
Your character has a death wish.
+3 bonus on rolls made while not in a hurry, -5 penalty on rolls made while rushed, such as when in combat.
+5 accuracy bonus to small guns, big guns, and energy weapons. Burst fire weapons fire 20% less bullets per shot. Small guns, Big Guns, and Energy weapons cost 5 AP more per shot in SATS, and burst fire weapons deal 1 die less of damage.
-10 penalty on Mercantile rolls.
You have more negative unintended magical side effects than others when practicing magic, and take a -10 penalty to casting/brewing rolls and accuracy rolls for spells.
-50 Karma, equivalent to -5 Speechcraft versus good and neutral karma characters. This hindrance can be taken up to two times.
-30% penalty on END rolls to resist taint, and your character takes an additional -5 penalty to skills linked to stats affected by radiation poisoning. 20% more likely to become mutated by radiation or taint.
Your character knows their virtue, and strives to uphold and embody it through their actions.
+5 PER on visual perception, -10 accuracy unless you use the sights or scope.
-5 Speechcraft when trying to appear intelligent.
Wartime Stress Disorder (WSD)
-5 penalty to all INT, AGI and CHA based skills outside of combat situations. Also grants a +5 skill rank bonus to Small Guns, Explosives, Big Guns, Energy Weapons, Melee Weapons, Unarmed or Survival (pick one).
-15 on Speechcraft rolls, +5 on Mercantile rolls.
-3 ranks to all skills except sneak, +1 CHA and Luck, -1 STR. +5 bonus to dodge rolls. Damage/Wound is reduced by 2 - This effect stacks with pipsqueak. Reduces carrying capacity by 50 pounds.
Hindrances are designated as physical or mental because certain races (Alicorns, some half-breeds) require that a number of one of the two types of hindrances be taken.
Hindrance Full Descriptions:
Abandoned/All Alone (Cannot be taken with Organization or Stable Dweller) –Not all ponies start out their adventures in a stable or as part of an organization or settlement. Quite a few of them have lived the bulk of their days all on their own out in the wastes, scavving to make ends meet and scraping together just enough food from ruins to get by day to day. Characters that take this hindrance start with significantly less starting gear (only 200 caps worth versus the 300 most others get), some rags or otherwise appropriate clothing (i.e. nothing, because ponies don’t usually wear clothes), and a melee or unarmed weapon of 100 caps or less in value. They are not eligible to purchase the Stable Dweller, Formal Education, or Organization traits (though some GMs may want to allow this in order to build more complex character backstories), and cannot choose to forgo their gear for a pipbuck (barring special circumstances, such as might be the result of the Wasteland Weirdo trait). However, if they would like to purchase the Wasteland Weirdo or Animal Companion traits, the creation point cost of one of the two is reduced by 1 for them (minimum cost of 1). Whether they lived alone by choice, were booted out of a settlement, are the last survivor of a larger group, or are just waking up from a very nice 200 year nap, is up to the player and/or the GM.