Pony Thought of the Day: BESM Weather Control

Here’s another new BESM attribute for my pony game. The ability to use weather to attack hasn’t shown up much in the show, but seems logical, is crucial to Turnabout Storm, and made possible one of Rainbow Dash’s best moments in the big crossover game I ran at Anime USA (specifically, it’s how she beat LadyDevimon). So I tossed it in.
Weather Control (3/level): You have the ability to physically manipulate clouds and winds. Unlike Environmental Control, which is supernatural or technological, this requires you to physically move air and clouds, and therefore requires your full attention. However, again unlike Environmental Control, it can be used to attack with wind, rain, snow, or lightning. (Treat the attack as a Weapon Attack of one level lower than the pony’s level of Weather Control).
  • Level 1: You can stand and walk on clouds as if they are ground.
  • Level 2: You can move individual clouds to create precipitation, lightning, or sunshine over a small area (5-meter radius). You can only create temperature-appropriate effects (that is, you cannot make it snow on a hot day). You can also create gentle breezes.
  • Level 3: You can move multiple clouds in a round to control the weather in a larger area (30-meter radius). You can still only create temperature-appropriate effects, and create stronger gusts of wind.
  • Level 4: You can control weather in a 100-meter radius, create temperature inappropriate effects (such as snow in summer), and create gale-force winds.
  • Level 5: You can control weather in a 200-meter radius, including temperature-inappropriate effects, and create winds strong enough to knock ponies over (Body check to prevent).
  • Level 6: You can clear the sky over an entire town in ten seconds flat, or otherwise control the weather for a town-sized area, and create tornado-strength winds.

Pony Thought of the Day: More Thoughts on Toys

Still looking at my Lyra fig, and thinking about how little it looks like an actual Friendship Is Magic character from the front, it occurs to me: Are the characters even physically possible? I don’t mean as living things or anything like that; I mean as three-dimensional shapes. I’m not an artist, and I’m kind of awful at spatial reasoning, but it seems to me like the face-on views in the show are not compatible with the profile views–there’s no possible head shape for a toy that would accurately capture both angles.

Pony Thought of the Day: Toys and Idols

I’m sitting staring at my Lyra, trying to figure out today’s Pony Thought of the Day, and so I find myself thinking about why the toy is where it is.

Lyra lives on my desk, between my monitors, and it is under her watchful, judgmental gaze that I do my work. Having her watch me makes me less distractable, or at least I think it does, and that amounts to the same thing in the end.

In this sense she functions very much like one use of an idol or household god. I think sometimes part of the price we pay for having monotheistic religions dominate in our culture is that we’ve lost this notion of making your own watchers, rituals, and superstitions, but play can sometimes restore this loss.

Which isn’t to say that I think Lyra is somehow real or that some sort of divine energy inhabits the little lump of green plastic on my desk or anything like that. It’s entirely something I’ve constructed; Lyra’s “watchful gaze” exists only in my imagination. Her effect on my productivity is pure placebo.

But so what?

Pony Thought of the Day: Repeat Cutie Marks

There’s a few cutie marks that show up repeatedly on background ponies, and sometimes I like to speculate on what they might mean about the pony who has them. Here’s a few.

  • Carrot: Excellent eyesight, proficiency at bad prop comedy.
  • Fleur de Lis: Snooty superiority, bad spelling, and frankly overrated cooking abilities, but a real knack for breakfast pastries.
  • Compass Rose: Unerring sense of direction, tendency to declare anywhere they don’t feel like going to be full of dragons.
  • Hourglass: Time Lord, natch.

Pony Thought of the Day: Poison Joke and the CMC

Was reading through the Friendship Is Dragons archive for dark and terrible reasons that will become clear Sunday, and one of the commenters asked an interesting question: What would happen to the CMC if they stumbled on poison joke?

Here’s my guesses:

Scootaloo’s legs vanish/stop working, and she has to fly everywhere.

Sweetie Bell becomes invisible and inaudible to everyone except Rarity.

Apple Bloom gets Niven’s “Keller eyes” power, a.k.a. the ability of Doctor Who‘s Silence: Anypony not currently looking at her forgets she ever existed.

…Wow, poison joke is horrifying.

Anyway, what do you think?

Pony Thought of the Day: BESM Blank Flanks

Since I posted the BESM Cutie Mark attribute I made, here’s the Blank Flank attribute.

Blank Flank (4/level): You have not yet discovered your special talent. All ponies with this attribute must take Marked -1 (Blank Flank) and Ageism -1 to represent that ponies regard acquiring a cutie mark as a rite of passage. At some point during the game, the GM identifies your special talent, but does not tell the player (it is recommended for the GM to wait at least a couple of sessions, in order to get to know the character and identify an appropriate talent). At this point, the GM begins applying the talent to rolls as appropriate (see the Cutie Mark attribute), again without telling the player. If the player guesses the talent (or something suitably close to have received the same bonuses), then after a successful roll that receives the Blank Flank bonus, the attribute is removed and replaced by the Cutie Mark attribute. For each level of Blank Flank the character possesses, the player receives 4 points; the first two must be spent to remove the Marked (Blank Flank) and Ageism defects, and all others must be spent on the Cutie Mark attribute. Any leftover points can be combined with future character advancement points, but only for purposes of increasing the level of the Cutie Mark attribute.

Example: Sweetie Bell possesses Blank Flank at level 1, along with Marked (Blank Flank) -1 and Ageism -1. After a couple of sessions, the GM identifies singing as her special talent. A few sessions later, after succeeding with a bad roll on a difficult Performing Arts (Singing) skill check, the player correctly identifies Sweetie’s special talent as singing. She gains a cutie mark (the player chooses a microphone, and the GM agrees) and 4 character points. The first two must be spent to remove her Marked and Ageism defects, and the remaining two on the Cutie Mark attribute. Since Cutie Mark (Singing) has only narrow, non-combat applications, it is only 1 point per level, so Sweetie Bell’s player replaces Blank Flank 1 with Cutie Mark (Singing) 2.

Pony Thought of the Day: Sutiven Magunetto

Finally saw the second episode of Tomodachi wa Mahou, and wow. I thought the voice casting on the Mane Six was good, but Steven Magnet? One-hundred percent absolutely perfect. The voice director is clearly not only paying close attention to the English voices, but actually playing them for the Japanese actors. There’s no other explanation for how closely he matches the tone.