The Hooved Races

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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  Philadelphus on Tue Jul 31, 2012 7:39 am

XandZero2 wrote:
-Also, glad to hear you haven't given up on the Zebra race just yet. I know the role-playing might be different, but it just doesn't sit right with me to make Zebras the same as Earth Ponies...
Just to point it out, Tribal Tattoos is essentially all about making zebras more like ponies. Perhaps zebras could have a trait like the griffon's "Sisters of the Skies" that allows them to take talents normally reserved for earth ponies, and then have a bunch of zebra-specific talents to choose from as well. (Actually, that has a satisfying completeness to it: griffons can choose pegasus talents, zebras can choose earth pony talents, and baby dragons can choose [some] unicorn talents.)

(And it was actually Applejack who brought up Zebra Sense. ["Zecora! You're here! Were yer Zebra Senses tinglin'?"])
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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  XandZero2 on Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:55 pm

Philadelphus wrote:
XandZero2 wrote:
-Also, glad to hear you haven't given up on the Zebra race just yet. I know the role-playing might be different, but it just doesn't sit right with me to make Zebras the same as Earth Ponies...
Just to point it out, Tribal Tattoos is essentially all about making zebras more like ponies. Perhaps zebras could have a trait like the griffon's "Sisters of the Skies" that allows them to take talents normally reserved for earth ponies, and then have a bunch of zebra-specific talents to choose from as well. (Actually, that has a satisfying completeness to it: griffons can choose pegasus talents, zebras can choose earth pony talents, and baby dragons can choose [some] unicorn talents.)

(And it was actually Applejack who brought up Zebra Sense. ["Zecora! You're here! Were yer Zebra Senses tinglin'?"])

^That might could work with the Earth Pony talents.

Maybe something called... Zebras of the Earth? It could possibly replace Zebra Sense - which could go back into the utility talents.

And darn, I could've sworn it was Pinkie, but I guess you've got a point since Pinkie wasn't there most of that episode anyway...
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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:42 pm

Just want to point out, if we let Zebras choose earth pony talents, that makes them seem even more like a re-skin.
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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  XandZero2 on Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:40 pm

Stairc -Dan Felder wrote:Just want to point out, if we let Zebras choose earth pony talents, that makes them seem even more like a re-skin.

Then maybe we shouldn't do it then. You still haven't commented on what you think about the current template Stairc, but I'm guessing you still don't like it? What are your thoughts on the template as of now?
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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  Philadelphus on Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:39 am

Maybe we could have a little discussion about what exactly it would mean to have zebras be "just a re-skin of earth ponies". Are you saying they're similar enough that someone could play an earth pony and just call it a zebra for flavor?

Hmmm...that might actually work. Have the zebra template be "the same as earth ponies, but with a selection of really cool zebra-specific utility talents to choose from". Since earth ponies already have some neat racial abilities and we really only have a sample size of one as far as zebras are concerned.

I dunno. What do other people think of this idea?

@XandZero2: I just re-watched that episode a few weeks ago so it's still pretty fresh in my mind. And I think "Zebra Sense" is a brilliant name, kudos for that.
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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:23 am

XandZero2 wrote:
Whoops! I forgot what the difference was between 'attributes' and 'skills.' That is a powerful ability even early on. Would it be too powerful upon lvl advancement though? Stairc, I don't think you've finalized leveling up yet (correct me if I'm wrong), but if you're planning to have stat increases, Donkeys might become OP at later lvls.

-Also, glad to hear you haven't given up on the Zebra race just yet. I know the role-playing might be different, but it just doesn't sit right with me to make Zebras the same as Earth Ponies... I might need to do some research on what MLP's done with them in the past. That might give me more ideas, if you don't like the current template.

1) I'll definitely make sure that Donkeys don't become overpowered with level advancement. Good job raising that flag.

2) Actually, I just looked at the Zebra template now. I really like the way you handled the rhyming ability. It's effectively a permanent +2 bonus to your skill checks, very powerful, so we need to make sure that the other abilities are weaker but VERY flavorful. So far, I don't think the other traits are flavorful enough yet. They don't scream 'zebra'. Dangerous Domain is an interesting ability, for example, but it doesn't really pulse 'zebra' the way the rhyming trait does. The dragon template is so great because all the abilities are both cool and dripping with juicy dragon flavor. Let's try to pack more of that into a Zebra.

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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  Dead Mender on Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:42 am

I've made a template for sheep. Also, are nightmares a good idea to add?

Sheep:
- Being herded: When a sheep receives aid from another player, they get an automatic +1 bonus should the other player succeed in aiding them. (credit to Demonu)

- Woolen Coat: Sheep gain a +5 to Endurance checks against cold.

- Countable: Sheep can spend a Magic Point to cause target to fall asleep

- Fluffy: Sheep gain the following Utility
Static Cling Preparation: 1 minute
Hoofheld objects can be affixed to the caster for the next 5 minutes. In addition, attempts to touch the caster are met with a light shock.

Nightmares:
- Creature of the Night: Gain the "Night Watch" Utility for free

-Sisters of the Sky: (Works exactly like the Griffon's version)

-Pyromancy: Nightmares are able to produce and control hellfire, much like how Pegusai can control weather.
Preparation Time: 10 Minutes
You can to create and/or control any fire in a 100-foot radius. For example, you could create a campfire or snuff out a lit torch. You may NOT use this skill to cause damage to other creatures. More difficult tasks, such as intricate displays of pyrotechnics would require a Stunts or Arcana check set by the DM.
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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  XandZero2 on Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:55 am

Stairc -Dan Felder wrote:
I just looked at the Zebra template now. I really like the way you handled the rhyming ability. It's effectively a permanent +2 bonus to your skill checks, very powerful, so we need to make sure that the other abilities are weaker but VERY flavorful. So far, I don't think the other traits are flavorful enough yet. They don't scream 'zebra'. Dangerous Domain is an interesting ability, for example, but it doesn't really pulse 'zebra' the way the rhyming trait does. The dragon template is so great because all the abilities are both cool and dripping with juicy dragon flavor. Let's try to pack more of that into a Zebra.


Hah hah! YES!

-That's more like what I wanted to hear. Save the Zebra!

If we want to have abilities that scream "Zebra" though, perhaps it would be best to first consider (in more depth) what makes a Zebra a Zebra in MLP?

It's true that we've only ever gotten one representative of the race, but from that representative we can definitely learn a few things about the race as a whole. Besides the rhyming, I think we can assume that:

1. Zebras are a rare find in Equestria, and because of this they are feared and ostracized by much of ponykind.

2. Zebra culture draws from African culture, as the jewelry Zecora wears and the decorations in her house seem to suggest. Perhaps researching African culture will give some idea for a racial Zebra ability?

3. Since Zecora lives in the Everfree Forest (where ponies fear to tread), she seems to have a much better understanding and peace of mind for all things natural (and apparently "scary" to magical ponies). This may be a special trait that implies more about Zecora's own character than that of Zebra kind as a whole, but considering that Zebras are not magical creatures like Pegasi and Unicorns, I could also see all Zebras sharing this natural knowledge. Also, considering point 2, it makes since that Zebras would have more nature knowledge, as I'd imagine African tribes people also need to have a greater understanding of the land in order to survive off of it. As at least one person has mentioned already, perhaps a nature-based racial ability would be appropriate?

4. Zecora also seems to have a wide knowledge of magical creatures as well, especially when they're the obscure kind (after all, she helped diagnose Spike when nopony else could, and she recognized Parasprites for what they were - even though Pinkie was the only one who knew how to stop them). Perhaps this could mean that Zebras are just more knowledgeable than ponies in general?

5. "Zebra Senses" are referenced in one episode by Applejack (okay, so I admit I was wrong), and though Zecora doesn't seem to have any such senses, it's a good name for an ability.

Can everyone agree on what I've got so far? Is there anything else that's missing?
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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  Masterweaver on Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:11 am

Well if we're drawing from African culture then we should probably have some sort of animism talent. Spirit of the local wildlife and whatnot. (I still think rhyming is a conscious choice, not a trait.)

Also, on Nightmares.... has anypony read Pony Point Of View? It postulates that Nightmares aren't a race so much as a transformation. I can understand a Nightmare template, but I don't recommend a Nightmare race.

Actually we should make a topic for templates.
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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  XandZero2 on Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:41 am

On the subject of Zebras...

I kind of feel like there could be a racial ability that gives Zebras some kind of penalty to interacting with ponykind - at least until a pony gets to know them. Likewise, Zebras might also get some kind of bonus to interacting with non-ponies and nature based stuff because of their cultural knowledge.

Maybe Zebras could have something like:

Bridle Gossip (named in honor of the first episode Zecora appeared in)
Normal Ponies don't know much about Zebras, and they're often quick to judge them as witches, warlocks, or worse - casting all Zebras with a shadow of superstitious fear and dread. Because of this, when a Zebra tries to interact with a pony NPC for the first time, the pony has a (25 to 20% - not sure on the exact percentage) chance of refusing to talk to the Zebra (or to just run off singing about evil enchantresses). GMs are encouraged to increase or lower this percentage chance depending on the NPC and the locale. Just keep in mind that the more ignorant the Ponies, the more scary Zebras will seem. (for example - Zebras are widely accepted in Manehattan where they commonly come in contact with ponies, but in the small town of Ponyville, Zebras were long feared and despised due to their rarity).

One with Nature
Unlike ponykind, Zebras are used to living in peace and harmony with the natural world. They do not fear nature, but embrace and understand it like no other race can. Because of this, Zebras can reroll any nature-based checks they are required to make. They must keep the result of the second roll however, even if it's a worse result.

------------------------------------------------------------

I'm still thinking of a suitable bonus for interacting with non-ponies, but what do you guys think so far?
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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  ThousandYearSunrise on Thu Aug 02, 2012 4:07 pm

On the subject of zebras, I kind of feel that zebras should have strong herd instincts. I know that sort of counters Zecora's characterization, but in real life being part of a herd is the zebra's main defense against predators. The vertical stripes means that lions and such can't tell where one zebra ends and the next one begins, which I admit sounds really racist, but it's biologically true.

With all the discussion about zebras, have we given any thought to giraffes?


One with Nature
Unlike ponykind, Zebras are used to living in peace and harmony with the natural world. They do not fear nature, but embrace and understand it like no other race can. Because of this, Zebras can reroll any nature-based checks they are required to make. They must keep the result of the second roll however, even if it's a worse result.

This, I think, either balances or countermands the "dangerous domain" attribute. Lemme explain.
In my head-canon at least, zebras see predators as a sort of physical god, kind of like how ponies see the Princesses. Predators mainly take the old and sick, after all. But, as they discovered the healing properties of various herbs, this raised a dangerous question; use their knowledge and risk angering the gods, or maintain the fragile truce?
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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  Masterweaver on Thu Aug 02, 2012 4:26 pm

ThousandYearSunrise wrote:On the subject of zebras, I kind of feel that zebras should have strong herd instincts. I know that sort of counters Zecora's characterization, but in real life being part of a herd is the zebra's main defense against predators. The vertical stripes means that lions and such can't tell where one zebra ends and the next one begins, which I admit sounds really racist, but it's biologically true.

With all the discussion about zebras, have we given any thought to giraffes?


One with Nature
Unlike ponykind, Zebras are used to living in peace and harmony with the natural world. They do not fear nature, but embrace and understand it like no other race can. Because of this, Zebras can reroll any nature-based checks they are required to make. They must keep the result of the second roll however, even if it's a worse result.

This, I think, either balances or countermands the "dangerous domain" attribute. Lemme explain.
In my head-canon at least, zebras see predators as a sort of physical god, kind of like how ponies see the Princesses. Predators mainly take the old and sick, after all. But, as they discovered the healing properties of various herbs, this raised a dangerous question; use their knowledge and risk angering the gods, or maintain the fragile truce?

I'm thinking bout Giraffes, believe you me, but they're not in the show so they're lesser concern.

As for the predator thing... my headcanon is that ancient zebras were enslaved by the sphinxes to make the pony equivilant of the pyramids, so I kinda think modern zebras are more respectful of predators then actually scared of them.
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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Thu Aug 02, 2012 4:28 pm

The nature-bonus grants incentives to particular builds, so let's not go with that. Can you make a 'positive' trait called bridle gossip, but one rather minor?

Perhaps a daily rhyming challenge for a bonus *laughs*. Zebras could be all about rewarding the group's poet if we can't think of anything else.

Other option - An alchemy talent could let zebras prepare unicorn-like-spells.
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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  ThousandYearSunrise on Thu Aug 02, 2012 4:38 pm

Ooh, here's a thought. What if there was a "hoof trinity" on each continent? So Equestria would be one, and each other continent has something like pegasi, unicorns, and Earth ponies. Let's say that Zebras are that area's unicorns, and maybe Giraffes are the local Pegasi, and maybe Gazelles as Earth ponies? Something like that.

I do like the Egyptian parallels with the Sphinxes.
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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  Cardbo on Thu Aug 02, 2012 7:08 pm

Masterweaver wrote:[quote="ThousandYearSunrise"

As for the predator thing... my headcanon is that ancient zebras were enslaved by the sphinxes to make the pony equivilant of the pyramids, so I kinda think modern zebras are more respectful of predators then actually scared of them.

What about camels? I'd associate camels with the pony version of Egypt. Maybe have a sphinx be a unique creature ruling over camels? The Pharoahs of ancient Egypt claimed to be gods. Maybe have the Sphinx be an analog of that?
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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  ThousandYearSunrise on Thu Aug 02, 2012 7:20 pm

I associate camels more with the Middle East than with Africa, although I'm pretty sure they have camels in Egypt.

Ooh, but how about this; the sphinxes made zebras brew potions for them?
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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  Masterweaver on Thu Aug 02, 2012 7:21 pm

Camels don't really seem very... Egyptian. More Persian.
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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  Philadelphus on Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:24 pm

Well, there are two different species of camels and they inhabit different parts of the Earth, including the Middle East and the Horn of Africa. Though how closely we should follow real-world stuff is a discussion in itself.

Two slight problems with the "hoof trinity on every continent" idea: ponies aren't the only creatures with hooves in Equestria (sheep, cows, donkeys and mules spring to mind), and all three kinds of ponies are, well, ponies. A comparable trinity would be earth zebras, pegasus zebras, and unicorn zebras, not zebras, giraffes, and gazelles. I'm not saying we couldn't have giraffes and gazelles as races (gazelles especially might be neat), but I think trying to fit them into a structure that hasn't been at least hinted at by the show is..awkward, to say the least.


Hmm, pegasus and unicorn zebras...
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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  XandZero2 on Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:02 pm

Philadelphus wrote:Hmm, pegasus and unicorn zebras...

No. Not again. I don't want another Dragon fiasco on our hands here (;

Keep it simple guys. Let's just focus on the normal Zebras.

Stairc -Dan Felder wrote:Can you make a 'positive' trait called bridle gossip, but one rather minor?

Perhaps a daily rhyming challenge for a bonus *laughs*. Zebras could be all about rewarding the group's poet if we can't think of anything else.

Other option - An alchemy talent could let zebras prepare unicorn-like-spells.

Bridle Gossip(2.0)
Zebras are often feared throughout Equestria due to a combination of ignorance and unfounded rumors. Many ponies think them to be evil enchantresses, enchanters, and the like. Because of this, ponies are often very eager to stay out of a zebra's way (which can actually be kind of convenient at times). Depending on the location (the less common zebras are in an area, the greater the effect should be), pony NPCs can react to Zebras in a number of ways - from boarding their windows and locking their doors to making way for a Zebra on a crowded street. Pony NPCs are also much less likely to bother a Zebra for anything unless it's very important (for instance, it's easy to avoid getting tickets for loitering - as the police ponies are hesitant to get on a Zebra's bad side).

-----------------------------------------------------------


I thought this next ability would be more suitable for crafting minor healing potions, but we could perhaps change it to work with Unicorn effects instead.

---------------------------------------------------------------

Supernaturals - Natural Remedies and Cure-Alls
Zebras have a cultural knowledge of medicinal remedies passed down from Zebra to foal. Once a day, you can attempt to craft a potion that can heal minor injuries or illnesses like an allergic reaction to poison joke or a deep cut. You can also attempt a more difficult feat, such as creating a cure for hoof-and-mouth disease or a balm to make bones knit back together (or even reform for that matter), but these more difficult tasks require a Precision check or Knowledge check set at the DM’s discretion.

----------------------------------------------------------------

How do these look?
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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  XandZero2 on Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:14 pm

I just thought of a brilliant (if I do say so myself) idea for the Alchemy thing!

If we want Zebras to have Alchemy based on Unicorn magic, we could change Supernaturals to:

Supernaturals
Zebra culture is steeped in ancient potion-making traditions, the only problem is that Zebras sometimes get their potions mixed up! Once a day you can make a potion with a random effect. Roll a D12 and consult the following table. In all cases, effects last until the end of the day:

1. It's a Dud! - nothing happens, or the potion explodes harmlessly in your face (take your pick).
2. You or an ally gains Telepathy
3. You or an ally gains Mirage
4. You or an ally gains Echo
5. You or an ally gains Spike, Take a Letter
6. You or an ally gains It's Witchcraft
7. You or an ally gains Immovable
8. You or an ally gains Detect Minds
9. You or an ally gains Strengthen Substance
10. You or an ally gains Weaken Substance
11. You or an ally gains Pyrotechnics
12. You or an ally gains Phase Step

If we wanted, we could even make the check be made with a D20, with more dud - or even negative - results to tone the ability down a bit more.
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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  SilentBelle on Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:19 pm

XandZero2 wrote:I just thought of a brilliant (if I do say so myself) idea for the Alchemy thing!

If we want Zebras to have Alchemy based on Unicorn magic, we could change Supernaturals to:

Supernaturals
Zebra culture is steeped in ancient potion-making traditions, the only problem is that Zebras sometimes get their potions mixed up! Once a day you can make a potion with a random effect. Roll a D12 and consult the following table. In all cases, effects last until the end of the day:

1. It's a Dud! - nothing happens, or the potion explodes harmlessly in your face (take your pick).
2. You or an ally gains Telepathy
3. You or an ally gains Mirage
4. You or an ally gains Echo
5. You or an ally gains Spike, Take a Letter
6. You or an ally gains It's Witchcraft
7. You or an ally gains Immovable
8. You or an ally gains Detect Minds
9. You or an ally gains Strengthen Substance
10. You or an ally gains Weaken Substance
11. You or an ally gains Pyrotechnics
12. You or an ally gains Phase Step

If we wanted, we could even make the check be made with a D20, with more dud - or even negative - results to tone the ability down a bit more.

I don't know if any race should have a large table in their race description, seems a little clunky... I do, however, love the idea!

I've been toying with the idea of making a list of (hopefully balanced and useful) potions for Pony Handlers to add to their campaigns for some extra spice. A chart of useful potions to use as a reward for players, or as plot points in a quest. And this seems to play into a similar territory.

[Tangent
(In fact in my first session running a pony tales game, I had set up a skill challenge that involved the creation of a potion to continue on the quest. As a little side-option, I threw in one of three potions that the players could create should they decide to search through the books for other available recipes. And as I thought, the player decided to try and mix a new potion, because he rolled really high on a general knowledge check. He then used mechanics (his cutie mark skill) to mix and prepare the potion in accordance to the recipe he found. Turns out he rolled a 1 on the check, so instead of having the potion explode or whatever, I had him finish mixing the potion, but told him that the result potion looks significantly different than what the recipe had described. He was curious, and was certain he had made some drastic mistake, so he decided to see if he could convince someone else to drink it, claiming that it was exactly what the recipe had described. He, of course convinces a npc follower to drink it. So I pull up the Tons of Fun table, and BAM! A minute after ingesting the potion, cake batter covered everything! We had a good laugh.) /Tangent]

I guess I've always loved the excitement involved with random tables. So I suppose a random table could work with a race, and it would make the zebra unique. But it would also be kind of implying that all Zebras make potions, unless the skill was re-flavoured. I want to see where this ability ends up, kudos on coming up with it. Smile
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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  Ramsus on Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:33 pm

I don't know if this has been addressed yet but, currently Changelings can't gain non-changeling/everypony utilities when they level up. I figure maybe the 2 per 1 deal should stop after character creation? I think that's certainly fair.
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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  SilentBelle on Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:52 pm

Ramsus wrote:I don't know if this has been addressed yet but, currently Changelings can't gain non-changeling/everypony utilities when they level up. I figure maybe the 2 per 1 deal should stop after character creation? I think that's certainly fair.

I'd certainly agree with you on that one Smile
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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Fri Aug 03, 2012 10:39 pm

So are you saying that after that you think changelings should just be able to take any racial talent they want?
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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  Videocrazy on Fri Aug 03, 2012 10:49 pm

Stairc -Dan Felder wrote:So are you saying that after that you think changelings should just be able to take any racial talent they want?

Yes, with the caveat that they need to be in an appropriate form to use it. So no using every trait if they're in a Changeling form, for example. If they're in a Gryphon form, they can only use the allowed Pegasus feats and the Gryphon feats, even if they have Earth Pony talents.
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Very Special Somepony

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Join date : 2012-07-19

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Re: The Hooved Races

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