/vx/ - Videogames and Paranormal

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DnD OOC Discussion Thread
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Although without a doubt many people have tried playing Dungeons and Dragons in a MLP setting, afaik there is no complete rulebook or conversion set that allows for an immersive experience (this doesn't count: https://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Little_Pony_(5e_Race)). We've had some longstanding campaigns on /vx/ so why don't we build a reference as a community project? It doesn't necessarily have to be set in stone but it would better establish campaigns in rules of logic. It's impossible to have OOC discussion at length in a campaign so let's do it here.

Complete 3.5 rulebook: http://choisey.free.fr/3.5/Core/Indexed%20Player%20Handbook%20v3.5.pdf
Handy 3.5 reference site: http://www.d20srd.org/index.htm
A more comprehensive reference site: https://www.d20pfsrd.com/
Homebrew content: https://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Main_Page
"Monstrous Races" – useful if you have animals and monsters as sapient creatures like in MLP; unfortunately I don't have the book: https://www.dmsguild.com/product/230312/Monstrous-Races

What needs improving? Pretty much everything, but highest priority would be playable races and monsters, as canonically MLP is completely different from DnD in terms of sapient creatures and very different when it comes to other creatures. Amazingly entire campaigns have been played without precise knowledge of creatures' strengths and weaknesses, but setting the definitions straight will help nuance and variety.
Campaigns set outside the typical high fantasy realm of DnD, like our very own Occupied Equestria, present further uncertainty. Most guns (submachine guns were settled fairly recently, though I have no idea about LMGs/MMGs/HMGs) have already been worked out but, given it's a WW2 setting, how will vehicles function in combat? Can bits be expected to buy the same things as the recommended valuation of GP? These and any other gameplay questions can be discussed and answered here.
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I'm liking all the depth that's presented here. I'll see what I can pick up but there's such a bulk of material that I'll always be behind. The fact that relevant material is so scattered may make it ideal to compile the best mechanics into its own rulebook (though this may be an instance of "there are a dozen different systems so let's make a standardized system," only to wind up with a bakers dozen of different systems instead).
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D20 Modern is by itself a decent rulebook, having pretty much everything you need for a modern day adventure. The reason why you'd want supplements is because your goal (as I inferred) was to incorporate modern technology into 3.5e d&d system (something I wouldn't recommend, but it's certainly doable).
The real reason to use 3.5e (as opposed to 5e or PF), imo, is because of the abundance of splatbooks that support pretty much every concept imaginable in a fantasy setting. There's hardly ever a need to homebrew third edition material, because chances are what you're looking for already exists somewhere in third edition, and if not it might in one of the other compatible D20 books.

As for using third edition D&D as an engine for modern games, priorities need to be set:
How do you balance the equipment economy with the item economy? What prices do you set for high-tech mundane items that are explicitly mass-produced but powerful as magic weapons, without making them too easily accessible or absurdly overpriced (worth more than their weight in gold, or dozens of cattle)?
How do expand the base classes to make them adept to a modern world? Would you give classes with very few skill points more points just so they could use skills like drive, pilot, artillery, or the craft skills? Would you also give Rogues and Factotums more skillpoints to compensate?
How do you make classes meant for medieval settings relevant in in the modern world? How do you make sure that Barbarians, Paladins, Monks and Druids get to make use of their class features on a modern battlefield? Do you consider that characters without prerequisite knowledge skills might feel left out of in-game dialogue that the Int-based classes participate in? Do you modify classes to make them more relevant in modern settings, or do you just warn your PCs not to play those classes?
How do you handle weapon proficiencies? Do you give martial classes access to firearms because they're "weapons of war"? Do you make firearms simple weapons because they're not that much more complicated to use than heavy crossbows? Would you give PCs bonus feats or skills based on starting occupation?
What are the full consequences of both magic and technology existing in your milieu? Is magic treated as a form of technology, or even a commodity? How to magically-enhanced technological devices impact the meaning of war? Does Bind Elemental eliminate the need for fuel, or do you have fossil-fuel burning engines for other reasons? Do better-than-thermonuclear-weapons spell combos (See: "Locate City Bomb") impact politics in your milieu as they would from a tippyverse perspective, or do you tack magic onto your setting after making a technologically based one? Can self-resetting magical traps be used to mass-produce mundane equipment, or do you ignore that and assume weapons are still produced at the same rate as conventional industry without the interference of magic? How common is magic in your setting? Is it considered to be a high-skilled job that is desired, due to the implications of wielding magic in conjunction with mundane machines? Would that lead to situations like Faerunian Mageocracies due to technocracy, or do you consider the existence of magicktech to be a socially empowering resource, like in Eberron?
How do you make modern warfare not completely outclassed by magic to the point of seeming, without being unfair users (see: arbitrary nerfs) or raising the lethality too high (see: having to battle enemies with freaking machine guns when your class only lets you use your powers for melee)?
How do you make a modern d&d setting look like d&d as expected? Do you still have high-risk dungeon crawls and eldritch monsters who actually pose a threat to your modern world? Are you playing d&d, or are you playing a very high-magic version of D20 Modern/Arcana? Does your dungeons and dragons adventure feature dungeons and dragons, or is it something else?
How do you present the milieu of your adventure to your players as they're rolling their first characters? Do you establish guidelines for what character options are available, and how they can fit into the setting?
All questions/options that one might consider when considering a hybrid milieu that deviates so much from more traditional third edition settings.

.... Okay, I'll admit i got carried away there.... Some of those questions are pretty low priority, but they're questions I asked myself for my PF game.
Off to exams now.
>The real reason to use 3.5e (as opposed to 5e or PF), imo, is because of the abundance of splatbooks
I forgot the pic for this.

Anyway, I'm done with my exams, and I'll have some free time now. I'm going to focus on another game though.
Forgot D20 Apocalypse. It goes with Urban Arcana.
>although normally there is an accuracy penalty to firing while turning, a feat mitigates this
Now, is this feat you're talking about meant to be in the context of D&D?
D20 modern actually has several feats that do this, but characters in that game generally have more feats than D&D characters.

Consider that making some tech too skill/feat dependent might make it even harder for certain classes to appreciate it. Most third edition D&D characters are feat-starved as is (which is why i like how PF gave them moar), and a lot of classes have practically-mandatory feats necessary to get the full benefits of their class features (Power Attack and Divine Might for Paladins; Natural Spell for Druids; Adaptive Style for Swordsages; Font Of Inspiration for Factotums; Extra Granted Maneuver for Crusaders; Daring Outlaw for Swashbucklers, Versatile Spellcaster and Metamagic feats for sorcerers...etc). Considering that players can't be sure if they'll ever get to use tanks in a game, let alone consistently, they're probably going to build in ways that let them use their class features. If you want PCs to use these tanks at all, especially after going through the trouble of writing/researching the rules for them, you need to make sure they're accessible to the characters; because if they're all locked behind feat trees, PCs might just never use them because they can't be sure they'll even get to that level (expensive, low-return feat-taxes are the original sin of third edition splat content, imo).
D20 Modern makes some equipment more feat dependent because that tech is more likely to come up in the game and Modern PCs have more feats, since all the base classes grant bonus feats, in addition to feats based on level and starting occupation.
D&D, however, assumes the use of magical items, which do not often require feats to operate. Certain extreme items, like the Elemental-Vessel Vehicles of Eberron require feats or even class features to operate, but the investment is well worth it (Windright Captains with Item Familiar are amazing).
And that poses a question for the milieu: do you envision tanks and modern weapons in a magick-teck fantasy setting to incorporate magic? Would magic make them easier or harder to use? How do magick-tech armies combine their powers, if at all?

It's a bit tricky, because feat requirements can be justified if they're necessary to distinguish between who is trained in complex machinery and who is not, but that can be tough if the PCs themselves don't have enough feats to let them do cool d&d stuff in addition to appreciating the tank rules you took so long to plan.
One solution might be to just give PCs more feats. It would increase their mechanical power, but not too significantly if they come from preselect lists.
D20 Modern grants bonus feats on all of its classes, and also has Starting Occupations:
To define skills and knowledge that PCs would have gained from their (modern) educations and backgrounds.
Unearthed Arcana proposes a similar idea, among its many variant rules:
Although its a bit tied up with the Reputation, Honor, and Contact systems, which are only variant rules in d&d, but official rules in D20 modern. They're easily ignored though.
There's also the option of UA flaws if you just want to give PCs the chance to have more; or UA Test-based Prerequisites, if you want to just wing it and grant class features based on roleplay. Quite a few variant mechanics in UA worth looking at.
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I can tell you're really intrigued by this concept. Hope the exams went well. You're practically posting more resources than I have time to download and I'm still midway through Savage Species.

>What prices do you set for high-tech mundane items that are explicitly mass-produced but powerful as magic weapons
Unless if the setting is Ancapistan a good explanation would be legal restriction. You can't just go and buy a live grenade launcher, after all.

>How do you make classes meant for medieval settings relevant in in the modern world? How do you make sure that Barbarians, Paladins, Monks and Druids get to make use of their class features on a modern battlefield?
An interesting way to modify barbarians would be to make them the equivalent of either boxers/athletes or military special forces, as both modern professions can realistically incorporate CQC. Modifying the other classes might take more creativity.

>Locate City Bomb
"Dungeons and Dragons Is A Perfectly Balanced Game With No Exploits"

Other questions are very reasonable though and have to be considered depending on how metagamey the players are.

>If you want PCs to use these tanks at all, especially after going through the trouble of writing/researching the rules for them, you need to make sure they're accessible to the characters; because if they're all locked behind feat trees, PCs might just never use them because they can't be sure they'll even get to that level (expensive, low-return feat-taxes are the original sin of third edition splat content, imo).
Although a more casual campaign may allow any random Joe or grunt to jump in a tank and operate it, a more "realistic" war setting would probably encourage a dedicated tank crew or just the campaign be infantry-focused with tanks as an occasional opponent. No one expects infantry to be able to fly a plane without specialized training except in a video game. Also, in a 5-man WW2 tank at least two positions (the loader and the bow machinegunner) don't need special skills as the loader just needs to have strength and the bow gunner the ability to shoot a machine gun.

>expensive, low-return feat-taxes are the original sin of third edition splat content
I can agree in regards to that. Does anyone ever pick the unglamorous feats that just give a bonus to DC?

>occupations and backgrounds
Really helpful to know. Thank you for helping with the brainstorming.
>I'm still midway through Savage Species.
I wouldn't recommend reading allof these books in their entirety... nobody has that kind of time. You're better off just skimming through them and checking the tables of contents for what it is you're looking for.
Not that reading the books isn't a fruitful endeavor (I read most of the 3.5/3.0 core), but you'll want to be efficient if you have a specific content in mind.
>legal restriction
This is actually how they do it in D20 modern. All weapons and equipment have restriction levels. This is how D20 modern balances military grade weapons without just making them stupidly overpriced.
However, note that traditional D&D characters aren't usually subject to too many modern-era laws, and forcing too many laws on them (most of which they cannot feasibly have the knowledge ranks to know of in-character) could great
Then there's the question if PCs can craft or magically fabricate these weapons. Using magic, even the most sophisticated machinery could be crafted, since there's no shortage of spells that allow casters to more easily craft non-magical items.
>how metagamey the players are
Locate City Bomb was a joke, lol. It's at it's minumum level more destructive than a hydrogen bomb. Still, it's an example of how magic could change the meaning of modern warfare.
If you are playing in a WWII equivalent, scientists would be getting close to the development of nuclear weapons, so what about arcanists?
I recall another campaign setting based on the Tippyverse that used "Before Teleportation" and "After Teleportation" as the marker for how time was measured, because the development off the teleportation circle changed the world so radically. Large citystates could trade and communicate directly nd instantaneously, bringing much economic prosperity to those cities while simultaneously destroying many smaller cities and towns that depending upon trade routes that were no longer in use. It got even more gruesome when other countries managed to reverse-engineer the teleportation circle, using them to teleport legions of magically-fabricated sandsteel golems to wreak havoc on the prosperous ones.

When you put magic and technology in the same milieu, consider whether or not magic should be treated as technology, and how they mix. In a war-themed milieu, you could expect all competing factions to use every method at their disposal to defeat the enemy. What would an arcane arms race look like?
>more "realistic" war setting
It stopped being realistic when you brought magic into the equation, but i get your point.
In that case, you're better off just informing your players ahead of time that it will indeed be a tank-central game and reassure them that they'll be rewarded for the build investment. It's pre-game territory.
>Does anyone ever pick the unglamorous feats that just give a bonus to DC?
You mean Spell Focus? Yes, but that's only because it's sometimes a prerequisite to better feats and prestige classes.
>Thank you for helping with the brainstorming.
Glad to help. I could go on about this stuff all day.
>"Dungeons and Dragons Is A Perfectly Balanced Game With No Exploits"
I don't think anyone has ever said that unironically...
It's a reference to Spiffing Brit who became the largest Paradox gaming channel by making videos about exploits in non-Paradox games.

Also, have you tried Conquest of Elysium 4? It's a strategy game with a setting and mechanics similar to DnD. Just tried it out and it's surprisingly addicting. In my second game I as a warlock didn't expand enough while other AIs fell and the last one became the Roman Empire. I held out for twenty in-game years and annihilated over a dozen legions, but because he had an income over four times what I had he eventually just blitzkrieg'd me with a massive number of late-game units and powerful sorcerers. Good times.
Tbh, I don't play that many video games in general.
I've become rather passionate about tabletop games though.
Strategy games are pretty different from d&d, ngl. A DM should reward players for thinking strategically, and make it so difficult dungeons demand that they do, but once you get to mid level "strategy" is likely to turn into "Scry, Buff-Up, Teleport, Win". That can be prepared for though; all mid-high level adventures account for PCs using spells to circumvent challenges, and typically write them less linear so that the DM shouldn't expect PCs to follow any single adventuring path.
>I've become rather passionate about tabletop games though.
Which is why I suggested this game in particular. The developer, Illwinter, actually came up with a floorplan generator for encounters: http://illwinter.com/floorplan/index.html
Hmmm, maybe I'll give it a try some day.
A note of how D20 Modern treats firearms:
>The most basic form of attack with a firearm is a single shot. One attack is one pull of the trigger and fires one bullet at one target.
>The Personal Firearms Proficiency feat allows a character to make this sort of attack without penalty. If a character isn't proficient in personal firearms, he or she takes a -4 penalty on attacks with that type of weapon.
>A number of other feats allow a character to deal extra damage when he or she fires more than one bullet as part of a single attack at a single target. (If a character doesn't have those feats, he or she can still fire more than one bullet, but the extra bullets don't have any effect, and are just wasted ammunition.)
>As with all forms of ranged weapons, attacking with a firearm while within a threatened square provokes an attack of opportunity.
>Because of the weapon's unwieldy shape and size, an attacker using a longarm takes a -4 penalty on attacks against adjacent opponents.
These would be the "high-damage discount-magic repeating crossbows". Most classes in D20 Modern get Personal Firearms proficiency as a bonus feat, while others also get long arms or even advanced firearms. I think the question of balance comes from range as well as stacking the already-high-damage weapons with magical enhancements.

Now for how they treat Automatic weapons:
>If a ranged weapon has an automatic rate of fire, a character may set it on autofire. Autofire affects an area and everyone in it, not a specific creature. The character targets a 10-foot-by-10-foot area and makes an attack roll; the targeted area has an effective Defense of 10. (If the character does not have the Advanced Firearms Proficiency feat, he or she takes a -4 penalty on the attack roll.) If the attack succeeds, every creature within the affected area must make a Reflex save (DC 15) or take the weapon's damage. Autofire shoots 10 bullets, and can only be used if the weapon has 10 bullets in it.
>Autofire is not the same thing as burst fire, which involves firing a short burst at a specific target. Firing a burst requires the Burst Fire feat. If a character fires a blast of automatic fire at a specific target without the Burst Fire feat, it's treated as a standard attack. The attack, if successful, only deals normal damage, all the extra ammunition the character fired is wasted.
>Some firearms, particularly machine guns, only have autofire settings and can't normally fire single shots.
Note that Autofire weapons don't work with attack rolls against individual AC, they work with reflex saves (albeit really low fixed DCs) for characters in the area defined by the attack roll.
One might think that this makes high BAB overrated, but high BAB will still ensure that you are able to hit 10x10 areas at a long range and ensure that every one of your attacks lands there, in addition to the extra attacks it allows you to make.
At low levels, it would be an absolute game-changer as it targets a save instead of AC. At mid levels it's probably pretty meh because of the fixed DC (meaning that all monsters will pass 95% of the time), unless you have Burst Fire, in which case you're going to consistently deal more damage so long as you reload and have ammo (feats and items would fix that).
Would be pretty awesome on a War Cleric or Psychic Warrior with Zen Archery though, once their saves get high enough.
Although, Clerics are king at archery with compound bows because Zen Archery lets them prioritize Wis and Strength while dumping Dex.. I guess that wouldn't holdover well for guns in which case str is irrelevant.
Oh yeah, muh spells tho.
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Thanks anon but this scaling is cancer. Apparently there's nothing bigger than a yacht functionally speaking so you can forget naval battles.
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What kind of vehicle bigger than a yacht can be steered by just one person?
Colossal is a size category for creatures just as it is for vehicles. The Colossal category technically has no upper limit, but the Epic Level Handbook introduced the "Colossal+" size, for Jörmungandr-tier monsters.

Also, modern-tech naval battles are practically an entirely different game, and for adventures like that I would advise to simply play a different game (no shortage of navy-themed tabletop games). Although you can do it, it should be a one-off part of the game, not the game itself, since it's unlikely that PCs will get to use their D&D class features.
For fantasy naval campaigns, refer to Stormwrack for all 3.5e rules:
This is a very good book, btw.

I think Spelljammer has some useful stuff for naval games too.
On that note, it could only take one clever lvl 6 Wizard to sink an aircraft carrier.
I'll also note that that section refers to consider vehicles as a matter of personal/party finance. If you want to use 3.5e D&D rules, you should consider the gold piece cost of whatever ship they're using and take that into account in their WBL.
>naval battles
I should compress my posts, but it's too late for that now.

3.5e is a very, very combat-oriented system. It's not meant to be a war game; it's meant to be a game about 3-6 heroes on an adventure relying mainly on their personal powers. It's meant for party-level encounters, and although there are ways to simulate war-themed adventures in splats, it was never meant to be more than a party-centric adventure game.

If you want a navy game that's all about navigation and shooting things at extreme ranges, there are plenty of other games for that.
Got it.
It really depends on what you're looking for though.
What kind of adventure are you interested in? There's a lot of rules out there, but you should focus on what's appropriate for what you're running.
This: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OeTsgk_6JQ
(I'm interested in theoretical possibilities for now)
lol, this looks like an Eberron adventure where one of the party members is a half-elf Windwright Captain Artificer/Wizard/Sorcerer with the Mark Of Passage, piloting an elemental airship.
Another PC could be a dread pirate, lol.
Thing about Eberron is that it's a setting designed primarily for the most playable levels, unlike Forgotten Realms where everything is ruled by epic level mary sue wizards. once PCs get to lvl 20 they become among some of the strongest humanoid beings in the game and then fly/sail around the world going dragon-hunting or rousing ancient eldritch horrors.
Some say that's a flaw in the setting, but I would say that inserting epic level content into a normal setting is an exercise in futility.

Windwright captain is an great class, btw. I saw a guy with it in a ridiculously high-level Spelljammer game. He had Item Familiar to make his spaceship double-sentient.
I've been feeling bored enough lately to revist this. I'm strongly considering converting my PF game to 3.5e (I never wanted to do PF anyway), so i figured I'd brainstorm about pony races for 3.5e.
Anyway, I figured that since that anything that flies at lvl 1 is undoubtedly level adjusted in 3.5e, I figured the pony races may as well be statted as level adjusted creatures. A good yard stick could be the "Winged Creature" template, from Savage Species (page 137). A winged creature gains a +2 bonus to dex, and gains a fly speed, at the cost of +2 LA. Since I haven't seen any other race that has a fly speed with any less than +2 LA, it can be assumed that WoTC would measure the pegasus's flight at a minimum cost of +2 LA.
Now, if we consider all ponies to somehow be of equal power racially, we might consider unicorns and earth pony traits to be +2 LA as well. In this sense, we should consider "unicorn traits", "pegasus traits" and "earth pony traits" to be templates that add +2 LA to a base "pony" race.
The question arises, what exactly should a "pony" creature looks like? A few things stand out that should be expressed mechanically:
The ponies in the show are walk on all fours. If we ignored the mechanical implications of this, we wouldn't be using ponies but instead semi-anthro creatures similar to ponies.
Ponies lack thubs, and hands for that matter. You can stretch the concept of "squishy frogs" so far, so it should be assumed that earth ponies and pegasi get along with only their mouths for the most part. The mechanical impact of this shouldn't be too heavy, but it should be notable.
You could argue that ponies could be considered to be small, but in a world where they're the dominant race, they should be considered to be the yardstick for all other races.
These two traits could be expressed as followed:
Fingerless Rules:
>Hand and ring covering magic items automatically adjust to fit, becoming anklets that otherwise function normally.
>Any worn magical foot items (boots, shoes, etc.) adapt to cover all four extremities.
>Those with hooves may use horseshoe items, but doing so occupies the hooves, preventing boots, shoes, and other such things.
>Creatures with fingerless may wield/use items with their mouth as if their primary hand.
>Abilities requiring touch can be made with paws, talons, hooves or horn. There is no mechanical benefit to this and it resolves exactly the same as a humanoid touch with a finger.
>Unarmed attacks can come in the form of teeth, slams, or hooves. They do normal damage for an unarmed adventurer of medium size and are resolved entirely as unarmed attacks.
>Somatic components are handled with hoof, talon, paw, and/or horn.
>One-handed weapons with the ammunition property may be loaded despite lacking a free hand.
The last note stands out for any modern setting. I know it's bullshit, but it is based on a cartoon, right?
>Land speed of 40 when on all fours; 20 when bipedal
>Increase carrying capacity by 50% of those for medium creatures
>+4 to resist being tripped
>Ponies qualify for ride-by-attack and spirited charge as if they were centaurs. Ponies are considered to have Mounted Combat for the purpose of meeting the prerequisites of other feats.
These may look like they're power-increasing traits, but they only barely make up for the inevitable complications that would arise from lack of fingers. Increasing carrying capacity is reasonable since pony characters are unlikely to have horses or other mounts to carry their equipment; encumbrance is only important for flying builds or hulking hurler builds. The speed increase also accounts for lack of mounts, as well as for the awkwardness that would come from using two-handed reach weapons. Most quadripedal creatures have speeds of at least 40, so this seems reasonable. These traits could be applied to any pony-like races in the game as well.
The note about ride-by-attack stands out, but I think it's fine. Lack of arms makes a big difference in melee, so giving chargers a little bit of an extra edge shouldn't hurt. Pegasi qualify for fly-by-attack, which is much better.

Now for the good part:
>Cutie Mark: All ponies recieve Least Dragonmark as a bonus feat. The pony may select marks based on their tribe, or any aberrant mark.
Cutie marks are magical in nature and represent a pony's destiny in the world. I feel like they're almost identical to Eberron's dragonmarks, except that all ponies manifest them, and not just the dragonmarked houses. A pony with a cutie mark would gain a bonus to a particular skill, and would be able to use a certain spell-like ability a limited number of times per day. For example, a warrior pony with an equivalent to the Mark Of Sentinel may have a shield as a CM, allowing said pony to use Shield Other a limited number of times per day, as an expression of the talent to protect others.
Dragonmarks are a fun mechanic in Eberron, and I think they'd be a perfect stand-in for cutie marks in a pony game, especially since they would give DMs the option to use all sorts of lore and content from the Eberron setting. Mechanically, they're significant enough to be interesting, but not powerful enough to make a huge difference.

I'll lay out how I envision each race manifesting dragonmarks in my next post, when I finish typing up the pony tribes as +2 LA races. I might just go to bed if nobody is interested though. I already did most of my game as PF, so converting it to 3.5e is gonna be a chore if I follow through with it..
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Cutie Marks:
Magic is the lifeblood of Equestria, encircling it across the skies and seeping up through the earth from the depths of Tartarus. Perhaps the clearest manifestation of this pervasive magic is the appearance of Cutie Marks among three of Equestria’s most common races: The pony tribes of Earth Ponies, Pegasi, and Unicorns.

Now, like I said before, I'm ripping this in-part out of Eberron, but there are some key differences. The Dragonmarked Houses of Eberron typically are typically limited to noble houses of particular races; However, Cutie Marks do not carry all of the same socioeconomic implications that dragonmarks do (although plenty of the cultural ones), so it would be better to do away with the dragonmarked houses and Favored In House feats. Ponies that want to enter a dragonmarked prestige class could do so without the racial requirements or the racial requirements (i.e. a unicorn could become a Cannith Wand Adept without being human; or a pegasus could be a Windwright Captain without being half elf). I guess you could argue that only certain races should possess particular house marks (unicorns with the mark of scribing, pegasi with the mark of storm/passage, or Earth ponies with the mark of hospitality, etc), but it doesn't seem that necessary fluffwise since the goal of using cutie marks is NOT to import a bunch of house/race politics.

Giving Ponies Least Cutie Mark or Aberrant Cutie Mark as a bonus feat at level one wouldn't empower them too much; most Least Dragonmark Abilities are more flavor than power. It would, however, give them the opportunity and encourage them to increase the powers of their marks through feats and prestige classes. For example, a pony who possesses a Least Cutie Mark racially could gain a Lesser Cutie Mark by taking the feat with the same name; a pony with Aberrant Cutie Mark could increase the power of her mark through with the Lesser Aberrant Cutie Mark feat. Taking Lesser Cutie Mark (or Aberrant) requires that a pony possesses 9 ranks in any two skills as its prerequisite (also meaning it's only available at lvl 6), so the upgrade to a lesser cutie mark can be expressed as a manifestation of a pony's hard work in addition to innate talents.
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In game, I would describe Cutie Marks as follows:
>All members the three tribes of Equestria (Earth Ponies, Pegasi, and Unicorns) possess cutie marks. A young pony manifests her mark around the time that she attains Simple age. Cutie Marks represent a pony's unique talents and destiny in the world, and the manifestation of a mark typically coincides with a particular rite of passage or memorable experience that impacted the bearer's youth.
>A Cutie Mark is a magical symbol that manifests on a pony's flank, but its color immediately differentiates it from any mundane tattoo. A Cutie Mark is etched in shades of any color, often so vivid that it appears to glow, though the mark provides no real illumination.
>A Cutie Mark is associated with one or more innate magical abilities or unique talents, and a all ponies who reach maturity can excercise these powers. When a bearer invokes the power of a Cutie Mark, its colors shimmer and flow, and the mark grows warm to the touch. The mark grows warmer each time its power is used over the course of a day; by the time the bearer has expended her full allotment of spell-like abilities, the mark is fever-hot and cannot be used again until it cools. Shapechanging ability and illusions can mimic a Cutie Mark’s appearance, but usually cannot make it warm to the touch.
>In keeping with their magical nature, Cutie Marks are not simply skin deep. If a mark is cut or scarred, it reappears as the skin that bears it magically heals. Creatures under the effect of polymorph, wild shape, and other shapechanging effects retain their Cutie Marks unless they specifically will them to be hidden. A pony that has been reincarnated as another race keeps her Cutie Mark, but children born to such transformed creatures never possess Cutie Marks as ponies (unless your DM wants to incorporate hybrid autism. I'm not going to go there).
You would usually take a -4 penalty to disguise yourself as anyone who posesses a dragonmark. Idk if this would translate to ponies, since they all possess marks and that might just punish rogues. Then again, a Hat of Disguise isn't that expensive.
>Cutie Marks grow brighter and more vibrant as their bearer increases her powers, but the mark itself does not typically change in any permanent degree. A pony with levels in the Heir Of Harmony class, or any other Cutie Mark related class may under changes in her appearance, usually complimented by highlights in the pony's mane or tail, or the cutie mark itself spreading across her flank when its power is manifested.

In Eberron, one would roll Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty) to identify a dragonmark, but for cutie marks the skill should be Knowledge (Local), since cutie marks are more common than dragonmarks and the Local lore skill is used to identify the abilities of humanoids. Spellcraft would be used to identify spell-like abilities in use as normally.

Reference/idea books:

This is how I've been thinking of doing it in my setting. My party members are all monstrocities who lack marks because of story reasons, so this meta is only concerned with NPCs. I figured I'd share it just because I already went through the autism of researching/developing it.

Is this interesting at all? I thought it could make it easier for my low-level NPCs to provide commodity services to the party without giving them too many class levels. I'll go into full autistic detail about all of the plausible marks and how ponies of each race and profession would use them if anyone thinks it's worth using in a 3.5e/PF game.
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I'mma steal dis.

To be real though, this is an interesting concept for cutie marks. A lot more interesting than my personal idea of stealing the human skill points race thingy.

>Disguise checks
I say nix the penalty, cause I mean, ponies are already usually wildly different colors than each other, so what's the extra work in painting your butt a different color?

It is a very interesting way to weave cutie marks into a DND setting though, I like it.
It also offers potential for quests like the beginning of season 5, where a villian may steal cutie marks to either remove the target of their special talents, or for the villian to use themselves. It also makes cutie pox one HELL of an idea
>It also offers potential for quests like the beginning of season 5, where a villian may steal cutie marks to either remove the target of their special talents
I know of spells that suppress mark or damage their bearer, but few that give them to the caster permanently.
Ability Rip (Serpent Kingdoms, could be used to temporarily rob a bearer of her mark and grant that mark to another creature for several hours.
A spellthief with Steal Spell-Like Ability or Hamper the Supernatural could similarly steal/suppress cutie mark powers with a successful sneak attack. A multiclass Spellthief with the Master Spellthief feat could do so more efficiently.
This guy breaks it down pretty well.
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For races, it'd be best to start with Pegasi, since Flight is the greatest source of imbalance when it comes to equine characters. You could arguably use Scaling Flight, like with Raptorans, but the show would dictate that pegasi learn to fly at very young ages and in all professions regardless of "level".

Lets start by considering races that they might be similar to.
>Air Goblins

All of the above races (save for Raptorans) have Dex bonuses , as well as the Winged Creature template. The only two races that fly at-will from level one (Aarakocras and Avariels) have a +4 dex bonus. Since this is 3.5e, everything has got to have a stat penalty... Ponyfinder gives them -2 Str, which would be similar to the -2 Str that Aarakocras have (I guess humanoid kondors don't lift much). That might not coincide with the show very much though. The next logical stat would be constitution, as a manifestation of the "hollow bones" idea.
At the very least, they should have +2 dex. I'm going to give them -2 con for the sake of discussion.

>+2 dex, -2 Con
Tbh, Im not sure about stats, particulary where the -2 should be. Their dex could easily go up to +4. I left it at +2 because i was considering giving dex penalties to the other two races.
>+4 racial bonus to jump checks
Wings. Avariels have +4 to jump, and Raptorans have +10. I considered +10, but the implications for Pegasus Swordsages/warblades with Tiger Claw strikes makes the prospect of gimping a jump check a little too useful for my taste. They're already the fastest fliers, afterall.
>Flight (Ex): Pegasi have a flight speed equal to their land speed +20. Their maneuverability is based on their dex modifier (7-10 is clumsy; 11-14 is poor; 15-16 is average; 17 is good; 18+ is perfect). A pegasus cannot fly if carrying more than a Medium load, wearing Heavy armor, fatigued or exhausted. A pegasus can "run" whilst flying, so long as they move in a straight line.
This is a combo of Avariel flight and Winged Creature Flight. I actually slid the Winged creature to the left by 3 points so that only pegasi with 18 dex could have Perfect Flight; you could possibly slide it further if you
>Dive Attack: When flying, a Pegasus armed with a piercing weapon can make a special charge attack that requires descending a minimum of 30 feet; on a hit, the attack inflicts double damage.
This is an ability that Raptorans and Avariel enjoy. Not sure about this trait, tbh. Idk if it should work for pegasi, given their lack of arms. I would probably only give them this if it came with the -2 Str.
>Pact With The Wind Lords: Pegasi cast [Air] spells at +1 caster level.
This is a Raptoran trait that to reward pegasus players for playing Clerics or Druids, and to exemplify their connection to the element of Air.
>Cloudwalking: Pegasi can tread on clouds or fog as though on solid ground. The ability functions continuously but can be negated or resumed at will.
This opens up "Cloud City" biomes for pegasus characters, particularly NPCs who may spend their whole lives there.

>Weapon Familiarity: Pegasi treat the double-ended shortsword as a martial weapon, not an exotic weapon. A pegasi who would be profficient in shortswords is also profficient in two-ended swortswords. Pegasi may weild these weapons in their mays as if they were using two hands.
Tbh, the prospect of "familiarity" is kind of bullshit, since that weapon has never been seen in the show. I'm moreso just brainstorming ideas for how ponies might not be screwed out of two-weapon fighting. I was going to give earth ponies their own weapon familiarities, and I just put this here so I'd remember to bring it up again later.

>Weather Control
This part is tricky. I wouldn't really handle weather control as a racial ability so much as a cultural one. A good way could be to it as an intricate ritual that requires dozens of pegasi to complete, not unlike a UA incantation:
If your DM wants you to use it, he could stat out the incantation and decide what it takes to make it happen. It's more of an NPC thing though.
Whatever it is, it should be really complicated and take a long time, long enough so that the PCs wouldn't want to use it everyday.

These are my initial thoughts for pegasi as a +2 LA race. Not sure about it though. Idk if they need less or more stuff to be properly seated as +2 LA. They feel kind of worse than Aarrakocras as they are. Maybe increase the jump bonus to +10 and make their dex bonus +4, idk.

I'll do the next two races as +2 LA when i find the energy, maybe tonight.
Interesting way of breaking it down for Pegasus. I do agree with the con penalty, just cause
>hollow bones
and the fact that pegasi aren't known for exactly being weak.

I'd keep it at +2 and -2 though, but maybe that's just me.
I used to play DnD and post on Giant In The Playground Forums when I was a lot younger.
They had these "Iron Chef" contests where people had to create the best character to fit a theme while also using a secret ingredient.
The Iron Chef challenges were really nice. They're the reason why handbooks for so many mediocre/bad classes exist, which actually helps with the other classes in a way.
For example, anyone interested in playing a paladin, barbarian, monk or other martial class might wanna take a look at the Sohei Handbook:
That's MMX, but it follows the same philosophy of trying to make the best out of a bad class, or finding a way to optimize a certain aspect of the game. I know the guy who wrote it on discord.

I don't post to gitp, but I was actually thinking of making an account earlier this week (I've been rather lonely and bored lately). I do read a lot of archived threads on it though. It's got a lot of clever minds and interesting opinions.
Earth ponies:
Earth ponies are important to buff thoughtfully, since we really wouldn't want them to be considered inferior to unicorns or pegasi. At the same time, their implied bonuses point towards martial classes, which need all they can get mid-game as they may be outclassed by casters at high level, and definitely outclassed by fliers of any kind at low level. Since this would be a pony setting, PCs won't be able to play templated abominations or obscure races for martial bonuses, nor would they have to option of playing more traditional races like goliaths and warforged. Because of this, the main race presented to them has to be satisfactory; not just a +2 LA race, but a good +2 LA race, on par with a half-minotaur goliath, a mineral-warrior warforged, or a half-ogre Mul.
A major point in this matter should be that FiM is not D&D. The examples of pony warriors are actually few and far between. If the characters we saw in the show were translated into d&d, most of them would be low level and/or NPC classes.
Despite all that, we do see several examples of "Earth Pony Strength" in the show. Earth ponies have periodically been portrayed lifting/dragging heavy loads many times their size; some have been portrayed smashing boulders with their bare hooves or digging trenches in mere minutes. Although those notable examples can be described as exceptional individuals, I wouldn't consider many of them to be high-level d&d characters. Furthermore, a player who chooses to play an earth pony is likely to desire to be capable of such feats mid-level, without having to resort to magic or items. Earth ponies are described as being strong, capable, resilient, versatile, and hard working, possessing the hardcore grit and tenacity to assemble a barn despite their lack of opposable digits: their statistics should reflect such traits.

Let's think of a few races that might be similar to them:
>Dwarves, Earth Dwarves, and Athasian Dwarves
>humans, illumians and athasian humans
>Centaurs and Wendle Centaurs
Half-Orcs and Warforged recieve honorable mentions, due to st
All races here, to avoid spamming links
Level-adjusting templates might include:
>mineral warrior
>tauric creature
I'll link these if anybody asks to see them.
Borrowing traits from these races, some level adjusted, some not, we could get an idea of what a +2 LA race without racial hit dice might be. I'd like to stat Earth ponies as strong, but not too strong, since their appearance and mannerisms in the show don't necessarily reflect that. At the same time, a +2 LA creature could go up to +10 Str and +8 Con with the right base/template matchup, and we're trying to fluff Earth ponies as creatures physically capable of fighting on the same level as a race that can fly at lvl 1. At the same time though, many of the above races have Int or charisma penalties, and Earth ponies are neither less intelligent nor less charismatic than humans or other ponies.

I've picked out a few stats as follows.
>Size: medium
All ponies should be medium, even if a +1 LA creature could easily be large.
>+4 Str, +4 Con, -2 Dex
This is the trickiest step, imo. WoTC imfamously overvalues boosts to physical ability stats over mental ones for some reason. A +2 LA races could easily have much higher physical stats, but I think this is enough. I basically gave them a gestalt of Goliath and Mul bonuses, which is actually the same physical adjustment as the stoneboned template. A Wisdom bonus could be in order, although I've been intentionally avoiding boosts or penalties to mental stats. I gave them -2 dex because they have hooves, and if they had to lose something i'd cut that. I'm being conservative, but my intial idea was gonna be +6 Str, -2 Dex, +4 Con, +2 Wis. I might change this depending on how it's recieved. Reminder that a mineral warrior goliath has +10 ractial bonus to strength with the same LA.

>Larger Than Life: Earth ponies are deceivingly powerful, as strong as draft horses in compact, huggable form. An earth pony's inner strength allows her to in many ways as if she were one size category larger, whenever favorable. Whenever a pony is subject to a size modifier or a special size modifier for an opposed check (such as during grapple checks, bull rush attempts, and trip attempts), the Earth Pony is treated as one size larger if doing so is advantageous to her. An Earth Pony is also onsidered to be one size larger when determining whether a creature's special attacks based on size (such as improved grab or swallow whole) can affect her. An Earth Pony can use weapons designed for a creature one size larger without penalty, and her unarmed strikes and natural weapons are considered to be one size category larger than a creature of her size. An Earth Pony counts as large when qualifying for feats (such as Rock Throwing) or Prestige classes (such as Hulking Hurler). An Earth Pony is also considered one size category larger for the purpose of carrying capacity, in addition to the bonus she recieves for being quadripedal. However, her space and reach remain those of a creature of her actual size. The benefits of this racial trait stack with the effects of powers, abilities, and spells that change the pony's size category.
Powerful Build (with a name ripped off from the Halfling Barbarian Racial Substitution Level). It's among the most sought-after racial traits, second only to actual size modifiers (that grant reach). A +1 LA creature could easily be large size, and a +2 LA creature could be Huge Size, so I figured giving Earth Ponies Goliath traits was innocent with the level adjustment. Although most earth ponies do not necessarily appear to be that large, and might even be small by human standards, this trait only claims that they can be treated as larger than other ponies whenever size modifiers come into play (which is unarmed combat).
>Iron Jaw: Earth ponies have powerful head and neck muscles, although this does not translate to a bite attack (which may be expressed as an unarmed strike; see Fingerless), an Earth pony is still capable of holding, lifting, and dragging heavy objects with her jaws alone. An earth pony's maw is treated as if it were two "hands" for the purpose of weilding two-handed melee weapons or double weapons. An Earth Pony weilding a greatsword in her maw may add 1-1/2 times her strength score to damage rolls, just as if she were weilding it in two hands; if she uses the Power Attack feat, she gains +2 extra damage for each -1 penalty to attack rolls she takes, as normal. In addition, an earth pony weilding a quarterstaff may make attacks with either end, just as if she were weilding it in two hands; neither side of her maw is considered to be the "off" hand in this case, but unarmed strikes made with natural weapons are considered to be off hands as usual.
This, in essence, gives Earth ponies a practical monopoly on the use of two-handed weapons, which would make them the kings of melee in a world where nopony has arms. I find this trait to be absolutely essential in defining earth ponies as the "strong" race. Depriving them of two-handed weapons would make most martial classes borderline unplayable.
>Hardy: Earth Ponies need only half as much rest to eliminate the effects of fatigue and exhaustion.
>Tireless: Earth Ponies have +4 racial bonus to checks for performing physical activity over an extended period of time and +4 saving throws against spells that cause any form of weakness (fatigue, exhaustion, enfeeblement, etc.)
>Extended Activity: Earth Ponies can work relentlessly for up to twelve hours without rest.
>Resilient: Earth ponies effectively have Damage Reduction 1/- for any source of nonlethal damage. Whenever an earth pony would be subject to nonlethal damage, she takes one less point of damage.
Mul traits. My original idea was to gestalt Goliaths with Muls to make a better "worker" race. Perhaps this would be more fitting for a "mule" race, but making races that nopony will want to play is a lost cause. The next trait is also borrowed from Mul's in Dragon #319:
>Faster Natural Healing. Earth Ponies heal damage at twice the normal rate, recovering 2 hit points per level per day. At 10th level they gain fast healing 1, and at 15th level they gain fast healing 3.
This trait isn't expressed in the show at all (it's G-rated, afterall), but it would get them closer to +2 LA. I like the idea of Earth ponies being not just strong but extraordinarily resilient, like Muls, but it may be reaching too far.
>+1 Racial bonus to attack rolls when throwing or slinging rocks
Halfling trait. Reference to when the future Pie sisters were portrayed using rocks as weapons. I like the idea.
>Endurance: Earth Ponies gain Endurance as a bonus feat. If an Earth pony were to gain Endurance as a class feature, she may select any feat for which she meets the prerequisites.
Arctic half-orcs have this trait. It would define earth ponies as laborers. It would also allow earth ponies to travel long distances on hoof without getting tired, which would account for the lack of mounts. Some trimming to make up for my unwillingness to give them any more than +4 Str despite being +2 LA. Could be cut though, ask me about it.
>Weapon Familiarity: Earth ponies treat the War-Sling, the Bolas, the Celt Stone, the Greatpick, the Battle Horn, The Lasso, the double-ended sword, and the Tailclub as martial weapons, rather than as exotic weapons.
I just went down the list here. These are all weapons I could imagine ponies using. Most of these exotic weapons are actually pretty somewhat crappy in comparison to scythes and falchions, and I doubt anyone has ever spent a feat to gain them. Still, weapon familiarities for certain exotic weapons could help make up for lack of arms, particularly double weapons and thrown/slung weapons.
A guy I know in a discord server made a particular homebrew for slings that I found interesting:
It's obviously more powerful and versatile than a regular sling, but not any moreso than a bow. If you wanted to treat slings as a main ranged weapon for ponies, it could be fulfilling to treat them like this.
>Earthbond: Earth ponies cast [Earth] spells at +1 caster level
Similar to the pegasus ability. More trimming than anything else. I also had the idea of giving pegasi the [Air] Subtype and Earth ponies the [Earth] subtype, but decided against it since I didn't know what unicorns would have.
>+2 Racial bonus to balance checks
>+2 To saves against spells with the [Earth] descriptor
Was going to put an electricity equivalent to Pegasi, but i forgot. I'll post a revision to all these sheets after I get some feedback.
>Plausible Natural Weapons: either 2 hoof attacks or a slam attack
Tbh, I think Italyanon had a good point with the natural weapons, considering the damming ramifications of lack of arms/fingers in a d&d game. A couple extra attacks at a penalty might not hurt.
>+4 Racial bonus to profession (miner) and Profession (Farmer)
Because why not?

And those were my ideas for Earth ponies as a +2 LA race. It's pretty sloppy, tbh, and I say that mainly because I feel like a person like me wouldn't choose an ambiguous race with these stats if any of the other +2 LA races/templates were available. Not sure it it would be better to add to stats and lose traits, or just add other meaningful traits.

Gosh... It really says something about how crap I am at race design if it takes me three posts to communicate it... These are just ideas though.
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In my researching of how illumian sigils could be appropriated as unicorn magic tricks, I've looked at almost every race and remembered that there are in fact a few +0 LA races that fly at-will... e_e
I forgot how stupid and inconsistent LA was, and how much i hated it. Core 3.5e was never consistent about it to begin with, let alone splats.

In the end, Level Adjustment is whatever you want it to be. LA was a shitty system to begin with, and pathfinder was kind of right to do away with it. Tbh, the only reason I'm doing all this work is because 1) I'm really bored, and 2) I had intentions to bring up a Pathfinder-like RP system where LA could be bought-off automatically at certain levels, allowing mid-level games to ignore it entirely... In fact, LA is such a crippling thing that I would really never even consider is without using the LA buy-off rules of UA:
And PF says that GMs challenging races with high RP (PF's virtual equivalent to LA) can practically can ignore that RP at regular increments as class features quickly eclipse racial features.
By lvl 6, you can probably ignore +1 LA on PCs. By lvl 10, +2 LA would make almost no difference and you wouldn't need to work any harder to challenge them.

I was going to wait until i got done with my idea of the three races to say this, but I'll say it now: LA is bullshit.
I think the most important thing about LA in terms of ponies is just to make sure that Unicorn and Earth pony traits are at least as valuable as a Pegasus's Flight. You don't necessarily need to keep track of Level Adjustment in your game, tbh. CR is a meme to begin with. If giving Earth Ponies and Pegasi traits +2 LA leaning traits with at a cost of +0 LA means that low-level games are Monty Hall'd, then so be it. CR is a meme anyway; just add more monsters if it's too easy.
forgot pic
It might actually be better to aim for +1 LA with ponies, and then just be sure to start at levels 6-7ish.
Tbh, my Pegasus entry is probably closer to +1 LA than +2. Giving Earth ponies a Gestalt of Goliath and Mul traits could arguably put them near their level in terms of the value of At-Will flight.

Idk. I'll post my ideas for unicorn magic later and probably repost both Earth ponies and Pegasi as my interpretation of +1 LA races, with the mindset that said LA could be bought off at level 2 or just ignored at lvl 3.
Would you think that Sir McBiggen's sword in Ogres and Oubliettes would have counted as a one-handed weapon or a two-handed weapon? It looks like a greatsword to me. I'm considering how much a unicorn's physical strength should play into his/her ability to swing weapons.
I'm figuring out the logistics of how a unicorn could wield a weapon in combat. Originally, I had the idea of giving a unicorn's horn an effective strength of 10 and only being usable for one-handed weapons (though potentially at a 10 foot range), for the sake of them not being superior to Earth ponies in melee combat.. At the same time, I wouldn't want to pidgeonhole unicorn players into playing casters by baring them from doing things they were capable of doing in the show just so Earth ponies can feel good about themselves, because that's gay. Even then, they should have a reasonable limitation on how well they can flex their telekinesis in combat. Perhaps a unicorn could use her physical strength to wield as sword when it's within 5 feet of her (in which case it would be "locked" to the flexing of her neck), but would have an effective strength of 10 when 10 feet away.
I think ponyfinder just has them use their strength all of the time, but gives them no extra reach.. It's kind of weird to consider a strength-based supernatural ability though...

On another note, a Ram Helmet is top of the line equipment for pony warriors. Deals 1d6 Bludgeoning damage, and an extra attack is an extra attack. Take everything would can get when you don't have arms.
As per barding rules, a Ram hemet could also be made into a Horned Helmet:
The damage is tiny, but deals double damage on a charge.
Horned Helmets are among my favorite martial weapons (I like to Totemkomf aesthetic). I use them even on creatures that aren't proficient with them (my rogue wears one, mostly for looks).
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I remember being retardedly obsessed with the idea of an "Original do-anything Magic User". Constantly trying to figure out the best way for one spellcaster to do absolutely everything ever while also having big numbers. But to do it my own way with homebrew.
One idea was to be a Wizard with a Homebrew Race, "Lightborn Humans", who gain the Good cleric domain's spells for free and Divine Metamagic as racial abilities as they level up.
Lightborn Humans are humans from a shitty walled-off plague-stricken town that used to be sinful, but they offered their lives and bodies up to a god of lawful good in exchange for salvation, becoming divinely changed upon making a pact with that God. Immune to diseases and poisons, and light damage heals them, but if they turn Evil or Neutral they die on the spot. Lawful and Neutral good only, their society considers even Chaotic Good to be too far from Lawful Good. The city continues to exist as a walled-off theocracy dedicated to worshipping Insert Good God Here, Lightborn Humans will occasionally venture out of it to spread good deeds.
This let me get Mystic Theurge or a buffed copy of it that's not shit and has a better name.
Another route was a Homebrew Class called a Sage, an INT-focused spontaneous spellcaster that learns all forms of magic and gets two Domains plus Knowledge for free like a Cloistered Cleric. Can also use INT in place of any other statistic. Gains EXP and skill points at half the rate thanks to a class feature called Endless Study so it's balanced, I thought at the time.
The example of Sir McBiggen inspires me to think that a unicorn's melee weapon strength should be determined by their magical ability. His sword is pretty clearly >a longsword, and while not excessively huge, its canon that a powerful unicorn like twilight (even before muh wings) could use her horn to move incredibly massive objects and even creatures. So McBiggen would need sufficient magical strength and control to wield such a blade, but one could assume that greater magical feats would be beyond him (whether beyond his interest or ability).
As such, I would envision that a unicorn would have 2 strength scores, or some equivalent; one represents physiological strength, and one representing their magical strength as applies to physical objects.
>earth pony monk ftw
If you're talking 3.5e, the Prestige class you're looking for is Mystic Theurge
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yeah, I made a Mystic Theurge knockoff PRC that wasn't complete shit
it was necessary for a character build that was already using an OP custom race that should probably require LA.
Anyone else think being a "Lightborn Human" should require LA? It was basically Human just with extra boosts and a "going neutral or evil makes you die" effect.
>that wasn't complete shit
If you're gonna make a claim like that, you're gonna have to point out where/how the existing Theurge class IS shit, and then how yours 'isn't'. Your claim cannot be credibly taken at face value.
>Mystic Theurge knockoff PRC that wasn't complete shit
Mystic Theurge can be pretty powerful, tbh. If you do Wizard/archivist or Wizard/Cloistered Cleric you won't suffer. You'll have to sacrifice 2-4 caster levels to get there, but you can only ask for so much if your goal was to have two spell lists.
The trick with theurges is to go for early-entry tricks, as with most prestige classes. You want to pick up Precocious Apprentice and Alternative source spell to meet the prerequisites as early as possible.
I guess you could also try a dragonwrought loredrake sorcerer with Greater Draconic Rite Of Passage and plausibly get there without sacrificing too many caster levels.
You can use Academic Priest or

The thing about theurges is that even though you're advancing two casting classes, you're not getting the highest level of spells for either class. Very few prestige classes are worth sacrificing caster levels to enter, since other, better prestige classes exist.
Theurges also require a lot of feats to get the best use out of them, such as Precocious Apprentice, Practiced Spellcaster, and Alternative Source Spell. Those are feats you're not spending on Versatile Spellcaster or Divine Metamagic. In trying to pursue two spellcasting classes, you wind up being mediocre at either of them. PrC'd Wizards and Clerics who focus on their own caster abilities are often much more powerful by themselves since they're not feat-starved, and they get their highest levels of spells.
Normally, I prefer versatile characters to minmaxed ones, but tier 1 Spellcasters are already plenty versatile, so trying to pick up another class might not help them at the levels they intend to play at.

It doesn't help that the class itself has no features other than spellcasting. Wizards can do better with initiate of the Sevenfold Veil or Incantatrix.

I learned this the hard way when I tried to make my leprechaun Bard/Druid qualify for Fochlucan Lyrist, to put the prestige in prestige class. I had to use Shape Soulmeld to meet the Evasion prerequisite. Jack of all trades, master of none...
Ngl, I don't like homebrew casting classes.. A lot of them feel either mediocre or overpowered.
Using my own homebrew also feels like cheating... It kind of spoils the fun of optimizing if I'm writing my own class.
Your idea interests me though. I'd be glad to critique it.
*Academic Priest or Dynamic Priest
Or lost tradition, I guess. A Druid/Sorcerer Arcane Heirophant who only needs Constitution would be stupidly potent mid level.

The last Mystic Theurge I built was a Wizard/Archivist Primordial Menta Cyclopean. I actually made it work by abusing Spontaneous Divination to qualify for Versatile Spellcaster. It didn't matter to me that I lost caster levels, since I was able to access higher level spells from my Spellbook and Prayerbooks since so long as they were in my book they counted as "spells known". From that, I was able to cast any of my spells spontaneously by sacrificing two lower level spells, including spells in which i didn't have Wizard slots, due to having spent levels in archivist.
With access to divine spells from the Druid, Paladin, Ranger, Adept and Divine Bard spell lists, scribed by a high-level Warlock cohort (also a primordial giant), I had access to virtually every spell in 3.5e, save for a few assassin spells. I was crap at metamagic, but who cares when you can cast virtually any spell spontaneously?
If it wasn't obvious, this character was meant for a very, very, very high-op game.

That character never saw the light of day though, since the DM decided he wanted to run next year instead. I was kind of ticked off when I realized I'd done all the work for nothing... I'm going to get a chance to play it again in the DM's 35 ECL spelljammer game, but I think I might want to play something a bit simpler for epic level... Maybe a druid /Sha'hir Arcane Heirophant instead...
Theurges pay themselves back at epic level, since your spells max out at 20 anyway. If you have alternative source spell and dip spellthief+unseen seer you can stack all of the caster levels for any new spellcasting classes you take.
>Anyone else think being a "Lightborn Human" should require LA?
Humans are already among the best commonly used 0 LA races. If your race amounts to "human, but better", it would have LA as far as WoTC standards should be.
Although, idk. Like I said before, WoTC hasn't exactly been consistent with LA. I saw that Crane Hengyokai fly at a 60 ft speed with average maneuverability, at 0 LA.
Ultimately, LA is whatever the DM wants it to be.
Sometimes it seems as though the real purpose to LA was largely just to make certain "NPC" races less attractive to players, like how Hobgoblins have +1 undeservingly, and Drow have +2.

If you want your players to actually play the race, you should probably aim for +0. I only even consider using LA races if buyoff rules are in place, since LA is a crippling mechanic if permanent.
And on that note.. I take back what I said about giving pegasi LA. LA is gay and not completely necessary if you're focusing on 3 main races.

I think it's just important to give Unicorn and Earth ponies traits that are as valuable as At-Will flight, so that they're at least close to equal.
I think giving Earth Ponies those Goliath and Mul traits is a good start.
>One idea was to be a Wizard with a Homebrew Race, "Lightborn Humans", who gain the Good cleric domain's spells for free and Divine Metamagic as racial abilities as they level up.
I feel like there's a way to build this using published 3.5e game statistics. Did you consider just using Illumians, Lesser Aasimar, or Humans with the celestial/saint template? Illumian Wizards and Clerics have a lot of nifty tricks with their sigils, one of which is very similar to Divine Metamagic. Humans also get that bonus feat, which let's them qualify for Divine Metamagic earlier than most races: a Human Cleric with two flaws and the Undeath and/or Planning Domain can pull off Divine Metamagic with Persistent spell by level 3.
Your society sounds a lot like those of the petitioners in Celestia, many of which may include Celestial Humans. Idk how appropriate it'd be for a society on the prime material plane, but it'd be interesting on the upper planes.
"Lightborn" human sounds a lot more like it would be a templated human than a humanoid with the human subtype. In Races Of Destiny, they really tried to hammer home the prospect of being able to "do anything", as a uniquely-human trait. Few creatures with the human subtype-
Human Aventi, Deep Imaskari, Illumian, Mongrelfolk, Neanderthal, Sea Kin, Sharakim, Underfolk, Karsite...
-with the exception of Vashar and Skulk, have any alignment leading. Skulks are evil because they're practically monsters; not humanoids but monstrous humanoids.
Vashar are an exception, although they're meant to be fluffed as flawed humans who lack the inherent dignity to choose their own alignment, having their flexible bonus feat replaced with a Vile feat (making them mechanically inferior).
A good-aligned variation of just replace that Vile feat with an exalted feat.

Similarly, few creatures with the human subtype have a favored class. Illumians have a very wizard-esque feel to them though (their fluff stinks of Truenamer, but I shant speak of that wet fart of a class).
>Another route was a Homebrew Class called a Sage, an INT-focused spontaneous spellcaster that learns all forms of magic and gets two Domains plus Knowledge for free like a Cloistered Cleric. Can also use INT in place of any other statistic.
Tbh, I don't like the idea of making buffed-up versions of tier 1 classes, just because most of them can already do virtually anything, often better than other classes that specialize in their specific niches. If "doing anything" is your goal, it's possible to get there through optimization (see >>130380 ). I think Archivist already kind of fits the idea you're looking for. Domain Wizard works too as the best Generalist variant. You could also use the UA spontaneous Cleric and apply Cloistered Cleric ACFs to it, and Make it Int-based via Academic Priest. You can plausibly pick up Turn undead without a Cleric dip through Catalogs of Enlightenment on the grounds of how the description for mystic says that a non-cleric who gains the Sun Domain gets the power to Turn Undead as a Cleric of their level.
>Gains EXP and skill points at half the rate thanks to a class feature called Endless Study so it's balanced, I thought at the time.
Variant exp progressions was an idea that died in 2e. Part of the original sin of 3.5e class imbalance was the grandfathered mentality that "Of course the Wizard should be better than the fighter. He worked harder to get there." even after they standardized leveling progression. Variant leveling progressions for classes that obviously have astronomical power differences makes sense, but the thought of resurrecting that thought for a single homebrew class when Fighters and Clerics still level up the same way doesn't sound like it would be the most fulfilling endeavor at a table, just imo. It'd be hard enough to get a DM to agree to allow a homebrew tier 1++ spellcasting class.

Then again, I haven't played with your group, so I'm none to judge. If your group was cool with the idea, then good for you. I'd actually like to hear more about it, if you'd like to share.
I was actually waiting for that British Anon's input before I posted my ideas for the unicorn stats. Idk though; I was questioning if anyone was still interested.