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Gen Con Worlds Collide: The Pony Puzzle Event - Character Preperations!

Gen Con Worlds Collide: The Pony Puzzle Event - Character Preperations!

Posted by Renegade Game Studios on May 10th 2024

My Little Pony RPG Crossovers

Thanks to the Essence20 Roleplaying System’s cross compatible design, gamers can combine their favorite popular culture settings in epic crossover campaigns. No book embodies this compatibility like the Essence20 Roleplaying System Field Guide to Action and Adventure Crossover Sourcebook. Unfortunately, Essence20’s Equestrian contingent missed that train. Fans of the My Little Pony Roleplaying Game could adventure alongside G.I. JOEs, Power Rangers, and Transformers, but they didn’t have the Essence20 Field Guide to Action & Adventure’s in depth rules for advanced crossover character creations. Until now.


Preparing for The Pony Puzzle

So you need a PC that mixes My Little Pony with G.I. JOE, Power Rangers, Transformers, or all of the above. Well, this document isn’t exclusively for players in the Worlds Collide 2: The Pony Puzzle Essence20 multitable mega event. It applies whenever you want to bring My Little Pony options to an Essence20 crossover game. However, if you are playing in Worlds Collide 2: The Pony Puzzle whether at its Gen Con 2024 debut or a later event after its general release, you have the option to play as either a single-setting character, like you would a normal campaign, or a crossover character. Consider all options found here and in the Field Guide to Action & Adventure available to your build, which must be 6th level. The following rules help make it happen. The next section, Crossing Over, is a crossover primer for groups without access to the Essence20 Field Guide to Action & Adventure. If you are an old hand at Essence20 Crossover Characters, you can skip ahead to My Little Pony Crossover Characters.


Crossing Over

Like Pinky Pie baking a cake, before we get hoof deep into the batter, we need to read over the recipe.

Groups with access to other Essence20 rulebooks can pool the options together, gaining more character creation tools, more adventures to run, and more Threats to face. This can enhance a single-setting campaign, or create a crossover campaign where these settings coexist.

Essence20 campaigns can crossover in multiple ways, depending on how much the settings interact.

Options Only: While players are allowed to dip into Essence20 rulebooks from other settings for character creation options, and GMs might use adventures and Threats designed for other settings, at the end of the day, this is a G.I. JOE, My Little Pony, Power Rangers, or Transformers campaign.

A Visit: Some elements of another setting briefly appear. Discord snaps his fingers and teleports a confused Cobra Commander across dimensions at bath time for a quick gag at the despot’s expense. Rita Repulsa, tired of Finster’s ineffective experiments, teleports to Equestria to try and capture a dragon. After the crossover scene or adventure ends, the two settings might not crossover again for the rest of the campaign. For example, Worlds Collide 2: The Pony Puzzle is a visit.

A Layer: The settings co-exists, but mostly mind their own business. Equestria is on another planet in the same galaxy as Cybertron. Grid Tech and Equestrian magic both draw their power from the same source. A teleportation spell or the M.A.S.S. Device can get you to Manhattan as easily as it can to Manehattan. An element of other settings showing up in this campaign is neither common nor unexpected. For example, the My Little Pony/Transformers comic books that the My Little Pony Deck-Building Game Transformers Crossover Expansion Collision Course is based on are a layer.

A Melting Pot: Everything from the settings completely overlaps. Spitfire morphs into the Wild Force Yellow Ranger. The Eco-Warriors logo magically appears on Beachcomber’s back hubcaps. This isn’t a G.I. JOE, My Little Pony, Power Rangers, or Transformers campaign, it’s an all-in Essence20 campaign. For example, using My Little Pony Origins and Power Rangers Roles to create a Power Ponies campaign is a melting pot.


My Little Pony Crossover Characters

Importing some options is so easy, it’s effortless. Other options need to be adjusted before they can be used in other settings. Any and all changes that need to be made to an option to make it crossover compatible is summarized here, from easiest to hardest.

Influences

The majority of Essence20 Influences can be taken regardless of setting. For example, Heavy Hitter and Vigilant may be found in the My Little Pony Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook, but they apply to residents of Equestria as much as they do to Cybertronians and Earthlings. Most Influences that can’t be taken as is can be tweaked to fit fairly easily. For example, Fanatic, from Transformers Roleplaying Game Decepticon Directive grants a benefit "in the presence of a Decepticon commander or anyone with the Word of Unicron General Perk". Although Decepticons and the Word of Unicron General Perk are tied to the Transformers setting, "Decepticon commander" could be replaced with "Royalty" or "a higher level character" to make the rest of the flavor and mechanics apply.

Influences that cannot be easily adapted generally should be ignored completely. For example, the Time Traveler Influence from Power Rangers Roleplaying Game A Jump Through Time only works in a setting with time travel.

Remember that the Transformers Roleplaying Game handles Hang-Ups differently. In G.I. JOE, My Little Pony, and Power Rangers, when you take more than one Influence, your second and third Influences’ Hang-Ups apply. In Transformers, you pick a disconnected Hang-Up from a list.

The Essence20 Field Guide to Action & Adventure introduced Influences that gave one character the flavor of two Origins. Four more Influences like that can be found at the end of this article.

General Perks

It’s right there in the name: General Perks can work with characters regardless of Role or Origin. That said, some General Perks are tied to their setting. Each setting includes subsystems that bring unique elements to life, and General Perks to expand on them. For example, Additional Alt Mode from the Transformers Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook isn’t much use for a character who can’t convert to an Alt Mode. This isn’t listed as a prerequisite because it’s assumed a character picking options from the Transformers Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook has an Alt Mode. When picking General Perks from other settings, especially General Perks with words like Additional and Extra in their name, check to see if they’re tied to something unique to that setting. If so, discuss with your GM what impact that has on the campaign, or play it safe and consider another option.

Equipment

The Equipment rules in the My Little Pony Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook are quite different from how equipment works in most Essence20 settings. Crossover characters should disregard the whole chapter except for the Wealth, Pets, and House and Homes sections and use the equipment from other Essence20 sourcebooks.

Origins

Of all Essence20 character creation options, Origins change the most from setting to setting. G.I. JOE and Power Rangers have the most in common. They represent a (usually) human’s defining character trait or experience. Transformers and My Little Pony Origins are more physical in what they represent.

Transformers Origins assume you’re playing a giant, shapeshifting robot, and give rules for two different forms of the same character. My Little Pony Origins assume you’re playing a mythical creature, with rules for having wings, casting spells, and breathing fire.

If your campaign works with humans, robots, and mythical creatures adventuring side by side, there’s no need to change anything about how Origins work. However, if you’d like to explore how the shape of a character plays out differently, have every character in a crossover campaign that includes My Little Pony Origins choose one of the following additional Origin Perks:

Bipedal: Your tall body’s arms can reach pockets and other storage on your person, making it easier to use and swap between tools. You can carry 6-hands of items.

Quadrupedal: Even though you can cup items in your hooves or claws, your limbs pull double duty to get you around. You can only carry 4-hands of items. However, all this multitasking makes your limbs stronger. You don’t suffer ↓1 to deal Blunt damage with your unarmed attacks.

Origins from G.I. JOE, Power Rangers, and Transformers (in bot mode) are bipedal by default. Origins from My Little Pony are Quadrupedal by default, except dragons, which default to either.

Additionally, to avoid players taking advantage of the looser language of some My Little Pony rules, My Little Pony Origins in crossover campaigns replace their Cutie Mark Perk with the following:

Cutie Mark Perk: Pick a Skill Specialization. You gain ↑1 on Skill Tests related to this Specialization, even if you have not invested a Skill Point into this Specialization.


Roles

You don’t need to be a pony to take a Spirit of Harmony Role, and you can use My Little Pony Origins with G.I. JOE and Power Rangers Roles without making any changes to either. If you ever wanted to see Spike grow up and join G.I. JOE, or imagined Rainbow Dash piloting a Zord that’s a cross between a turtle and a helitank (so, Tank), no problem! However, if you want to see Pinkie Pie turn into a clown car with a shoulder mounted confetti cannon, that takes more work. Not hard work, just a few extra steps.

The Essence20 Field Guide to Action & Adventure’s Crossover Character Creation chapter explains that you can change a Role to fit a different setting by replacing its Faction Perks, Setting Perks, or both. In the case of My Little Pony, that means:

Faction Perks: Friendship Circle, Health bonuses gained at 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th level.

Setting Perks: (Role) Is Magic, Talent For (Role), Pillar of (Role), and Princess of (Role)

Put another way:

When changing a My Little Pony Role’s Faction, follow these steps:

  • Remove Friendship Circle and the Health bonuses gained at 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th level from the Role.
  • Gain the following benefits, depending on the setting of the Faction you are changing to:
    • G.I. JOE: Gain a Faction (such as Yo Joe! Or Cobra!) and the Be A Hero Perk (or the Faction Perk that replaces it) and Equipment Training and Qualifications of a G.I. JOE Role of your choice.
    • Power Rangers: Gain It’s Morphin Time! and the Armor Training and Grid Equipment of a Power Rangers Role of your choice.
    • Transformers: Gain a Faction (such as For the Allspark! or Hail Megatron!) and the Cybertronian Perk (or the Faction Perk that replaces it) and Equipment Training and Qualifications of a Transformers Role of your choice. Note: You need to be a robot with an Alt Mode to join most Transformers Factions.

When changing a My Little Pony Role’s Setting, follow these steps:

  • Remove (Role) Is Magic, Talent For (Role), Pillar of (Role), and Princess of (Role)
  • Gain the following benefits, depending on the setting you are changing to:
    • G.I. JOE: Gain a Focus of a G.I. JOE Role of your choice. If you are changing your Faction and Setting to G.I. JOE, you must choose the same Role for your Equipment Training and Qualifications and Focus. Reduce the 1st level Essence Score Increase from the Diamond Essence Score to 1.
    • Power Rangers: Gain a General Perk that you meet the prerequisites for at 1st level. At 3rd level, gain the Zord Setting Perk. At 6th, 10th, and 17th levels, gain a Zord Feature and a Grid Power Setting Perk. At 20th level, gain the Ranger Prime Setting Perk of a Power Ranger Role of your choice. If you are changing your Faction and Setting to Power Rangers, you must choose the same Role for your Equipment Training and Qualifications and Ranger Prime. Note: The General Perk gained at 1st level is exclusive to My Little Pony Roles changing to the Power Rangers setting. Unlike changing G.I. JOE and Transformers Roles to the Power Rangers setting, My Little Pony Roles lose most of their 1st level Perks and do not gain a benefit until 3rd level.
    • Transformers: Gain a Focus of a Transformers Role of your choice. If you are changing your Faction and Setting to Transformers, you must choose the same Role for your Equipment Training and Qualifications and Focus. Reduce the 1st level Essence Score Increase from the Diamond Essence Score to 1. Note: You need to be a robot with an Alt Mode to gain most Transformers Factions.

For example, if you want to play as G.I. JOE’s first magic specialist, you could drop Friendship Circle and the Health bonuses from the Spirit of Magic in exchange for the Yo Joe! Faction Perk and the Be A Hero Perk and Equipment Training and Qualifications of a G.I. JOE Role of your choice. If you chose to be a Magic Commando, you would be trained in Light Armor, Grenades, and Silent weapons, and Qualified in Tactical Armor and Submachine Guns.

If the Elements of Harmony don’t exist in the campaign you’re playing in, you could go a step further and replace the Setting Perks, removing Magic Is Magic, Talent for Magic, Pillar of Magic, and Princess of Magic from the Role and gaining a Focus from the G.I. JOE Role you chose earlier. If you did commit to the Magic Commando concept, you can choose a Commando Focus, like Infiltrator or Spy.


About Advanced Rules

Although it runs on Essence20, the My Little Pony Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook divides the rules into the basic rules and advanced rules. My Little Pony sectioned off these rules to make learning and playing the game easier for a younger audience, but the other settings didn’t. Generally, it’s easier to play a crossover campaign with all advanced rules used, except Advanced Cutie Marks. That way, you don’t need to worry about finding alternatives for Perks built on rules outside of the My Little pony base rules, like Kits and element damage.

Similarly, each Core Rulebook features some variations on the rules. When running a crossover campaign, groups should pick one setting as the tiebreaker to settle rules discrepancies.


New Crossover Influences

The following new Influences help bring My Little Pony options to other settings and crossover games. Although the names and descriptions refer to ponies, non-pony My Little Pony Origins, such as changelings, griffins, and young dragons, also apply.

Adolescent Pony

Much ado is made about fillies and colts, especially as they embark on their first steps toward gaining their cutie marks. And, of course, adult ponies work most of the jobs in Equestria, creating the art that defines their societies and offering the services that build their communities. But there is a stage of life that bridges the young and the mature. These ponies are adolescents. And many of them are ponies with attitude.

Influence Perk

You gain the Origin Benefit of a Power Rangers Origin, other than Origins that provide a General Perk as their Origin Benefit.

You must have an Origin from the My Little Pony setting to gain this Influence.

Hang-Up

Adults don’t get you. You suffer ↓1 on Performance and Persuasion Skill Tests targeting an adult.

Cutie Marked

As ponies grow up, they discover the special talent that sets them apart and connects them to their unique place in the universe. The magic of Equestria marks this occasion, literally, with a colorful image on a pony’s flank. This image can be literal or metaphorical, simple or elaborate, but is always perfectly in tune with what makes the pony special.

You are not a pony. And yet, the magic of Equestria has gifted you with a mark to illustrate who you are.

Influence Perk

Pick a Skill Specialization. You gain ↑1 on Skill Tests related to this Specialization, even if you have not invested a Skill Point into this Specialization.

You cannot choose this Influence if your Origin already grants the Cutie Mark Perk.

Hang-Up

The magic of Equestria doesn’t affect you as strongly. You only gain the benefits of your Influence Perk 2 times per day.

Cybertronian Equestrian

Ponies, yaks, and zebras aren’t exclusive to Equestria. Many planets, from Earth to Cybertron, have similar creatures. But, like all things on the shapeshifting planet, Cybertronian ponies are more than meets the eye. Just like a motorcycle, turret, or dinosaur can unfold and stand upright, many Cybertronian bot modes stand on four hooved legs. The similarities don’t end there. Robot griffons and pegasi fly Cybertron’s skies, and even changelings, dragons, and unicorns have been seen strutting their stuff.

Influence Perk

Choose which creature type you convert into in Bot Mode.

Changeling: Choose one of the other creature types on this list. You gain ↑1 of Deception and Infiltration Skill Tests when you pretend to be that creature.

Crystal Pony: You gain Magical as a free General Perk.

Earth Pony: Pick an Essence Score. Once per scene, when using a Skill from that Essence Score, you can make the roll as though you are Specialized.

Griffon: Your unarmed combat and ram attacks that normally deal Blunt damage deal Sharp damage instead, and you do not suffer ↓1 when you use unarmed combat’s Maneuver alternate effect. Additionally, if you have an Aerial Movement, you can hover.

Pegasus: You get ↑1 on Acrobatics Skill Tests. Additionally, if you have an Aerial Movement, you can hover.

Sea Pony: You gain a 30ft Aquatic Movement in Bot Mode.

Unicorn: You can telekinetically move objects from up to 50ft away. Because this uses mental focus, any Skill Test made to manipulate the object uses Alertness instead of Brawn.

Yak: You gain ↑1 and never suffer a Snag on Brawn Skill Tests.

Young Dragon: You gain resistance to Fire damage and Fire-based attacks. You can use a General Perk to gain the Young Dragon Fire Breath Origin Perk as well as Dragon Perks. See the My Little Pony Roleplaying Game Free Bonus Material for more on Young Dragons. 

You must have an Origin with an Alt Mode to choose this Influence.

Potential Hang-Ups

Idolizer, Impulsive, Vainglorious, Whimsical

Pony Protection Platoon

Friendly though they may be, the cities of Equestria share their land with great beasts and magical creatures, some a hundred times their size, with teeth as tall as an alicorn. Not that the small creatures are any less of a concern. Fruit bats can drain an orchard of its juice in one night, and pukwudgies toss quills at anything that moves. And, of course, feuds break out between fellow ponies, which can escalate to national disasters when magic is involved. To maintain the peace, many ponies and other creatures join the Equestria Royal Guard. Some stay in Canterlot, while others travel wherever there’s trouble as members of the Pony Protection Platoons.

Influence Perk

You gain the Origin Benefit of a G.I. JOE Origin, other than Non-Military Origins.

You must have an Origin from the My Little Pony setting to gain this Influence.

Hang-Up

In the name of peace, you stay your hoof until you have no other option. After you roll Initiative, move yourself down one spot in Initiative order. 



We look forward to seeing you all at Gen Con! We hope this guide was helpful in preparing your crossover characters, but remember that non-crossover characters are perfectly acceptable for Worlds Collide as well!

If you want to attend this event, be sure to sign-up for Worlds Collide: The Pony Puzzle, Saturday evening at Gen Con, 7 PM - 10 PM in Room 139!

Learn more about Gen Con here!