View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Player Race: Pony

2015-08-17, 08:39 PM
This is a birthday gift for my 10 year-old niece.

My Little Ponies, Friendship is D&D


Veit Brawnheart sat there by the campfire trying not to grumble. The latest, and colorful, additions to this quest did not at first glance look to be the warrior sorts he needed. Goblins and orcs were tough and vicious foes after all. And these ponies...

One dark blue mare with wings was sleeping, though she'd argue it as meditation, upon a low-floating cloud. A brown stallion, far smaller than any horse had a right to be and called strong, was in a hoof-arm wrestling contest with the goliath. Then there was the one-horned-mare that whose features were hidden beneath darkness and robes. Only indication that Veit had that she was even real were the glowing blue eyes and the blue wisps of magic that was being used currently to give the dwarf a surprisingly proper beard braiding.

Perhaps they should stay for awhile. Test the waters, so to speak. It had absolutely nothing to do with how Veit missed a good braiding session...

Ponies are a race of equines gifted with sapience and grand helpings of magic. Throughout the ages, there have been those ponies whom have felt the call to adventure and thusly left their tranquil lands in search of new experiences and new friends. The fact that quite a large number of these adventurous sorts do not quite fit in with the rest of their harmonious society does nothing to dampen their willingness to fight against any threat to their old friends, families, and homes.

Not Quite a Horse
Though equine in form, a pony is vastly different from their larger and distant cousins. It is sometimes astonishing for outsiders to see just how wide a range of body-types exist for ponies. Ranging in height anywhere from three feet at the shoulder to just over six feet. Builds can range from plump to fit, twigs to massive brick-privy houses of muscle, with the more idealized beauties being tall and slender in form.

Being quadrupeds, ponies are adept at using their fore-hooves and mouths in advanced tool-use that is notoriously unbelievable until seen in action. Unlike their larger cousins, ponies have more flexible joints in their bones in addition to subtle finesse with their fore-hooves. A history of running from predators has made runners of the lot.

To the awe and grumbling of many, the fur coat of ponies covers a brilliant spectrum. While many have more 'natural' hues and coat patterns, a good deal as well have fantastically bright pallets. This trend extends to their manes and tails which can be solid or multi-hued in colors.

A Place in Harmony
The life of a pony is one spent either knowing where their place is in life, or looking to make it. As a pony matures, they come to realize a talent that helps to cement their personal identity. When this happens, usually in foalhood or at the onset of adolescence, a 'Cutie Mark' appears upon their flanks as a result of an innate magical property. If a pony should use arcane mark or some other magical identification spell, the cutie mark unerringly appears.

How an individual pony applies themselves and their talent will be just as varied as their coat colors, though more often than not the idea of being malicious in nature is outright abnormal. Friends and families that are happy make for better neighbors in general, and so too do they apply that idea to their adventurous comrades.

Wild Nature is Wyrd
Give a pony a plot of land, they will eventually live in harmony with it. Even if they have to make a schedule for when the rains come, pay a pegasus for weather management, bargain with the rabbits on carrot prices, and send a sternly worded request to the realm's king about this shoddily handled sun.

Given some time, a pony may acclimate to the idea that most of the world's natural lands run on 'automatic' or divine will. Until then, expect eye twitching and a lot of inquiries as to how those dwarves have been managing their allocated avalanche allowances.

Pony Names
At birth, a pony is bestowed a name by their mother. How a mother so unerringly equates the foal's name with their destiny and/or inclinations in life is an unfathomable mystery. Or the result of a Faustian Bargain hell-bent on puns and irony. Take your pick.

Male Names: Shining Armor, Spike, Grease Lightning, Carrot Cake, Big Macintosh, Impending Apocalypse, Burn Notice, Soarin, Bulk Bicep, Starswirl, Cheapskate, Valiant, Snips, Button Mash, Quill Sofa, Driveling Galoot

Female Names: Twilight Sparkle, Applebloom, Celestia, Dread Knocks, Clear Skies, Sunny, Pinkamena Diane Pie, Mi Amore Cadenza, Aloe, Fluttershy, Fury Scorn, Nevermore, Maud, Bodice Ripper, Zecora

Pony Traits
Your pony character has a variety of natural abilities, the result of one man's attempt at creating a semi-balanced failure to entice a niece into playing Dungeons & Dragons.

Age. Ponies mature at approximately the same rate humans do, with a lifespan about on par with humans as well barring Ascendancy.
Alignment. Ponies are quite often good, in part due to an idea that being a benevolent neighbor means having another pony to watch your tail. Ethical temperaments run the gamut between law and chaos. Ponies with relaxed moral stances tend to remain neutral and indifferent as a means of practicality. An actually evil pony is one with either grand self-delusions regarding their goodness, or an outright villain with ambitions.
Size. Ponies, as stated above, generally grow anywhere from 3 to 6 feet and average 120-190 pounds. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 35 feet.
Gallop. You may use a bonus action to take the Dash action.
Cutie Mark. Ponies develop a talent that they hone to a significant degree. Select either a skill or tool. When making an ability check concerning your choice, you have Advantage.
Quadruped. Ponies have four hooves and a tendency to carry what they want on their back. Calling for pony rides, however, is bad form.

Carrying Capacity. Your carrying capacity is your Strength score multiplied by 20. This is the weight (in pounds) that you can carry without having to worry about it.
Push, Drag, or Lift. You can push, drag, or lift a weight in pounds up to twice your carrying capacity. When pulling a carriage, cart, chariot, sled, or wagon; a pony can move up to 5 times their base capacity.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Equish. The Equish language is composed of a mash of flowing words and sounds that a horse can make. Though teachable to other races, Equish has been known to strain less flexible vocal cords.

Subrace. Three subraces of ponies are commonly encountered among the populace of the world: earth, pegasus, or unicorn. Choose one of these to belong to, or another if I decide to write them up as well.

Earth Pony
As an earth pony, you have a natural connection with the ground and the plants that dwell upon it. This connection has granted you a subtle strength and endurance as well as a quiet commune with the land. Earth ponies tend to be hard working and driven to build upon the foundations laid by ancestors.

Ability Score Increase. Select either Strength or Constitution, that ability increases by 2.

Earthcunning. Whenever you make an Intelligence (Nature) check related to terrain, natural cycles, or plants, you can add twice your proficiency bonus, instead of any proficiency bonus you normally apply.
Mold Earth. You know the mold earth cantrip. If anyone asks for any reason as to what your spellcasting trait for this is, it's Strength. Because reasons.
Buck. Earth ponies are notorious for the strength of their kicks. When making an Strength (Athletics) check to Shove a target, an Earth pony adds their Proficiency bonus to this check if they do not already do so. Additionally, earth ponies are proficient in unarmed strikes.
Sterner Stuff. You have Advantage whenever you would make a Constitution saving throw against exhaustion inducing effects and poison effects.
Work Horse. Your carrying capacity is your Strength score multiplied by 25.

Pegasus Pony
As a pegasus pony, you possess a rather direct connection with the sky. Beyond the blatant wings, you have the ability to manipulate the weather by physically wrangling clouds with the same ease as a farmer works their fields. Pegasi emotions tend to be as turbulent as the weather they work with.

Ability Score Increase. Select either Dexterity or Wisdom, that ability increases by 2.

Flight. You have a flying speed of 35 feet. To use this speed, you cannot be wearing medium or heavy armor
Gust. With a beat of your wings, you can use the gust cantrip. Wisdom is your spellcasting trait for this spell.
Sky Magic. Through your innate sky magic, you can manipulate clouds in the following ways.

Cloud-walk. You can stand on clouds as easily as on the ground. The DM can rule that a cloud is too thin and brittle to reliably stand upon (such as a cirrus), and call for appropriate Ability checks to prevent breaking through the cloud as well as other possible hazards and difficult terrain.
Cloud-works. You can, with sufficient cloud material, craft simple non-magical objects as if using the fabricate spell. Possessing proficiency with appropriate artisan tools grants a wider range of objects that can be created. These objects are permanent until destroyed or undone by a pegasus. Cloud weapons do not inflict damage on their own, and are often used by pegasi squires and militia as training aids.

Skycunning. Whenever you make an Intelligence (Nature) check related to weather phenomena, you can add twice your proficiency bonus instead of any proficiency bonus you normally apply.

Unicorn Pony
As a unicorn pony, you have an innate grasp on raw magic. Now try not to parade your proud little horn through the streets while leading a battalion of brooms in a musical number that culminates in a flood. Look, if you read this far in, I think we all know how a unicorn can act.

Ability Score Increase. Select either Intelligence or Charisma, that ability increases by 2.

Horn Spells. By manipulating magical power through your horn, you can perform the following spells. Intelligence is your spellcasting trait for these spells.

Horn Focus. Your horn acts as an arcane focus. Using your horn in this manner will emit a noticeable glow.
Light. You know the light cantrip.
Magic Grip. You know the mage hand cantrip, though with the following changes. Instead of a hand, your horn emits a glow that wraps around whatever object you manipulate.
You may manipulate any number of objects this way, though you can only use your normal amount of actions in any given round.

Your carrying capacity is based on your Intelligence score while you use your magic grip.
While this ability is active, you may substitute Strength (Athletics) ability checks with Intelligence (Arcana) for certain activities such as forcing open a lock, breaking free of bonds, tipping over a statue, grappling, or keeping a boulder from rolling.
You may make melee attacks against opponents within 10 feet.
You use your Intelligence modifier for your melee attack and damage rolls while this ability is active.

Starcunning. Whenever you make an Intelligence (Nature) check related to astronomical phenomena (meteors, comets, constellations, etc.), you can add twice your proficiency bonus instead of any proficiency bonus you would normally apply. Unicorns usually use this trait to tell time (sunlight position against north-facing horn), and night-time navigation.

Uncommon Subraces
These two subraces of ponies are not as often found adventuring into the wider world as their more common cousins.

Hippocampus Pony (Sea Pony)
As a hippocampus pony, you have a somewhat different physiology from your land-bound cousins. Hippocampi possess thick tails akin to that of dolphins or whales in lieu of ones made of hair, large flippers instead of hind-hooves, noticeable canines give truth to an omnivorous diet, and even gills in addition to lungs. A hippocampus' colors are as wildly varied and patterned as any other sea life.

Ability Score Increase. Select either Constitution or Charisma, that ability increases by 1. Select either Strength or Dexterity, that ability increases by 1.

Amphibious. You can breath air and water.
Bite. You are proficient in unarmed strikes. Your bite deals 1d4 Piercing damage.
Swim. You have a swimming speed of 40 feet. Your land speed, however, is 25 feet.
Seacunning. Whenever you make an Intelligence (Nature) check related to aquatic phenomena (currents, drinkability, aquatic-life, etc), you add twice your proficiency bonus instead of any proficiency bonus you would normally apply. Hippocampi often use this trait to navigate oceans and find safe havens as well as their next dinner.

Flutter Pony
As a flutter pony, you have a physiology warped by your kind's extensive history of living in the Feywild. Flutter ponies possess wings that can resemble any manner of insect with the most prolific leaning towards resembling butterflies or bees. The body is covered in a mix of soft chitin and fur, topped by a pair of antennae. A flutter pony's eyes are typically composed of two or more hues for the iris alongside a complementing color that replaces the whites of the eye. Flutter ponies speak with a slight buzzing or dual-tone to their voice, which gets remarkable if driven to sing. This may not detract from the horror of the fact they have fangs. Flutter ponies can produce a ridiculous amount of adhesive phlegm that they use in their everyday lives. The stickiness, transparency, and force of expactoration all play into a weird method of communication of how much they may favor/hate another.

Ability Score Increase. Select either Dexterity or Charisma, that ability increases by 2.

Flight. Flutter ponies are lazy fliers as a whole. You have a fly speed of 20 feet.
Breath Weapon. When you use your breath weapon, any creature in a 15ft cone must make a Dexterity save or be Restrained. The DC for this saving throw equals 8 + your Constitution modifier + your proficiency bonus. A creature restrained by your phlegm can use its action to make a Strength check against your save DC. If it succeeds, it is no longer restrained.
Once you have used your breath weapon, you cannot use it again until you complete a short or long rest.
Nature's Glue. You know the mending cantrip and may cast it without material components.
Craftcunning. Whenever you make an Intelligence check to craft a building or an object, you add twice your proficiency bonus so long as you are trained in the tools required. The amount of time required to create is halved.

2015-08-17, 08:43 PM
Much better and more complete than mine. I can't honestly see any issues with this, other than that the base race receives no ASI. I'd give either a Con or Dex bonus, to represent horses being agile or tough.

2015-08-18, 02:56 AM
The main reason why I avoided giving out a base improved score was because I thought it would be mild overkill. While it is true that in the show we see that many are agile and/or tough, I did not want them to be accurate iterations of horse to pony.

You could say that whatever force shaped these ponies to their current state may have packed in so much into them that they left out the tougher bits that most full-sized equines are known for. Ye know we could probably work out a larger D&D-Friendly set of cosmic shenanigans by driving the nail into that notion of 'Ponies are not Horsies, even if my sister is named Horsea Hoarse'!

Heck, the info I put down is mebbe Unearthed Arcana worthy, but not quite up to PHB or EE worth. Ye or anyone else want to toss some flavor thoughts at the wall and see what we can make stick? Ideas of how dwarves, elves, halflings, & 'fantasy-world-dwelling-humans' think of these ponies on a general bias?

2015-09-18, 05:09 AM
I like what you've done with Unicorn, it's very show-accurate. The only problem is that it's just not practical. The ability to make melee attacks with INT is good, but not useful if it means you have to concentrate to do it. That's just too much of a weakness to be viable. Spellcasters absolutely can't afford to give up concentration for telekinesis, and melee characters dropping their weapon whenever they get hit is way too dangerous. You'll get your magic sword snatched up and look like a complete fool.

I also think Earth Ponies really get the short end of the stick here. Carrying Capacity, advantage against exhaustion, and mold earth are nothing compared to flight. Heck, unicorns lose out too. Confusingly, wizards are far, far, better off as Pegasi than as Unicorns, especially since most of the unicorn perks are redundant with Wizard abilities. I think Flight is a really powerful ability that you didn't take into consideration for the other two races.

Oh and shouldn't Unicorns get double proficiency in Arcana checks related to astronomy? For symmetry?

Much better and more complete than mine. I can't honestly see any issues with this, other than that the base race receives no ASI. I'd give either a Con or Dex bonus, to represent horses being agile or tough.

I think that's because they get Gallop. That's an incredibly powerful ability for a racial bonus. Ponies can leave even monks in the dust.

2015-09-20, 02:59 AM
Thank you Strill for your input! It's been awhile since I came back to this bit of homebrew, and I gotta go to work in about 6 minutes. :smallannoyed:

I agree that as it stands at this time, the earth ponies get the short end of the stick. We need to come up with something to give them a lift up. As for unicorns, perhaps an Advantage on concentration checks might work, allow them to concentrate on magic grip as well as one additional spell? A double-up on proficiency bonus to astronomy related checks might be a nice touch too. It'd make them good navigators to have around!

I look forward to suggestions on improving what's been presented!

Huh, maybe I should've put up the PEACH tag to get more critiques... Meh, live and learn.

2015-09-20, 03:35 PM
I'd recommend you look at Dwarves when considering ideas for Earth ponies. Advantage vs Poison is a great perk considering how common poison is. An extra HP/level is good for anyone as well.

2015-10-09, 11:44 PM
Okay, made a couple of revisions, one of which is giving the earth ponies advantage against poison effects as well as a little additional offensive capability requiring a rest between uses. The other revision is to unicorns, giving them starcunning (because night-time is scary-time) and removing the concentration requirement for their magic grip.

Any thoughts on this oddity folks? Want me to write up anything else? Critiques? Has anyone actually USED this in their game at all? Because that would honestly surprise me!

2015-10-10, 10:38 PM
I've only followed the show up until S3 or so so I don't know how much development each ponies got, but I feel the Earth Ponies have too much of a raw magical/combat talent than I was expecting.

To me, Earth Pony's equivalent of Dwarves- sturdy and stout, nothing fancy in exterior but hides so much toughness within;

Then that would make Pegasus Aakrocukaracha (I can never spell it correctly), who sacrifces almost every racial trait just to get flight from level 1;

and Unicorns would be High Elf who has Mage Hand as fixed cantrip they know and probably get the Starcunning you have in exchange.

All in all, all three Pony races seem to pack much more power than the basic races provided in the PHB.

Although if you ask me if that is a cause for concern, I would think not, since Ponyverse is filled with ponies so they aren't in direct competition with the base races. I just think that in designing future race (like the Changeling) I think you should keep this general increase in power compared to the base race!

2016-06-12, 06:36 PM
Two new subraces added, hippocampus & flutter ponies. Changes have also been made to the common pony subraces.

2016-06-12, 07:04 PM
At request, I am reviewing the race.

Cutie Mark is very powerful. I'd limit it to a non-skill proficiency.

Buck should give you a 1d4 (or maybe d6) hoof attack. Everyone is already proficient in unarmed strikes. In addition, I'd have BOTH Strength and Constitution go up by two. It's pretty weak otherwise.

Pegasi should increase Dexterity by 2 and Charisma by 1. Why on earth are they wise? *Cough cough Rainbow Dash cough* (And even Fluttershy is more Charismatic than Wise.)

Unicorn Pony should increase any mental by score by 2, and any other mental score by one. Otherwise good.

Hippocampus should allow one ability to go up by 2, instead of 1.

Flutter seems okay as is.

2016-06-12, 11:12 PM
There's also the Ponyfinder's 5e version (http://drivethrurpg.com/product/145078/Ponyfinder--5th-Edition-Translation). And yes Ponyfinder is indeed Ponies for Pathfinder (Indeed, that was the original name).