My Little Risus
My Little Risus
Because we DON'T have enough pony in our lives. This is a page showing how to have a campaign set in the universe of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and make Risus 20% cooler. If you don't want to do that, I guess you can at least entertain yourself a little while reading this. And yes, I'm aware that MLP already has an official roleplaying game called Tails of Equestria, I don't care. Risus deserves an MLP setting.
Tone and setting
Welcome to Equestria, a magical kingdom full of magic, dangerous creatures, and powerful villains from thousands of moons ago (because every villain just happens to be from thousands of moons ago). But of course, there's also the most powerful magic of all! The magic of friendship (I mean it, friendship litterally is magic, mainly used to shoot giant rainbow lasers that one hit defeats every villain)! The tone might vary a little depending on the campaign; either you get an epic campaign about trying to defeat (or reform, normally reform) certain villain that is trying to conquer the worl- I mean, the kingdom, or you get a cute little slice of life episo- I mean, campaign, and luckily, even learn a new friendship lesson! Remember, slice of life campaign are important to get to grow your character, and are reccomended until you get to the actual adventure (you could even call it... the season finale). Equestria is populated mostly by ponies, but there are other creatures for you to play as. Playable pony and non-pony races are discussed in greater detail on the "character creation" section. You can also get an overall explanation of Equestrian lore here. Equestrian coins are called Bits.
Equestria is a big kingdom, full of cities, landscapes, and islands to explore. Examples include: Ponyville (small rural town full of simple ponies, known for the local apple farm, "Sweet Apple Acres", reccomended as starting place for new campaigns), Canterlot (capital of Equestria, where lies the Canterlot castle, home of Princess Celestia, monarch of this land, and Princess Luna, the uuuhh... the other one; Canterlot is also capital of glamour or something... ponies there are really snob), and Cloudsdale (a pegasus town made of clouds that, ironically, floats just above Ponyville, and where lies the weather factory, where all the clouds and rainbows are made, if you happen to visit this place in your time there, remember not to taste the rainbow, they are seven different levels of spicy). There are way too many locations to list, so let's make it easier for all of us, and put a link for all the MLP locations here (embrace yourself for some pun-tastic names). Also here's a full map of Equestria (and not beyond) to make things easier to understand here.
Equestria is home for a lot of potentially dangerous mythical creatures, like cockatrices (creatures half chicken, half snake, which for some reason can fly, even being... you know... a chicken, as well as turning ponies into stone simply by staring at them), manticores (half lion, half scorpion, not much else to say), you can also find a full list of creatures here.
The most fun part! Characters in this setting are created using three clichés: The talent cliché, race cliché, and element of harmony cliché. Talent clichés are set as the main clichés, and represent what your character basically does and what he is good at. The talent cliché also represents most of your tools of the trade. Talent clichés are also important for exposing your overall character concept. The more specific, the better.
Ponies, as said before, are the main race of Equestria, and are known for being responsible for the balance of nature (ironic, since a lot of them don't seem to care a lot about nature at all), for things like passing the seasons or even raising the sun and the moon. Ponies are also special because of those little things in their flanks called cutie marks, which are representative of one pony's destiny, talent, and personality. Because of this, ponies begin with 4 talent dice, but only 2 race dice. Ponies come in four varieties, also called tribes:
Earth ponies are, at first glance, just normal equines. Well, you're mostly right, they don't have such a visible advantage compared to the other tribes, but they have strong hearts and bodies, but mostly bodies. They are really good at athletic activities involving strenght, durability, and dexterity.
The lords of the skies, pegasi, differently from other pony types, have, so naturally, they are able to fly. Not only that, but because of the influence of -you know it- magic, they are also able to move clouds and stand on top of them, being the main ponies behind weather control.
Those types of ponies are gifted with their own horns. More than being a quite decent ramming weapon, it is mainly the channeling source of various kinds of spells. The most basic spells that most unicorns can easily learn are: Telekinesis, magic bullets, teleporting, and magic shields. The most advanced ones are based off of your cutie mark (that is, your talent cliché), and pure plot convenience, so don't worry about that. Here's a little segment to show some advanced unicorn spells.
The master pony race. They inherit the powers from the three aforementioned tribes, becoming the supreme beings. There's a catch though: One is not simply born an alicorn, you've got to earn it, it is then that you become not only an alicorn, but a princess! To become worthy of becoming an alicorn, you need to: Be a main character; Have enough character development to close your character arc; Be popular enough to turn into a glittery plastic figurine and; Do something of utmost importance to the entire world, proving everyone that you're worthy of assuming a position of leadership. If your character fits in all of these, congratulations! Princess Celestia will bring you to a trippy dimension, sing a music number, and just like that, you get a fancy new pair of wings (or a horn, or both)! If your character doesn't fit on all or any of these needs, too bad. But maybe you're gamemaster is a fanfic writer (or M.A. Larson), therefore crazy enough to grant your wish of becoming a pretty pony princess! If this ever happens (which is very unlikely, assuming your gamemaster has more than two braincells), you must change your race cliché accordingly, and also make sure you're back to only 2 race dice (since it's a new body and all that).
Just ponies, but made of crystal. This is just a prefix, more than a cliché by itself. Crystal ponies live in the Crystal Empire, reigned by Princes Cadence, and their crystal coat shines brighter depending on the well being of the Crystal Heart, magic relic that becomes stronger with the crystal ponies happiness.
You can also play as non-pony races (non-pony doesn't mean that they aren't similar to ponies, byt the way), which were already adressed on the creatures segment back there. examples of reccomended playable races are dragons, changelings, zebras, griffons, hippogriff, yak, and kirin. Other creatures are not reccomended either because they are unninteligent, have only one depiction in the show (for instance, Tirek being the only known centaur, Discord being the only known draconequus, or Ahuizotl being the only known... Well, Ahuizotl), or just by being underdeveloped (the breezies, for example, although you can make a breezie character interesting somehow).
Redundant race and talent clichés
Sometimes, the talent happens to overlap with the race (for example, a pegasus that is good at flying, or a unicorn that is good at most forms of magic). If something like this happens, just double pump your cliché. easy skills use your race cliché, hard ones require your talent (this does not apply to talents that only involve a specific kind of action, like a healing magic talent).
Elements of harmony
The elements of harmony are magical artifacts that grant balance to all of Equestria, spreading the magic of friendship and shooting rainbow lasers to smite ancient villains in one hit. In My Little Risus, they represent the base of your character's personality, along with his social skills. But all of them come with some flaw.
The ability to be cute and innocent enough to make even the most meanies surrender. This might backfire, if the meanie is so mean that even your supreme amount of cuteness isn't enough to make him care.
Having the courage to tell someone they're ugly without the king of being kicked in the face. Might backfire depending on the strength of the kick.
The ability to think everyone is poor, because you need to give all the gifts you can. Can backfire if you end up making yourself poor instead.
Being foolish enough to jump into an abyss just because your friend did too. Can backfire you end up dying in the process.
The ability of telling great jokes, and being unnafected by bad mood. May backfire if your crowd is too tough to laugh. CAUTION: This is by far the most DANGEROUS element of all, and the most powerful, since it allows the user to control unrealistic powers of body distortion, nonsensical teleportation, object conjuration and even talk to beings from another dimension through the power of the "fourth wall", all of that, as long as it is amusing for everyone involved. Of course, you need a great sense of humor to use this power well, and only someone with the spontaneous comedic skills to rival even Poniacci are worthy of wielding it.
The leader of the elements, and the most important one. This element represents pure magic of friendship. Characters with this element have the democratic power to make anybody a friend with some effort. Of course, that makes it a rather powerful element with no backfire at all, so to balance that, this cliché needs to be double pumped.
Here are some example characters taken directly from the show as an example of what characters you may create with this setting.
Late student for "princess Celestia's School for gifted unicorns" and pupil from princess Celestia herself, she is a talented magic researcher with a lot of power and any kind of spells at her disposal, she can be a little obnoxious when things get out of control, but when something is turning out just fine, she becomes very level-headed and is a very good leader. Became an alicorn after creating the true magic of friendship, and was crowned as the "princess of friendship". Is the embodiment of the element of magic.
Magic Researcher 
Element of Magic 
A twenty percent cooler pegasus with the ability to clean the clouds from the sky in ten seconds flat! Her sheer awesomeness is almost as big as her ego, and with reason! She is the only pony known to ponykind to pull of the legendary Sonic Rainboom! She is the embodiment of the element of loyalty (make me laugh).
Sonic Rainboom Super Flier (6)
The most super duper party pony! Not only can she plan a party in mere seconds, she is an excitable little soul that can break the fourth wall with finesse. The bearer of the element of laughter.
Party Planner Extraordinaire (6) Tool-of-the-trade: Party cannon Z&R model
Earth Pony (4)
Element of Laughter (6)
Uh... Why... W-why are these ponies staring at me? *blushes* I... I think... I-I need to go... A-Angel must be hungry... *runs*
Represents the element of kindness.
Stare Master Snow White (6)
Element of Kindness (6)
The most FABULOUS unicorn you've ever seen, DARLING. She is very passionate about her job as a clothier, but stress can get to her sometimes. Bearer of the element of generosity.
Stressed Dressmaker (6)
Element of Generosity (6)
This bloody strong farmer pony is ready to buck some flank, pardner! Shes very loyal towards her family and friends. Her immense pride can slow everypony down a little, though, and make her say some hurtful things. Represents the element of honesty.
Apple Farmer (6)
Earth Pony (6)
Element of Honesty (4)
Twilight's number one assistant and almost brother. This baby dragon always does what is best to help out, and is always the voice of reason when Twilight has her stress attacks. But like most dragons, if he is given too much, his generosity can give way to greed, and become a big, beast-like, dragon.
Personal Slave That Is Way Too Comfortable With Its Condition (6)
Element of Generosity (2)
The first member and founder of the Cutie Mark Crusaders, a club made by three fillies trying to get their cutie marks (which they already have, so now they help other fillies instead). Apple Bloom is Applejack's little sister, and inherits the same sense of truth-speaking.
Cutie Mark Crusaders' Founder (6) Tools-of-the-trade: Pink bow, CMC hoofmade cape
Earth Pony (2)
Element of Honesty (4)
The other member of the CMC's, and the most gullible one. She always does her best to help her sister Rarity, even if she doesn't get much recognition for that. She's also the one who sewed (rather poorly) all of the CMC's capes.
Singing Cutie Mark Crusader (6) Tools-of-the-trade: CMC hoofmade cape
Element of Generosity (4)
The last of Ponyville's CMC's. She is Rainbow Dash's number one fan, and founder of the Rainbow Dash fan club. Scootaloo and Rainbow Dash share a really deep bond together, being almost as close as siblings. Although despite being a pegasus, Scootaloo is unable to fly, due to a disability in her wings. Still, she can use her wings to boost her scooter to do sick moves.
Scooter Cutie Mark Crusader (6) Tools-of-the-trade: CMC hoofmade cape, blue wooden scooter, protection helmet
Element of Loyalty (4)
Twilight's first friendship student, Starlight lives in Twilight's crystal castle while learning about the magic of friendship, and all magic in general. She used to be a villain, but now she's good, and a very good waifu material. Starlight is blunt, and often overreacts over small things. She's aware of that, and is really afraid this might backfire her someday, making her greatest fear herself. Her most notable magical talent is being able to switch and remove other ponies' cutie marks.
Cutie Mark Mancer (6)
Element of Honesty (4)
About battle gear
Ponies aren't really seen swinging swords around, mostly because Equestria is a pacifist country, so even killing the most dreadful and hateful of villains is going a little far, most they do is "banish" or "dispel" them (or just straight turning them into stone), but another reason is that pony hooves and horns are weapons themselves (seriously, did you ever get kicked in the face by a horse? Me neither, but it must hurt a lot). But that doesn't mean ponies can't use weapons. Sometimes in the show, royal guards are seen using spears (although I think they're made more for shoving than for stabbing), and some swords are shown sometimes (although not wielded). It is also noteworthy that lances are commonly used for jousting duels in the Crystal Empire (their main source of entertainment there). But even if there aren't many weapons in Equestria, they are still no strangers to armor. They are mostly used by royal guards, but some well trained adventurers could very well equip sets of armor for protection against monsters.
I wanted to be as clear as possible for people who don't know the universe. But still, it is better if you go watch the show for yourself, and maybe even read the comics... The chapter books... The Journal of The Two Sisters... There is A LOT of lore I left behind, so please go and try for yourself.