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FanOfMostEverything


"[FoME] manages the impossible combination of being an actual legitimate nerd while staying unabashedly pleasant." —Aragón

More Blog Posts1101

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Feb
7th
2016

Sacrifice a Story: Fallout: Equestria – Outside the Game · 1:24pm Feb 7th, 2016

Hello all, and welcome to what will hopefully not be a regular feature, where I discuss an idea that I have to admit I’m not going to realize and that I can’t pawn off to The Idea Exchange. So, I eulogize that which will never be, and this particular never-was is…

Well, you did see the blog title, didn’t you?

Yeah, this is pretty much exactly what it says on the tin, an attempt to play with my toys in Kkat’s sandbox. The description, introduction, and chunk of the first chapter should give you same idea of what I had in mind:

[Adventure][Alternate Universe][Comedy][Crossover]

My name is Ditzy Doo. I'm lost, I'm confused, my magic isn't working right, and there doesn't appear to be a muffin within a hundred miles of here. And those are the least of my problems.

Pinkie says I should think of this as a vacation. Well, it's going to be the loudest, bloodiest, most aggravating vacation in the history thereof. What fun.

({Magic: the Gathering + Fallout} * Friendship is Magic = this. Wacky Wasteland is very much in effect.)

Introduction

For every choice, every flip of a coin or roll of a die, time splits itself to cover every possibility. Usually, when the choice has little impact on the fate of the world, these timelines come back together immediately. When they don't, the paths diverge further and further. Equestria has many of these offshoots, worlds where the Nightmare never ended, where chaos reigns, where a purple princess flies over a kingdom where the bombs never fell.

In one of them, Equestria and the universe that contains it, Ungula, are a small part of an infinite Multiverse. One in every billion thinking souls has a Spark of the vast, roiling expanse that lies between the planes of existence. Should that Spark ignite, that person becomes a planeswalker, able to move between universes through an exertion of magic and willpower.

Two such planeswalkers are Ditzy Doo, pegasus pony, and Pinkie Pie, Bearer of Laughter. Together with the other Element Bearers, they stopped the Elements of Harmony from rampaging out of control and restored balance to their world.

Afterwards, they began to compare notes, sharing their experiences and magical repertoires. In time, Pinkie convinced Ditzy to share one of her most potent spells, a direct manipulation of time itself.

Neither knew that when a pink party planeswalker botches magical time-space manipulation—

AAAAAAAAHHHH!
Make way! Coming through!

...well, that happens.


War. War never changes. The whos, wheres, whys, and hows may be different, but these are just details, window dressing compared to the eternal monster of warfare. Even the most idyllic of worlds can fall to War. Even a land once defined by the magic of friendship can be reduced to cinders by fire and radiation.

War never changes, but warriors do. Some bring security. Some expunge the ghosts of the past. Some seek only to survive. Once in a great while, one might bring a day of sunshine and rainbows to a land that has known only storm clouds for centuries.

And, far more often than you'd think, warriors have no idea what they're doing.

Reality Ripple

Installing Ultimate Showdown DLC...

Installing Wibbly Wobbly Warfare DLC...

Transferring save file from Duels of the Planestrotters...

Fallout: Equestria – Outside the Game

"I just don't know what went wrong!"

Bleak.

Of all the words to describe the Equestrian Wasteland, that was probably the most appropriate. Gone were the cheery technicolor landscapes of a better time. In their places were their irradiated corpses, gray and brown dead earth made all the more drab by the eternal cloud cover.

Apparently, nopony told the explosion of blue light along the prairie, which deposited two ponies amid the harsh terrain.

After a moment to regain her senses, Ditzy Doo sighed. "In hindsight, teaching you time magic is probably the worst idea I've ever had."

Pinkie Pie considered this. "Even worse than trying to make edible baked bads?"

Ditzy nodded. "At least something good came of that."

"Oh, it's not that bad."

"Not that bad? Look around, Pinkie!" Ditzy did just that. "I have absolutely no clue where or when we are. We could be in the middle of the Discordant Era for all I know!"

"But we aren't!"

The pegasus gave her grinning companion (and an innocent rock) a flat stare. "And how do you know thaaaaAAAAAGGGHHH!"

"Ditzy? Ditzy! Speak to me! How many fingers am I holding up?"

"We don't have fingers," I muttered. Oh, Celestia, Asha, and Avacyn, my head. I hadn't felt this bad since that time with the generosity elemental. I struggled to my hooves. "What hit me?"

Pinkie squinted at me. "Well, offhoof, I'd say your experiential narrative stream abruptly shifted from third- to first-pony. That's bound to throw anypony off their game."

There was really only one appropriate response to that. "What."

"Sorry, laughter magic. Might be a bit over your head."

If that was laughter magic, then I was queen of the noggles. "How was that funny?"

Pinkie shrugged. "Eh, metahumor can be an acquired taste."

Probably best just to drop that subject. "Didn't you say you knew where we were?"

"Better, I know when we are!" Pinkie looked happy enough to bounce. Please don't bounce, Pinkie. If ever there was a time for not bouncing, this is it, whenever it is. "We are roughly two hundred and thirty years in the future relative to when we left. And that's not all the good news!"

"Is there bad news?" I asked. I already knew the answer. Of course there would be bad news. Given where we were, how could there not be bad news?

"Aw, don't be such a gloomy Gus!"

"So that's a yes."

Pinkie chuckled reluctantly. "Well, yeah, kinda. We didn't exactly land in the friendliest Equestria there is."

I took a theatrical look around, taking in the monochrome desolation. "You don't say."

"Oh, I do. In fact... Oh. Wait." Judging by her expression, Pinkie had finally grasped how bad the situation was. "This is terrible!"

Well, might as well make the most of her rationality while it lasts. "Don't worry, Pinkie. I'm sure we can handle it."

"That's just the problem!" What. "We'll never work as protagonists in this setting! We're far too well-adjusted!" Pinkie began pacing in the dust. "Oh, this is bad. This is very bad."

"What are you even talking about?" Normally, I'd just let Pinkie be... well, Pinkie, but she was the only other living soul for miles. There wasn't exactly much else to hold my attention.

"The Suicide Contemplation Quota, post-mutagenic or -cybernetic questions about the nature of our equinity, profanity minima, substance abuse..." Pinkie groaned. "I practically invented substance abuse in this timeline, and now I can't even live up to my own legacy! Worst irony ever!"

"You're seriously upset over how we're not sacks of misery?"

"Yes! This place will never accept us. We just aren't grimdark enough!"

I decided it was best not to argue whether "grimdark" was a word. "In my experience, most planeswalkers have a fair amount of baggage."

Pinkie waved a hoof dismissively. "Please. I had five millennia to get over myself, and you've got a loving husband and daughter." She facehoofed. "Ugh, you're not even... wait. No, never mind. There are a few heterosexual heroes sprinkled about the Wasteland."

Once again, probably best to ignore that. "Pinkie, you seem to know a lot more than I do about this place. What can you tell me?"

She looked up towards the sky, a massive sheet of solid cloud cover blocking out most of the sunlight. "Well, first off, it's never a good idea to be without shelter come nightfall. This is a dangerous world. Come on, let's see if we can't find somewhere for an exposition dump."

I followed. What else could I do?


"All you have to do is take finite resources,
Make supply lines pinch,
Make sure that both sides never hold their horses
Or ever give an inch!
Nuking this land is such a cinch.
Add a dash of superstition
Then the paranoia that they will destroy ya
And you get nuclear fission!
Balefire!
So hot and nasty!
Balefire!
Worldwide disasty!
Balefire!
Balefire! Balefire! Balefire!

"...and so, bombs fell, everypony died, save those able to make it into a Stable or the lucky few who got turned into ghouls." Pinkie sighed. "About two hundred years later, here we are."

"How exactly is getting turned into a radioactive zombie 'lucky'?" What? It was a valid question.

"Depends." Pinkie held out her forehooves like she was a set of scales. "You could consider it good luck that you had the right mutation such that you wouldn't die a horrible death from atomic fire, or you could consider bad luck that you'll be forced to walk the blighted earth long after everypony you knew and loved was reduced to glowing ashes. Either way, it's a lot of luck.”

The narrative I’d written ends there, but the chapter doesn’t. What’s left? The reason why this story never got off the ground:

Welcome to the Equestrian Wasteland

Ditzy's S.P.E.C.I.A.L.:
Strength: 4
Perception: 10
Endurance: 20
Charisma: NaN
Intelligence: Yes
Agility: Q
Luck: Derp

Pinkie's S.P.E.C.I.A.L.:
Strength: Mighty
Perception: Extrasensory
Endurance: Clipboardium
Charisma: Sepulchritudinous
Intelligence: Obfuscated
Agility: Bouncy
Luck: Blackwatch Plaid

Incompatibility Discovered: Extra Special
The usual means of measuring your innate abilities broke down pretty quickly. Prepare for interesting times.

Trait: Lost in Universal Translation
You got your crossover in my fusion! As a pony from a timeline foreign to the Wasteland, you're going to be experiencing some cross-compatibility issues.

Trait: Blue Mage
Your powers of intellect and observation allow you to replicate certain magical effects. The catch? You have to witness them firsthoof. In other words, get hit by them.
... What do you mean 'not that kind of blue mage'?

Trait: Special Eyes
They don't have your brand! Your ability to see magic gives you an extra 5 points in Arcane Science, Energy Weapons, and Repair. However, radiation is opaque to you, drastically reducing your field of vision in irradiated areas (i.e. most of them.) Furthermore, you take a -1 penalty to Perception for every level of radiation sickness you're experiencing.

Level Up!
Note: Arcane Science 25, Barter 25, Energy Weapons 25
New Perk! Bright Eyes
You've figured out how to see into the fourth dimension, and thus into and through solid objects. This is at once incredibly useful and incredibly disorienting. While using this perk, your Lockpick, Medicine, Repair, and Science skills receive a bonus equal to your Perception, but your Agility drops to 1, your movement speed is halved, and flying becomes an incredibly bad idea.


Megaspell Matrix 6
Artifact
Megaspell Matrix enters the battlefield tapped.
XXX, T, Sacrifice Megaspell Matrix, Exile an instant or sorcery card with converted mana cost X from your hand: Copy the exiled card ten times. You may cast any number of those copies without paying their mana costs.

As you can see, I was far more invested in having fun with game mechanics than I was in telling a story, and when I got bored brainstorming entertaining ways to twist the local reality’s substrate, I got bored with the story. Plus, the waves of FO:E spinoffs had pretty much died down, and at some point, it became clear that not only had the bandwagon passed me by, but I'd never really had much interest in hopping on in the first place. They can’t all be winners.

The gist of the plot I had in mind… well, there wasn’t much of one. Ditzy and Pinkie would’ve durdled around the Wasteland, soon discovering that time and space were correcting Pinkie’s mistake by slowly dragging them back to when they should be by dissolving their bodies into red quasielectrical energy.


Like so.

At one point, Ditzy would’ve copied a Pip-Buck via Shifting Steel. After Pinkie vanished—time and space working especially hard to get her out of the Wasteland—Ditzy would’ve encountered her ghoul self and teamed up with her for great justice.

Beyond that? Heck if I know. As I said, I was treating this more as a brainstorming session than a story. The really ironic part is that I’ve never even played a Fallout game, so I don’t even have that excuse for getting lost in the crunch. Still, lesson learned: Go into a story knowing what you want to get out of it. “Wouldn’t it be neat if I did X?” does not constitute a solid plot skeleton, especially not for a multichapter story.

What follows are the story notes, which honestly aren’t that different from the unpublished idea scribbles that are on most of my multichapter stories. I won’t be bringing them to you in context, but I hope you enjoy them nonetheless.

Chapter titles:
Future Sightseeing
Vanishing Act
(”Clock. Is. TICKING!”)
Fade to Derp
Crumbling Counterpart
(”We'll be alright. We even have a replacement.”)

Special Perk: Borrowed Time
You're not in your native time or place, and mysterious forces are working to correct that. Over time, this perk will automatically gain ranks to reflect your increasing nonexistence.
Rank 1: No effects. Yet.
Rank 2: Some key nerve endings are now in a different century. +5 DR.
Rank 3: You're a lot lighter, but that red lightning's gotten noticeable. +10 DR, +1 AGL, -1 CHA
Rank 4: You're almost halfway gone, and it shows. +15 DR, +2 AGL, -2 CHA, -1 STR
Rank 5: You're losing cohesion fast, and Entropa's in a different story. +25 DR, +3 AGL, -3 CHA, -2 STR, -1 PER, -1 END

Special Perk: Patent Violation
You've duplicated a Pip-Buck, with all the benefits that that implies. Fortunately, the Stable-Tec legal team is long dead.

Companion Perk: Time and a Laugh
Pinkie's working on Borrowed Time too, and she's worked with these sorts of temporal shenanigans before. While in your party, Pinkie's Borrowed Time clock runs 50% more quickly, while yours runs 50% more slowly.
Companion Perk: I Have Pink Hair
In postapocalyptic Equestria, rules screw you! Pinkie's so... well, Pinkie that the game has basically given up on trying to make sense of her, save for her perks. The clock for Borrowed Time runs 50% more quickly than normal for Pinkie, the better to get her out of here. This increase stacks additively with Time and a Laugh.

Companion Perk: Temporal Pair o' Derps
You've teamed up with your local analogue. The two of you understand one another as well as you know yourselves, so her missing tongue is no impediment for communication. However, your mere proximity is working on causality's last nerve. You and Ghoul Ditzy both deal an extra 10% damage, but your Borrowed Time runs out 10% faster.
Companion Perk: Rad Sponge
Your ghoul self acts like a magnet for radiation, which means you have less to deal with. While Ghoul Ditzy is in your party, radiation is 33% less opaque to your Special Eyes. She also halves the Perception penalty from radiation sickness (rounded up.)

Quest Perk: Mana War
You're getting a better understanding of the fundamental nature of this Equestria's magic and how the war altered it. You (and any other planeswalkers in your party) can form mana bonds to select locations.
Rank 2+?

New Perk! My Brand!
Prerequisite: Special Eyes
Look! Look with your Special Eyes! Or without them. As long as you're wearing glasses or other eyewear, you can turn off your Special Eyes trait, suppressing all benefits and drawbacks until you reactivate it or remove your glasses.

New Perk! Meltdown Mastery
Prerequisite: Energy Weapons 50
What's better than disintegration? Absolutely nothing, which is what your enemies are about to become. You have a much better chance of reducing your opponents to piles of glowing ash when firing an energy weapon.

New Perk! Spell Siphon
You can use several local magical items to restore your mana reserves instead of their usual uses.
White: Medical supplies
Blue: Chems
Black: Irradiated items
Red: Energy weapon ammo
Green: Preserved food

New Perk! Enervator
Prerequisite: Spell Siphon
You can drain the energy from magical creatures and equipment to recharge yourself, damaging them in the process.
White: Alicorns, power armor
Blue: Robots, memory orbs
Black: Ghouls, balefire explosives
Red: Dragons, energy weapons
Green: Mutants, zebra magic

New Perk! Rad to the Bone
Prerequisite: Spell Siphon
While exposed to radiation, you automatically replenish your black mana reserves at a rate proportional to your exposure.

New Perk! Time to Burn
Prerequisite: Borrowed Time, Rank 3
You can fire bolts of the lightning-like time energy that's consuming your body. Each bolt has the power of a shot from a laser pistol and costs one red mana and an hour of Borrowed Time.

Incompatibility Discovered: Anatomy, Schmatomy
Who cares where somepony gets hit? Not you. Damage dealt to you and by you can't cripple or disable limbs.

Incompatibility Discovered: Uncritical
You do not roll dice with the universe. You can't deal or be dealt critical hits, and you're a very receptive audience.

Incompatibility Discovered: Outside Context Problem
You're the weirdest thing in the Wasteland, and that's saying a lot. Despite appearances, all effects treat you as an abomination.

Incompatibility Discovered: Tapped Dry
Even if the Wasteland hadn't had its geomancy shot to Tartarus and back, magic still functions too differently for it to support mana bonds. Also, your other mana bonds are in another temporal continuity, and function at 50% efficiency at best.

Incompatibility Discovered: Target Practice
Accuracy is irrelevant as long as the target is legal. If you have a nonzero chance to hit something in S.A.T.S., that chance is 100%. The converse is also true: You're a sitting duck for the Targeting System. In both cases, the Action Point cost per action increases by 50%.

Gamma Exaltation 2BB
Enchantment — Aura
Enchant Zombie creature
Enchanted Zombie gets +2/+2, gets an additional +2/+2 for each -1/-1 counter on it, and has wither and "1B: This creature deals 1 damage to itself."
Most glows in the Wasteland are anything but healthy.

Disintegrator Ray 1R
Instant
Disintegrator Ray deals 2 damage to target creature. That creature can't be regenerated this turn. If it would die this turn, exile it instead.
A more elegant weapon for a less civilized age.

S.A.T.S. Strike 1R
Instant
Target creature gets +2/+0 and gains first strike until end of turn. Damage that would be dealt by that creature can't be prevented this turn.
For a company devoted to survival, Stable-Tec made surprisingly effective means of killing ponies.

Ditzy, Wasteland Purveyor GWU
Legendary Creature — Pegasus Zombie
Flying
When Ditzy, Wasteland Purveyor enters the battlefield, you may pay X. If you do, search your library for a permanent card with converted mana cost X, put it onto the battlefield, then shuffle your library.
GWU: Exile Ditzy.
Hoofcraft — You may cast Ditzy from exile as long as you control three or more Ponies, Pegasi, and/or Unicorns.
1/1

The Equestrian Wasteland
Legendary Land
T: Add C to your mana pool.
T: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool. You get a poison counter.
What once bordered on utopia is now toxic to body and soul alike.

Comments ( 16 )

If you're more interested in messing with game mechanics than telling a normal story, maybe you can do something else with these ideas. Maybe you could make a few short stories, or a couple blog posts? *Shrug*

Or you could try doing this in RL by finding a (very) open minded Fallout: Equestria GM and using a box of MTG cards instead of a character sheet. :pinkiecrazy:

Or you could try the inverse of your idea: FoE mechanics in a Planeswalker-y setting. (Which, besides a PipBuck being one of those cards-with-too-much-text, I don't have any good ideas for.)

Charisma: Sepulchritudinous

I get that reference, and I love it.

Trait: Blue Mage

Your powers of intellect and observation allow you to replicate certain magical effects. The catch? You have to witness them firsthoof. In other words, get hit by them.

... What do you mean 'not that kind of blue mage'?

Blue mages are best mages. I want that ability in my life.

“Wouldn’t it be neat if I did X.” does not constitute a solid plot skeleton, especially not for a multichapter story.

And isn't that unfair! :derpytongue2: This thing has done in many of my ideas, sadly.

On the whole, though, I think you quit while you were ahead. This story seems like it would have become a mess; quite possibly an entertaining, perhaps even a glorious, mess, but a mess nevertheless.

Equestrian Wasteland is super busted. Like, holy crap.

Well, this was delightfully silly. While it is likely for the best that you didn't follow through on this, what bits you did share were amusing. Thanks for sharing.

Also, pulchritudinous is one of those words that means just the opposite of what it sounds like it should mean.

omg I actually got involved.

3738550
Blue mage has been my favorite Final Fantasy class since I first heard it existed. That which does not kill you only makes you more versatile. (As do some of the things that do kill you.)

3738579 3738647
Thanks for confirming that this probably wouldn't have worked out well. Admitting an idea is bad, much less unworkable, can be very difficult.

3738617
Yeah, good point. It's now just a legendary, poisonous City of Brass.

3738683
How so?

3738892
It's still busted. I mean, look at what Eye of Ugin+OGW just did to Modern. Now imagine every single deck getting Eye of Ugin.

3738962
I'm... really not seeing the problem here. Especially not based on the comparison you drew. As I said, I brought the second ability down to producing one mana. The card doesn't at all resemble a combination Urza's Incubator/Planar Portal.

3738978
Oh, for whatever reason, I thought you just made it legendary, and that it still made two mana. My bad.

3738892 I got hooked. I'd offer to adopt it if I wasn't horrible with adoptions / my own stories or I played enough MtG to really make a serious go of it.

My plans for Fo:E in Fandom Chaos have... changed... since the new Basic Land in Oath of the Gatekeepers was revealed.

I can't believe Hasbro finally made purple colorless mana a thing.

3739130
Well, if you think you can run with the basic idea of "wacky, satirical shenanigans in the Equestrian Wasteland," by all means, do so.

3739132
Yeah, I can see how a land literally called "Wastes" is probably going to have some impact there.

Yeah, I can see how getting lost in the crunch was impacting your ability to write the story. Interesting idea, anyhow, although I'm going to be totally self-serving for a moment and say that if you're juiced to write postapoc I'd be far more curious to see what you make out of the Harmony Needs Heroes background.

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