• Member Since 26th Feb, 2012
  • offline last seen November 10th

abrony-mouse


Occasional fimfic contributor who enjoys short fics... and some naughty tf fics :p Also obsessed with fics based on the pony collectable card game, of which there are too few.

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Found 3 stories in 16ms



Total Words: 6,344
Estimated Reading: 25 minutes

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Hey ponies! The game is simple and based on the MLP collectable card game, which you probably shouldn't play if you have an addictive personality. Anyway, in this game we create a mini episode of MLP from: Mane characters with themes; helpful friends, resources and events; troublemakers, disruptive friends, resources and events; and problem cards which must be solved.

Context
The collectable card game (GGC) for MLP, like the pony comics, role play and the stories on fimfic, expands the pony universe. I have played the card game and done the odd role-play and produced stories on and off for many years, but only recently have I explored the idea of connecting these seemingly disparate parts of the pony fandom. My first attempt didn't work - the game is complex and I struggled to make the different cards fit into a coherent narrative (see CCG story shuffle). This is my second attempt - less wedded to the rules and more focused on the themes of the CCG while still being faithful to the idea of a uniquely pony card game that complements this amazing world we all love. The original inspiration for this idea goes to @Loganberry and @Fanofmosteverything who pointed me in the way of connecting cards to stories :3

General Rules
(Spoiler for basic gameplay for those unfamiliar with the game - see wiki for more)
The game requires each player to form a deck with one "Mane" character, 10 Problem cards that earn the players points when solved, and many other cards representing Friends, Resources, and other concepts; these cards are based on characters and other elements from the series. The goal is to play cards from one's hand to face off against any Problems put forth by either player, scoring points for doing so. The player to score a set number of points first is declared the winner. The game is distributed in pre-made one- or two-deck starter packs, and booster packs to expand a player's library. Since its release, the game has received seven major expansions and several themed decks.
A basic familiarity with the card game should be enough to get the gist of the story generation rules that I follow.
1. The basis of a deck is the mane character who sets the theme for the whole deck. Therefore all stories must have a theme and revolve around particular characters.
2. The basis of the game is the mutual resolution of problems between friends. This is my favourite aspect of the card game and MLP. The CCG is competitive but not destructive. Friends compete to be the best pony they can be to help one another. In practical terms that means that all stories must have an overall problem and an overall resolution which reflects the winner of the particular game. The winner is not the pony who succeeds alone (like Cosy Glow) but the pony who succeeds with her friends, acting, like Twilight does now, as the protector that shields and aids the vulnerable and as the guide that unlocks the greatness in those with unrealised talent. At the moment I like to achieve this with a "Dear Princess Celestia" resolution to every story, just as in season 1.
3. The game involves friends and helpful events which help the mane character to confront and resolve problems. The game straightforwardly imitates the show here eg imagine Twilight is helped by spike to steady her hooves on Discord's slippery bubble roads back in Season 2 (Slippery Slopes; Twilight - Gala Greeter; Spike - Festival assistant):
https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/Ed8AAOSwSiVe06ik/s-l1600.jpg
https://crystal-cdn2.crystalcommerce.com/photos/1257363/5.jpg
https://static.cardmarket.com/img/6c5493aa95ef63be0061e978dd671578/items/1041/SB/318710.jpg
4. The game also involves disruptive trouble-makers and problematic events. These are are harder to characterise and take a bit more explanation. In the CCG these are played to cramp the opponent's play style, rather like defensive play in football, 'snooker' in snooker, or a defensive slice in tennis. The purpose of the defensive play-style is to disable the opponent or prepare the ground in your favour and then force your opponent to engage. A problem I had at first when turning this game into a narrative was how to reconcile this play-style with the overall constructive nature of MLP CCG. What I now realise is that all good stories have flawed characters at their heart. The troublemakers and disruptive friends/events in the CCG can represent flaws that merely delay the eventual resolution of the problem. For example Scootaloo is trying to help Spike out by aiding a distressed Ember, despite being naive at first (Spike - the brave and glorious; Scootaloo - cutie mark crusader; Rarity - Growing up):
https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/mylittleponyccg/images/9/92/CrystalGames_192.jpg
https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/mylittleponyccg/images/6/60/MarksinTime_001.jpg
https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/mylittleponyccg/images/c/cc/MarksinTime_046.jpg
To explain: Spike and Scoot are mane characters here, so it makes sense to have the narrative to relate to Spike's friend Ember. Rarity growing up is a disruptive card (due to the 'showy' trait) and therefore represents naivety - a problem that needs to be overcome.

5. Finally, as I said above the game sets problems that the ponies confront and resolve together. This is not some arbitrary confrontation but rather the problems have a character in themselves and games can differ hugely depending on the problems that turn up. Just as with the disruptive elements and trouble-makers the problem cards were difficult to characterise and a similar solution was used: the problem cards contribute to the general narrative problem that is solved. For example,
Continuing the story above in relation to disruptive elements: Ember is crying because her fellow dragons have exiled her (Flooding in Sweet apple acres).
https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/mylittleponyccg/images/2/20/AbsoluteDiscord_177.jpg
To explain: the flooding is re-imagined as tears to fit the narrative. This may seem a stretch, but it is needed if a coherent story is to be formed from the cards. Provided you can form a link, this flexibility can be a great deal of fun :3

Technical rules
1. All cards played in the game are included in the story in brackets. Every sentence should reflect a card played, but a sentence may reflect multiple cards eg:
A well read Twilight sets herself up to solve her friends' problems (Princess Twilight Sparkle - professor Sparkle; Princess Twilight Sparkle - Cover to cover)!
https://static.cardmarket.com/img/ed338f3580c4410094c2d0c90d5e310c/items/1041/DE/318498.jpg
https://static.cardmarket.com/img/7871c5c90537eea16fe346947b790285/items/1041/HM/320319.jpg
Explanation: The first card here is a mane character with the power to confront problems. The second card generates action tokens which are the main 'currency' of the game when it comes to confronting problems.

2. Cards with a decisive role in the game (i.e scoring multiple points or costing the opponent multiple points) are starred* and should have an important role in the narrative.
3. All games include a winner and loser. The theme of the story centres around the winner's mane character and theme. The mane character loser of the story has an important but minor role in the story which involves being helped by the winner to be a better friend.
4. Cards are divided into: a) mane characters; b) helpful friends, resources/events; c) trouble-makers, disruptive friends, resources/events; d) problems.
5. Sometimes the type of gameplay can be relevant eg a one-sided game would place the loser mane character in a particularly junior role in the narrative, while a close game would be more even.

Chapters (4)
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The short stories/vignettes are in the MLP:FiM-verse and EqG-verse but are totally at random within those universes. They are inspired by the show so they should give me plenty of solid pony setup. While I am inspired by the cards I likely won't follow them slavishly. The style of the stories/vignetttes will tend to be extra short and are often driven by songs (which I will link in the comments). It doesn't matter if you are unfamiliar with the pony CCG as they are just a base to give the story a direction and I won't use any technical jargon. This anthology is inspired by reading FanOfMostEverything's Story Shuffle (check that out if you haven't already!).

(Technical stuff) The only game concepts I will use are the division between friends/events/items and the problems that they solve. To set the story I will randomly pick one of my decks, randomly pick a friend/event/item card and problem within the deck. I will achieve the randomness using a random number generator.

Chapters (2)
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Source

A series of very short stories of not much more than 500 words or so which tend to focus on ideas/feelings/scenarios and fit pony themes around them. The title refers to Celestia (Galaxia is her mother), and some of the stories do revolve around her, but many of the stories go beyond those characters and I enjoy writing for characters that seem under-appreciated in the fandom. The stories also range widely by setting/theme. They are often inspired by songs which I refer to in the descriptions of the stories.

Chapters (11)