Are the alicorn princesses goddesses?

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Alzrius
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Re: Are the alicorn princesses goddesses?

Postby Alzrius » Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:39 am

EquestrianScholar wrote:The way I look at it, while Celestia and Luna are not actually deities in the show... they would be in a D&D/Pathfinder setting as who but the Celestial Sisters would most ponies worship if one were to consider religion? The way I see it is that if Equestria was thrust into the setting which follows the rules of D&D/Pathfinder Celestia and Luna would become deities. This would also apply to Cadance I feel given how she is the Crystal Princess of the Crystal Empire.

So, in a Ponyfinder Equestria campaign Celestia, Luna, and Cadance would all be the deities of Ponykind.... at least within Equestria, the Crystal Emoire, and the lands nearby perhaps.


I disagree. For one thing, the ponies revere the alicorn princesses, but they don't seem to out-and-out worship them. At most, they'll use their names when exasperated and looking to invoke some authority for emphasis (e.g. "In the name of Celestia, just sit there and don't touch anything!"). That's different from offering formal prayers... and even if that wasn't the case, it's highly doubtful, within the context of the rules, that worship alone would necessarily be enough to elevate someone to divine status.

EquestrianScholar
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Re: Are the alicorn princesses goddesses?

Postby EquestrianScholar » Tue Mar 17, 2015 7:47 pm

The fact remains, that D&D and Pathfinder are games with religion and deities. While a cleric may choose not to worship a deity, it is considered the norm that most do. So the question is who but the Celestia Sisters, and to a lesser extent Cadance, would the majority Ponykind race worship?

I see it is appropriate and fitting to have them to be made into deities while you disagree... but that is fine as all fans will most often disagree on certain aspects, characters, canon, and headcanon of MLP:FiM. I simply look at it from a practical point, or at least my view of such, that by translating Equestria into the context of D&D/Pathfinder mechanics it would lead to Celestia and Luna being made deities.
Last edited by EquestrianScholar on Tue Mar 17, 2015 8:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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David
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Re: Are the alicorn princesses goddesses?

Postby David » Tue Mar 17, 2015 7:52 pm

If you hard translated them, they would not be the alicorns we know from the show. That's OK. Most fanfics don't handle them like the show anyway.

Alzrius
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Re: Are the alicorn princesses goddesses?

Postby Alzrius » Wed Mar 18, 2015 5:24 am

EquestrianScholar wrote:The fact remains, that D&D and Pathfinder are games with religion and deities. While a cleric may choose not to worship a deity, it is considered the norm that most do. So the question is who but the Celestia Sisters, and to a lesser extent Cadance, would the majority Ponykind race worship?


That question is predicated on the fact that any translation of MLP:FiM into the d20/D&D/Pathfinder rules would necessitate that religions, clerics, and divine magic be present at all. That runs into a problem, as the show is notably lacking in all of those things to begin with - while the alicorn princesses are more powerful than normal ponies, they don't display any abilities that are anywhere near the level of D&D gods. Likewise, we never see anything that resembles any sort of religion or religious worship, and even the magic that we see is conspicuously lacking in healing abilities.

Saying that a D&D "translation" of MLP would have to include gods, religion, and divine magic because those are "the norm" for D&D is putting the cart before the pony (pun intended). If there is no clear analogue for deities, trying to shoehorn the next best thing into that role undercuts the nature of what it means to try and faithfully translate the show in the first place.

I see it is appropriate and fitting to have them to be made into deities while you disagree... but that is fine as all fans will most often disagree on certain aspects, characters, canon, and headcanon of MLP:FiM. I simply look at it from a practical point, or at least my view of such, that by translating Equestria into the context of D&D/Pathfinder mechanics it would lead to Celestia and Luna being made deities.


Sure; there's nothing that says we have to come to a consensus. Some gamers will want to focus on making the end results fall within the "baseline" for D&D/Pathfinder; others won't care about that, and will want the most faithful translation possible, regardless of the "game-ist" aspects of it. There's no particular right or wrong answer.

EquestrianScholar
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Re: Are the alicorn princesses goddesses?

Postby EquestrianScholar » Wed Mar 18, 2015 1:19 pm

A small problem with that argument is that the power level of D&D/Pathfinder is far greater then that of MLP:FiM. Heck, if we were to be completely honest and try to have Pathfinder match up with MLP:FiM... Ponyfinder would be a low magic campaign setting, not only one without deities and religion thus no divine magic.

The problem with this though is it takes away from the High Fantasy enjoyment many take from Pathfinder, as really even for the Mane Six they have defeated the threats they have because of a powerful Major Artifact not their own power... now as unlockable powers, though the details are uncertain.

One needs to consider... how much are you willing to take away from Pathfinder the game it is supposed to be, just be canon since the magical power levels are different. Celestia and Luna may not technically have the power of D&D/Pathfinder deities but neither can you perhaps even half of what magic in in D&D/Pathfinder offers.

I see Ponyfinder being a campaign of give and take, of compromises, since MLP:Fim and Pathfinder are very different settings.

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David
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Re: Are the alicorn princesses goddesses?

Postby David » Wed Mar 18, 2015 1:34 pm

You can have divine magic without clerics. For instance, an oracle pony would have no idea what gave them power. They may even call to Celestia, but there's no proof one way or the other.

Nixing clerics does not negate the rest of things, if you wanted to do that.

EquestrianScholar
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Re: Are the alicorn princesses goddesses?

Postby EquestrianScholar » Wed Mar 18, 2015 1:51 pm

Hmm... you make a fair point David, though my point was supposed to be for keeping Clerics and considering the royal sisters as deities.

I wouldn't want to lose access to the Oracle myself since my character Stardream would have to be such using only Core PF.

Alzrius
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Re: Are the alicorn princesses goddesses?

Postby Alzrius » Thu Mar 19, 2015 5:47 am

EquestrianScholar wrote:A small problem with that argument is that the power level of D&D/Pathfinder is far greater then that of MLP:FiM. Heck, if we were to be completely honest and try to have Pathfinder match up with MLP:FiM... Ponyfinder would be a low magic campaign setting, not only one without deities and religion thus no divine magic.


I'm not sure I see that as being a problem - as they say, "it's a feature, not a bug."

MLP:FiM and Pathfinder (in its default) are two very different animals with regards to quite a few things, and the two don't mesh perfectly unless you're willing to alter one or both of them. As you noted, a Pathfinder MLP game would be very low-magic, and wouldn't have a lot of the things that are in the Pathfinder Core Rules.

(Though "Ponyfinder" is different from those - Ponyfinder is its own thing, and in fact shows how different things would be if you were to try and apply Pathfinder as-is to MLP.)

The problem with this though is it takes away from the High Fantasy enjoyment many take from Pathfinder, as really even for the Mane Six they have defeated the threats they have because of a powerful Major Artifact not their own power... now as unlockable powers, though the details are uncertain.


Well, again, I don't see that as a problem. Wanting something to be something it never was strikes me as counter-intuitive. If MLP never had divine magic used for healing, and nopony ever threw lightning bolts and fireballs to solve a problem, then why would you be upset that your recreation of Equestria for use with Pathfinder doesn't allow for those options?

Now, if you want to alter the setting - possibly radically - right off the bat by allowing those options to be on the table, there's nothing wrong with that. As they say, play the game you want to play. But don't be surprised when this makes it feel very different from how the show presents Equestria and its ponies.

One needs to consider... how much are you willing to take away from Pathfinder the game it is supposed to be, just be canon since the magical power levels are different. Celestia and Luna may not technically have the power of D&D/Pathfinder deities but neither can you perhaps even half of what magic in in D&D/Pathfinder offers.


I don't believe in "supposed to be" where Pathfinder is concerned. Tinkering under the proverbial hood - especially to make the rules match the setting - is as old as RPGs themselves are (actually older, but that's a technicality). As such, for me it's obvious that you should use the rules that serve to help recreate Equestria as the show presents it, tweaking them if necessary to make them do what you want, and discard the rest.

Make the rules serve the game world, rather than the game world serve the rules, is how I look at it.

I see Ponyfinder being a campaign of give and take, of compromises, since MLP:Fim and Pathfinder are very different settings.


Pathfinder isn't a setting, per se (though Golarion is). Rather, it's a set of rules that you can use to run things your way. As it stands, it's not quite the "toolbox" that it imagines itself to be, however, simply because of how much it interlocks various subsystems and doesn't make it obvious how things can be changed and altered for the convenience of the players.

Now, you can make only a handful of changes and additions to the rules, throw in the ponies, and call it a day, and there's nothing wrong with that. But that leaves you gaming on Everglow, rather than Equestria...though as David has showcased, Everglow is quite the kick-ass game world unto itself.


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