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SPARK: Over A Barrel
Overview document and character sheets: http://goo.gl/ZzHlj

General thread for OOC and system discussion: as of writing, >>54058

As this is a new system, please do not hesitate to bombard me with questions, complaints, and other comments. I don't just want to test this system, I want to run a genuinely fun campaign.

The party is on a train ride to Appleloosa, escorting Cherry Jubilee and a shipment of cherry trees to be transplanted to the relatively new settlement. Along the way, they run into a spot of trouble with the native buffalo tribe…

Gameplay intro post to come at around 10:00am PDT. Til then please report in at the discussion thread. >>54058


SOMEWHERE IN THE FRONTIER, you find yourselves on a train headed from Dodge City to the fledgling settlement of Appleloosa. Whether you were a Dodge City native or a traveler passing through, you've been swept up into Cherry Jubilee's entourage on this excursion. She's having some cherry trees transplanted to the orchards in Appleloosa, and your car is the second-to-last one, the caboose carrying said trees.

It's late morning, you've all had breakfast and are sitting together in the lush passenger car with Miss Jubilee, proprietor of the Cherry Hill Ranch.

Miss Jubilee is a mature earth mare, but quite the looker. There's a certain twang in her voice as she's barely able to contain her excitement over seeing Appleloosa again and possibly meeting old friends. You're all barely familiar with each other, let alone the frontier lands; now is a good time to ask questions about Appleloosa, the frontier, each other, or Miss Jubilee herself.


"Sooooo, I heard that the weather is really dry in Appleloosa… How can you grow anything if it barely rains?"


Quill, however, is taking his sweet time in the shower. Being the city slicker he is, the good professor probably feels this is his last opportunity to enjoy hygiene.


"So… uh, hi!
I'm Lyrica! Nice 'ta meet'cha all."

How does inventory work in this?


Inventory will be generally freeform, whatever you can sensibly carry in your saddlebags and on your back …in your mouth! Though honestly I didn't address it at all since I wanted there to be more of a focus on the system itself before finagling with such details.

I'll allow most small articles provided there's no flagrant abuse.


>>66500 Drizzle
Miss Jubilee explains what she knows. "Without water from above, ya just have to find water from below. Why, there are natural springs underground that can provide water for a whole town! You'd be hard pressed to start a settlement of any kind without one, let alone move it."

>>66503 Lyrica
You're already familiar with Miss Jubilee, at least. "Y'all should get to know her, ain't she the cutest thing? On a hot day, aside from a cool bucket of water, a song's the next best thing to easin' your troubles."


"Hello there dear! It's nice to meet you too!"


"Ain't that the truth!"
I hum a little ditty.
What's with the funky little hat?"
I point towards what I assume to be there her hat.


"Hello! I'm Drizzle, nice to meet ya!"

I think this over for a moment.

"I guess, but nothing beats a nice shower of rain."


I chortle.
"Oh, it's just my nurse's hat. It's routine, you know! I can't start a pleasant day without putting it on in the morning!"

"Nice to meet you, Drizzle!"


"Say, Miss Jubilee, why do you need an escort for a bunch'a trees?"


"Yes, and why such an odd collection of ponies?"


"I wondered about those myself…"


"An old professor, a nurse, a singer, and a weather pony. This sounds more like a joke than anything else."


I look a little offended.

"Hey! Speak for yourself! I'm a Cloudsdale Official Weather Manager!"


"Oh, come now, don't be so harsh. I am sure there is a reason for it, or hey, maybe it's just fate!"


"Hey! I'm not just a singer!
I play a bunch'a stuff and build stuff too!"


>>66520 Lyrica
>>66527 Quill
Jubilee gives Quill a delicious smirk. "Oh, nice to have you back, Professor! Ya ready to step out into the hot, sweltering sun and windswept, dusty plains?"

"These ain't just regular ol' fruit trees, these are some of my prize cherry cultivars I'm sendin' over! I can't well just bring them out by my little old self. Plus, you all are a nice enough bunch and I figure you could make yourselves some new friends in Appleloosa. The frontier towns don't see many of the book-learnin' or weather-makin' types, neither, but I think there could be somethin' for you even out here."


"Hmmm. Maybe I will meet a buffalo. I've learned then taught about nonponies for most my life but the most I've ever met is a donkey."


"It's been a while since I did anything than sit home in my free time, of course I was filled with joy when you said there's an opportunity for a trip! This is so exciting for me! Like an adventure!"


I snort and roll my eyes.

"Eggheads first time outside? I met a zebra once!"


"Really? You've never met a griffon? Or a deer? Or even a zebra?!"
"I'm always up for some more travellin'! Adventure and all that jazz!"


welp im here now


At this moment, the rumbling of the train is almost drowned out by a building thunder outside, and the telltale plumes of dust herald a buffalo herd running parallel to the tracks.

Even if you've seen it before, the sight of the native buffalo traversing the frontier is a sight to behold. Even the smallest of them is at least twice the size of an adult pony, but they have incredible speed on par with the locomotive even when holding a formation like they are doing now.

The stampede seems to be running close to the train, near enough for you to make out their distinct blue face paint and feathered headdresses. Their expressions are focused and determined.


"I don't have much free time."

"Really? Tell me everything!"


I stick my head out the window and wave to them!


I grin like a child and press my face against the window.


I then realize that the widows can be opened. I do so then stick my head out the window, still grinning like an idiot.


I look at the window with a smile.
"Oh, this trip is just already wonderous!"


Observe the buffalos.



Stick my head out of the window and yell at the buffaloes.

"Hey guys!"


"Zebra's are real fun!
Due to their cultural upbringing and stuff they place a real heavy emphasis on music. It has a place for them in everything from religion to communication to just everything!
Ain't nobody can beat out a rhythm like a zebra!"


"Mmhmmm, yeah."
I nod and go back to looking at the buffaloes.


"They also have stripes! I'm smart!"


"Of course you are…"


"Very, yes. Can you fly out and get their attention for me?"


>>66548 Lyrica
>>66551 Quill
For the most part, the buffalo do not respond to you (save for one cheery fellow in the back), and they continue their stampede parallel the tracks. You spot a smaller buffalo riding atop one of her larger compatriots. She's looking into the windows of each car—she looks a little befuddled upon seeing you two poking your heads out—before finally reaching the back car where Miss Jubilee's trees are stored.

Miss Jubilee laughs it off. "Well, professor, I hope you're enjoying your first meeting with the buffalo. They lived in these lands far longer than us ponies and—"

A sudden jolt rocks the train! It's barely enough to notice at first, and then a second one completely rattles the passenger car. Lyrica and Quill, who have their heads out the window, can see very well what's going on: the buffalo have started ramming the train car carrying the cherry trees!


I shout at them,
"Heeeeey! Stop that! That car has very delicate stuff in it!"


"What? They're attacking the car with the trees!"


"Oh my! What's going on?"


"Damn savages! We have to do something."



I open up the window fully and fly out.

"Guys! Hey! Don't do that!"

Do I need to roll for this?

Rolled 6 = 6


"Why would they do that?"


"A plan, yes, we need a pla-"

"Wait! We still need a plan!"


"They want our food obviously."


"Well we have enough for both of us! We could share!"


What element would I invoke to use my knowledge to figure out why the buffalo would attack the train?


"We are not sharing! We work hard for this food, this is OUR food."


"Why not share with them if it's enough? You'd rather have it in our storages than letting them eat as well?"


"What in blazes?" Miss Jubilee almost spills her mint julep. "Strawberry, be a dear and check on the trees in the back. I hope that jolt didn't do any—"

The buffalo ram the car again, and Miss Jubilee spills her drink. "…That does it."

Miss Jubilee squeezes into Quill's window and starts yelling at the buffalo, but they still remain largely unresponsive.

You're not sure if the ponies in the cars ahead know what's going on. The engineers might need to be notified before a derailment happens.

Several smaller buffalo leap onto each other's backs, taking turns jumping onto the roof of the train. You hear their heavy footsteps dispersing echoing through the ceiling, some going forwards, some back towards the trees.

>>66574 Drizzle
Pick an Element to invoke for this. I would suggest Kindness or Honesty since you're largely negotiating with them. In addition to chosen balance, you get +3 dice from your flight skill to get into position, and +1 dice from your nimble movement.


"Pfft! We don't need a plan!"
I fly out after Drizzle.
Could I communicate with them through the power of song?


"I'm going to go warn the engineers."




"What now miss Jubilee?"


I use Honesty? I guess?

Do I need to reroll?

Rolled 1 + 4 = 5


Don't you roll the +'s as additional dice?


>>66584 Quill
I suggest Kindness or Honesty.

Miss Jubilee interrupts your repartee. "I don't know why they'd have to be stealin' our food, it's not as if we denied them anything! Least, not to my knowledge."


"Have you tried asking them if they need anything?"


I guess I'll just use the honest truth to try and figure out why. If I'm figuring this right then I have 7d6 from my Honesty score and 3d6 from my Xenology score.

Rolled 1, 6, 4, 6, 3, 4, 2, 3, 4, 4 = 37


Your total dice pool should be 7d6.


And the +4?

Rolled 2, 5, 1, 4, 3, 2, 2 + 4 = 23


>>66602 Drizzle: 2 hits
You don't know for certain, but you have some pretty solid logic that the buffalo couldn't possibly want the food for themselves. They've been able to fend for themselves for generations, and open hostilities like this are just about unheard of, at least til now.


What about >>66593?


>>66605 Drizzle: 1 hit
Bonuses from talent, quirks, and skill add dice to your dice pool.

You're able to fly out to speak with the buffalo, but they continue to ignore your words.

You can see the smaller buffalo running along the rooftops and disappearing between the cars. One is attempting to decouple the railcar holding the cherry trees!


Would you have let me use Old to add an extra d6 to that roll? I completely forgot about it.


>>66593 Lyrica
If you're assisting Drizzle with song, I would suggest Loyalty or Laughter. But is this really the time?

>>66594 Quill
As you make your way forward to the next car, a smaller buffalo falls onto you from above. What do you do?

>>66595 Strawberry
Miss Jubilee has ordered you to go to the back car with the cherry trees to make sure they aren't damaged.


Wha!? Stop her!

Fly over and pin her down!

I have no idea which element to use here, I guess Loyalty? And I still get the +3 bonus for flying but -1 to pinning her down because of my light frame?

Rolled 1, 2, 1, 5, 6, 4, 6 + 2 = 27




You're a City Slicker. Despite the wisdom and history of your age, the countryside has never really interested you and you don't have a particular knowledge of it in that regard.

Old (+1) City Slicker (-1) = 0 additional dice for those quirks


I think you were supposed to add 2d6 to your roll.

Oh right.


I pace around.
"I wanted excitement in my life, but not this much!"


"Heeeey! Stop that right now!"
I fly up and try to tackle that buffalo! I am not gonna let Miss Jubilee down!
So would that be 7 from my Loyalty balance score, and 3 from my Quick Thinker quirk? And a +3 from flying?

Rolled 3, 4, 2, 5, 3, 2, 1, 5, 1, 6, 5, 4, 1 = 42


ooooh! I get it!

Rolled 2, 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 5, 2, 1 = 28


Check the trees.
Do I have to roll?


I should probably roll.

I said I would go to the front and warn the engineers so that is Loyalty (7d6). I am old (-1d6) so I will have a bit of trouble knocking it off me.

Rolled 3, 5, 5, 4, 6, 5 = 28


>>66619 Quill: 2 hits
The little buffalo is about the size of a grown filly, and you're able to push her off. She rolls away in a daze, but otherwise the both of you are sitting securely on the platform as the rails whiz by underneath you. You can safely continue on or try confronting her here.

>>66624 Nurse Care
Miss Jubilee shouts at the buffalo, "Stop that before somepony gets hurt!"

"Oh goodness, no one's hurt, are they? Carey, help old Quill out in case he slipped or somethin' or somepony fell over in one of the—"

The buffalo continue to attack the train cars, the shaking coming much harder now as they ram multiple cars. A second line of buffalo flank the train, rocking it from side to side in an attempt to disorient the ponies inside.

>>66627 Lyrica: Please reroll 9d6.
I'd say just +2 Quick Thinker. With Loyalty that's a total of 9d6.

>>66630 Strawberry
You won't have to roll yet.

As you exit the back of the car to reach the cherry trees you run into a young buffalo trying to decouple the train cars. At that moment, >>66628 Drizzle: 3 hits swoops in and tackles her away from the coupling, safely barreling through the doorway and into the trees' car. However, the coupling is already loosened and could come off if you don't do something about it.

I suggest Honesty or Loyalty for this one.

Drizzle is now inside the trees' car, in a pile with a young buffalo.


The eff? Quill should have 4 hits. (Huge success)


I nod at her and hurry along to find Quill.


"You little whippersnapper! Wait here while I go warn the engineers about what you ruffians!"
I leave here there and continue to the front car to warn them. Do I need to roll for this?


Try to fix the couplig.
I have to use seven because thats my honesty total right?

Rolled 6, 7, 5, 2, 3, 4, 6 = 33



Rolled 4, 5, 6, 6, 3, 6, 2, 3, 5 = 40


"You're not going anywhere bandit! You can't just attack a train!"

Try to keep the buffalo pinned on the ground

-1 due to small frame I guess?

Rolled 1, 1, 3, 6, 5, 4 = 20


>>66644 Strawberry
d7s? pls reroll


I think im going to back off im just delaying the game


>>66640 Nurse Care
You find a dazed buffalo filly. She's gonna be out of it for a little bit. Up ahead you can see
>>66643 Quill
storming ahead into the next car. Unfortunately, Quill can't make any further progress: another buffalo has barred the door leading to the next car, from the outside, no less!

The other passengers are in a panic, flinging questions and complaints at Quill (and Nurse Care, for the few who spot her through the doorway).

>>66648 Drizzle: 2 hits
You have the buffalo pinned down and at your mercy. She sounds a lot younger than you expected. "Ow! You're hurting me!"

>>66655 Strawberry
I'll roll for you. Everyone's still learning, me included.

Rolled 6, 6, 2, 4, 3, 6, 3 = 30


Oh the 7 is the total and the six is the honesty right?


Strawberry: 3 hits
You're not a machinist, but you give the coupling a good smack and the pin falls back into place. Out here between the cars you can see the raging buffalo on either side of the railroad, and their alternating slams rock the car you're on. Drizzle is ahead of you in the tree car, with the buffalo filly pinned down.


"Why are you Buffalo's doing this? What's your problem!?"

I'll use honesty for that

Rolled 3, 3, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2 = 12


>>66647 Lyrica: 5 hits
You not only swoop in between the cars, you deftly weave straight into the tree car behind Drizzle and help her pin the buffalo filly down. She's completely at your mercy, if not by the weight of two pegasus mares holding her down then certainly by that awesome feat of agility.


I use Honesty to tell them that I believe the buffalo are only after something at the back of the train and that there is no reason to panic. I don't suppose any of them are from the city?

Rolled 4, 5, 5, 3, 6, 2, 5 = 30


I ignore the complaints and quickly rush to see if the filly is all right.

I'll use Kindness and nursing I guess?
H-here I go, Am I doing this right? This seems this seems way too much, but

Rolled 5, 6, 6, 6, 1, 5, 5, 6, 5, 2, 3 = 50


Stick my head out of the window and yell: "Stop we have one of your buffaloes".


I shout at her,
"Why are you doing this?!"
So I could roll Kindness + Communicator for this, right?

Rolled 2, 2, 2, 5 = 11


>>66662 Drizzle: major derp
In your furor, your grip on the filly falters. At that inopportune moment, a particularly powerful slam causes the railcar to lurch. You swear the thing is about to go off the rails, and you lose your balance, rolling halfway across the car and into a root bag.

>>66673 Lyrica: 1 hit
Before you can get your words out, you are knocked out of the way by Drizzle's barrel roll, completely freeing the buffalo. She quickly gets up and hurries back to disable the coupling, though she pauses when she sees Strawberry standing over it.

>>66669 Strawberry
Your bluff doesn't seem all that impressive, considering she's right in front of you and about to go for the coupling again.

>>66665 Quill: 4 hits
Your genial manner and wit calms everypony down, and your last request even nets you a volunteer from Canterlot, a minty teal unicorn mare.

"What can I do to help?" She awaits your instruction.

>>66666 Nurse Care: 8 hits
Sweet sun, you go to town on that little filly. Not only do you help her out of her daze, you get her as comfy as you can, even fetching a pillow to stabilize her head on in case of head injury and removing a few desert ticks and old cactus thorns. She's ingratiated to you and gives you her thanks, though she seems somewhat confused at this turn of events.


"Bwah! Get back here!"
I try to grab her and get her into the train car! Keep her away from that coupling!

Rolled 2, 2, 2, 3, 4, 2, 1, 1, 2 = 19


Attack the buffalo.
7d6+2 bonus of martial arts right?


Meowth That's right!


Wee, rolling.

Rolled 5, 5, 1, 1, 4, 6, 1 + 2 = 25


Crawl out of the bag and lurch at the buffalo again to pin her down.

"Stop! You haven't answered my question!"

Rolled 6, 1, 6, 5, 5, 5 = 28


I ask her to go to the back cars and ask one of the pegasi to fly ahead and warn the engineers about what is happening. After that I turn to the buffalo filly and ask her why they are attacking the train.

Kindness 3d6, Xenology 3d6, City Slicker -1d6.

Rolled 4, 5, 1, 2, 1 = 13


I think you add the bonus to the number of dice you roll.


"Are you all right, dear? And can you tell me why are you doing this? I wouldn't want any more ponies or buffalos to get hurt!"

Kindness and Communicator.

Rolled 1, 5, 3, 1, 1, 1, 4, 3, 1, 6 = 26


Oh like dice+9d6?

Rolled 4, 3, 6, 2, 1, 1, 6 + 2 = 25


Yes. I think this plays more like Yahtzee than anything else.



Rolled 1, 3, 4, 5, 1, 1, 3, 5, 2 = 25


>>66689 Lyrica: 0 hits
>>66698 Drizzle: 5 hits
>>66703 Strawberry: 2 hits
Lyrica falls just short, but Drizzle and Strawberry manage to pull the buffalo filly away from the coupling in time.

"Argh! Let me go! I have to… th-the trees!"

>>66699 Quill: 1 hit
The young buffalo shakes his head. "This isn't any of your business, stranger."

>>66702 Nurse Care: 1 hit, derp
"You ponies don't know what's what." The buffalo filly is very reluctant to share information with you. "Plenty of buffalo are hurt by what's going on! You're a nice lady, but please don't get involved. You're not from around here anyway."

Rolling the Luck Dice.

Rolled 6 = 6


"If buffalo are getting hurt, then I'm going to get involved, because I won't stand for anypony or creature getting hurt! Now please, calm down, and tell me what is going on, so I can help you!"

Rolled 4, 4, 2, 4, 4, 2, 1, 1, 4, 1 = 27


>>66717 Lyrica, Drizzle and Strawberry
A young minty unicorn comes out from the passenger car. "Hey! Could one of you pegasisters fly out to the front of the train and warn the engineers about the buffalo?"

Upon seeing your captive, she casts a spell to help hold her in place, enough to let one of the pegasi let go without worry.


"Aren't you buffaloes supposed to respect your elders?"
Kindness again because my head hurts too much for me to BS a reason to roll with Honesty, Loyalty or Generosity.

Rolled 5, 6, 5, 4, 2 = 22


>>66718 Nurse Care: 0 hits
The buffalo filly refuses to say more.

Buffalo flank you on either side, running alongside the tracks. They look angrily at you as you loom over the filly.

"What are you doing to her?"
"Give her back!"


"I'm busy pinning this buffalo down!"

"What? What about the trees? Why do you want to steal them?"


"Come and get her, big jerk!"

Rolled 5, 2, 5, 4, 4, 5 = 25


I step away to let her go.
"I'm not going to hold you captive, dear. But please, tell your kind that not all ponies are bad. And I want to help you. All of you."


>>66726 Quill: 3 hits
Something clicks with the young buffalo. "What about respect for our elders, and our ways? You ponies have trampled on our lands and traditions. It's time we get some payback, and Appleloosa will be the first to go!"


Can I join in now?


"And stealing or destroying some cherry trees will be enough to wipe Appleoosa off the map?"

Rolled 4, 4, 3, 4, 5 = 20


>>66737 Casting Light
Sensing a commotion in the rear cars, you made your way towards the back to see the young buffalo arguing through a barred doorway with the wizened Quill.


"What would be transpiring here, now?"

Attempt to use curiosity to figure out what is going on.

Rolled 3, 3, 4, 4 = 14


>>66728 Drizzle: 3 hits
"We're not stealing them. We don't want your dumb trees! We don't them here or there, we don't want them anywhere!" The buffalo filly struggles but cannot break free.

The minty unicorn strengthens her containment spell. "One of you has to go to the engineers before the whole train derails! Don't worry, I've got her secure."

>>66727 was meant for Nurse Care, but now that you mention it, there are angry buffalo crowding around the tree car now, more than any other car.

>>66734 Nurse Care
"Thank you. I won't forget this." The filly leaps safely onto a stampeding buffalo's back, and they disappear into the crowd.

>>66740 Quill: 1 hit
"You're not seeing the big picture, old horse. You think we'd wager the future of our homeland on a hoof-scuffle?"


>>66748 Casting: 0 hits
Your attempt to pull something out of the ether fails you, but your question is pointed enough to get the buffalo's attention. He shrugs. "Just sit down and drink your cider, pony. It's not safe out here over the tracks."

You also notice his larger comrades flanking the railroad tracks, eyeballing you with hostility.


If I get any bonuses due to cutie mark

Rolled 2, 4, 4 = 10


"Then be honest and tell me. I thought that whatever problems our races had got resolved recently by the Element Bearers."

Rolled 3, 1, 6, 6, 6 = 22


"My train is being interrupted, surely this is a matter that concerns me. I need you to to tell me what is going on, now."

Use honesty to try and reason with the Buffalo.

Rolled 1, 3, 1, 6, 4, 6, 4 = 25


"Nurse! Why did you let her go!? Ack!"

Turn to the minty unicorn.

"I'm on it!"

Fly over to the engineers and warn them. Once again, I use honesty.

Rolled 4, 4, 2, 4, 5, 3, 4 = 26


This is official ponyland now.


"Then be honest and tell me. I thought that whatever problems our races had got resolved recently by the Element Bearers."



This is taking place in FIM-era, but alternate timeline. Over A Barrel didn't happen: it IS happening, with you as the stars. Twilight and Co. do exist, and do go on magical adventures, just not this one.

As for where the party members are:
* Casting and a young male buffalo
+ Quill
- Nurse Care and the escaped buffalo filly
# Drizzle, Lyrica, and Strawberry holding down another buffalo filly

Okay, TIME IN.



>>66761 still stands then, except the first part addressing the nurse



"What? Is the train in danger?"


>>66757 Quill: 3 hits
>>66760 Casting: 2 hits
Your queries convince the young male buffalo to open up a little. He puffs up with pride and a dark edge to his words. "The more trees we take out on the tracks, the fewer we'll have to deal with in Appleloosa. I know you're headed there right now, but consider this fair warning to take the next train out."

He backflips of the platform and rejoins the stampede as a loud hollering starts to build up amongst the buffalo.

A wooden plank remains in place barring the car door.

>>66761 Drizzle: 0 hits
Even pulling the weight of the entire train and its load, the earth pony engineers are much stronger than you give them credit for. You struggle to keep up with the train and barely make it one car before tiring out.

Continue making rolls to fly until you get 6 hits total.

Rolling the Luck Dice.

Rolled 6 = 6


We should tie this filly.


I get a +3 to flying, right?

"No way Earth Ponies are faster than me!"

Rolled 5, 4, 4, 5, 6, 4, 2, 6, 5, 4 = 45


Near Strawberry and Lyrica, Cherry Jubilee steps out of the passenger car with a clockwork saddle and potato cannon flipped over her withers. She points it threateningly at the buffalo, and they visibly pale in the presence of her spud-loaded frierarm.



"Oh, goodness…"

"If anything, a hostage may give us a bartering chip. I agree."




Sometimes I want to bust out MapTools.


"Oh sweet Celestia!"


>>66789 Drizzle: 5/6 hits
One more roll should do you.


How many buffalo are on our train now?

"Don't harm our hostage, we will need her to deal with them properly."


"Just… a little…. further!"

Rolled 2, 1, 1, 3, 1, 4, 3, 6, 2, 6 = 29


I'm going to use my Loyalty to the others to try and move the board with my magic so I can get past and warn the others.

Loyalty should be the only thing that plays into it.

Rolled 1, 2, 1, 2, 2, 3, 1 = 12


I'm back, what did I miss?


>>66802 Quill: 0 hits
Somehow the stress of the situation is getting to you.

Casting Light
You see Quill trying to remove the plank on the door with his unicorn magic. It's on your side, so you might have an easier time of it.

There's at least one buffalo actually on the train: the captured filly near the tree car. The rest may have already jumped back to the stampede after barring the doors.

>>66800 Drizzle: 7/6 hits
You not only make it to the engine, but are now flying just over the pulling team themselves and can talk to them easily.

"Hey, what are you doing? It's not safe out here!"

Nurse Care
With the buffalo filly gone, you're free to move forward to help Quill or return to check on the state of the tree car.

Lyrica and Strawberry
Miss Jubilee has her big scary spudgun pointed at the stampeding buffalo, having failed to take notice of your little captive.

She fires off a warning shot.
Rolling the Luck Dice.

Rolled 6 = 6



I'll go and check on what's Quill is doing.


I sit down on and empty seat and rest for a bit. Curse these old bones.


"Here, allow me to assist."

Use kidness to help the old pony.

Rolled 2, 6, 4, 6, 1 = 19


I attack the buffalo from behind.

Rolled 2, 6, 4, 4, 2, 3, 4, 5, 2 = 32


Miss Jubilee's spudgun lets off an ear-splitting BOOM as it ejects a whole baked potato, splattering square over a stampeding buffalo's face.

"I can't see!" He swerves and spins out of control, tumbling to the ground and falling behind. There are still plenty of other buffalo to replace him, though, and they're now ramming the tree car with increased vigor.


"There's buffalo ramming and attacking the train carts! You have to stop the train before it derails!"

Rolled 5, 5, 3, 1, 2, 2, 1 = 19


>>66829 Strawberry
You're on a moving train. Attempting to jump off to attack the stampeding buffalo would be ill-advised.

What exactly are you trying to do?


I thought I was with Jubilee.


"Are you all right?"


>>66825 Nurse Care
>>66827 Quill
Nurse Care finds Quill taking a breather after attempting to unbar the door. Thankfully, >>66828 Casting: 2 hits manages to unbar it from his side and steps into the train car with the two of you.

You can hear a commotion from the rear of the train as the buffalo attack the tree car.

>>66832 Drizzle: 2 hits
"That'd explain the lurching we were feeling."
"We can't stop here, this is buffalo country!"
"Alright, here's the plan. How fast can you fly, miss? There's a track switch up ahead that'll put us through a narrow pass in the canyons, and we can lose the buffalo in there. It's an older route to Appleloosa, but it should still be functional."

Flying ahead to the track switch will require 10 accumulated hits over multiple rolls. If you don't make it in time…


Yes, standing on the train.


"Are they still at the back of the train? Let's go see what exactly is happening so we can make a plan."
I stand up and walk to the back of the train.


Oh in that case im just standing with her.


I follow him.
"I hope all that racket was nothing dangerous."


Look at the filly being tied down by the three ponies.

"Is that a hostage we have? Bring her to the back, we can try and stop the Buffalo here."


"Hostage? What are you talking about?"


"No problem! On it!"

Switch over to sanic mode and go get to that lever

Rolled 5, 2, 4, 2, 3, 3, 2, 6, 6, 5 = 38


"The calf over there. We have to use her to save this train. I'm sure the buffalo would agree."


"What? That… This is unnaceptable! We must let her go right now!"


"And take the chance of them derailing the train and killing us all?"


Casting, Nurse Care, and Quill
As you make your way towards the back of the train, you see Lyrica and Strawberry holding down a buffalo calf as Miss Jubilee gleefully reloads her spudgun.

Rolled 1 = 1


"Once the buffalo cease attacking us, yes. We risk the lives of everyone in this train if we do not attempt to negotiate."


"What is going on here? Is everyone out of their minds?!"


"We are just protecting what is ours maam."


"By answering with violence to violence? That never leads to anything but loss for both sides!"


"If they really care about this two they are going to do what we said."


>>66858 Drizzle: 3/10 hits
You pull away from the train, following the tracks beneath you. Every second counts.

>>66867 Bad Luck
Miss Jubilee's spudgun misfires, and the potato projectile detonates right on the train coupling.

Its rattling loose now, too far for Casting, Nurse, or Quill to help without some extreme action on their part. The train cars shake and groan as they destabilize from the loose coupling and the buffalo attacking. If Lyrica or Strawberry release their hold on the buffalo, she'll escape for sure.


"Who said anything about violence? The whole objective here is to avoid violence. We don't have to do anything to the calf. Hopefully."


I use my Loyalty to the others to try and fix the coupling with my magic.

Rolled 5, 2, 5, 2, 5, 6, 3 = 28


Gogogogogogogogo fast!

Rolled 6, 2, 3, 5, 4, 1, 2, 5, 3, 4 = 35


I hold the buffalo.


"Gah! Alright, let's see here…"

Use Laughter and Tinkering to see how I can quickly secure the train for the moment.



Rolled 6, 6, 4, 4 = 20


You need to roll an extra 3d6.


Oh yeah, skill

Rolled 6, 5, 1 = 12


>>66884 Drizzle: 6/10 hits
You're moving quickly, but aren't sure if you're making good time.

>>66882 Quill: 4 hits
>>66892 Casting: 4 hits
Your combined magic replaces the coupling and holds it together through the onslaught, but you need to maintain your hold as the buffalo continue the assault. Please roll again to maintain control.

Against better judgment, Miss Jubilee cocks her cannon and fires again.

Rolled 2 = 2



Rolled 4, 4, 5, 1, 5, 4, 5 = 28


"Secure the couplings! And get that calf over here already!"

Rolled 2, 5, 5, 6, 6, 2, 5 = 31


Miss Jubilee's aim is little better than last time, the spud glancing off the tree car and splattering in a wide spray of hot wedges, failing to deter the attacking buffalo.


I turn to the buffaloes.

Rolled 5, 6, 3, 3, 4, 3, 1, 6, 6, 4 = 41


Come on Drizzle!

Rolled 1, 4, 2, 6, 3, 1, 4, 6, 3, 3 = 33


>>66895 Quill: 2 hits
>>66896 Casting: 4 hits
Quill's magic sputters slightly, but Casting is able to hold the coupling down until he gets his grip back.

>>66898 Nurse Care: 4 hits
Your pleas give some of the buffalo pause, buying you all a little time.

"Give us the trees and our calf!" They ram the car again, less forceful, but still plenty insistent.

Miss Jubilee is far less accommodating. "Like heck you're takin' my cherries! You can have potatoes for all I care!"

>>66900 Drizzle: 8/10 hits
You feel yourself tiring, but you might be able to make it yet. You get one more roll.

Rolled 5 = 5


Miss Jubilee fires off another potato, clocking a buffalo in the ear and sending him cowering into the back of the stampede.


The… final… stretch!

Rolled 6, 4, 2, 6, 2, 2, 6, 2, 4, 1 = 35


"You'll get her back and I'm sure we can talk about is in a civilized manner, but please, stop this violence! Someone might get hurt!"

Rolled 6, 2, 4, 2, 1, 1, 6, 1, 3, 5 = 31


Do we need to keep rolling to hold the train in place?


Yell out from my position.


Roll with Honesty of the gravity of our situation.

Rolled 6, 5, 6, 1, 4, 1, 1 = 24


Hmmm… yeah.

Quill and Casting, please roll



Rolled 6, 4, 1, 1, 5, 6, 4 = 27


>>66910 Drizzle: 11/10 hits
You surprise yourself with a sudden burst of speed, not only spotting the track switch but latching onto it, swinging around, and maintaining your momentum to rocket straight back towards the train. Boarding the train will be a free action.

>>66911 Nurse Care: 3 hits
>>66913 Casting: 3 hits
Your combined speech keeps the buffalo at bay, lessening their assault.


"Whoa! Did anypony see me? I was super fast! Don't worry I saved the day!"


It was impressive.


See what happens next.




Rolled 1, 2, 2, 4, 2, 1, 1 = 13


"Whoa! The train is all wobbly!"


>>66917 Quill: 4 hits
>>66929 Casting: 0 hits
The coupling slips out of Casting's grasp, and the speed and weight of the train cars detaching is too much for Quill to hold by himself.

The buffalo hoot and holler as they drag the tree car away. A brave and idiotic pony might be able to jump the gap, but at this point there is no helping the trees.

"No! No, no no!" Miss Jubilee stumbles forward, trying to recapture the coupling with her hooves, but the teal unicorn from before pulls her back.

"It's too dangerous, ma'am! Let it go!"

As the train swerves into the canyons, the buffalo struggle to keep up in the rocky terrain. They cry out sadly, their wailing echoing off the canyon walls amidst the train's banshee-like whistling.

"Stay brave, Little Strongheart, we'll come back for you!"

Miss Jubilee's prize cherry trees are gone now, and you seem to be headed straight into a hotbed of political unrest. Appleloosa is threatened by the buffalo, but you have one of their own as a captive now…



Aaaand that's a wrap for our (thankfully not literal) crash course in Spark. Feedback in the discussion thread >>54058






Last time our intrepid explorers found themselves in the middle of a train robbery, and although the buffalo made away with Miss Jubilee's prize cherry trees, a buffalo calf by the name of Little Strongheart was captured on the train.

And now…
After the attack on the train, the conductor and other crew members were able to unbar the train doors and keep Strongheart held in one of the luggage cars.

The train pulls into Appleloosa with a small measure of fanfare. Ponies greet friends and family as they pour out of the train, and the rumors begin to spread like wildfire. Cherry Jubilee looks downcast as she steps out of the train, though her mood brightens a little as a young stallion in a vest and stetson approaches her.

"Well, howdy! You must be Miss Jubilee, pardon if'n I didn't recognize you at first, you're much prettier than those photos made you out to be."

"Don't you know how to make a lady blush? Braeburn, I presume."

"Sure am. I ain't heard nothin' about your friends here, care to introduce yourselves? Don't be shy now."


Nurse Care opted to stay behind in the train with the crew members watching over Strongheart while they called for the sheriff.


"My name is Quill. I teach about nonpony species and cultures at the university of Canterlot."


Im ready.


"Hello im Strawberry from the strawberry family."


"I'm Drizzle, I'm a Cloudsdale weather manager!"


"I'm Lyrica, traveling musician and inventor at your service!"
I do a polite bow.


>>72817 Quill
Braeburn raises an eyebrow. "All the way out here from Canterlot, huh? Well, hate t' disappoint but there ain't much nonponies out here 'side from them buffalo. An' we ain't been on good terms lately."

>>72820 Strawberry
Braeburn is quick to greet you. "Well, howdy, Strawberry! Fancy meetin' one of yours here in Appleloosa. You gonna stake a claim?"

>>72825 Drizzle
Braeburn greets you a little nervously. "Weather, that's, uh, that's amazin'! You know it may not look it but I'm pretty into weather myself. Bein' an orchard grower and all. Despite there not being much to speak of out here. Clouds, and stuff…"

>>72846 Lyrica
Braeburn is even more taken aback seeing you next to Drizzle. "Oh my. I see Miss Jubilee keeps fine company as always."


"You don't say? Any idea why they are so angry?"


"I dont think so we are not that big like you Apples."


"It looks pretty dry here, to be honest."


>>72849 Strawberry
"Your kind is always welcome here."

>>72850 Drizzle
"Ain't that the truth! Hehe… heh."

>>72848 Quill
"Oh, nothin', just like when you get new neighbors I reckon…"

Miss Jubilee steps in. "Braeburn, my cherry trees."
"Oh, yes, I'll get right to unloadin' those straight away!"
"Braeburn, they're gone."
"Another shipment stolen?! This is getting mighty ridiculous, downright hostile even."


"Good to know friend! We have one of them by the way."


"Is everything alright? You seem a bit nervous."


Does anyone have my character sheet? I can't find it.


IN the spark meta thread?


I have a list in the OP: http://goo.gl/ZzHlj


"Listen here colt, I think you aren't telling us the entire truth. I don't want to get hurt and I don't want anypony else to get hurt because of you, so speak!"

Loyalty 7, City Slicker -1. Could I argue for Old giving my an extra d6?

Rolled 2, 4, 5, 3, 2, 4 = 20


You and Miss Jubilee explain the situation to Braeburn (she makes sure to mention your heroics). Braeburn is astounded.

"Y-you actually caught one of them! This is… I have to see it for myself."
"We're waiting for the sheriff to show up before taking her anywhere. The conductor has her now."
"Well, take me to her?"
Miss Jubilee is hesitant.

"Just a little overworked, it's the heat and the dryness, pretty mares—much, mean to say, pretty much."


Age is authority. You can roll 7d6.


Here is the seventh die.

Rolled 6 = 6


"Sure lets go, we should exchange her for the trees."


Aaand the thread broke for me AGAIN. Lovely.
"Do you think they'll accept that? They might try and kidnap us!'


Wipe my forehead of the sweat

"Ah… I, um… see. It's awfully hot here all of the sudden…"


"We have the upper hoof we can always grow more trees but she is a pony buffalo, she is one of them."


>>72872 Quill: 2 hits
"Why'd you go on blamin' me for this mess? The buffalo are the ones who don't want to share the land. We can't grow nowhere else, 'less we wanna starve."

>>72877 Strawberry
"Gettin' that buffalo back to her family's the right thing to do. It hasn't been more than angry words til recently and I ain't in the kidnapping business."


I lean in and whsiper,
"You getting a little crush on him Drizzle?~
"We technically have the upper hoof, but that doesn't mean we're in the clear. None of us could even take one of those massive buffalo in a tussle, so what's to say they won't just beat us up and take our hostage?"


"Because we have pies!"


"I think the heat is getting to me, that's all!"


"And they don't care about that?"


"Come on Brae, I know you ain't telling the whole story. I've been around buffalo and they ain't never been this bad. There must be something more. People are just gonna keep getting hurt if you don't tell us."

Gonna invoke Loyalty (7), Traveler (3?) because she's encountered buffalo before, and Communicator (1).

Rolled 4, 5, 4, 3, 2, 3, 4, 1, 3, 1, 2 = 32


Nice rolling.


I'll accept the roll.


Lyrica: 1 hit
"We ain't agonizin' them or nothing. I'm just growin' my orchard and mindin' my own beeswax. They get all uppity about their land but like I said, where else are we supposed to go?"

"Pegasi, all feathers and no farm sense… um, not that feathers are bad or nothing. I like feathers. On wings. Uh."

While Braeburn is fending off questions and collecting his spaghetti, a stallion in a black hat greets Miss Jubilee awful warmly.
"Sheriff Silver Star, at your service. I was told there was an incident on the railway. Y'all can take me to this so-called hostage?"


"Yes please follow me."
Go to the train.


"Follow me. Is that young buck always like this around new ponies?"
I lead him to the buffalo.


Follow them, looking slightly uncomfortable after hearing what Breaburn said


I spread my wings and saunter towards him,
"So you like wings, huh?"


Braeburn makes a spaghetti roll.

Rolled 5, 1, 3 = 9


Braeburn does little more than stammer incoherently.

The sheriff looks back and sees this and shrugs. "It's mostly earth ponies round these parts, boy's probably just nervous."

Miss Jubilee and Strawberry lead the way to the train car where Strongheart is being held. She's less detained as she is comfortably propped up in a passenger bed with Nurse Care vigilantly keeping other crewmembers at bay.

Strongheart seems no worse for the wear, in fact downright regal as she addresses Braeburn and Sheriff Silver Star. "I recognize you. You're in charge of Appleloosa's orchards."
"Name's Braeburn, miss…?"
"Little Strongheart." The buffalo looks Miss Jubilee up and down. "Judging by your cutie mark, you must be the owner of the trees we confiscated."
"Confiscated? You outright robbed me from under my nose!" Miss Jubilee steps up angrily, but the Sheriff stops her.
"I apologize. Until recently our quarrel was only with the Apples. I'm sorry we have dragged you into this, at such a time." Strongheart shakes her head sadly. "My tribe will come looking for me."


"The plan is to trade you for the trees."


I giggle,
"You're a funny guy Brae! Maybe we can talk more after this is all over.~"
I head over to the train car with the rest of the party.


We know.


"Well let those jerks come! They can't just attack us and expect us to do nothing!"


Miss Jubilee asks, "Is there any hope of getting my darling cherries back?"
"I'm not sure. We keep the trees we've taken in a safe and secret location, but I doubt my father, Chief Thunderhooves, will use them in bargaining. Now that I have been captured, I fear his temper will get the better of him."

Sheriff Silver Star waves you off. "Hold on there, sir. This is my town, and I'll handle this situation. We ain't in the business of holding natives for ransom. Sooner we get Strongheart back to her tribe, the better."

"But my trees!" Miss Jubilee pleads with the sheriff. "You ain't even gonna look for them?"

"You think we haven't looked for our own? The buffalo know this land better'n any of us, only they'd know where to find those trees."

"Or where to find the tribe." Braeburn adjusts his hat. "The sooner we get this done with, the better. I don't want another scene in town."

Sheriff Silver Star turns to the group and gives you your orders. "Well, judging by the account that I heard, your little posse here was responsible for Strongheart's capture. I think it's only right you bring her back and apologize. Strongheart will know where to look for her folks, and Braeburn'll go with you to bring you back to Appleloosa."

"Any objections?" The sheriff dusts his moustache.


"I don't suppose I have a choice? Oh well, at least this will give me some more time around nonponies."


"I will not apologize with this savages."


"Maybe we can talk with them a bit, try to come to some kind of agreement."
"They're not savages!"


"Technically they are."


"Are you crazy? They attack us and put our lives in danger and you wont do anything?"


"Why? Because they don't comply to your snooty Canterlot social standards and cultural norms?"




"No because they raid trains and steal OUR trees."


"That is more barbarous than savage."


"They're just selfish jerks!"


"Figures as much…"
"I'm telling you, there's gotta be some other reason. Something we don't know about, and I'm going to get to the bottom of it."


"The point is im not going to apologize."


"We don't mean to hurt anyone, we've only been taking the trees away. We really just want the trees to move." Strongheart intervenes with a crooked smile. "And, uh, I would appreciate it if you didn't talk like I'm not standing right here."
"She's right. Nopony's been hurt so far, and we sure as sugar aren't gonna start now." Braeburn nods.

"I need to stay here and watch over the town. Goin' off to hunt buffalo myself would cause a stir, much as I'd love to give Thunderhooves a piece of my mind." Sheriff Silver Star glares at no one in particular. "They've been causing trouble with the tree shipments, but I'm not gonna risk escalating the situation."

"But you don't seriously expect me—us—to go back out into the desert so soon after arriving?" Miss Jubilee swoons a bit, falling into the sheriff. He dutifully catches her.
"Er, um, well."
"Plus I'm a mite trigger-happy with that big ol' spudgun of mine. I'd likely be on the warpath to find those cherry trees." Miss Jubilee lays the charm on thick as she twirls the sheriff's badge. "I'm liable to cause more than a stir if you let me leave town. You oughta lock me up, keep me behind bars."
"You folks'll be fine without your, uh, employer taggin' along, right?" The sheriff looks up at the group.


"Can't see why not. We're only going to return Strongheart here after all."


"You ponies make my students look composed."
I grumble under my breath as I leave the train car.


"Does a train need to derail for you ponies to start doing something? You guys are SUCH doormats!"

Follow him

"What do you think we should do? You're smart and all."


"There isn't much we can do aside from taking her back to her tribe. I don't like it but I can't very well walk back to Canterlot."


"But what do you think we SHOULD do? I can't believe we're just going to let these buffalo's get away with attacking innocents!"


"We should take Strongheart back, and have a talk with them there."
I turn to Strongheart,
"Do you think we might be able to negotiate something with them, Strongheart?"


"Should? What should happen is somepony should get to the bottom of this and chide each side for what they have done wrong."


>>72980 Drizzle
"W-well, hey now!" Braeburn stumbles after you. "You have any ideas how many trees I've lost? If I can get Strongheart to lead me to her tribe, I'll definitely give the Chief a piece of my—no, the sheriff already said that—I'll tell him what's what, I tell you what. Yeah!"

"And on that note, you oughta keep a closer eye on her." Sheriff Silver Star snaps a plow collar onto Braeburn from behind, fastened to a set of reins tied to Strongheart. "Sorry about this, Miss Strongheart, just want to make sure you lead them to the tribe."

"I understand, sheriff. As this pegasus says, it would be best if we get to talk this over." Strongheart turns to Lyrica and Quill. "I hope we can get to my father in time."

Before you head out to onto the flats, you need some supplies for the journey. You should head into town and get yourself water, rations, some cover from the sun, and, if you really feel the need for it, a little protection.

The party has standard water and rations to sustain each of you for two days. What else will you shop for?


A tent.


"We want lots of water, I know that much."


Aslo is Braebrun coming with us?



Lots and lots of water

Also firemaking supplies and hats to protect our heads from that scorching sun


"I'm Lyrica by the way, pleased to make your acquaintance Strongheart."
As for supplies…
A poncho might be nice, keep the sun off my back. Definitely some tinkering supplies, in case I need to jury rig something out there. Aside from that, I think I'm set.


"A poncho and a hat? I wouldn't have thought of those."


Braeburn is tied up to Strongheart.


"Where did you buy your hat Braeburn?"


"Oh, it was a gift…"

Braeburn gets a thousand-yard stare as he reminisces about something, or someone.


"A gift? From whom? Your marefriend?"


"Oh well im sure there is a hat store in this town."


Current unique inventories:

Drizzle: extra water, a hat, matches and tinder
Lyrica: poncho, small tinker tools
Quill: extra water, hat?, poncho?
Strawberry: tent

Braeburn: harness, hat, masher, vest
Strongheart: feather band, harness


I want a hat.


Add a sleeping roll and I'm good.


Maybe I could try and find some 'local' instruments. Might win me some favors with the buffalo.


"Naw, we was foals. Long time ago. Anyway, I don't have a marefriend. Not spoken for. Available. Open schedule. You know? Ha ha." Braeburn tips his hat low over his eyes. "Ha."


Dice says…

Rolled 4 = 4


You manage to find a set of panpipes much like the ones the buffalo use. Strongheart comments that it's obviously pony-made, but a fairly accurate design.

Review inventories:

Drizzle: extra water, a hat, matches and tinder
Lyrica: panpipes, poncho, small tinker tools
Quill: bedroll, extra water, hat, poncho
Strawberry: hat, tent

Braeburn: harness, hat, masher, vest
Strongheart: feather band, harness

I'm just letting you pick whatever within reason since I didn't have any equipment rules in the system and couldn't come up with stuff on the fly.

A note on Braebruns masher: this is a smaller version of Jubilee's spudgun, mounted on a foreleg bracer. It's a semiautomatic frierarm with a six-shot cylinder. Reloading is as simple as opening the cylinder and mashing a potato, hence the name.


"Im ready to go."


"Ah… right… I uh, am not looking for one myself or anything."

"Yeah, me too!"


"I'm ready."


Without missing a beat, the party sets off into the suns—well, no, it's just past high noon. Regardless, the quest to find the buffalo will continue.

I have to end it here, and I apologize for the short and uneventful session today. Last-minute changes to schedule and all that. >>54058 for commentary and such.

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