Pegasus Device (aka Rainbow Factory)

A dark-humor board game without turn order

Version 0.52

  • For two to nine players ages 13+
  • Play time is about 30 minutes, longer if all players are new, and longer if playing the Loyalty option.
  • For more of a strategy game, play with 2-4 players, where players compete yet should work together for a team win.
  • For more of a party game, play with over 4 players and especially with the Loyalty option where players are secretly split into two teams: the loyal pegasi vs the mind-controlled minions of Discord.

The pegasi are tasked with weather control to ensure that enough food gets harvested for all of the pony races of Equestria. They use Rainbow Color (a kind of energy) to control and stabilize the weather, but their task has become difficult due to relentless harsh weather caused by Discord, a powerful and dangerous dragon-like magician. In desperation the pegasi secretly reactivated the Pegasus Device, an unethical method of processing the blood of sacrificed ponies into Rainbow Color. If the harvest fails, many ponies will starve, and their metaphorical blood will be on your hooves for not extracting enough real blood from unfortunate ponies. You and your pegasi colleagues at the secretive Rainbow Factory are determined (or not) to help fulfill the pegasi duty of weather control to withstand the wrath of Discord.

How it works:

  • Each round, a pony is up for sacrifice.
  • All players reveal their vie (bid) simultaneously on how unethical they are willing to be to kill the pony. Your vie accumulates throughout the game and counts against you in the end.
  • If the total vie from all players is high enough, the pony is killed and its Rainbow Color is used to fend off extreme weather attacks from Discord, and the highest bidder receives a Duty token that improves their score.
  • If the total vie from all players is not high enough, the pony is not sacrificed, and the lowest bidder receives a Slack token that worsens their score.
  • Insufficient Rainbow Color will cause the harvest to decline. The further it declines, the more starvation across the land and the more points against all players in the end. If the harvest declines to zero, all players lose...
  • BUT if the Loyalty option is played, the team that wanted the harvest to fail wins!

Hi, although my game is still in beta testing, it's playable and fun (most casual gamers like it yet it gets mixed reviews from strategy gamers). You can print the board and cards from the Google Docs below, and you will need to provide your own tokens (see the Components doc below for suggestions). There is no artwork yet. If you would like to have your art on cards in exchange for your contact info on the cards too, let me know, thanks.

Torsten Pihl
(aka ThorGoLucky)

1Standard 63mm X 88mm card size for 66mm X 91mm sleeves. Do not "fit to page" when printing.
2Standard 41mm X 63mm card size for 45mm X 67mm sleeves. Do not "fit to page" when printing.


Q: Why would you make such an abominable game?
A: I was inspired by the Rainbow Factory music by WoodenToaster/Glaze on the Brony Music Radio podcast, my enjoyment of board gaming, and advocacy of critical thinking to put players into a fanciful ethical dilemma and perhaps spur conversation. Or maybe it just seemed like a good idea at the time.

Q: Why do you hate ponies?
A: I love ponies. They're a bit gamey but delicious. Really, I adore MLP:FiM and I'm a proud brony.

Q: Why is this board game not consistent with the original Rainbow Factory fanfic by Aurora Dawn (Brent Lyons)?
A: The fanfic went on a creative direction from the music by WoodenToaster/Glaze, and I'm going on a creative direction from the music too. And there are other variations including the Rainbow Factory PMV music video by BronyDanceParty, Rainbow Factory SFM music video by SRicK, Pegasus Device song by SlyphStorm, and the hilarious Rainbow Dash Presents: Captain Hook the Biker Gorilla (secretly it's Rainbow Factory) by Ryan Petrie, FiMFlamFilosophy and Greg Hoffman.

Q: How does Rainbow Color help with weather control?
A: An ancient pegasi secret.

Q: When an Awoken Worker escapes and tattles to Princess Celestia, why does she put a stop to the sacrifices for desperately-needed Rainbow Color?
A: Politics, and she is overly confident that the Mane Six will quickly defeat Discord.

Q: Why don't the pegasi prevent weather catastrophies during Winter?
A: Perhaps it's a grand conspiracy.

Q: Why don't the pegasi organize a blood drive?
A: Rainbow Color can only be processed from very fresh pony blood.

Q: Why do the ponies need to be killed? Can't they just give a little blood at a time?
A: Oh, now you tell me.

Q: Why don't you just kill all the ponies you might need early on?
A: ...

Change log:
  • 0.52 2018-02-04: Fixed Google Docs links and clarified How it works on the website.
  • 0.52 2016-05-04: Minor documentation corrections and clarifications.
  • 0.51 2016-03-15: Minor rules clarifications regarding the accusation phase when playing with the Loyalty option.
  • 0.50 2016-01-08: Board updated so that the Rainbow Color pool is at the center, thus keeping the two tracks well separated. When playing the Loyalty option, during the accusation phase, Unethical points are not tallied; and if a player is eliminated, it can change the minimum and maximum vie requirements, as per the Setup Matrix document.
  • 0.49 2016-01-02: Pony deck modifiers: Cutie Mark Crusaders (Scootaloo, Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle) cause double Duty and Slack tokens. When playing the Loyalty option, each player may make only one accusation per round.
  • 0.48 2015-12-29: When playing the Loyalty option, the prosecutor earns back the Duty token that she spent to make the accusation if she is successfull. Minor rules clarifications.
  • 0.47 2015-12-23: When playing the Loyalty option, the prosecutor spends a Duty token to make an accusation. The accusation phase is repeated until there are no more accusations. Harvest penalties apply to all pegasi, dead or alive. Minor documentation clarifications.
  • 0.46 2015-04-27: Returned to ten calendar spaces for better balance and quicker playtime.
  • 0.45 2015-03-11: Minor rules fixes.
  • 0.44 2015-02-22: Calendar spaces where the harvest output is immune to damage have been reduced back to two spaces, as it was too easy. Summer sure lasts a long time in Equestria!
  • 0.43 2015-02-17: Added two more calendar spaces for a total of twelve and added an additional Winter/immune space. Increased estimated play time to forty minutes.
  • 0.42 2014-11-30: Changed "6" vie cards to "-1". Hilarity ensued.
  • 0.41 2014-11-16: Changed "Blight" to "Plague" (thanks, Craig Cummings, for spotting the error). Brought back the Loyalty option for some 1R Pony cards because the difficulty was too high.
  • 0.40 2014-11-07: Vie cards have been resized to 41mm X 63mm to fit standard small sleeves.
  • 0.39 2014-11-04: Shapeshifters are only used with the Loyalty option. Board updated to remove the experimental random ending of the game.
  • 0.38 2014-11-02: Vie Requirements cards are now standard 63mm X 88mm size. Board improved to emphasize the separation between the calendar and harvest output spaces.
  • 0.37 2014-10-30: Pony, Event and Loyalty cards are now standard 63mm X 88mm size so as to fit in 66mm X 91mm sleeves, and there is now space for future artwork. Loyalty specificity has been removed from the Pony cards; this will simplify setup and increase difficulty for non-Loyalty play. Snowflake Rainbow Color increased to 5 and Big Mac's increased to 4. The prosecutor during the Accusation phase is no longer chosen by who can shout the quickest; priority goes to who has not yet been a prosecutor and then there's a dice roll off if necessary.
  • 0.36 2014-10-26: Added a Setup Matrix spreadsheet for easier setup. Rules clarifications including emphasizing victory conditions.
  • 0.35 2014-07-07: Added silliness to the Blight and Pestilence event cards. Reverted to MLP names, at least until/when/if I sell a boxed version of the game.
  • 0.34 2014-06-13: Minor rules clarifications.
  • 0.33 2014-06-03: The ratio of disloyal-to-loyal pegasi has been increased, and the Loyalty cards have been adjusted accordingly. Fixed Weather Prevent card typo. Minor rules clarifications. Four or more players recommended for the Loyalty option.
  • 0.32 2014-06-02: Blame tokens renamed back to Slack tokens. The Event deck is prepared and shuffled so that the top five face down cards are guaranteed to not have any Awoken Worker cards. Executed pegasi keep their Duty or Slack tokens, still participate in the final scoring, and can still win. Only one acccusation may be made per round. Pegasi that have not already made an accusation have priority. Estimated play time increased slightly.
  • 0.31 2014-05-04: Mind-controlled minions of Discord option renamed to Loyalty option. The number of disloyal pegasi is now specific to the number of players, not just evenly divided by three. Maximum Vie reduced to the first prime number greater than the number of players.
  • 0.30 2014-04-21: Minor rules clarifications.
  • 0.29 2014-04-20: If an accused pegasus is found guilty, the accuser receives a Duty token. Minor rules clarifications and fixes.
  • 0.28 2014-04-14: If there are more than one mind-controlled minions of Discord, the most unethical surviving one wins. The Components document now suggests the use of a tally sheet for each player instead of tokens for keeping track of Unethical points.
  • 0.27 2014-04-12: Played Vie cards may be kept secret. Game name changed from Rainbow Factory to Pegasus Device. Rainbow Factory is only known to bronies, and Pegasus Device is more descriptive and has multiple meanings.
  • 0.26 2014-04-12: Accusations can be made only during the last half of the calendar. Maximum players reduced to nine, at least for the mind-controlled minions of Discord option.
  • 0.25 2014-04-09: Only players with at least one Duty token may accuse others of being mind-controlled minions of Discord. Rules clarifications: Unethical tokens may be kept secret, and Duty and Blame tokens are public knowledge. Maximum players reduced to ten but that only really applies to the mind-controlled minions of Discord option; for normal play, the maximum number of players is limited by the availability of Vie cards and tokens.
  • 0.24 2014-04-07: Calendar spaces reduced to ten spaces. Estimated play time shortened. Increased blight and pestilence severity.
  • 0.23 2014-04-02: Minor rules clarifications.
  • 0.22 2014-03-31: Event deck number of cards reduced, but average Rainbow Color requirement increased. Some stallions' Rainbow Color increased. Awoken worker events cannot appear until after the seventh event.
  • 0.21 2014-03-28: A set of "6" Vie cards added. Minor rules updates.
  • 0.20 2014-03-26: Years eliminated. Agricultural phases increased to twelve. Loyalty deck updated. Rules updated.
  • 0.19 2014-03-21: Blame tokens triple harvest penalties. Minor rules clarifications.
  • 0.18 2014-03-16: Board updated to show the year, version, and website. Minor rules clarifications.
  • 0.17 2014-03-14: When playing the mind-controlled minions (MM) of Discord option, all disloyal pegisi are determined by the second year, instead of by the third year, thus giving any newly-disloyal pegasi a better chance to have influence before game end. Loyalty deck updated. Additional shapeshifters added for the MM option.
  • 0.16 2014-03-09: Players no longer have control of the Event deck with the mind-controlled minions (MM) of Discord option. The "Till" agricultural phase has been removed, reducing the year to six phases and only one is immune to events. The harvest output now ranges from 125% to 0% in 5% increments and the penalty for each below 100% is 1U. Some Pony cards now only apply to the mind-controlled minions of Discord option. Average Event severity increased. Play time reduced.
  • 0.15 2014-03-04: Adjusted the Event deck Rainbow Color requirements and added additional text. Changed three Event cards to be non-MM so that there would be sufficient Event cards for non-MM play (I had forgotten to take into account the three Awoken workers). Shapeshifters have no Rainbow Color and have no vie.
  • 0.14 2014-02-20: Raised the minimum vie requirement of Stallions and Mares to the second prime number greater than the number of players. Raised maximum vie to the second prime number greater than the number of players. Raised the minimum vie for Accusations to the third prime number greater than the number of players.
  • 0.13 2014-02-06: More variety of wacky weather events.
  • 0.12 2014-02-05: The non-MM Event cards are now more diverse but the total Rainbow Color requirment is the same.
  • 0.11 2014-02-03: Discarded Event cards are no longer reshuffled and redistributed. There are now fewer MM Event cards.
  • 0.10 2014-02-02: Version numbers divided by 10. The accusation phase now happens before harvest. Minor rule fixes and clarifications.
  • 0.09 2014-01-24: Estimated play time increased. Added the option of players becoming mind-controlled minions (MM) of Discord: Vie tokens have returned but only for the MM option (non-MM still uses the Vie cards). Each year, players are dealt a Loyalty card that determines if they are a mind-controlled minion of Discord. At the start of the game, players are evenly dealt Pony and Event cards; then as needed, players will choose cards to form active Pony and Event decks. Each round, players may vie to execute a pegasi that they believe is a mind-controlled minion of Discord.
  • 0.08 2014-01-20: Minor rules fixes and clarifications. Estimated play time range increased.
  • 0.07 2014-01-18: Vie tokens have been replaced with a set of cards for each player. (Bec)
  • 0.06 2014-01-13: Duty tokens have been reintroduced but they are returned to supply at year end and no longer affect scores at game end. Before deciding to sacrafice a pony, the next weather event is previewed (any Awoken workers are dealt with first). The harvest output penalties for all steps below 100% are now 2 Unethical tokens each. Blame tokens now just double the harvest output penalty instead of tripling it. (Jake (event preview))
  • 0.05 2014-01-10: Blame tokens are returned to supply at the end of each year. Game components split out from the rules to its own document.
  • 0.04 2014-01-09: Renamed characters and places to avoid legal problems with Hasbro. (BigPapaSmurf)
  • 0.03 2014-01-07: Rules and decks updated with new minimum vie requirements. Mares and Stallions require the first prime number greater than the number of players. Fillies and colts require the third prime number greater than the number of players. Created "Vie Requirements Cards" to put on the table so players can easily see the vie requirements. (Jake and Arne)
  • 0.02 2014-01-06: Removed Duty tokens. Renamed Shirk/Slack tokens as Blame tokens. Blame tokens received only when ponies are not sacrified. Unethical tokens received whether or not ponies are sacrificed. One Rainbow Color token is placed into the pool each round (presumably produced ethically). Removed the ability of players to self sacrifice. The Rainbow Colors from Babs and Orion are now just 1 because they are fillies. Weather Prevent Rainbow Color requirements increased. The Unethical token requirement for each pony is now the first prime number greater than the number of players, and fillies/colts are the third prime number greater than the number of players. (Jake and Arne)
  • 0.01 2014-01-05: Shirk/Slack tokens now triple any penalties during harvest. Gameplay narrative added to the rules. Some event cards changed to be Discordesque. Fixed major errors with misplaced steps in the Gameplay Round Overview and Detail of the rules.
  • 0.00 2013-12-31: Public beta release


  • Double the Duty token value. (Cindy).
  • Modify Weather Prevent cards with certain pony cards. (Cindy). But how can they modify the weather during or after their sacrifice? (Torsten)
  • Reduce Plague and Pestilence from five to four steps. (Torsten)
  • Individualize the Pony cards (e.g. special bonuses for highest or lowest viers, depending on pony sacrifices or liberations). (Scott)
  • Have Fillies/Colts have more Rainbow Color than Mares/Stallions. (Gary)
  • Remove the shapeshifters altogether. (Torsten)
  • For the Loyalty option with more than one disloyal pegasus, have them know who each other are ala the Avalon and Resistance games where all players close their eyes and the disloyal open their eyes to see who each other are. (Torsten)
  • For Loyalty option, have some other mechanism for vying other than tokens because the quantity of tokens becomes a bit unwieldy for seven or more players. Perhaps a web page or Android and iOS apps to set the vie, tap to hid and tap again to reveal. (Torsten)
  • For Loyalty option, players pass their Pony hand at the start of each round. (Torsten)
  • Have disloyal pegasi be able to sabotage Rainbow Color but risk exposure in doing so. (Torsten)
  • A version where one player plays as Discord vs everyone else. (BigPapaSmurf)
  • If a player accumulates too many unethical tokens, allow other players to sacrifice her. (Arne)
  • Have the game be more cooperative by having additional conditions for all players to be able to lose. (Arne)
  • If any player reaches x Unethical tokens, everypony loses. (Jake or Arne)


Pegasus Device (aka Rainbow Factory, aka The Pony Killing Game, aka The Pony Survival Game) was created by Torsten Pihl (aka ThorGoLucky). Thanks to the brony community for the Rainbow Factory. Thanks to the Corvallis Gamers for their patience and feedback, especially Craig Cummings, Jake Short, Arne Larson, Bec Braisted, Alena Roberts, Steve Roberts, Seth Deutchman, and Bryan Reiman. Thanks to Jen, Becky, Patrick, Andrew, and Jay at my neighborhood Beer:30 pub. And thanks to gamer and skeptical colleague BigPapaSmurf for frank criticisms of the very broken first beta release. And thanks to M99moron for the use of his Rainbow Dash silhouette.

Please contact Thor/Torsten at for questions, suggestions, or if you would like to be notified of new versions.

Pegasus Device © Torsten Pihl 2013-2018