Everfree Northwest brony con was a blast. Thanks for playing. Until next year!

Pegasus Device (aka Rainbow Factory)

A semi-cooperative dark-humor board game

Version 0.35

  • For two to nine players ages 13+.
  • Play time is about 30 to 45 minutes.
  • Players compete yet should work together for a team win.

The pegasi are tasked with weather control and stability to help ensure that enough food gets harvested for all of the pony races of Equestria. Their task has become arduous due to relentless harsh weather caused by Discord, a powerful and dangerous dragon-like magician.

The pegasi use rainbow color to control the weather, and in desperation they secretly reactivated the Pegasus Device, an unethical method of producing more rainbow color than can be produced just ethically. The Pegasus Device processes the blood of sacrificed ponies into rainbow color. If the harvest fails, many ponies will starve, and their metaphorical blood is 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.

Hi, as my game nears completion, I could use help to ensure that it's sound and balanced. You can print the board and cards from the Google Docs below, and you will need to provide your own markers and tokens (see the Components doc below for suggestions).

Thankies!
Torsten Pihl
(aka ThorGoLucky)


*Flip the page length-wise to get the back page to match.


FAQ

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

Q: Why would you make such an abominable game?
A: I was inspired by my love of board gaming, the brony fandom and its Rainbow Factory music and videos, and 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 is this board game not consistent with the original Rainbow Factory fanfic by Aurora Dawn?
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 video by BronyDanceParty, Rainbow Factory SFM video by SRicK and the hilarious Rainbow Dash Presents: Captain Hook the Biker Gorilla (secretly it's Rainbow Factory) by Ryan Petrie, FiMFlamFilosophy and Greg.

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: It's part of a grand conspiracy by Big Grain.

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:
  • 0.35 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 colors 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


Suggestions:

  • 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 unweildy for six 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)


Credits:

Pegasus Device (aka Rainbow Factory, aka The Pony Killing 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. And thanks to gamer and skeptical colleague BigPapaSmurf. And thanks to M99moron for the use of his Rainbow Dash silhouette.

Please contact Thor/Torsten at thorgolucky@gmail.com for questions or suggestions, thanks.

Pegasus Device © Torsten Pihl 2013-2014