Ponies Of The Eclipse – Rockhoof At Level Four

For this particular request, it’s an upgrade to Rockhoof – basically “what he might be like after some experience” with specific reference to his past adventures and “A Rockhoof And A Hard Place”.

There’s another good reason for doing that. Given that Equestria is a low-level superheroic world (providing a constant supply of Mana for it’s heroes to work with); Rockhoof is an excellent example of the standard “Super Strongman” type. He lacks only Flight to be a splendid example of what PS238 calls the most common super-power package of all – “FISS”, or “Flight, Invulnerability, Super-Strength”. Even as he is… he’s a pretty fair approximation of what Superman was like in his early adventures, back when he was just leaping around rather than truly flying – and he could always work his way up to true flight in another level or two.

So why not? For those who want to play such a character (and are playing in a superheroic setting where it’s possible), he’s a general example of the build.

While, we don’t have much information on most of Rockhoof’s historical adventures, the Legends of Magic series does indicate that there were a fair number of them. Looking at the “A Rockhoof And A Hard Place” episode, we basically have a long string of “too strong and breaking things” jokes (which was a bit hard to swallow: there was plenty of fragile stuff in the past and apparently Rockhoof wasn’t a walking disaster area back then) along with a few “socially clueless” jokes (also kind of hard to swallow; he spent his youth as a scrawny weakling who presumably did not want to be kicked in the face; he should know better. Perhaps something happened?). Still, Rockhoof does demonstrate a very physical style of storytelling – and has presumably picked up a few levels with his historical adventures. It’s pretty arbitrary, but I’ll peg him at level four.

Rockhoof, the Pillar of Strength, Strong Man of Old Equestria

Level Four, ECL 5, Experienced Earth Pony Athletic Superhero.

To summarize the low-level adventurer template, those affected get:

  • A -3 penalty on unskilled skill checks.
  • Very slow level advancement, by direct session-based character point awards rather than experience points. Succeeding in goals helps, but killing things and taking their stuff does not.
  • The status of valuable trouble magnets – they’re rare and find trouble everywhere they go.
  • A +3 bonus on five skills which suit their backgrounds and training. Sadly, this cannot be applied to active magical skills.
  • Extra hit points equal to [12 + (2 x Con Mod)].
  • Two minor special talents. For the full list see the Template, for Rockhoof we’ll take Might (a +2 bonus to his Strength) and Enduring (providing him with a +1 bonus on his Saves).

To summarize the Basic Pony Modifiers:

  • Quadruped. In general ponies are slow and have trouble moving while using tools or weapons.
  • Attribute Modifiers: -2 Dex, +2 Con. An additional +2 Con and +2 Chr are dispellable magical bonuses.
  • Damage Reduction 9/- versus both Physical and Energy Attacks, only DR 2/- versus melee attacks by living creatures.
  • Endure Elements. Ponies pretty much ignore the weather.
  • Ponies heal 1d8+1 damage per round for a round three times per day.
  • Ponies are always treated as having lots of pockets, even in the nude.
  • Ponies get minor cartoon effects, such as hair that responds to moods, blushing through fur, and so on.
  • Ponies may begin or participate in spontaneously choreographed musical numbers that provide bonuses for group tasks.
  • Have a base pool of 1d6+3 Mana, regaining 1d6 with an hours rest up to three times a day and 1-2 points per day regardless.
  • Get a +2 Racial Bonus to Perform/Sing

To Summarize the Earth Pony Modifiers:

  • Mana-Powered Berserker (+8 Str) with no fatigue. In effect, an Earth Pony with a Con of 14+ (their average) can run a continuous +8 bonus to their Strength.
  • Nature Sense (very vague save for items related to agriculture).
  • +4 to resist bull rushes and knockdowns
  • Pays half price for Rune Magic (Homesteading) Casting and Mastery, Knowledge/Nature, and Survival. (Yes, Homesteading Magic covers digging ditches, plowing fields, and so on via magic. Some appropriate spells for use with Homesteading Magic can be found under Hedge Magic – such as Plow and The Laborer’s Word). These skills also receive a +3 Racial Bonus.
  • Immunity to Fatigue and Exhaustion.
  • A +3 bonus on any one hoof-based Martial Art.

Basic Attributes: Str 16 (+18 Ber +2 Knack +12 Enh = 48), Dex 16 (-2 Pony = 14), Con 14 (+2 Pony, +2 M  +1 Level = 19), Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 10 (+2 M = 12). (Pathfinder 25-point point buy).

Available Character Points: 120 (L4 Base) + 6 (Disadvantages; History and Obligations (Pillar of Equestria)) +8 (Duties to his Village – or to wherever he adopts now) +12 (level one and level three bonus feats) = 146 CP.

Basic Abilities (69 CP):

  • Hit Dice: 12 (L1d12, 8 CP) +20 (12 + 2 x Con Mod Template) +18 (L2-4d8, 12 CP) +20 (5 x Con Mod) +114 (Str Mod x 6, see “Divine Physique” and “Belt of Strength”, below) = 184 HP.
  • Skill Points: 18 (Purchased, 18 CP) + 28 (7 x Con Mod substituting for Int Mod) = 46 SP


  • Acrobatics: +7 (7 SP) +2 (Dex) +3 (Tem) = +12 (Jump +50).
  • Bluff +1 (1 SP) +1 (Cha) +19 (Str), Specialized for Double Effect (Combat Only) = +42
  • Diplomacy +1 (1 SP) +1 (Cha) +19 (Str) = +21
  • Intimidate +1 (1 SP) +1 (Cha) +19 (Str) = +21
  • Knowledge/Nature +7 (3* SP) +3 (Race) +0 (Int) = +10
  • Perception +2 (2 SP) +1 (Wis) = +3
  • Perform (Storytelling)  +5 (5 SP) +1 (Cha) +19 (Str) = +25, +30 when telling tales of heroism. Corrupted for Increased Effect (listeners find his tales inspiring no matter how absurd they are, but he often accidentally breaks things while telling them).
  • Profession/Farmer +4 (4 SP) +0 (Wis) +3 (Tem) = +7 (Includes making basic farm tools, such as replacement shovels – since he’s specifically noted as having had his destroyed many times).
  • Profession/Sailor +4 (4 SP) +0 (Wis) = +4. Rockhoof picked up the basics after he joined The Mighty Helm, since they used a ship. He’s no great expert, but he is an able-bodied seaman. Unfortunately, his knowledge of Navigation is long out of date.
  • Survival +7 (3* SP) +3 (Race) +0 (Wis) +3 (Tem) = +13
  • Swim +2 (2 SP) +19 (Str) = +21
  • Homesteading Rune Magic Casting +7 (3* SP) +3 (Race) +1 (Cha) = +11
  • Homesteading Rune Magic Mastery +7 (3* SP) +3 (Race) +1 (Cha) = +11
  • Martial Art / Jade Mountain Stance Style: +7 (7 SP) +3 (Race) +13 (Permanent Str) +3 (Tem) = +26.
  • Perform (Sing) +0 (0 SP) +2 (Race) +1 (Cha) +19 (Str) -3 (Tem Unskilled Penalty) = +19
    • Specific Knowledge/Heroic Tales, Sagas, and Chants (+15 to knowing them, +5 to telling them) (1 SP).

The Jade Mountain Stance Style (Str):

  • Requires: Hooves
  • Basic Techniques: Attack 2, Power 3, Strike, and Toughness 4.
  • Advanced Techniques: Breaking, Combat Reflexes, Improved Disarm, and Weapon Kata (Any one simple weapon or farming implement, with a preference towards pruning hooks, shovels, hand axes, and similar items).
  • Occult Techniques: Healing Hand, Inner Strength, Ki Focus (Str), and Focused Blow.

Known Techniques (13): Attack 1, Power 1, Strike, Toughness 4, Breaking, Combat Reflexes, Improved Disarm, Weapon Kata (Shovel), Healing Hand and Inner Strength.

  • BAB +2 (12 CP).
  • Saves:
    • Fortitude +2 (6 CP) +4 (Con) +1 (Tem) +19 (Str) = +26
    • Reflex +2 (6 CP) +2 (Dex) +1 (Tem) +19 (Str) = +24
    • Will +2 (6 CP) +0 (Wis) +1 (Tem) +19 (Str) = +22
  • Proficiencies: Earth Pony Reinforced Shovels (1 CP).
  • Initiative: +2 (Dex)
  • Move: 40 (four legs) +30 (Light Foot) +30 (Haste),= 100 (50 on two or three legs).
  • Armor Class: 10 (Base) + 2 (Dex) +4 (Shimmermail) = 16. Rockhoof is still not so good at not getting hit. Fortunately, he does not really need to be.

Usual Weapons:

  • Unarmed: +22/+22 (+2 BAB +19 Str +1 Martial Art, Personal Haste), for 1d6+19, Crit 20/x2, lethal or nonlethal. 3 Attacks of Opportunity, see “Concussive Parry” below.
  • Shovel: +22/+22 (+2 BAB +19 Str +1 Martial Art, Personal Haste), for 1d8+13, Crit19-20/x2, lethal or nonlethal, B or S, Trip, usable as a shovel. 3 Attacks of Opportunity, see “Concussive Parry” below.

New Weapon (Pathfinder Design System): Earth Pony Reinforced Shovel. Simple, One-Handed (mouthed), Melee Weapon (6 Design Points), Additional Design Points (+1 Point, +15 GP. Earth Pony shovels need to be heavily reinforced to stand up to earth pony strength), B or S damage (1 Point), Improved Critical Threat Range (19-20, 3 Points), Improved Damage II (2 Points), Tool (Shovel, 0 Points), Special Feature (Trip, 1 Point). Net Result: Simple Weapon, Medium-Sized. Damage 1d6, Crit 19-20/x2, inflicts B or S damage, Trip Weapon, freely usable as a shovel, 20 GP.

  • Shovel-Thrown Rocks: +23/+23/+23 (+2 BAB +19 Str +3 Competence -1 Rocks), 1d6+19, Crit 20/x3, Range Increment 80′.

Other Abilities (77 CP):

  • Add Odinpower and Odinmight to his basic Berserker ability, for a total of +18 strength (+6 CP).
  • DR 2/-, versus both physical and energy attacks (3 CP).
  • Upgrade his racial Mana Pool with a form of Natural Magic (Reality Editing), Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect / only to support the user’s heroic narrative and let the user’s abilities function without normal scaling restrictions (2 CP). This is great for engineering and digging massive trenches, but so-so otherwise.
  • Concussive Parry: Opportunist (6 CP): Rockhoof may make an attack of opportunity against any attack that enters his threatened area. If his attack roll exceeds that of the attacker he can subtract the damage he “inflicts” on the attack from the damage IT would normally inflict, reducing it to a minimum of zero. If this completely negates the damage from an attack, it also negates any other effects it might have, such as requiring a saving throw.
    • This is a powerful defense, but this IS a superheroic setting, so why not? In other settings it might get defined as an Inherent Spell to limit it’s uses – but a superhero will just fuel it with mana and get exactly the same result anyway.
  • Reflex Training: Can spend Mana to maintain his “Berserker” strength enhancement and his Innate Enchantments without it requiring an action of any kind – even while asleep or unconscious. Corrupted for Reduced Cost / he must do so as long as he has Mana available. (4 CP).
  • Innate Enchantment, Specialized for Increased Effect (effects are considered extraordinary abilities and cost no experience to acquire) / Requires two mana to activate for one minute. Is blatantly obvious in operation since he bulks up a lot (11,310 GP Value, 12 CP).
    • Lob (L1: The user may hurl three items at his or her full BAB and with no need for getting out or loading ammunition or for a physical weapon (or proficiency therewith). This is otherwise treated as if the user was using a medium-sized Halfling Staff Sling. Only while wielding a shovel (x.8), only for throwing rocks (x.8) = 1280 GP.
      • In general: 1d6+Str Mod bludgeoning damage and a -1 to hit for using rocks instead of bullets, Crit 20/x4, Range Increment 80 feet, requires a normal roll to hit. In combination with his Reality Editing he could also throw lots of dirt and junk to make clouds of dust and difficult terrain if he wanted to.
    • (Weapon) Mastery (Halfling Sling Staff, Cantrip): +3 Competence Bonus to BAB with a Halfling Sling Staff (or magical simulation thereof). x.7 Personal-Only (700 GP).
    • Thousand Pound Stance (Target gains a +8 versus Bull Rush, Grapple, Trip, Overrun, being lifted or thrown, or similar situations, for one minute. x .7 Personal Only = 1400 GP). Note that this changes the -4 Penalty for Light Foot to a +4 Bonus.
    • Resist Energy (Provides resistance 10 to all energies), x.7 Personal-Only = 1400 GP
    • Personal Haste: User gains a +30′ enhancement bonus on all movement rates and +1 attack at his or her full BAB when making a full attack (2000 GP).
    • Light Foot: User becomes very light, gaining a +30 circumstance bonus on his or her ground movement speed and, a +10 circumstance bonus on jump checks, as well as DR 10 versus Falling Damage [only]. The user is, however, considered one size category smaller in a Bull Rush, Grapple, Trip, or Overrun situation. x .7 Personal Only = 1400 GP.
    • Heroic Will: Protection From Evil, Personal Only (x.7), 3/Day Only (x.6), Only when the GM feels that the user is being compelled to do something against their personal code or otherwise is likely to summon a mighty surge of will to throw off possession/mind control/etc (x.25) = 210 GP.
    • Heroic Rally: Remove Fear, 2/Day Only (x.4), user must make an adequate inspiring speech (x.6) = 480 GP.
    • Coincidental Catch: Feather Fall, 2/Day Only (x.4), activates automatically (x1.5), but only works 50% of the time (x.4) = 480 GP. When a hero falls off a roof or gets dropped, there is a substantial chance that SOMETHING will happen to break his or her fall.
    • Heroic Health: Relieve Illness (from the Hedge Wizardry spell list) 1/Day (x.2), Personal Only (x.7) = 280 GP. Relieve Poison (from the Hedge Wizardry spell list) 1/Day (x.2), Personal Only (x.7) = 280 GP, Lesser Restoration 2/Day (x.4), Personal Only (x.7) = 560 GP. Fast Healing I (from The Practical Enchanter, for 18 rounds, 2/Day (x.4), Personal Only (x.7)) = 560 GP.
  • Hard Training: Finesse (substitutes Con Mod for Int Mod when computing skill points, 6 CP). Thanks to Pathfinders ruling that changes like this are retroactive, this gets him quite a few skill points.
  • Double Damage against inanimate objects, Corrupted/also applies when he accidentally damages stuff (4 CP).
  • “Muscular Spectacle” / Augmented Bonus, adds Str Mod to Cha Mod when using charisma-based skills (6 CP).
  • Finesse, Uses Str Mod in place of Dex Mod for Ranged Combat, Specialized / only for throwing rocks with his shovel (3 CP).
  • Mana-Powered Inherent Spell/Trebuchet Special (L3 Transmutation). You can grab an unresisting individual (or adjacent group of up to four if you have sufficient strength to lift them) and throw them to any location within medium range accessible via a normal parabolic trajectory. The landing is harmless and, during the trip, they are considered to be stationary while the world moves by them (6 CP).
  • Divine Physique: Advanced, Improved, Augmented Bonus: Adds (Str Mod) to (Con Mod) when calculating Hit Points. Specialized and Corrupted/only works for levels 1-5 (6 CP). This gets him an extra 78 HP, or 114 when his Belt of Strength is active
  • Divine Endurance: Improved Augmented Bonus x3 (Add Str Mod to all three saving throws), Specialized / only while being noble, helpful, charging in to face the foe, standing between others and danger, and otherwise being a big boy scout or Superman/Captain Marvel expy, Corrupted / Costs 2 Mana per Use. That’s +13 to all saves, or +19 when his Belt of Strength is active (12 CP). Note that this means that he can normally only boost two saves a round.
  • Minor Privilege (3 CP). Rockhoof gets invited to all the parties and has lots of willing female companionship.

To summarize his various defenses, he can attempt to parry incoming attacks. If he’s still hit, he has DR 6/- versus physical attacks, DR 16 versus Falling Damage, and Energy Resistance (All) 12. If damage still gets through, two points of any melee damage inflicted by a sentient being and nine points of any other damage is converted to nonlethal damage.


  • Charms: Captain’s Torc, Conjurer’s Tattoo (His Shovel), Contraceptive Charm, Foothold “Boots” (hoofwrappings), Impervious Glue, Resounding Horn, and Tinkerstone.
  • Talismans: Ditty Bag, Helm Of War, and Shimmer Mail.
  • Relic: Thur’s Belt Of Strength (Inherent Spell, L3 Personal-Only Enhance Strength/+8 Str for one minute per level, Corrupted for Increased Effect / uncontrollably drains mana to renew itself, makes the user clumsy and prone to breaking things as well as removing any sense of tact or awareness that maybe you should take the thing off sometimes. Net +12 Strength and a lot of environmental and social damage (1 CP Relic).

Rockhoof is now capable of withstanding enormous amounts of damage, bouncing arrows from his skin, resisting minor energy bolts, partially blocking fairly serious attacks with his shovel, dishing out rather a lot of damage, and will be unaffected by most poisons, diseases, or other special effects – although he can be overloaded if he’s hit with more than two a round and has moments of vulnerability (when he’s spending some of this rounds mana keeping his strength boosted). Still, at this point… he’s your basic Colossus, fully capable of going toe-to-toe with massive elementals, lesser giants, and similar menaces. In comparison to normal characters… the Superheroic World Template adds at least +3 CR, a high-efficiency Eclipse build is about +2. and he has a +1 to start with – making him roughly equivalent to a normal character of level ten or higher.

He also has his full allotment of Charms and Talismans and has picked up one minor Relic on his adventures.

Faster than a speeding pegasus! More powerful than an avalanche! Able to leap small hills in a single bound! Look! Up on the mountain! It’s Rockhoof!

2 Responses

  1. Thanks for the expanded write-up! I was curious as to how exactly he could fling other characters around like that, since tactical movement is such a big deal under the d20 rules. Though I’m still not sure what sort of ability it would be to use his shovel to bend water from a fountain like that (though, since anyone can do that, it’s probably not specific to Rockhoof at all).

    Also, his +2 BAB doesn’t seem to have been factored into his listed attack bonuses.

    • Oh, you’re quite welcome!

      I considered non-magical throwing for moving people about, but looking at the scene made it pretty obvious that either magic or reality editing was involved. Everyone arrived with hardly a bump? Safely seated but having rotated to look back at the school? In a neat group? Thrown by a shovel that suddenly became wide enough to scoop up three students at once? Not really something that raw strength could account for there.

      Deflecting water… That is indeed pretty much an “anyone” thing. I can use my thumb to direct a stream of water from a faucet, so why shouldn’t a superstrong superhero be able to direct a small geyser with a sheet of metal?

      And botheration! There always seem to be some typos, errors, or other omissions getting past these days! Thanks for pointing that out so I could insert the +2 (not that he needs it very much I suppose)..

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