My(stara's) Little Ponies: Friendship is Adventuring
"I am going to die. And without a hat!"
—Samus Marcus, Our hero Fillies and Gentlecolts.
Written by long-time fic author John Biles, My(stara's) Little Ponies: Friendship is Adventuring transports Equestria wholesale into the Dungeons and Dragons world of Mystara, and it mixes in beautifully.
The story is told from the viewpoint of one Samus Marcus and on occasion another member of the party, later on in the story, a typical adventurer with a penchant for nice hats based on a character commonly used in the author's own campaigns over the years. We start off with Marcus and friend Ivan almost getting killed along with the rest of their party over a waterfall in the Malpheggi swamp, but are saved by the Elements of Harmony, registered Adventuring group in the employ of Princess Celestia. Turns out that they are aiming for the same goal as Marcus and Ivan.
There's just one small problem: Marcus used to be Eric of the Northlands, who had a history with Twilight that.... well, let's just say that if she learned who he was, she'd blow him up. And if she didn't Spike would gladly burn him alive, if her new friends didn't do the job for him.
A deadly serious Soap Opera goes on from there.
Can be read with commentary and reviews on Spacebattles here, or edited and corrected in pure text-form here, or in text form with better formatting here.
- Accidental Courtship: It seems like poor Eric/Marcus simply cannot stay in Equestria without somepony falling for him.
- Exclusively Evil: Averted with the resident Entropy Immortal Luna, and Pinkie Pie, whose Element, Laughter, is an Entropy Artifact.
- Amnesiac God: Turns out, Marcus was on the path to becoming an Immortal, long long ago, but his patron immortal either abandoned him or died part-way through.
- Casual Danger Dialogue: When Marcus first meets Pinkie Pie, when he is the only thing keeping them plus Ivan from being washed downstream:
"Hello, ma'am," I said. "I hope you are a great swimmer because I fear my hands
- Chick Magnet: See above. Marcus always works on currying favor (you never know when it'll be needed), and is always willing to court a lovely lady. Trouble is, pony courtship evidently has surface similarities to said currying.
- Cool Airship: the ESS Moonraker. You'll never believe who built it either. Good job Applebloom!
- Death Ray: The Moonraker would have one, if only they could find a Demi-lich's skull. But with the new Slaad the Moonraker is fully operational! As long as they remember to feed it anyway...
- Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: Marcus, much to his own annoyance, when he discovers that sometimes his internal monologue... isn't.
- Doom Magnet: Marcus. Oh. My. Word.
- Doorstopper: In digital form! Each chapter is referred to as a "book" for a reason.
- Evil Laugh / Laughing Mad: Marcus does this a lot in his narrative, always either when he finds some misfortune on an enemy amusing (or has been successfully tricked) or when he's nervous, though usually for that part he'll just as often scream internally.
- Expy: While it's doubtful that the author intended him to be this way, it's hard for a reader to not draw parallels between Samus Marcus and Ciaphas Cain, HERO OF THE IMPERIUM!!!
- First-Person Smartass: Given that we are privy to Marcus' thoughts, this showing up really shouldn't be surprising.
- Furry Reminder: The ponies rely on their sense of smell more than their sight for identifying others, and they have herd instincts.
- When Marcus is changed into a pony, his scent is different while in that form. Soarin' makes the comment that his brain is telling him that Marcus has to be someone else.
- When Marcus freaks out due to his transformation causing his brain to get new signals it never had before, his panic is picked up by ponies around him who in turn become nervous themselves which then feedbacks right back into him. It takes Rarity with Fluttershy's help to get him calmed back down. Marcus remarks to the reader that he understands now how stampedes are started.
- Future Badass: IMMORTALITY MARK CRUSADERS GO!
- Genre Savvy: Marcus again. "Always think outside the box... Because the box is full of scorpions."
- Hidden Depths: Marcus himself. Scardy cat? Yes. Abandon his friends due to fear? Hell. No. Trope applies for the Pie family as well.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: During the epilogue, Twilight is surprised to find Rainbow Dash reading a book. The epilogue was posted about a month before the episode.
- I Just Want to Be Special: Poor Scootaloo, all her friends are getting Cutie Marks but her. She finally got her wish though! Go Rainbow Wheel!
- Interspecies Romance: Marcus accidentally got caught in one with Twilight in the backstory. He later gets involved in a more intentional one with Rarity, using polymorph candy to avoid the obvious problems.
- Knights and Knaves: Pinkie busts one of these in White Plume Mountain by asking a question they don't know the answer to.
- Lovable Coward: Marcus, in spades. Character Development seems to be taking care of that last part though.
- Multiple Choice Past: Marcus, who can't even figure out which origin is exactly his.
- Nice Hat: Marcus loves a good chapeau. In fact he spends much of the first few chapters lusting after Applejack's cowboy hat after his own was washed down stream.
- Noodle Incident: A hallmark of the story. Marcus is constantly referencing past adventures and incidents in passing, never giving more information than to make the reader go "wha-huh?".
- Overprotective Dad: Captain Keen Eyes, always a thorn in Marcus and Rarity's sides.
- Oh Crap: While Marcus has many of these moments during the story, the main one is when he realizes that Celestia knows and has always known that he was Erik of Vestland.
- Properly Paranoid: Applejack is always calling Marcus out on his nervousness. Trouble is he's usually right. And considering that he is an adventurer in a Dungeons and Dragons setting who has survived multiple campaigns, he should be.
- Psycho Rangers: The Elements of Power. Unlike the usual group, they think they're good, and the Elements of Harmony want to save them.
- Reincarnation: Marcus.
- Total Party Kill: Marcus has survived a multitude of these. See Properly Paranoid.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Fluttershy can do this as a Druid... She just has trouble controling the animal instincts. Also possible with polymorphing candy, courtesy of Twist.
- Wave Motion Cannon: The Moonraker has a literal one. Very literal.
- You Meddling Kids: CUTIE MARK CRUSADERS ADVENTURERS YAY!!