Pastures & Ponies
So here we have the (hopefully short) list of changes from basic 4e D&D.
Each race is limited in what classes it can take. Mostly this is to fit with the ‘only unicorns have overt magic’ canon, but it also helps distinguish each class. I do fudge things a bit for the sake of keeping the races interesting.
The Zebra’s lack of access to martial classes is just to balance it against the other races. Zebra gets access to almost all primal, psionic and arcane classes, so it has fewer divine and martial classes to even it up against the other ponies.
Hooves and Weapons
As should be obvious, ponies don’t have hands. With the exception of the unicorns, characters are limited in dual wielding. They can wield two handed weapons without penalty (even ranged weapons), or one handed weapons and a shield, but they can only dual wield ‘light’ weapons. (Daggers and the like.)
Unicorns, due to telekinesis, don’t have this restriction.
Gryphons are limited like non-unicorns, but they can choose to dual wield as they please at the expense of -1 Speed.
This rule is mostly for fluff, so it at least feels like we’re playing ponies. (Likewise, lifting and moving objects will be affected.) Because if they played the same as humans, why not play humans?
Equipment like rings won’t be affected by the lack of fingers. It’ll just be re-fluffed into something feasible without effecting game mechanics, since I want to keep the rules simple.
I played with the idea of cutie marks giving skill bonuses, but in the end I decided they were entirely a bit background fluff. If they’re roleplayed well, there will be a bit of bonus experience, but for the most part they’re no different than scars or tattoos: Something to make the character unique, possibly with an interesting story attached, but overall doesn’t effect anything.
We’re using standard languages, with only one addition: Zebra. Might seem odd, but hey, it’ll be simple.