The first step of character creation is to decide which of the playable Races your character will be.

In S4E, a character’s Race does not grant them any special advantages or restrict their capabilities; all Races have the same basic potential in terms of their Attributes and Skills. A character’s Race does, however, restrict which Edges they are allowed to purchase. Because characters advance solely by purchasing Edges, this can be an important long-term consideration to keep in mind during character creation.

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It is important to note that the selection of a character’s Race does not automatically grant the character any ability or advantage, even those which would seem to be inherent to the Race; simply being a Pegasus does not mean a character can fly, and not all Unicorns can use magic right out of the gate. In addition, none of the core Races automatically begin play with their Special Purpose (and thus their Cutie Mark). All of these aspects are gained by purchasing the appropriate Edge(s).

In S4E, there are three core playable Races to choose from. This list can be dramatically expanded (with GM approval) by including all or part of the Wide, Wide World variant found in the Variant Rules chapter of this book. The three core playable Races are Earth Ponies, Pegasi, and Unicorns.

Earth Ponies are one of the three races which migrated from the pony homelands of old and founded modern-day Equestria. They are hard-working and multi-talented, used to cooperating and finding clever ways of solving their problems. Earth Ponies, by and large, are hard-working, forthright individuals who are no strangers to overcoming difficulty with their wits and determination; without the wondrous abilities of the other races, it is important for many Earth Ponies to make the most of their skills, their circumstances, and the tools around them.

Pegasi are a winged pony race descended from a proud warrior society; from their capital in Cloudsdale, many (but not all) Pegasi serve as the guardians of the sky and the shepherds of the weather all across Equestria. Pegasi are gifted with feathered wings, allowing them to develop the ability to fly and to interact with clouds as if they were solid objects--walking on them, and even swimming in them! From their proud heritage, even the most timid Pegasus often has a courageous spirit hiding deep down, waiting to spring to the surface.

Unicorns are a horned pony race hailing from their capital of Canterlot, who are the guardians and practitioners of arcane magic and spellcasting. In days of old, Unicorns were aristocratic and responsible for raising the sun and the moon, but over time they have become just as diverse as any other race. Unicorns are born with a magical horn which allows them to utilize magic and cast Spells if they study and work hard at it; while most Unicorns develop some level of magical ability, it is most often limited to their interests or passions in life.

The next step of character creation is to develop your character’s appearance and physical description.

This can include a variety of things, such as mane and tail color and style, coat / feather color, facial hair (if any), eye color, height and weight, body shape, age, Cutie Mark (if they have one), outfits they typically wear, accessories they keep with them, and any distinguishing marks.

The next step of character creation is to develop your character’s core concept.

All well-defined characters have three areas in which their concept should be developed: their Background, their Perspective, and their Direction. These three areas have the most influence on how a character is roleplayed, as well as how they develop and grow over time. This informs their advancement and how they view things which are important to the story, such as morality and ideology.

Background: A character’s Background is their personal history; the important events and elements of their life which have made them who they are today. A character’s Background doesn’t need to be completely comprehensive; it is often best to leave a little ‘wiggle room’ to allow new things to be ‘discovered’ about their history as the story progresses.

Perspective: A character’s Perspective is their current outlook on life, usually in general but also specific where the character has specific views and convictions. Often, a character’s Perspective evolves from their Background--how their life has shaped their outlook to the present day.

Direction: A character’s Direction is their aims and goals, both in the long term and the short term. In general, all characters have goals, and these goals often evolve out of their Background and Perspective. A character’s Direction can be widely varied between aspirations (things to achieve) and passions (things to spend time doing).