The Prancing Pony
This is not so much an organization as it is a franchise. The Prancing Pony is the latest hot property in the arena of theme restaurants. New storefronts are opening at a rate of about one every three days worldwide. The restaurants have become popular with children (both mundane and magical) because the restaurants feature arcades, medieval-themed costumed characters, puppet shows, and a twice-nightly duel where the Golden Knight roundly defeats the King of Pain. It’s all very commercialized (and extraordinarily trite), but it has struck a chord with the kids. Interestingly, in areas with a high Shadowkind population, local elves, dwarves, goblins, and bugbears who don’t mind dealing directly with the public can find jobs pretty much being themselves.
The Prancing Pony menu contains items with names such as minotaur burger, spicy roc wings, elf garden salad, mutton lettuce and tomato sandwich, and the ever popular MAGIC MEAL™. All of these items, it should be noted, are really just standard fast food fare with thematic names, and in every restaurant there hangs a plaque unequivocally stating that “no sentient beings were harmed in the making of this food.”
Interestingly, the dining areas are designed to look like medieval taverns. Shadowkind and humans alike often come here just for the feeling of nostalgia it brings them, and many an adventure has started with a chance meeting in the dark corner of a Prancing Pony francise.
This organization offers nothing more than minimum-wage jobs (meals included), so there is little reason for heroes to join.MAGIC MEALS™
Perhaps the single biggest reason for the success of the Prancing Pony franchise is the MAGIC MEAL™. This is a boxed meal that contains a children’s size sandwich, fries, drink, and a magic toy (purchase DC 2). Unlike other franchises, though, these toys really are enchanted. Each MAGIC MEAL™ box contains either a temporary tattoo or a wind-up familiar.
Temporary Tattoo: A wet transfer tattoo with a minor spell cast on it, this tattoo is labeled so parents know what their children are getting. The tattoo takes a move action to apply, and the effects last for 10 + 1d10 rounds. Each tattoo provides a +2 bonus on one of the following checks: Balance, Climb, Hide, Jump, Listen, Move Silently, Spot, or Swim.
Wind-Up Familiar: Toys in the shape of animals, each one has a spring wound motor enchanted so that it can follow a series of up to five simple directions. The toys recognize the following commands: Forward, Left, Right, Stop, Back, and Special. Each command results in 5 or 0 feet of movement—if the user fails to specify, the toy will move 5 feet. Any solid object weighing more than one pound stops a Wind-Up Familiar’s forward motion. Its feet will move, but it will not progress. It can still turn and move in another direction if that is a later part of its command string. Each command takes 1 move action to execute.
Each toy has its own special ability, hence the command “Special.” They are:
Cat: eyes glow yellow lighting a 5 foot square in front of the toy;
Owl: fly five feet straight up and five feet forward then fly straight down until landed;
Rat: pick up and carry one item weighing no more than one pound;
Spider: climb solid surface as per the spider climb spell (including reduced movement rate);
Toad: hop five feet in the air, landing 10 feet forward.
Wind-Up Familiar: CR 1/2; Fine construct; HD 1/16 d10; hp 1; Mas —; Init +0; Spd 5 ft. (can’t run); Defense 18, touch 18, flat-footed 18 (+8 Size); BAB +0; Grap –16; Atk +5 melee (1, slam); Full Atk +5 melee (1, slam); SQ construct, move or attack only, wind-up; AL none; SV Fort –5, Ref —, Will —; AP 0; Rep +0; Str 1, Dex 10, Con —, Int —, Wis —, Cha —.
Construct: Wind-up familiars have the traits and immunities common to constructs.
Move or Attack Only (Ex): A wind-up familiar can perform only a single move action or attack action on its turn. It cannot charge or run.
Wind-Up (Ex): A wind-up familiars has only limited power and must have its mechanisms wound in order to function. When wound, it can move 30 feet before it needs to be rewound.