Essential Builds – My Lennium Falcorn

You’ve never heard of My Lennium Falcorn? It’s the friendship that made the Magic Run in less than twelve sparkles.

Welcome to Essential Builds, the blog that punches popular culture icons into the hyperspace that is Essence20. 

I’m Ryan Costello, one of the designers of the Essence20 system and an author on the G.I. JOE, Transformers, and My Little Pony Roleplaying Game Core Rulebooks. As of this writing, I’ve written over 300 000 words for Essence20, contributing to over a dozen products and counting. 

About a year ago, someone (I tried to find out who but the best I could find was “a LEGO Store employee”) used a LEGO 3-in-1 Creator set that advertised unicorn, seahorse, and peacock builds to make a seal, a robot, a narwhal, and, most famously, The Millennium Falcon. So today we’re bringing a unicorn that’s also Star Wars’ most famous ship to Essence20 . And yes, I can already hear your judgemental thoughts. 

“You’re going to build that thing? You’re stranger than I thought.” 

Who Is My Lennium Falcorn?

An original character. Sort of. And no, I’m not going to make a habit of this. That was one time. One and a half if you count this build.  

The original idea I had for My Lennium Falcorn was a Cybertronian with a unicorn Bot Mode and a Corellian YT-1300 light freighter Alt Mode. The personality would be built around the extensive characterization Han Solo’s ship received in its myriad appearances across Star Wars media. 

I should point out that there is a Star Wars/Transformers crossover figure of the Millennium Falcon, one which splits in two, with each half converting into one of the ship’s famous pilots. This doesn’t break my rule against building established characters from the Essence20 licenses because (A) this is a different character with the same Alt Mode, and (B) unless Renegade signs the Star Wars license, there’s no way this character ever shows up in an Essence20 product. 

Building Essence20 My Lennium Falcorn

I originally planned on building this back in January. However, as I explained in the Maverick build that replaced it, “I misremembered the mechanics of an option that the build depended on.” I had it in my head that the Drone Origin from Decepticon Directive gave the character an Origin Benefit from a different Origin. I was so wrong about this it’s not even accurate to say I misremembered it. I invented a completely different mechanic. Not being able to gain any Unicorn Origin qualities made the unicorn Bot Mode a purely aesthetic choice, and therefore pointless in my eyes. So I put it aside. Until…

Last Friday, Renegade stealthily published a character creation guide I wrote for the latest multi-table mega event, Worlds Collide: The Pony Puzzle. As the name suggests, unlike last year, this crossover adventure brings My Little Pony into the mix. However, the Field Guide to Action & Adventure doesn’t include advanced crossover character creation rules for My Little Pony characters. Instead of limiting players to single-setting pony PCs in this crossover event, I put together a primer on the advanced crossover character creation rules, including instructions for applying them to My Little Pony Origins and Roles, and even threw in a few new options. Two of those options—the new Cybertronian Equestrian Influence and the Quadrupedal optional rule—make this build possible. 

And no, writing a rule to make this build possible isn’t an abuse of power. It’s proof of concept. This is exactly the kind of character we empower players to bring to Worlds Collide events. 


Drone (Transformers Roleplaying Game Decepticon Directive)

Funny enough, even though I discovered that the Drone Origin didn’t do what I needed it to, I ended up picking it anyway. It gives us all the benefits of the Seeker Origin’s Alt Mode, but with room for more personality thanks to the General Perk from the Drone Origin Benefit, and a hang-up called the imperfection to make up for the Origin’s flexibility. I went with the Fiercely Independent imperfection, based on how L3-37, Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s character in Solo: A Star Wars Story, was a droid freedom fighter before having her consciousness uploaded into The Millennium Falcon’s computers. 

The other reason I went with Drone over Seeker was for flavor. Canonical, there are a million ships in the Star Wars universe just like The Millennium Falcon. It’s mass produced. However, between decades of repairs tweaking how it operates as well as upgrades overhauling its functions, there’s only one Corellian YT-1300 light freighter like it. This also lines up with the unicorn Bot Mode. Unicorns are just like horses in most ways, and the exceptions make them special. 

Finally, let’s talk about the Quadrupedal optional rule I mentioned earlier. When building a crossover character, you now have the option to define its physiology a bit. You choose whether the creature is Bipedal or Quadrupedal. Bipedal characters get 6-hands of equipment, Quadrupedal characters only get 4-hands of equipment but don’t suffer ↓1 to deal Blunt damage with unarmed attacks. My hope was that this little change opened up the ability to ponify a character without having to commit to an MLP Origin. So, for example, if you wanted to build a ponified version of Footloose called Hoofloose, you could choose the Soldier Origin from the G.I. JOE CRB and still represent him in a pony shape. In My Lennium Falcorn’s case, we’re fully committed to a Transformers Origin, but get to mechanically represent converting into a pony-shaped Bot Mode. 


1st Cybertronian Equestrian (Gen Con Worlds Collide: The Pony Puzzle Event – Character Preparations blog post)

2nd Cybertronian With Attitude (Field Guide to Action & Adventure)

3rd Stargazer (Field Guide to Action & Adventure)

I’m not sure if people have picked up on this, but the order I go into Influences, Origin, and Role changes based on how important each option is to the build. Influences basically always come in third. In this case, the Influences are as important as the Origin. Probably not surprising since I talked about how one of the new Influences in the Pony Puzzle character creation blog post made this build possible. 

Cybertronian Equestrian lets me choose an MLP Origin as the shape of my Bot Mode, granting a benefit based on the Origin I choose. Unicorn gives me Telekinesis, letting me move objects up to 50ft away with an Alertness Skill Test. Unlike the Unicorn Origin, it doesn’t give us the Magical General Perk. However, we’ll use our Drone Origin Benefit to grab that. 

Cybertronian With Attitude wasn’t part of my plan for this build at first. I wanted a third Influence and realized that I’d yet to use options from the Power Rangers spacefaring book, Across The Stars. I was surprised by how few Influences were in that book, only finding one I considered. Well, two, because giving a spaceship the Ship’s Crew Influence amused me, but I got a headache working out how the mechanics applied to flying oneself. The Influence I actually considered was Augmented, to represent all of the upgrades the ship’s undertaken. But the Drone Origin covers that, thematically, and none of the Influence Perk options felt groundbreaking to the build. 

While I had Across The Stars open, I noticed the Traveler Origin. Its Origin Benefit, Life Of A Thousand Roads, captured how much this ship has seen. A life of crime. A rebellion. A resistance. My Lennium Falcorn was a veteran of multiple Star Wars. Not so much that I would take the Traveler Origin over a Transformers Origin, but luckily the Cybertronian With Attitude Influence let me take a Power Rangers Origin Benefit as an Influence Perk. 

Because Cybertronian With Attitude is formatted like a Transformer Influence, I needed to choose a Hang-Up. I once again invoked L3-37 and went with Vainglorious. In the first round of combat, I need to spend a Standard action delivering a speech to my enemies. Considering how that character went out, it fits. 

For my final choice I went with Stargazer. This wasn’t based on established lore, but I liked how the Hang-Up (suffering a Snag on Smarts-based Skill Tests when you can’t see the stars) fit a starship. It gives a feeling of claustrophobia to a character used to the vastness of space. 


Scout (Transformers Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook)

I have never struggled to choose a Role this much. It makes sense, though. I’m basing this build on a piece of equipment rather than a character. The Millennium Falcon’s role in Star Wars is transport. I considered going with the Spirit of Magic, taking the opportunity to show off the rules for swapping a My Little Pony Role’s Faction. But then I found a Role Perk that was straight out of Empire Strikes Back: Hidden In Plain Sight. This Scout Role Perk allows me to hide without cover, like the Millennium Falcon docking on the side of a Star Destroyer to get away from him. 

Scout is a great Role for the embodiment of the fastest ship in the fleet. As the Role’s designer, I’m particularly proud of how Ally Awareness lets a Scout do the Role’s job—going ahead of everyone—while remaining connected to the rest of the group. 

Most of the other Role Perks are either about being fast, observant, or bold. Those boldness Perks add a little Han Solo to our build. That scoundrel took credit for all of My Lennium Falcorn’s best ideas and smoothest moves. 

Sub Rules

Outrider Focus, Autobot Faction, Transformers Setting

The Scout may be fast, but it could be faster. The Outrider Focus ups the speed and maneuverability of the build. And yes, it’s my fault that there’s an Outrider Origin and an Outrider Focus in the same book. In hindsight, I think the Origin should be called Offroader. 

Essence Scores and Skills

Speed 7

I focused on Driving and Infiltration for this build, giving them three Ranks each. There’s an Air Specialization in the near future, for sure. My last Skill Point went into Initiative. Originally I was thinking of taking Targeting as well, but I decided on a different form of ranged attacks. 

Smarts 5

I like the idea that this is a pretty smart character. Normally how much to invest in Alertness is a struggle when I don’t know what Skills the rest of my party invested in, but Alertness is an important aspect of the Scout Role. So much so, I only needed two Ranks for now, since the Role gives me Acute Sense and Stargazer lets me give myself an Edge on a Smarts-based Skill Test. 

I also invested in two Survival Ranks. It’s one of the Skills that Traveler pings off, and isn’t a Skill others tend to invest in without reason. It also feels like learning through doing, whereas Science is learning through research. This is a character that’s seen and done things, and has the Survival Ranks to show for it. 

Where’s the fifth Skill Point go? Spellcasting. I split two Ranks in Spellcasting between Smarts and Social. This will fuel an Energy Beam and Summon Shield. Only having +d4 in Spellcasting will mean choosing between offense or defense and having to find other options while my systems recharge, all of which feels very Millennium Falcon. 

Strength 2

Predictably, I put my Strength Skill Points into Might. Sometimes you gotta throw hoofs. 

Social 2

Even though I took a few options to represent L3-37’s onboard gumption, none of it was tied to any Social Skill. I only invested in one Rank of Deception, for when My Lennium Falcorn needs to fly casual-like. As long as I bump that up by 9th level to make better use of Mimicry Vocoder, this should hopefully be enough. Scout’s Social goes up pretty quickly, so I can alternate between improving Deception and Spellcasting.


I think this is a fun experiment in stretching the rules to fit a weird concept. I do feel that not having a stronger grasp on what I wanted from this build beyond Millennium Falcon/Unicorn Transformer made some choices tougher and a bit bland in a few areas. I referenced L3-37 multiple times, a part of The Millennium Falcon’s canon I didn’t expect to invoke at all, because I needed to find some personality for the character. 

Still, it’s nice to check this build off the idea list. And even if I’m not as excited about it as I have been other characters, I still think it’s an effective build and I am happy that Cybertronian Equestrian works as advertised. 



Field Guide to Action & Adventure

G.I. JOE Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook

My Little Pony Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook

Power Rangers Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook

Power Rangers Roleplaying Game Across the Stars

Transformers Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook

Transformers Roleplaying Game Decepticon Directive

Gen Con Worlds Collide: The Pony Puzzle Event – Character Preparations blog post

Ryan Costello

What started as one gamer wanting to talk about his love of a game grew into a podcast network. Ryan founded what would become the Know Direction Podcast network with Jason "Jay" Dubsky, his friend and fellow 3.5 enthusiast. They and their game group moved on to Pathfinder, and the Know Direction podcast network was born. Now married and a father, Ryan continues to serve the network as the director of logistics and co-host of Upshift podcast, dedicated to the Essence20 RPG system he writes for and helped design. You can find out more about Ryan and the history of the network in this episode of Presenting: