6 players, where does it get wonky?

So my crew and I want to try Mouse Guard, but we’ve got one too many (6+GM) from the recommended number. I understand it’s not designed for that many players, and I intend to try to keep them separated, but working towards a common goal, as mentioned in another thread most of the time.


I’m sure there’s going to be a point that they’ll all be together, and I’ll have to wing it some. So my question is, where do things get wonky when you go over 5? Here’s what I can see, let me know where I’m wrong, or what I’ve missed.

  1. More than 3 players per team is suboptimal, more than 2 teams gives the potential for too much help. With 6 players, that means you’re kinda stuck with a 3:3 split, possibly with the occasional 2:4 split
  2. There might be too many checks for the players turn.
  3. Too many BIGs to juggle, with not enough conflicts in a mission.

In short, I understand that I’m pushing it, and I also understand that it doesn’t completely break when you go over, so I’d like to know what gets funny?

It’s harder for each character to have a niche.

And there’s too much help in general – tests become too easy.


That makes sense. If everyone can pile on the help, that’s a lot of +1D, compounded by the amount of skill overlap. Thanks for the answer!

I ran a group of five through a six-session campaign. My biggest issue was that conflicts got out of hand unless I scaled up the opposition accordingly (e.g. a group of crows are attacking a caravan; one group of mice fights off the crows while another group gets the survivors to safety). I really had to be on my game to keep everyone involved.

Your Players’ Turns will be interesting because on one hand the group will have half-a-dozen checks to go around at minimum, but only a couple players will have the chance to gain extra checks during the GM’s Turn unless they get into a conflict. That might leave some players wanting.

I’d say try dividing the group into teams of two to four and have them working at separate mission goals. Cut back and forth a lot so no one gets bored. Keep the characters geographically separated so they’re not stepping on each other during the Players’ Turn. Good luck, be sure to let us know how it goes.

@wanderer - That’s the plan, but I imagine that I can’t keep them apart all the time, so it’s good to know what I’ve got to watch out for.

The other difficulty is that even really dangerous animals are pretty easy for two teams of three mice each to defeat.

With the appropriate motivations, they’ll keep themselves apart!

Heh. I suppose you’re right. It’s weird to intentionally put together a somewhat self-destructive party…

We’ve been limiting help to +1D (only one other player can help), and that seems to solve that problem. Also ameliorates the niche issue.

One could reason that when the group gets bigger than X mice they can’t ‘‘just cooperate’’ but has to be organized which means someone needs a skill for it (like militarist even if that skill is for a big scale). Maybe no more than four mice can cooperate in a an efficient way without leader skills and someone rolling for those?

Well, we had our first play session (the first session was character generation, which took the better part of an afternoon, not suprising). So far, it went as well as I could expect, given us all being new to the system. We had trouble in play regarding mustering help, and earning checks, I think mostly because it wasn’t at the forefront. I’m going to keep a close eye on help, when they start getting used to pulling it off.

The biggest problem I’m seeing is when a conflict comes up with 6, I immediately end up splitting them into two teams of three, which has worked out so far, but I think will become a problem. We’ll see.

Regardless, everyone had fun, and we’re getting the hang of the flow of the game. Thanks for the advice.