A belief in need of Oomph!


One of my players wrote this Belief for her mouse Em:

“Honour your mother and father and the memory of them.”

Her mouse is the child of two once prominent mice in the Territories - Her mother Quinn was a famous politician and warrior and her father Walmond was a notable Master Healer, known for saving many lives. Both died in the Weasel Wars and Em is struggling between which way to choose - helping the weak or fighting the strong.

So, family’s important for this character, but it still seems to me (and correct me if I’m wrong) as if “the Oomph” mentioned in the rules is missing from this particular Belief. Also, the cool choice built into this character (between mother and father) is something I feel should be a part of the Belief. Any tips on how to give it more of that good stuff

What about something like this:

“A mouseguard must help the weak and fight the strong.”

All life is sacred and must be preserved.

One way to capture the dichotomy is to have the player pick one of the sides (i.e. “A guardmouse must be a warrior foremost.”), and then agree to put them on the spot with situations where they have to potentially sacrifice that stance for the other side. You don’t have to capture the entire choice in a single belief; the belief just has to enable it.

Even better, you could code one side into a belief, and another into an instinct. Or code both sides as distinct beliefs. I think I like that last the best: “A guardmouse must be a warrior foremost” and “A guardmouse’s duty is to tend to the weak”. Then you can preface each statement with a bit about the respective parent.

“My father was a mighty warrior; I will follow his lead and fight the strong.”
“My mother was a master healer; I will take after her and tend to the weak.”

…wait. Do you only get one Belief for your guardmouse? I’m so used to thinking in Burning Wheel terms…

I would ask the player what the guardmouse’s parents had taught her and maybe include a bit of that.

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