a custom mission : Grasslake Flu

Introduce the session:
In this session, the patrol is passing a small time in Grasslake after an oddly late snowfall in Spring. Many mice in the twon are sick with a fever, congestion, aches, and this all seems like flu. It could lead to many deaths. In fact, the patrol might have sick mice and may know Grasslakers who are deeply ill.

Although this seems like a heavy burden for hte mice, do not let them forget the badgers roaming the area and a need to continue patrolling other settlements.

  • Allow a member of the patrol to offer a prologue

Assign the Mission:
The patrol is pestered frequently by sick mice or family of sick mice who want the Guard to step upp and cure the illness. They have not heard specific orders from Gwendolyn while she has been enjoying the spring in Flintrust with Saxon. Captain Rand has written to the patrol giving soft instructions to perform patrols and arrive in Port Sumac for Summer operations.

  • Allow the patrol to write goals as well as review beliefs and instincts

Mission Scenes: Mice and Weather
Mice Scene:
so many mice are sick, the group will need to arrange an efficient form of care (unless they choose to leave town). So many mice are pleading for help from the Guard knowling they often have healing skills missing from local mice vocations.

If the mice are truly going to face this obstacle, it will be a special conflict. Healer may be used for Attack and Defend actions; Scientist may be used for Feint and Maneuver actions; Feint may allow for other skills or Health to be used (such as cooking a fantastic broth or brewing a medicinal extract).

Grasslake Flu
spread by food and water, hard to predict, life draining
Hard to Predict: +1D for Maneuver actions
No Special Tricks: -1D for Feint actions

In the course of the conflict, the Grasslake Flu will have a goal something like: I will cause sick mice to die and healthy mice to become sick while spreading across the Grass Lake settlements.

This ought to be a difficult conflict for the team to take on. It is rare that all members of a patrol are trained in Healer. Unless they expect the Healer trained member(s) to handle the conflict alone, The team might have to learn new skills or try Feinting with uncertain gambles.

Let the goals of the patrol mice involved be a guide to the compromise; don;t be afraid to kill mice from illness. It really can happen, and it is a death that provides plenty of fodder for the Embodiment reward.

Weather scene:
After the late snows, the weather changes to an unseasonable warmth that creates muddy, slushy conditions across the region. Also, the illness has run its course in Grasslake; the patrol should be moving along.

  • Allow patrol to discuss the following patrol areas and the most important aspects of a good patrol; let the players define their story (is it best to have a good camp, test survivalist; is it best to watch for animals, test hunter; is it best to predict and report the weather, test weather watcher)

  • Allow the patrol to make one test to handle the remaining patrol time

Player’s Turn:
At the end of the patrolling, the group should now have a chance to arrive at a settlement where the GM’s Turn can end. A twist may have also come up to hinder their patrolling.

Mission Twists: Wilderness and Animal
Wilderness Twist:
If the group failed a Survivalist, Pathfinder, Cartographer, Harvester, or other such skill, they have probably become lost in the wilderness in part due to the muddy conditions of the unseasonable warmth. Don’t forget to look at traits which might have become complications (maybe that natural bearings gave way to wanderlust).

Use the opportunity to throw the patrol into the wilderness with glee.

Animal Twist:
As the scent border was not well poured in the previous year, predators have moved into the territories. This creates a twofold problem. First, these predators threaten other animals and create indirect trouble for the mice and settlements. Second, these predators threaten mice and settlements directly.

A bobcat has taken especial interest in the area for hunting mice. It can easily eat whole mice like a fox, but hunts differently. This bobcat has also stirred up skunks, squirrels, chipmunks, and other small animals.

Happily choose an animal to cause trouble for the patrol or a nearby settlement.

For our group game night, this was a fun mission. It was a follow-on to the Trouble in Grasslake, Again mission which I used last week. During last week’s mission, a handful of NPC mice were sick as well as a Patrol Guard. This week, the second Patrol Guard and Guardmouse of the group arrived. By fortune, this placed three of the four in town with Healer ranks. So, the conflict didn’t challenge them as deeply numerically, but they still had neat roleplay.

The sick Ptl Guard wrote her goal: I will make these villages fix the problem themselves and stop relying ont he Guard for everything. So, we actually began with the group arguing of whether to leave or not. She had the highest rank and longest time in rank; she thought she could tell the patrol they were leaving town and ignoring the pleas for help.

They stood up to her and she shifted to negotiating a plan of action, “You’ve got three days to set up a clinic the Grasslakers can run without us.” She tested Haggler vs Will to represent negotiating with the patrol mice. In the end, they put the feverish patrolmate back to bed and started to work against the illness.

A newcoming Guardmouse wrote the goal: “I will learn one secret about each member of this patrol to create friendships.” This led to a fantastic conversation period where all the mice started talking about their friends and enemies to form connections with each other. The new Guardmouse found out her Friend was already a potential enemy on the list of one patrolmate; however, that patrol mate was Friend to her Enemy’s boss. Another patrol mate revealed that the Friend was actually her mother. The third patrol mate took notice that they shared a common Enemy (almost). The newcoming Guardmouse held an Enemy who had once been the patrol mate’s close friend; that fell apart when said friend stole her suitor, who then became her Enemy.

Okay, I admit that might read a bit convoluted, but it made loads of sense at the table. Also, it was super fun. She had spent a check to do this converssation to fulfill her goal, but I told her to start with roleplay and see if the mice would simply open up. In the end, I was thinking she could attempt a Persuader vs Will to get a patrol mate to open up about a secret or somehting that would make a connection. But, no patrolmate put up a resistance to her efforts; all were friendly and eager to engage. So, she still had a check to spend; she pulled the Pathfinder to Pt Sumac where her friend, and patrolmate’s mother lived. Both overcame Tired with the help of an NPC.

It was a good session.

This is such a great mission. This is definitely one of the best I’ve seen. I love the Healer vs Flu conflict, it really highlights the strengths of the system (and the setting).