A question on Tests

Hey there! Still a bit of a novice so I had a question:

How should the Mouse Guard system handle what I will call Micro-tests. That is to say: those tests that crop up when players who normally play the average non-MG rpg are used to being called upon to test. You know the ones: each of you roll to sneak past the guard, roll your awareness/perception, make a climb roll. I know that MG has complex obstacles that can involve numerous tests in order to complete, but these are often still what seem to me like Macro-tests in that they are usually taken by a player on behalf of the group (often with their help) and their results often correspond to broader contexts within the story.

Perhaps an example might demonstrate what I mean:

The patrol is underground and is searching for a Weasel camp through some old mining tunnels near Copperwood. A Pathfinder test would be required. If they fail a Twist that could be used is that they stumble upon a sleeping fox! A suitably dramamtic moment could have them trying to sneak past in order to climb the wall behind where they have spotted a promising Weasel burrow.

So … would that require individual tests of Scout v Scout or Nature v Scout? One for each player? Is this a Conflict (if so, what type?). How about the wall climb-- individual Nature tests for each Mouse? These seem a bit unlike MG and more like traditional rpg’s. Not to say MG can’t work just as well with these micro-tests, but I don’t get the impression its normally played that way.

What do you think?

If everyone’s doing it, pick someone to lead and everyone else helps.

As Pseudoidiot suggests, one test. First one to state it rolls it, even if (or especially if) they are not the best skilled. help from others.

Or, just say yes.

Remember that you have only two/three obstacles for GM Turn. Don’t bother calling for unnecessary tests. If it is important, start a special Conflict. If it is not, as Aramis said: just say yes and go on.

Thanks guys! I appreciate it!

One other thing: if your players want to do something that links to your Obstacle (be it a Story or twist), you can opt to let them roll, but remind them that it doesn’t count towards your test limit… and then use only the linked dice, not help dice, from those mice when the main Obstacle is resolved.

Dorn, Barg, and Alice are facing an eagle. Test for flight is called for - Pathfinder, please.
Alice wants to make a linked test with Loremouse to predict where the eagle will strike at them. I let her roll… She either makes, for a bonus die, or fails for a +1 Ob penalty to Dorn’s pathfinder.
When Dorn rolls the Pathfinder, Alice can only provide that linked test die, not help. Barg can still help…

Unnedly complicated, why doesn’t she just help? Otherwise you could just let her test Loremouse and give her the Nature Description if she makes it. If she fails well, there is a twist for her.
You can sometimes give the players oportunities for “extra” Tests if it makes sense but ENFORCE the Twist/Condition rule hard.

One thing I might have missed in this-- what exactly is a “linked” test?? Sorry if I sound a bit lost!

Linked Tests don’t exist in MG, guys, only in BW and BE.


Things like making a needed tool - which can provide bonuses more than a die, then.

is there any reason, from a mechanical standpoint, why you couldn’t do linked tests in MG? it seems like it would just be a complex obstacle and making it a linked test jus means that successes/failures increase die or ob as favorable or unfavorable conditions, which seems totally in the spirit of the game.

of course, i’m not as familiar with BW so i could be misunderstanding/misremembering how linked tests work.

There are too many dice floating around in MG as it is—and begging for linked tests distorts the GM Turn mechanic. So, we changed the nature of linked tests. In MG, when you want to pass a die on to a future test, you make supplies for a skill. Then the bonus die can be used at any time by a character with the skill. This limits linked tests to crafty-type skills and usually to tests made in the players turn.

No, you’re remembering right. However, failure is not really in keeping with the spirit of Mouse Guard. So, in a complex hazard you don’t fail, you get sucess with a condition or you get a twist. I find it’s a great time for conditions, btw.