A Wish for the Dying - The recorded session of a custom mission

After a long and difficult winter, spring has arrived. The patrol’s first task is to deliver one last message for a dying mentor. The wilderness is harsh, though, and other mice need their help to survive. Which weighs more: their duty and the mission, or the lives of innocent mice?

This is a one-shot adventure that we recorded and are posting in two parts. Each is a full GM and Player Turn. This is the third time I’ve run this one, and the players have found a way to surprise me each time. It has a lot of difficult choices for the characters, and no clear “correct” path.

You can find and listen to part 1 here

Once Part 2 is up, I will post the full adventure and pre-generated characters.

Let me know what you think.

Part 2 is up here:

And the adventure in PDF format is as well:

Part 2 was inspired by a post I saw on the boards here a while back (that I can’t seem to find anymore). If someone’s search-fu – or memory – is better than mine, please post the link in this thread so proper credit can be assigned.

Hi, Doc.

I have not yet had a chance to fully read through the PDF yet, but at a glance, it looks great! I really like the way you have formatted this, both aesthetically and functionally.

I realize that I can download the audio directly from the pages you linked above, but prefer to manage all of my podcasts directly through iTunes. I was able to get the first part, but not the second. When will that be available via iTunes?

Looking forward to reading and listening. I may end up running this, as I know of a couple of people interested in playing Mouse Guard on roll20.

Definetely trying this out after I have hosted my own game. I will post my oppinion after playing.

Thanks. In my experience, Apple posts when Apple wants to post. Part 2 is up there now.

I’d love to hear feedback.

Yeah, I checked yesterday, and part 2 was online. I just finished part the first yesterday, and got a few minutes of part 2 in on my way to work this morning.

I really enjoyed the PDF, and am thinking of stealing your sweet 3-column landscape layout for my own use.

Even though I am only a few minutes into part 2, I’m liking it more than the first part (which I also liked quite a bit).

I think that most of my feedback for part 1 is kind of nit-picky, but I’ll share it. Feel free to call bs/who-cares/etc. on any of this:

  • The game sounded very rules-heavy rather than description-heavy. This is to be expected the first few times playing MG, but you need to be careful as a GM to push the players for more description about their actions. I do not have specific instances that I can call out at the moment, but I believe that (especially during fight Conflicts) there were some helper dice handed over with little or no description of how the other mouse was helping, or even of the spot-lighted mouse’s specific actions. This is very much NOT the case in the social conflicts, which seemed to have much better description from the players.

  • There were a couple of times where you asked the players which skill they were using (“Are you rolling Fighter or Hunter?”) rather than using their mouse’s described actions to determine that. This might be related to my previous nit-pick.

  • I remember you dis-allowing the use of Predator-wise for a helper die based on the fact that “these are weasels, and if Weasel-wise exists, then that is what should be used” (I’m paraphrasing). I’m not sure I agree with that. Again, more input/description from the players is also really helpful here, and it’s ok to nudge them in that direction if they’re not doing it on their own.

Player: My mouse kneels down, examining the various tracks. He traces a few of them with his fingers, apparently in deep thought as he says, “Based on my extensive experience in dealing with weasels, I’m fairly sure that there were…” (breaking out of character) how many, GM?

Player: My mouse kneels down, examining the various tracks. He traces a few of them with his fingers, apparently in deep thought as he says, “Based on my extensive experience in dealing with predators of all types, I’m fairly sure that there were…” (breaking out of character) how many, GM?

  • It didn’t feel to me as if your players actually felt a lot of impact from their Conditions.

  • Along those lines, I also felt that some of the Conflict compromises were a little weak.

  • I don’t recall hearing you do the end-of-session artha stuff after the first session. Or a prologue at the beginning of the second. I would consider doing these, and possibly even give some kind of extra bonus to a player who delivers a great prologue, in character.

  • I also don’t recall the players setting their characters’ Goals at the beginning of either session. I really believe that having the players choose and write their own Goals is important. Having a list of Goals prepared for players who have a hard time coming up with one on their own is also a good idea.

I think there may have been a few rule-breaks in there, but not anything really major.

Getting past the nit-picky stuff, I really, really like this adventure. I like that your GM’s Turn sets up a clear initial path, then immediately provides several paths, each with its own costs and rewards, and that you go straight into a Players Turn that pretty much demands that the players choose at least one of those paths before “locking down” the game again into the next GM’s Turn.

tl;dr: It’s a GREAT adventure. I recommend pushing your players for more description, and trying to make them feel the danger/impact/consequences of their Conditions more.

I completed listening to part two today, and basically need to say: ignore pretty much everything I was saying above about engaging the players for more roleplay, etc. It sounded like once they got the hang of the system, they really engaged with it for great results.

I do feel that your handling of the end of the game was a bit more abrupt than I would have run it. Without giving away too many spoilers, you pretty much said to the players, “You arrive back in Lockhaven and (the bad outcome happened). Then (another thing based on that outcome), then Gwendolyn questions you about what happened.” It was a bit abrupt, and I think you missed a great opportunity for some quality rp there with your players, where the consequences of their delay could have been revealed to them via some in-character exploration and interaction rather than a couple of quick sentences.

Also, no artha. I really feel that it’s important to do the end-of-session stuff, even in one-off games. It only takes a few minutes, and gives the players a chance (or perhaps forces them) to think back on their characters’ actions for that session, reinforcing the importance of BIGs.

I don’t want to end this on a negative note, however. I will re-state that I really, really liked this adventure, and am looking forward to hopefully running it for a group at some point as well. I enjoyed listening to your group play, and thought that this was one of the better Mouse Guard actual plays I’ve listened to. Thanks for sharing it with us!


Thanks for the feedback.

The Artha was, unfortunately, unrecorded. I wanted it to be in there, but it didn’t work well with the flow of what was happening at the time.

The ending was rushed. One of the players had to be out of there at a certain time, and everything revolved around that.