Actual Play :: Furnace Con :: The Black Crow

I ran Mouse Guard in the shortish 3-hour Sunday morning slot at Furnce 2009. The players were:

[ul][li]Andrew, playing the patrol leader Kenzie
[/li][li]Jamie, playing the furious but stalwart Saxon
[/li][li]Tim Grey, playing Sadie
[/li][li]and Neil Gow, playing the tenderpaw Lieam[/ul]
[/li]The mission was the one I’d playtested a few weeks before with the Pompey Crew, “The Black Crow”. The mission obstacles during the GM’s Turn were thus the same: reach the sinking Black Crow trading vessel that’s run aground in the Port Sumac harbour (Ob5), and rescue the supplies needed for the Port Sumac colony to survive the harsh winter (Ob5).

What ensued was furious dashes through the mother of all storms that was blasting down cannon-ball sized hailstones, grit-your-teeth rowing through lashing rain and terrifying foot-high (!) waves, tense horror as the plague-ridden crew were found in the creaking bowels of the ship, and a stirring team effort to limp the Black Crow back into port. Hurrah! That was the end of the GM’s Turn.

The Player’s Turn saw Neil Gow stepping up to the plate and narrating some awesome industry on the part of his naive tenderpaw as Lieam helpfully led the sick and dying crew on to the beach and set up tent shelters. Sadly, this industry was met with screeching caws of delight as scavenging seagulls swooped down to feast on this bounty of unprotected mice! A full-on Conflict ensued as the mice panicked and ran, limped, and crawled towards the relative safety of the treeline, leaving Lieam to face down the seagulls on his own. How brave! How foolish! Lieam was trounced as Tim and I teamed up to play the part of the seagulls - we scripted a brutal Feint when Neil scripted a Defend and in the compromise most of the rescued crew of the Black Crow were eaten!

Lieam was devastated by the consequences of his actions, and spent a terrible night being wracked by dreams of his dead Mentor Niall. In what I thought was a lovely scene, Neil narrated his shellshocked tenderpaw foregoing all rest so that he could dig graves for what corpses remained from the seagull slaughterfest. His friends buried, Lieam curled up exhausted in an empty grave and shivered the night away, lashed by guilt. In the following scene, Tim spent his Check to narrate Sadie cooking up some of Lieam’s favourite stew and then visiting him in the graveyard, feeding the devastated tenderpaw while offering consoling words about how Lieam did his best and how being a Mouse Guard isn’t all heroics. Lieam was much encouraged by this. (Lost the Angry Condition.)

Meanwhile, and as a counterpoint to the touching scenes in the graveyard, Kenzie was attempting to rouse the populace with an impassioned exhortation to gather the corpses of the plague victims and impale them on stakes outside Port Sumac. The seagulls and other predators would hopefully then eat the diseased corpses and then die. Gwendolyn thought that this was a tad brutal, and persuaded Kenzie to back down. Kenzie’s lifelong friend Saxon decided that Kenzie was unhinged by the terrible turn of events, and duelled Kenzie for leadership of the patrol… and won! Andrew had a spare Check left over, and spent it to go visit the grave of his friend Caitlinn the Archivist. I was all “Heh, Andrew is going to go all Cthulhu on us here” :slight_smile: Happily, Kenzie’s blood frenzy had passed and Kenzie heaved a massive forgot-me-not into place over his friend’s grave. Shucks, how poignant. End of the Player’s Turn.

The Sunday morning session is only 3 hours, so I tried to gauge how long the GM’s Turn should last… er, not very well as it turned out. We finished the GM’s Turn and the Players Turn in just over 2 hours, which didn’t leave enough time for another GM’s and Players Turn which was a shame. We ended the slot reflecting on the session and the Mouse Guard game and awarding Traits based on the play just to see how that might play out in a campaign: Tim’s touching play earned Sadie the Compassionate Trait for example. Aw, how nice :slight_smile:

Short though it was, I enjoyed the session. Many thanks to all the players for getting into the swing of things.