Avoiding redundancy in a GMs turn

I’m running a 6 hour con game soon [At Good Omens Con, so if you’re signed up for “Into the Wild” reading further may be a great disappointment to you when you get in the game]. The format will be a GM Turn, Players Turn and GM turn. I think that should fit fine in 6 hours.

The first GM turn looks great. They will travel to Sprucetuck and figure out what is wrong there (a wilderness challenge and a mouse challenge with some fun twists in mind).

The second GM turn, however is what I’m worried about. They need to travel to Pebblebrook (which I’m not even going to make a test) and fend off the fox cub that crossed the scent border before mama comes looking for her baby. They will know by this time that the border was sabotaged by a weasel (They find that out at the end of the first turn) and need to defeat the weasel behind it all.

This sounds great but what it feels like to me is a Fight Animal conflict followed by a Fight conflict, which is just a bit too Fighty for me.

One thought I had was that instead of chasing off the Fox being a conflict, it could be a Hunter or Scientist test (using the musk they brought to scare them off), but if they fail, I’m hitting a wall thinking of a twist. Any thoughts or suggestions on how to incorporate the Fox (which instigated the original mission) and the Weasel (who they find out very early on is the one pulling string behind the scenes)?

Then turn the fight animal into some other form of mouse-animal interaction with said fox…

Perhaps not a fight, but a negotiation.

When I can’t think of a good twist, I just give it to them with a condition. In this case, you could have them deal with the fox cub, but they get Injured along the way?

I’ve found that animal versus specific weasel conflicts are very different things. However, don’t think so much like a CRPG. The weasel is an intelligent adversary with its own agenda. Write up it’s Belief, Goal and Instinct. Have it act the villain. The players can get into an argument with it, stalk him or even chase him back to his den before moving in for the kill.

Most likely, if they realize the weasel can talk, they’ll want to parlay.


Thanks guys. I appreciate the help. I ran the play test for the game last night and I opted to make the first encounter a social one rather than fight. A fox is just too much for the mice to handle on their own. Instead as they arrived in Pebblebrook they saw mice packing up their homes and ready to leave for fear of having their village destroyed. The mice needed to give a speech to the town, embolden them and then rally them to drive off the fox. Failure would result in not rallying enough mice and getting a condition during the face off with the Fox.

As to having other options with the Weasel, in this game I doubt the players will go for anything other than killing him or chasing him off for good. The reason being that the game starts with a flashback to the end of the Weasel war of 1159. The players take the roll of their character’s mentors who are Gwendolyn’s personal guard when the treatise is being signed. The weasels take advantage of her coming out in the open and try to kidnap her so they can hold her hostage. The brave guards must fend them off. This serves as an intro to the conflict system, a sense of attachment to the mentors, a foreshadowing of the weasel machinations later in the game and a nice symmetry of having a big fight at the beginning and the end of the game, allowing the apprentices (who are now all guards) to finish what their mentors started. For this reason, I really doubt the players will be willing to parlay with the weasel, he most likely killed one of their mentors.

Here is the AP report. It’s just a list of what worked and what didn’t. In general all of the warm up exercises were great but collectively they were too long. I also had some players that were really disgruntled by the check system. I argued for a while and finally realized some people just won’t like games with as much structure as BW/BE/MG have and trying to make them like it after they’ve had a bad experience is fruitless.

For the most part I got a lot of good feedback though, both on what worked and what could be improved. The ups and downs are posted here: http://wildljduck.livejournal.com/72153.html

yeah my players HATE dealing with Weasels because of how crafty and DANGEROUS they are. If at all possible due to their run in with them in the past they try to avoid the conflict if possible if it would mean compromising their current mission. Weasel confrontations are rare in my games depending on the area within the territories the Guard are but they are definitely memorable and epic. Weasels are greedy devils and compromising with them can be interesting (in my games) if means they can gain some sort of leverage or power over a rival weasel even if making deals with mice gets them closer to what they want they’ll take whatever they can get.