bows and wises?

just a few questions that have arisen from our games:

bows: obstacle for crafting? its somewhat unclear in the book, so just a quick ‘use this, not this’ would be great as ive searched through the forums and not found any actual straight answer.

wises: are they gained like any other skills, ie. via beginners luck or only at winter? if the former, can you introduce new facts related to any wise with your checks?

disarming: how have people been running this in their games? permanent loss? loss til the end of the conflict? so far ive been using disarms as leads for twists, but is there a better way?

(just for some balance, ive been loving running this game, and cant wait for one of my players to feel confident enough to run it themselves so i can get a go!)

Regarding Disarm. Per p. 108, you remove one of your opponent’s weapons, a piece of gear or disable a trait for the remainder of the conflict.

I would not necessarily consider Disarm as part of a Twist, so much as perhaps part of a Compromise. “You owe me a major compromise. How about the weapon that I disarmed was broken or lost during the conflict?” To me, this would not necessarily lead to a Twist, but rather sets a hook for something that the players might want to tackle during their Turn (recover or repair the lost weapon).

I believe that -wises are handled like other skills. You would open them up with Beginner’s Luck. Someone chime in if I’m wrong.

I have no idea regarding crafting; I’d have to look that up.

Use the Armorer skill to create bows. Based on the Armorer Factors on page 243, making a bow is an Ob 4 Armorer test.

Wises are gained just like any other skills. You get a free one in the Winter as per the Winter Phase rules.

As for Disarms, it’s contextual based on how it’s described in the heat of the moment. If a fox snaps your bow between its jaws, it’s gone. If a weasel sends your sword flying with its riposte, then you should be able to get it back.

You could also use a compromise to say how something was lost or damaged.

cool, thats how ive been running things so far.

combining the two subjects, one of my players has archery wise - as he only has fight 3, i dont consider it too cheesy to add his wise bonus to all his bow actions in conflicts, but at a more extreme end, what if a fighter 6 mouse had knife wise and nimble (2)? you could (in theory) argue he could roll 8 dice (plus help) for all of his combat actions. is this fair game? seems a bit much, but i can tend to be a bit stingy.

I don’t see that you have a choice here. To me, it would seem like ultimate GM fiat with no valid reason; it would simply be, “I don’t like it because it gives you too many dice for skill X.” Furthermore, what relevance is the characters base skill? It’s acceptable because it’s only rank 3 but rank 4 could/would make it “too cheesy”?

Bottom line: regardless of the origin of the bonus dice or the skill rank, if the player effectively describes within narrative how any given -wise or trait is beneficial (or a hinderance, in the case of the latter), it should be allowed. Helping dice should only be disallowed if they are counterintuitive or are not given within the narrative discription.

I dont think the GM is forced to agree that knife-wise can be forked every time you’re in a knife fight. The onus is on the player to narrate how his knowledge about the history and forging of knives is helping him stab someone at that moment. I think a great time to discuss what knife wise can and can’t be used for in your game is during character creation when the player proposes taking it.

By my understanding, a Wise is much deeper than just history and creation, it represents a deep understanding and familiarity with the subject. That’s why Knife-Wise isn’t just the same skill as Fighter. The wises represent deep knowledge of a narrow subject matter. The skills seem to be just the opposite, representing a more utility-based knowledge of broad subject areas.

Speaking of cheese, I don’t recall anything in the rules prohibiting applying a limitless number of bonus dice from Wises to a roll. So, if someone spent all their time using Beginner’s Luck to build up a collection of rating 1 Wises to assist with archery (Bow-wise, Arrow-wise, Target-shooting-wise, Firing-into-combat-wise, Instinctive-shooting-wise, Wind-compensating-wise, Hitting-things-that-are-moving-wise, Armor-penetrating-wise, Hit-'em-where-it-hurts-wise, etc.), they could probably find credible explanations for using a half-dozen or so each round of combat. They could eventually be sniping the largest animals mice can hurt with one-shot-kills.

Pg. 92

“Wises are knowledge skills. When testing a regular skill, you may call on one of your wises to help. If the GM agrees that the wise is appropriate to the situation, you may add +1D to your skill test.”

Emphasis mine.

Yeah, that emphasis helps since I didn’t interpret it that way. (More like “you may call on one and get +1D…or you may call on twenty…”) A “one, and only one,” would have been nice if that was the intent.

That was the intent.

The questipm could be how broad are wises? Whats to stop a player taking ‘injuring things’ wise?

In the end I decided it was ok, as it would be similar to forest wise - widely applicable, but wouldnt apply to ALL pathfinder rolls. The player justified that it represented a specialisation within the field of fighter, which I felt was fair as he wasnt trying to ‘max out’ but taking it for character reasons. Added to that, he is quite vulnerable to knives…

My reasons for GM fiat here would have been less the stack of dice, but more the reasoning behind it. If he had looked for the bonuses first, then justify it afterwards, I would have been more inclined to say no. I like to try to get my players to focus more on building a personality than a stat block.

Wises are very flexible, but they represent trivial knowledge about a subject. Look at the obstacles.
Their FoRKing benefit is secondary.

And if ever you think a player is gaming the system just to be a dick, the whole group should talk to him and tell him to knock it off.

I’ll just point out that a lot of characters already have ‘injuring-things-wise’. It’s called ‘Fighter’.

Another point to keep in mind is that in order to advance in Mouse Guard, in addition to succeeding at something, you must also fail (and fail fairly often). So, “wising it up” is a bad strategy unless you’re just going for the instant gratification of passing individual tests. If and when you actually feel that you need to pass a specific test, the other game mechanics (tapping Nature, burning Fate points, etc.) are there for that.

Excellent point!

MG also only allows ONE wise per task, and fighter isn’t a wise, so it’s not able to be used with “I Am Wise”…

You could do linked tests…