Burning questions about Mouse Guard

New member, new GM, blah blah. Hi all!

I’ve had these sorts of questions burning a hole in the back of my head, and I’d love some answers.

1a) Beginner’s Luck makes me really curious - if I understand it correctly you correspond the skill to either Health or Will, and then halve that score. Whether you pass or fail, you make an x mark or some indicator that you’re learning the skill, and that you learn skills up to the number of your Nature rating. Does BL continue the same way as the mouse tests their skill, with their appropriate stat (health or will) halved every time? And does that mean that a tenderpaw, drawing from his halved health stat (6 to 3), would have a higher score when invoking Beginner’s Luck than when he does from having formal training at stat 2? How does one explain that?

1b) Also another question: with a halved health/will score, do you round down or up?

  1. Ranged weapons: How does one write a proper obstacle for bridging the gap between a PC without ranged weapons? I tried to make a conflict where the PCs used health for attack and feint (running and sprinting ability) and nature for hide and maneuver, but it didn’t quite go so well… maybe because it was the first conflict I’d thrown at them and it was pretty confusing and hard-going. But should getting to a sniper position be a simple versus obstacle, or a full-blown conflict? If the latter, how should it be choreographed?

3a) I’ve gotten a new player really psyched about training new “pets” with her insectrist skill. I’ve ruled that she’s allowed one pet, “Jared” the pack beetle, but that was all she was allowed seeing at her skill was at 2 (with an insect-wise thrown in.) She wanted a weather detecting cricket as well, but I’ve ruled that this could be a pet project of hers if she REALLY wants to go ahead and try and train one. Since it was suggested in the rulebook that crickets could be trained to detect weather, how could one go about reading the weather from a trained cricket? Would it be substituting insectrist for weather watcher versus season? Also, are they more suited to staying at home or could they go on missions with the party?

3b) Also, if anyone has any ideas for simulating reining in and “trapping” and “training” a cricket, that’d be great too. Maybe a Scientist roll for trying to trap it?

Thanks very much for reading!

1a) Yes. Tenderpaw are special. But remember that it’s easier for the skilled to pile on the dice. Unskilled beginners have to halve all of the dice in their hand (aside from traits and persona points). Skilled characters don’t have to do that.

1b) Page 95 instructs you to round up.

  1. Don’t overthink it. Bows and slings are just weapons. Mouse Guard isn’t a good tactical weapons simulator. Conflicts need to be about more than weapons.

3a) Why are you limiting her ability to train insects? Why not allow her to make tests with checks in the players’ turn? Give her obstacles and let her suffer the consequences or rewards. Let her menagerie grow naturally according to her skill. Trust the game, man. It’s going to produce interesting results. And a Cricket counts as tools/gear/supplies for the Weather Watcher skill.

3b) Seems like that’s all part of the insectrist skill. Maybe a scientist or hunter or carpenter could build trap or cage that can be used as tools for the test.

I notice you don’t include assist dies from other guardmice; does that mean that the help one receives from allies is also halved, or am I just suffering morning brain-tiredness?

Understood. Thank you for the info.

Forgive me for not making it clear; the player hasn’t started the game yet, so she hasn’t had an opportunity to actually go out into the field and try out her insectrist skill. Saturday’s going to be her first mission, and so I let her keep the pack beetle she asked for, but decided that it’d be more interesting to have her find crickets during a Player’s Turn.

Good advice. Thank you!

Answers about Beginner’s Luck are on page 95.

I agree that she should hunt for crickets in the PT. It’s a perfect use of her time.