Critique My First Written Mission....

Here is my first attempt a making a mission. In an effort to stress some of the differences in game style, I have included no Fight conflicts, concentrating on weather and other mice. I have detailed it more than I might have otherwise to see if I have the right idea on how to run conflicts and extended sequences.

Spring 1153

Mission #1: Found a new hive

During the terrible winter of 1152, many of the mice of Lockhaven would have starved if not for the honey from the apiary. The apiary has been such a success at Lockhaven that other cities have tried to attract their own bees and start their own, usually without much success. With some trepidation it was decided that at the earliest signs of spring, the bee keepers at Lockahaven would isolate a developing queen bee and transport it with a few workers and drones, and with enough luck, a new colony will grow in another city. The choice of town is left to the GM, as destinations where friends, families and enemies are located might make a good place for the hive to be located.

Gwendolyn calls the guard mice into her office and tells them. “ I need you to report to the Apiary and help them with the new Beehive. Once the bees are settled into their combs on the carts you will transport them to (insert name of town here), where they will hopefully start a new hive.

PART 1: At the Apiary.

The apiary is a complex obstacle test, using Circles, Scouting and Apiarist for skills.

Circles is used to find a very good apiarist, instead of just relying on whoever might be in the apiary at the time. Ob 3. A passing roll means an NPC beekeeper with Apiary 3 will be there to help the party - otherwise the NPC will just the Apiary 2 beekeeper on duty.

One mouse will gather the appropriate wood for smoking the bees and lighting the fire (laborer Ob 2). Good wood will mean appropriate smoke and add +1 to the Apiarist roll.

One mouse will then use then use the Apiarist skill to transfer the comb and a few bees (this could be the NPC) Ob is 4. Helping dice could come from Apiary skill and wises and also the appropriate smoke.

Failure could impose the tired condition on all of the characters

Twists: Mice: Perhaps the extra time in getting the bees ready for travel has allowed news of where they are traveling to spread. Perhaps a family member or a friend needs to travel to the town they are heading towards. This twist could be used pass or fail as it sets up some nice conflicts in the next section.

Twist Animal: You’ve really stirred up the bees, and they are getting to the point where stinging you is a great possibility! You need to Either outrun them (Heath OB3 check) or Hide (Will OB 3 check) Nature can be tapped. Failure means a good sting - and the INJURED status.

PART II: Spring Snow.

A late spring snow comes down upon the party, giving the players a choice. Do they hunker down and wait until the weather improves? It could be days. How will the bees react to extended time in their box? Will they die or escape? What about friends and family that may be traveling? are you willing to risk their health? Would you put the welfare of the apiary above that of the their family/friend?

Should the mice press on, use a Weather conflict.

Use pathfinding and health of the leading mouse for disposition. Suggestion: Weather Watchers or other pathfinders should be able to help with a team’s disposition.

Attack: Means characters forge ahead as best as they can on known trails (Pathfinder)
Feint: Means characters attempt to blaze a new trail along a more protected route (Pathfinder)
Defend: Means players build a fire or find some sort of short term shelter (Survivalist)
Maneuver: Players attempt to make snow shoes or to weatherproof themselves (Survivalist)

Losing the conflict. Players could arrive in town late with the sick condition and the health of the bees uncertain. Family members will arrive very sick. Their survival could be in doubt.


Should the mice hunker in place, use an extended conflict of Harvester to gather supplies (Ob 3), Survivalist to make a shelter (Ob 3).

Make a Heath test at OB 3 to avoid becoming Hungry (+1D for successful gathering of Supplies)
Make a Health test at OB 2 to avoid becoming sick (+1 D for Successfully built shelter)

Mice will arrive in town, but the bees have either escaped the box or are all dead.

Possible twists:


Mice in town are less familiar with bees and some have a fear of them. The guard will have to persuade the town mice to allow the apiary. Failure means that some people may attempt to remove the bees. Guarding them may be a mission on the character’s turn.

Sick friends/family need to be cared for. Assist in the OB 4 will roll. Continued illness could either mean their death, or could be the start of a new “Get medicine” mission on the players turn. Choosing to press on should have real consequences - losing a friend or family member should be noted on the character sheet and any benefit derived from them will no longer happen.

Hi Michael,

For your first mission, I think you have a lot of good stuff in place. The important question that immediately jumped out to me, however, was how do any of these twists challenge the characters’ Beliefs or Instincts? Causing trouble for the characters by leveraging their relationships is one way, which you’ve picked up on, but there are others. Will your group be playing this session with characters provided in the book?

When I prepare a basic mission, I pick two of the four hazards (weather, wilderness, animals, and mice) to present during the GM’s turn, while keeping back the remaining two as twists. You said you’d like to use weather and mice as your main conflicts.

This is a weak hazard because the NPC overshadows the characters. If one of your PCs has skill in Apiarist, he or she should be making the test. Otherwise, I’d skip the preparation (or use it for color) and move on to the journey from Lockhaven, which is more interesting. It’s better to see how the players operate when they don’t have a lot of resources on which to fall back.

Bee colonies have to be set up very early in the year if there is to be honey to be harvested by the end of summer, so this seems like a great spring mission. This means that, on their way, the patrol is going to have to deal with poor traveling conditions and inclement weather. I’d run this as either a Journey Conflict against the Spring Weather, or a straight Pathfinder test with an appropriate weather twist in the case of failure. Transporting bees through cold spring weather looks like delicate work and should give you a lot around which to build the conflict.

As for mice, the simplest would be to have the patrol encounter a band of hungry bandits while in route. Perhaps a character’s enemy (or friend!) is their leader. The bandits can try to parlay and, if they feel they have the advantage, escalate to violence. If you need a twist here, introduce an animal that’s been attracted by the smell of honeycomb.

At this point in the session, it would be appropriate to call for the Players’ Turn. If there is unfinished business that needs attention, have the players use their checks to deal with it. You have the right ideas about what might make interesting tests, so don’t go overboard with planning and be ready to work with what comes out in play. What’s most important is keeping the action focused on the characters while challenging their Beliefs, Instincts, and Goals.

I hope that’s helpful. I liked your mission idea and in the future may use it myself.

Good luck,