This morning I thought of a simple play-aid for conflicts. One of the things that irked my neatnik soul in BE was how we’d keep marking up these conflict sheets, but I was too lazy to laminate some of them and get grease pencils.
But with Mouse Guard there’s an elegant solution:
Get a couple decks of cards.
Give each player and the GM a hand of 12 cards, 3 cards from each of the 4 suits.
Spades = Attack Clubs = Feint Diamonds = Defense Hearts = Maneuver
Now when you’re plotting out your moves in the conflict, just lay a card of the appropriate suit face-down in a line. When you resolve the turn, just turn over the cards one at a time, left to right and there you go.
This, of course, lead to a desire to have a full-blown custom deck of cards for Mouse Guard:
72 cards divided into six “suits” (for up to 5 players and a GM). Big, tarot-sized cards with lavish illustrations of a mouse guard in action.
Within each suit of 12 you can further subdivide by:
6 “pairs” of cards linked by color of cloak
4 “triples” of cards linked by season
3 “quads” of cards linked by fur color
2 “sixes” of cards linked by the scene being indoors/outdoors (or maybe fighting/not fighting)
Each card is also numbered and has icons along the margins for the color-blind.
And the 12-card suit for the GM uses weasels not mice.
So the reason for all that excess subdivision stuff is so that the deck of cards can be used for more than just conflict resolution. You can use it as an alternative resolution system, a random event generator or just make up your own games to play with it.
But that’s just my pie-in-the-sky idea. The real nugget here is to make it easier to organize you conflicts with playing cards.