Death of Player-Characters in Mouse Guard?

So I’ve freshly re-read the chapters & rules on killing within the Mouse guard game, but feel that there were some (potentially important) peripheral circumstances that were really accounted for(?)
I find it really hard to actually off players/have yet to. :S

For example
A character can only be lost in two ways; Death and Retirement (page 78-79 of the M.Guard Role Playing Handbook)
and from within Resolution chapter adding ‘Death can only be permitted from a conflict goal in which the opposing side has set (and stated) this as their conflict goal.’ (including all the jazz about compromises etc, within that chapter.)

But this feels a bit stilted in making it actually rather hard to kill characters (…not saying that I am wanting to fling out death with wanton abandon, mind you!) but what of instances where players fall off cliffs or have racked up all the conditions and can not be given any more?

My interpretation of how to go about ‘a mouses health decline due to conditions’ would be to follow the guides of failed recovery and take a health-point off whilst alleviating the -1D penalty from each test there-after(Resolution chapter 128/129) until/if they reach zero in which they would ‘die from the exacerbated wounds/condition’.

At this point, I would probably tackled the issue during the next conflict initiated (within which the ailing mouse will be heavily disadvantaged) and play that out with according results. Even still, the opposing team has to reduce but 1 point of disposition to potentially ‘not die’, making it actually rather difficult for them to kick the bucket. :S

All that being said, I like my players!
And am not on a mission to ‘eat all mice, raaaargh’… fully understand that killing off/performing any action with NPCs can add gravity to any situation, but thought I’d see what everyone else’s extrapolations on the matter was (Or if I am completely missing some key info!)

One of the reasons I like the fact that the only way to kill a character during a mission is in a conflict is that it means that even if a player character die - they die towards the end of the mission. (Since the book encourages you to have the conflict as part of the climax of the GMs turn. (But of course, I’ve yet to kill a player. I intend to ramp up the danger in my next few missions though so we shall see. ^^)

oh yeah, good that it is difficult (so your whole team of players aren’t dropping like flies!) don’t get me wrong, but perhaps we just aren’t being hard enough yet wither? :S

For example; Your Patrol team comes across a DANGEROUS ANIMAL X, and a fight-conflict is initiated
-Patrols goal is ‘to defend themselves and escape unhurt’
-Hungry Animal X’s goal is ‘So hungry! eat all mice!’

In the even of the Patrol winning, but having their disposition reduced by half (or more) -should- probably result in one of the team getting the chop (as that is still a compromise from it initial goal?) *Though I can see players not liking this as ‘they won’.
-Same, if not more-so, with the Animal X winning, but still having dispo reduced.

And Heather says:
Briiiiing it! <3

What about creating a Twist where said declining mouse gets horribly sick, and you have a Conflict against his illness?

OOoooOOOoooo~! I had not thought about doing that, great idea! :smiley: runs off to dip some poor player in radio-active toad-slime

The problem with your example is that the players’ goal always has to be stronger than “Don’t lose.” Even if the animal is too big to kill in a Fight, something like “Drive it away from the area of the town” is a much better goal. Then if the players win but with a compromise it’s much easier to know what to do—it’s not to kill one of the team, but either to inflict Conditions on them or come up with a genuine story compromise. “You drive it off, but it moves into Weasel territory and riles them up.”


I agree with Deliverator.

That being said, I’ve killed off one character during a play-by-google-doc game. A player dropped out at a crucial time so I took the liberty of having the other players find their Patrol Leader murdered in the woods. It actually turned out to be an excellent story hook and it left the other three patrol mice struggling with how to proceed in the absence of their leader.