Director-Stance Goals?

Question about the authority of players to dictate things about the Mission through clever writing of a mouse’s Goal.

GM thinks up a Mission. Say, “Y’all need to find a big ol’ sack of grain, and then somehow transport it to Lockhaven cross-country.”

Player writes a goal: “Capture the Weasels who stole this grain.” Prior to the player’s assumption/soliciting that the weasels are responsible, the GM had no weasel connection in mind. Question is, can the player throw the weasels into the scenario like that?

Certain kinds of role-playing games permit this sort of thing. Clinton Nixon’s Donjon has a mechanic where a player can say, “My dude searches for secret doors,” and if he’s successful there must be a secret door even if the Donjon Master didn’t about it prior to the roll. Ron Edwards’ Trollbabe has something similar.

As I understand it, players do not explicitly have this level of authority in Mouse Guard. On the other hand, the GM is supposed to be responsive to the players’ Beliefs, Instincts, Traits and Goals; these are “flags” or whatever the terms are for the player to indicate where he or she would like to take the mission.

One way to look at this is that even if the player cannot force the weasels into being responsible, a well-mannered GM should at the very least take it into consideration and likely throw it in there.

Or… not? If a player creates a “delusional” goal, is he just asking for suckage?

I give a strong: Nope. However, that shouldn’t stop the player from being creative. Example Goal: “Discover why the grain needs to be found in the first place. . .” That leaves it open-ended. Weasels? Maybe. Mice from another area facing bad foraging conditions? Possibly. Lazy delivery person? Could be. And so forth.

That said, the player could write his Belief as weasel-y: “Weasels can never be trusted. [I’m sure they have the grain!]” The second part is quite a specific Belief and may be dismissed as such, but the whole thing (first part or both together) also plays well with others, so to speak. By having that Belief, the player is saying “Mess with me; rock my perceptions.” Weasels, not weasels… you’ve got a lot of room to manoeuvre, with or without the second part of that Belief.

No. No. No. If your players are making up mission-critical details, you’re not giving them enough information in the intial set up. Give them enough data so that they can write adequate goals.

What’s “director stance?”

Director stance is when someone has the ability to write things into the game setting. You say it, it’s there.

I prefer the term authorial stance, but the two have slightly different connotations.

Using wises to declare that some fact exists in game rather than being fed information from the GM is a director stance. (BE 309.)

Circling up NPCs is director stance.

Defining a problem to be solved with a belief is a director stance.

MG has less director stance than BE by far. MG wises only grant information; MG beliefs have a limited directorial stance, whereas in BE and BWR, they are moderately so.

in MG page 33 says about wises:

You can test to bring in a new fact about something in the game…

I always assumed that the player who rolls the wise creates the fact, not the GM. Is this not so?

Either can, depending upon how the player phrases the question.

“I think it true that Captain Errol is trying to kill us. Rolling Guard Wise to find out.” On a success, yes, Errol is trying to kill you. On a fail, he still might, but soem other issue rears up rather than being assured of it as fact.

“Who at HQ is trying to kill us? I want to roll Guard Wise to find out.” GM gets to pick on a success, possibly answering “No one”…

Maybe these terms can help,

Content and other authorities

Content authority - over what we’re calling back-story, e.g. whether Sam is a KGB mole, or which NPC is boinking whom

Plot authority - over crux-points in the knowledge base at the table - now is the time for a revelation! - typically, revealing content, although notice it can apply to player-characters’ material as well as GM material - and look out, because within this authority lies the remarkable pitfall of wanting (for instances) revelations and reactions to apply precisely to players as they do to characters

Situational authority - over who’s there, what’s going on - scene framing would be the most relevant and obvious technique-example, or phrases like “That’s when I show up!” from a player

Narrational authority - how it happens, what happens - I’m suggesting here that this is best understood as a feature of resolution (including the entirety of IIEE), and not to mistake it for describing what the castle looks like, for instance; I also suggest it’s far more shared in application than most role-players realize

From my reading the GM always has Content Authority.
The Wise-tests are Plot Authority.
The GM or Player turns strongly influence Situation Authority.

Goals are written after Mission and they should not include any Content Authority. (They are not like Kickers).
Beliefs are so internal to the character they are true independent of the World Content-- however, for the mental Content of the character, I suppose players do have that limited amount of Content Authority, much like, what color of fur and cloak and other character generation facts – enemies, family etc…

Okay, I was still under the understanding that would only be the case (during the GM turn) if Captain Errol was trying to kill you in the first place, or if it didn’t really matter to the GM either way. Basically that wises can’t be used to contradict planned plot points or violate the setting…

If if violates the extant but unrevealed plots, it just gets very hard to do…
It can’t contradict established facts, without implying some form of change.

The plot is NOT inviolate.

I think I’d be cool with it.

GM: “I didn’t mention Weasels, but that’s not a bad idea.”

That said, discovering the grain could lead to the next mission - an investigation as to wether it was stolen and if so, who stole it? Then it could be weasels.

Ahhh weasels. Everything is better with weasels! :slight_smile: