Enjoyed Trouble in Grasslake--Feedback Please

I ran a small group through Trouble in Grasslake recently. The party included one player that had run through a slight alteration on Find the Grain Peddler. He brought the same character and was starting to really get into the game. Others were completely new; two chose to use Nathaniel and Sloan from the sample characters. Sloan chose another player as his mentor.

I was really pleased witht he session; it seemed everyone enjoyed it. But, I need some feedback.

  1. while running them through a conflict with the snapping turtle, a chose a feint while the patrol chose an attack. I ran the feint as an independent test and the attack as an independent test. Later the turtle had a feint while the patrol had a defend, so they couldn’t test the defend at all. Was the independent test for feint and attack correct?

  2. Miss Flower became interested in one of the injured mice and took him aside to talk about a relationship. I didn’t want to drag out a full conflict, so i used persuader agaisnt will. That turned out successful and it engaged the player to think about hwo that should influence choices. During the player’s turn he had only one check and used that to recover from conditions. Another player used a check to take aside that mouse and talk him down from his budding interest in Flower. But, no one took Flower aside to talk her down from the budding interest. I’m planning to use that for a future complication during the winter session. (no one tried to speak with Lester either; i’m not sure what I’ll do with that just yet)

  3. after the conflict with the turtle, as well as further checks and obstacles, the entire patrol was hungry, tired, and angry or injured. Harold, Honeywind, and Flower provided food and shelter, but that felt as though it removed any difficulty to those conditions. I required a check to take advantage of food or shelter to recover from the condition in order to create some tension between recovery or trying to further goals or other motivations.

  4. in the end, they didn’t succeed in removing the turtle, but we were running short on time before wrapping up. I was planning to describe the final destruction at the beginning of the next session. I was thinking that I could use the chance to explain how their lack of checks, and how they used checks for recovery, left the loose ends. We are all learning, so I know they don’t completely understand how to best earn checks and really accomplish goals during the player’s turn.

Well, I’d love some feedback as we learn. I didn’t want to create a full log of our session, but these nuggets stick out still for me.

  1. it looks to me that a Feint against an Attack may not test against the attack similar to how a Defend against a Feint cannot test. Am I understanding this correctly? That’s part of what makes it such a gambit?

yeah. Feint has different effects for different matches. it’s special.

so, when the patrol had an Attack action and the turtle had a Feint action, the turtle should not have been allowed to roll for the feint and the players would then have an independent Ob 0 for the attack?

attack vs. feint, attack is independent ob0, feint doesn’t test. feint against defense is feint-er independent ob 0, defender doesn’t test.

Did i say the wrong thing earlier? imagine feint as like a riposte in a sword fight, if you don’t know what that is, it’s like a kinda swerving thrust… Kinda funky… If it is played against the right thing it is hugely successful, if played against the wrong thing it fails.

actually the idea of one combatant getting suckerpunched while trying to fake out the enemy makes lots of sense. I was confused that the rule explicitly states that Defender cannot test, but simply says that Feint against Attack neither attacks nor defends. So, I was watching for the rule to explicitly state that Feinter cannot test against attack.

Anyway, that’s covered. Feedback on other items?

It sounds like you’re doing fine. You’ve got plenty of story-fuel for the next session. Just keep in mind to apply any conditions to the appropriate rolls and let the players know when they can earn checks during play. They will eventually start playing to earn checks. Don’t go easy on them!

Just played this adventure… the turtle kept kicking butt! 8 Nature + 1D for attack seemed to be 9d versus the pregens which each ran with maybe ~4d except when they blew their persona. Because nobody had too great a health + fighter, they ended up with a lower disposition. I ran it a few times, used persona points and traits where I could, but other than using persona to add nature it seemed like the 9D for the turtle and an attack would really just take them out. Even defending, they would lose disposition a little bit more slowly but the best we ended up with after running it 3 times was a mutual death.

Am I missing something? Can they help each other on each other’s rolls or some issue that might be showing such a low die count? Or maybe am I running too tough an adventure to start off some newbies (though I’ve GM’d it before).

Thanks in advance.

Yes, they are all encouraged to be helping when it’s not their turn to roll. So, that can add multiple dice to each turn. You are factoring in their weapons, right?

Turtles are tough. Tapping nature is probably a good thing.

So to get this straight…if I have Thom, Kyle, and Nathaniel pregens in grasslake and they’re all three involved in combat with the turtle. Both decide to attack the first round, Thom is the actor for the mouse side:

Thom gets 4D (from fighter) + 2D (from kyle and nathaniel helping?) so 6D.
He could use a trait depending on the story implications, and of cousre his points or tapping nature. His sword has +1D to apply if he chooses to make it attack…

The Turtle would get: 8D (Turtle Nature) + 1D to attack (surprisingly long neck). Does it ALSO get +1s because of bony jaws for really 9D+1s?

Also, how much info do you think should be given about the turtle’s nature numbers? I think on the GM side I didn’t exactly explain how deadly it might be effectively causing them to use another tactic.

Thom, Kyle and Nat should be one team. On the first action, they chose to attack. Thom tests his ability, Kyle and Nat help. Thom can use traits and rewards.

+1s is only applied after the roll, not before.

MG is a transparent game. No numbers are hidden.

you can explain it as being deadly or not by openly declaring the goal of the turtle in the conflict. In my case, I explained the turtle had a goal of drving away the mice and possibly eating one. I also told them that the turtle is a dangerous opponent, but not deadly unless it can snap its jaws around a mouse to eat it. The claws of the feet would cause serious injury, but the mice would probably live through it.

I didn’t want the encounter with the turtle to be particularly deadly. I did ensure they knew it was a possibility, but it was far from my key intent.

Later with the same patrol, they were engaged in a chase conflict with a fox. The fox did not have a goal of eating the mice. However, I explained to the group of players that if a mouse actively used a weapon to make an attack against the fox, it would respond in defense with deadly intent. My intent was to give them a method of besting the fox through a chase, not a fight. No one in the group described any of their actions as using a weapon to goad the fox in the right direction, scare it away from an incorrect direction, or use a weapon in any way really. They avoided stirring up the fox into a deadly defensinve stance and successfully chased it.

You should be transparent in describing the potential result from the conflict: turtle–may cause injury; fox–avoid weapons, else may cause death. Though I gave the group plenty of free reaign about their tactics, I made sure they were aware once chosen, what those tactics could lead to. I don’t feel they need to know each possible result from each possible course of action.

it’s true that facing off against some creatures will be incredibly difficult. Mice don’t generally rise in the food chain. solving problems that stem from animal obstacles may require the group to seek out innovative methods.

I think the missing help is what really hurt us… oh, and I realize my initial post seemed more distressed than I meant it. We had fun and it worked out, I just knew I was missing some part of the math: the turtle won right away in the first round the first time. I had the brewery get destroyed as a result, but the mice got away. They decided to burn up all their points to go after it and did so again, it went two rounds but in the final roll of the third action the turtle won. It was Thom’s action that time around and it was closer. We sort of agreed that something epic should happen and since these pregens will be retired for a full set of new characters, we had the turtle eat Thom but his eaten sword proved deadly for the turtle in the end.

The brewery was rebuilt by the other two and the townsfolk and a bar was crafted attached named Thom’s Tavern… likely will play into the origins of their rolled characters.

Thanks for the clarification!

that’s a very exciting resolution

My party and I played “trouble in grass lake” last weekend and we enjoyed it immensely. The party has their own characters and so I had to modify the mission. I brought forth an enemy my characters made two games ago. The players wanted to drive the turtle out. There’s 4 mice in the party. So they split into 2 teams and kicked the turtle’s butt out of town. Lots of fun!