Finally ran a game... a summary and some questions...

I finally ran a game of Mouse Guard, after owning the book for a couple of years.

I had three players and we went through “Delivering the Mail”. Initially I was going to do a Halloween themed scenario but decided to run that later when I’ve gotten the rules down.

There were three players and they chose Dain, Baron, and Robin. We changed Robin’s goals to map to Dain instead of Quentin since he wasn’t present.

I followed the suggestions in the scenario. The first obstacle was the simple pathfinding test. It took very little time. Dain made the roll, and with a die from each of the other two and some exploding dice he passed.

After that they forged on, finished delivering the mail and got into the argument with Martin. My wife was playing Robin and really wanted to impress Dain, and was ‘Fearless’ so was ready to go to Walnutpeck to retrieve the chair. Dain and Baron were more interested in completing the goal and keeping the patrol safe.

It’s interesting to note at this point that I stepped in to explain to the group that Martin was not a MacGuffin, I wasn’t trying to get them to go to Walnutpeck.

I kinda winged the stats for Martin and I believe I did it wrong. Since he didn’t have a Persuader skill I used his Nature… .which probably should have gone down every time. I need to recheck the rules on that.

When we went to set up participants Robin was undecided, but rather than sit out she decided to be on the patrol’s side… but maybe her heart wasn’t quite into it. Occasionally she said things that helped Martin more than hurt him. In the end the party lost the argument, but with a concession… My three players discussed for nearly 30 minutes what the concession should be and what they should do next. Needless to say that was awesome. It’s exactly what I want to see out of an RPG.

The decided to tell Martin that they would go get the chair, but he had to go with Robin to Sprucetuck. The idea being that she was going to start taking the mail they had picked up back to Lockhaven, and that two mice traveling were safer than one. They probably also didn’t want Martin following them.

Since the party lost I imposed a condition on all of them: Angry. Each for different reasons. I then ended the GM turn.

During the player’s turn the main thing that happened was Dain and Baron went to retrieve the chair. They succeeded using the two tests provided. We then handed out rewards and ended things.

I definitely think we got some things wrong and I’m re-reading the rules now to figure things out, but a few questions.

How should Martin’s side of the argument been handled as far as what dice to roll etc?

Was applying a condition to every participant in the argument appropriate for the group losing? Is that the way to handle conflicts in general?

If a group is fighting a snake, and they lose… .they all die if their disposition goes to 0?

In general I’m a little shaky on the flow of the game. I believe switching to the player’s turn when I did worked but I could also see making the retrieval of the chair an entire session. The initial pathfinder test took almost no time and wasn’t very interesting. If I’m choosing two obstacles a game a simple test that doesn’t result in a twist doesn’t seem to add much and seems like it’ll make the session really short.

Do people tend to put only the two obstacles in a session and just live with the ones that are done in an hour (for the GM turn)? It seems like the game is balanced for those two obstacles, the only alternative I can think of is to go on to another GMs turn if the patrol finishes the first one (and it’s accompanying Player’s Turn) quickly.

Overall it was a very positive experience. Everyone was happy and we’re going to play again in a couple of weeks. I feel like this has opened up the potential to play Burning Wheel as well, possibly even Burning Empires.

i would follow the suggestion to apply the harshest condition to the mouse which initiaed the conflict, or the senior mouse, unless something happened in the course on the conflict in role-play descriptions that speaks to a different mouse getting the brunt of hte impact. If the group fights a snake, I would not probably kill the entire team over their dsipo dropping to 0. I would again look to role-play descriptions, possibly use a die to dictate fate, for the impact of a compromise. Also, since you probably would have told the group that the snake has killing in the goal, one or another of them might be actively trying to sacrifice themself to save the others.

the conflicts might seem to go fast, and twists might not take up much more time, but I found that over a few sessions the role-play increased and began to tick up the clock on the length of time that a session took. I’d say, give it some time and watch as the sessions take more time to fill.

How should Martin’s lack of skill be handled?

Does he tap nature, receiving one less die each round? Or is it usual to use the beginner’s luck rules since the argument isn’t in his Nature?

Congrats on running your first game. I believe Martin would use Nature, but since he is acting against his nature it would be depleted by any margin of failure on his rolls (which is called taxing nature). He isn’t Tapping nature. Tapping nature is a big deal and requires a persona point.

If the snake wins you do not kill everyone on the team unless the snake’s intention was “kill everyone,” which rarely makes any sense. If the snake wins it achieves it’s goal.

Martin can also rely on Beginner’s Luck instead of tapping his Nature (which would become rapidly taxed). Martin’s not supposed to be that persuasive. I’d use the Carpenter on P 196 or something similar.

Honestly, it looks like you did a great job running the scenario. I hope you get a chance to play again!


Thanks for the input all. We’re definitely planning on playing again. I’ve postponed trying out a FATE game based on feedback from the group, they want another go with MG.

I’m looking forward to playing this at a con to see how others handle the system as well.

Very cool. Let us know how it goes. I just noticed this:

Your player came out of the gate spending Fate? Awesome. That is jumping in with both feet!

I can’t remember if I prompted them or not. I don’t think I did, however I did give everyone 14g poker chips to represent Fate and Persona points so it was easier to remember :wink:

I earned a check on my first test ever at 10-10-10. :stuck_out_tongue:

Then I earned 2 checks for breaking a tie in my first test in a pbp.