First time playing Mouseguard

So I’m just learning the BW system, on my blog reader I just saw someone had played Mouseguard for the first time. I thought I’d bring it up here in case anyone wanted to chime in on their experience vs. his impression, specifically he states, “The slowness of the games was pretty frustrating, and I don’t think it was all the DM’s fault.”.

well as the GM in question, I’m not sure what to say. Another of the players tweeted “Getting a cart unstuck from the mud has never been this much fun!” So, I must have done something right. I thought the cart situation worked well as a complex hazard, with one of the mice using insectrist to handle a twenty-beetle team while another was shoring up the wheels with Carpenter and another was using his Persuasion to get a bunch of merchants and laborers in line.

I also thought the argument conflict was fun and my sense at the time was that everyone was having fun at the table and that the pacing, while a tad slower than it would have been if everyone had familiarity with the rules was still not bad.

I do need to speed something up a bit, as I wasn’t able to get to the players turn in the four hours. I will take the blame there. I didn’t have that difficulty the last time I ran the mission, but I had players who knew the game. I spent some time in the beginning with just an overview of the character sheet. I’m not sure I could have done that any faster. Possibly.

Overall, I thought the session went well and had lots of positive feedback other than this one post. It definitely wasn’t perfect. I should have done more with the NPC that they did find when they missed their Circles rolls, and I still find that I have to look up a rule now and then during play. However, I don’t think I am going to change either the Cart obstacle or the Argument conflict in the future.

I ran a Burning Wheel session the next day that I’m much less happy about, but I was pleased with the Mouse Guard game.

Hi, I’m Bob, the guy who wrote the somewhat critical blog post you referred to. I was surprised to find this forum post through a link bounce back. I just wanted to drop a quick note to re-emphasize that my criticism for the slow pace of the Mouse Guard session was due to the fact that I have a personal preference for fast-moving, rules-light RPGs. I think my expectations going into the game were different than those of the other players. I hereby testify that James R. was obviously a skilled and experienced GM and the players did enjoy themselves (including myself).

I thought a bit more about the game session and posted a follow-up commentary on the glacial pace of Mouse Guard / Burning Wheel rule system AT THIS LINK. This post, of course, is just my personal perspective, but it may be interesting to you if you haven’t played Mouse Guard before.

Hi Bob. I’m glad you found the post and actually appreciated the feedback on your blog, even if I came off slightly miffed above. Your response squares with how I felt about the game, which was that everyone had a good time and my pacing was off a bit at the start due to lack of sleep. I should have left off explaining some of the rules stuff until they were relevant in play. So, my morning fog led to no player’s turn, which is a pretty big thing to not have.

Mouse Guard isn’t rules light, but it moves pretty quickly for all that. However, the challenges like free a cart or traversing a storm in flood are often what the game is about. That’s the part of your blog post I was reacting to, because the obstacles seemed to be lots of fun, it was the other stuff that slowed things down and caused any pacing issues. And that’s me, not the rules.