Fleshing out the Towns

Obviously, one of the central components of the Mouse Guard RPG system is the emphasis on story-telling and personal stories. Characters and relationships, arguably, play more of a role than the combat.

For this reason, I was wondering if there have been any efforts made, yet, to create characters to fill out permanent NPC roles, VIPs of towns and such (mayors, governers, council-members, etc…). While a game-master should feel free to create any characters he or she wishes, it helps to lend a solid foundation to adventures if people can rely on certain world-important characters.

Currently, I was thinking of coming up with characters for the council of elders at Copperwood for an adventure. If anyone is interested in creating this council (even the number of mice in the council is still up in the air) or has a link to a forum that already has created council-members, please let me know, thanks!

Personally, i’d be happy with the politician and town administrator stat blocks in creatures of the territories section + the names list at the back of the book (actually, an expanded names list would be great).

I drive existence of any particular characters based firstly on an relationships on the characters sheets, the characters beliefs and goals or a Circles roll. Each of these has a mechanism for informing me about the motivations and personality of the NPC: relationships are clear from what the relationship is, a character created to challenge a belief or goal will have motivations that will cause him or her to act in way that gives the player room to play out the BIG in question, and lastly the circles roll will (be definition) tell you how the NPC will react. In my opinion, characters who exist outside of these 3 areas are probably unnecessary.

For the Circles characters you should totally check out this thread for ideas

Fox, what role will these elders serve in the mission? Do any of your characters hail from Copperwood? Have they been taken already as relationships by the characters?

Actually, as player-characters are going to change depending on who’s the GM, I was thinking more like connecting them to each other. Most importantly, as most missions will tend to come from Gwendolyn (or if you choose to change leaders, whoever else is in charge of Lockhaven).

I was thinking that there could be additional back-stories for people in the governments of the various city-states and Gwendolyn to aid in general attitudes various towns might have towards Lockhaven in-general, and also as a jumping-off-point for adventures. Anywho, just a thought.

Not to be a wet blanket, but I’ve found it more fruitful to build prominent characters out of the players’ relationships and BIGs. It’s satisfying for the players and requires less preparation on the part of the GM, but also involves the skill of sometimes having to think on one’s feet. But the last part is pretty essential to RPG play anyway, right?

If it’s not appropriate to use a character a player has named on his or her sheet, then it’s best to create one that challenges a Belief or Goal, or hits on an Instinct or Trait. Sometimes one will have ideas for these situations when planning a mission and sometimes they will have to be created in response to the needs of the session that emerge through play.

I have done this where I have created prominent characters to flesh out the various locations that David Petersen has yet to flesh out himself. These types of characters really help to bring life to the various locations as needed. I have gone about it the same way as Wanderer as well.