four questions

I’ve just read Mouse Guard and find it really good, but I was left with a few questions.

  1. How limited is the Player’s turn? Let us say that I’m GMing “Deliver the mail” and the bird stole the letter. Would the player need one check to start the “side misson” or one check for finding its nest, then one check for starting a conflict with the bird?

  2. If a trait becomes level 3 can I still get one extra dice when using that trait?

  3. The books says that a mouse can’t become a guard mouse before turning 18, and a mouse can become a tenderpaw at the age of 14. This is all nice and good, but then the book says that if the mouse uses more than two seasons to become a Guard Mouse he would be sent back to his parents. This got me a little confused. Can a mouse become a official guard mouse at the age of 15/16 if he became a tenderpaw at the age of 14?

  4. Can one change one’s goal in the middle of a conflict? Let’s say Team A and B are fighting and they both have the goal to kill the other team. Team A understands that they don’t have a chance against Team B and wants to flee in the middle of the conflict. Will the fleeing part have to be a part of the compromise, or can they change it in the conflict?

1: 1 to find the nest, and 1 for the conflict. Someone else would have to do something in-between, tho’.

2: I’m still fuzzy on that one, but ISTR that, no, you don’t.

3: I’d say he’s in between. He’s got his cloak, but is still carried as a tenderpaw on the books, but is treated as a full guardmouse anyway… and the book implies that the initial training probably takes about 2 or 3 of those of those 4 years anyway, so it’s 2 years in the field, rather than 2 years from joining.

4: kind of… it involves surrendering on the current goal, resolving the compromises, and seeing if one can still bring to bear enough (both narrative wise and mechanically) capability, and it would need to be a different type of conflict. In your example, it’d be part of the compromise, IMO.

  1. That’s up to you. Figure out what the player wants and what the appropriate obstacles are. Tell him in advance.

  2. No.

  3. Mice don’t enter the Guard as tenderpaw. They enter as apprentices to artisans in Lockhaven. Thus, you do two or three years as a an apprentice, then a year or two as a tenderpaw.

  4. No.

On the topic of Tenderpaws, I think the confusion lies in a discrepency between the promotion rules and character creation rules. Character creation, pg 298 shows that the youngest you can make you tenderpaw is 14, and the youngest guardmouse is 18. Promotion rules, pp 162-3, state that after two years as a patrolling tenderpaw, the mouse is either promoted or forcibly retired. So either the youngest guardmouse would be 15, or the youngest playable tenderpaw would be 16, or some compromise in between. The toughest bit to chew is that the creation rules give no overlap for age, suggesting the mouse is either a guardmouse or retired on his or her 18th winter, and will not be promoted at any other time.

Of course the easiest resolution would be that the age ranges given in character creation are more guidelines than restrictions.