Getting knowledge from wises

Hey guys, just starting to learn the rules of Mouse Guard and the flow of play. I’ve got a question about using wises to get info as it relates to general knowledge in the world of Mouse Guard.

  1. For example, say the players are tasked to journey to Ivydale and one of them happens to be Ivydale-wise. Do you think they could roll to test Ivydale-wise to hear the description of the town from the book? Or would it be a better use to make them do a Circles test and add their Ivydale-wise to find someone to tell them specific useful knowledge about the town?

  2. Another practical example - Say the players encounter a conflict with a snake and one of them is snake-wise. It seems plausible that knowing the book’s description about snakes would help them decide on their actions for the conflict. (If they’re aggresive to mice, choose to defend a lot.) Should I let them test snake-wise before disposition is rolled or should I just let them add their snake-wise to the disposition roll?

My gut says that the actual descriptions from the book and the bonuses of the wise are separate. So I could read them the snake description upon encountering one but they’d get no roll bonuses. They would need to test an actual skill and could add their wises to get info that relates to the specific situation. Basically, the PLAYERS could freely be told that snakes hunt squirrels, mice, and insects, but it wouldn’t help the CHARACTERS in the conflict unless they were wise.

What do you guys think?

EDIT: see the bottom for my actual answer… I’m in a weird mood and this subject is touchy for me.

As anyone of proper lineage and breeding knows the only proper way to make use of a Wise is to declare what you already know about the subject at hand. Only a commoner or a Frenchman would try to obtain information from another in this regard. As a nobleman and of superior education I can only elucidate that one must already know the subject in order to possess that skill and therefore that person can naught but tell of his understanding of the topic at hand.

For whit as a Baron and personage of great adventure I can tell you many tales of Ivydale and none of them come from this book you speak about. To illustrate my point I can tell you that a great dragon lives below the monastery who talks in riddles, but to my amazement however the immense serpent apparently knows nothing of the Welsh! Or that on the nonce the mayor of Ivydale is actually a droll Mooninite, however that tale is far too complicated I fear and I might just bore the dull and uncouth Americans. Though the tale of the baker is indeed the grandest of that fecund town for in fact that purveyor of bread is a vile scheming henchman of Midnight!

It was in Ivy dale (I declare) that the ruinous powers of chaos assembled and departed for lands unknown and in their wake they left behind the most curious of items: a hat. Nonetheless this item, located at the intersection of two streets I forget the name of, and buried under a most unique rock with a carving of a monstrous furred creature I now know to be a bear, will in fact give the bearer of said headdress a resistance to injury most foul!

To actually answer your question:

  1. Yes you could just give them the description of the town. But the question I’d ask is “why?” do they want to know the information or is there any specific information they are seeking.

  2. Either really. I’d certainly give a +1D to Disposition, but I could also see a player asking for information on snakes (see #1s “why?” comment) if there was something they specifically wanted to know.

I think you’re right Irm; I got kinda caught up in the semantics, but basically, if it moves the mission forward, they need to work for it, whether it’s information or an item or a captive. I think general knowledge type info just adds to the setting and helps fill out the world. I wouldn’t want to hold that kinda thing back.

Yeah, that’s what I’d do anyway. :slight_smile:

I do want to mention that it is totally legit for a player to ask for information! (In spite of what the good Baron had to say above about soliciting knowledge from a Wise). My personal preference is just to narrow down what the player actually wants to know. But maybe they just want to know general information and I think that is fine too.