GM Turn, Player Turn?

Hi all :slight_smile:

What an absolute drop dead gorgeous piece of work MG is.

But I have grave reservations about the implementation of the BW rule system.

Firstly, I’m new to it, I heard there was a bit of crunch and that the whole thing was streamlined for MG. But I’m a bit confused as to whay we need to split the running of the game into GM --> Player --> GM etc turns? Why can’t it just flow as per any other game?

Also, I read on page 75 that a player has to spend a check just to get into a conflict with a fellow player’s mouse? Finally, also on page 75 (I didn’t get past that because of the rulings), it mentions how “twists in the Player’s Turn are tricky”, it then goes on to describe how to resolve this.

My point, it all seems a bit rules crunchy and pointless.

Help me save MG from gathering dust, because that would be a shame. I love the book, I love the setting, I just think the rules are a but too overly involved.

There has been previous discussion on this topic and people have offered good advice in response to similar reservations.

If that doesn’t help, let us know and we’ll try to address your specific concerns.

There have been previous discussions on this topic and people have offered good advice in response to similar reservations.

If those don’t help, let us know and we’ll try to address your specific concerns.

Not to sound like a tool, but that’s kind of the point. It’s not any other game, it’s MG. The rules promote a certain style of play. (All RPGs do this actually, it’s just more blunt in MG.) I haven’t played enough MG to actually describe that style of play, though.


Thank you all for the replies. It seems like an ordering of events in order to facilitate the rules.

Has anyone got a link to actual gameplay, I mean with this in particular?

Oh quickly whilst I remember, why does a player have to spend a check to have a conflict with another player’s character? Why doesn’t he just…have the conflict?

I dont have the MG book yet (mine is on order) but I imagine it would force players to look at what really matters to them (Beliefs, Goals and Instincts) in the Player’s Turn and act accordingly. If that conflict between player mice is really that important they will spend the check, if however removing conditions is more important the conflict with the other player can wait. Think of it as a pacing mechanic, time is of the essence!

I’ve started to use the framework for MG as my basis for how I do other games. Basically, spend time beating up on the characters and then sit back an let them run things for a while.

It’s just a frame. It’s adjustable. But it certainly gets me being a more pro-active GM (I’m pretty lazy and would like players to run the whole show, if I could).

May work.

I reminded of a scene, Lord of the Rings, wherein everything goes insane at Helm’s Deep (or Moria) then there’s a lull wherein characters just sit around recuperating.

Just about every actual play write-up for MG that I’ve seen details actions undertaken in the Players’ Turn. Check that forum (“Playing Burning Wheel…”), any MG thread, and you will see what I mean.

I really wouldn’t let this idea hamper you. It isn’t as… rigid in terms of being a hindrance as I think you fear.

The grandexperiment blog has some really nice MG examples.

Here is the first post in a series.

Maybe we should sticky this thread, because this question keeps coming up.

I think I might draft up some Actual Play write-ups specifically to address this concern, actually. I’ve ran 3 sessions of Mouse Guard in the last fortnight as a short break for our regular gaming group, and kept notes intending to turn out an AP post. Perhaps I should write them with an eye toward showing folks how the GM/Player Turn structure plays out. Anyone think that’d be helpful?


Edit: Don’t get me wrong; Skywalker’s Grandexperiment LJ is a great example. I was talking about something written up as less “plain Actual Play account” and more “this is how the GM/Player’s Turn works for the game and not against it”.

Any type of AP is helpful, in my opinion. One structured specifically to call attention to the structure of GM/Player Turn would be great!

Heya Warden,
Momentarily off-topic, what other games do you play?


Well, I’ve got two of the three sessions written up so far. Tell me what you think!