Help me improve my Con-Scenario

Help me deer fellow Mouse Guard and Burning Wheel fans

After a season of strong storms in early spring the town of Port Summac got destroyed nearly completely. A lot of the seamice have decided to go forth and build a new settlement. They asked the guard for help and a Patrol of 2-4 mice was send to help the caravan find a new nice living place.

The patrol consists of:

Stuart, a new tenderpaw.
B: Behind my shield and in the patrol i am save from harm
I: Anwser every question with a question
G: I will prove to the other mice than i am a valuable addition to the guard

Josephine, the mentor of Stuart and Elan before him, the Leader
B: Conflicts are best solved with a direct charge
I: Draw your axe at the littlelest sight of trouble
G: I will test my new patrolmates to see what they are capable off

Cassandra, a Guardmouse from Port Sumac (Grahame, an ex-pirate is her enemy and the leader of the settlers)
B: The greatest threat to us are other mice
I: Allways care for your patrol first
G: I will protect the settlers and their belongings

Elan, a former Tenderpaw of Josephine, now a Patrolguard and has opened every skill
B: A day you don’t try something new is wasted
I: Don’t trust a rich mouse
G: Grahame seems weird, i will sabotage his standing with the settlers so that a new leader will be chosen.

I played the mission before with my girlfriend as a solo-mission and it went rather well i think. But it doesn’t really follow the 2 obstacle rule and the GMs turn ends when they found the new settlement. Also i need a better animal twist. The original mission went like this:

Pathfind from Lockhaven to Port Summac, failure means they will be tired
Roleplaying situation with the settlers,
Than a Coast-Wise test to find a new place to live (failure?)

They get into a swampland and the patrol has to make a scout test against a Bullfrog to spot him before it is to late. If they make it they can make a health test to get away as fast as they can or an easyier Orator test to get the people all together to move faster. If they don’t then the Frog attacks and eats two carryier-bettles and we have a fight-conflict (also if they fail the scout)
After that they travel to the new living place and we end the GMs turn.

I think it is an okay mission but it doesn’t burn. What is a really good enemy the patrol can fight and struggle against? The bullfrog was for a 1 mouse patrol (and we just rolled versus). I want to get more conditions in there and more danger in general. Also i would like to have a crafting conflict (see my threat in the Sparks forum) and a situation that needs a really high test that they most-probarly won’t make.

There’s some gold buried in those BITs. Put the question to Josephine, is she going to charge or is this a good time to test someone? Is Stuart going to hide behind his shield or prove himself. Use frogs to threaten both the patrol and the settlers and see which way Cassandra jumps.

What about this roleplay situation with the settlers? Is something at issue there? Do the sellers want something that they are willing to go to the mat for? Is it problematic to at least one mouse? Have them ask Stuart a lot of questions and react to his evasions.

Also look at their friends and enemies and other relationships and see if you can work them in.

Also, don’t put in a high test that they probably won’t make. Put in a high test that they probably won’t make unless they risk their Nature (and remind them they can do that).

First, one question: Is this scenario supposed to be friendly to newcomers who haven’t played Mouse Guard before, or is it intended more for people who have some experience? Because if its the former, I would first decide what aspects of the game I wanted the newcomers to experience, and make sure it includes them (and I might leave out Conflicts altogether). On the other hand, if it is primarily intended for people familiar with the rules, you can go nuts and do whatever.

Characters: As noclue said, there is some really good stuff in these characters. I especially like Josephine, the overbearing and aggressive leader, and Cassandra, who is trying to accomplish a Goal that (potentially) conflicts with her Belief and Instinct. However, I personally dislike Stuart’s Belief - I think it is a bit too wordy and abstract. Of course, it could really work for some players, and I’d let one of my players use it if they chose it themselves, but I’d consider coming up with something a bit more straightforward if I was going to assign it to someone - Maybe something on the lines of how the Guard is supposed to help weaker mice, potentially putting him in conflict with Josephine’s aggression and Cassandra’s suspicion. I’m also wary of his instinct - it reminds me of teachers I’ve had who have attempted (unsuccessfully and annoyingly) to use the Socratic method.

I like that one of the character’s Goals is to undermine the local leader, but the stated justification (“Grahame seems weird”) is weak I think. What if Grahame was Elan’s enemy instead of Cassandra’s? I think she has plenty of character potential already just with the conflict in her BIGs. On the other hand, it would really make sense for the character who is enemies with Grahame to be the one trying to undermine him.

Turn Structure: I’ve seen people suggest a GM Turn - Player Turn - GM Turn structure for con games, where you work on establishing the situation in the first GM Turn, let the players explore in their turn, and then run the final showdown in the second GM Turn. It seems like it could work pretty well to me. Although I almost want to distribute rewards after the Player Turn, so that the players can really feel like their roleplaying is paying off when they go into the final confrontation with extra Persona and Fate points as a result of decisions they made earlier in the same session.

Obstacles and Conflicts: What you’ve set up in the character BIGs is internal conflict between the mice. I think this is great, and that you should take this farther. Pick external obstacles that will drive this internal conflict, and build towards a final confrontation to resolve it. In your obstacles, present the players with choices that will upset someone no matter what they do. For example, maybe one settler’s herd of crickets gets loose one night, and he wants you to help round them up, while the other settlers want to keep moving. The players can choose to round up the crickets, and risk the ire of the majority of the settlers, or choose to keep moving, and then have try to persuade the cricket herder not to stay behind and try to recover his livestock by himself.

Ooh! Here’s an idea: You plan to have a final confrontation between the patrol and Grahame. In the final turn, he will attempt to resume his villainous ways, this time as a bandit on land, and he will attempt to convince the settlers to follow him. In the obstacles before this you keep track of how highly the patrol is thought of by the settlers, which influences the final confrontation. OK, that might be a little overcomplicated. I need to think over this some more. But not right now! But I hope you got some good food for thought out of this.