How many obstacles should the GM's turn have?

How many obstacles should the GM’s turn have?

I’ve long held the belief that the ideal number is 2. Certainly in the book it suggests choosing two of the four obstacle types and keeping the other two in reserve as twists.
However re-reading the rules this morning I notice that when talking about extended missions, it suggests that the GM break play down into short GM turns of two to three obstacles before letting the players have a brief players’ turn. The implication being that a normal GM turn would have a few more.



2 or 3 checks maybe is what it is talking about. A mission should allways (if you don’t wan’t to beat your party into oblivion) be 2 obstacles long. This can be extendend obstacles both.

Right. I see. Thanks.

Two obstacles, plus twists.

Remember, an obstacle can contain one test, multiple tests or a conflict.

For an extended mission, I recommend stretching the mission across more than two obstacles, and thus more than one GM’s turn.

My players have never completed a mission in the first GM’s Turn. Either they spend checks to do it during the Players’ Turn, or there’s a second GM’s Turn (sometimes, but not always in the same session) in which they finish their mission. I’ve found this keeps the challenge high and forces the players to make difficult decisions about completing the mission versus pursuing their characters’ self-interests.

Was… 4 sessions long. Sort of.

The original mission was to carry the mail along a route, and investigate reports of banditry.

First two GM obs were a weather watcher versus, and then after happening on an ambushed camp, a hunter/loremouse to try to figure out where the bandits came from (and they succeeded, but didn’t find any tracks?!)

Second two, once they came to the latter towns and found out that they had a food shipment intercepted and were facing famine because of it involved them finding the driver of the wagons that got ambushed for answers, and then stopping a riot at the granary where they were keeping seeds for the eventual planting and harvest. Hungry mice will go to lengths… But it was basically an orator conflict. Having failed that, it twisted into a weather conflict, with sudden burst rains causing flooding in a lakeside town, and panicking and scattering the mob. They do their best with persuader, orator and what have you to mobilize people into building and reinforcing an extension to the levee.

Number 3 set, they do some research given what they know, and figure out that it seems like the caravan was attacked by one or more flying squirrels. So they set off to track them down, and the scientist of the group takes a crack at capturing them. This fails, and twists into all out combat. It’s won, but at a cost, that the squirrels have devoured all the food already that they’d stolen. Dead squirrels though.

Game 4, was blazing a shortcut back to lockhaven to try to return as fast as possible with reinforcements and supplies for the towns, to try and beat the horrible spring weather which was looming again. Success on both accounts. Scary close for the second.

I also do some rocky and bullwinkle style titles for what I have planned before each game.

Episode one: “it’s the mail, it never fails” or “an ambush in the hand is two birds with one stone”

Episode two: “ra-ra-riot” or “the hunger games”

Episode Three: “Hey Rock, watch me pull a rabbit outta my hat!” or “Throw me a supplies party!”

Episode four: “There and back again, a mouse’s tail” or “You take the high road, I’ll take the blurble lurble lurble!”

(this evening) Episode 5: “Can you smell what Gwendolyn is cooking?” or “Dollars and scents”

I always stick to two (the book and a gagillion players can’t be wrong) but I almost always make at least one of them a Conflict. If I don’t have a Conflict then one of the obstacles will definitely be a complex obstacle requiring at least 6 checks (Why 6 checks you ask? Because in a Conflict there is normally anywhere from 3-9 checks and 6 checks in a team of 3 means that each mouse gets 2. By the time the players role play and justify why they are getting bonuses from different skills and other characters are giving their reasons for helping dice it’s about the same amount of time and rolls for them as a Conflict and allows them to earn checks for the Player’s Turn.

Please use “tests” for when players are rolling dice ado your post is clearer.

I also would not have six tests in a complex obstacle, though, as failures outside of a conflict are worse.