I am preparing to run my first Mouse Guard game and am having a spot of trouble. I plan on using one of the missions from the box set in my game. Danger on the Scent Border. One of my players was interested in using the character of Bastian who has a bow and sword. I noticed this character has no fighter at all but a 6 in hunter. The book sights that hunter can be used in versus tests against nature or independent tests in conflicts involving animals. So what will Bastian do if he ends up in a one on one conflict and needs anything other than a versus test against nature or a independent test in a conflict involving animals. Also would this not leave the character very open if he ever had to square off against other mice. I assume that weasels he would be able to square off against in independent tests using Hunter but would be wide open in a versus? I hope that is clear and thank you in advanced for any help.

If he’s in a situation where rolling Fighter is required, he’ll be using the Beginner’s Luck rules. I don’t have my book handy, or I’d give you a page reference. But, suffice it to say that doing things you don’t have the skill for is how you learn new skills in Mouse Guard.

Hi Fox,

The rules for Beginner’s Luck are on page 95. The player also has the ability to use his character’s Nature either in place of a skill he doesn’t have or to help himself. See Nature on pages 232-235.

That being said, Bastion’s player should not shy away from tests or conflicts where he does not have the appropriate skills. While these are great opportunities for the character to open up new skills, it’s been my experience that one of the best parts of Mouse Guard is when players are prompted by their characters’ Beliefs, Instincts, Traits, and Relationships to engage in situations where they find themselves at a disadvantage.

Thank you Shaun and Daniel. So if Bastian begins a conflict with a weasel of for instance then he would be able to use his Hunter plus Health or Nature to figure disposition?

I think that a fight with a weasel is a Fight conflict, not a Fight Animal conflict, yeah? So it should be Fighter successes added to Health for dispo. Since he doesn’t have Fighter, it should be half the dice of Health+Wise+Help+Gear, then add those successes to Health if he’s the aggressor against the weasels, or Nature if he’s trying to escape from them.

If he’s going against a regular animal, then he’d be using Hunter.

You should make a new character with your friend that has the Fighter skill. Or use the Saxon template. Bastian’s the hunter, Saxon’s the fighter.

Thank you all for the great info! I will talk with my friend and see how what he wants to do. It seems Bastian would be really fun to play and with a the full team from that template he would add amazing hunting prowess to that team, but there would be challenges for sure in which he may want more of a dice pool. One thing im still a little fuzzy on is for disposition against any animal other than a mouse, could hunter not be subbed in when fighting a weasel since the four types of hazards per page 60 are weather/wilderness/animals/mice. It leads me to think that for disposition it would count as fight animal and either could be used. I know weasels have mouse like traits and hazards are not conflicts. Sorry I know you are all vets at this but I am just trying to have the game down as solid as I can before moving forward. Thank you all.

Well, in the setting there’s the mice civilization, the weasel civilization, and then there’s animals. Animals don’t build, they don’t make tools and they don’t wear clothes. I would not consider the weasels of MG to be animals, so I wouldn’t use Hunter for fight dispo against them. As you point out, weasels have a stat block like mice; they’re people.

Dangerous people, though.

I actually plan my missions with five obstacles: Mice, Weasels, Animals, Weather, Wilderness.

I’m not saying that is best, but I keep them in a separate box from animals and mice.

Thanks everyone for the info and experiences you have shared. From what I gather everyone uses fight to figure in disposition when facing weasels. I will continue reading the rules to tighten up my knowledge on how everything should flow. This has helped greatly. I have been a huge fan of the comic and had the rpg for so long as I love role playing as well. I have heard of podcasts being down of this game and I think it would help a lot if I heard how it runs. Any suggestions?

My suggestion: Play the game. Don’t be too concerned with getting everything right during the first few sessions, just try your best but most importantly have fun. Then, play some more. You’ll naturally go back to the book and these forums between sessions, and you’ll catch a few things you may have done wrong (or could have done better) in your previous session. Then play some more – fix those things, try not to make the same mistakes again, and of course continue to have fun!