Miscellaneous questions

I went and read and re-read the sections of Mouse Guard that I felt I needed to touch up on (which is a lot, but that’s okay since this is a new system for me), and had with me a handy piece of paper and a pen. Here are the miscellaneous questions I’ve come up with, they aren’t really sorted so I’ll just throw them out:

  1. Group Compromise (p.131, 3rd bullet) - There is a phrase “one character takes it for the team.” Takes what? Is this another way of saying “one mouse dies while the others take lesser penalties”? Just making sure I get this right and not get lost in translation.

  2. Major Compromise (p.131, last bullet) - The players win but their guardmice are barely alive? Then how do they “heal up” if they’re lying on the ground inches from death? Won’t they starve to death, die from dehydration, or get picked by the next predator/bird that comes along? I’m not exactly looking for a ruling here, but more of “how would you describe this situation to your players if this happened”?

  3. Clean the Slate (p.228) - How is a skill’s rating reduced? Do the Injured and Sick conditions count (-1D to skills)? Or is there a way to reduce rating that is like taxing Nature (ie, the skill then has 2 ratings, a “taxed skill” rating and the true rating)? If getting Injured or Sick cleans the slate, then boy, is this one tough penalty!! All checks (pass or fail) on all skills are wiped out? Sucks!

  4. Setting Obs (p.251) - Setting an Ob for a Pathfinder test to blaze a new trail to a town a day’s travel away (short journey) is Ob 6, correct? Looking at Saxon’s character sheet, even he will have a difficult time with it. Even with Kenzie’s Weather Watcher (+1D) and Liam’s Scout (+1D), he would still have to have only 1 coward for him to succeed!! Wow, that IS difficult.

  5. Referring to #4, what options are left to Saxon to increase his chances? I know he can tap nature to add dice, and maybe spend a fate point if he has any sixes, but are there any other options?

  6. Can a mouse use the Hunter skill in a Fight conflict assuming: a) He has NO Fighter skill? or b) His Hunter skill is higher than his Fighter skill?

  7. Bitter Trait (p.262) - How can this trait (and other negatively-sounding traits) be used for advantage (+1D)? Again, I’m not exactly looking for a ruling here, but more of “how would a player describe using this trait to help his mouse”?

  8. Mouse Ages (p.298) - Do mice age like people? Are they teens @ 13-18, adults @ 19-24/25-40/41-60, and retire after 60? I am asking because, well, this is fantasy and I would like to know how it works here, in the real world I cannot imagine a mouse living to 60!

  9. Referring to #8, how old is Gwendolyn, more or less?

  10. How does a mouse gain/lose traits in play? Is there a specific rule for this or is this simply up to the GM and the players?

  11. Can a player spend a check to recover taxed Nature (p.233)? Because if not, then boy, is recovering Nature one tough challenge! Assuming a 2-mice patrol, each mouse may only recover nature every-other game session, or if they rest up for the winter! For a 4-mice patrol, assuming the group games once a week, each mouse may only recover 1 point of Nature per month!

  12. Can a player earn both a Fate point and a Persona point in one session for both playing on and against his belief during play?

Looking forward to the responses! I feel like I’m getting a better and better handle on this system and it looks very promising and fun, but I’m surprised to see a lot of tough rules here and there!!

  1. You have correctly interpreted the euphemism.

  2. When it happened in our game, the players crawled back to town.

  3. Reduced by failing to recover from the Injured or Sick conditions.

  4. Hunter is only for the Fight Animal conflict.

  5. Check out the Winter section for starters.

  6. In our group, if a player earns a persona point for a Belief, he’s ineligible for the fate point from that session.

Thanks for the answers, Luke!

Does this mean that if a mouse gets hit with Injured or Sick, he does not have to “clean the slate,” but if he fails his checks to recover, he has to “clean the slate”??

Page number please?

Winter Session, page 158.

As a GM I would allow for a player of a Bitter mouse to say that he/she wants an extra die for their mouse when someone tries to persuade or seduce them (in a broad meaning) because their mouse has seen a lot and therefore is harder to fool and because the mouse is naturally pessimistic and instinctively searches for hidden agendas and so on and therefore is harder to fool.

The player doing the prolouge can also raise a taxed Nature one step for their mouse.

I will allow that as a GM if I don’t feel that the players get too many bonuses. It’s a matter of balance I think.

See page 128 through 129.

If a mouse gets hit with the Injured Condition, then they can make an Ob4 Health Test to recover. If that test fails, the Injured Condition remains and the mouse can seek out a Healer. The Healer then makes an Ob3 Healer Test. If the test fails, the Injured Condition is removed, but one Ability or Skill is reduced permanently by one.

Now see page 228:

I hope that clears that up.

With regard to your other question about Winter.



Another example:

Maybe the mouse could get an extra die for finding someone involved in food production, bakers, cooks, apiarists (honey ought to be able to get mice fat) and so on. A fat mouse might be able to stand brewage with alcohol a little better than other mice.

N.B. this would cost a player two checks, one for the initial recovery test and one for the scene with the healer. Unless, of course, the healer is another player, in which case he or she could spend a check to have a scene with the injured mouse.

Ah, excellent examples! Thanks!

That’s exactly what I’m talking about. Nature can be recovered in only 3 ways: prologue, absence, or winter. I’m guessing nobody goes into winter once every month, so the only real way for non-absentee players to recover is with a prologue, which means only ONE player can recover ONE point of nature per session! That’s a lot of tough love!

Yeah, I think I’ll have to game a few more times to get a feel for this. I’m a generous GM so I think I’ll be ruling this in favor of awesomeness and cool-factor.

Ah!! So a permanent reduction would then mean “clean the slate,” but not a temporary reduction due to conditions!! Excellent! I love beating my players up, but my original interpretation seemed too harsh, it’s nice to find a clarification on that one!

Two checks sounds reasonable. One check to see if he can get over the condition by himself, and another to get help if he fails. Of course, the player can go directly to a healer, and that only costs one check.

Thanks for the excellent replies guys! I’m loving this game system more and more (makes sense the more you use it) and I’m very thankful for the patient and friendly help!

Allow me to bump up questions #4, #5, #8, and #9! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on these!

Alles in Ordnung I think. That should be a hard task. My players had a similar task, not a new road but to repair a road washed away by the melting snow and spring rain. It’s not a task for one or two mice. It’s a task for a patrol beefed up with a team of laborers or road builders. That’s how my players’ patrol solved the problem. Sometimes when something’s really hard I think that that should be interpreted as a task for a group, maybe even a large group (which can be lead and administered by a patrol).

As Kristoffer notes, blazing a new trail is no small task.

Saxon can use Persona to add dice or tap his Nature (blazing trails isn’t covered by Mouse Nature). Also, he could help himself with a relevant Wise. But otherwise, I think you have it. Skill + others’ help + help himself + Fate to open sixes and Persona to add dice/tap Nature. I think the rulebook has an upper limit on how much Fate/Persona can be spent on a single roll.

If the trailblazing was some type of extended conflict, however, he could use relevant gear, too.

The question isn’t really even how difficult it is to blaze a new trail. It’s how difficult is it to do without getting angry, tired, sick or getting interupted by something unexpected?

As for additional dice, would any tools help? Don’t have the book here. (Oops…this was answered above).

That’s a good point and one of the things I like with the system. You just don’t pass or fail, you can also pass with a price. As a GM I think you have to set a high value of Obstacle for some things that maybe isn’t that hard to succeed on but which you can’t succeed on without getting tired and so on. As a GM you also have to look at tasks where someone else has decided on the value of Obstacle and decide wether it’s something that’s actually hard to do (fail => Twist) or something that’s hard to succeed without any price (fail => succeed with Conditions). At least that’s how I see it.

Thanks on #4, at least I know I’m reading the instructions right!

On #5, I forgot about simply spending Persona. Somewhere along the line, I read about spending a Persona point to tap Nature vs spending a point to add a die, decided that tapping Nature was more “efficient,” and forgot the second option. Thanks for reminding me about help/teamwork and wises too!

I agree with your points, noclue! If I want the players to have it easy, I can assign an easy Ob, but if I want them to get a twist, I can assign a higher Ob… This pass or pass-but-with-a-twist-or-a-condition game mechanic needs a bit of getting used to, since I came from a pass-or-fail game mechanic.

Any takers for questions 8 & 9?

Illern and Ice,

I don’t prefer to speak for him, but I think you all are misunderstanding Noclue. The Mouse Guard book is very clear on how to set Obstacles. Where it allows leeway is for the GM to adjudicate failed tests. The players may succeed with a condition or encounter a twist. Either way the game keeps moving. It’s not the GM’s place to adjust the Ob based on whether he or she thinks a twist or a condition is a more appropriate consequence for a failed test.

Daniel understands me. My point was just that in the OP example, its not that Saxon can’t even blaze short trails. Saxon is an awesome trail blazer, he blaze trails like nobody’s business. But, blazing even short trails is at best tiring, angering and hungry-making business and at worst frought with unknown peril.

This struck me after considering another thread about baking. Baking for a large group of mice is like an Ob 4, which seemed way hard. My initial reaction was no way a trained baker fails that often! Then I thought about how tired and hungry I would be after all that dough kneading.

That’s an good way of explaining it noclue. You shouldn’t be afraid of makeing it to hard. Usually, if it’s to easy it becomes unrealistic. Like if the baker made bread for an army of mice without even breaking a sweat.

I don’t have my book in front of me but I think it roughly maps to human years. Also, Gwyn is in her mid 40’s I think (unless she’s statted out somewhere and my lack of memorizing Mouse Guard has blinded me to the truth).

Page 192. But an age isn’t listed. Just use what works.