Missile weapons

Hello everyone.

This is my first post. I’ve just got a copy of MG and I love it, it’s certainly the best produced roleplaying game I’ve ever seen and after quite a break from roleplaying I’m looking forward to running our group’s first MG game.

Just a quick question about weapons, in the rules it talks about four basic weapon ranges - normal, spear, thrown, and missile and then doesn’t really explain how this works in the game.

For example - What happens when group A is using bow and arrows (missile) from say a stone tower and group B is limited to hand held weapons (normal) on the ground, does group B still get the option to attack? Does group A need to defend? And what happens if the situation was reversed and close hand to hand fighting broke out could group A still use their bows to attack and defend?

Any words of wisdom will be greatly appreciated

You know? I was wondering the same thing sometime last week. It was such a burning issue that I sat down with the rulebook in the bookstore instead of doing my regular “oh … just browsing” thing. :wink:

But that was back when I was still stuck in my “D&D” world.

I have an idea of how this would be interpreted in MG … and I really want to hear Luke’s take on it.

For the sake of discussion, I’ll throw in my 2 cents. But I wouldn’t put much credibility behind it … (let’s say it’s 2 cents from AIG).

The first version: archers in an impregnable stone tower vs infantry with melee. In my mind, it’s not even a fight conflict.

The second version: archers in the middle of melee. Well … we’ve all seen enough of Legolas (Lord of the Rings) and Susan (Narnia) to believe it isn’t such a big disadvantage for the archers. And from what I understand of MG’s conflict mechanics, a manuever+attack combo is the usual archer one-two punch.

Remember that Attacking isn’t fighting; it’s acting in a way that directly reduces the opponent’s Disposition. How the situation plays out depends on the Conflict Goals of each side. The group outside of the tower should be Maneuvering and Feinting their way inside so they can bring their weapons to bear. Or they can throw rocks, try to collapse the walls, whatever they see fit. Likewise, there’s nothing that prevents bows form being used in hand-to-hand combat. Let the chosen conflict actions and the way the rolls go determine what happens. It’s all about the descriptions the players offer. Don’t interpret the conflict actions too literally; look at the bigger picture.

Thanks Stormtower

I guess being brought up on D&D and RQ I take things a little literal.

So still staying with our example I could just give the mice in the tower Ob test based on how far, how windy, and what cover and/or armour the other group had. Success as ever would force a compromise.

Or not being so literal I could let them start a fight conflict, with success for the group not in the tower being, escape. But in this case none of the hand held weapon bonuses would count other than shield for the team on the ground, and the team in the tower would get an extra large armour bonus for having such good cover.

What do you think?

Are you proposing this as a single test, rather than a conflict?

You could do this as either a fight or a chase. It’s fine for the group outside to have “Escape” as their goal in the fight conflict.

I guess it depends on the situation.

If this is a siege, then Stilton (edit … correction … wanderer makes this point) makes a great point … essentially “if you can’t attack the archers in the tower, you should probably attack the tower”.

If this is an “ambush” where the infantry was not aware of the tower being occupied, then the conflict would be more about escaping the ambush.

As a GM … I’m a bit more loose with the rules, regardless of the system … sooooo…

I’m beginning to think of the entire conflict mechanism as being just a framework, with the “test skill” table as just “standard operating procedure” suggestions. I think I would be very open to having the players use alternative skill tests in a conflict if they were able to make a persuasive argument for it.

To take the “Infantry Mouse Patrol besieges the Archer Mouse Patrol” example a bit further…

Let’s turn it into a regular fight conflict. Use the normal Fight+Nature as starting disposition. Infantry’s goal is to capture/subdue the Archers. Archer’s goal is to drive away / subdue the Infantry.

GM decides that Infantry was spotted by Archers at a distance, so he allows for an unopposed volley as action 1.

In action 2, Infantry manuevers to the base of the tower. Archers keep attacking. The desired effect is an opposed roll, which fits the narration.

In action 3, GM allows Infantry to use either Stonemasonry or Carpenter skills as a manuever to break down the tower. Archers were unaware of this possibility, so they keep attacking. Again, the desired effect is an opposed roll, which still fits the narration.

For the next set of actions, the archers successfully persuade the GM that they be allowed to use their Stonemasonry or Carpenter skills as part of Defense actions against any other “attacks or manuevers” on opening up the tower.

In essence: the “health” of the mice and the “strength” of the tower defenses has become an abstraction we call “disposition”. Depending on how far down to zero it gets, either side could end up losing this “battle”.

If both are low enough, the GM could conclude that neither are able to fulfill their goals – the archers were not able to maintain their tower and drive the enemy away, but neither were the infantry able to maintain enough unit integrity to capture/subdue the archers. In that case, neither side have control over the area, and both are dispersed away.

to Luke C, and others … would this be “too loose”, or does it fit the spirit of the game?

(edit: I was in the middle of my reply when wanderer submitted. Feel free to cut my post out as a separate discussion if that helps. I apologize if I keep butting into rules explanations… I just feel sooo empowered by MouseGuard to go back to the “good ol’ roleplaying” methods rather than the highly structured methods imposed by many other RPGs)

It’s fine to create a “Siege” conflict that uses different skills for the actions. Or just use War instead.

The example situation is rather complicated to discuss hypothetically. Much of how it plays out would depend on the situation and the goals of the opposing sides.

I tend to think that once the conflict has begun, it is too late for this kind of “surprise” advantage. I wouldn’t allow one side an unopposed volley, but some other, weapon-like modifier to the first action would be acceptable.

Thanks for the answers!

I think I can work with that, essentially no rewinding back and applying an advantage due to hindsight.

A follow-up question … and feel free to split this into a new thread if necessary…

What if this is part of a more “complex” obstacle. Essentially, the “enemy archers in the tower” is the obstacle faced by the mouse guard patrol … they need to get inside and subdue the archers. The enemy archers are not aware of the patrol, but they are keeping watch.

The complexity is such: the patrol can make some kind of pathfinding/scouting opposed roll against the archers to sneak to the base of the tower. Failure introduces the conflict as a twist.

Depending on how badly they fail, they could be surprised by the archers, or get close enough to just suffer a penalty to their manuever roll … and that would lead to the “siege” fight conflict I described before.

Thanks in advance for any comments and answers. I hope that I am not the only one gaining wisdom, but that others may be learning new things as well.

Looks to me like a whole mission’s worth of Obstacles right there.

I would think maybe require a regular test to get close enough to initiate the conflict in the first place. Failure being either Injured condition (you take a few arrows while dashing forward) or a twist (“Bobs cloak got nailed to a tree”, “The hail of arrows managed to herd you into a ravine”, “All the commotion manages to catch the attention of a low flying owl”). This would reflect a surprise like advantage without directly adjusting the conflict at all, and allow a greater range of possibilities (especially if the GM wants a shot at Twisting them away from dying in an ill-considered assault conflict).

Lightbulb lights up

I think that’s exactly what I needed to hear.

I’ll need to play a series of skill tests and opposed rolls winding through various obstacles and twists, instead of trying to fit everything into a single conflict. I’ll probably figure out when to settle down to a conflict once I played through the rest of the game enough times to recognize the right opportunity.

The only way to kill the patrol is for the GM to make that the conflict goal and then win in a landslide.

I know that of course. But saying “getting a potential range of results ranging from positive to negative depending on compromise level and selected goals of both parties, most likely the negative ones do to the extreme number of factors in the castle defenders favor” just doesn’t have the same punch to it as “dying”. :slight_smile: Also if it was my castle being attacked the guards better choose “Kill the invaders” as a goal or I guarantee there is going to be a smackdown conflict in their future…


KingSerpine: “Castle Guards, Report!”

CastleGuards: “Sir, we spotted an enemy patrol earlier this evening, sir!”

KingSerpine: “And where are their heads?”

CastleGuards: “Sir, we managed to make them retreat. Sir.”

KingSerpine: “Retreat?!? I’m the King of the Five Territories, and the Terror of the Land … You’re telling me they got away??”

CastleGuards: “… Sir, they were just newbs. Sir.”

KingSerpine: " enraged and so???"

CastleGuards: “… and they were so cute in their little mousie cloaks and swords … ummm … sir.”

KingSerpine: “… sighs Fine. Just don’t put this in your log. If anyone asks, you were shooting at bunnies. Oh, and one more thing…”

CastleGuards: “Yes, sir?”

KingSerpine: “Get your pet bunnies out of the castle, those things just keep breeding night after night! I haven’t had a decent night’s sleep!”