I think I miss a skill. A skill that holds the knowledge for leading the big festivals and burial cermonies and the like. I guess one could come up with ceremony-wise but as I understand it that would be focused on theory, not actually doing and leading the ceremonies, planning for them and leading mice preparing for a ceremony (for example the burial in the end of the winter album). The question came up when the patrol I’m game mastering had to bury a civilian and a guard mice out in the wild (the bodies wouldn’t survive all the way home in summer). We did a little ad lib with Beginner’s Luck and the characters arranged a big fire and said a few words (and managed to get into a duel!).
Would it make sense with the skill Ceremony Master and the wise Ceremony-wise?
But if the mice is concerned about it being done in The Right Way ™ to ensure that the soul is helped along the way maybe just convincing everybody around you that you’re doing it in the right way isn’t enough? If the mice ‘‘believe in something’’ I feel that Orator is faking the ceremony. I guess it depends on how one in one’s version of the gaming world sees on philosophy and ‘‘religion’’. I have decided that there is something like the roman worshipping of the forefathers and that mice have an eternal soul and that the not too bad mice actually travel beyond the peninsula of the ashen trees to Seyan. The really bad mice cease to exist a little like in ancient egyptian mythology. maybe that’s a context needed. And there were NPCs too.
There are others on the forum that have touched upon different ‘‘religious’’ believes among the mice. What do you think, do you need a skill for it or is for example Orator enough, maybe with the help of Ceremony-wise?
I’d go with Ceremony-wise, and Orator if you need to make a speech, or Administrator if you’re trying to set up the ceremony/arrange or distribute resources, or the appropriate craftmouse skill if you want to build stuff for the ceremony, or…
Daniel got to this before I had a chance. In lines with his question, what is the Intent? What tangible benefit do the players get if they succeeed? What are they trying to achieve? Is it just “Mousey goes to heaven?” Is it just “You did the Ceremony right!” Yay, you?
Similarly, what is the interesting failure condition? If you fail this roll, says the GM…what is the twist that they are risking to get their intent? Or is it, “You bury mousey right!” but you’re tired?
Are any of the PC’s BITs engaged here? How important is this really?
Unless you have good answers to these questions, why require a test? Just say yes and move on.
At least I think the living that the dead mouse leave can make it easier or harder to reach the wished destination. In comics the gathered mice don’t seem totally convinced that the dead Celanwe will reach Seyan ‘‘just like that’’. There’s also question what is the best way to honor the dead one. Here I think one can fail both in helping the traveling soul and fail honoring the dead one in a way that other mice like. BUT I’m just figuring this out and how I like to have it in my campaign partly inspired by talk about religion here on the forum and partly inspired by my readings on Ancient Rome and Greece for other non Mouse Guard campaigns.
The intent here was to help the soul on it’s way to Seyan and to satisfy the other mice so that they think that the tow dead mice was honored. An interesting twist could be a ghost. Maybe the mouse responsible for the failed ceremony get haunted until it’s done right. Maybe the mouse ‘‘responsible’’ for the dead Mouse death (or rather the one the dead mouse think is responsible) get haunted until they can get to terms and forgive each other. Conditions could be Tired or Angry (which I tend to interpret as ‘‘Mentally unbalanced’’ rather than specifically Angry, could be sad, suicidal, ‘‘too happy’’ as in ‘‘mano’’ in manodepressive, frustrated, scared or something else fitting).
Carrying the bodies away from the weasels and staying and doing the ceremony conflicted with the logical descision to flee in the best way possible and two out of three Goals since these two Goals was about moving on and doing stuff and reaching destinations (now Checks got spent on the ceremony and happenings there instead of fullfilling all three Goals). They did their duty to the fallen mice instead of just saving themselves and doing what they liked to do. For some reason someone with risk for he’s own life is carrying home the body of Celanwe in the Winter Album of Mouse Guard. I guess there must be some sense of duty or honor that make the weak mouse risk himself doing that. It’s not just for a beautiful pure and some blah blah ceremony. At least that’s how I interpret it.
Also, it’s not just about this exact situation, it’s a broader question too. Of course, the ‘‘less religious’’ mice one have in one’s campaign the less need for the skill.
Following Thor’s lead, Orator would have been the most appropriate test if satisfying the other present mice was the issue. As for offering the proper rites, I don’t see why the test couldn’t be framed in such a way that Ceremony-wise would cover it. Plus, ceremony-wise could help Orator, whereas if you added another skill (What’s a succinct way to say ceremony leader that could also be a verb? Minister?), it would have to be tested separately from Orator.
Just my thinking. You’re kind of going off the map with the take on religion in your game. But if you see the need for mouse ministers (as in, this is a distinct profession in the territories), it’s logical there would be a corresponding skill.