I’m going to rewrite this in my pattern. There was barely enough to say antyhing.
The Dam Overflow (Spring)
Introduce the session:
A, the springtime is lovely in the Territories; especially lovely is the load of mail and packages which need to be distributed and redistributed to and among the settlements. The patrol has a routine task of mail duties interrupted to manage overflow and run-off which threatens nearby towns as much as the downstream city of Mapleharbor. Privately, Gwendolyn confides in the youngest Guardmouse (of the patrol) that she misses the sweet wines of Shaleburrow so much; since, they were finished off so early in last Winter’s Yule celebration.
Assign the Mission:
The patrol has a season-long route moving mail between the towns of Thistledon, Shaleburow, Ivydale, Blackrock, and Ironwood; any mail outside those towns can be ignored. Also, find ways to be a benefit to the towns; since, you’ll be visiting multiple times in the season.
[this places some heavy expectations on the players to invent any additional purpose in the role; it also conceals the obstacles, so there is more which must be done in the Player Turn]
Prologue: by GM?
The past Winter was less aggressive than expected. This is a fantastic benefit! The patrol has rested, relaxed, recuperated, and feasted! In fact, with spare time and good will, the mice of Lockhaven have been writing loads of letters and making trinkets for sending gifts. The mail routes will be busy this season as everyone expects the Territories had a mild Winter as well.
Obstacles: Wilderness : Mice
Twists: [other] Mice : Animal
Players shoudl determine the path of their mail route and report to the GM where they head to first, second, so on. At the start, GM, allow the players to describe mail call in the first few towns. When you’ve heard a few good tales, introduce them to a leisurely walk toward Ivydale (from wherever they have been previously). As the approach the town, they already begin to feel the spongy, moist, soil underneath their paw-feet. Most of the patrol realizes before seeing that a local beaver pond has been in disrepair (probably due to the beavers being harrassed by a bear) and finally overflowed with the run-off and spring melt. The dam is spilling in a bad way, and the town of Ivydale is in distress. An Ivydaler rushes to welcome the patrol and reports the Loremice shamans who were trying to find the beaver family have become stranded at the beaver lodge in the middle of the pond. It’s fairly urgent, but Ivydalers can help the patrol to recover the beaver-whisperers.
However, aside from that, the town doesn’t think the pond is needed if there are no beavers to maintain the waters; they’re ready for the dam to be breached and the pond to drain.
Initially, the patrol must face the task of recovering the loremice who went in search of the beavers. Their boats didn’t survive the crossing too well–too bad. Ivydalers are not known as boatcrafters.
Simple Test: Boatcrafter Ob 5 (multiuse, patrol-group)
This isn’t a terrible plan, but finding a quality boatcrafter might be improbable. The alternate is: Survivalist 8 (jury-rig boat, large group). That is a workable alternate, but maybe no one feels bold enough. An alternate is: Health Ob 9 (as Survivalist, time)–keep in mind they will have to swim at about one Guard for each one Local Ivydaler; that’s a lot of trips, so time is a factor.
Passed, move forward to Mice Obstacle; otherwise, Guard members involved face the Condition of Tired (Boatcraft), Hungry/Thirsty and Tired (Survivalist), or Tired and Sick (Health). In other words, it would be a really key coice to have a talented Boatcrafter; other wise, the test gets much harder and the risk is greater. In the case of Beginner’s Luck, treat as Health test for Conditions.
A GM may consider using the [other] Mice Twist instead of Success w/ Conditions. It is described below.
As the patrol deals with the task(s) of recovering stranded mice, the town starts to debate the next best course of action. Some local Ivydalers want to rebuild lakesde cottages and shoppettes. Other local Ivydalers want to completely breach the dam and allow the pond to drain. Some visiting Mapleharbor mice don’t like the sound of bursting the dam; since, that could flood Mapleharbor downstream; however, if it were controlled, the pond could be drained without serious danger to their town.
It is a complex situation. The patrol has no obligation to solve the debate nor take action, but they have a serious dispute getting started. Everyone will request their involvement to mediate.
The results depend on what the players agree to. They can look at the situation in many ways.
If the patrol opts to repair the dam on behalf of the local shore-dwellers, they’ve got a seriously challenging test. This is a simple test: Scientist Ob 5 (engineering, beneficial) will be needed to repair the dam with proper engineering. An alternate is: Carpenter/Stonemason Ob 7 (as Scientist, incorrect skill), but this is not the correct skill to really solve the problem long-term; it will not last long despite how well the carpenter/stonemason performs the work. The challenge is herculean, and nearly impossible for even the whole town to succeed.
If the patrol opts to find a new beaver family to occupy the pond (or at least a muskrat who can try to upkeep the dam). This choice requires a complex obstacle requiring Scout Vs Nature (beaver) 7 [or Vs Nature (muskrat) 6] in order to find an animal which is suitable followed by a Loremouse Vs Nature (beaver) 7 [or Vs Nature (muskrat) 6] in order to explain the available pond site and dam repair.
If the patrol opts to join the argument on one or another side, they have some assistance from locals (or visitors) trying to sway public opinion. They enter the Speech Conflict on a side and face (only) one other side of the debate (the third idea can serve as a Maneuver or Feint narration). This is a speech to get a large sway in the town and garner support to get work accomplished. Once the Conflict is complete, include the work to be done in the Compromise. I’d say, narrate the work being done, but a GM could also require PT checks be spent in pursuit ofthe result with hefty benefits from locals. The Compromise will determine much of how this turns out. Keep in mind that only one party is fully served, and two sides are mostly underserved. If the patrol argues for the shore-dwellers, the dame must be repaired; if they argue for the Mapleharbor mice, the pond might get drained, but it still has to be done very carefully to avoid overflooding the town downstream. Someone gets treated to less than they desire to have.
[other] Mice Twist:
While the patrol tries to deal with stranded loremice at the beaver lodge, a local Ivydaler (or more) pleads for individual assistance in getting her loved-ones from a flooded town/neighborhood. This is probably a distraction from the other mice, so she is going to get pushy and aggressive–including a bit of propaganda about what the Guard won’t do to help. Initially, this might be a simple Persuader Vs Will test, but the players might describe something that fits a Persuader Vs Persuader (such as convincing her to simmer down until they’ve rescued mice in the open pond). Also, she is willing to drive into a Negotiation Conflict to get service from the patrol in exchange for something she can offer–but they have to stop what they are doing to serve her immediately. The patrol may wish to ignore this distraction, but it risks leaving the stranded loremice in dangerous circumstances just as much as leaving her loved-ones in dangerous circumstances. The primary difference is that she has a loud mouth and plenty of listeners.
When the patrol get to work at repairing the dam, draining the pond, or even destroying the pond, there is likely failure. In the midst of such challenges, the local bullfrog will happily attempt to make a meal of a patrol mouse. Now, the impulse might be to escalate to Fight Animal Conflict; however, the frog needs a quick, safe meal. If it cannot grb and eat the mouse in one attempt, it will not stick around to get poked, stabbed, hit, burned, beaten, shaken, or anything else–FROGS ARE NOT FIGHTERS! So, I would suggest the following:
Nature (hiding, escaping) Vs Nature (bullfrog) 5 will do the trick. Explain the frog has been watching, and the mice have seen it; it isn’t trying to hide from them. It has been watching for the best target to grab and swallow before leaping into the pond. The mice are trying to be wary, but they have work to do, so if it tries nothing, why bother it? The bullfrog will attempt to strike the lowest Nature score in the group (smaller mouse in case of tie). Basically, it wants the easiest meal.
If the mouse targeted passes, the frog makes the attempt, it fails or fails to secure the meal, and the patrol is totally going to chase it off without further patience. There will be no more tests regarding the frog at this time. However, if the mouse fails, the frog gains a short term success. I’d give Success w/ Condition to the patrol mate. They are grabbed, they are swallowed (while dropping anythign in their hands), an the frog leaps into the pond; however, they are not dead. Thus, they fight, the get vomitted up, and they swim to safety with a few kicks to the frog’s face. They are left Tired and/or Angry (depending on margin of failure), but they have succeeded in escaping from the frog’s attack.
The case against Fight Animal:
The frog is not a dragon! It is not an Ogre! It is not a goblin! The frog is like most predators in that they want a good, easy opportunity. Any meal which must be won through hard effort had better be a damn good meal and a sure thing. Any degree of pain or suffering to secure a meal is very likely to remove or reduce the desire to eat. That is part of the fight or flight response. Once the team starts to fight the frog, it will want to get away quickly and protect itself in the best way: dive underwater and stay there until the threat is passed.
Don’t try to make the frog into a dragon/ogre/goblin. It may be larger than the mice, but it is still fragile. It is not a fighter; any pain will send it away quickly.
The GM can initiate the Player Turn at any time. During the course of this mission, the patrol is in and out of safe settlements so quickly. The mail route is routine with limited worry–for this mission. A GM could start the PT following the town speech, following the frog attack, whenever, etc. The PT should focus on non-Guard tasks as well as mail route tasks. They might easily have promises to keep from the debate, or feel inclined to follow-thru on other suggestions which were offered as solutions. One such might be having a muskrat come assist taking down the dam and beaver lodge. Another might be barter in Shaleburrow to supply Lockhaven with more sweet wine during next Winter.
[this is also where players may need to invent events going on in which to create purpose and engaging scenes]