Mission: Milking Spider Venom

Okay, so this is my first “Real” Mouse Guard Mission. I’m open to any and every criticism or help. Also, I’m not sure if my Ob. Tests are correct. One, I’m not sure of amount of difficulty there should be burrowing through a rotten tree trunk, and two I’m not certain of the spiders nature score to place an accurate versus test against.

Thanks for your help!

Welcome to My Parlour:

Idea: Spider venom is discovered to harbor beneficial medicinal purposes that might be able to cure a ravaging plague in Appleloft.

Prologue: Appleloft is experiencing a plague not seen before that has brought the mouse town to its knees. After a few days time it has been a fruitless battle to remedy the sick and those close to death. Scientists and herbalists are without clues as Gwendolyn questions them for solutions.

Then, quite unexpectedly, an archivist from Blackrock discovers what may be an answer. Some seasons ago another town had experienced similar circumstances. They too were ravaged by a seemingly incurable plague. The matriarch at the time sent her Mouse Guard to scour the territories searching for answers. On their quests an old and well traveled insectrist named Flinn discovered a spider whose habitat was found near Pebblebrook. There, he and his patrol captured live specimens of the arachnid and milked their venom, which was then delivered to the sciencemice at a nearby town. With the help of Flinn and his knowledge of lore and insects, they created a remedy for the plague saving hundreds of lives.

Gwendolyn quickly decides that while there may be other answers yet unfound, this may be Appleloft’s only hope. She quickly gathers a patrol and sends them to Pebblebrook with hopes of success.

Tests: Wilderness & Animal

Travel to Pebblebrooke:

  1. The patrol makes the trip to Pebblebrook and encounters a fallen tree has taken out the path. A group of local mice has already been on the scene for a few days working to tunnel a path through the rotted tree.

a. Choice 1 - Ob 3: Pathfinder = If the patrol chooses not to help and simply defers that Appleloft’s dire need for aid far outweighs this current problem, then suggest taking a path around the tree.

i. Pass - Go to 2
ii. Fail – Angry

b. Choice 2 – Ob 3: Laborer or Carpenter = The patrol may decide to stay on and help the local mice finish their task.

i. Pass – One of the locals overhearing about the patrols quest says he has recently seen a spider’s nest and offers to show the patrol where it is.
ii. Fail – Tired & A local wants to help the guard, but also needs to get home to his family. He quickly decides to allow his pet beetle Blue, to guide the guard to the spider’s nest. The local has been to the spot many times with the beetle as there is a large growth of herbs nearby the nest that he harvests with the beetles help.

  1. Seeking out the spider in the wilderness is hard work. The patrol reads from the discoveries found by the archivists’ while searching Flinn’s notes; “It seems that the spider is all black and carries a distinctive red mark on it abdomen, highly venomous and tends to be aggressive towards intrusion. Their lairs are often found near ground level and resemble a haphazard style of web construction.”

• GM = If the patrol helped the locals finish the tunnel either provide the next test with a +2D with the aid of the local, or +1D with the aid of the beetle.

Soon the patrol spots what they are looking for, an abandoned animal hole beneath the base of an overhanging flat rock is surrounded by a thick connection of wily web strands. All around the nest are patches of herbs ready for harvest. The spider they’ve been searching for can be seen huddled near the back of her nest near an egg sack.

a. Choice 1 - Capture and/or milk the spider’s venom = Ob. 5 Scientist or Insectrist vs spider nature.

i. Pass - Venom is secure and the patrol may return to Sprucetuck to start making the cure. (If the spider was captured, the patrol can return with its catch and may save more lives in the future.)
If the players were helped by either the local mouse or his beetle, the guard has made a new friend in Pebblebrook who, “Never liked the looks of that black demon anyway.” In the future the local mouse states he will help the players anyway he can.

ii. Fail - Venom is secured, but the spider dies from the stress of it’s ordeal. Just then the spider’s clutch burst forth hundreds of tiny spiderlings forcing the party to retreat. Any hope of gathering the herbs that surround the nest site are gone.
If the party is aided because of helping with the tunnel = The spiderlings burst forth scaring the local mouse or beetle fiercely. The herbs that surround the spider’s nest are overwhelmed and thus cannot be harvested for some time. The mouse guard has made a new enemy in Pebblebrook, as the local mouse was planning on selling those herbs in the Spring.

b. Choice 2 - Kill spider and remove venom manually = Ob. 5 Fighter or Hunter vs spider nature.

i. Pass – Venom is secured without harm.
ii. Fail – Venom is secured.
Condition - Sick. If the patrol circumvented the log and didn’t help the local with their task. One of the characters is bitten by the spider and is immediately sick. He needs medical attention fast!
If the characters helped with the tunnel through the log, the local mouse/beetle aiding the patrol has been bitten and died.

Players Turn: The players may decide to return straight to Sprucetuck to deliver the venom so that Appleloft’s sufferings may be lessened. However, if the local mouse or beetle died, the patrol may decide to deliver the corpse to its appropriate home. If such is the case there may be terrible consequences in Pebblebrook, including new found enemies. If the patrol lingers in Pebblebrook for too long, more mice in Appleloft will die from the plague.

So I was purusing the Missions threads and I saw that Milk Duck already had a plague in Appleloft story going.

Not wanting to step on any toes. I’ll change it. Really ANY town will work fine. Either Appleloft or Pebblebrook.


Okay, I think it would help to format this mission more like those in the book with Obstacles and Twists clearly identified and classified by type (Animal, Weather, Wilderness, Mice).

A note on failure, failure should result in 1) PCs get their intent but with a Condition, or 2) PCs do not get their intent because the situation is Twisted off into a new and unexpected direction. It seems that your failure conditions above are often PCs get their intent with no Conditon, but with a Twist that does little to send the story off into a new and unexpected direction. Most of the failures send the story where success does but with minor changes, such as who accompanies the PCs or can they have their venom with herbs or without.

Finally, all of these obstacles seem to be resolved with Simple Tests. You may want to consider throwing in some Complex Hazards and/or a Conflict to mix things up.