Mission within a mission?

Hey Gang,

So I started a Mouse Guard game a little while ago. We had our first session. It went well but I think we ended up concentrating on the rules and had less emphasis on the role-play side. Now that we tried out conflicts twice I am a bit more confortable with much of the crunchy side of things. I was cooled out at how well the argument conflict went. My group is extra large with 6 players!

I ran the mail run from the book for my first adventure. Complete with the raven stealing someone’s cloak and his two friends getting it back during the player turn.

I ended off the player turn with the hook for the next mission. The Patrol leader has decided to excort Loretta to her husband up in Darkwater complete with all her belongings. They “plan” on dropping in on Lockhaven to check for new orders along the way.

Now I liked the Shaleburrow Bandits idea I found on the forums and one of my players is fond of having the canon events played in the background. So I think I am going to change the “privateer bandit” idea to being headquartered in Barkstone. It will be a nice lead in to the comic when we get to the fall.

Anyway Here is my situation. I have chosen a weather obstacle(my game is in spring and it will start to rain) and I want to do a mouse obstacle. Two of the characters have friends in Elmoss who are harvesters. They will come accross a group of Elmoss soldiers that have been killed and one of the players Friend Named Sammy barely alive. The guard in question is a healer so a cool scene for him and a chance to “save” his friend. I also want to suggest or tell them that the bandits have kidnapped one of the harvesters(the other friend of one of the patrol). I think the players will have to choose between escorting Loretta to Ivydale or go after the bandits. They could split up or keep Loretta and Sammy along but that would be difficult. What I think will happen is they will split into two teams. Team A continue on to Ivydale. Team B track down the bandits and get the kidnapped harvester. Incidently the bandits plan to sell her to some Weasels that live just over the scent border in Farmdale.

I plan on challenging Team A by having them deal with a rising riverlet just outside Ivydale. (Its raining remember) They will have to come up with some way to cross with Loretta and her luggage and injured Sammy. This is their second obstacle.

Now I have created I realised another mission in a mission! This can screw up the whole two obstacle concept right? Now I want to run the game as written but I am also and expierenced GM and understand sometimes you have to break the mold. But I have such a big group that I feel the need to almost run two missions at once to keep everyone busy.

Oh one other thing. I am saving it for the future. In getting back the cloak from the Raven the guardmouse managed to steal a bejeweled dagger from the raven’s nest. I decided the dagger is of Weasel make and there is a Weasel patrol looking for it and tracking down the guardmouse who has it. They will be an obstacle in the coming adventures when they catch up with the patrol.

Anyway suggestions and comments would be welcome.

As long as we have fun I think it will be good.

It seems to me that the thing to do is move the weather obstacle before finding Sammy, and then starting the Players turn after they deal with the mouse obstacle. There is a couple reasons I think this:

  1. The way you have it planned now, you are acting under the assumption the group will split in two teams and go there separate ways. But they may do seething to surprise you. They could take Sammy and Loretta to Elmoss and back track to the bandit path, they could hide the two before chasing off after the Bandits, ectera ectera. By having the two obstacles out of they way, the players are free to act best in accordance to their beliefs and instincts, and it won’t upset your plans if they don’t split up.

  2. Running the two obstacles this way will allow a smooth transistion into multiple GM turn session- basically, if time permits, you can run a second GM turn as soon as they have spent all there checks, allowing them more freedom in how to respond to The bandit threat and needing to Escort Lorreta.
    On a side note: if you do plan on running with a multiple GM turn session, I’ve found it useful to let my players know at the onset of the game that it is a possibility, as then they have an idea of the scope they need to get accomplished in the players turn.

So ya, that would be my solution to this. However, my experience have running Mouseguard consists of a single campaign, so maybe someone with more experience can chime in on how to keep the structure you are shooting for.

So what your saying is do the river obstacle and then have them meet Sammy?

My intention was for all six player in the patrol have to deal with it raining. OB3 or get tired or sick. Then hit them with the sammy situation. The immediacy of the kidnapping is making me think they will go after that one regardless of Loretta and Sammy. Which makes the situation interesting to me.

So what your also saying is let them deal with the bandits in their player turn instead of making it a new side mission/quest? Mainly because it isn’t part of the main mission of escorting Loretta.

I think you’re doing exactly the right thing. You’re testing their loyalty and duty. You’re presenting the players with a meaningful choice.
Present them with the choice.
They can tackle the alternate direction they don’t go in by spending checks during the players turn.

I was pretty sure I had the “make your players make interesting choices thing” that Mouse Guard promots down pat. I just needed a little nudge with how to integrate it with the GM/PC turns.

Thanks for the imput guys.