Mouse Guard Demo

A local gaming guild is wanting to devote their next game day to people trying new games. I know there’s some interest in Mouse Guard, so I’ve offered to run it.

Anyhow, time slots are 4 hours. Since Mouse Guard plays fairly quick, I want to make sure I can fill up most of that time.

One thought is I figured I could offer to run the players through character creation if enough of them are interested. It doesn’t take long and it might help people get into the setting. Plus, I don’t know about other gamers, but when checking out a new game I really like to know how characters are made.

Whether that happens or not, I figure I’ll run one of the example missions from the book and I want to have a follow-up mission prepared (maybe two to be safe).

Off the top of my head it seems like “Find the Grain Peddler” lends itself best to coming up with follow-up missions, but I’m not necessarily set on that. I figure I could follow the suggestion at the end of the mission text of having the patrol track down the information on the traitors. After that, I’m not sure. Maybe stopping them or warning Lockhaven?

It’ll be my first time running MG, although I’ve played a dozen or so session so familiarity with the rules shouldn’t be a problem


1: Is it a good use of everyone’s time to run through character creation? Or could that be troublesome with (up to) 4 new players and probably only one copy of the book.

2: Suggestions for a follow-up mission or two that I can have prepared. I’m sure there’ll be enough time for at least one extra mission.

I’ve had a couple good follow ups for “Find the Grain Peddler.” In one, finding the map led the patrol to armed dissidents that were living in remnants of Ferndale (Lieam’s hometown) out in the darkheather west of the territories. Lieam’s Goal was to retrieve his father’s glasses from his house, which they found was being used by the bandits as an infirmary. Mission hazards were pathfinding out to Ferndale, and a foraging skunk.

In the other, the patrol trekked all the way out to wherever Saxon is from, to confront his enemy (Samuel the printer?), who had been mass-producing maps of Lockhaven for both the Weasels and the growing rebellion. Mission hazards were a complex series of tests to build a boat and navigate it across the water, and a mink on the lookout for mice.

Good luck!

Both excellent suggestions.

One worry I have is what if: 1) they fail the initial scout test, so the peddler gets all ate up and 2) don’t think to look for the map. If Kenzie’s player isn’t real gung-ho about following up on what Gwendolyn says, that could just sort of fizzle out.

I recently ran a four hour slot of Mouse Guard in which I did recruitment and then a full set of turns. One hitch is that you need at least one book for every two players.

I hope this doesn’t look like a punt, Jeremiah, but I’ve run “Find the Grain Peddler” at least four times, and the groups have always either assumed the peddler is hiding something, or searched the grain cart. I’ve even had the snake cough up the map as a compromise. Trust the mission structure, but also trust your players not to be clueless.

Yeah, it was a pretty minor worry on my part. I’d be incredibly surprised if with a group of gamers, not one suggested searching the cart, especially with Gwendolyn casting suspicious on the peddler.

Luke: Yeah, since I only have the one book, I figured recruitment could be too time consuming. I figure I’ll plan on skipping that unless someone actually has a copy of the book.

When I’ve run Mouse Guard at conventions, I’ve always used the stock characters from the book - Kenzie, Saxon, etc. - and I’ve always had time to do two full GM/Player Turns.

Personally, I’d much rather experience the cool of two full GM/Player Turns in a single four hour slot, as opposed to recruitment and one full GM/Player Turn. Some players don’t really grok the need to earn Checks during the first GM/Player Turn, but after the first Player Turn has rolled by and they’ve experienced the burn of not having enough Checks to pursue their own Goals, I find that the second GM Turn is much more Check-“full” now that they grok it.

Recruitment… meh. It’s straightforward enough, but if I’ve never played Mouse Guard before I could care less about the exact way the numbers on the character sheet were arrived at, or about learning the Mouse Guard setting via the lens of character creation - I wanna crack on and play already, and character creation isn’t the kind of play that I find satisfying in a demo.


I totally agree. Both with preferring to get in two full GM/player turns, and about having a second mission to solidify checks. I think that’s definitely the route I want to go. And if there’s time after the second mission, it can be used to discuss what people thought and maybe expand on anything that didn’t see much/any use during play.