Just some thoughts about a Mouse Guard campaign.

It takes place about a thousand years in our future.

Humans are extinct (and legendary).

The reason that the mice in the campaign and some other animals are sapient is that they are descended from lab animals (think NIMH) that had their intelligence increased through genetic manipulation.

Humanity was doing these experiments because a virual epidemic was sweeping the globe that resulted in births where intelligence was reduced to animal levels.

Many other animals (especially predators) are semi-sapient because their forebearers have eaten intelligence enhanced mice, etc.

Working on a subtle “Magic” system based on instincts, Nature and Shamanism that enables low level healing, extra-sensory perception, etc.

Any thoughts?

(Caveat: I don’t have the book and I haven’t read the comics…)

I think that sounds great. That said, I don’t see why the timeframe would really matter. Are humans in the world of Mouse Guard? They don’t seem to be, really. Using this setting to explain the set-up for the game world is a good idea, though.

As far as magic, couldn’t Magic Burner be adapted, or would those rules be too complex for/at odds with Mouse Guard rules?

I think this has some very interesting potential, I love when mystical things are secretly caused by science long forgotten.

In fact would be more interesting to find a way to tie the magic in to long forgotten science?

From reading the first MG anthology and the RPG I believe that the Mouse Guard universe is in contemporary Michigan. The physical bounds of the mouse guard are in an uninhabited (by humans) backwater.

What is the purpose of this campaign conceit? Is it only to explain the magic, or is it intended that the PCs eventually will discover this secret history of the world?

Mouse Guard is my first encounter with the Burning Engine Wheel RPG engine, but from what I’ve read its a rules lite version and so I imagine that Magic Burner is prob more than I want. I was thinking a minor magical miracles like being able to understand other animals, a snake’s ability to mesmerize prey, healing balms that work overnite, influencing the weather, curses, dowsing, etc. Stuff like that that is part of medieval folklore. Fireballs, not!

Also, it seemed that most magic users in stories from the Middle Ages gained much of their power from reconnecting with their animal instincts, coupled with their intelligence. Since most humans don’t have this connection, they can’t do magic. I imagine that for sapient mice it would be that much easier in approaching magic from the opposite way.

I threw out 1000 years into the future because of the dates given in the books and becuz I think thats about enough time to allow our civilization to be reduced to nothing but ruins.


As far as why I’m tooling with this, when I run a campaign I always write up background notes that explain why things are the way they are. Often they’re more for my guidance than for the players. In this case the background wouldn’t really make much difference to characters who are medieval, sapient mice, but I hope my players will like it and it will help me write adventures.

I bet the Mouse Guard setting is in Michigan, becuz dosen’t David Petersen
live there?

Magic Burner has rules for Art Magic, which I think would be an appropriate level of complexity for Mouse Guard. Religion would fit in fine, also. (It’s what I had imagined porting to do something like Dungeon Guard.) Just substitute MG Conditions for MB Tax.

The idea of humans driving SUVs within a few miles of the Mouse Guard world just makes me cringe.

Your post-holocaust setting is inspiring me!

I was thinking to use Practical Magic, with the Mouse Guard substituting inverse of Nature (seven minus Nature) in dice for his or her skills tests. Dice would automatically open as if a Fate point had been spent. Seemed closest to the ideas of the original poster. Magical healing or ESP could be extrapolated from the current skill system; all that is needed are some guidelines for these high-Obstacle tasks.

…and uninhabited also by cats of any kind. I always just assumed it was an alternate Michigan of some sort. We don’t see any rats in MG either.

Maybe the cats and the rats just haven’t found the Territories yet…

MG 2: Cat Guard… coming next fall.

The map matches an area of the great lakes quite closely. It would have to be in the past or else there would be roads and buildings. Probably 15-20 thousand BC to preclude humans.

This might be an alternate universe where humans died out or never evolved. I’m leaning that way since sables don’t live on this continent and weasels in the art don’t have long tails.

The paradox is that humans spread mice from Eurasia/Africa via sailboats.

Another thing I realized is that earthworms were brought here from Europe too. They are destroying our forests by over processing the soil and exposing roots.

I seem to remember from other discussions that (and David Petersen or someone else can correct me if I am wrong) but I don’t think humans exist in the world of Mouse Guard and I don’t think Rats do either. The mice take the place of humans.