What’s the situation? For your Belief, are you arrogant (e.g. would you accept a deal with a devil since you know you can find a way to turn it to your advantage later)? Or maybe you’re stubborn and stick with lost causes long after everyone else quits (you know you can turn it around). Don’t know if either of those help.
I see this Belief working fine if you use the Ideological Statement: Specific Goal structure that’s mentioned in The Beliefs chapter from Adventure Burner (you can download the free PDF from the BWHQ store if you don’t have it) and also in some posts around the forum. Something like “No-win scenarios do not exist: I will discredit the defeatist vizier in the eyes of the king” (meh, not a great example, but hopefully you get the idea).
On the Instinct, I actually see lots of ways that could come up, depending on the campaign situation. There are plenty of ways to put a character in a position where doing a little harm would be for the greater good. What if killing a murderer will save hundreds of lives? There are plenty of other situations, too. Pacifist Instincts can cause all kinds of problems, especially if the rest of the campaign is violent.
I see what you’re saying on both things. And I guess that means both are badly phrased. My belief is supposed to be like… You always have options. Arc (that’s my mouse) is not like Saxon except for that. He’s a little arrogant, but only because he has a good heart. He will get in way over his head trying to get all the way out. Double or nothing. Arc’s belief is that there is ALWAYS a way to win, no matter how improbable. He is a tenderpaw trying to gain respect and friends. His parents were killed during the event he was inducted into the gaurd. His belief spurred this. A swarm of bees was let loose in Lockhaven (his hometown) and it was stinging a lot of mice. He lived near the hive, above his parents armory. the bees got in and stung his parents, killing them. he grabbed a hot rod of metal from the furnace and burned/stabbed it through the queen bee’s head (shut up i know it’s not realistic “the queen bee wouldn’t leave the hive” or whatever but… well. yeah). his heroism got Gwendolyn’s attention and he was inducted into the guard. so you can see, he doesn’t take the lesser of two evils, he tries to beat the worse one.
This quote below is great advice if you were playing Burning Wheel, but I think this poster missed the fact that this is a Mouse Guard question.
You’re basing the Belief off of Kirk from Star Trek, right? I don’t this it is particularly difficult to challenge, especially if someone knew the source material. A few hard choices are all that’s really necessary here, such as endangering two mice in two different places… which one do you save? Do you try to save both?
As for the instinct, it’s best to stick with the first word being Always, Never, or If… then. So “Never Do Harm” is great, because then the GM can throw all kinds of things that certainly mean you harm, and your non-lethal methods of taking them down will have to be inventive.
So yeah, all in all, they’re great. The goal should be something more actionable, and something to strive towards, but that’s ever changing. So long as you make the goal an action or verb, something you’re doing, you’ll be great.