I made this mission for our new year. I told the group we were going to have two Spring sessions, two Summer sessions, and one Fall session before another Winter session. This meant that I was going to watch their choices in the first mission to determine the second mission of the season.
Mission: Patrol the Darkwater Bay region
Assign the Mission:
Gwendolyn calls together the patrol for their briefing shortl after the Vernalstar celebration; most other patrols have long since begun their missions for this year. She explains that both Port Sumac and Rustleaf have already written letters requesting a patrol. Port Sumac suffered damage to a granary during winter and will be hiring harvester and forager mice from other settlements in an emergency effort to gather in food stuffs until the imports can provide enough. Rustleaf unwisely sent a winter expedition toward the scent border on an observational task, but those mice have not returned. The Port Sumac letter requests a guard patrol to protect the hired laborers during several weeks of the season; the Rustleaf letter requests a guard patrol to rescue the expedition team (if they still live).
Gwendolyn also instructs the patrol to visit the outpost of Frostic and have the mice there transport them by boat across to Calogero at the end of the season; she will send a letter with instructions on their summer season assignments to Calogero. Lastly, she reminds them, don’t be early; get engaged in the duties of the guard.
Begin by allowing a weather watcher test before the patrol leaves for their first mission unless this was allowed at the end of the winter session in preparation. Otherwise, choose a spring weather (I chose spring rains).
The patrol must make a fairly easy Ob4 Pathfinder test to arrive at Darkwater; from there they can get a ferry across the bay to Port Sumac.
Mice Obstacle – When the party arrives in Darkwater, they are quickly recognized by a grain merchant (my table has a grain merchant contact that is friendly to them; otherwise look for a friend or enemy that might fit). The grain merchant has spent his entire financial capital buying up surplus grain in Darkwater but has no money to pay for the shipping cost. He hopes the patrol is willing to loan him the Resources to pay for shipping, or maybe escort a caravan of grain overland around the south of the bay. He starts by asking a few questions, and he is interested in initiating a negotiation conflict to convince the patrol to loan him the Resources or escort his carts (possibly even asking them each to pull a cart).
His goal might best be expressed as: I will convince the patrol to loan me 7 Resources (depleting guard members’ Resources to gain those 7) to cover the shipping cost or escort me overland.
A merchant should have a strong Haggler ability and Grain-wise or some appropriate wise to help his conflict.
(The patrol chose the goal: We will convince the grain merchant to donate a full cart of grain freely to Port Sumac in exchange for the loan of 7 Resources)
After the conflict, the patrol may be committed to ship passage or overland travel. The dock master is a great place to pull in another friend or enemy from the patrol. The dock master will expect 7 Resources to cover travel costs for the patrol, grain merchant, and grain. The overland travel will require additional pathfinder tests and might allow for a weather watcher test before engaging in the journey.
(The patrol won the conflict and agreed to deplete their resources as well as arrange the shipping; the dockmaster was an enemy, but one patrol guard was able to use Haggler to reduce the cost by 1)
Narrate the travel to Port Sumac. The grain merchant is grateful and gets about his business without asking anything further of the patrol. The GM’s turn ends after they arrive in Port Sumac.
Weather Twist – For failed pathfinder rolls a good twist of weather could bring in a new change. (I chose a spring snow and required all mice to make a Ob 3 Health test to avoid becoming sick)
Wilderness Twist – Failed pathfinder rolls might be related to a new bit of wilderness difficulty.
The player’s turn begins as soon as the patrol arrives in Port Sumac. There are a number of things the patrol might need to do.
- Test Circles to find a mouse with connection to the hired mice in need of protection
- Test Pathfinder to lead the patrol to Rustleaf
- Recover from any conditions acquired
- Test Scout to track the winter expedition team
- Test Survivalist to set up a Spring camp for the patrol
- Test Instructor to teach a fellow patrolmate during the mission
The group might feel any number of other checks are fitting.
(Our patrol had a mouse that gained enough checks to test Hunter to find and kill a crab and Cook the crab for the patrol; this was to ensure they did not burden Port Sumac’s food stores while there)
Now, the next session will give the chance to expand on the results of the first mission.
(At our table, the Patrol Leader used a check to initiate a journey conflict to represent a multi-week patrol providing overwatch for the hired harvesters; this allowed his entire patrol to test skills related to that patrolling. I decided that a complex obstacle was best to represent it and allowed for Scout, Survivalist, Pathfinder, Instructor or Administrator or Militarist, Loremouse, and Weather Watcher and a single Wise to be rolled in support of the assigned duty. The scout found the second mission obstacle: Animals Obstacle – A fox had come through the territory during winter and found it quite a nice place; now the hired harvesters were providing a good quarry to hunt. It will feature in the next session, since it came up in the player’s turn. However, one mouse still had a check remaining and used it to Hunt the fox so that the party could take it by surprise as well as possible.)