Hi all! I’m new to Mouse Guard, and well… RPGing in general. I’ve only played one system and one mission (Shadowrun) and so I’m generally still very new to the whole thing. Anyway, I discovered this while browsing Amazon for RPG books for Dark Heresy. In that little section “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought” lo and behold was “Mouse Guard The Roleplaying Game” with it’s great looking cover. After some quick research, and comic reading, I stumbled upon the RPG book in a FLGS. A week later the whole thing was read and now here I am… I plan to try and GM the game with my brother for the first time when he has spring break, his first RPG and my first time GMing. But before that I plan on making sure I understand the rules and how to create characters. So I’ve decided to try to solo a mission and create a few characters (without help this time) to make sure I have it all pat down. Below is my first character’s stats and background. I’d like to have some opinions on it to make sure I’ve understood how it all works. As for the rules… well, I’ll reread those at some point before posting up some questions I’ll most likely have about them.
Apparently this “brief background story” ended up turning into a short story of the history of my new Guardmouse. I hope you enjoy it and afterward I have the stats for the mouse.
Diary Entry: March 17th - Spring 1153
With fur as black as the night, hands made tough and worn, the young 19 yr. old Guardmouse Kole toils away ceaselessly all across the Territories with the Mouse Guard. Born to the parents Caley and Tinble Crag in Thistledown Kole is now living an exciting life with the Guard, as they’re referred to 'round here in Thistledown. I’m Josephine, his friend and cartographer who still resides in Thistledown. I’ve known Kole most of his mouselife, even after he left to join the Mouse Guard. We still trade letters and I am thus updated about the goings ons throughout the Territories and even some of his adventures, many which would turn the fur of his parents as white as snow or greyer than an old fur’s.
What do I know about Kole’s time as a Guard thus far… well… After the Winter of 1152 several Guardmice showed up one morning. They were apparently out to patrol the coastline, as happenstances go, Kole was also patrolling that morning with Thistledown’s Thorn Mice, a group of volunteer mice who constantly patrol the maze of rocks, thorns, and tall brush that permeates throughout Thistledown. Kole and a few other Thorns learned of a Milk Snake spotting that was seen slinking into an enclosed area in Split Rock’s western reaches. They set off in the early morning to either drive it away or kill it… mostly kill it.The Guardmice had apparently learned of this small endeavor and decided to lend a hand or spectate. They got lost on the way and arrived late in the afternoon when the hunt for the snake was reaching its climax. The rumors I’ve heard is that Kole and two others chased the snake through most of Split Rock and into Strata. At some point Kole was above the snake on a tall rock and leaped off the rock, shield front and stone mace raised above. The snake is said to have looked at Kole as if he were the devil of the sky. Needless to say, Kole crushed it with his “mighty stone mace”… it just makes my little heart flutter… thinking about Kole being all heroic like… ahem… so where was I?? Oh yes! Well the Guardmice were thoroughly impressed, especially an older blonde mouse named Crull (as Kole later told me in a letter). It’s funny… the Guard rarely passes through Thistledown unless it’s over a trade dispute with Wildseed so we were surprised to see them (this was the second time since that other group showed up in the middle of winter) and then even more surprised to hear that they were interested in recruiting Kole as a new member of the Guard. Of course this confirmed some rumors that the Guard had had an incident and were on hard times.
Anyway, after much hullabaloo Kole left with the Guardmice, it was a tough day and one which I’ll never forget, especially the way he walked away from Thistledown, shoulders tall and proud bearing the pride of us all (except for Lester… but that’s a different matter). Anyway, the first letter I received from Kole was that he was to be apprenticed before starting out on patrols, he was mad about this as he’d had experience in what he considers, “duties of the Guard.” But he accepted it and apprenticed under a stonemason named Gilbert. Of course this only makes sense because he comes from a long lineage of mice that included some of the best stonemasons in Thistledown’s distinguished history. It was only natural and I suspect Gilbert was impressed by Kole’s skills. He’s already widely regarded as the best stonemason the Crag family has seen in several generations! After he was done apprenticing he was put under the mentorship of Crull, that old blonde mouse that recruited Kole. Kole’s told me that he’s been in the Guard before, during, and after the war with the Weasels! However Kole isn’t sure if he fought the Weasel’s himself, it’s something he avoids in conversation. I’m beginning to wonder if Kole’s mentor is a recluse. And we know how unmice-like they can be!!
Well onto the rest of it! I’ve come to understand that this “Crull,” as he’s called, taught Kole the importance of pathfinding, a skill which Kole tells me is similar to Canyoning. I therefore suspect that Kole caught on quickly to Crull’s training and the two probably got on well despite Crull’s intromouseness.
If I were to describe what Kole is good it it would probably be these things; Canyoning… Oh I mean Pathfinding, Stonemasonry, navigating Rocky Terrain, Milk Snakes, bandaging others up, Surviving (he’s been on a few long patrols and Hunts with the Thorns), and Persuading (more or less… he’s not really good at it well except with me… but that’s my secret). He’s also told me that, according to other Guard’s, he has a few traits (whatever those are), he tells me that these “traits” are big paws and natural bearings. I don’t really understand it but I told him that they’re probably teasing them so just ignore their racoonery. Kole tells me that he still carries the shield with the crest of Thistledown on it along with the stonemace, a weapon many of the Thorns use. He also tells me he carries a small set of a hammer and a chisel in a pouch strapped to a belt. If you must know, the crest of Thistledown is a rock with a thorny stem twirling out from it with a blackberry and raspberry hanging on either side of the stem at the top. Knowing he carries this on his shield has made us all proud here, especially the Thorns, knowing that one of their number aids the Guard and the rest of the mice in the Territories.
Sadly, Kole’s old friend Lester has none of it and I’ve stopped trying to persuade him that Kole still sees him as a friend and brother. Yet, he does not and I did not really know why their relationship has deteriorated so, even Kole… for a while hasn’t told me, even when I’ve asked in the past. However he told me finally… IT WAS OVER A GIRL!!! Oh how shocked I was when I read his letter! Of course I read the rest of the letter a week later, when after a spirited investigation nothing turned up. I found out it was ME!!! Needless to say I am probably the only red-furred mouse in existence, even if it were only for a few minutes of course. However I have also suffered because of their split, we were all such great friends but I guess when Lester realized I liked Kole more than he, they had a fight and never really spoke again. The saddest part is that Kole and Lester crafted one of the finest stonemaces seen in Thistledown. It is certainly the envy of every Thorn, past and present. Kole created the mace’s head and base while Lester carved the wood used in the shaft. I believe I forgot to mention that Lester is a carpenter here, he’s Kole’s opposite number when it come to carpentering in Thistledown. Both Kole’s and Lester’s work can be found throughout Thistledown and even some of their work can be found sitting side by side in many a Chistel’s abode. But as we now know… Lester is a jerk, he should realize that there are more berries on a bush than just one. Hopefully he will see this one day, until then I suspect Kole nor I will be seeing much of him.
In my last letter, I asked Kole what he is fighting for in the Guard, what does he live his life as while apart of the Guard, what makes him tick. You know what he answered me with! “I always think calmly when confronted by any situation but I act swiftly so as not to lose the advantage.” This is of course, the motto of the Thorns but he tells me that he has also come to realize that there is more to this than when he served in the Thorns. Despite the similarities between the two, Kole says he believes that what the Guard serves for, their “higher purpose” as he puts it, is no different from the Thorns’, just it’s on a greater scale. He tells me he believes that he is the shield which protects the weak [I assume he means us mice] and the mace which crushes those who would devour them [again I suspect he means us mice].
Well, this is it for today’s entry… looking outside I wonder what Kole is doing now. I wonder, is he out settling a trade dispute between other towns and cities, is he engaged in protecting foragers, battling a fearsome creature, or back in Lockhaven resting and enjoying the company of his fellow Guardmice. But I do know this, that with him in the Guard, each and every day is safer knowing he is out watching over the territories.
Parents: Caley and Tinble Crag
Hometown: Thistledown (I’ve written up a background for the town, it’ll appear in the territories section at some point along with a crappily drawn map)
Fur Color: Black
Friend: Josephine - Cartographer who lives in their hometown of Thistledown (she may also be more than a friend but Kole has yet to squeak about that).
Enemy: Lester - Carpenter who also still lives in Thistledown. He broke his childhood friendship with Kole when he discovered Josephine liked Kole more than he.
Guard Rank: Guardmouse (I would like to say he advanced pretty quickly thanks to his experience with the Thorns)
Senior Artisan: Gilbert - A stonemason who works for the Mouse Guard. Kole protested to have apprenticeship under a stonemason since that was his livelihood at Thistledown before joining the Mouse Guard… it was approved of somehow.
Mentor: Crull - A blonde old fur who retired after issuing Kole his cloak. The Winter of 1152 proved to be too much for him and he retired after training Kole to be a Mouse Guard.
Cloak Color: Silver
Belief: I am the shield of the weak and the mace which crushes those who would devour them.
Instinct: Think calmly but act swiftly, never lose the advantage. [From that to this after Ian K’s suggestion->] Think quick and a steady so the advantage is never lost.
Gear: Shield, stone mace, small hammer and chisel in a pouch attached to a belt around the waist.
Nature (Mouse) - 5/5
Will - 3
Health - 5
Resources - 5
Circles - 2
Pathfinder - 5
Stonemason - 4
Healer - 3
Rocky Terrain-Wise - 2
Milk Snake-Wise - 2
Hunter - 2
Survivalist - 2
Persuader - 2
Fighter - 0
Instructor - 0
Orator - 0
Deceiver - 0
Weather Watcher - 0
Fate - 1
Persona - 1
I assume I leave Contacts and Goal empty until I play a session or two with Kole. I also think I didn’t quite get Belief right nor Instinct. As for his weapon of choice, the stone mace, I don’t know what was in the new rules that came with the box set so I figured I’d give it a -1D to defend and feint and either the +1S used by axes or +1D to attack (I obviously haven’t played Mouse Guard yet so I’m not sure how this would work). Also he carries a shield too so he has a decent defense (although he’s slow as hell lol).
I also randomized the Mice Settlements that you can find in the map David created. I did this so that creating a character could be more fun and exciting instead of having to worry about where one’s mouse came from. So I took the liberty of dividing the territories into 6 sections. I placed many of the Mice settlements in these sections as evenly as I could. I have it listed below. I also would like to point out that I had trouble reading some of the names so feel free to correct me if I misspelled any of them!
A few things to know!
You roll one D6 die and then you roll it again to find out where your mouse comes from. For example, I rolled a 5 and then rolled a 2 to end up with Thistledown as Kole’s hometown. Lastly Lockhaven and Windslem are the only ones for 6, this is because well… it’s Lockhaven and Windslem is the latest colony that was recently founded by Elmwood in 1151 and I’m not sure if the Mouse Guard recruits from Winslem yet (they’re probably vigorously guarding the place instead).
*#2 has more than 6 settlements listed and thus is rolled differently when deciding which one your mouse originates from. After rolling a 2, if you roll a 1 or 2 you roll again since both contain an extra settlement. To decide, an Odd or Even roll gets you one or the other. For example, I roll a 2 then a 1. I then decide Copperwood is Odd and Rootwallow is Even. My next roll is 2, even, my new Mouse Guard is from Rootwallow. Hopefully that wasn’t too explainy.
Bird(Birl) ??? -6
Port Sumac -5
Lockhaven - Odds
Windslem - Evens
That’s it for now. All comments and criticisms are welcome. I also thank you very much for having the patience to read such a long post I didn’t intend to make in the first place