My first time with Mouse Guard

Hello fellow Mice

I GMed the Grain Peddler mission at an rpg club in vienna two weeks ago, here are my experience.

The group went really well with the first part of the mission, teamwork made Lieam roll 6s with 7 or 8 dice. This was a bit sad for me since i really hoped to include the snake.
They found the grainpeddler and Kenzie failed his persuader roll. I described him getting Angry at the mouse and threatening him - therby getting the map from him. The player feelt a bit annoyed by that because he would have seen Kenzie getting Angry in a different way. MY failure.

Then after a short GM Turn we went into the Player turn.

Kenzie started a conflict with the peddler, trying to get more info out of him. Sadie, Lieam and Kenzie formed a team against him. Their goal was to get more info. The grainpeddler went for “I tell you nothing and you won’t hurt me”.
We went through 3 turns in which both sides got a succesfull faint. In the end Kenzie won with an attack and a amazing part of RP.
The grain peddler was mostly beeing defensive and tryed to convice them to let everything be because they only would get in a lot of trouble.
Kenzie than went on about the responsibility of every mouse to do something with his life and fight for something that is right because otherwise they would die at an old age, wondering what sense their life had.
In the end the GP got a huge compromise out of them and told them valuable information but got his own safety and life.

Than the patrol went into a planing stage, thinking about what to do. They thought about sending Sadie to Lockhaven with the traitor or smuggling everyone into Barkstone, using the grain wagon.
In the end Sadie went into Barkstone, posing as the merchant. She failed her deciver Ob2 roll (she rolled nature, tap it and used her clever trait but still couldn’t roll more than 1s) and got captured and lock in the inn.

The rest of the patrol than got into Barkstone, failing a ressources roll to “dine and wine” some people for information. At that point i more or less missed the “twist or condition” rule and just let them fail without real consequence - my bad.
The last player than rolled circles to find a drinking townguard and press him for information.

End player turn.

The group had fun for the most part. We had 1 RP-Newbie who was happy because the system forced her to do something and got her a spotlight point.
The player of Kenzie feeled a problem with the rules forbiding him to do more than one than 1 thing in the player turn without real reasons in the fiction.

I got assured in my believe that the grain peddler mission isn’t the strongest one in the book. I think Deliver the mail is much better designed and is not quickly over when the first roll is lucky.
I completly forgot to ask the players to form mission goal or talk in any way about them.
One of the club asked me to run mouse guard next time in january because he couldn’t participate this time.
I’m thinking about designing my own mission for that.

Is there a way i should have explained to Kenzie’s player better about the rules-fiction conflict with his checks?
In a 3 mice team, does anyone gets at least 2 extra dice on anything because of teamwork?
What are the limits of teamwork?

Welcome Praion,

About actions in the players turn, since you can’t act twice in a row, actions tend to spread out among the players. Why is it bothering the Kenzie player in particular? How do the other mice feel?

I can understand the player getting upset by having you describe Kenzie getting angry. I would have applied the angry Condition after allowing the success of the Persuader test, letting the player to roleplay it themselves. The Mission doesn’t say give them the map and describe them being angry at he peddler. It says give them the map on the condition that they are made angry by it.

what’s troubling you about teamwork? Three mice acting as a team can generate 2 extra dice.

He wanted to do more stuff and there was no reason in the story why he wouldn’t do more stuff.
(fictional) quote : “I am way better at lying my way past the guards, why can’t i make the rokk” or “I should do that, wait, for some reason i can’t”

Well, the players turn is about setting priorities. There is always helping while your friend makes the roll.

This stil doesn’t explain why Kenzie the mouse can’t decide to interogate the prisoner and then bring him back to Lockhaven or lead a Spymission into Barkstone.

Kenzies player knows he can not, but Kenzie doesn’t now that and maybe still want to do that, no reason for him not to want besides the player not knowing the rules.

I have no problems with these rules but i want to have a good way to explain that to the players.

If he’s out of checks, the player’s turn is over. The GM sets the obstacles in the GM’s turn.

If Kenzie runs off to Lockhaven, that’s totally cool, but he’s going to need to roll up a new patrol mouse, because I assume everyone else is playing Mouse Guard.

Sorry, but your posts really aren’t helping to solve my problem

If he wants to do more in the PC turn, he needs to earn more checks during the GM’s turn. It’s part of the scene economy. Players have to decide what things are most important to accomplish using their checks, especially when they don’t have enough to do everything they have in mind – they may need to re-visit some things later.

Again, i know that already and i have no problem with this rules. I want to know the roleplaying reasons or In-game reasons that i can bring up why Kenzie simply can’t do more than he did allready but Saxon can’t

Praion, I am trying to help. Sorry if its not working. Let me try again.

First, just a note to make sure we’re on the same page. Saxon can’t go twice in a row. So, if he has extra checks, he’s going to need to spread them out to his friends a bit, or they go unused. Even with three mice, Kenzie isn’t going to spend a lot of turns doing nothing.

Second, there really isn’t a roleplaying reason besides running out of time, unless you narrate some reason. IF he wants to take the prisoner to Lockhaven and if you want, at the end of he players turn you can invoke the say yes or role the dice rule and just start the GM’s turn back at Lockhaven. They’ve dropped off their prisoner and Gwendolyn gives them a mission…go. You could decide that taking the prisoner back to Lockhaven makes a great mission and use that for your GM’s turn.

Assuming you have another mission in mind, then you move on to the GM’s mission. Kenzie’s player can’t test to interrogate the prisoner. That doesn’t mean that Kenzie didn’t try to interrogate him. Maybe Kenzie was too busy helping Saxon and Sadie to get to the prisoner before the next mission presents itself. Maybe Kenzie has spent the whole players turn interrogating him while Saxon and Sadie were busy elsewhere. He just doesn’t get the info he’s after. There are all sorts of creative options here.

Lastly, suggest to Kenzie’s player that his help in figuring out the reasons he likes would be appreciated more than complaints.

I am glad to hear about your fantastic session. Your description made it sound very fun.

If I may chime in on the question of actions during the player’s turn, I would like to suggest telling the players to think less about the number of checks until they have described some actions they wish to complete during the player’s turn. After they have described a few, you can ask them to prioritize and then compare how many checks as well as assess which you are willing to ‘say yes’ without requiring a check or roll of dice.

As they see that the number of checks defines which tasks they will be able to include in the player’s turn, the players may feel more inclined to create their own role-play narrative of how to complete their desires according to their priorities.

Just as noclue said, you might choose some of their actions to form the follow-on mission, or to form the introduction of the next mission.

Also, I often look at the matters which the mice did not deal with during the player’s turn to create future twists.

As an example, in your case, perhaps Kenzie has earned one check and gains one check at the player’s turn. He thinks the best course of action is to pathfind to Barkstone, find some possible informants and wine-n-dine them, then overcome his anger. He didn’t seem to include the interrogation or handling of a prisoner in his actions. So, he sets some priorities knowing that one check will have to go to pathfinder, and one will have to go to circles. He could rely on another mouse to cover the pathfinder and instead spend that check on the wine-n-dine using resources or maybe persuader. He could rely on another mouse to handle the circles and instead spend that check on overcoming anger.

But, after all that, he still hasn’t got the checks to set up prisoner handling and interrogation. That seems like just the thing to sneak into a follow-on mission as a twist. Perhaps the grain peddler was released for lack of time and supplies to keep a prisoner under watch; he now carries a quick sketch of the mouse patrol to Midnight as a warning and readies to act as a spy in other endeavors.

The players should carry the burden on their own shoulders to earn the checks and prioritze the checks. The should also carry the burden of telling why they didn’t do something that seemed important, but wasn’t as high a priority as other tasks. They will have to look at their beliefs, goals, and mission orders to decide what must be accomplished.

They player needs to buy into the game structure. Maybe you should lend him the book so he can read it and learn the rules.

There aren’t any in-game or in-character reasons. The reason Kenzie can’t do more is because the other mice in his patrol haven’t had enough panels in the current issue showcasing them, and this comic is called Mouse Guard, not Kenzie’s Adventures. That’s maybe a bit flippant, but that’s the reason for the rule. Your player needs to understand that the game is designed to recreate the feel of the comics, not accurately simulate 100% what the world of Mouse Guard is like in a real-physics sort of way. The comics are about a team; therefore, so is the roleplaying game.


Possible reasons:

  1. Everyone is doing something at the same time, so there’s no time for one character to do three things while everyone else does one.
  2. Set up the next mission. You can still RP in the players’ turn. So occupy the busybody with some new information.