My Second Custom Mission
This is the summer mission following my first custom mission and the follow-up of that mission. The group is working through two spring missions, two summer missions and one fall mission of our second year of patrolling.
Mission: Settling Matters in Dawnrock
Allow a patrol member to predict the weather if this was not done during the Player’s Turn during last session; else, the weather has become warm and humid
The patrol has arrived at Calogero with the help of the Frostic outpost mice. The outpost of Calogero is a small converted home by the coast with limited space; currently, two mice are assigned to Calogero. Also, there is a mail courier camped outside Calogero with mail for the patrol and anticipates a report of spring duties from the patrol.
Allow a patrol mate to test Circles to see if they know the outpost mice or the mail courier (this isn’t essential to the mission, but it gives the party a chance to make tests toward advancement; I’ve been trying to provide more opportunities for the patrol to make tests). Failure might mean that they’ve encountered an enemy of theirs from among the guard.
Require the senior guardmouse to write or order another mouse to write a report of spring duties; this will be an Ob 3 Administrator test (this is something I’ve been including so that the senior Patrol Guard can show he is ready for promotion next winter; you might not need this for your patrol). Failure might mean that the chance for promotion later is more difficult; also, they may have a request for additional assistance to the region where they last patrolled and the failed report could easily mean that request is not convincing.
Allow a patrol member to offer the prologue to relieve a condition or recover a point of tax from nature. The report earlier should be far briefer than the prologue.
Assign the Mission:
Gwendolyn has sent several letters with the courier. There is a brief letter for each of the Patrol Guards in the party encouraging them to help the lower ranked mice. (Our own patrol also has a former patrol mate on a solo mission, so one letter was a summary of his first progress report; they’ll be meeting with him in fall). Lastly, there is a letter for the senior mouse with instructions for summer.
“I look forward to your spring report; I’ve had no word about your patrol through Port Sumac and Rustleaf during spring. Surely the summer mail will have something from those towns.
“The summer months are a good time for you to move the patrol through Dawnrock, Whitepine, and Elmwood. Although they have not requested a patrol, you certainly can find duties to fulfill there. Before the Weasel War, there was a small settlement that shared a gravel covered shore with an ant colony (name it as you like). Unfortunately, the trade economy through the war reduced the value of the stone coming from the town such that most residents moved to other settlements, particularly Dawnrock, Whitepine, and Elmwood.
“I understand some mice are interested in resettling their old homesteads; the war is over and some time has passed. Your patrol could provide protective escort for the colonizing mice. The stone from the gravel deposit would be a great benefit to Lockhaven’s occasional repairs.
“Most importantly, you are expected to arrive at Barkstone in the fall; don’t be early. Get engaged in the duties of the Guard.”
Allow the patrol to write Goals for this session and review Beliefs and Instincts.
The patrol is beginning at Calogero and will need to make the short trip to Dawnrock. The outpost mice and other travellers have already established paths between Calogero and Dawnrock throughout the spring. It will be an easy trip.
Allow a patrol mouse to lead the group using an Ob 2 Pathfinder test; failure gains the thirsty condition as they’ve chosen a path that didn’t have water sources.
Mice Obstacle: As the patrol arrives at Dawnrock, you see a group of beleaguered mice returning from a western trail. Among the group is a trail of ants carrying pebbles and beetles trudging tents and household goods. These must be quarry workers coming back from the old gravel site. The group offers no welcome, but several keep their eyes on the patrol mice as both groups are headed into the town.
The Lord of the town is told that a guard patrol has come to the city and is all too happy to provide a flourishing welcome. The town of Dawnrock enjoys a government of nobility ruling over a class-based society of merchants, artisans, and laborers. The Lord of the town explains his predicament to the patrol.
Some years ago, his town welcomed the labormice who came from the gravel site. They were quite a boon to the economy as hard-working, tough souls. The city gained a new source of stone, which had previously been an expensive commodity. Soon, they may be able to begin exporting from Dawnrock around to Darkwater Bay from the growing port.
The laborers which came from the gravel site have been talking about returning to resettle their quarry town. It would be devastating to our growing economy; they provide a much needed resource. Without the labor mice of the quarry, we would return to a small fishing town with fantastic seaside vistas. No one can sell the sunrise after all.
Now that the patrol is here, the Lord expects you all can speak alongside him to quash this rebellious idealism here and now. He can schedule a public debate later this week. Meanwhile, he encourages the patrol to enjoy the delights of his town and spend some money at their inns and restaurants.
The Lord wants the patrol to speak for his side, he will not initiate a conflict to make them obey, but he will use Persuader vs Will of the senior mouse to convince them that he has good intentions. The senior guardmouse will test their Will, but each junior guardmouse must test their will against the Lord’s Persuader test -1s; they may not be the direct interest, but are nearby to hear his entreaty. Failure indicates the mouse is fairly interested in supporting the monarchal ruler of the town.
The party should decide whether they will rent from an inn or camp outside town. Use their decision and weather conditions to factor which test they decide. Failure causes depletion of Resources or Tired from bad rest outdoors.
Regardless of the location the patrol rests, a visitor comes to their side. He identifies himself as Dogwood (or some other name of your choice), the insect wrangler. He worked as a chief insect wrangler in the former gravel town. He saw the patrol come into Dawnrock while he led the trail of ants.
Dogwood has been talking with other labor mice and knows that there are many families desiring to go back home and rebuild the ghost town. He wants to resettle the quarry and rename the town. He is not a skilled speaker, nor are the other laborers. They need a speaker to represent them and argue for their release from Dawnrock. They need their new town protected from annexation by Dawnrock; they want to be independent, rather than workers.
Dogwood feels that they provided a strong support to Dawnrock during the war and after. They now deserve to be supported by the mice of Dawnrock in rebuilding their town and gaining independence. In his mind, this is fair and balanced.
The town of Dawnrock is overcrowded; allowing the mice to go would relieve some of the housing pressure and displace some of the economy from Dawnrock to this new settlement. It is a difficult argument for anyone to make against the Lord of Dawnrock. Houses can be built, but the resources provided through the quarry cannot so easily be replaced. A change such as this could ripple through the lower classes, artisans, merchants, and nobility. It may cripple Dawnrock’s growth.
Dogwood wants the patrol to speak for his side, he will not initiate a conflict to make them agree, but he will use Persuader vs Will of the senior mouse to convince them that he and his fellows deserve to run their own town. The senior guardmouse will test their Will, but each junior guardmouse must test their will against the Dogwood’s Persuader test -1s; they may not be the direct interest, but are nearby to hear his pleading. Failure indicates the mouse is fairly interested in standing against monarchal ruler of the town.
The patrol may feel less than capable of handling a major argument such as this. Someone may feel a strong interest in seeking a sympathetic politician to their side.
Allow a patrol mouse to make a Circles test to find a politician sympathetic to their cause. This should not be an easy test by any means. Failure means this politician becomes an enemy and takes side against the patrol; if they are supporting the Lord, he sees a chance to undermine the noble and possibly gain position in the new town; if they are against the Lord, he sees a chance to improve his favor with the noble and possibly be rewarded.
The patrol members must takes sides in the upcoming debate. They argue in support of the Lord of Dawnrock or against the Lord in support of Dogwood and the laborers.
The days pass with occasional visits from the Lord and from Dogwood. Each is trying to secure his position with the patrol. Neither realizes they may also be giving away secrets while talking with the patrol mice.
The Lord of Dawnrock has called for a public debate in the town square; he has invited nobles to join his cause as well as the Guard patrol. (The denizens of the territories has a few templates that can easily represent nobles; I used an Administrator and a Politician with slight adaptations to their skills to represent the Lord and one other noble. Dogwood is an Insect Wrangler and his laborers are harvesters, stonemasons, muscle, etc.; they are not skilled in Persuader, Deceiver, or Orator.) Dogwood has arrived with several families of the labor class interested in seeing their town renewed and given independent status. The patrol mice should take sides accordingly.
• Lord will have a goal of publically humiliating the laborers and convincing the people that he has the best intentions by continuing the status quo of Dawnrock owning the quarry land and managing it through hired labor.
• Dogwood will have a goal of convincing the Lord and the public that it is time now to release the laborers from employment and allow them full ownership of the quarry land as well as support them in rebuilding the town.
• The patrol mice joining either side may slightly adapt the goals according to their BIGs, but in general, the tone of the goals should not change dramatically.
Initiate an Argument Conflict to represent the debate or initiate a Speech Conflict to represent each side appealing to the public sympathies. Each requires different skills, so patrol mice may have a strong desire to see a specific conflict play out rather than the other. (I chose an Argument Conflict, despite this requiring that most of the patrol would have to use Beginner’s Luck for Persuader tests; most took Deceiver or Orator as their skill in convincing others.)
The conflict will play out and a compromise may need to be discussed. The Lord will want nothing to do with the new town. If he is forced to compromise, he will suggest something that requires little to no sacrifice from his own town such as restraining settlers from taking food stores from the town, barring residents born in Dawnrock or families with children born in Dawnrock from leaving, or requiring a fixed low price on the cost of stone. Use your imagination to come up with other compromises he might use even to the point of requiring a follow-on conflict. Dogwood, if forced to compromise, wants better pay, and permission to erect permanent buildings. He may also request a timeline of when rebuilding might be more appropriate. Think of other things he might suggest as a compromise.
Patrol mice that are part of the losing side should be Angry about the loss.
Wilderness Obstacle: Now that the debate has been handled, the patrol may be working for the Lord to arrange permanent boundaries of the annexation or working for Dogwood to arrange permanent boundaries of independence. The weather has remained humid and warm through the session and they now have several days of surveying around the region to mediate boundary lines.
Initiate a Journey Conflict to represent the lengthy period of surveying and handling the wilderness and conditions. It is more difficult to set goals for the wilderness, but this isn’t the sort of challenge where death should be on the line for the patrol. Some of the topics to consider include:
• laborers and insect wranglers that should be kept safe
• an ant colony has had reduced contact with mice for years and may treat them as an intrusion
• the coast may provide dangers to include as challenges in the conflict
• abandoned, old buildings are in need of serious maintenance
Think of how you want to challenge the patrol and create a goal that draws upon that. Use the decisions of the patrol through the conflict to inform the compromise
Mission Twists: (I didn’t plan out twists for this mission, so I’ve got nothing to write in)
After the patrol has settled mediation in the debate you can hand over the reins or push them through the surveying. They get the chance to take hold of the mission. Some ways to use checks may include:
• Pathfind to Whitepine or Elmwood to announce the resettlement (if appropriate)
• Learn more about the local ant colony
• Help build homes or buildings (in Dawnrock or the new town)
• Persuade Dogwood of the new town’s name (if appropriate)