Mysterious Miscreants

Hi everyone, I have decided to try my hand at running Mouse Guard as my first game as GM. It’s still rough but I have most of it planned out in my head. What is written down is what I have so far. Since I’m new to this side of RPG’s I’ve been planning everything out step-by-step so I can get a feel for planning campaigns, sessions, what-have-you. I’ve been taking it slow so far and have mostly summarized the mechanics needed for some of the conflicts/obstacles so if you think I should use a skill, an obstacle, or a conflict then let me know. I plan to have 2 different parts play out so that the campaign can be geared toward a large group of players or toward a single player or much smaller group. What you see below is mostly for the larger group. The single player/smaller group will be created much later. I also want to point out that updates on this are slow so don’t expect to see a whole lot of activity in a short period of time.

Mysterious Miscreants

Rootwallow– The patrol is finishing up a long and difficult mission. They were aiding in recovery operations after flash floods damaged much of the town, the surrounding countryside, and also nearby by towns and villages. They spent a great deal of time leading recovery teams into the damaged areas looking for missing mice; guarded foragers who had to travel further away from their towns than normal to find food and supplies thanks to the harsh winter; and they also helped rebuild and establish new villages as well as get Rootwallow back on its feet.

 Soon however, the patrol hears rumors about “bandits” in the south raiding, attacking, and kidnapping many mice as they travel with caravans, clear trails and roads, and scavenge for food and supplies. None of the news has traveled by mail or reported in local news papers. All of it traveled by word of mouth. Many mice are soon jumpy and worried about what is happening as the rumors become stranger and stranger. They begin asking the patrol about seeing to the rumors as they have relatives and family living in the south. A quick exchange of letters with Gwendolyn reveals that no other patrol is currently in the South. [At some point three older mice of undistinguishable age share some tales and rumors with the patrol after having recently traveled up from the south themselves. - Several cards with a couple lines of dialogue read by the players could be created using these three mice]

 [u]Reporting to Gwendolyn and the Possible Actions the Patrol can choose:[/u] 

[li] If the group splits, the “rookie” heads back to inform Gwendolyn while everyone else continues south. (The rookie heads to the village of Fallen Leaf with another tenderpaw to meet with a Patrol Guard whom Gwendolyn already dispatched a few days earlier to see about some distressing news.)
[/li] a) Meanwhile the main group heads south to either Shorestone, Appleloft, Lillygrove, or Flintrust. Failed obstacle tests lead to several obstacles; the patrol either finds a mysterious mouse who leads them to an inn, or they find the inn and no mysterious mouse (one leaves early from a table of two while the weather still is not good outside). [Expand on these possibilities making each one a result of failed pathfinder tests when the patrol travels to one of the southerly towns.]
[li] The groups stays together and reports back to Gwendolyn. After hearing their report Gwendolyn instructs them to head to the southern towns and villages to investigate and put an end to whatever is the cause of the trouble (if there is any).
[/li][li] The last option is to send word to Gwendolyn via carrier and head immediately south to begin prompt investigation of the rumors.

On the Road South:
The harsh winter has caused a lot of damage to the road network and terrain. Melting ice has created hundreds of small and large streams with various currents. Mudslides and debris have completely destroyed, blocked, or reshaped the landscape in many areas further compounding the difficulties. Lastly, deadly flash floods strike without warning sweeping away careless mice. There are three possibilities if the patrol fails to successfully navigate to one of the three towns. 1) A mysterious mouse stumbles into the patrol and leads them to a nearby inn. The patrol has to spend the night. In the morning, if the patrol decides to thank the mouse for his help, they discover he isn’t there. [He left later the previous night or very early in the morning.] 2) The patrol finds an inn in which they recover. No mysterious mouse is here, just several guests. 3) The patrol finds the inn/led there by the mysterious mouse. Upon entering the inn the mouse bids the goodbye and heads toward a table where two other mice are sitting. One gets up and leaves the inn (back into the bad weather) while the one that led you talks with the seated one briefly before both head upstairs or downstairs. Both cannot be found if the patrol tries looking for them later that night or in the morning. Just a side not, if the patrol asks around for more information they just get unclear and even misleading information.
Pathfinder and Weather Watcher skills are needed.
[INDENT]Wilderness - Because of the mudslides, debris strewn about, the numerous streams, and flash floods the obstacle is a 4. So Ob. 4.
If the patrol fails to pass this test they receive the Hungry/Thirsty & Tired conditions.

        [u]Weather[/u] - There can be two different possibilities to use or the GM can use both here.

[INDENT]Spring Rain - Ob.3 - Failing results in a flash flood or a mudslide.
Resulting Conditions are Sick, Tired, and or Injured.

Spring Snow - Ob.4
Resulting Conditions are Sick & Tired[/INDENT][/INDENT]

Towns to investigate:
Appleloft, Lillygrove, Flintrust, and Fallen Leaf

Going Ons:
Appleloft – If the patrol has no problem making it to Appleloft, they arrive after a caravan just completed a leg of its journey. The patrol can talk with these mice or a town representative. However, if they had difficulty and reached Appleloft a day late or so, they miss their chance to talk with the mice of the caravan but can still meet with the representative (Option ‘e’ in the discussion is mute if this happens).

(Arguement Conflict: Persuader skill is needed)
[li] Information available in order from level of failure-success:
[/li]a.The representative does not pay much attention to the rumors because he has been involved with other work.
b.The rep. has heard about what’s been going on but not much else.
c.Many mice have been attacked, have goods stolen, friends kidnapped, or chased off by a group of mysterious attackers. No one has gotten a good look at them.
d.The representative remembers hearing a mouse in Appleloft who was kidnapped but escaped. (The patrol must make a circles test). [The mouse isn’t in Appleloft, and no one ever heard of a mouse living in Appleloft who escaped the bandits. However, most rumors have a sliver of truth to them.]
e.The rep. tells the patrol that many caravans have spotted mysteriously dressed mice following them from a distance. He directs to the one that arrived. (At that point a member from the caravan walks into the room with urgent news. Several members had goods stolen and they tried to ambush the mysterious mice but failed. They had a good look at them however.)
i.The member later tells the caravan he suspects that informants are from other towns further south as the roads leading away from Appleloft are relatively safe. (He does not know about the running battle outside of Fallen Leaf where the separated patrol member’s new team is engaged in saving a stricken group of travelers.)
f.If the patrol arrives late they miss the caravan but the representative tells them that the caravan was followed almost as soon as they left one of the two towns, Lillygrove or Flintrust. He can’t remember, he was busy so he doesn’t really know which town the caravan left but if that were the case then someone is on the inside. One thing that stuck out to the representative was the description of the “bandits.” He says no one got a really good luck at them for they resembled a grotesque infusion of mouse and some kind of other animal.
[li] With whatever information they were able to gather in Appleloft the patrol has two choices, Flintrust or Lillygrove.[/ol]
Lillygrove -

Eerie Trails:


That’s all I have so far. My overall plan is to write up events going on at all of the towns/villages/inns the patrol could possibly encounter. Also, I’m hoping to present the information in such a way that the GM has the freedom to direct the patrol along different paths. An example is the patrol is in Appleloft and on time, the caravan originally left Lillygrove but the GM could also say Flintrust instead. And each of these events are hopefully going to be tied in together somehow so the campaign can be run multiple times with different experiences and results. That’s the idea anyways, execution is well… a different story altogether lol.

OH! I almost forgot, if someone wants to know the whole shebang lemme know and I’ll try to write up a summary of the main plot (minus the details).

well, firstly, welcome to building adventures in MG. I really like it as an easy system to get started building adventures.

It looks to me your plan packs in loads of events and tests. In fact, it looks a bit like you are throwing really wide scope at one patrol: flash floods across the region, four settlements to investigate, mulitple NPCs to connect in settlements. It is a lot of stuff for their shoulders.

So, looking at the beginning, the patrol was last in Rootwallow and recovering; are they continuing from an earlier session? Anyway, maybe that’s just a prologue by GM. So, you’re introducing and assigning the mission. Don’t call for tests in that portion. Either give them info or don’t, but don’t use tests at that time to resolve.

Reporting to Gwendolyn? Speed that up. Keep in mind that by the sound of things they need to get to work right from the start; there really isn’t time for conferring with G by conference or correspondence. That doesn’t even settle that one choice you’re anticipating is the group splitting up (which leaves a player uninvolved in other events).

On the road South: they’ll need to pick one, maybe two settlements that can be addressed right away and other settlements must be left for other opportunities (such as player checks). Is this a Wilderness, Weather or Mice obstacle? It seems like a great place to plan a Wilderness obstacle with a Weather twist. Thus, if htye fail a test, don’t spend too much time on a mysterious mouse and inn; just set the twist in motion and watch things move forward. Also, those multiple conditions are pretty serious. Consider reducing that down to a single condition (maybe a pair of weak conditions). As an aside, with respect to the Wilderness test, maybe push this above the trip from one settlement to another. Maybe they need to repair a bridge or build a boat to actually fulfill the trip. In that way, they are not just rolling the dice to test if they can walk the distance or find their way, its a test of how they make their way or how long it takes to cover the distance.

Towns to Investigate: here is a trick I’d recommend–plan on the group visiting a settlement, create neat tricks and details for any average settlement, let the players pick which settlement they want, use those details. Avoid spending time making up details for all four settlements when you will probably only need one neat thing about each settlement they visit. Oh, as a quick note, keep in mind that the team is going to arrive at a settlement (you either keep them running in circles from twist to twist to twist or they hit a single twist, hit some conditions and move on to the second obstacle), so don’t think, ‘if they make it.’ Okay, seeing that reminds me; is this a Mice obstacle? great, so they need to get information, right? Forget representative or caravan–throw in an enemy! Right there, throw in an enemy (maybe a friend if they deserve it) and make it a big argument about how to resolve the issue.

Now, at this point, you’ve pulled two obstacles and probably tossed in a twist and maybe laid out some conditions–stop it all for the Player Turn. Don’t let them chase the caravan, or bandits, or head to another settlement while you’re still in the GM’s Turn. End the GMT and start he PT. If they have not earned teh checks to resolve anything not already faced, too bad for the players. They missed their chance to earn the checks needed and might have missed their chances for BIGs.

Lazy little thought, you could throw in a twist on the Mice obstacle with an Animal twist. Maybe the animal has been the “bandit” all along.