I’ve been itching to test out the mechanics of Mouse Guard, but don’t actually want to play MG until I’ve read all of the comics. Also, I’m kind of looking for a way to possibly port MG conflicts into BW.
We’re starting a one-on-one campaign with me playing as a knight-errant/ship’s captain. I’ll be sailing the great seas, battling huge monsters, solving puzzles devised by evil sorcerers and climbing the highest mountains to find the rarest flower on earth so that I may give it to a maiden as a sign of my affection. That kind of stuff.
I won’t go into the reasons here, but I’ve decided to go with the MG ruleset instead of BW. Since it’s just me playing, character generation doesn’t pose a huge problem, we can just make the character what he should be and not worry too much about the mechanics.
The thing I’m struggling with the most is Nature. Nature is arguably the most important stat on a MG character, and I’d think the game breaks without it. Thing is, what should the Nature of a human knight-errant be? What is Nature (Human)? Or should it be Nature (Heroic Knight), or something along those lines?
Writing this gave me an idea. Since the campaign is about love (the character is a romantic trying to win the heart of a princess), could I go with Nature (Human) having everything to do with love? At least sci-fi often defines humans as warm-blooded and loving (as well as violent).
Any ideas on how to go about this? Maybe suggest your own idea of handling Nature in this campaign?
EDIT: Could Nature (Human) be a tip-scale with capacity for love/hate at the ends? Nature (Human) 6 would then be very compassionate and loving, while Nature (Human) 1 would mean a character with enormous capacity for violence. Or the other way around, I haven’t figured which would be better game mechanically.
At the risk of going a bit off topic when you mentioned the scale idea “A Dirty World” came to mind, it’s an RPG with exactly that mechanic. Granted it’s designed for a noir background, but both it and “Shock: Social Science Fiction” take it a step further and use it for the entirety of their mechanics.
Even if you’re using MG…it might be worth it to see how they handle the tip-scales.
Since Nature is how un-human the mice are, and most of the knightly virtues run against human nature, seems like you could just rename it Chivalry and pick four aspects like Courtesy (or Etiquette), Platonic Seduction, Riding, Conspicuous, Honor-wise, etc.
I’d recommend not including any fighting skills on the list of aspects for Chivalry. For one, the romantic ideal has more to do with behavior than success. You fight fairly, regardless of the consequences. You court women, never expecting anything in return. Plus, there are lots of examples of knights who violated the code because of their blood-thirstiness, vengefulness, lack of mercy, etc.
Thanks for the input, this seems like a good direction to be going.
However, I’m a bit uncertain about a few things here. Mainly that Nature (Mouse) has basically four skills as its aspects (foraging, climbing, escaping and hiding) and the well-devised chivalric list is more like four traits (valor, honor, love, fealty). Do I thus just allow any act that exemplifies those aspects to be used with Nature (Chivalry) and any other kind of behaviour as going against Nature? It seems a lot easier when the aspects are skills.
Also, since the character will possess most of the skills he needs during his adventures, I don’t see Nature being used much. Is this a problem? Since Nature is not like Steel, where you get checks for advancement based on the narrative (eg. witnessing murder, Ob 4), I don’t see Nature (Chivalry) changing a lot through play. This may or may not be a problem, I’m not sure. The possibility to tap into Nature will probably be used often, though.