I’m new to Mouse Guard RPG but will hopefully be running a campaign soon, and have been looking at lots of different ideas for stories, but I’m struggling to get my head around some of the core concepts of play. I’ve GM’d other rpgs for yonks, so the framework of the GM’s Turn/Player’s Turn seems like quite a ritualised way to play, but I’m very keen to give it a go, very intrigued to see how it works.
The thing I’ve been wrestling with is the notion of Twists and how they enhance the story. I’ve foundClayton’s Long Road to Elmoss Mission writeup to be really really useful and will model my own mission plans on his layout, but having read through it, and seeing all the planning he’s put in to his Twists, can’t help but wonder at the effort he’s put in. It seems all the fun and excitement of overcoming his Twists will be completely sidestepped with two successful rolls against his two obstacles; from my point of view the game will be much more exciting if the players fail against them. And what if the Twists are crucial to uncovering the story?
The best example I can think of (and cause it’s on the telly at the mo) is the setup in No Country For Old Men. Shoehorning it into the MG frame work, Llewellyn Moss is out hunting deer (that’d be his obstacle). He fails his Hunting roll, injuring the deer instead of killing it, and has to track it down following its bloody trail. The Twist is that while tracking his quarry he stumbles across new bloody tracks, which lead him to the aftermath of a drug deal gone bad, uncovers a truckload of cocaine and a bag of cash, and ends up getting entangled with the criminal underworld of SW USA. Now if Moss had succeeded in his Hunting roll, shot and killed the deer and overcome his obstacle, then he would never have found the shootout location and would have lived to a ripe old age with his wife and his handlebar moustache; if he’d have overcome the Obstacle the story would never have taken place for him.
So that’s my conundrum. It seems that failing Obstacles is almost essential to add that extra layer of excitement and suspense to a game, and to moving the story along; unless the Twists have no bearing on the greater story?
Now I’m hoping that this is something that will resolve itself once I’ve actually run a session or two; but if anyone would care to show me where my understanding is wrong I’d really appreciate it.