I prepped the first session of my newest Mouse Guard game in like 10 minutes, like this:
I came up with a mission (“it’s early Spring; go pour the scent border!”) out of the Seasons chapter based on some BIGs, mostly one guardmouse with a Scientist enemy whose Belief is about proving himself to those who say he can’t do things. So, OK, “pour the scent border” - I called it a Wilderness obstacle, although I dunno if that category is correct. Mice gotta Pathfinder their way along the border to find the right spots, and Scientist to pour the gunk, just like it reads in the Seasons chapter. One obstacle, check!
Then I checked out the other guardmice’s BIGs. What’s this? “Always help those in need?” Cool, there’s our mice obstacle, then: a mouse in need! Hmmm, the third mouse’s Belief is about exploring secret stuff…so we have a mouse yammering for help because his friend disappeared down a tunnel that leads into some underground vault, maybe part of the Darkheather (we are along the western border of the Territories, after al…). And this guy’s a Healer, so let’s have him with a broken leg.
Bam! Done. Two complex obstacles: 1) Pour the scent border (Pathfinder + Scientist), and 2) help the mice (Healer for the injured one, probably Scout for the missing one). I tend to sketch my ‘primary’ test as I come up with obstacles, but I leave room for alternate skills to test as well as additional bits for the obstacle - like maybe “help the mice” will end up with a third test or more in play, I dunno, we’ll see when we get there.
Oh, and I note “twists: animal & weather,” and I think about those real quick. Animal, that’s easy! Either something gets by the border because they failed at pouring it - hello, Mr. Fox! - or, y’know, weasels in the Darkheather vault. And weather twists are super-easy. Rain seems fun here, since it’ll mess with the scent concoction pouring efforts.
That’s it! A little while spent thinking, and I’m all ready to go!