Greetings all!
Okay, so I buckled up, threw down, and purchased the glorious MG box-set!
Loved the book, cards, map, ect, ec.; However that is not why Im here.
I’m at a loss when it comes to a number of skills, so mayhap you Guard Captains could lend a hand to a no cloaked Tenderpaw…?
Things like the difference between Fighting, and Hunting… Why would someone take Hunting, if Fighting works in Animal conflicts?
The one that really gets me is Insectrist, I LOVE this idea, completely sweet, but what can I really do with this skill?
I should mention Im a DnD player, so Im eternally focused on combat, so I was wondering, could I tame an Insect (spider?), and train it to fight by my side, like an attack dog, granting just a +1D, or something? Can a player use spiders poison (Poison-wise), it may not be very “honorable”, but still curious…
Also, how important is a “combat” skill? It seems only a small corner of the list of skills, and such, but in the book it shows all the mice fighting far more than anything else…

Anyway… Im a newb.
Thank you for you time… I have more questions, but thats it for now :smiley:


“It’s not what you fight, but what you fight for.”

Mouse Guard is an incredible game that allows players to “fight” in more ways than just physically throwing down. Keeping in mind the fact that most of the animals on the Natural Order chart are way bigger than you (and therefore impossible to kill in direct, non-mass-combat, per the rules), you’re going to have to think of ways of “defeating” the various obstacles that get in your way.

If you’re the GM for your group, and are just thinking of Mouse Guard as D&D with different rules, you’re probably not going to run a very interesting game. If you’re a player, and choose all of your skills based on nothing other than how potent you feel they will be in a combat scenario, then ditto.

Use of Fighter vs. Hunter in a Fight Animal conflict: First, choosing one skill or the other says something about your character. Is he an outdoorsy type who would put his tiny mouse life on the line in order to go out and trap and kill other animals (probably larger than himself) to put food on his community’s plate, or does he have other motivations for picking up a sword or bow?

Secondly: When actually fully narrating each action in combat (we do this in Mouse Guard instead of just saying “I swing my sword”, or calling out “GREAT CLEAVE!” and claiming to be roleplaying, which seemed to be the case in many D&D games I’ve played in), you would probably describe a hunter’s Attack, Defend, Maneuver or Feint differently than you would a fighter’s.

Insectrist: Again, not everything has to be combat in order to be conflict. I ran a game a while back where the patrol had to deal with swarms and swarms of ants (in large enough numbers, they can be a real problem for tiny mice, even tiny mice with swords). The player with the Insectrist skill was at least as able to make a difference in the encounters with the ants than anyone with Fighter or Hunter, if not more so.

Answering other questions:

…so I was wondering, could I tame an Insect (spider?), and train it to fight by my side, like an attack dog, granting just a +1D, or something?

If your GM allows it, sure. But why stop there? I would maybe use the Mounts rules to capture and train a large spider (p. 12, New Rules supplement). Capturing requires a Fight Animal conflict, and taming/training it requires a Taming conflict. Taming uses Loremouse and Hunter… hrm, but no Fighter.

Can a player use spiders poison (Poison-wise), it may not be very “honorable”, but still curious…

I would probably allow this in my games, but I’d most likely require a player to acquire the spider’s venom by testing an appropriate skill (maybe Insectrist) then actually preparing the venom (maybe test against Brewer, Cook or Scientist). Failure would result in a Sick condition for the testing mouse/mice. Success would vary depending on the poison. I’d probably also consider that poison would be something that instead of giving an instant bonus in combat, would be more useful for a more indirect interaction with an opponent. If I allowed it in a combat conflict, it would probably be something like +1s on a successful hit, and the opponent is Sick if the poison was used on the action that reduced its Disposition to 0.

Hunter also allows you to do hunter type things outside of combat.

[The mouse] uses his skill and cunning to stalk, trap, drive off or kill his quarry. Hunter can also be used to find information about an animal—where it likes to eat, what it eats, what its weapons are (page 247).

I had a complex hazard involving a convoy of wagons stuck in the mud in which Insectrist was tested to hitch the beetles from multiple wagons to individual wagons and get them all pulling together.

One of my favorite things about Mouse Guard is that any conflict can have as much detail as a combat is given in a typical roleplaying game. My first group had a memorable journey conflict trying to get a cart full of mail through a muddy spring ice storm. I’ve also done a beetle-wrangling conflict that leaned heavily on the insectrist skill. The GM needs to account for skills the players are interested in when he plans his mission obstacles.

That being said, fighter and hunter are core competencies of members of the mouse guard, so it’s helpful to take some ranks in one or the other during the recruitment process. Skills like pathfinder and weather watcher are just as important, however, and the GM needs to provide opportunities for every character to shine.