Partial Session with kids (AP)

I needed some activity for my kids tonight, so I pulled out my MG box set for a bit of adventure.

For context, I’m experienced, but they are not. I have three kids, 7yr nearly 8, 5yr nearly 6, and 3yr getting close to 4. They have no significant exposure to MG aside from seeing it on the game shelf.

I decided to slightly modify the Delivering the Mail sample mission. I know it well enough to improvise without using the text.

I did a heavily modified process; I probably could not describe it as well in the thread. But, it came to mind easily. Here is the basic premise of the process:

  • Hometown gives a skill rating of 3 to something
  • Artisan gives a skill rating of 3 to some sort of craft/trade skill
  • Nature questions as-written (the kids really surprised me with the responses; so varied)
  • Interview w/ Gwendolyn determines other skill ratings (and one trait as well)

I used some static rank-based ratings for Will, Health, and Resources, then gave everyone Circles 3.

  • BIGs ignored at this time; seems too early to use that with kids
  • random rolled dice for weapons; worked better than imagined
  • I assigned a cloak color by the color of dice they selected, then asked them what the color means to their mouse

Interviewing with Gwendolyn, I asked:

  • What is the skill you are better than any other Guard mouse?
  • What is the skill you need help from another Guard mouse?
  • How do you convince other mice to do what you ask?

Recruitment Outcome
So, the characters are a bit rough around the edges, but serviceable.

  • Nightsky the Patrol Leader, a blackfur, bluecloak (blue for her relationship with her father); from Frostic (gained Survivalist 3); apprenticed to a carpenter (gained Carpenter 2); mentored by her grandmother (gained Hunter 2)

This is my oldest daughter. She declared her parents deceased, but her grandmother is alive and was her mentor. In the Nature responses, she said she’ll save for winter, stand to fight, and fear the mouse-eaters. I felt it deserved the Defender trait and the Leader trait (partially for her rank). Her choice of friend and enemy did not seem outlandish; a townie courier and a townie charlatan, respectively.

Interview responses resulted in the following:

  • Fighter 4
  • Pathfinder 2
  • Persuader 3

She wields a sword, a shield, and a dagger.

  • Willie the Patrol Guard, a brownfur, goldcloak (gold for his kindness to others); from Ironwood (gained Smith 3); apprenticed to a librarian (gained Archivist 2); declared his mentor deceased of old age (gained Fighter 2)

This is my son (the middle child). He said his parents made drainpipes (seemed like Smith to me). In his Nature responses, he said he’ll use what he needs (gained Generous), stand to fight, and not fear the mouse-eaters (gained Foolish). Partially, he got Foolish for his response being, “I don’t care about that.” His response to friend and enemy had some flair; a frog and a thief, respectively.

Interview responses resulted in the following:

  • Fighter 3
  • his animated description of acrobatic feats of amazement granted the Acrobatic trait rather than a skill
  • Deceiver 3

He wields a staff and a sling.

  • Pancha the Guardmouse, a redfur, redcloak (red for death and blood); from Copperwood (gains Laborer 3); apprenticed to a baker (gained Baker 2); assigned the mentor Nightsky (who said she trained her in not being into mischief, so gained Scout)

This is my youngest daughter and her coherence for this was surprising to the greatest degree. She declared her parents deceased. In the Nature responses, she said she’ll save for winter, stand to fight, and not fear the mouse-eaters (gained Brave). Her choice of friend and enemy were extraordinary; a bird and all wolves, respectively. I felt it deserved Loremouse 2 for those choices.

Interview responses resulted in the following:

  • Instructor 3
  • Fighter 2
  • Deceiver 3

She wields an axe and a bow.

The mission
Following the interview with Gwendolyn and all final ratings on the sheets, I assigned the mission to carry two mail bags from Lockhaven via Ivydale to Elmoss, Sprucetuck, then Dorigift and Gilpledge. I intended to have a wilderness hazard with a single obstacle (between Ivydale and Elmoss), followed by a mouse hazard with a complex obstacle (in Sprucetuck). The potential animal twist would pair with the wilderness hazard while a potential weather twist would pair with the mouse hazard.

As a bit of an incentive to keep the mailbags safe ('cause I was going to endanger the mailbags), Gwendolyn told them one of the bags had a large sum of money in coins being sent to Sprucetuck to pay for a concoction of great importance for pouring the scent border to keep out wolves (just trying to get Pancha’s attention by mentioning her enemy).

I asked if any other supplies would be needed before leaving, and surprisingly got them to think of and ask for water and bread loaves.

Shortly after leaving the gates, a mouse approached sweetly asking for support traveling to Elmoss. The mouse was a lighter tawny brown than WIllie, but named Raven. The patrol accepted the additional mouse, but Nightsky asked him to remain quiet for the many days of travel–she was already tired of listening to her patrol mates, so another mouse would be terrible to listen to.

The patrol quickly arrived at Ivydale, where the celebrated Book Day was already lively. Willie was warmly embraced by his boisterous former senior artisan, Richard the Librarian. But also, Richard asked to privately speak to Willie (to which Nightsky insisted she also be allowed to listen to the private conversation) about the traveling companion without a cloak [Raven the tawnyfur]. Richard warned that Raven is a dangerous mouse and should not be trusted.

Nightsky immediately drew her sword. To which Richard bellowed, “This is a library! Put that away!”

Richard and Willie briefly confirmed the rumors about Raven; to which Nightsky immediately drew her sword a second time; Richard bellowed again, “This is a library! You can’t draw a sword here!” And, they were escorted out of Ivydale.

Back on the road again, Nightsky was terrified of what might happen with a “bad guy” in their group. She became unresponsive as the patrol found a massive tree fall blocking the path. It took a lot of cajoling to get Willie and Pancha to think of a solution. And, Pancha decided to call her bird friend, Chenaina. In my mind, her bird friend is a grouse, but it is unclear from Pancha’s description. One clear aspect is that Chenaina the bird can fly and can jump lots. She spent the entire day calling her friend and became Tired from the effort, but Chenaina responded and gave the entire group of four mice a flight back to the path needed to reach Elmoss.

Raven gave his heartfelt thanks for the safe escort and left the group with a promise to provide a hearty banquet when they visited Elmoss again.

At this point, my oldest daughter was really upset about Raven and wanted to end the game. I wasn’t going to hold things up over it, so we packed up and left everything open for some future session. I was able to get a thoughtful response from her later; I asked about why she said Nightsky stands to fight but became scared when Richard warned about Raven. Her response is something I’ll have to carry with me for a while, “I thought we would fight monsters, and that’s not scary. I didn’t think we would have to fight people.”

So, she describes the partial session as terrifying for imagining what dangerous things this “bad guy” mouse could do as a travel companion.


Thank you for sharing this session report. I loved the kids response to each situation. I laughed out loud with the library scene.

My 8 yo son loves Mouse Guard, and I already held 4 short sessions with him. He did enjoy each one of them. I really think that the Mouse Guard world makes kids really intrigued and curious to somehow engage with it.

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