Player/GM Turns

Hey! I have been playing a little more Mouse Guard lately and was wondering how folks handle the transition from player to GM turn. I think there are a couple of ways to handle this:

  1. Have one GM and one player session per game night (I believe that this is how it’s written in the book).
  2. Have a player turn whenever the Guard Mice reach a place of safety where they can rest up (as in after a large journey).

For me it seems like if the mice are in a safe place they should have a chance to heal up but that only really happens during the GM phase (without spending a LOT of checks). Does this make sense? How do you all handle this? If you do one of each phase per night then what explanation do give to the players when they are unable to remove conditions?


Hi Mosswood,

I’ve always run Mouse Guard by the book, and I’ve found that to be best: prepare the mission, have the players tackle the mission obstacles and any resulting twists in the GM’s Turn, and then call for the Players’ Turn. Sometimes, the players have reached a safe place for their turn. Other times, they’re still in the middle of their mission with work left undone. Earlier this year, I made a couple replies to a similar question, which might be helpful for you and your group:

Short version would be that life in the Guard is hard, and time is always of the essence. I feel these aspects of the game are reinforced by the turn structure–the players’ characters are sworn to their duty as guardmice, and they never have enough opportunities to accomplish everything they want to accomplish. I enjoy this tension, but it takes some getting used to, and your role as game master is to set up opportunities to explore this conflict in the characters’ lives.

I hope that’s helpful. Do you have specific examples of times you’ve had problems with the turn structure in your campaign?