Players asking for rolls during the GM's Turn.


Just ran Mouse Guard last night, and things went really well! We ran into one small snag I was hoping to get clarified here.

Ok, 4 PC’s were tasked with delivering the mail to Wildseed, Darkwater, Port Sumac, and finally Wolfpointe. One character, Tander, was an oldfur with very high Healing skills and another, Josephine, was an avid collector of mouselore. Everyone set their goals, Tander’s goal was “Help as many sick or injured mice along the way” and Josephine’s was “Collect any new lore that had been discovered over the winter”

Now, these goals were not set until the beginning of the session, and I had already prepared problems and obstacles for the Mission.

My question: How much leeway do players have asking for tasks and rolls during the GM turn? Do Tander and Josephine have to wait till the players turn, and spend their checks healing people/collecting lore then? Or can they ask for healer/circles rolls as we narrate stopping at each town? Doing it on the players turn doesn’t make sense in this situation, as it begins when the players reach Wolfpointe. Retroactively going back to Darkwater to tend to any sick or wounded doesn’t make sense. Were these just inappropriate goals?

I went with it and had them make healer/circles rolls and introduced twists/conditions to keep things going. Spontaneous twists are a bit of a challenge for me, but I have no doubt I’ll get better with practice.

Thanks for any help you can provide!

Kevin Weiser
A podcast about Actual Play, Reviews, and Interviews.
Walking Eye, Hank. Walking. Eye.

Hi Kevin,

Players can ask for whatever they want in the GM’s Turn, but you don’t have to give it to them. In fact, the GM is obligated to keep them focused on the mission.

So no distractions and no shopping trips.

However, if a player suggests a narratively appropriate sidetrack that you feel makes sense in the context of the mission, it’s within your rights to grant the test.

Conversely, in the Players’ Turn, the players get to set the pace and tone. You merely suggest obstacles for what they’re after.


I had a gut feeling that’s exactly what was intended, but it’s very nice to get confirmation. Thanks!