Playing out the day in the players' turn

We played ‘Find the Grain Peddler’, and after defeating the snake but failing to turn up the map, we talked about how the players were free to choose what scenes interested them.

But what I’m curious about is the business of having to test to get back to Lockhaven. Who decides that the players have to first use up one of their tests on that (instead of just saying, “We’re back at Lockhaven where I want to circle someone”)?

My guess is that this is just a gray area, and the group uses common sense to decide. But once the players are all familiar with the rules, I can see this being more than a minor point. My players’ patrol was Hungry, Thirsty, Angry and Injured - having to make a test to get home could spell disaster, particularly with Animal twists!

How do you handle this?

  1. Players don’t get to set scenes. Players get to spend checks to make tests.

  2. The GM decides what are appropriate tests. Make them test unless there’s a compelling in game reason not to.

If that means your patrol ends up beaten and tired out in the middle of nowhere then you are playing the game correctly.

I had gotten the impression from the playtest rules that the mice always return to Lockhaven between missions, but this seemed awkward so I just had the players stay in whatever town was their destination. We used the one-season-per-session method, so I guess I could have had the players go anywhere during the downtime, but I was trying to hit as many of their home towns as possible, while slowly moving toward the scent border, so it made sense to keep them afield rather than returning to Lockhaven before the winter session.

Okay, that’s what I was missing.

So, in the player’s turn, they’re standing over the wagon and the players say, “Let’s sleep here for the night, then go home tomorrow.” It’s the GM’s prerogative (for example) to demand that someone spend a check on a Survival or Foraging test before it can become ‘tomorrow morning’? But the GM wouldn’t introduce any net new obstacles (like, “It starts raining!”) except when failed tests cause twists.

Fuseboy: Sure.

Daniel: Page 57, Further Missions.