PvP Versus Tests in Mouse Guard

PvP versus tests in Mouse Guard are problematic.

Who gets the twist? Who gets the condition? Can you spend checks?

It always feels like it’s the GM who ultimately decides, despite the dice.


The only time I ever* recall this coming up is when my mouse attempted to Sneak up on EarthenForge’s. I failed, and thus got caught snooping on my Patrol Leader, who threatened me very harshly. We didn’t even really have to think about it, since it was so obvious from the situation what would happen if I failed. I guess you could say it was an aggressor/defender thing.


*Usually when there is PvP tension it goes to a full Conflict during the Players’ Turn, IME. And… you shouldn’t really ever have PvP tests during the GM’s turn… right?

i recall a really fun PvP moment: (Link to mission report)

The PG who joined the group wanted to leave Grasslake to its own illness troubles, but she was already sick with the fever. The pair of Guardmouse and Tenderpaw working with her wanted to set up a clinic. Since PG had a goal to get out of Grasslake without helping, I felt she deserved a chance to roll dice over her orders that the group leave.

So, the PG chose to use Haggler to negotiate with her fellows who resisted with Will (Guarmouse took the test, Tenderpaw helped). In the result it was clear that the lesser ranked had patted her head and pushed her back into bed in her feverish ramblings.

I’ve had another game session with a Patrol Leader vs Guardmouse over how to assess and overcome the obstacle presented. That was a tiny bit less fun, but still interesting. It was (in part) the determination of whether the obstacle would be faced at all or simply skipped. Rather than follow that with the tests of how to resolve the obstacle, I narrated the patrol succeeding at the obstacle and moving to the next while giving the Angry condition to the Guardmouse (who had lost his argument). I used the moment to describe the Patrol Leader taking over and telling his fellow how to do their own specialties–that’s what left the Guardmouse so angry.

I can understand your impression, but in the two favoriate cases of this occurring, I took notice that since the players felt their mouse was dead-set on getting things done his/her own way, the test over the argument was far more interesting than the test over the obstacle.

In fact, one of my missions deserved a bit of PvP, but didn’t get the PvP. I should have taken notice and had the two mice test against each other. Instead, I let rank order the patrolmate into action. The resolution of the obstacle called for a travel conflict, but that patrolmate chose to withold participation from the conflict dispo and didn’t add helping dice to his mates throughout. After he heard the cost of the conflict he kinda pulled, ‘told you so.’ to the Patrol Leader who had ordered the patrol into such danger.

That might have been better overall if that player could have at least invested in trying to sway the PL.