Re: Scripting

(Crossposted to RPGnet)
I know that because Mouse Guard is a direct descendant of Burning Wheel, it uses the same basic scripting structure for combat. But having played the game a couple of times now, I was wondering if there would be anything lost by replacing “script three actions” with “script one action.” As far as I can tell, things would basically remain the same, but I’m not an expert and there may be something that I’m missing. Any thoughts?

I think that the designer and play community will, for the most part, think you are missing an important element if you eliminate scripted combat…It mainly has to do with the desire for a gritty, uncertain feeling that was hardwired into the system.

Ducks under a table, pops some popcorn and gets ready to watch the show

The answer is different for MG: it removes elements of teamwork and planning from the conflict system. If you do a search you may find some prior threads on this.

Teamwork in MG means everyone gets a turn and that everyone has to be a part of the plan for that exchange.

Removing the plan and hidden reveal turns the system into a simple I-GO-YOU-GO experience that you can get in any other game. Personally, I find I-GO-YOU-GO boring. Obviously, most people do not.


With script 1:
you have less tension
you have more likelyhood of reading your opponent (MG:4 options instead of 64;BW: under a dozen instead of several hundred)
you may have a slightly slower pace of combat due to more time spent contemplating choices.

Everyone would still take a turn, teamwork rules would still be in effect, and it would still be important to discuss tactics a few moves in advance (although, now that I think about it, discussing those tactics in front of the GM might have him change tactics to match). I’m not sure why you wouldn’t still want to plan as a group what you will be doing in the next few actions, even without the enforced rules of planning 3 steps at a time.

I’m not really sure what you mean by “I-GO-YOU-GO.” Actions would still be chosen simultaneously and then revealed simultaneously (and there would still be teams). And since everyone on the team has to go before anyone else can go twice in the default system, it’s still taking turns. I suppose it could feel like less of a team effort… It certainly wouldn’t feel like every other game, though, because there would still be the rock-paper-scissors on PCP thing.

It may be that because I’ve played Mouse Guard one-on-one a few times, I’m underestimating the effects on a game with multiple players. I’m almost positive that in a one-on-one situation, scripting 1 instead of 3 makes almost no difference. I mean, it basically feels like that anyway, in my experience.

There’s no incentive to plan without the three action structure.

Do you have the time to explain why there isn’t an incentive to plan without it? Or why there is an incentive to plan as it is now? I’d like to see what you reasoning is, not to try and shoot it down, but to see the underlying structure of the game. I’m not particularly wed to the idea of getting rid of the three action structure, I’m just curious about why it’s there.

And if there has already been a discussion on this, I apologize. If someone could point me the way, I’d appreciate it.

Forgive me if I bow out of this discussion. I didn’t realize this was in the Hacks forum until I’d already posted. Carry on with the hacking!

With the combination of teams and the 3 action plan, one has to balance who does what with what gets done. It increases the utility of planning effectively, since no team member gets to roll all three actions… you can’t just AAA, becuase your bookworm has to roll at least one, and his 1D fight will get him CREAMED… so you decide when he goes, and what he does, and try to set that so that the GM doesn’t have it scheduled against somthing good… you have him defend with his 6D nature!