rewards for playing against belief

While I totally get why a player should be rewarded for playing out her mouse’s Belief, I don’t get why she should be rewarded for playing against her mouse’s Belief - especially considering it’s a Persona reward, which appears to be more significant than a Fate reward (when looking at what behavior earns each type). Can someone please explain?

It’s not for simply playing against the belief, but doing so dramatically. You have to play out the character’s turmoil, angst, or change of heart.

EG: Sax has a belief that Common Mice need to be protected… even from themselves.
His party compromised with a fox to let him eat a group of rebels, in exchange for providing them the location of said rebels and transport to said rebels.

He grumbles, he groans he makes threatening comments about reporting it, but goes along anyway.

THAT is what playing against belief artha is for… showing that he doesn’t like it, but he’s doing it anyway, because it is the best way to get the job done… even tho he hates the job.

I believe it’s there to promote change. If you go against your belief, then the character is evolving their priorities, and becoming something else.

There’s a reward for actively following your belief, and a reward for actively going against your belief. That way, either way you decide to spin things, the belief is rewarding loyalty to the belief, but giving an extra reward to change, which I believe generates more interesting play.

There was an interesting example of this at my most recent game. One of the patrol has borrowed the “Do no harm” line from the real world for her belief. She also happens to have Compassionate as a Trait. The only way to restore a town’s water supply turned out to require the team to convince a bunch of the weakened, dehydrated citizens of the town to march a long distance through sharp and dry underbrush, past a fox den, to get to a location where they would have to spend days of hard labor breaking down a beaver dam. The pain of the conflict to her thought process was obvious, and deserved reward.

Thanks folks. I think i get it now. It’s not about just being rewarded for pushing the belief as much as possible as in other games with drama-facilitating mechanics (such as motivation in Exalted or Nature in Mage), it’s about being rewarded for pushing the drama as much as possible, even if that drama is a hard, tortured decision on the part of a character (especially if it is!). It’s not just saying “Saxon resolved this fight without violence - where’s my reward?” it’s saying “that night after the tense negotiation with his cousin the bandit, Saxon sits by the fire, staring at his sword, thinking of all the mice whose blood it has tasted, and wondering if there had been another way.” One is playing against belief, and the other is a hard choice that results in a dramatic and reflective moment. Am i getting it?


If there’s only a reward for driving your agenda, well, games can take on a direct tone. If there’s a reward for drama, then games can take on real depth!

I suggest we move this to “It’s what we fight for” forum.

I should also note that this game is completely unlike many other RPGs. Many other RPGs will only reward success. Many other RPGs give rewards in terms of “material” or “power” gain by the character. In a way, other RPGs don’t reward people for taking risks – you can easily take some conservative paths to success.

Mouse Guard doesn’t work that way. Players are rewarded for making the game more fun for everyone. Players are rewarded for doing the dramatic. Players are rewarded for going against all odds. Mouse Guard awards people who take risks.

Good call, Tower.

I think you’re almost there.

The RPG book example is about Sadie’s situation in Calogero. She’s forced to choose between trying to help Conrad, or taking advantage of Conrad’s sacrifice to get the info about the traitor back to Lockhaven.

The key difference here is that Sadie’s drama is presented “in real time” – her dramatic struggle has be at that moment where she makes the decision. She essentially has to choose between her goal and her belief.

Your example with Saxon reflecting back is more along the lines of checking to see if you really still believe in your Belief – which is something that happens between missions.