Run away! Run away!

I was imagining a scenario in which the players start a fight… and then change their minds and decide to flee as it goes badly.

The rules don’t seem to account or allow for this: No Weasels, “Players who are losing should fight for a compromise” (p. 117). Yet escaping is part of Mouse Nature.

Depending on the situation, I suspect that this is really an indicator that they chose the wrong goal, e.g., “Kill the snake” instead of “Distract the snake long enough for Simon to get out of the nest.” But allowing them to change their goal during the conflict seems very unfair.

So, flat out disallow it and ask that they pick better goals next time? Make escape checks as maneuver? With enough successes to bring the opponent’s disposition to zero? Would they have to escape as a team or could a single, cowardly mouse escape leaving his team behind? Assess damage conditions after escape?

Well, the rules on that page do allow you to have an option too surrender. However, if the Snake’s goal is to eat you, then you just allowed the Snake to eat you! You have to fight to survive. A compromise could be that you escape.

Either run away BEFORE the conflict or use the actions in the conflict to narrate your retreating actions.

Whoa, that’s interesting. If you have time, would you please elaborate?

I’m thinking it would be scripting Maneuver and Feint as avoiding combat and seeking to flee. I’m interested in this interpretation, also.

Or declaring your intent as flight from the conflict.

See, I thought about this too. But, that’s like combining two different conflicts, a chase and a fight. I don’t think it works that way. I guess you could say your goal is to run away from the fox, but then it would be a chase conflict (that could develop into a flight conflict too).

Yeah, my impression is that the original question was about fleeing while already in the middle in a specific conflict; ie, “Crap, this fight is going badly. Let’s run!” So I’m curious as to what Luke meant when he said scripting to describe trying to get out of it. My understanding of the rules is that, once invested (disposition roll and setting the team’s goal), you’re in it unless you surrender (which is always worse than finishing with a compromise) or complete the conflict as per normal.

My question is can the team change their intent mid-conflict?

Example: 3 mice are fighting a snake and are losing. They decide that discretion is the better part of valor and so wish to change their intent from “kill the snake” to “run away from the snake”.

Now if this change in intent is possible mid-conflict then I can see doing this: Change the various actions to escape descriptions (as per chase and pursuit rules). Disposition is still lost so nothing is really changing other than the descriptions of what is going on. The snake is still trying to kill the mice.

No, you may not change your goal mid-conflict.


I chose “Maneuver” for my action.
I say, “I try to put some distance between us and the snake.”


Aramis is correct. In a fight, you may note your goal as, “Escape unharmed.” Whereas your opponent may note, “I turn the patrol into worm food.”

Sorry for the triple post. I’m too lazy to do it right.

Ahh, this thread has really caused an epiphany! Thanks Luke.

Remember that snake encounter when Lieam, Kenzie, and Saxon get into a fight with the snake for the first time? I don’t have the rulebook, but I am almost sure that would be a great example of turning from fight to flight in a combat conflict.

The key is probably in “hurting” the snake’s disposition enough to get a compromise on the snake’s goal, and having the players creatively narrate their actions in such a way that it is clear what kind of compromise they are working for.

(And I don’t think using Feint will be productive, since the snake is likely to attack most or all the time)

The “Conflict Goal Railroad” is something I’m also trying to fully understand; but from my very limited understanding, if the players are in dire straits that they know they’ll probably lose the conflict and thus not achieve their goal … then their hope for survival is to hurt the opponent’s disposition enough to gain a compromise.

Am I missing something?

Couldn’t you just narrate a ‘retreat’ or ‘hide’ as a kind of Maneuver within a larger Fight Conflict?

That’s what I’m saying!

Yup, and Luke pointed to this up above. Feint could also be used, I would argue, depending on how it’s narrated. (Especially in conjunction with a Maneuver.)

However, the issue of being in a fight conflict (and still being bound to its results) still exists. As far as I know, that can’t be gotten out of short of surrendering (not a good option) or by following the conflict through to its conclusion.

Regardless, the original goals of the conflict still hold. So if a team starts out a fight conflict with the goal “Force the snake over the side of the ravine” and narrate Feint and Maneuver as get-away style actions… well… that’s pretty contrary to the original intent. If the team members all use those actions with those sorts of narrations and win the conflict… well, how the hell can they have accomplished it? You can’t run away and thus force a snake backwards into a steep-sided ravine.

A goal can’t be changed mid-conflict and that’s the issue that started this thread, I think. You’re either all in or not involved, unless you form a team of 1, which you can do, and thus have a goal and disposition separate from the main party in the other team. However, that must be decided before disposition rolls are made and cannot be done mid-conflict; i.e., a mouse on a team getting its arse kicked can’t decide to split off and form a team of 1.