GMed my first session this weekend. Man, what a blast. We jumped right into House of Three Squires after whipping up some characters. Thor, you really nailed the kobolds with all the traps they set up. After hitting the stairs, the net (which was Ronwald’s), and getting trapped in the storeroom, one of my player’s actually shouted, “F@#$%#@ kobolds!”, even though they didn’t know yet what they were up against. I think my favorite part of the night was when one of the players tried to use his 10’ pole as a lever to move some of the barricade, failed the test, and snapped his pole (an item which he had quickly grown fond of, and which had already saved them from disaster a couple of times).
I didn’t quite follow the suggestions and ended in the middle of the adventure phase due to time, but the party is now split, thanks to a cave in, and they are really hurting. It could be a gruesome ending. I was thinking of going a little easy on them, as they are all relative novices to the rules, having only played a couple sessions of Mouse Guard previously. What do you guys think? Should I pull my punches, or not?
Also, one rule clarification please. It does take a test in the camp phase to draw a map, right? That was my initial interpretation, but I read something later in the rules that made me think it was possible to draw a map while in the adventure phase. However, I really like the idea of having to take the time to sit down, pull out your parchment, quill, and ink, and draw a nice, detailed map.
Oh yeah, one other thing. This is the first time I have GMed an entire gaming session, and then at the end realized I never even rolled a die, but didn’t even miss it.
Yes, it takes a test in camp to draw a map (a check really, followed by a test). Unless, of course someone is smart and has an instinct that allows him a free mapping test. For example: “Always map our progress during downtime in camp”.
Not with the rules as intended. It doesn’t say it specifically in the Cartographer section but on page 58 it says “This log can later be translated into a map using the Cartographer skill.” This implies that you should not be using Cartographer while adventuring.
You can make a Cartographer test during the Adventure phase, but it takes a turn like everything else. Sometimes if you’ve gotten lost, it’s your best option. However, you only map stuff you’ve already encountered. It doesn’t let you add anything to the map that you encounter subsequent to the Cartography test. That’s why it’s often best to map in camp.
Ah, thanks for the clarification. Luke seemed to think it was absurd to stop for lunch (Cooking test) as a turn instead of a check in camp and I was kind of assuming that this fell into the same category. Still not entirely clear where the line is between what must be done in camp with a check and what can be done while still adventuring using a turn (aside from recovery tests which are obviously a camp thing).
edit: Although, now that I think back, I think the consensus was that anything having to do with any kind of recovery that’s not magic should be saved for camp, and since Cartography isn’t about recovery I suppose it doesn’t fall under that heuristic.
WAIT! You can’t test Cooking in Adventure phase? Where does it says that?
I mean, I know that it would be stupid to spend a turn cooking or making a map, but I like the idea that the game will let you be stupid. Besides, you never know when you are going to need to test a skill like that (“I CHALLENGE YOU… TO A COOK-OFF!”).
If you don’t have any checks it wouldn’t be stupid at all to stop and spend a turn cooking to feed the entire party on 1 ration to get rid of hungry/thirst. It doesn’t say anywhere but Luke gave me a “come on, be reasonable” type reaction when I mentioned doing so. You can definitely challenge someone to a cook-off during the adventure phase, which is why it feels like a fuzzy instead of a hard line. But I would certainly be comfortable with a GM that disallowed “camp-type” activities during adventure phase, though I’m not sure if that’s how I would rule it.
Because the cook-off is a conflict. It’s dangerous and part of the action—and it doesn’t alleviate any conditions. Cooking to alleviate H/T is purely for rest and recuperation. And thus is part of camp.
Camp activities in camp. Adventure activities in adventure. We didn’t draw a hard line because once we do, there’d be exceptions and other nonsense. So we leave it up to you to judge.