Sample character power level differences

Me and a friend of mine have been waiting for a chance to introduce our kids to RPGs for a while. I’ve been looking for the right setting and system, and since I ran into Mouse Guard a while ago, things have picked up the pace…

I got the boxed set, and have been studying the sample characters and missions. The game seems to be well thought out in general, but I just can’t figure out the thinking behind one thing: The apparent power levels and their differences in the sample characters.

If you look at Kenzie, Saxon, Sadie and Lieam, they have quite high values (3 or higher) in key skills (i.e. central to many of the sample encounters and missions in the book). Sets of: Kenzie 5/4/3, Saxon 6/5, Sadie 4/4/3/3, Lieam 3/3/5/3.

On the other hand, the second sample group has: Dain 3/3/3/3, Quentin 3/3, Baron 4/3/3, Robin 3.

The sample missions require quite high results in these skills, which would be a lot easier for the first group since three players would be expected to give +2D due to teamwork in most cases. Is there something I’m missing in this percieved difference in power levels? I realize the second group is somewhat more rounded out, but when playing with kids I expect the central skills to be even more central.

I understand completely that failure in this game is often expected to be at least as much fun as success, and that the first sample group are the protagonists in the comic. Succeeding at some important rolls in the first session might make a difference to the kids, however, and more than anything I just want to understand why this is and what could be expected from picking one group or the other.

Thanks for any advice.

:shrug: I’ve run games with Quentin, Robin and Baron and we had great time.

Power balance isn’t a big issue in Mouse Guard. Some mice are more experienced than others. I haven’t played MG with kids, but I’ve never ever had balance be an issue in MG or BW.


I’m not really worried that the stats of the characters would make or break the game, and balance or the lack of it isn’t really what I’m concerned about. I would really be interested in how the difference in the two sample groups might be expected to affect play, and how that might be seen from the kids’ perspective.

More failure equals more complications. I think how the kids handle it has to do with how you present it. Make it fun to roll complications.

“If you fail this roll, you will be attacked by wild beasts.” rolls “A snake lunges out of the grass! What do you do?”

Plus, failures are needed to advance abilities. Sooner or later, any character will need to fail at something if he or she wants to get better at it.

Even the iconic 4 (who are characters from the comics, the other sample characters were made by playtesters) will fail tests about half of the time. The difference in stats really isn’t that great as just looking on the 1-6 scale might indicate.