Scientific Discoveries That Can Be Made

I’ve run a lot of sessions around Sprucetuck, this has led to a lot of sciency stuff going on: poison manufacture, wasp pheromones, manufacture of gliding cloaks to turn the mice into miniature flying squirrels, weather patterns, animal science. Mouse Guard definitely has the best setting to make researching prep fun.

I’m enjoying exploring the idea of the Guard experiencing a renaissance. The players get to change the territory’s culture as opposed to fight a bigger beast. I’d like to continue this Neal Stephenson-esque theme of medieval stories driven by scientific discoveries.

Do you have any suggestions for science or inventions the mice could be on the brink of discovering that would transform their society?

Im contemplating doing a year long campaig centered around the discovery of steel wool, which the guard will be tasked with to cut off known tunnels from the dark heather to the kingdom. The initial few sessions will be escorting mined materials from ironwood and copperwood to sprucetuck where they will meet the science mouse and learn of his invention and the further plan. I kind of like the idea of having the science mouse being really bitter after losing his loved ones in the weasel war, and since steel wool is a new invention the guard would more than likely not be aware of it’s flamable properties, although perhaps a guardmouse with high science ranks may be able to recognize this, and the science mouse who has invented the material is secretly planning to use it to ignite the tunnels into the darkheather and blow it to bits. Perhaps using an accelerant mixed with the steel wool disquised as a scent border chemical…
Still flushing it out.
I would love to see your mole liason campaign as I was thinking maybe it could fit well into this. Perhaps the moles are knowledable of the tunnels leading from the darkheather into the kingdom, and this backlash explosion would threaten their population also.

I’ve been reading Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and that inspired a macabre idea of Sandmason glaziers using arsenic to clarify glass and causing a minor town poisoning in the arsenic rain/fallout from kilns. We’re still sussing out that mission, but thusfar my biggest balance has been giving enough information to illustrate what is happening, not giving away all the secrets, and not forcing the players to guess the answers. That’s a tough balance; since, I don’t want to create a mystery for detectives–I want the mission to remain an action-thriller with some related events from the poison.

Otherwise, Silent Spring is seriously heavy reading, but has an amazing storytelling narrative. It is very good for finding descriptive content as well as understanding a strongly connected ecosystem. There are times I’ve just wanted to use that as bedtime story reading, and other times I have to simply put it aside or else be caught crying quietly to myself on a flight or train (I read most when travelling). It’s some dark stuff and very heavy–that’s regardless of whether you agree the science and evidence is complete or incomplete.