Seyth Steady-paw

Hello, all. I’d like you to meet my Mouse Guard character for a two-person (plus GM) mini-series we’re starting week after next:

Seyth Steady-paw of Barkstone, Son of Abram and Loralai (Lockhaven artisans, non-Guard)
[b]Concept[/b]: Grizzled ex-POW

[b]Rank[/b]: Patrol Guard [b]Age[/b]: 36
[b]Will[/b]: 4	[b]Health[/b]: 4 [b]Nature[/b]: 4
[b]Resources[/b]: 6	[b]Circles[/b]: 3

[b]Senior Artisan[/b]: Walmond the Carpenter (Lockhaven)
[b]Mentor[/b]: Garrow the Bold (Lockhaven, Guard)
[b]Friend[/b]: Vidar the Barkeep (Barkstone)
[b]Enemy[/b]: Autumn the Patrol Captain (Lockhaven, Guard)
[b]Cloak Color[/b]: Dark blue

[b]Description[/b]: Of moderate height and black fur, Seyth is a relatively average-looking
mouse. That is, if you ignore the scars and eyepatch. Large chunks of his ears are
missing, and what's left of them are covered in piercings. The right half of his face is
covered with a wicked scar from some vicious creatures claws, and if you ever saw
him without his eyepatch (a rarity), you'd notice that his right eye was missing entirely.

[b]Instinct[/b]: Never let a weasel walk free.
[b]Belief[/b]: Live a life of service; that is the only route to immortality.

[b]Gear[/b]: Halberd, 3x knives, clay jug, wooden flute

Carpenter 3
Scout 2
Smith 2
Deceiver 2
Fighter 4
Pathfinder 3
Survivalist 3
Weather Watcher 3
Instructor 2
Weasel-wise 2
Darkheather-wise 2
Flute-wise 2

Steady Paw 1
Driven 1

Seyth is a veteran of the winter war. He was part of the strike team that infiltrated
Darkheather in an attempt to save mouse captives. When Kenzie, Saxon, and other
Guardmice made their escape with what captives they could save, Loukas and Seyth
stayed behind to buy them time. Loukas was killed, but Seyth was captured and made
to fight in cruel arena matches before Darkheather finally fell and he made his escape.

The game is for a friend of ours who has never played a “story game” before. He’s a big fan of D&D and Shadowrun, but has shown a lot of interest in seeing the indie side of things lately. He’s on leave from deployment in Afghanistan in two weeks, so we thought we’d put together a short mini-series for him.

The idea is for his character to be a tenderpaw and my character to be his mentor. Seyth is going a little mad with grief and PTSD, and Gwendolyn thought it would be good to get him out in the field with his own tenderpaw to look after. Since my buddy is a relatively experienced roleplayer, we figured we’d set it up so I could guide him when needed (he’s a tenderpaw), but also such that he’d have plenty of chances to lead the way (since Seyth is a little mad and impulsive when it comes to slaying weasels).

What do you guys think of him? Anything I should tweak?

This may sound odd, but although I like the concept, the character is too one-dimensional and focused. His skills are all 2 or 3, except Fighter at 5. I’d diversify there a bit.

The big thing I saw is that his Belief isn’t all that good in light of a good Instinct. (A defecting weasel, Fight conflict compromise… the Instinct is fine.) Make the Belief about something else entirely to give the player more room to have fun with the character. As it is, the character sheet basically reads: “Hate weasels. Kill them.”

How does he play his flute?

Yeah, I was on the fence about his Fighter 5.

How about Fighter 3, adding Weather-Watcher 3 and the following Belief:

“Live a life of service; that is the only route to immortality.”

Or something regarding putting others before himself. Then he’ll have this neat contrast between really wanting to murder that fleeing weasel and saving his tenderpaw from falling off that ledge he’s hanging from… do I shank that worthless weasel and then rescue my charge, or do I let the weasel live to fight another day?

I wanted him to be a crazy-good fighter to reflect all that time in the pit, but maybe he’s been spending his time on pursuits other than stabbing people in the face. He’s a bit rusty, you see, after all these years.

EDIT: @Daniel: I was under the assumption that if he wanted to be good at playing his flute outside of conflicts with stakes, he could be as good as he wanted. If I wanted to use it as gear in say, a Deceiver test in a conflict with stakes, I could do that. Is that right?

EDIT2: Ooh, or maybe Instructor 3 instead of Weather-watcher! That would be appropriate for his new Belief.

I wasn’t thinking of an instrument as appropriate gear for a Deceiver test, but you’re right about that. Never mind me, although I’d suggest adding an appropriate Wise to flesh out his ability.

I didn’t think it was as important as having Weasel-wise and Darkheather-wise, but maybe I should lower Darkheater-wise to 2 and take Flute-wise 2?

EDIT: So I made a series of tweaks, and I think I’m happy with the Belief now. I lowered Darkheather-wise to 2 and gave him Flute-wise at exponent 2. Am I correct to think that I can use Lute-wise as a FoRK (I don’t recall the MG term for this) for Carpenter to carve my own flutes?

I also lowered his Fighter to 3 and used the two checks to buy Instructor at 3, to better reflect his Belief and current assignment (training tenderpaws).

EDIT2: I just went through the Recruitment chapter again and rechose his skills. Turns out I flubbed the math a little bit. The OP is up to date now.

You misread me. I didn’t mean for you to lower Fighter (not past 4, anyway), but just to bring one of his other skills up. I wouldn’t drop Fighter lower than 4, and I wouldn’t really even change it from 5. However, I think you can pull from somewhere else to maybe boost, say, Deceiver up or a “trade skill” like Carpenter or something. It’s just nice to contribute (and be the roller) for things outside of combat. I ought to have been more specific about why I was suggesting the change, so that was my fault, Framweard.

I wouldn’t take that one strong skill away from him unless you want to raise something else in its place. My usual rule is for players to have a 4 or 5, and another 4. The rest can be whatever, but players ought to have two go-to skills or things to fall back on. That’s my suggestion, anyway. I’m sure opinions differ.

edit: Ugh. I didn’t see the new OP. Those skills look pretty good. Ignore the above.

That seems like an appropriate instance for him to help himself.

Thanks for being open to feedback, I like the new mix of skills a lot. I was going to say that I don’t prefer for even a character’s best skill to start higher than four or five (no room for advancement), but seeing as this campaign will be short that’s probably not a significant concern.

@Patrick: Hey, no problem. I liked your advice a lot, so the words weren’t wasted. Thanks for helping out.

@Daniel: Thanks for the feedback! I’m glad to take advice; I never consider a Burning Wheel character fully “cooked” (or burnt, as it were) until I get feedback.

What do you guys think of the new Belief, by the way? Good, bad, average? Any other tweaks you’d suggest? This is the first MG character I’ve ever made, so don’t be afraid to give more feedback!

It’s good. It fits in with the training angle and creates some tension with the character’s Instinct.