… but I really just have no idea. I just tried running a ‘test’ game as a GM with two other players. We knew this session was going to be rough (we wanted to at least have the three of us knowing what we’re doing when the others joined) but now we’re all slightly confused even more.
First, let me give you a background of myself. 20, been introduced to RPG’s since I was born in '91 and while other kids were playing baseball and army men I was pretending to slay dragons in the sandbox. Fast forward a few years, parents divorced and my dad, who was my RPG influence was now 6 hours away and my ability to play waned. Many years later I tried getting friends to try D&D to some avail, then another kid started a short campaign in 3.5, people loved it, kid left, and now I run a casual 3.5e campaign with my current group made up of some of the other group. Eventually we wanted to try something Sci-Fi, went to the local hobby shop, and left with the Mouse Guard Box Set instead.
Alright, now that you know where I’m coming from… I’d like to say that buying Mouse Guard was 5 days ago and I’ve since read the book cover to cover once already. I’ve gone over the rules, read the examples and already began contemplating buying the comics because I’m already in love with the idea of the game.
So tonight after dinner, me and two friends in the group (there’s 6 of us so I wanted to start small with the most RPG savy) decided that we were going to try a sample mission. We planned on doing this on Tuesday (before we meet on Wednesday for our usual game) but decided the extra session couldn’t hurt. Now, we understood the character creation rules fine so we went ahead and made their characters with no problem. I double-checked them, everything was in order- I found the Recruitment section to be rather straight-forward.
So, now instead of just doing the Grain Peddler mission like I should have I also decided to go for gold and I made up a mission on the spot. The mission was “Find out what is happening at the Beetle Farm between Lockhaven and Ironwood” (Do they have beetle farms? I dunno, just sounded good to me.) My two obstacles were a Bullfrog on the way there and then finding out why the mice at the beetle farm were not communicating. So I went ahead, gave them the mission, they picked appropriate goals and I sent them on their way. Up to this point I was sure I was doing fine but if not let me know, and especially from here on tell me what I messed up.
So I gave them a description of the path they were taking to Ironwood and their surroundings. I then said that a hungry bullfrog jumped out of a deep puddle, looking for a snack. Cue conflict, right? Wrong? They were not sure if they wanted to fight the bullfrog or run or what. I let them decide and they decided to fight.
Now, neither had taken Fighter or Hunter skills, so neither could really Feint or Attack, so I let one of them change one of their skills to Fighter instead of what it was. Cue Bullfrog demolishing them (with the Goal of eating one of them. Their goal was to kill the frog.) I let them go (even though they had not gotten any compromise) with Injured and Angry even though they were supposed to make the compromise I think. I said the bullfrog was tired of chasing them and hopped away.
One of them tried a Weather Watcher test, failed, and in came a Spring Snow. Then a failed Pathfinder test (which, I put in because the snow was starting to cover the trail. Does this sound right or should I not have?) led them to the Beetle Farm- destroyed. After a failed Scout test to find the mice who ran away the Bullfrog came back with the goal of eating them both. Their goal was to run away. The bullfrog won without compromise and since it was getting late and at this point we realized that we were not as sure as we thought we were we decided that this was a bad dream their characters had and left to do more research of the game.
Now, a couple questions did come up during the game. So they chose to run. I was not sure if they could even run, but I guessed that Chase could work for this. We understood the different skills used (again, not skills they chose) and this is where the questions began to rain.
In a conflict, can you change the type of conflict? So if they’re running away (or chasing) can one mouse decide to actually attack the bullfrog like in a fight or do you have to stick with the conflict chosen?
Also, since this is a bullfrog and not a mouse/weasel, should it have been attack animal or is that reserved for the big guys?
How much narrative are you and the players supposed to give? Should you jump right to the next skill/conflict or should you give a bit of a description of the journey/let the player’s describe what they’re doing? We were not really sure too much on this and while the game encourages role-playing like no other it does not give much in the way of ideas or standards for this kind of stuff.
I know there’s more we were asking but I can’t think of it. Regardless we’re going to try the Grain Peddler on Tuesday with the Pre-Gen characters (I think Kenzie and Saxon) and see how that pans out. Again any and all help is appreciated!